Last month was busy, and this month really didn’t let up… at all. It’s all been a big lead up to this coming week: back to school for my kiddo and FinCon for me! FinCon, the financial media conference, is now an annual thing for me (or at least it will be, after this coming week). Last year I had the pleasure of attending during my birthday, but the dates move around a little every year, so I’m not the birthday girl this time. But, it is happening in my area (Washington, DC!), so at least I don’t have to fly in!
We’ll see how FinCon affects my numbers next month (mostly, the effect will be from missed work at my day job), but for this month, let’s see how things turned out:
Change: ($3,893) | -3.18%
August Net Worth TOTAL: $118,700
If you’re new to my net worth updates, here’s what you need to know (returning readers may choose to skip on down to the new stuff by clicking here):
Net worth is assets (what I own, on the left of the green chart) minus liabilities (what I owe, on the right of the green chart).
The net worth is for me alone, though I am married. My husband and I maintain “separate but combined” finances, especially for the purposes of what’s shared on the internets. What you see here are the totals of all of the accounts that are in my name only, plus one half of joint accounts. (
Debts are all in my name because my husband would rather eat his socks than take on debt. Not anymore! The credit card for his dental work is in his name and I’m counting them toward his net worth. But also, the savings to eventually pay the card off is all in his name now. More on this below in “Cash”) This does occasionally cause some wonkiness in the numbers, but I will always call that out and explain it (look for me talking about “the marriage bonus” or “the marriage penalty” from time to time). Also, it tends to even out in terms of helping my net worth about half the time, and hurting the other half.
If you’re interested in looking at my past numbers, there’s a handy “Time Travel” navigation section at the bottom!
Now, on to what’s happened this month:
Oof, that stings a little. Not that I’m opposed to keeping less in cash (I’m always looking for ways to offload cash into investments or otherwise earn more on it, when I can).
And actually, this isn’t as bad as it seems. This is an example of “the marriage penalty” (see above) because what really happened is I sent money off to my husband’s savings account for his braces. The good news? We filled that fund up! Yes!
So finally, next month, we can get back to aggressively investing in retirement accounts and then maybe, just maybe, after that we’ll tackle my last remaining student loan.
The other reason cash was down? I had another busy month and I did almost nothing extra in terms of credit card opening bonuses, or bank account bonuses, or anything at all really outside of my day job (and my volunteering, which was super heavy this month, but obviously doesn’t help with cash!). No regrets, it was a month well-spent, but that’s the reason.
Okay, this is the bad one (sorta). The only way I ever know that the stock market is heading down before I do these net worth posts is the rumblings I hear in Facebook groups and on Twitter. That’s because I don’t look at my investments outside of writing these posts monthly! It’s a lot better for my psyche.
Anyway, stocks are down it would seem, since my accounts are down 2% (2.00% exactly, how nice!) despite my usual Health Savings Account contributions in this category. Ah well, as usual I’m not too broken up about it. In fact, if it stays “down” like this, it’s actually good timing for me, since we will be contributing to retirement accounts again come this month. Buying on sale!
Though honestly I think Kelley Blue Book is wrong about this one. I took my old sun-burned-on Ghostbusters sticker off and added some fresh Pokémon stickers for my anniversary the other day, so my car is worth far more now, I think.
Other Assets: -$16
I wrangled another bit of cash out of my Lending Club account and we’re really into the home stretch now of clearing it out! There was actually a defaulted loan recovered this month, so I got a bit more than $16 out of it. Yay!
Student Loans: -$74
Minimum payment, same-old same-old. Though as I noted above in cash, if we can get my Traditional IRA maxed out, the student loan should be next on the chopping block, so maybe we’ll see some movement on this one toward the end of the year!
Credit Card: -$52
This is actually a little less than the minimum payment because I put some charges on the card (at 0%). There was a Shutterfly promo to get cash back on this card, so I ordered anniversary presents using a gift card from rewards from a different credit card and a combo of online discounts, I only put $20 on this card, and got $5 cash back, plus $0.71 from Rakuten. I also used the rewards on this card to place an Amazon order for my new phone, which required that I put another $5 or so on this card, too (I know, big spender this month!). So yes, there were like $20 in new charges on the card. Somehow, I’ll live!
Other Debts: -$163
My biannual hosting bill for this website came due and I paid it! I account for 1/24th of the cost as a part of my business “debt” every month, and then it gets written off when the charge goes through and I reimburse myself from the business account. Might seem silly, but it means that I’m never caught off guard when the hosting bill comes every 2 years!
Debt Freedom: Undebt.it is still telling me that in order to stay on track and be debt free by May 2024 I need to put $55.55 extra toward my debt every month. I don’t really get it, as it also said that last month, and for the past 3 months I have not done that, but somehow I’m still on track? And even though I put that extra $20 of charges on the credit card? Ah, well, I assume it’s just going to be a little wonky until I get to the end of the year and start actually (hopefully) paying off extra from the student loan.
$200,000 in Retirement Accounts: Alright, we’re a bit further out from this one again. So, I now need $1,659 per month, minus HSA ($583) and IRA ($500) contributions, that’s $576 needed in stock market growth per month over the next 48 months. A lot of people “predicting” there will be a recession in that time, so… I guess we’ll just have to see!
Okay, so the numbers are down but there really isn’t anything all that “bad” going on this month. Mostly, it’s just annoying that I seem to be taking one step forward and then one step back all the time. Still, the overall trend is up! I’ll keep working it, as I always do.
I run these numbers by hand in a spreadsheet (though I’m in the process of switching to Tiller Money!), and you could do the same, or you can check out Personal Capital for some automagical tracking. You and I each get a $20 Amazon gift card if you sign up through me and then link it up to at least one valid investment account.
No matter what, let me know how you did this month! Did you weather this stock market “storm” alright, or are you a little worse for the wear on the rocky market seas?
- Previous month’s net worth update (July 2019)
- One year ago (August 2018)
- Five years ago (March-December 2014) (the dark time, when I wasn’t allowed to write in this blog!)
- Ten years ago (August 2009)
- Go back to the very beginning (December 2006)
Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early says
Darn stock market! 😉
See you in a day and a half!!!!
Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life says
Our July bills came home to roost after Comic Con so August was rougher than other months with a little dip down but overall I look at the progress from January as well to give some perspective on the month to month blips and bloops. Like you, we’ll keep working on nudging the long term trends upwards without worrying too much about the month to month picture.
I do like the monthly updates to keep me honest and cognizant of how our daily decisions affect our overall financial health!