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It’s the first week of the month which means that it’s time for December’s Review and Net Worth Update.
I started tracking my net worth after reading Budgets Are Sexy for about a year and a half. I really enjoyed reading his and he makes a great point that measuring progress is easier by tracking it. I have tracked my net worth since the beginning of January 2015. In 2016 I started to write monthly financial reviews to xatu my net worth by writing down my thoughts on how the month went. It got off to a fake out beginning, but I haven’t missed one since June.
Summary of activity: It was another five-paycheck month which meant a whole extra paycheck to power split among things. I also took a vacation to Wisconsin for a week for Christmas.
Income Unusualness: A tailwind has stirred at work making things busy again. I was able to work more than my needed 37 hours a week which was helpful since November was slow. I also had a short shopping gig on the side. I haven't been paid yet, but I figured it would probably arrive in January.
Overall Budget: Five paycheck months are always cozy and this one was no different. I didn't stockpile as much extra rent as budgeted, but instead it went to working on my credit card relationship. I used cash instead of credit for a couple of things and I am not sad about using cash when I traditionally would have used credit.
Budget changes: Nelnet is raising my monthly bill about $15/month for 2017. When I initially resubmitted my IBR plan paperwork the computer estimated that it was going to be about a $40 increase. I may lower my grocery budget to $25 a week to accommodate, but we’ll stakeout it just in case.
Net Worth: In comparison to last month’s $1000+ decrease, this month’s increase by $100 is very comforting. I think it’s mostly due to my improving credit card relationship. I hope I can keep this going through January. One month at a time.
Savings Accounts: The wedding account is still growing strong. I was even able to help it out this month. Our line of credit to savings ratio is back in the positives which is delightful to see. Ally has seen better days, I managed to absorb some money to start building it back up again. I still want to start an egg account, an HM02 account, and an unemployment account. This month I am beginning to realize that those really aren't going start until after the wedding is at least over. Maybe afterwards it can transform into an egg account.
Investments: My Roth IRA has been fun to watch, but it could use an oran berry outside of battle. Right now, it's all in Nintendo stock and that’s low. I bought two more shares this month since they are on sale compared to when I bought the first three. My Acorns loss is now at -8.32%. I was surprised to watch the deposits raise it $5 to only be sky dropped over the following weeks. At least now I'm buying more shares with less money. The dividends are higher than they have ever been which is a nice return. BlackRock grew a bit which is always nice to see. I haven't started a UTMA investment account for my nephew yet, but I am keeping it on my list and maybe I can get it started in the next four months.
Credit Card Relationship: My credit cards and I had a wonderful time in December, especially since that is historically our worst month. I used all of my swipe pp (limit) this month, but I did not go over or use a leppa berry. I even guided some extra money their way, which I like to think helped calm them down for my net worth.
Credit Card Extra Thoughts: I am still debating getting a business card for my freelancing. I just don't think I would use the card enough to warrant having it during the down months. Maybe as the blog grows I will able rationalize it, but it’s blocked for now.
Student Loans: These continue their average trend. UAS and ASC decrease, while Nelnet increases. I paid ASC the little extra for a five-paycheck month. My total debt went up again, but this time I can understand the $2 increase. Maybe this is the crossing point between Nelnet and UAS/ASC. Nelnet updated my IBR plan and payments will be going up about $15. I can still budget it for an extra $40 instead, but I think I need to just suction cup myself to my current plan until I know how much rent will increase this year.
Other notes: I launched the blog this week and it is going well! I decided to stick with Weebly and to continue paying the $10/month for the Promote e-mails. I’m still paying less than I would be for other hosting. I want for a business bank account to put my freelancing income in to save for future projects. As things settle with the blog, I will begin searching.
All around a plusle of a month. Now I just need to work on having two plusle months in a row. January has challenged me to a battle, and I accept.
Have you ever tried tracking your net worth before or xatu in a financial review? How did it go? Do you think you’ll try it?
*A few notes about my net worth*
My net worth only tracks my personal assets and liabilities. My fiancé’s finances are not included. I include our wedding accounts on a separate line because it’s a gray area I haven’t figured out yet.
The numbers are taken from each month’s statements.
I don’t use dollar signs because looking at just the numbers helps me focus energy easier for analyzing because I can look at just the numbers without any attachment, emotional or otherwise. (In my excel file, I don’t use commas either.)
I use plusle-red, and minun-blue for illustrative purposes. (In my excel file they are all in black.)