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’s review is a bit later (and longer) than normal due to everything I have to cover from last month.
Our Spending Habits in September
First off, going to the Financial Blogger Conference definitely increased expenses last month, but it wasn’t a budget buster. We found a great deal on a hotel right downtown near the conference so we didn’t have to rent a car.
In addition to those expenses, I also had to pay my quarterly federal and state taxes. Seeing my business account balances look low was kind of sad, but it’s a part of being self-employed.
Looking at Mint, here are the biggest expenses from last month:
- Housing (Mortgage, Escrow, HOA, etc): $1,333.40
- Food (Groceries and Eating Out): $603.79
- Travel: $586.75
As you can see we’ve been fairly consistent with our big expenses over the past year. We go through cycles with the food expenses, some months higher and then we buckle down and lower it.
Looking at the upcoming months, I think October and November we’ll have lower food bills, but December will be hgher as we’re going a trip for our 6th anniversary.
Checking and Savings
The bank accounts are holding steady which makes us feel pretty good, considering how many expenses came up. The checking balance decreased by a bit, lowering our buffer, but savings did well overall. Our Freedom Fund is gaining a bit of interest over at Ally.
Last month I mentioned that we were going to re-balance my husband’s 401(k). After reviewing the offerings at his job, we went ahead and got that completed. So far he’s having a pretty good year with his portfolio; we just wanted to keep it according to his retirement allocation.
Cars and Auto Expenses
The cars did well last month, no problems and I improved my gas mileage with the Accord. Ok, so we have a real failure to report – we still haven’t put a car up for sale. Ok, so I will now announce our goal to put up a Craigslist ad up by Saturday and I will link to it here with my weekend round-up for accountability.
We need to get something happening because any money made with the sale can be used for our financial goals goals rather than paying for insurance on a car that isn’t being used.
House and Mortgage
Our housing bills are our biggest expenses, but we’re not too worried as it also includes the extra mortgage payments we send in.
We just got news last week that we now have a new management company to run our HOA. Right now the monthly dues look to stay the same, but if it changes I’ll update that information here.
How many of you had a HOA management switch? Were your dues affected?
Things are steadily moving down with the student loan balance. It’s around $19k right now and we’re hoping to spend the rest of the year paying this down. With the big expenses of last month over, we’re going to redirect some extra money from now until December to getting that to down as low as possible.
We’ll sit down and come up with a specific number to shoot for and I’ll post it here. Any suggestions?
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 September 30, 2012): $71,610.96 (+$1,174.06)
We hope that this positive trend continues through the rest of this year (and beyond). How about you? How are you doing with your finances right now?