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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 November
My favorite place to start when doing the net worth review is our big bills. Looking at information at Mint, here are the biggest expenses from last month:
- Housing (Mortgage, Escrow, HOA, etc): $1,158.75
- Auto (Insurance, Gasoline, and Repairs): $570.98
- Food (Groceries and Eating Out): $546.49
Based on how the dates fell in November, we had two months of car insurance taken out at the very beginning and the last day. Our food bill was higher again this month, our fault for sure. We went out of town and ate out a bit plus added to our gasoline expenses.
Starting next year, I'm hoping that on this top 3 list will be the student loan snowball. We'll be reallocating money for that bill.
Checking and Savings
The bank accounts are holding steady overall – only a slight decrease. We had some medical expenses last month that has lowered our savings a bit. We've had a good year with the doctors for the most part so we hadn't met our deductible. That has meant that we've paid out of pocket last month for our doctor visits and will probably do so this month.
I'm also going back to cash only for eating out at lunch. I had stopped a couple of months ago and my spending increase. It wasn't as much as I spent before I tried cash only, but it was more money.
Not much change with the balances on our 401(k)s and IRA. They have increased just a bit, so we're happy. With these accounts not going to be used for quite a few years, we're looking at the big picture.
We’re not planning on making any changes to our retirement contributions right now as we have some more immediate financial goals. We've automated a portion of our income into these accounts while we take care of paying down some debts.
Cars and Auto Expenses
My husband's Celica is fixed and he wants to keep it. It cost us a bit of cash, but he's extremely happy as the car is driving even better than when we first bought it.
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.
House and Mortgage
Our housing bills are our biggest expenses, but we’re not too worried as that total also includes the extra mortgage payments we send in. We're at $103,610 right now which is exciting as we've almost lower our mortgage into the 5 figures.
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.
As far as bills go, it looks like our HOA fees will be going up in January (un-yea!). We're hoping our heating bills will be a bit lower this winter to offset the new expense, but we won't know until it happens.
Things are steadily moving down with the student loan balance. Nothing exciting to report here. It’s the same old, same old. We have one student loan between us. We’ve automated payments since now we’re ahead of the student loan service’s schedule for about a year.
We're going to send in an extra payment this month and next year we're focusing our attention on getting rid of the loan.
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 November 30, 2012): $73,142.03 (+$1,290.05)
We're chugging ahead.I’d love to hear from you on your progress. How about you? How are you doing with your finances right now?
Photo Credit: The Cleveland Kid