Tuesday, March 10, 2009

January/February 2009 Recap

I finally updated my net worth for the first time this year-- not good news, but that's hardly a surprise! I'm at $282,997, a drop of 5.2% year to date. I should probably be expressing this as a range of perhaps $250,000-$282,997, to account for a possible drop in my home equity.
I haven't changed my home value up til for a number of reasons, mainly because I have tried to be conservative in how I valued it all along, and because my research into comparative sales seemed to support it based on price per square foot in my area for properties I'm familiar with-- but so few things are selling lately that there aren't that many data points, and with things the way they are now, I probably wouldn't get that value if I had to sell tomorrow. Fortunately, I don't have to sell tomorrow! I bought my home as a place to live in, not an investment. That doesn't mean I don't care if the value goes down, and in retrospect, of course I wish I'd timed my purchase differently, but it's all somewhat abstract until I have to sell. I'm also still confident that I could rent my place out for more than my carrying costs, so I don't forsee a situation where I'd be forced to sell.

As for my expenses in January and February, here's a few items of note:

  • Charity $51 (for a friend who's doing the AIDS ride)
  • Clothing $249 (a $19 pair of pants at Muji and some boots at Zappos)
  • Dining $1,253 (included stocking up on wine)
  • Education $58 (French class tuition and une livre)
  • Entertainment $226 (included tennis tickets and seeing August Osage County)
  • Gifts Given -$442 (returned some expensive Christmas items that I didn't end up giving)
  • Household $318 (includes about $200 for some curtains bought on sale)
  • Medical $495 (includes the usual insurance and FSA expenses, plus $200 for adjustments to a nightguard I wear because I sometimes clench my jaw. This wasn't covered by my insurance.)
  • Miscellaneous $244 (a haircut and some art supplies)
  • Utilities $333 (gas, electric and telephone)

All in all, I haven't been doing too badly when it comes to expenses, so at least I am saving some cash this year. Unfortunately, it can't seem to keep up with the hemorrhaging in my investment accounts! Oh well... onwards and upwards!


Anonymous said...

you obviously don't believe in mark to market accounting. Your home is now worth 20% less than you think its worth. I am not making tis up or taking glee in delivering the news.

All told, it may drop 40% from today, may only frop anadditional 20%.

I just had to listmy apartmen for 15% less than I would have listed it in August 2008. It was valued at 10% above that last January. And thats in Manattan.

Anonymous said...

Oooh, August Osage County! I'm so thrilled that it's still showing. I saw it in Chicago with my in-laws-at-the-time and was blown away. I can't tell you how tense I was sitting next to my former mother-in-law while watching Violet act just like her. It was an amazing show.

Anonymous said...

"un livre"

Madame X said...

Good catch Mary Way! Obviously I should be increasing my education budget...

Anonymous said...

Oh yay. I love these types of posts. I love knowing how much people spend on things! Dang - those musta been some killer boots on Zappos!! :D

Anonymous said...

I share the same apprehension about the future of the stock market, even as i remain invested and force myself to rebalance.

I never withdrew my money, so it would be disastrous to do so now. I'm in it for the long haul, if only i knew how long that haul will be.

And i plan to semi-retire in 11 years.

Escape Brooklyn said...

Not to echo Anonymous 9:13's bad news, but we ended up selling our Brooklyn apartment for $46,000, or 17%, less than what we listed it for back in September. And we felt lucky to get that.

Anonymous said...

Each house is so unique that mark-to-market accounting is not relevant.

Just like a house was not worth more during the housing bubble years, it is not worth less today, just because someone says so.

Only selling your house will tell you what it is worth.

Randy said...

I'm doing the AIDS ride, too. What a great cause and an extraordinary way to get people involved. Fund-raising has been very tough this year, so please swing by an make a donation if you can afford to!