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It’s the beginning of the month, which means it’s time to examine last month’s finances and see how it’s affected our net worth. It’s a great exercise to help us see where we’re doing well and what we can improve on.

Our Spending Habits in August

Here are our 3 biggest expenses last month:

  • Medical Expenses: $2,237.17
  • Housing: $1,140.75
  • Food: $372.88

As expected, medical bills for labor & delivery were the big expenses. As for food, we've had to fill up on groceries. With the new routine, preparing dinner hasn't always been a priority and so we've had some food ordered or picked up.

Checking & Savings

Our account went down significantly, but it was expected. We received our hospital bill for the baby and the bill and the obstetrical care. It was over $2,000 out of our pockets for the arrival of our lovely baby girl.

Hopefully we'll get some of the money we paid reimbursed from my husband's employer. While I would love to include this in our budget (the company has a wonderful track record), as a matter of habit I don't count it until it's in our hands.

My wish is that next's month net worth review includes that money back in our accounts.

Retirement Accounts

It looks like our retirement funds took a bit of a hit last month. Nothing drastic, so we're not going to change our asset allocation or anything. We’re still not planning on making any changes to our retirement contributions this year. We really wanted to focus on more immediate goals of getting ready for the baby.

I believe once we have some idea of how we’re going to handle our finances as new parents, we’ll look at our retirement accounts and contributions some time in 2012 and adjust accordingly.

Our Cars Expenses

We had my husband's car repaired (much cheaper than the first estimate) and we're happy that it's good to go for now. We hope that it lasts a few years longer. Our goal is to build our car replacement fund for the next vehicle. We hope to get a car sometime next year, our current car is barely sufficient in size for our family. I believe the Jetta can handle until then, so we can sell it for additional funds.

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

We have one student loan between us. Right now we’re continuing with the automatic monthly withdrawals for the student loan payments. This gives us a slight discount on the interest rate as an added bonus. It’s been relatively easy to keep up with them; we just confirm payments have been made each month from our joint checking.

If we have any savings in December after reaching our other financial goals for the year, we’re hoping to pay it down. Since this is a reach goal, I’m shooting for $2,000. If we don’t make it we won’t be disappointed, but if we do, it’ll be icing on the cake.

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: $109,760.30
  • Interest Rate: 5.00%
  • Loan Term: 30 years, fixed rate

Our goal is to pay off our mortgage years before we retire.  Right now our timeline is about 15 years, instead of the 30 years we signed up for. We wanted some wiggle room in case we ever hot a financial speed bump. Once our mortgage payoff is accomplished, we’d love to be able to direct that money into other interests and goals of ours down the road.

Monthly Summary

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 August 31, 2011): $60,028.57 (-$777.23)

While we're not happy to see how our net worth decrease, it wasn't unexpected. I'm hoping that next month we'll have the following done:

  • Get my husband's old 401(k) moved into a Roth IRA
  • Get our deductible money reimbursed and back into our family fund

Your Net Worth Update

I shared my progress; now I’d love to hear from you. How are you doing with your finances? How are you doing in 2011 so far?

Photo Credit: The Cleveland Kid

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..

9 comments add your comment

  1. Tracking your net income month to month can be difficult in this economy, but rest assured that it will continue to look better (hopefully soon). Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for the encouragement. My monthly review is a way for us to look at what’s going on with our finances. my husband and I chat and review the numbers.

    • It can be a bit of a bummer to see those accounts go down. Focusing on the long term helps me continue.

  2. While I had an increase in net worth it would have been much more substantial if my 401(k) didn’t lose money despite adding hundreds upon hundreds of dollars to it lol

  3. Hey Elle,
    I think it is great that you put up your personal numbers like this. I have seen a few other PF bloggers do it and I can definitely say that it is a major way to keep yourself accountable. Having a baby can really mess with the budget. When we had our second son I remember the bills amounting to over 4,000 dollars when it was all said and done. That is basically what we had to pay out of pocket after our major medical reduced the overall amount.

    I would hate to know what the bill would have been if we had no insurance at all.

    Of course as you know, they are totally worth it.

    Enjoy many sleepless nights, :-)

  4. I like your blog. I noticed your financial situation is very similar to mine. Have you considered re-financing your mortgage? Our balance and interest rate were very similar to yours on a 25-year loan. We re-financed to a 15-year at 3.75% and our payment was virtually the exact same, within a few dollars! I know you are on a plan to pay off in 15 or less, but sending the bank that much less interest could really boost your plan.