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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.

Our Spending Habits in August

August was an eventful month spending wise. Life insurance semi-annual premiums are due and so is registration renewal for one of our vehicles.

  • Housing (Mortgage, Escrow, HOA, etc): $1,256.75
  • Food (Groceries and Eating Out): $516.00
  • Bills & Utilities: $338.83

In addition to expenses below we had some other bills to deal with this month.

Checking and Savings

Even with the irregular bills added in this month, the bank accounts thankfully held steady. Rob received his bonus so we allocated it towards  some different goals.

Nothing exciting; we paid our bills, took care of the hotel room for FinCon, and we got a lawyer to draw up our wills.

Yep, we're officially adults. Estate planning is one of those things where you feel good once it's done and taken care of. At least now we have some peace of mind should something happen to us.

Retirement Accounts

The 401(k)s and IRAs balances are increasing. It's been a month for some of our investments.

After reviewing our accounts, some time time month my husband has to get his portfolio re-balanced since its allocation has been a bit skewed.

The gist of proper asset allocation is maximizing your return while minimizing your risk. For my husband it is a bit trickier with the choices in his 401(k). We'll try to find some suitable options and then hopefully make the switch shortly afterwards.

Cars and Auto Expenses

We had some car expenses in August that had to be taken of. Our tax payments for the cars was due in August as well as registration renewal for one of the vehicles.

As far as repairs, inspection was due on a car and a battery needed to be replaced.  Nothing by itself was a big bite out of the budget, but coming at the same time certainly made the expenses chart on Mint seem larger than normal.

House and Mortgage

As you see with our spending review a little while ago, our housing is the biggest expense.

Part of reason is due to the extra principal payment we send in each month. Since we've started sending in the additional payments as soon as we started paying the mortgage, it doesn't feel like a sacrifice.

When deciding on how we were going to execute these payments, we decided automating the extra payments to go out on the 15th of the month would be the best option to smooth out the monthly cash flow.

Student Loans

Things are steadily moving down with the student loan balance. I missed my goal of making a double payment on it.

I haven't taken on an extra work so I didn't have anything to send in. Hopefully I will receive payments on some invoices later this week Paying our student loans off early is one of our medium-term goals.

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, 2012): $70,436.90 (+$4,376.32)

Most of the increase is on paper (investments and property), but it's still nice to our net worth move higher. How about you? How are you doing with your finances right now?

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..

6 comments add your comment

  1. I think you’re doing good! I’m jealous of how little you spend on bills and utilities. Our electric bill alone last month was $250!