January 30, 2012

January 2012 Net Worth Update (-4,962.60)

Due to heavy, heavy spending in January, our net worth dropped $4,962.60 from last month, to a total of $159,859.10 (click on spreadsheet below).

What Worked
We have a another asset on our balance sheet - our new home! Moving is always exhausting, but we are finally getting settled in. Beyond the home, we contributed $220 to our son’s 529 Plan thanks to gifts from our parents and aunts. We contributed a total of $1,280.42 our retirement accounts, and saw them increase $3,940.79 to $45,885.49 total. My wife’s company contributed $1,256.63 in company match and profit sharing to her 401(k). I did not include them in the balance sheet because the vesting is 3 years and 6 years, respectively.

What Didn’t Work
Money flew out of our saving faster in January than any time before. Beyond the $97,800 down payment that we put on our new home, we also spent ~$15,000 on furniture and items for the house.

Next Month
It was fun splurging, but now we need to tone it back down. For the next couple of months, our expenses will continue to be higher than normal as we buy things for the house, but January was the BIG spending month.

January 13, 2012


My wife did a great job getting insurance quotes from various companies and ended up saving us $1,113/year by switching from Farmers to Allstate. Here are the details:

$768 Farmer Auto
$664 Allstate Auto
$104 Savings

$1806 Farmer Home
$1043 Allstate Home
$763 Savings

$402 Farmer 20-Year Term
$284 Allstate 20-Year Term
$118 Savings

$528 Farmer 20-Year Term
$400 Allstate 20-Year Term
$128 Savings

Total savings per year: $1,113 - NICE WORK!!

January 4, 2012

2012 Financial Goals

We were very happy with how we did on our 2011 financial goals. While it's unlikely the economy is going to dramatically improve anytime soon, that’s no reason not to shoot for the stars:) Here are our 2012 financial goals.

1) Increase net worth to $ 173,200
We are beginning 2012 with a great head start on our net worth goal, having passed our 2011 goal by $26,721.70. Based on my calculations, we should be able to reach our 2012 goal by September 2012.

2) Furnish our new home
We are moving from a 2 bed / 2 bath condo to a 5 bed / 3 bath house. As you can imagine, we are a bit short on furniture. Our wish list of items totals $25,000. Thanks to the $14,995 sale of our recreational 4x4, we can afford a good chuck of that wish list, however, there is another $10,000 worth of furnishings that we would like to get. I’m not sure we’ll be able to buy it all the first year, but we’ll give it a try.

3) Rebuild savings account balance to $15,000
We plan to use most of our $107,722.13 in savings ($52,696.37 + $51,000 pulled from retirement accounts) in savings for our down payment and to furnish our new home. So, we have set a goal of rebuilding our savings account balance to $15,000 by the end of the year. This will include emergency fund money and private adoption money.

4) Contribute $24,000 to retirement accounts
After cutting our retirement account balance in half for our home down payment, we intend to work hard to rebuild our retirement savings. We have averaged ~$15,000/year in contributions over the past 5 years. For 2012, our goal will be to contribute $24,000 to our retirement accounts. $18,569 of the $24,000 will be automatically deposited into our 401(k) accounts. The remaining $5,431 will be deposited into our Roth IRAs as we have the extra cash.

5) Increase son's 529 Plan to $6,000
We opened our baby boy’s 529 Plan with $3,000 in October 2011 and ended the year with $3,158.24 in the account. We hope to increase the balance, through contributions and market performance, to $6,000 by the end of 2012.

January 3, 2012

Review of 2011 Financial Goals:

Below are the 5 goals that we set for ourselves 12 months ago and the results of our efforts to achieve them. Reaching 4 of our 5 goals in this economy feels great. The game changer for us in 2011 was my wife’s new job. She already had a good paying job, but was recruited away in April and given a $20,000 higher annual salary and an opportunity to make larger bonuses each quarter. I am so proud of the success she has enjoyed in her career and feel that her new position was pivotal in reaching our goals this year. I’ll be posting our 2012 goals shortly.

1) Increase net worth to $138,100 SUCCESS
Thanks to a good head start on our 2011 net worth goal (we passed our 2010 goal by $9,600.07), this was relatively easy. In fact, we passed our 2011 net worth goal in April and by July our net worth was over $150,000. Shortly after, however, the stock market began to fluctuate wildly and our net worth took a dive, but we still finished the year with a net worth of $164,821.70, $26,721.70 over our goal of $138,100.

2) Increase savings account balance to $20,000 SUCCESS
We started 2011 with $9,215.82 in savings, but we pulled $3,000 out to pay off our student loan and another $3,000 out to open a 529 Plan for my son. That being said, we still CRUSHED this goal, ending the year with $107,722.13 in savings ($52,696.37 + $51,000 pulled from retirement accounts). The biggest boost to our savings came from selling our recreational 4x4 for $14,995. While it was nice to hit this goal, we will be depleting most of our savings account in the next 30 days to fund our 20% home down payment and to purchase furniture.

3) $100,000 total balance in retirement accounts FAIL
In July 2011, we had over $95,000 in our retirement accounts and it looked like we would surely reach this goal by the end of the year. However, with the market correction, our balance dropped to ~$92,000 by the early December 2011. It was at this time that we raided our retirement accounts ($21,000 loan from 401k and $30,000 withdrawal from Roth IRAs) to help fund our 20% ($97,800) home down payment. So, we ended 2011 with retirement account balances totaling $41,944.70. We contributed $14,280.72 total to our retirement accounts in 2011.

4) Decrease debt by $1,000 SUCCESS
We started 2011 with only $3,041.81 in student loan debt. I’m happy to report that we ended the year with no debt ($0.00)! It is such a great feeling to finally be completely DEBT FREE.

5) Start a family SUCCESS
Accomplishing this goal was the biggest blessing of all. After dealing with some fertility issues, my wife and I were shocked to find out that she was pregnant. In September, after a challenging labor, our healthy baby boy was born and we couldn’t be more happy.