July was another good month. My net worth increased 2.26%. A lot of this has to do with the great month that the stock market had. With the continued contributions to my retirement accounts and the market going up, it’s no surprise that my net worth increased.
For not the first time this year, my cash accounts did not do so well. And that I can’t blame on the markets. Some of that expense was contributions into my Roth IRA, but for the most part, it was just an expensive month. Car insurance and renters insurance, new tires, vaccinations for both cats, surgery for one of the cats. On top of that, just a lot of spending.
I’m going to do what I can to control my costs in August. Unfortunately, I have training out of the office 8 days, which means 8 lunches out. In addition, my sister is coming to visit one weekend, and my parents two weekends after that. I know my parents will insist on paying for everything, but I don’t want to take advantage of their generosity and am hoping to get to pay for a few meals. And then there’s the wedding I’m attending in Chicago. The flight is purchased, but there’s also going to be a rental car and hotel room. Thankfully, I’m splitting that with one of my best friends from college. I also have to buy their wedding gift sometime this month.
Until I wrote that all down, I hadn’t realized that my expenses were going to be so high this month. I guess I will be really counting my pennies in August.
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.