Friday, March 31, 2006

Net worth update

It's a little soon to have a 100% accurate net worth for month's end, as I haven't entered my investment transactions into Quicken, but this number is pretty close: $284,821
Yes, this month's bonus and tax refund, as well as very low spending and good investment performance, pushed my net worth almost $10,000 past my year end goal. I may end up revising that year end goal, but I am leaving it at $275k for the moment, to account for all the condo-purchase-related expenses that will hit before the end of the year.

Here's some expense details for the month:
Dining: $383 vs. $650 budget!!!! yay! (Being on a week-long business trip helped but I still can't believe the number is so low. $107 of it is one dinner out, and I didn't even think I was being very good about buying lunch.)
Miscellaneous: $136 vs. $160 budget (haircut $80, new version of Quicken $54.17, and a balance adjustment of $2)
Travel: $96 vs. $333 budget (a $20 cab ride and my monthly MetroCard)
Clothing: zero vs. $$208 budget
Gifts: zero vs. $100 budget
Charity: zero vs. $30 budget
Telephone: $24 vs. $125 budget (a bit misleading as my ~$40 cellphone bill must not have hit when it usually does)
Entertainment: $24 vs. $50 budget
Household: $51 vs. $42 budget (laundry and a trip to the drugstore)

What is interesting to me is that there are some months where I really come close to buying NO STUFF. I may spend plenty of money on food, entertainment and services, but rarely STUFF. The only STUFF I have bought year to date, is, I think:
1 pair pants
1 package of tank tops
1 book for French class
A couple of gifts for friends and family, which don't really count since they are not my STUFF
A few drugstore necessities that we ladies tend to buy
New Quicken software-- could be considered a service rather than STUFF
1 umbrella
A couple of photo prints of my niece and nephew
1 copy of Business Week (to save the article about PF bloggers that mentioned me. I threw out all my other magazines and newspapers, so I'm counting those as a service, not STUFF)
And I guess I can count my DSL modem since it is a thing, even if it is also a service.
I'm not counting the 2 parkas I bought that I am going to return.

That is really not much STUFF, is it?

I think I'll go shopping to celebrate!


Anonymous said...

Charitable giving or zero. Ouch. Do you volunteer your time, perhaps?

Anonymous said...

EDIT: I meant to say "Charitable giving at zero." not 'or zero'. Sorry for the confusion.

Madame X said...

Charitable giving was zero in the month of March, but it's at $100 year to date. I budget a few hundred dollars a year of charitable giving-- even though I always feel like it should be more when I realize how small a percentage of my earnings it is. I definitely plan to increase my charitable giving as I get older and feel more secure about my other goals.
But yeah, ouch. Here I am writing about the thousands of dollars I've spent on gadgets, that could have been better directed towards helping people less fortunate than myself.

city dweller said...

you should shop to celebrate,you saved extra money this month!! Just don't spend everything you saved! :)

IRA said...

Hi Madame X - Thanks for being willing to share your expenses with the blogging community. As for charitable giving, it sometimes helps to automate it, as David Bach suggested. Many employers will pull it out of your paycheck for you and deposit it in the charitable organization of your choice. And as an added bonus, they'll often times match the gift. You can also set it up as a recurring payment if you pay your bills online. Over the years, I've made it a goal to increase charitable giving as my income increases. And so far, I really haven't missed any of that money.

Single Ma said...

CONGRATS on exceeding your net worth goal! Leaving it at $275M is probably best because the house will give it a swift kick at closing (lol). BTW, have you found an ins co yet? So far, I've narrowed my options down to Traveler's (GEICO affiliate), Erie, and Liberty Mutual.

Your monthly expenses are very minimal - wow. Even your list of "stuff" is small considering we're 3 months into the year.

I agree, a trip to the mall is well deserved. Congrats again!

Unknown said...

Stuff Reduction - That is fantastic! I find too that my "I need it - really", "I want it" and "Can not live without it" are really starting to decrease as I simplify. When I do obtain an item, I make sure it is the best with a focus on keeping it a long time like my 1992 Honda - Still running and looks great! Given that, when I purchase an item I look for the long term survivability factor now and solid construction.

Seperate note...Your Podcast interview was exceptional. Thanks for sharing and I am learning from your blogs and comments. Much appreciated!

2million said...

You know I just realized how much MORE I spend living in the suburbs instead of in a metro area (at least transportation wise). Just look at your transportation monthly gas bill is somewhere around $200 and that doesn't include the cost of the car, insurance, etc.

Anonymous said...

A tool to think through how much one could be giving based on income and assets is available at A booklet explaining the concept is at this link and includes helpful charts.

Wes said...

Great site. Anyway who is willing to post thier financial goals especially such an important subject is cool with me. I am 25 and my networth is about $128k. I’m trying to close in on 200k by the end of summer.

Anonymous said...

Charitable giving is zero?

Wow. That's horrible. said...

I'm always amazed that people will feel free to criticise a lack of 'charitable giving' so much more than other areas of discretionary spending! Like with everything else one chooses to spend money on - it's your choice, and no-one should try telling anyone else what to do with their money. Some people give lots, some a little, some none at all - it's all just a matter of personal preference.

ps. For those who want to give: Not giving anything now, investing it, and then leaving a *huge* sum to charity is an even more effective option. It's not as if we're going to run out of needy people any time soon.

Jeff said...

Giving to charity is a wonderful part of any financial plan. But it is a choice. If you are looking for an organization that does some really good work, try the Wounded Warrior Project! I love what these guys and gals do.


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