The reason I track my net worth is to keep myself accountable. If you don’t track it, you’ll never find out if you are doing something right or wrong, if you need to stay the course or make corrections. Overall, I’ve been pretty happy with the results of my updates. There have been things to fix along the way, and I still have plenty of room for improvement.
Not so much this month. I knew that this month was going to be bad because of the vacation, but we took a beating. For the third straight month, we lost ground, but this month we lost 9%! Basically, in 30 short days, we fell back to February in terms of our net worth.
The trip wound up being much more expensive than we anticipated, including paying $80 for parking for the wedding, plus a car repair. Having to fill the tank of my car every 4 days isn’t helping either. The first hour of my day at work is spent earning the money I burned to get there.
But there were some glaring mistakes on our part as well. To insure that we don’t have food spoil while we travel, we typically scale back our grocery buying prior to the trip. I guess this time we started too early and we ran out. And then, because we didn’t want to over-buy, we didn’t buy at all! Instead we ordered out for the better part of a week.
I also bought my brother a car. He broke up with his girlfriend and moved out and needed a way to get to work from his new place. I loaned him $400. He has promised to have it paid back by Christmas, which is around the time I plan on using it to pay off my last remaining credit card from college.
But all this means that my wife and I have sat down to talk about our spending habits of late and are cutting way back. Eating out is being virtually eliminated from our budget for the time being. I know Dave Ramsey says that if you are in debt, you shouldn’t see the inside of a restaurant unless you work inside of one. We are limiting ourselves to 2 visits per month, plus one movie (we saw the new Percy Jackson movie at the discount theater). We should have the Capital One card paid off around Thanksgiving.
On the upside, the retirement accounts did pretty well. We are up over $800. That’s an 8% gain over last month! My wife’s 401(k) did especially well because the employee stock in it (38%, down from 100% when we got married) has been doing gangbusters of late. They look like they are well on way to finally recover from the 2008 crash and have actually doubled in price over the last year.
Cash $4014 Down $1688.
Retirement Savings $11,003 Down $808
Car: $0 Still junk.
TOTAL ASSETS: $15,017
Credit Cards: $4934 Up $1896
Student Loans: $30,381 Down $129.
Outstanding Medical Bills: $6808 Down $348
TOTAL LIABILITIES: $42,126