February 2015 is (already!) here. I feel relief looking at a fresh month. The last few were exhausting. I battled various work emergencies. I felt guilty about some Christmas/travel related overspending (outrageously priced airport food). I was bummed spending money on necessary but expensive things: renter’s insurance and car registration. What did the end of January bring?
A net improvement of ~$1,000. Tight!
Going forward, I’m thinking I can increase my net worth by ~$800 each month just based on debt repayment and PERA (retirement) contributions. Then there’s the additional ~$600 of discretionary income that can be put to use…
Details on how January went down:
CASH – My emergency fund is complete! I just transferred $500 into savings bringing the total balance to $3,000. I usually keep ~$2,000 in checking. $5,000 is a nice round number that should be sufficient for most emergency situations I’d find myself in.
ROTH IRA – Slight decrease but no big deal.
TRAD IRA – Same.
CIVIC VALUE – I’m interested to see if my depreciation prediction holds true. I think this car is going to lose value slowly. Just for fun, I checked my model again but with 20,000 more miles. Value = $8,605. Sounds reasonable, since a Civic 2 years older with 90,000 miles is worth ~$8,000.
PERA – Mandatory contributions running on autopilot. In this pension plan, my contributions are 100% mine and they earn 3% fixed. If I pay in for enough months, I’ll collect a retirement benefit in my 60s
PLUS LOAN – Refinance is in progress! I’ll post soon detailing: why I chose to refinance when conventional wisdom says government loans are better than private, the bank I chose, and how the process went.
STAFFORD LOAN – I have these on a payment plan that results in the lowest monthly payment since the interest rates are mostly low. ~$25,000 is at 4.2% or less. I’ll apply any extra payments to the 6.8% loans.
CIVIC LOAN – I constantly flip flop when it comes to my car – I’d love to free up the monthly payment but I also like making rational math based decisions. At 2.94%, there’s little reason to pay extra. Other than the nice warm feeling of not having a car payment…
PERKINS LOAN – The student loan I’m always forgetting I have! This sucker has a 9 month deferment period after graduation compared to most student loans which provide 6 months. My first payment is due in less than month. I might try to kill this one soon just to get rid of another monthly bill.
That’s it for January! Thirsty for more? Here are all my net worth updates. I’ve also recently discovered The Ultimate List of Blogger Net Worth. I haven’t submitted TFS yet but take a look and you’ll likely see someone you can relate to.