Saturday, August 5, 2017

August Net Worth

Month and Year      Debts        Cash          Retirement    Life Insurance    Net Worth    Difference
8/1/15.               -$72,058.67   $6,587.25.                                                       -$65,471.42
8/4/16.               -$59,957.95.   $6,008.00.   $921.81.       $1.68.                    -$53,026.46       12,444.96
8/1/17.               -$41,910.38.   $3,349.59.   $3,502.98.    $130.58.                -$34,927.23.      18,099.23

I love to think about what I was doing this time of year last year, two years ago, five years ago, etc. Basically, I am the person who actually enjoys Facebook Memories.

I saw on my NetWorth spreadsheet that I have three data points for August. The first point was the first time I calculated my networth. This is the first point of reference for my debt journey. I started tracking my debt in July of 2015, but this is the best indicator of my finances.

2015 - I had a retirement fund, but wasn’t sure how much was even in it. This retirement fund was by accident - I might add. My first full-time job included me automatically. I didn’t have life insurance. I held onto extra money “just in case” instead of putting it toward debt.

2016 - I started to get my stuff together. I found out how much I have in my retirement and would soon get a job in September that would contribute even more. I bought some life insurance. At first I thought it was a waste of money, but held on since I bought it young at a good rate. I made $12,000 worth of progress on my net worth.

2017 - I have a retirement fund that is more than the amount in my Emergency Fund. This is a little goal that makes me happy. The life insurance is starting to grow in worth. I’ve started to feel comfortable at a lower amount of cash on hand. I need to get some car repairs, so I may stash a little away in the short term. I made another $18,000 worth of progress since the previous year.

What I take from this, is that in another year I want to be just as proud of myself. I want to keep looking back and see all of the impact this focus has made on my life. As life keeps on going, I know there will be changes and mortgages, but to know that it all started right here - is pretty cool.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Start Today

I’ve been on this FI journey for about two years now. It’s crazy to think it’s already been that long. I’ve kept on the right track and continued my progress. I would like to be one of those stories that seems crazy, but is somehow true. You know the “I crushed 100,000 of debt on a teacher’s salary” or the “I stopped buying coffee and saved enough for a house” headlines.

I had dinner with a friend and I always update her on my progress. We talked about our own goals and hopefully I gave her a few of my tips to help her toward her own goals. I’ll share a few things I’ve done or realized within these two years.

1. Focus
Pick a goal and just focus on that. When I first started this journey, I wanted to pay down my debt, save for a new car, save for an emergency fund, and save for an eventual wedding. This was all too much for my little paycheck. I realized how much more I could accomplish if I just focused on the most important things.

2. Do it for yourself.
I originally started focusing on my finances because the guy I was dating encouraged it. I wanted to impress him and we often talked about the progress. Then, we split and I kept it going. I kept working on my debt because that’s exactly what it is - MINE. The one who will get the most out of being debt free is me. It’s great to have enough money now to spend on my grandma or to buy my parents a new gazebo when theirs was crushed in a storm, but still that’s for me. I enjoy seeing them happy and want to do my part.

3. Keep at it
This is probably the hardest part. I saw a quote a couple days ago and it’s stuck with me lately. “A year from now, you’ll wish you had started today.” I like it. Basically, if you continue on the same path, then nothing will change. If you make a change and keep working toward whatever is your goal - you will be happy you did. This is one I guess applies to living a healthier lifestyle the most, but it’s true for your financial health as well.

4. Peace of Mind
It’s invaluable. When I was almost laid off, I was so thankful to have an emergency fund. When I first started this journey, I thought my emergency fund would be for things like new tires or a new washer. Then, that moment happened. I realized what is a real emergency. When I knew I would begin to need new tires, I saved extra money - put less toward my loans, and got what I needed. Many call that a sink fund. It’s good to know you can do it. You can save and you can not have to worry. I know the house needs a new roof in a few years and that I should start saving for a new car, but I also know that I can do it. I can especially handle it if I crush this debt.

My new goal is to have my PLUS loans paid off by January 2018. Then I’ll evaluate my Auto loan and see when is a good goal to set for finishing that. I’m hoping for July 2018.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Be Grateful

On my way to work, I was thinking of how I can get one of my loans paid off. I'm down to my last two Parent PLUS loans and am acheing to pay as much as possible in July.

I thought about my family. About how my grandma worked hard as long as she could and did her very best for her family. The family was in no means rich at that time and we're still not. She had enough money to buy her daughter one good pair of shoes, one play pair of shoes, and only a few outfits for dress and play. My grandma was the one who with her first paycheck bought a sink. She redid the plumbing herself to move it across the kitchen.

When I think about her and where my family has come from - I'm extremely grateful. I have a kush job where I get to match people with their dream jobs. I make good money and still live with my family. I need to be thankful that I get to pay down this debt. So many people wish they could go to school. Many have much more important immediate needs like food and shelter compared to my net worth aspirations.

Take a step back and realize how thankful we need to be for this FI community and the blessings we already have.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

July Networth

We're still headed in the right direction. 

This month I go on a much needed vacation. At first, I said I wouldn't travel while working on this debt. Now - I'm so ready for some time off. I've been covering for a teammate and need to recharge. I've already budgeted for and paid for the hotels. I'm splitting most of the costs with a friend, so that helps a lot. I've saved funds from the last paycheck and will again from this paycheck. Ideally, I would like to stay under a total of $700 for the trip. I may go over a bit due to my travel partner wanting more of a higher rated hotel than I needed. 

I'm sitting at -$34,869.29. That's better than last month and still moving forward. I am looking at how I can crush this debt as quickly as possible. 

Let's get this done! 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

401(k) Progress

A quick but exciting update. I officially have more in my 401(k) than in my emergency fund. This has been a bit of a goal of mine.
Every increase or promotion- I increase my retirement contribution. It really increases twice. Once because I'm making more money so at the same percentage it's still more. And then again increased by upping the percentage.
It's still not a lot, but it's a start. I have to remember about the time I asked J$ how much I needed to retire....he advised just to start saving and go from there.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

June Networth

I have something scary to admit. I've stopped updating my budget spreadsheet. Really it's a little nuts.  

I feel like I've kind of figured out what I typically spend and have curbed a lot of my really bad habits. I know lately I've been eating out more than I should. Also I've put a little too much on my credit cards. Good thing is I've been paying them off right away.

The thing is, I want to pay down this debt. I'm trying to pay as much as possible each month. So maybe that's why I haven't budgeted lately. I'd rather not put money aside for groceries I don't buy that month. I'll set aside some spending money and then just go from there.

Still - even though I've become more lax lately - I'm making good progress. I'm at -37,691.69. That's better than last month and putting me ahead of pace for my goal of $14,000 paid off this year.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Networth - Overall Trend

Hey Everyone!

First of all, thanks for reading! A friend from college - Hi Zoe! - mentioned she reads and it reminded me why I'm doing this. I want people to hear my unique point of view and hopefully it will resonate a little bit with them.

Things are still plugging along. I've slowed a little the last couple months, but still on the right path.

I'm at a - 39,390.37.  That's exciting enough right there. I only have two Parent Plus loans left. I'll move onto my auto loan next. My reason for targeting these loans has first of all been the nasty interest, but also getting a little more independence since those my parents helped me get. 

Look how far I've come! I've paid off over $25,000 in debt. I've increased my 401(k) and haven't touched my emergency fund. P.S. - I increased my income by about $1000 each month - but it took time. I also make $0 from this blog.

It's the small wins combined with the overall trend. Here's to another month and another chance to make some progress.