February did not seem to be the month of love for us financially... Although we did have a couple wins, the market's correction landed us in negative territory for the month. Although that is fine and dandy for the long term, it does let us check out gut emotions as we see the numbers moving around in a direction that we are not used to this month. The good thing is that we have not made any changes to our investing plan and are continuing to work our plan. This is one of those months that you are going to want to check your emotions and how you handle the stress of a market downturn like we had this past month. If you are not even phased by it, you are doing well.
Why I post my net worth updates publicly
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 really explain what happened over our month that helped move the needle for our family.
Second, I'm hoping to inspire and motivate others 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!
What Happened to Our Net Worth This Month?
This month, we say a little correction in the markets. Our investment accounts fell 2.6% this month, which is not horrible, but definitely had us paying more attention.
Due to our sinking funds taking a bigger hit due to our yearly association dues being paid, our cash position looks really bad. I'm not too worried about this since, as long as this number hovers over $0, I'm good.
We finally got to make our first mortgage payment PMI free since refinancing in May last year. This will save us almost $18/month on our mortgage payments going forward. Even though we had to pay PMI for 9 months, we are saving quite a bit from the refinance since we moved from 17 years down to a 15 year mortgage and lowered our interest rate at that time. This is especially looking good since the rates have been moving upwards lately. If you have been on the fence about refinancing lately, you might want to get it done sooner than later as rates are looking like they will continue to trend upwards.
Net Worth Numbers - February 2018
$176,801 - My mortgage company is starting to track our home value on it's website, so I'll be updating my numbers based on what they say monthly. We saw our number go down slightly this month, which is in line with how Zillow moved down as well. I think this valuation is fair considering other sources. Zillow is now showing that my home is worth as $185,861 but it changes all the time, so I'm holding back on that.
Work Roth 403b
Although we contribute here the most, we still saw a decline in our growth this month. With the correction, this was bound to happen. At least our contributions have offset the losses a little and it's only paper losses at this point. We are continuing to contribute every paycheck to this account.
Traditional and Roth IRA's
We had a 3.5% loss on this account this past month, but nothing drastic. We are leaving everything the way it is and are just riding out the wave here.
This account pulled back about 75% of the gains that we had last month, but we are still WAY ahead of where we would be if it were still in a money market savings account. As with our other investments, we will continue to ride this one out and leave the money invested the way it is, all in VTI. This account dropped 3.7% vs our total balance at the beginning of the month.
This account contributed the biggest percentage loss at almost 6.8% drop in value. Single stocks are almost always riskier than index funds and ETFs. I am still long on both stocks that I hold in this portfolio, MO and PM.
A little more value eroded... Just car values doing their things. The best thing here is that they are both paid off and continue to be good running vehicles.
We spent and spent this month, it looks like. Here's how our bigger expenses played out:
- Sinking Funds took a $1,400 hit this month. $910 of this was our yearly association dues, so overall, I think we did well this month. Our auto maintenance fund took more of a hit due to a minor accident we had to get parts for and fix.
- Groceries were high this month at $816 of our $625 budget. Still high, mainly due to eating out so much this past month. We spent almost $240 in dining out this past month. We are going to work to bring this number down in March.
- Medical came in at $99 this month. Happy that it was lower this month. We are planning to use some of our small tax refund this year to help offset these costs for the year for this fund as we are still learning the ropes for this insurance.
Emergency Fund Savings
We were able to add a little more than $300 to the account this month. We are currently 63.19% funded back towards our 6 month emergency fund. Getting this funded in 2018 is going to be a big goal.
Our only liability that we have left is our home mortgage. All student loans, cars, and consumer debt have been paid off. Working to pay down the mortgage, we continue to refinance to shorten the term and lower the interest rate when possible to keep our payment the same. We are a little high on our monthly percentage for housing, roughly 33% of take home pay. This is one reason we're finding it harder to get to the 15% savings towards retirement. Through pay raises, we'll lower that percentage and build back up to get away from it being that high in the future. And, we always have the option to refinance back up to a longer term in the future if things get hairy as well.
Yay! We crossed the $620 mark on our principal balance this month! Plus, since we refinanced last year, we've been paying $17.71 in PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) each month. And, as expected, our PMI dropped off finally, lowering our monthly payment a little bit and giving us more room to save!
YTD Net Worth Growth
January 1st, 2018 : $129,092.91
March 1st, 2018 : $125,779.25
Total Growth YTD : -$3,313.66 (-2.56%)
Last Year's Growth: $27,043.88 (26.50%)
Take Away for the Month
Even though we got a downward month this month due to investments, I'm glad that we are able to buy in at lower prices and continue building our nest eggs. During these types of months, we are just focusing on our plan and not worrying as much about the day to day numbers. Keep working your plan and you will finish strong! I hope you had a decent February and your March is off to a great start!
Here are some of our articles that were posted throughout February in case you missed them.
January was a mixed bag for us. Our numbers were down but our investments were way up. Check out the full report to learn more about our month.
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- Monthly budget form
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