Thursday, September 01, 2005

Monthly Review & Net Worth Report - August 2005

Net Worth as of 9/1/2005

This month's baseline is from 8/1/2005 (for the month of july).

I have mixed feelings about this month's performance. First off I saved more than last month which is good but I am still not gaining fast enough to reach my 45k net worth increase goal (start:165k, target:210k) by next June. I am on target as far as my savings goal goes. I had calculated my ability to save to be about 31-35k from salary and I am on track despite going over on a few items this month. Where I am lagging behind is in my investments.

The fact that my investments are down is not surprising given the market this month. What's probably surprising is that they are only down $73.20 from where they were a month ago given that halfway through the month they were down by as much as $1000. But that's a small consolation since it's making me fall behind on my goals (I had hoped for a better investment return to help me get to 45k).

Still the market goes up and down so guess I just have to find other ways to make up for the deficit while I wait for it to climb back up. I do have a sign-on bonus coming but at the same time I won't be getting any new bonuses in a long time. As far as I know, Microsoft gives out their yearly bonuses in Sep for the prior fiscal year and being that I am joining in Sep I won't be eligible this year. My current company on the other hand gives out bonuses in Oct and since I am leaving in Sep I won't be getting that either. Guess you can say I didn't quite think this through as far as timing goes.

Anyway, on the whole I am actually within budget on most of the categories and that makes me feel good.

What I spent this month:

Household (rent & utilities) - $1127.85
Transportation (car payment & gas) - $371
Food/going out - $350
Entertainment - $262.55 ($157 concert tickets, $76.04 CCR, $29.51 cable+Netflix)
Shopping - $463.95 ($172 Coach chelsea optic demi bag, $232 BCBG shoes, $59.99 LR top)
Personal/haircare/makeup etc - $26.65 (Chanel lipstick)
Gifts - $91.52 ($65 at Sephora for my cousin + baby stuff for my little nephew)
Misc - $27.81 ($9.91 bank charges, $17.90 for the 3 credit scores -- the reports were free through
Magazines - $18.84

Expenses = $2740.17
Taxes = $2089.14
Total = 4829.31

In addition to the above, I have two pending transactions (both made 8/31) totalling $1500 that hasn't posted yet at the time of this entry. If I include those then the savings numbers aren't quite as attractive:

Expenses = $4240.17
Taxes = $2089.14
Total = 6329.31

But these are in my budget and there will always be some pending transaction or other so as far as my monthly net worth review goes I am going with what the records show on that date. The pending transactions will be accounted for in next month's net worth report.

I don't know if any of this makes sense to anyone but it makes sense to me. That, I think, is my biggest gain because until now I have always doubted my ability to manage money. I can do better but the fact that I can actually talk somewhat lucidly on the subject is a small victory.

Some highlights for the month of August:

401k is up $183

Brokerage and Roth are down $73.20

Interest income $227.7 (heh! I earned more in bank interest than through my investments)

Finished decorating my apartment and came in $200 under budget (this isn't reflected in the expenses because most of the purchases were made in July but essentially I spent $200 less this month than I had budgeted for)

Food cost is way down (from $600 per month to about $300) thanks to brownbagging and giving up caramel frappuccinos and other general sugary addictions (well, not entirely but who wants to be completely sin-free)

Paid too much for the handbag, shoes and the top. Not good

Did not buy any new shampoos, scrubs, body lotions etc despite having to walk past The Body Shop twice. Very good (trust me, this is no small accomplishment)

August score: B+

To do for September: Return Quicken (incidentally, I didn't include the money I spent on Quicken because I should be getting a refund), finish raising $340.64, shop for magazine deals, book tickets to India (and of course, shop for the best price).


At 9/01/2005 11:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you open and emmigrant direct or ING direct account yet?

At 9/02/2005 12:41 PM, Blogger mmb said...

No, I have thought about it but I don't know. I can barely keep track of the accounts I currently have. I think my interest income # is off though because I forgot to add the interest from 1 CD.

At 9/02/2005 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have noticed that many PF bloggers check their investments quite actively and they seem to just be passive investors. I know its tempting to look at, but there's not much of a reason unless you are planning to be more active in the future.

At 9/02/2005 4:40 PM, Blogger mmb said...

I don't check that often. I am a passive investor and for the most part I check in when I am bored or just curious. It's fun to watch the numbers go up & down.


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