Inspired by a few other bloggers, I have been keeping track of my net worth since August. And in September and October, I saw steady increases in my net worth, both due to growth in my investments as well as the fact that in September, I started a new job after finishing graduate school.
November, however, was a bit different. My net worth dropped 2.16% in November. It’s actually a few hundred dollars less than it was in August, which is a bit disheartening. But I have a feeling that most people who invest and who track their net worth will see a drop this month. My investments fell by about 5% this month. They’re already starting to come back, so I expect December will be a bit better.
However, November was also a month of excessive spending for me. As I mentioned earlier, I blew through my monthly spending budget. I didn’t go into debt or have to go into any of my long term savings accounts, because I typically spend under budget and then save the excess for upcoming expenditures. But this did hurt my net worth. I also track my gift certificates in my net worth, and I spent $125 worth of gift certificates this month.
My goal for December is to keep my spending tight. This will be tough, with traveling home at Christmas. My plane ticket is purchased and paid for, but somehow, traveling still seems expensive. Additionally, I plan to meet up with some of my friends while I’m home, which means a few restaurant bills.
I realized that January will be a three paycheck month. Because I’m paid bi-weekly, there are a few months in the year where I receive three paychecks. My plan is to keep my budget as if I only get two paychecks in that month, and then put the third paycheck directly into my long-term savings account. It will be a good feeling to see that account balance go up so significantly.
Megan is a 40-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.