November has been a fantastic month here in our household! We've had a hustle and bustle kind of a month, and for the better. We spent a lot of the month visiting family with the girls having a couple of sleepovers with grandparents and day trips so that I could focus on getting more writing done. We have enjoyed some unseasonably warm weather as we get into December without a dusting of snow yet here in the midwest. We got to celebrate not 1, not 2, but 3 Thanksgivings. Out of the 3, we actually hosted 2 of them (which was fantastic since we didn't have to drive as much with the two girls.). And now, here we are, inching our way into December, getting closer and closer to Christmas.
If this is the first time you've stumbled upon my monthly net worth reports, I would like to explain why I choose to write them.
First, I love the accountability they force on me about handling my finances. I'm posting to be transparent and to really try to explain what happened over the last month that moved the needle for our family.
Second, I'm hoping to inspire and motivate others to reach to make their financial future better. I wanted to show that our journey is not all straight up success with no bumps in the road. Everyone has setbacks, but we can't let that get us down! We have to keep pressing forward!
After October's irregular spending came up, November was a welcome sigh of relief seeing that we were able to put back all of our money into our emergency fund and come our on the positive side over the last couple months.
Some of the things that helped us make progress:
- We over saved for our auto insurance policy. This meant that we were able to take the extra $600 and move it into our emergency fund to help replenish it.
- My wife got reimbursed for her travel and work expenses which added up to be a nice bonus. We were able to apply that $350+ to the emergency fund
- We received our reimbursement check from our escrow analysis where our payment dropped by $12/month and we got a surplus check for $100+.
- The stock market has been growing this month very well as well. This was over half of our growth for the month.
- No crazy bills or other spending happened.
Net Worth - November 2016
- Home Value - $160,000 - Holding on to this number since our appraisal was done before our refinance (August 2014). No repairs needed here this month. We gave up this month and have turned on the heat. Actually, it was cold enough a couple days this month that I actually wore pants! Generally, when we have the heat on, we use a programmable thermostat and keep it set around 68 degrees.
- 401k - Nice month for stocks as they grew pretty well. Hoping they will continue their run through December.
- IRA - Had a nice growth month here as well. Happy to hear the Dow went through 19,000. Gotta keep it going!
- HSA - Another visit to the chiropractor this month to get another adjustment on our youngest. No ear infections though, so I count it as a win. We continue to spend this down as needed and will close out the account once it's gone.
- Auto Value - Nice, light month this month. Updated the mileage on the vehicles (PT is approaching 120k and the Chevy is almost to 54k) in Mint and only lost about $240 instead of the $400+ losses we've seen the last couple months. Glad to see it stabilizing a little bit. Could just be that we haven't driven as much this month though? The best part? We got away on maintenance with just one oil change and I bought some carwash supplies so I can start washing the car myself when it's warm enough. That should make for a fun activity with the girls!
- Cash Money - This number dropped a little, but mainly because we were stretching to finish off the emergency fund. Our numbers should grow more next month. We went over a little on our grocery budget, but that's usually a tough area for us. Especially in the holiday season around Thanksgiving, since we did host two of the three Thanksgivings we had.
- Savings - We rocked the house here! We were able to add $1,550 back into our emergency fund, finishing it off this month. I was so happy that we were able to do this, especially before December since we have an extra paycheck. This way, we will be able to use the extra paycheck to work on other things like vacation funds, end of year investing, or just some good fun celebrating for growing well this year.
Home Mortgage - We keep seeing small chunks eat into this mortgage. We continue to just make the minimum payments, but with only having a 20 year mortgage, this moves down pretty quickly. This past month, our principal just topped $418! When we started, this number was only about $380, so that's extra money going towards our mortgage each month! I love seeing the principle grow each month to take out bigger chunks or our mortgage. Looking forward to the day we get to start putting extra money away towards this paying it down even faster.
YTD Net Worth Growth
January 1st, 2016 : $83,773.00
December 1st, 2016 : $99,147.91
Total Growth YTD : $15,374.91 (18.35%)
Last Year's Growth: $22,259.44 (35.42%)
Take Away for the Month
November is just about in the books and we are ready to rock December. Swings can happen either way at any time. By creating a plan to make sure you have the cash available when the unpredictable comes up, you will be in a good place to handle emergencies or some great opportunities in the future. Hopefully we will be ready to take on December in the same way.
How did your November go? Are you prepared for your Christmas shopping financially?
Here are some of our articles that I wrote or was featured in throughout November in case you missed them.
- The Time Our Emergency Fund – and Plan – Saved The Day - Guest Post from Liz over at ChiefMomOfficer.org
- How An Attitude Of Gratitude Can Transform Your Finances
- 5 Reasons You Should Start A Side Business - co-wrote this one with my sister and we even did a Facebook Live event (my first one)!
- Are Cash Back Credit Cards Worth It?
- What Is The Best Way To Support Our Kids Financially - Guest post over at GetConnectDad
- Creating A Financial Budget That Empowers - Guest Post over at Get ConnectDad
- Dad's In The Limelight Interview with Christopher Lewis of DadOfDivas.com - Interview I did about being a father.
- 7 Millenial Money Mistakes - Grant of Millenial Money is a post that gets honorable mention this month and I think everyone should take time to read.
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