Tuesday, October 06, 2009

September '09 Monthly Recap

I can't believe it's October... but here's the dirt on my September spending and net worth. (I tried to post it on Networth IQ but the site seems to be down. Anyone know what the deal is?)

Total Net Worth: $389,166
Cash & bank accounts: $51,248
Stocks/Mutual funds $20,339
Bonds $5,091
Retirement $228,634
Home Equity $85,307
Credit card -$1,453

As always, the credit card is paid in full every month. I moved a few thousand dollars into E*Trade recently, so the increase there isn't just market gains. As for home equity, I reduced the value of my apartment by $10,000, based on a recent sale of an almost identical apartment nearby (it actually sold for slightly more than I paid, but I know the seller paid some of the closing costs). It's a bummer, but it's also reassuring because it could have been worse.

But the good news is that for the first time in ages, I've hit a new net worth high! It's nice to feel like I'm not just trying to pick up lost ground, but actually moving ahead again. My net worth is almost $50,000 more than it was a year ago. I'm still worried about what the next few years will bring, but all is not lost.

And I'm still trying to keep major expenses at bay. Here's this month's totals:

Taxes $2,056
Housing $1,805
Dining $566
Travel $276
Misc $184
Utilities $182
Gifts Given $158
Medical $148
Subscriptions $75
Household $67
Entertainment $53
Education $41

That's it, a total of $5,611. My salary for the month was $8,017, so I managed to save quite a bit of it: 30% of my gross income.

This has been a year of trying to keep expenses under control and adjust to the economic environment without totally killing all the fun in my life-- so this month is very gratifying, because I can finally feel like the efforts have succeeded in bringing my net worth to a new high. That could change any time if the stock market tanks again, but it feels good nonetheless. Onwards and upwards!


Gord said...

You are so right! There is nothing quite like the warm fuzzy feeling you get from having money in the bank, solid equity in your home, and investments that are growing. You know that no matter what life throws at you, you'll come out on top. That feeling "colors" your entire perspective on life and puts a spring in your step!

wbmsic said...

Yeah, I was wondering about that too. The irony for me is that I've been putting off doing Sept numbers and now I can't :(

Crystal said...


I worked out our numbers and we only seem to be saving 15-20% of our gross income every month. That will go up in about a year when my husband graduates from his Master's program (we made just enough that we qualified for no assistance). Then I want to open a Roth IRA for my hubby to go along with his pension.

I'd be pretty happy with 2 maxed-out Roth IRA's, a 401k at max matching, and his pension. :) I might even stop bugging him so much about miscellaneous expenses...well, I'll try.

Chitown said...

I think you have done a terrific job. You inspire me to get control of my finances.

Highest CD Rates said...

Saving 30% of your gross income is pretty cool. Your planning and savings are awesome, that too at recession time.

Anonymous said...

The key question is how realistic is the valuation of your home equity as it represents over 20% of your net worth.

The other issue in calculating a "real net worth" is taxes. With 59% of your net worth subject to future taxes, taxes will have a not insignificant impact on your true net worth.

You know what they, only two things you can count on.... death and taxes.

Still, you're moving in the right direction!

My Frugal Miser said...

$566 on dining? Wow... I know it costs more in New York, but this seems really high. How much eating out do you do versus eating at home? Just curious.

JoesMoney said...

Digging the blog! Thanks for posting your numbers. Its nice to see how I stack up!

moocifer said...

Oh to earn a $96,000 yearly salary...

let's see, at $36,000 in savings per year, you will have about 800,000 by the time you are 50 and 1.2 million by 60, about 800K of which will be cash. Leaving investment earnings that surpass inflation aside. then you could move to a less expensive place and live a queenly life off of a 3% withdrawal of your total cash principal, or $24,000 per year. Maybe it doesn't sound like much but it's quite a nice sum, particularly if you own your home free and clear.

moocifer said...

BTW, how does your retirement savings fit into this?( you didn't include retirement savings as an expense this month, yet you have in excess of $226,000 listed as retirement funds).

Madame X said...

@ bugbear, my total savings for the month includes over $1400 that went into my 401k.

@my frugal miser, I do eat dinners out about once a week and occasionally order take out food. I also buy coffee and lunch most days. search "food" in the archives, as I've written a lot about my spending in this area!

moocifer said...

Nice cash position, by the way, Madame X!

Miro said...

If you want to put your mind at ease about your condo's value, you could just order an appraisal. I know, it is horrible to do this for no real purpose, but it may be good to do once every few years especially if you enjoy having accurate numbers.

Costs about $350-$400 usually in NYC area. I live in nyc and did this recently, and while the numbers were down a little, it wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been. 4-5% decrease I think.

Anonymous said...

Appraisals are helpful, but I don't get too excited. I had to get one for a refi in March (granted, NY real estate is iffy right now, and opinions range from having hit bottom to still a ways down to go), and it seemed high. 20K more than what the same apartment a floor above me is asking (no sale yet) and 70K more than what one below me sold for.

Anonymous said...

Awesome numbers! I just reached my first $100,000 mark. Look forward to seeing those numbers in my savings.

GI Jane