Good morning and welcome to May!
April 2015 was a big month as far as life goes. With the engagement still fresh, my new fiancee and I were invited to lots of small celebrations out to drinks or dinner with friends and family, taking us to restaurants and bars all over New York City, and even into New Jersey and Massachusetts. But would all this celebrating derail my (our?) personal finance goals?
We also started exploring all of the small and wonderful ways our lives are changing by joining them together, including starting to figure out the money aspects. We discussed everything from how we’ll set up joint accounts, ways to pay for the wedding, and even which were the important conversations we should be having. If you’re into that sort of talk, it’s all over at Adventures in Frugal.
Meanwhile, here on Debt BLAG, the beginning of the month is when I take a look at the cold, hard numbers of my net worth — broken down into debt and retirement savings. I treat this as a very important part of my debt payoff because while coming up with new ways to think about money is important, it doesn’t mean a whole lot if my debt and retirement numbers aren’t getting any better.
If you’re looking for a new tool for your personal finance wood-shop, tracking your net worth on a monthly, quarterly, or even annual basis would be a pretty neat addition.
For now, let’s look at my numbers.
It looks like I had a pretty big month.
I’ve felt the urgency to get out of debt since I started this blog toward the beginning of 2013, but the idea of starting a new life with someone was great motivation for paying off $2,400 in debt this past month. This allowed me to continue what has so far been a very consistent 2015 for debt payoff after I was all over the map in 2014. Check out this graph:
Yes, I might have had some bigger months in 2014, but I know which year I’d rather have.
Some people hit the gym hard to lose weight before their wedding. In 2015, I’m working hard to lose debt 🙂
$3,600 is a nice increase for one month. I can say I was only partly responsible for it. Yes, I make sure to contribute enough to get all of my employer’s 6% match and yes, I put I’ve put a lot of thought into my allocation, but this past month’s big gain was largely due to getting lucky with the stock and bond markets.
When added together with my debt payoff, my net worth increased by $6,000. That’s the third-biggest monthly gain since I started keeping track!
More importantly, it’s given me some very good momentum toward reaching my goal of breaking even — that is, having a net worth of $0 by bringing my debt equal to my retirement savings — by the end of 2015.
In fact, if every one of my months was as strong as my April, I’d get to $0 by the end of summer!
That said, it’s probably safe to say that every month will not be as strong as my April — but I can try my best!
And that’s what happened to my personal finances this past month. What inspired you in April?