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It’s the beginning of the month, which means it’s time to examine last month’s finances. May is here and I'm so happy that my allergies are subsiding.

Our Spending Habits in April

Boy, oh, boy, we spent some money in April. Here are our 3 biggest expenses last month:

  • Home (Mortgages, Extra Payments, HOA Fees, etc): $1,293.88
  • Food (Groceries, Restaurants, Etc): $742.05
  • Bills/Utilities: $239.35

As you can see, by far our food expenses were higher than normal. That and some other expenses affected our joint checking account quite a bit.

Checking & Savings

Our joint checking account is looking lower than usual. We had some special events and a trip this month, but that doesn't explain all the extra spending. We need to get back to watching our money more closely as we've been slacking off with baby preparation and other things.

I'm tightening the budget settings on Mint so we'll get an email once we spend a certain threshold. Hopefully that will help us stay on our toes this last trimester and we can continue with our financial goals this year.

Retirement Accounts

We’re still not planning on making any changes to our retirement contributions this year. We really want to focus on more immediate goals of getting ready for the baby. I can’t anticipate the future, but I believe once we have some idea of how we’re going to handle our finances as parents, we’ll look at our retirement accounts and contributions.

My husband's 401(k) has steadily been going up and it's bumped up our assets a bit this month.

Our Cars

The automated deposits are coming along as planned and if everything continues as it has this year, we should reach our goal of socking away $5,000 more into the car replacement fund in 2011.

Both cars seem to be doing well. We’ve had no repairs to do, we just need to take care of our fluid levels on the vehicles. In case you’re wondering how I calculate the vehicles’ values, I used Kelly Blue Book. Every quarter I’ll update the values to account for depreciation.

Student Loans

Nothing exciting or new, we’re just chugging along with the student loan payments. Payments have been automated so it’s been relatively easy to keep up with them; we just confirm payments have been made each month. We switched the payments from the end of the month to the middle of the month to break the expenses between our deposits.

House and Mortgage

The mortgage payments are chugging along. As part of our usual routine, our automated extra principal payment (now $175) was sent in on the 15th of the month.

When deciding on how much we were going to send in to our lender, our main focus was creating something sustainable and had some impact with the mortgage.

Here’s where we stand today with the mortgage:

  • Total Loan Amount: $111,264.46
  • Interest Rate: 5.00%
  • Loan Term: 30 years, fixed rate

Our goal is to pay off our mortgage way before we retire.  Right now our timeline is about 15 years, instead of 30 years. Once accomplished, we’d love to be able to direct that money into other interests and goals of ours down the road.

Monthly Summary

After tallying up all the accounts, we've increased our net worth by a bit. Here's our net worth from the spreadsheet:

Net Worth (as of April 30, 2011): $50,754.76 (+$2,179.25)

Your Net Worth Update

How are you doing with your finances? How are you doing in 2011 so far?

Photo Credit: borman818

About Elle Martinez

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..

5 comments add your comment

  1. What I think is more impressive that if you go back to May 2010 – You have a 100% gain in your net worth over the course of a single year. Amazing stuff.

    This past month I am up about 5% and over 20% for YTD.

    • Congrats on getting 20% this year! Thanks for mention the progress in the last year; I didn’t even notice :O That’s something to celebrate. It’s also motivating.

  2. Wow. Impressive on that 100% gain over the past year. I am thrilled each and every month that I make progress on my net worth. As long as I keep paying off debt and don’t add to the total, the progress will be positive even if it is somewhat slow. Good luck in this last trimester.

  3. Hi Elle-

    I recently subscribed to your blog after reading on of your posts on the GRS site. I enjoy your writing style and creativity and I can definitely find the content relevant to my life.

    My wife and I (both 26) have been married since last June and have also been tracking our net worth…it’s been good as we’ve been aggressively paying down our student loans while socking away $$ in Retirement as well.

    However, we’re starting to get frustrated because we seem to be only keeping pace with our Condo’s loss in value. It’s decreased 19.2% (or $26k) since August according to Zillow. Do you think this IS this the best way to track our home’s value?? Is this how you track it as well?
    This has caused us to be about $20k underwater. We wouldn’t be underwater if we had put all that extra student loan payments towards the mortgage though.

    I know the local housing market has to bottom out sometime. We’re hoping it’s sooner than later- we really want to move from our condo to a house with a garage/yard (cliche American dream I know). The dream seems to be getting further and further away rather than closer. It’s also caused us to review our strategy – should we keep paying towards student loans or put everything into the mortgage so we could move someday?

    • Thanks Perry for reading Couple Money! I’m also a fan of Get rich Slowly and JD’s writing style.

      For us, Zillow has been pretty close to what the sale prices have been for our neighborhood and it’s with a $1k or so of what the city assesses the homes for right now.

      If I had to choose between the 3, I’d lean toward sale price, but for net worth updates I check on all 3 numbers to see if they are in the same ballpark.

      You may want to redirect your extra mortgage payments to your student loans or you may want to save up, hoping home values go up. I’m not a financial expert, so please take my suggestions with a grain of salt.

      If you need a financial planner, I’d recommend using The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) to find a fee based planner.