Well, it had to happen eventually! A bad month for the markets and a high month for spending combined to result in my first reported net worth decline in over two years. Let’s do the spending first:
woo! Basically, this is coming down to three categories: travel, slush, and clothing.
The slush really isn’t so great. I ate out more than usual, and bought more convenience/pre-prepared food than usual, as well as buying a few “things.” Not awesome.
Travel and clothing bother me less. The travel expenses are for three separate trips: two I took this month (one to California and one to Philadelphia) and one, to Cuba, that I’ve got planned for Christmas break. At this point, I’ve paid for plane ticket and lodging for that trip. Since these expenses together drained my travel sinking fund and then some, I’ll adjust that in various ways. I moved some extra unspent money into the travel category, and also plan to put my normally budgeted November travel money towards paying off this ‘deficit.’ That should leave me with my normally budgeted December and January travel money to actually use on the trip.
Clothing was basically a giant order of winter stuff. I needed new boots, and also got some warm shirts and sweaters. Last year’s pants, fleece-lined leggings, etc ought to hold up at least another year, and I also decided to make do with the coat I already have. It doesn’t fit very well and it has a broken zipper, but I think I can deal for one more year at least. If I end up somewhere cold next year I’ll buy one then.
Everything else was pretty minor. But I need to figure out this slush spending thing, for sure.
Yikes! Most of that isn’t so bad, though — it’s really mostly market decline. I did withdraw $200 from the life fund to pay for some of those clothing costs, and the travel fund is down to almost nothing for the time being, but the three funds at the bottom really drove the low numbers this month. Even with contributing $670 to retirement I’m only showing a gain of $225 and the other two (which didn’t get contributions) lost money accordingly. The issue is mostly that because of the giant paycheck I got earlier this semester, my ongoing monthly income aside from that month just isn’t enough to make up for this level of market decline unless I’d had a super frugal month (which obviously I didn’t.) C’est la vie!