Welcome back, for another quarterly update on my financial situation! I’m your host, Can’t-Manage-to-Post-Monthly Stephanie! Boy, do I have a lot in store for you this time — but first, the numbers!
January: $617 or +2.28 %
February: ($3,104) or -11.74 %
March: ($211) or -0.71 %
Yeeeee-ouch! What happened here, young lady?
No worries! (Yep, I said “No worries!”) Both of the drops this quarter were completely expected and planned for. There is nothing fishy going on here — I didn’t gamble away my hard-earned money or blow it all on Collector’s Edition X-Men figurines (although I may have considered that second one). The February drop is the biggon that I warned about back in July, when I mentioned that the growth on this chart is a lie, but it was too late to go back and correct it, so there would just be a giant drop come tax time.
Well, I filed my taxes in February, found out what the tax damage was going to be, and adjusted my net worth accordingly. (I have added a new Liability for my tax obligation to prevent this in the future, thanks to commenter Giorgio Sironi for the suggestion!) But all is not lost — I had actually put $800 more into savings to cover my taxes than the ultimate bill, so I earned myself a $800 “tax refund” in the end — which I dumped straight into my emergency fund. Which brings us to…
Good News Article #1: I hit my emergency fund goal! With my $800 tax refund, I pushed my e-fund above $3,000, and am now sitting pretty on what I consider to be enough for this stage in my life. Since I have no dependents, a family to lean on, and a good amount of available credit, I’ve decided $3,000 is more than enough for an emergency fund right now. Life will change and I will need to grow it more later, but now I can finally cross that off the top of my to-do list and move on!
The March drop? Bah — that happens every March/September. I have several “Occasionals” that come due every six months, conveniently all in March and September. My car insurance is a big one of those. So I always expect my net worth to take a mini hit during those months, which it predictably did this time.
So, what else is new?
Good News Article #2: I got a job! Wait…. what? Weren’t you telling us before that you have a wonderful job that you love? Yep, I’m pretty sure I did indeed say that. But the problem with wonderful-job-that-I-loved: it was a seasonal temporary job. However, I successfully kicked enough booty at that job to convince them to hire me full time! So now I’m a real girl with benefits and a pay bump to boot, as of April 1st. Woot! I suppose I have to start acting like a real adult now, right? (No. Definitely not.)
Good New Article #3: I’m going to see the shuttle launch! And that has what, exactly, to do with personal finance? Ha! It’s a big expenditure, that’s what. I’ve been selected as one of 150 “tweeps” to get a swanky tour of NASA down at Kennedy Space Center, and then the next day watch the space shuttle Endeavour launch for the last time, from the press site at Kennedy (closer by far than the general public can get). But I have to provide my own food, lodging, and transportation… and take time off work, of course. And shuttle launches are notoriously fickle things — so after making all these plans, the launch may be pushed back — by days, weeks, or even months.
But-and I can’t emphasis this point strongly enough-there’s a point to personal finance. Things like this, once in a lifetime things, are why I track every penny I spend, and sock money into savings accounts, and worry about how much is going into my Roth IRA. It’s not to be miser, a penny-pincher, or just plain obsessive. It’s so that when NASA randomly picks my Twitter account and says “Hey, want to come see what could be the last ever shuttle launch?” I can say “YES!” without a moment’s hesitation. That’s why I do it. It might be a different sort of thing altogether for you, but in the end, the point of personal financial management should be so that you can live the life you’ve always dreamed of living.
Please, feel free to follow my upcoming NASA adventure on my Twitter account (that’s the whole point!), @Stephonee. The “Tweetup” is now only two weeks away! Please excuse me for now, while I go off and *happy dance*
If you have any questions about my net worth or how it is calculated, feel free to ask them in the comments.