• Posts Tagged ‘net_worth’

    Net Worth April 2012 – Disappointing 2 Years

    by  • April 11, 2012 • Tagged:   • Comments


    It’s been about two years since I’ve updated our net worth on this website. Scratch that, it’s been about two years since I’ve updated our net worth period. Yes, it’s been THAT long since I’ve added up the numbers. I was frightened to see the numbers. Now I’m just disappointed. Here’s a rundown of why the numbers are the way they are.

    Automatic Savings is the Balls

    We suck at the whole willpower thing, so we increased our employee-sponsored retirement plan contributions to make up for it. It seems like it’s working well. See my SIMPLE IRA? Oh yeah, almost doubled in two years. I increased my contributions to 6% in 2011, and to 10% in 2012. My employer matches 3% of my contribution, so a total of 13% of my income is being contributed to my SIMPLE IRA.

    Her increased her 401(k) contribution to 10% a few years ago as well, and her employee matches 40% of the first 6% of her contribution (that math is dizzying), for a total of 12.4%. However, Her’s 401(k) balance is taking a mean hit because some of our more volatile stock holdings are in that account. We use a joint retirement portfolio where we’re diversified across all of our accounts, so individual account performance is less important than the portfolio as a whole.

    Capitalizing on Our Side Hustle

    Believe it or not, this website makes us money. In fact, it made us really f***ing good money for a few years. We were able to pay for a wedding without incurring debt, travel to Australia, not to mention pay off all of our revolving credit card debt. In order to avoid paying taxes on that money, we stuffed a bunch of it into a self-employed 401(k) plan we started a few years ago. Last year around this time we made a large contribution to it to shelter our 2010 earnings, but unfortunately we didn’t have much income in 2011 to put into that account.

    Our Car is a Decade Old

    This year our car turns 10 years old. It continues to get older, have more missing parts, incur minor cosmetic damage due to my poor driving, and rack up more mileage. Since the little one was born, we’re driving to work everyday instead of taking the train and our lives suck all the more because of it. I never realized the actual cost of having a car in the city, but it is a lot. Gas (almost $5 a gallon in Chicago), parking, and maintenance take up almost $500 of our monthly budget. Ugh. The good things about it are that it’s a reliable small Japanese car with decent gas mileage, it’s completely paid off, and insurance premiums are relatively low.

    No New Debt…

    While we’re still using our credit cards, we pay them off every month. Lately, we’ve gone to a more cash-based system to curb spending so the average monthly balance is relatively low. I’ve done a first-pass run of our taxes and it looks like we’re going to owe again, so the number is just an estimate. But, it is quite a hefty expense. The student loans continue to decrease steadily; we’ve increased the amount we’re paying on the 1.99% for life credit card to which the loan balance was transferred and it should be paid off by the end of next year. The federal loan payment is automatically withdrawn from our checking account so we don’t worry about it.

    …Be We Can’t Save Worth Sh!t

    I’ve been tooting my own horn for the last few paragraphs but overall our savings is pretty dismal. A $4,000 increase in two years is pathetic considering that we’re making a combined six-figure income. No excuses here – we really spent a lot of money on our hedonistic impulses the last few years. Combined with the ridiculous cost of good-quality daycare, we’re in a bit of a money crunch these days. We’ve started to take measures to remedy this, but it’s going to be difficult. We’ve been thinking of getting out of our ridiculously low-rent apartment and buying some real estate, but don’t have enough for a sensible down payment. We’re really going to have to hunker down and prioritize what’s really important to us so that we can move forward towards those goals.

    Wrapping Up

    I can’t believe that it’s been almost two years since I’ve checked our net worth. In postponing it, I’ve managed to turn a blind eye towards our finances for the past few years. But now that we’re parents, the stakes are much higher in terms of the consequences of our decisions. I was worried about our finances, and that’s why I started writing on the blog again. I hope that I can spark the momentum and enthusiasm that we had about our finances in the past few years. Because if we don’t, we’re screwed.

    Net Worth, May 2010: Still in the Black

    by  • May 3, 2010 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Wow. It has been over a year since we’ve last updated our net worth. And my has it grown! We have a lot to talk about to keep you updated on how we got here.

    Assets

    First off, we’ve been more than blessed with the market upturn over the past 12 months. With the combined steady contributions and market goodness, we’ve managed to double many of our accounts. Her’s Roth IRA didn’t increase in value too muh because it is where most of our bond holdings are. Regular readers of the blog may remember that we treat all of our retirement accounts as one big pool of money, as we allocate across all of our accounts.

    Last year, instead of contributing to our Roth IRAs and having to pay the IRS a lot of taxes, we opened up a Self-employed 401(k) with Fidelity, the same as Jonathan from MyMoneyBlog did.

    Of note is the decrease in cash. Well, we went on an Australian vacation, bought some furniture, and spent money needlessly. We’re working to rebuild the reserves.

    Liabilities

    Over the past year we’ve eradicated two 0% balance transfers comprising student loans. We’re playing it slow with the other two student loan liablities since the interest rate is low.

    Our credit card spending is up this month because of separate business trips that Her and I had to take earlier this month. I haven’t included the reimbursements in the accounts receiveable.

    During the month of May we’re officially relaunching! Expect much more content, a NEW writer for the blog, giveaways, and much more. Stay tuned!

    Checking In

    by  • February 11, 2010 • Tagged: , ,  • Comments

    Uh, hi.

    It’s been over 9 months since I’ve last posted here.

    We’re bankrupt.

    Hahaha no we’re not.

    Much has happened since the last time I posted. I think we still have a positive net worth, but I need to add up the numbers to make sure. Who know how long that’ll take.

    We have not been totally silent on the financial front. We’ve been writing over at the Credit Union National Association blog for the past 3 years or so. Head on over there to read some of our stuff. Don’t blame me for the crappy navigation.

    Other than updating the magic net worth number, does anyone still have any interest in the financial events of our now married life?

    Let me know. It’s still not too late to resurrect this blog.

    Net Worth, Q1 2009: Once You Go Black, You Can Never Go Back

    by  • April 1, 2009 • Tagged:   • Comments

    I’ve checked the math. Twice. And a third time.

    Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially in the black.

    We’ve been pushing forward with 2 of our goals for the year: Saving for a house and paying down the 0% balance transfer from student loans credit cards. We have yet to make a contribution to our Roth IRAs for 2009, but we are going to begin doing that this month. Haven’t you heard? Stocks are on sale!

    Not much has been written to this blog lately because we’ve been really busy with other things in our lives: I’m volunteering, taking classes, and working my ass off at work. Her is neck-deep in studying for licensing exams mandatory for advancement in her profession. Despite our hectic schedules, we have still managed to keep on keepin’ on when it comes to our finances. It does help that we have automated much of it, allowing us to concentrate on the more important things in our lives now. And as always, credit cards are paid off in full every month.

    Of note in the liabilities column is the money owed to the IRS. I’ve blogged in the past on our strategy for dealing with it, but because of the economy I’m not so sure we’re going to go ahead with that plan. We may just pay what we owe and not tie up our money in a retirement account, keeping the rest of the cash to remain flexible.

    Even in this economy, we are continuing to thrive. We have much to be thankful for.

    December 2008 Net Worth: IN THE BLACK Oh So Close!

    by  • January 5, 2009 • Tagged:   • Comments

    EDIT
    Apparently I can’t use spreadsheets correctly and messed up the net worth number. I guess we’re almost in the black and have a little more to go. Hopefully we can get to zero by the second quarter of this year.

    Wow, I can’t believe it. We’re ending off the year in the black. Positive net worth. Woo. I even removed the insidious “household goods” category. Our car is still listed because it is an asset that we could sell quickly and still live out normal everyday lives.

    Of course, if it weren’t for the über-generous gift from Her’s relative, our net worth would look much more dismal than it does now. It is also interesting to note that the current market conditions didn’t help too much, either.

    You’ll notice that the student loans have been broken down into more detail. We currently have ~$13,000 on 0% balance transfers to be paid by this time next year. Another ~$8,000 is on a lifetime 1.9% balance transfer credit card.

    But let’s face it, our main goal this year was to exit 2008 married and hopefully not have any new debt to show for it. We succeeded in doing that and ended up still having a little cash in the bank.

    Am I totally happy with these numbers? Well, it definitely could be better. We’ve got some great plans for 2009 that we will be detailing in the next few days.

    Our 2007 Goals Status, Part 6: Did We Reach Our Net Worth Goal?

    by  • January 4, 2008 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    This is the final part of our retrospective look at our 2007 goals. Here’s part 1 (Roth IRAs), part 2 (Student Loans), part 3 (credit cards), part 4 (joint retirement portfolio), and part 5 (have more fun).

    The answer to the question in the title: Hell Yeah.

    See the chart below for a neat graphic on how our assets, liabilities, and net worth have progressed over the past two years. (If you’re reading this in a feed reader or via email, it it seriously worth it to click to the actual post on our website to see the awesome bar/line graph. Seriously.)

    //include charts.php to access the InsertChart function
    include "/home/makelove/makelovenotdebt.com/html/apps/php_swf_charts/charts.php";

    echo InsertChart ( "http://www.makelovenotdebt.com/apps/php_swf_charts/charts.swf", "http://www.makelovenotdebt.com/apps/php_swf_charts/charts_library", "http://www.makelovenotdebt.com/charts/2007.php", 450, 400, "E8E8E8", true);

    ?>

    …and without further ado, here is how the numbers look at the end of this year compared to the beginning…

    January 2007December 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$66,274.27-$32,059.9951.6%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$66,555.40 
    TOTAL CHANGE IN 2007 (Goal of +$32,000) +$34,215.27 
    Assets
    Cash$9,387.56$29,024.39209%
    His SIMPLE IRA$6,670.08$10,004.4350%
    His Roth IRA$6,470.53$6,090.93-5.9
    His HSA$557.76$172.07-69.1%
    Her 401K$10,605.57$14,710.4338.7%
    Her Roth IRA$2,732.94$7,062.83158%
    Automobile ?$10,080.00$9,655.00-4.2%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    Accounts ReceivableNA$1,370.16NA
    TOTAL ASSETS$71,489.61$103,090.2444.2%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards (Rewards)$4,276.06$5,973.4339.7%
    Student Loans$133,487.82$129,176.80-3.2%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$137,763.88$135,150.23-1.9%

    We ended up the year over $2,000 over our net worth goal. Not too shabby!

    This wraps up our goals for 2007. We kicked ass a little, if I do say so myself. In fact, Her and I agree that 2007 was one of the best years of our lives. We totally kicked 2007′s ass. 2007, you’re a little bitch.

    This weekend we’re going to finalize what we want to accomplish for 2008. We don’t think we’ll do as much ass kicking, but it better be prepared.

    December 2007 Net Worth

    by  • January 2, 2008 • Tagged:   • Comments

    In 2008, we’re going to update our net worth every quarter. Here’s the update for the last three months of 2007.

    September 2007December 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$41,303.44-$32,059.9922.3%
    Assets
    Cash$21,470.97$29,024.3935.1%
    His SIMPLE IRA$8,637.33$10,004.4315.8%
    His Roth IRA$6,552.56$6,090.93-7.6
    His HSA$244.71$172.07-29.7%
    Her 401K$13,825.35$14,710.436.4%
    Her Roth IRA$4,798.93$7,062.8347.2%
    Automobile ?$9,715.00$9,655.00-0.6%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    Accounts Receivable$1,130.42$1,370.1621.2%
    TOTAL ASSETS$91,375.27$103,090.2417.6%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards (Rewards)$1,439.08$5,973.43315%
    Student Loans$131,239.63$129,176.80-1.6%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$132,678.71$135,150.231.9%

    First things first: the credit card balance. Yes, it is high. We’re starting to make major wedding payments (like for my wedding ring). We’ve also put Christmas presents and the cost of entertaining guests on the cards. We still pay off the cards every month though and are not paying interest on that debt.

    The student loan debt is slowly, but steadily decreasing due to our goal to increase our student loan payments. A few months ago, we put a good chunk of it on a credit card at 1.9%; that balance is reflected in the student loan category, not the credit card category.

    Of course, if you look at the amount of cash we’ve stashed away these past three months, you’ll see that we have made more than enough to cover what we’ve put up on our cards. We’ve also seen some good increases in our retirement plan balances

    Overall, we’ve increased our net worth by $9,243.45 in the past three months. That is a little lower than what we’re used to seeing. With the upcoming nuptials, it will be challenging to keep up a respectable rate of increasing the bottom line. We do have a few plans that we’ve put into place in order to keep everything going in the right direction, and we’ll post about them in the upcoming weeks.

    August 2007 Net Worth – Summer Totals

    by  • September 3, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

    May 2007September 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$59,594.76-$41,303.4421.6%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+59,832.48 
    TOTAL CHANGE IN 2007 (Goal of +$32,000) +$29,487.50 
    Assets
    Savings$9,846.07$21,470.97118%
    His SIMPLE IRA$8,205.01$8,637.335.3%
    His Roth IRA$6,815.28$6,552.56-4.0%
    His HSA$285.22$244.71-14.2%
    Her 401K$13,428.01$13,825.353.0%
    Her Roth IRA$4,267.95$4,798.9312.4%
    Automobile ?$9,970.00$9,715.00-2.6%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    Accounts ReceivableNA$1,130.42NA
    TOTAL ASSETS$77,817.51$91,375.2725.7%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards (Rewards)$4,837.58$1,439.08-70.3%
    Student Loans$132,179.04$131,239.63-0.7%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$135,530.21$132,678.71-2.0%

    It has been an interesting summer for our finances. Obviously, our savings accounts have grown a lot in the last few months, mostly due to work bonuses for both of us and some well-received cash gifts.

    Our retirement investment accounts have reflected the markets, only increasing in value because of the regular paycheck deductions for both of our accounts.

    I’ve added an “accounts receivable” line item mainly so that we can track monies owed to us. At my job I’ve been using my rewards card for expenses instead of the card supplied to us by my employer. This way I can accumulate points really fast, meaning we can redeem rewards faster.

    On the debts side of things, we’re still paying off our credit cards every month and haven’t paid a cent of interest on a credit card since we’ve paid them off. Whee!

    That student load is going to be tough to shake off, but we’re getting there slowly but surely. As we’ve stated at the beginning of this year, we’re paying half of the monthly amount due plus $100 every two weeks, ensuring that we’re putting an extra $3,200 towards the student loan.

    As our accumulated totals for the year and since January 2006 indicate, we’re doing okay but we still have a lot of work to do.

    May 2007 Net Worth

    by  • June 4, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

    April 2007May 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$59,903.97-$59,594.760.5%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$41,538.16 
    TOTAL CHANGE IN 2007 (Goal of +$32,000) +$11,193.18 
    Assets
    Savings$9,459.42$9,846.074.1%
    His SIMPLE IRA$7,759.60$8,205.015.7%
    His Roth IRA$6,616.65$6,815.283.0%
    His HSA$291.57$285.22-2.2%
    Her 401K$12,650.54$13,428.016.1%
    Her Roth IRA$3,878.46$4,267.9510.0%
    Automobile ?$9,970.00$9,970.000.0%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$75,626.24$77,817.512.9%
    Liabilities
    Credit Card 1 (~0%)$355.09$395.6511.4%
    Credit Card 2 (Rewards)$2,681.96$4,837.5880.3%
    Student Loans$132,493.16$132,179.04-0.2%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$135,530.21$137,412.271.4%

    On the surface, we’re looking at our worst month since we’ve started our blog. What these numbers do not reflect are more reimbursements from my work for this month, to the tune of $1,500.

    Also, you’ll notice the very large balance on the rewards card for the month. In April we asked Citibank to change the due date so that the statement closing date would fall as close to the end of the month as possible. They complied with my request, but in order to do so the statement closing date was pushed back another month, thus our current statement now includes two months worth of purchases.

    Yes, the other credit card balance went up. One of the stipulations of getting a 0% rate is that we have to make two purchases a month with the card. The month was winding down and when we did remember we needed to make a purchases on the card, we decided to just throw some parking and some groceries on the card. We’re going to be paying this card off next month, so the purchases are pretty moot.

    Our savings hasn’t seen that much this month because of a little vacation we took. While we did spend some money, it was in conjunction with one of my business trips, so most of it is going to be reimbursed anyway. I’ll explain the expenses of the trip in a latter post.

    Looks like we’re going to have to tighten up the wallet this month.

    April 2007 Net Worth – Slightly Drunk Edition

    by  • May 4, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Working overtime stresses us both out. So we went to the dive bar about 47 steps away from our front door. We saw an old man…an old very drunk and very fat man…spectacularly fall the way only a fat and drunken man can. Some Samaritan hipsters helped him up. That was totally worth the $14.50 we spent on some beers.

    +

     March 2007April 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$60,964.42-$59,903.971.7%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$41,228.95 
    TOTAL CHANGE IN 2007 (Goal of +$32,000) +$10,883.97 
    Assets
    Savings$12,326.02$9,459.42-23.3%
    His SIMPLE IRA$7,298.81$7,759.606.3%
    His Roth IRA$6,369.30$6,616.653.9%
    His HSA$683.94$291.57-57.4%
    Her 401K$11,814.38$12,650.547.0%
    Her Roth IRA$3,442.79$3,878.4612.7%
    Automobile ?$9,970.00$9,970.000.0%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$76,905.24$75,626.241.7%
    Liabilities
    Credit Card 1 (~0%)$3,730.20$355.09-90.5%
    Credit Card 2 (Rewards)$1,381.52$2,681.9694.1
    Student Loans$132,757.94$132,493.16-0.2%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$137,869.66$135,530.21-1.7%

    This month was WEAK. We decided to liquidate a chunk of our savings in order to put a BITCHSLAP on the credit card debt. We’ll knock the rest out when (if?!?!?) I get a summer bonus. IT’S TOTALLY WHEN AND NOT IF.

    I am going to attribute our WEAK showing to a few factors. (1) I used the rewards card for a business trip. I am owed more than a thousand George Washingtons from my employer. (2) FOGO DE CHAO. Like I said in an earlier post, I SHOULD JUST EAT MY PAYCHECKS LOL. (3) I’m still paying for my BIONIC KNEE. (4) We paid the entire year’s balance ($$DOLLAZ$$) for our renters and auto insurance. (5) Other reimbursable (GIMME DAT MONEYS BACK) medical expenses.

    The month of May will be interesting. I will go back to being stressed and listening to Feist.

    March 2007 Net Worth

    by  • April 5, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

     February 2007March 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$64,178.27-$60,964.425.0%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$40,168.5 
    TOTAL CHANGE IN 2007 (Goal of +$32,000) +$9,823.52 
    Assets
    Savings$13,109.32$12,326.02-6.0%
    His SIMPLE IRA$7,009.68$7,298.814.1%
    His Roth IRA$6,232.81$6,369.302.2%
    His HSA$291.57$683.94134%
    Her 401K$10,963.85$11,814.387.8%
    Her Roth IRA$3,051.99$3,442.7912.8%
    Automobile ?$9,970.00$9,970.000.0%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$75,629.22$76,905.241.7%
    Liabilities
    Credit Card 1 (~0%)$4,198.68$3,730.20-11.2%
    Credit Card 2 (Rewards)$2,517.53$1,381.52-45.1
    Student Loans$133,091.28$132,757.94-0.3%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$139,807.49$137,869.66-1.4%

    Slow and steady wins the race. Our retirement accounts keep growing, our debt keeps getting smaller. Here’s the highlights:

    Our cash flow continues to be irregular. Her received three paychecks this month. I received a tax refund and a work reimbursement. These all helped lessen the blow of paying off the rewards cards this month. Her’s third paycheck also went towards paying off her student loans.

    The retirement accounts are on auto-pilot. We get paid, we contribute. Fun.

    My employer made their quarterly contribution to my HSA account.

    We’re thinking about paying off the non-rewards credit card this month, even if it is at ~0%. It would make life a lot easier in that we wouldn’t have to remember to make two (small) purchases each month to receive the rate, plus it would free up $500 in cash immediately.

    It looks as if we’re a little behind to meeting our net worth goal for the year. I knew it would be tough as the goal we set was the upper amount of what we thought would be feasible.

    I’m anxious to see if this month’s newly formed budget will have a positive effect on our bottom line.

    February 2007 Net Worth

    by  • March 12, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

     January 2007February 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$66,274.27-$64,178.273.2%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$36,954.65 
    TOTAL CHANGE IN 2007 (Goal of +$32,000) +$6,609.67 
    Assets
    Savings$9,387.56$13,109.3238.0%
    His SIMPLE IRA$6,670.08$7,009.685.1%
    His Roth IRA$6,455.70$6,232.81-3.8%
    His HSA$557.76$291.57-47.7%
    Her 401K$10,605.57$10,963.853.4%
    Her Roth IRA$2,732.94$3,051.9911.7%
    Automobile ?$10,080.00$9,970.00-1.1%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$71,489.61$75,629.225.8%
    Liabilities
    Credit Card 1 (~0%)$4,276.06$4,198.68-1.8%
    Credit Card 2 (Rewards)$0.00$2,517.53A lot
    Student Loans$133,487.82$133,091.28-0.3%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$137,763.88$139,807.491.5%

    Those following our net worth statements will notice the introduction of the new credit card to the liabilities category. That card is our AAdvantage rewards card that will be paid off every month. The primary reason for the large balance on it this month is that I have paid for a business expense with the card and am waiting to get reimbursed. Otherwise the other stuff on that card are the things that I’ve discussed before.

    The 0% credit card statement hasn’t come in yet. In January when we paid off a large chunk of our credit card debt, we decided that we’d pay the minimum due for this card. In February we dropped another $500 on this card, and that should be reflected in next month’s net worth statement.

    This month has been quite a roller coaster ride in terms of cash flow. We received some income this month that we were waiting for last month, a tax refund, and a bonus. All of that has been nicely stashed away in our savings until the actual paper statements for the rewards card and 0% credit card come in.

    Our retirement accounts didn’t take as big of a hit as I thought they would, but we’re still not as diversified as we’d like to be.

    I’ve also added the change in net worth from the beginning of 2007. One of our 2007 goals is to increase our net worth by $32,000, so I thought I’d add a measure of tracking that. It looks like we’ll be cutting it close, but I believe that we can get there.

    January 2007 Net Worth – Two Negatives Make A Positive

    by  • February 5, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

     December 2006January 2007% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$70,787.94-$66,274.276.4%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$32,341.1232.8%
    Assets
    Savings$15,330.33$9,387.56-38.8%
    His SIMPLE IRA$5,851.56$6,670.0814.0%
    His Roth IRA$6,470.53$6,455.70-0.2%
    His HSA$1,030.93$557.76-49.9%
    Her 401K$9,531.94$10,605.5711.3%
    Her Roth IRA$1,695.85$2,732.9461.2%
    Automobile ?$10,045.00$10,080.000.3%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.000.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$75,518.14$71,489.61-5.3%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards$11,560.40$4,276.06-63.0%
    Student Loans$133,931.93$133,487.82-0.3%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$145,492.33$137,763.88-5.3%

    Bears lost. Boooooooooo.

    This months was a crazy month for us in terms of moving money around. We were motivated this month by making progress on our 2007 financial goals. In summary, we had a net decrease in assets in order to get a large decrease in liabilities, thus giving us a nice increase in net worth this month. Some of the details:

    Much of our increase in assets is attributed to our retirement funds. First, we decided to start contributing to our Roth IRAs – much of this month’s increase is due to gift money and an unexpected settlement that Her received (I’m sure she’ll write about that later). Second, the reinvested dividends from our mutual funds combined with rising NAVs for those mutual funds all provided a healthy rise the values in those accounts.

    We’ve rid ourselves of the cash and upromise categories, and haven’t added those values back in anywhere. It’s nice to know that those categories don’t really amount to much.

    Of course, the main increase in net worth comes from the decrease of our credit card balances, at the cost of a large chunk of our savings. Because of that action, we’ve managed to get both of our bad debt ratios to under 15%. All we have is one card that has a 0% rate for the life of the card, provided we make two purchases a month on that card. We’re going to pay off the card by the end of the year, so the interest on a few packs of gum is negligable.

    So far, 2007 has been a pretty good year.

    One Year Of Make Love, Not Debt – A Look Back

    by  • January 30, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

    //include charts.php to access the InsertChart function
    include "/home/makelove/makelovenotdebt.com/html/apps/php_swf_charts/charts.php";

    echo InsertChart ( "http://www.makelovenotdebt.com/apps/php_swf_charts/charts.swf", "http://www.makelovenotdebt.com/apps/php_swf_charts/charts_library", "http://www.makelovenotdebt.com/charts/2006.php", 450, 400, "E8E8E8", true);

    ?>

    The above chart shows our financial standings over the past year.

    Here’s how did end of 2006 in terms of net worth compared to the beginning:

     January 2006December 2006% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$98,615.39-$70,787.9428.2%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$27,827.4528.2%
    Assets
    Savings$2,798.83$15,330.33448%
    Cash*$550.00$550.000.0%
    His SIMPLE IRA$2,945.29$5,851.5698.7%
    His Roth IRA$6,373.72$6,470.531.5%
    His HSA$816.36$1,030.9326.3%
    Her 401K$5,122.00$9,531.9486.1%
    Her Roth IRA$1,276.00$1,695.8533%
    Upromise$52.00$12.00-77%
    Automobile ?$10,435.00$10,045.00-3.7%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.00-0.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$55,405.61$75,518.1436.3%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards$18,054.88$11,560.40-36%
    Student Loans$135,966.11$133,931.93-1.5%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$154,020.39$145,492.33-5.5%

    I’m not going to write something reflective – if you want to know the details of how we got here, you can cruise the archvies. I just wanted an excuse to use that nifty graphing software. Oooh, look at the colors. Hit refresh and watch the chart in action.

    In all seriousness, we’d love thank you, our dear reader(s). It it weren’t for you, we would never have landed a lucrative deal with interest.com that will help us pay for our wedding off our debt. We hope you’ll stick around until after our contract expires. Here’s to a great 2007!

    Financially, I’m Below Average

    by  • January 5, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

    The median net worth for my age is $2,125. We’re $70,000 short. My credit score of 725 gets a letter grade of C, and is higher than only 31% of households in the US. We seem to be parading through all our friend’s houses at innumerable housewarming parties. Meanwhile, we’re worried that our rent might go up next year.

    I know it’s not good to be comparing myself to the Jones’, but sometimes it’s hard not to notice that the double-whammy of student loan debt and financial ignorance is leaving us in the dust. I hope we can make up for lost time by making good decisions in the future.

    2007 Financial Goals: We’re On Our Way!

    by  • January 4, 2007 • Tagged: ,  • Comments

    With some difficulty, we’ve already made progress on our 2007 financial goals.

    One goal is to fund one of our Roth IRA’s 100% for 2007. Tonight we selected my Roth IRA (Him also has one), since I have very little in there now. We set up an automatic transfer to maximize the contribution. To max out my contribution I will put $333.33 into the account every month. We also could have split the funds and funded each account 50%, but by doing it this way we will maximize the benefit. By this time next year, I will have enough money in my Roth IRA to qualify for a reduced maintenance fee (annual savings: $10) and also meet the minimum investment required for most of the no-load, low-fee Vanguard funds ($3,000). This will allow us to start investing more efficiently. Next year we will re-evaluate to see how much to contribute, and to which of our accounts.

    Another of our goals is to pay off our credit card debt this year. Inspired by a comment from reader Mandy, we have decided to pay off some of them even faster. We’re going to pay off all our credit card debt that has an interest rate above 0% (about $6,600 of debt) as soon as we get the bills this month. This will ransack our savings account, but will save us about $350 in interest this year. And since the remainder of the credit card debt will be at 0% indefinitely, we can pay that off at our leisure.

    By taking these two steps, we have already ensured that our net worth will increase by about $13,000 next year. I feel good about that.

    December 2006 Net Worth – Happy New Year, Happy Birthday To Us

    by  • January 1, 2007 • Tagged:   • Comments

    It is hard to believe that we posted for the first time a year ago. This year we’re not hungover (much), and we actually spent our New Year’s Eve in our apartment with each other, bypassing much more expensive options. I’d love to say that was done on purpose, but we actually decided to wing it, and ended up not going out.

    Much has happened in the past year, but I’ll get to highlighting everything in tomorrow’s post. Without further ado, here’s our net worth statement for December 2006:

     November 2006December 2006% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$74,995.01-$70,787.945.6%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$27,827.4528.2%
    Assets
    Savings$11,744.45$15,330.3330.5%
    Cash*$550.00$550.000.0%
    His SIMPLE IRA$5,820.05$5,851.560.5%
    His Roth IRA$6,330.24$6,470.532.2%
    His HSA$407.38$1,030.93153%
    Her 401K$9,718.03$9,531.94-1.9%
    Her Roth IRA$1,683.92$1,695.850.7%
    Upromise$12.00$12.000.0%
    Automobile ?$10,045.00$10,045.000.0%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.00-0.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$71,311.07$75,518.146.0%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards$12,193.29$11,560.40-5.2%
    Student Loans$134,112.79$133,931.93-0.1%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$146,306.08$145,492.33-0.6%

    Yes, our savings went up drastically again this month, primarily because of my winter bonus. Instead of shoving that all towards wedding savings, we’re plotting on how we want to make some good use of it.

    My employer also deposited their quarterly contribution to my HSA. How nice of them.

    Our investment accounts didn’t do so well this month. Even more reason for us to get our asses in gear and work on the joint portfolio. Good thing we’ve already started.

    So far we’re starting the New Year on the right foot.

    November 2006 Net Worth

    by  • December 11, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

     October 2006November 2006% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$76,811.85-$74,995.012.4%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$23,620.3824.0%
    Assets
    Savings$11,734.31$11,744.45<0.1%
    Cash*$550.00$550.000.0%
    His SIMPLE IRA$5,353.93$5,820.058.7%
    His Roth IRA$6,162.98$6,330.242.7%
    His HSA$821.84$407.38-50.4%
    Her 401K$8,762.37$9,718.0310.9%
    Her Roth IRA$1,684.52$1,683.92-<0.1%
    Upromise$12.00$12.000.0%
    Automobile ?$10,170.00$10,045.00-1.2%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.00-0.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$70,251.95$71,311.071.5%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards$12,802.33$12,193.29-4.8%
    Student Loans$134,261.47$134,112.79-0.1%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$147,063.80$146,306.08-0.5%

    This month wasn’t as strong of a month for us, for a few reasons. We had to spend over $300 for some car troubles we had, we traveled to see family over the Thanksgiving holiday, and we started our Christmas shopping. My HSA took a hit as I’m still paying off medical bills from my knee surgery. These things got in the way of savings, but we’ll catch up in the next few months. The important thing is that we haven’t accrued any more debt.

    K-Fed on Bling as an Investment

    by  • November 10, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

    Forget traditional investment vehicles such as stocks and marrying Britney Spears. In an interview with Salon last week, K-Fed explained how he’s investing in bling.

    Salon: The watch you’re wearing is worth more money than I’ve made in the last five years.

    K-Fed: That’s my baby. Whenever I made some money that’s the first thing I went and bought…My watch game is ridiculous — just jewelry in general. It’s an investment. I bought this [points to his watch], and it’s already gone up in value. All the jewelry I’m wearing has already gone up in value.

    Salon: You’re not planning on selling it anytime soon are you?

    K-Fed: Hell no. I ain’t getting rid of it. I’m going to go out and get some more. It’s great to be able to go and do that stuff, but you really sit back and think about it …

    See? Jewelry is an appreciating asset, even if you have no intention of selling it.

    Okay, so I really can’t write this with a straight face. We’ve learned two things here today:
    1. Jewelry is not an appreciating asset.
    2. Don’t take personal finance advice from Kevin Federline.

    October ’06 Net Worth

    by  • November 6, 2006 • Tagged:   • Comments

     September 2006October 2006% Change
    TOTAL NET WORTH-$79,013.54-$76,811.852.8%
    TOTAL CHANGE FROM JAN 2006+$21,803.5421.4%
    Assets
    Savings$11,288.69$11,734.313.9%
    Cash*$550.00$550.000.0%
    His SIMPLE IRA$4,824.39$5,353.9311.0%
    His Roth IRA$6,374.96$6,162.98-3.3%
    His HSA$935.77$821.84-12.1%
    Her 401K$8,300.50$8,762.375.6%
    Her Roth IRA$1,643.34$1,684.522.5%
    Upromise$12.00$12.000.0%
    Automobile ?$10,230.00$10,170.00-0.6%
    Household Items ?$25,000.00$25,000.00-0.0%
    TOTAL ASSETS$69,159.65$70,251.951.6%
    Liabilities
    Credit Cards$13,523.20$12,802.33-5.3%
    Student Loans$134,649.99$134,261.47-0.3%
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$148,173.19$147,063.80-0.7%

    Because this is the new-fangled internet, I’ve linked certain categories to posts that explain how we got those numbers.

    UPromise has changed the way they report the balances accrued, so I’ve listed this balance the same as last months. In future net worth posts, this will probably disappear.

    I’ve added the change from January 2006, and will continue to do so in future postings. Since household items, automobile, and cash haven’t really changed, this gives a pretty accurate picture of how far we’ve come along. We tend to get a lot of “drive-by” visitors who don’t click through the archives to see where we started from. Looking at that number pleases me, but I know that in the future we can do much better.