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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.
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.
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.
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