At the beginning of the month we examine last month’s finances and see how it’s affected our net worth. The purpose of the net worth reviews is to give us a regular system to look at our accounts, see what’s changed, and analyze what went well and what we need to work on.
This month had some big expenses this month – student loans, life insurance premiums, and stocking up on supplies for Costco (plus renewing our membership).In addition, we had a family trip to celebrate the in laws’ anniversary plus we adopted a cat. Whew! It didn’t really hit me until I just wrote that list here. Happy to say are finances are moving in the right direction.
Pay the Student Loan Faster
We reached a milestone last month with our student loans – we got it down by 21%. Seeing it go down by a few thousand has been motivation to keep at it. Even though there are times when sending in extra money towards it has made me feel a bit down, I know that it’s the right choice for us in the long run.
Too bad that our loan servicer has changed. We’ll have to pause on the payment until this transition is completed. Once everything is in place, though, we’ll send in the money as soon as possible.
Simplifying Our House
Besides getting some projects done around the house for possibly selling it later this year, we’re also boxing and bagging stuff to sell or donate. It’s the season for spring cleaning and I’m trying to get rid of clothes, toys, gadgets, and other stuff that we hardly or do not use anymore.
Our food expenses continue to be a big chunk of our monthly expenses. We don’t spend much on entertainment and other things, so food is where we tend to splurge. however March was above our average spending due to a Costco run that had us restocking on some staples and the fact that we had to renew our membership.
With The Produce Box starting up again this month, we’re expecting it to decrease a bit as we rely on our weekly in season produce deliveries. this will be our third year with them and we’re better about storing and saving any extra produce we have from our orders. We’ve also started up the garden out front so we can have some fresh herbs and veggies when we cook.
Even though gas prices were hovering around $3.50/gallon last month, we stayed within our budget. With the trip to VA, we spent more gas of course, but we managed to get some really mileage out of it.
It looks like this month, though, we’ll be spending money on both cars. The Celica had problems starting last week. We had the trip so we waited until we got back to call the shop. I also have to get the state inspection done on the Accord and renew registration. Hopefully the Celica’s problem will be minor.
Our retirement contributions aren’t included in our joint expenses above simply because they are taken out before the money hits our accounts. For the most part, everything is automated, so we just check on a monthly basis that the accounts are alright. We’re not planning on making any changes to our retirement contribution amounts right now as we focused on paying down our debt.
I’m actually planning on making a change to my IRA in April. I’m hoping to rollover my current IRAs into a Vanguard account to both simplify my finances and to save a just a smidge with fees. When looking at our accounts through Mint, I noticed that the total has spread out among several banks and I think I’d like to tidy it up a bit.
Thoughts on March’s Money
Now that everything has been summarized, it’s time to look at the numbers. Here’s our net worth from the spreadsheet:
Net Worth (as of March 31, 2013): $87,740.65
I shared our progress and bumps in March. Any tips? I’d love to hear from you about your family’s own money review. How was last month for you?
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Elle Martinez helps families at Couple Money achieve financial freedom by sharing tips for reducing debt, increase income, and building net worth. Learn how to live on one income and have fun with the second..