Well, this post isn’t as exciting as the title makes it sound. My net worth did not grow in 2008. In fact, it is down 3.09%.
My goal was to grow my net worth by 25%, which was a lofty goal to begin with, but I never thought I would fail this spectacularly.
What happened? Well, that’s obvious. The market happened. Overall, the value of my investments dropped by almost 30%. That really hurts when I consider that I contributed to my Roth IRA and TSP this year. (Overall, my TSP grew well, my Roth… did not. I will have to seriously which funds to invest in this year.)
That said, I was a good little saver! My savings increased a significant amount, and I will continue to keep that in savings accounts and CDs. One thing that helped was getting a roommate mid-year. I am hoping she will want to stay after she finishes grad school in May. I know I can always get a new roommate, but this one is working out so well, and I have to admit, the idea of bringing in a random roommate from Craigslist scares me a little bit. So if she decides to move, I will have some decisions to make.
Even with the overall loss, I’m really happy with 2008. I made some very smart spending decisions and became a much more frugal person than I have ever been. I certainly don’t feel like I’m scrimping on things, but I’m spending my money on things I truly want and need, not just something that catches my eye. I’m amazed at how easy a transition it’s been. Sure, there have been slipups, but I don’t feel deprived, and I’m clearly managing to put away more money than I thought possible.
Here’s to an even better 2009. Perhaps even one with returns in the black!
Megan is a 30-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.