Kind of a big drop in this month’s Net Worth. Down 3.62%. I was pretty sure why the numbers dropped, but I decided to take a closer look just in case. As has been the case, my investments continue to fall. But this month, my cash accounts didn’t do all that well, which meant that the money was either going into investments or being spent.
I set up automatic investing for my Roth IRA, but that’s not starting til next month, so no outflow there. Still contributing to my TSP, but that money comes straight from my paycheck so it never hits my cash accounts.
You know what that means. Increased spending.
I had two big expenses this month. The biggest expense was my tax bill. As I discussed earlier, thanks to a mistake on my W-4, I was withholding much more money than I should have been and therefore owed a nice chunk of money. I’ve fixed that for my 2009 taxes. My other big expense was a round trip plane ticket to visit a friend. I felt a little bit guilty spending that kind of money when the economy’s hurting and I feel like I should be saving, but I’m helping the economy, right? Seriously though, it was a trip that I had saved for and planned for, and I’m staying with my friend, so the biggest part of the expense is the plane ticket. The trip is in April, and I’m really excited to have a vacation planned.
I’m not sure what March holds for my net worth. The automatic investments have me a little concerned, though I shouldn’t be thinking short term in terms of my retirement accounts. It’s just a little hard to ignore. Instead I just have to remember to not be too concerned.
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.