I've been away having a much-needed vacation with my family, but I didn't COMPLETELY forget about the pf world.
For starters, my net worth improved pretty mightily over the course of the month. I also offer the improvement since May (I technically started tracking it in March, but didn't have a consistent methodology until May [although there is one significant exception that I'll detail below].) I report on the second of every month for the transactions of the prior month (plus one loan payment on the first).
The KBB value of my car stayed the same this month, and I had no reason to adjust anything else. I have made adjustments since May to my vehicle and computer valuation.
Cash and Cash Equivalent
My rent check has yet to clear in my checking balance, but even so, I managed to keep more than I expected in my account. Part of this has to do with my family feeding me for much of my vacation. The increase in my savings account is mainly, but not entirely, due to generous gifts from family from the holidays and some reimbursement for ticket purchases. I'll be transferring most of it to my condo fund when the balance is no longer being held. My online savings account improvement reflects depositing my net bonus in my emergency fund.
I was pleasantly surprised by the continued growth in the markets in December. As you can see, equity growth and increased contributions (both from raises and higher percentages) led to strong growth in my retirement account since May. I'm comfortable with my percentage level (10 percent plus 5 percent match) so this probably won't see such vast improvement in 2007.
I did not record my mutual fund balance until August, so I don't show improvement in that category from May. However, the "zero" for that line does overstate my percentage improvement in my assets and overall net worth since May, although I estimate it's only by a few basis points.
At any rate, my asset base improved by at least 50 percent since May, and I am very pleased with that.
I continue to make my scheduled payments on my loans. However, the holiday prevented both of my loans that are due on the first from posting (usually, one of them posts by the 2nd). For ease of comparison, I treat the loan that I transferred to my credit union as an "other loan" in May, although I originally recorded it as a student loan. Obviously, reducing the interest rate on that loan made a large difference.
One of my credit cards is now officially at a zero balance. The other card has been statement-paid (in part with my Christmas savings fund), but late December expenditures still left a higher-than-average balance on my card. I should be able to pay a good chunk of that balance off with my extra paycheck this month, well before the February due date. Since I am no longer using my one credit card as a DIY 0% financing tool for my computer, I suspect my credit balances will remain lower than they were in May.
All told, my net worth improved by at least 25 percent since May 2006. I'm still a long way off from a net worth of zero, but I am pleased with my progress.
And now for 2007.
I'm not that big on resolutions, but I do have a few specific goals this year.
- Improve my condo fund to at least $8K. I think my current contribution schedule should get me there without too much difficulty, but I will need to make extra contributions during my three-paycheck months. Stretch goal: $9K.
- Take a homeownership class. There are two being offered in my area this month. I doubt that I'll be ready to purchase this year, but taking the class early should help me get my ducks in a row for next year.
- Limit snack/cash withdrawal trips to CVS to once a week. I have a bad habit of sugar-crashing or wanting cash and therefore stopping at CVS on the way home. I should make more use of my network ATMs and do better grocery shopping so that I don't fritter those extra dollars away.
Labels: financial goals