So happy to be done with October. What a rough month financially! As you can see by the move down on our net worth chart, we moved down this month. It was due to a few things happening, but we made it through and survived and are going to be stronger going into November.
However, this month was full of fun activities. Looking back, we were able to do a lot of fun fall activities this past month. We took two trips to Brookfield Zoo as we have a family unlimited pass that we bought earlier this year. We've actually visited four times this year and aren't even halfway done with the pass. It has been a great deal for us with all that's available to do with the passes for the girls. We visited four farms and pumpkin patches, which weren't all that cheap with all the tickets they sell there. I even went to a Walking Dead premiere party for the season opener (what a devastating episode)!
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!
October has been a month where a lot of irregular spending has come up. We have had some wins, but we've been knocked sideways on a few things. Some of the things we faced were:
- 6 month auto insurance policy purchase ($560)
- 1/4 cow purchase ($650). We should be able to knock around $100/month off our grocery bill for the next 7 months at least to cover this.
- PT Repair bill ($1000)
- Chevy Impala Repair bill ($400)
Net Worth - October 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 had a solid month and our electric bill came down by $50 this month since we haven't been running the A/C any longer with the cooler weather. I actually posted this funny graphic up on Facebook a few days ago:
- 401k - Very little growth here. But, still an up month for us, number wise. Although, when you factor in our contributions, we were actually down for the month.
- IRA - Same here, only a growth of about $14, but it would be negative since we fund it by $100/month here. Next month will hopefully be a better month.
- HSA - Another couple visits to the chiropractor for adjustments for our youngest since it's the season for ear infections. We aim for once a month on these visits. Also, took the girls in for their flu shots and a meet and greet for their new doctor since we switched over. This balance will continue to dwindle and will close out once it's gone since I no longer have contributions going into this account since the job change.
- Auto Value - Another month, more value eroded. So glad that at least we didn't buy new... According to KBB.com, we lost another $433 in value, which wasn't as bad as last month at least. However, we did spend quite a bit of money on our vehicles this month.
The PT Cruiser needed a few maintenance things done like a new radiator, new belts, the motor mount was going bad as well, and we needed a tune up so had to get new spark plugs and valve cover gasket. At least, since I was doing everything in one visit, I saved a little bit on the labor.
The Impala ended up needing brake pads and rotors on the front and back. I ended up having a cousin help me out with the work to cut my costs, so we ended up doing the whole job for about $400, which was awesome. Since the car has hit 50,000 miles now, I'm sure stuff like this is going to come up for maintenance. The car still rides awesome and is very smooth now that the brakes have been replaced.
- Cash Money - Looking at the number, you would think that we just went out and splurged! Well, the way the numbers are calculated, our cost for the auto insurance policy ($560) and the Impala brake job ($400) were baked into this amount, so that's almost $1,000 of the loss. Other than that, my wife spent the last of her vacation money on her trip this past month ($280). So, when you add those things in, you can see our $1,300 loss there. I'm not worried about this since we have certain months where we have big expenses come up. That's the reason that a sinking fund is so important to keep funded for categories that have irregular expenses.
Next month, this might take a little bit more of a hit as I might rearrange our auto insurance fund to replenish our emergency fund back up. Since we switched our policy, we were able to save big time and actually have enough saved once our renewal comes up again in six months without saving monthly. I'm thinking about taking this money and reallocating it to our emergency fund balance since we will continue to save the money monthly towards our auto insurance.
- Savings - Despite having the two emergency fund purchases ($1,000 car repair and $650 meat purchase) we were able to put about $300+ back into our fund to pay back some of it this month. I anticipate this will grow a lot more next month with the auto insurance money moving over here, if we choose to do that. Also, next month, hopefully we will be able to apply more extra back on this account since our expenses should be a little lower. We now stand at 89% funded for a six month emergency fund. which is not that shabby.
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 $417! 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.
We actually had our escrow analysis this month, so our payment actually increased. But, I was shopping around for auto insurance and it made sense to bundle the auto and home policy back together and ended up resulting in a big savings. I talked to the mortgage company and they did another escrow analysis and are cutting us a check back for some of the money and our monthly payment is actually going to decrease starting next month by about $27 a month. We will use the small escrow surplus check to fund our emergency fund back up since that is the baby step we are on at this time.
YTD Net Worth Growth
January 1st, 2016 : $83,773.00
November 1st, 2016 : $95,926.76
Total Growth YTD : $12,153.76 (14.5%)
Last Year's Growth: $22,259.44 (35.42%)
Take Away for the Month
Well, the tenth month of the year is in the books and we are on track to do well still this year. I'm not that sour that we've had one down month out of the last five either. There are going to be some months where your spending out paces your earning. Just have to make sure the good months outweigh the bad!
How did your October go? Hopefully better than ours!
Here are some of our articles that we wrote throughout October in case you missed them.
- Affording School as a Broke College Student - Guest Post from Andrew over at ScholarshipFly.com
- 5 Ways To Increase Financial Communication Between Couples
- Create Your Financial Goal Plan: 5 Ways To Stay Persistent
- How We Automated Our House Cleaning
- Becoming More Resilient With Your Finances - Guest post over at GetConnectDad
- How Financially Personable Are You? - Guest Post over at Get ConnectDad
- Money Saving Hacks/Tips: #27: How To Build a $15,000 Emergency Savings Fund In 9 Months - Twitter Interview I did for TopMoneyHacks
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