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It’s time for me to examine last month’s finances and see how it’s affected our net worth. February was horrible with the equity on the house going down, but I feel good about how March went. In case you're curious, I run the numbers as I'm writing the updates. I know the introductions seem a bit a vague, but it's only because I write the net worth while number crunching.
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 March
Here are our 3 biggest family related expenses last month as calculated by Mint:
- Student Loans:$1,238.32
- Housing (Mortgage, Escrow, HOA, etc): $1,176.75
- Food (Groceries and Eating Out): $486.76
I'll talk more about it later in this post, I'm really happy to see $1,000 knocked off the student loan. Our housing bills are about the same, with a small increases in our HOA fees. Not happy about it, but we have another year before we'd even start thinking about moving.
We did well with groceries last month, but we had too many trips to the coffee shops and fast food places. A part of it was due to a weekend trip, but we also got lazy on a few days and grabbed something on the way home.
Checking & Savings
We went below our checking account buffer this month. We had our life insurance premiums taken out for both of us. I hope we can grow our buffer in April, but we have some expenses coming up this month.
Things are pretty quiet with these accounts, I was happy to see an uptick on our balances. Pretty much everything is automated with our contributions.
We’re focusing on long term goals with our investing, so I don't track our accounts everyday. We’re not planning on making any changes to our retirement contributions right now – just continuing at the pace we’ve been going.
Cars and Auto Expenses
Right now our focus is finding our next car, specifically a family sized sedan. While we would love to have a roomier car sooner rather than later, we’re taking our time to find a great deal. We worked hard to save our money to avoid a car loan, so it'll probably take a bit more time for us to find The One.
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. No repairs needed last month. This month I'll have to get my car inspected and pay DMV for registration. Hopefully I won't need any major repair.
Thanks to a bit of extra income, we sent in over $1,200. Most of this was due to receiving the tax refund. A portion went to the car replacement fund and the rest went to the student loan. In addition I earned just a bit more with My Financial Reviews and that money went towards paying down this loan.
Going forward, I'll be focusing on building partners for advertising on my other site. Hopefully we can pay down the loan much faster, perhaps in 2-3 years.
This Month’s Goals
We’re still behind on the goals, but we are making progress. I went ahead and applied for another policy to increase coverage. I just heard back from our agent that my test results were great and I still got the elite preferred rate. I'll schedule to meet up with him today and to pay this new policy's premium.
We also have to call a lawyer and see what paperwork we need to get everything set up properly.
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 March 31, 2012): $58,154.28 (+$4,633.50)
We're not where we were at a couple of months ago, but we're happy to be increasing again. Hopefully the rest of the year will allow us to get back to January's range.
Photo Credit: borman818