A late hello and welcome to March 2014!
Devotees will know that a new month means it’s time for another net worth update. I wasn’t sure that I would keep doing these now that this blog is significantly less anonymous, but decided that I thought these were important enough to keep as part of the blog after a bit of deliberation.
I’m pretty comfortable sharing the amount of debt I hold, but less comfortable sharing the size of retirement savings. So going forward, I’ll update an absolute number for debt, but only relative numbers for retirement savings and net worth.
So, without further ado, here are those numbers:
February was another big month for changes in net worth, but this time, the big jump mostly came from adding to retirement accounts rather than taking away from student loans. I completed my taxes this month, but not before deciding at the last minute to max out my contributions (and pull back on being so aggressive with my student loans), so that’s the reason for those numbers.
I had a plenty of big designs for things I wanted to accomplish in February. Here’s how I did on them.
Goal #1: Fix my credit report. Pass!
I had a big freakout toward the beginning of February when I received an alert from Credit Karma that an account of mine had gone into collections. Not only that, they estimated that my credit score dropped by 25 points!
Despite the initial freakout, I went about solving the problem methodically. I pulled my three free credit reports from annualcreditreport.com, found that the account in collections only appeared on my TransUnion report, and called the creditor listed to ask for a letter validating that the debt was indeed mine.
Then, I did something I wasn’t supposed to do. I called them back and, while making clear that I wasn’t admitting guilt, asked what my options were. The customer service rep on the other end of the line told me that if I paid off the balance, the account would be removed from my account in a few days. Doing another thing I wasn’t supposed to do, I paid it off without asking for that statement in writing.
Sure enough, my next Credit Karma update reflected no accounts in collections.
So, let’s call this a win, even though I made a couple mistakes 🙂
Goal #2: File my income taxes. Pass!
On a side note, these took days worth of collecting documents, filling out worksheets, and reading through the tax code. Between the amount of time I put into completing my taxes and the increasing probability of making mistakes, I’m starting to think this will be the last time I do them without the help of a professional.
Goal #3: Identify a volunteer opportunity. Fail!
Not a complete fail, but it’s progressing slower than I’d like. I’ve been in meetings to try to create a volunteer project I’d like to get going and will receive a big decision on Wednesday to that effect. Wish me luck.
Goal #4: Convince one family member to join my T-mobile family. Pass!
I switched to T-mobile in January and saved a good deal right off the bat. However, the real savings with T-mobile come in having a lot of people on the account.
This month, a brother joined my account, lowering my share of the monthly bill by $10.
Perhaps more importantly, I’m still happy with T-mobile’s service.
Goal #5: Pay off $2,500 of student loan debt; continue the 52-week savings challenge (for my emergency fund); and add $1,500 to retirement accounts. Mixed!
I did not pay off $2,500 of student loan debt, but added far more than $1,500 to my retirement accounts for the tax reasons I mentioned above. For this reason, I don’t feel too bad about failing on that part of the goal.
Also, I continued the 52-week savings challenge by adding $5, $6, $7, and $8 to my savings account. As March started, my emergency fund was sitting pretty at $5,036. This feels good.
And that’s that! How did everyone else do with their goals?