For the month of January, my net worth is down 2.05%. Not really the best way to start the year, and it just continues a downward trend that’s been going on for quite some time. And as has been the trend, my investment accounts are down, and my cash accounts are up, just not up enough.
January was a high spending month, which was planned. I had some birthday money that I wanted to put towards some new clothing for work. I hate shopping for clothes, but every January, on or around my birthday, I make a big trip to the mall and do a lot of the shopping I’ve been putting off in the previous months. Going shopping around my birthday gives me both the benefit of post-holiday sales as well as a number of birthday coupons sent to me by the stores. I also used this month to replace my gym shoes and some worn out gym clothes.
Even with that, I still managed to save a bit of money this month. February might not be as great – my car insurance and renters insurance are due this month, and I’m hoping to finish my taxes, which means another payment due. I’ve been planning for these expenses, of course, but it’s still an expense that takes away from my net worth.
I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do about this year’s Roth IRA contribution. I’m going to do it. I just haven’t decided when.
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.