A surprising net worth increase again this month. In August, my net worth increased 1.75%. Yet again, this is mostly thanks to increases in my investment accounts (which includes my contributions to retirement).
August was a ridiculous spending month for me, which I am not proud of. I was over in just about every budget category. Some of this was due to poor planning (not setting aside enough for my car registration), some was unpredictable (the cat needing surgery), some was just overspending (deciding to stock up at the Lush sale).
Clearly, I can solve all of those problems. The cat’s surgery came out of my “small emergency” fund, so I was prepared for that in a way. I can and will be better about my planning in terms of things like my car registration. I’m usually good about those things, but I last registered my car 2 years ago, and while I knew the registration was due, I hadn’t bothered to go back and find out how much it cost so I would know what to set aside. Definitely a failure in planning.
As for the overspending… some of it was situational, some could have been prevented. Having to buy my lunch out a bunch due to training didn’t help, nor did my sister’s visit or my trip to Chicago for my friends’ wedding. But I also went to the mall and bought a new pair of shoes (while I did need new dress shoes, the purchase could have waited). I also didn’t need to replace my SIGG bottle with a Kleen Kanteen for the office. I could have made do with a cup or a glass.
But no matter the reason, the money is spent, and that means I have less to spend in September. I’m planning for September to be a great month in all respects. My parents come in on Wednesday and leave on Sunday, but after that, it’s back to healthy eating (I rejoined Weight Watchers for the millionth time), sticking to my running schedule to prepare for the Army Ten Miler in October, and sticking to my budget. I figure if I’m running a lot, I won’t have time to spend money, right?
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.