Thursday, February 07, 2008

January 2008 Monthly Recap

I flipped out when I ran my 1/31 net worth in Quicken-- for some reason, the balance on my 401k appears weirdly low on that day. At first I thought it must have been when the recent market ups and downs really bottomed out, but when I checked it against my actual statement, I wasn't really down 18% for the month!! So with a little adjustment, I think I can confidently say that my net worth was NOT $317,455, but rather $342,763, a loss of 4.8% for the month.
It's disappointing, of course, but with the stock market the way it's been, what can you do? You can try to save money, and I did manage to save a little.

My expenses for the month were $6,331 vs. a budget of $6,572. Most of the reason I look good vs. the budget is that I overestimated my taxes at $2,394 vs. an actual of $2,029.
In other areas, I didn't fare as well:

  • Dining: though I felt like I was eating dinner at home a bit more, I did have a couple of nice meals in restaurants, so I spent $776 vs. a budget of $600.
  • Clothes: I bought a few things on sale, so I spent $426 vs. a budget of $167, but I've already returned a couple of things so I should be in better shape next month.
Other assorted actual expenses:
  • Utilities $219
  • Education $48
  • Entertainment $5
  • Household $26
  • Misc. $305 (this includes a new portable hard drive, a protective skin for my ipod, a haircut and stocking up on some hair products that should last several months)
  • Internet $20
  • Newspapers $75 (2 months of the NYT subscription happened to fall in this month)
  • Travel $576 ($76 Metrocard and $500 deposit on extremely exciting vacation!)
  • Housing $1,944 (still no adjustment to escrow for property taxes)
  • Charity $0. Zippo. Nada. And it's because I'm a horrible person, ok? I don't give a shit about anyone less fortunate than me! I am an evil, greedy bitch who likes to dance on the graves of starving children! (Actually it's just timing. There will be some items in this line next month.)
The bottom line for income vs. expenses was about $2,000. $1,395 of that was due to payroll deductions going straight into my 401k. If you factor out some miscellaneous investment income and gifts and the payment towards the principal on my condo, I only saved $24 of my net paycheck, which is less than I'd like but will hopefully be made up for in other months. Now if only that pesky stock market would cooperate! Onwards and upwards!


Anonymous said...

Dear Madame X,

Please don't let anyone pressure you into giving charity, or make you feel guilty about not doing it. Being a good, supportive person also contributes to the world.

Anonymous said...

And yes, I know you were making a joke, but the tone of recent posts has been a little judgemental, so I'm just saying ...

VixenOnABudget said...

Ironically, I was thinking about charity, myself and your posts while driving to school this morning. I thought about the fact that I don't give any money to charity. On the other hand, I volunteer at least a few hours of my week towards activism, if not more. In two weeks I'll be hosting a workshop on my campus.

So, for now, I'm not going to let any sort of guilt get to me. I plan on spending the rest of my life helping people and that is sufficient enough for me.

Anonymous said...

I am unsubscribing from Trent's The Simple(ton) Dollar blog after I read point 3 of his "Myths" post today. He should stick to frugality and ING Direct posts instead of trying to tackle the complicated structure and history of the United States' economy. Another example of white male privilege. Sorry for the threadjack, I need to vent. I will be back to comment on your post after I purge the Google Reader.

Anonymous said...

*covering mouth* Oooooooh she said a bad word. LOL

Andrew Stevens said...

Thief's Theme, there certainly is a lot of white male privilege in the U.S. However, let's not forget that the sinister cabal has also admitted Asians, Jews, and blacks of Caribbean descent, all of whom make more on average than whites. We shouldn't forget to excoriate them as well.

Andrew Stevens said...

I should add, by the way, that I have a lot of sympathy with Thief's Theme argument. Trent is oversimplifying; so is Thief's Theme.

Bhetti said...

I support the idea that you shouldn't feel pressured to do charity! There're LOADS of ways to give, not all money. Well, is a brilliant place for your money to go (and come back, although I'm not sure if you effectively lose money because of inflation or if there's interest or what). There's also ethical investing.

*tries to think of other ways a busy person on a budget can give* Well, you know, the smile, helping the new assistant, that sort of thing. Getting rid of your old things/clothes you don't really wear at your favourite charity shop...

I view your blog as a form of charity and giving.

Just because you might benefit from it does not make it not charitable.

The way you helped Rachelle looks like charity to me!

Thanks for your writing.

Noel Larson said...

I am an evil, greedy bitch who likes to dance on the graves of starving children! (Actually it's just timing. There will be some items in this line next month.)

Reason #17 this is one of my favorite blogs :)