Cash and Cash Equivalent
My checking account benefited from the later timing of some bills, although I did buy fewer groceries because of all the holiday family meals.
My overdraft fund is now fully funded plus a buffer, so I'll start moving the excess to my e-fund. (It is down from this time last year because I was holding some funds to be allocated elsewhere then.) I'm pleased with the growth in my e-fund and my condo fund over the year.
Another down month for the markets, but decent allocation and management (for my mutual fund) kept this moving forward. The annual growth has been respectable.
Sometimes it feels like I'm just chipping away at these for eternity, but then I see how much my balances have dropped over the year and I know that I'm doing the right thing. I could pay down my debt faster, but since my interest rates are quite low, and because I really want a solid savings base, I think my progress is reasonable.
Hey, big spender. Now that I've finally joined the ranks of the reward cardholders, I did make more purchases with my rewards card. I also spent more on gas than I have in any month since I left grad school (driving back and forth to visit family every day will do that). And I also bought some family gifts that would be partially reimbursed. I have now paid down that card to zero, and once I get some medical expenses reimbursed, the other card will join it.
All told, I'm very fortunate. I didn't practice extreme frugality (I spent funds on LOTS of lunches out, cable, and some fairly expensive theater tickets), I didn't have much alternative income beyond some online surveys, and I didn't do much budgeting beyond my automatic, forced version. But simply setting up automatic savings and making sure I could cover all my fixed expenses helped me improve my position pretty handily in 2007. Here's hoping I do the same in 2008.
The Month Ahead
My grandfather recently passed away, so I'll have some expenses related to that. Of course, they are all well worth it.
This is my three-paycheck month, and that gives me some freedom to make an extra loan payment and savings contribution. But I also intend to put some money aside for my cousin's wedding in April. (My travel/holiday fund doesn't show up in my net worth, because I consider that pre-spent.) And I'll probably do some after-holiday shopping for some things I didn't get for Christmas.
I'm also hoping to get a jump start on my tax return, but beyond that, I hope it's a fairly quiet month.
Labels: financial goals