Net Worth Update: November 2015

networthupdateHello and welcome to my penultimate 2015 net worth update. I once again took advantage of this semester’s unusually extreme flexibility and worked remotely for the last couple of weeks. During this time I stayed with my BFF and her family in California, helping to care for their newborn, my goddaughter’s younger sister. I…may not have gotten very much work done, but on the plus side (1) I spent a lot of time with an infant sleeping on my chest or smiling at me, and (2) it ended up being a very cheap month because they paid for most food and there weren’t a lot of opportunities to spend money on entertainment. (I did “bill” my travel fund for a few things — a checked baggage fee and airport shuttle fee, and gas for a weekend trip I made at the start of the month — but made up for it with a cash draw of only $200, which I used to pay for groceries early in the month and a few small items while traveling, like lunch out with a friend and various coffees.)

To the numbers!

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 5.13.57 PM1) Fuel: This does not include the weekend trip, but does include a full tank of gas hanging out in my car waiting to start December; I don’t think I’ll have to fill up again until I leave for the holidays, so maybe this category will show a $0 at the end of the month?!

2) For the first time in forever I had no expenses in personal/medical. Look for this to change in December since I have my eye exam scheduled just before Christmas.

3) Slush: lunch out with friends in Indiana.

4) Repairs and maintenance: got an oil change.

5) Clothing: a skinny black belt (I went for real leather this time because I kept buying cheap, but not THAT cheap, fake versions from Target and then they’d wear out in a few months. Hopefully this $30 one will last for a while); new jeans since I wore my old ones into the ground; and a half-dozen pairs of fleece-lined tights. Winter is coming, y’all.

6) Gifts: I took advantage of the low-expenses month to do a bunch of early Christmas shopping. At this point I’ve covered my mom, dad, brother, sister-in-law’s stocking present, several friends, my godson, and my goddaughter. Still have a few things to round up and baking supplies to buy, but it should be pretty low-key from here on out. This category also includes a gift for the baby and a donation. I am obviously loosening up on gifts this year; last year, when I was still in a small amount of debt entering December and really focused on finishing strong, I kept Christmas very cheap, with a total $200 budget. I’m not buying anyone the Taj Mahal, but I did buy gifts for a few more people this year than last (this will account for the increase, more than my buying especially expensive things.)

7) Professional expenses: year-long membership in a professional organization (I belong to three or so at any one given time, and currently the memberships are not reimbursable by my job, though I intend to change that sometime in 2016.)

The exciting thing here though is that even with those big gift and clothing categories, I still managed to squeeze $200 extra out to supplement my house fund! I also decided not to make a contribution to my travel fund this month, since I don’t have any more major trips planned for a long time, and instead to put another $200 into my house fund. So I ended up contributing $1425 for the month to that fund, bringing it tantalizingly close to $5000. (I’d been hoping to make it all the way there, but the need to renew that professional membership popped up at the last second, and so did one of the gifts I bought.)

Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 5.14.09 PMThere’s nothing too exciting in the account numbers aside from that housing fund amount. The markets ended up being extremely boring, which is fine, and I spent my travel fund down slightly, without replenishing, as explained above. I ended up with a net income of $3106, including a check from Ebates (referral link, and I can’t recommend them highly enough) as well as interest and my normal pay, and I lived on 43% of that, saving 57%. My net worth increased by $1773, for a total of $32952. I would love to finish the year strong at $35,000; it would be a bit of a stretch, but it’s plausible, so hopefully my life will cooperate and I’ll get to have a really nice champagne toast at New Year’s!

[Edited to add: just realized that I’ve hit my goal net worth for 2015 already — it was just over $32000. To be honest I never wanted this to be my final goal, so I’m glad that it looks like I’ll be several thousand dollars further on. Especially since when the markets tanked a few months ago it looked like I might not even make it to $32K!]

16 thoughts on “Net Worth Update: November 2015

  1. Awesome job on your savings!!! That’s a huge amount. Nice job on keeping your Christmas spending low as well!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Thank you! I was super pleased after such an expensive summer.

  2. Hannah says:

    Well done! Sounds like a wonderful break, and awesome that you kept costs so low.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It was really great to be out there. I should say the costs included the plane ticket, but I paid for that earlier in the fall so it doesn’t appear on this spending report 🙂

  3. Jason says:

    I wish I could say the same for my savings. How did the job thing work out? Any news?

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I’m sorry your savings aren’t doing well. Maybe next month? And thanks for asking about the job. Too soon to know yet but I should have a better idea early in the new year.

  4. Megan says:

    As someone who has living in Texas my whole life, this is the first time I have ever heard of fleece-lined tights. I must investigate, as that sounds lovely.

    Second, I never understand how people calculate their savings rate. You say you saved 57% of your income this month, but it looks like part of that is going to funds that will eventually be spent. This is exactly how I do my budget as well, but I’ve never understood if I can count those “saving for now but likely to be spent in future” funds toward the savings rate calculation. I don’t know why I can’t wrap my mind around this, despite reading tutorials at several places 🙂

    Congrats on a good month, and happy holidays to you.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      I am in love with them and may not go out without a pair on until June 🙂

      Savings rate — you raise a good point, and I think people do vary a bit. I feel pretty comfortable counting money I put in investments/retirement, in my emergency fund, and in my house fund as real savings; when you get right down to it, isn’t all savings planned spending? That’s money I’m setting aside from my current income for eventual use in the pretty long term. Where I agree with you that it gets squirrelly is with my travel fund. I count it as savings basically because I transfer a contribution to a dedicated savings account every month. At the same time, I access it a lot! I think it probably makes more sense to call it a sinking fund rather than savings, and I’m going to make that change, along with several other accounting changes, in January (to keep things consistent, I’ve been putting off making these changes until I went through a whole year on the old system.)

  5. ARBM says:

    Awesome work on the net worth! November was a low spend month for us as well, but I didn’t get any Christmas shopping done ahead of time, so this month is going to be super expensive… even if we try to keep the gift costs down… just all the holiday food and drink will add up quick!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Oh man, the food and drink! Christmas holidays for me often turn into a series of lunches and brunches with friends in my hometown and it can really add up. Good luck to you this month 🙂

  6. Do you have a brand of fleece-lined tights you’d recommend? I bought one pair at Urban Outfitters that I love, and then they apparently discontinued those ones and I ended up getting these other ones that are a weird texture and pick up lint like crazy.

    Oh geez, professional memberships. I have one of these. What a racket. I mean, okay, I get it: they need money to plan conferences or lobby for us or whatever it is they’re doing, but to me it feels a little like dropping the money down a sewer grate.

    Yay house fund increase!

    1. thesingledollar says:

      So, these are the first ones that I bought, and they’re pretty fab. They’re also kind of pricey ($35). I bought a couple of pairs and adore them, but I also went to TJ Maxx to get jeans and picked up a few backup pairs at, like, $5 apiece. Those are ok, but not as nice. But the cost savings is very very substantial 🙂

      1. Thanks for the info! Tights are so hard to buy unless you know a brand you like. Otherwise they all look exactly the same in the package, but then when you go to put them on at home (because you can’t in the store) you find that some of them are awesome and some of them are awful.

    2. thesingledollar says:

      Oh, got caught up in the tights question. I agree, I hate paying for memberships 🙂 In fact, I don’t do it except when I’m presenting at a conference — that’s why my memberships tend to rotate because I don’t necessarily just renew them when they come up, I just join whatever organization(s) I’m presenting at in X year. (My research is pretty interdisciplinary so I have a lot of choices.)

  7. Well done on reaching your goal for 2015 early! Looking forward to seeing what your final net worth for the year will be.

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