Sunday, February 26, 2006

Back from Tahoe

Wow, I haven't posted in 3 weeks. Unemployment is hard work! Jokes apart, the last few weeks flew by in a flurry of last minute transition lists, replacement training, sign offs and so on and so forth. And now I have joined the glamorous ranks of the jobless. Since I am no longer slave to the 7 am alarm call and J had some vacation time (we patched things up if anyone is keeping track. He is suitably contrite for having brought up his ex, now acknowledges that I am the most singular woman on the planet not to be compared to any other living mortal and made, not one, but two, arrangements for Valentine's Day as proof. I am thinking of marrying him! But don't tell him - he doesn't know yet) .. anyway, since J and I both had some free time we extended our Tahoe weekend to Tahoe week and had a fabulous time. Tomorrow I start planning my future.

To do:

1. Quick portfolio assessment -- I may need to rebalance
2. Start brainstorming career options (I would love to become a personal shopper but I am not limiting myself)
3. Think about living arrangements -- J asked me to move in with him while Tahoeing ... financially this might be a good solution for both of us but I don't want that to be the reason why so I need to think about this.

It's good to be back and not to be at the beck and call of corporate America for a change.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Monthly Review & Net Worth Report - January 2006

Net Worth as of 1/4/2006

* Other Assets = condo deposit
* Baseline for 2006 is 2005 year end net worth

Previous report: click here.

I was a little nervous about this month's report because of the food expenses. I went well over $1k and that's on top of my $16-700/month basic expenses like rent, car and utilities. But thanks to a stellar month in investments and to increased 401k deduction which reduced my tax liability I am actually in pretty good shape. In fact, this turned out to be my best month since I started tracking my net worth. My previous best month was September 2005 when my net worth jumped $8.3k due to various factors like sign on bonus etc. This month, on the other hand, I had no such windfalls. I did return $600 worth of unused holiday gift items but other than that it was, as I said, investment gains and tax break from higher 401k deductions.


1. My ESPP was converted to Msft stock at the end of Dec. I sold it a week later and used the proceeds to fully fund my 2006 Roth. My return this time was around 17% due to a small spike in Msft stock price. The other 1k for the remaining 2005 Roth was funded from cash reserve in the brokerage account.

2. The -ve change in ESPP is due to the standard 3-month deposit being converted to stock and rolling over to my brokerage. The current amount is my Jan contribution from direct payroll deduction.

3. My combined investment gains, from 401k, ESPP sales and brokerage, was around $5.6k. The best monthly return to date. I did make some changes to my portfolio at the end of Dec which may have helped so I will start taking a closer look at my investments over the next few weeks as I adjust to the slower pace of unemployment. The rest of my net worth gain came from $700 holiday refunds, $2800 savings from salary in the form of ESPP and 401k contributions + approx $200 in interest income.

4. Unfortunately, as you can see from my savings account, I did have to dip into my savings this month to make bill payments. This was due to my paycheck being smaller thanks to higher deductions. This was a conscious choice however. I wanted to make the most of my 401k and employer match while I still had the time.

January score: A+ (for meeting and exceeding my mid-Feb net worth goal of 198k ahead of schedule)