I apologize for the delay in posting this, but life has a way of catching up with you. Ya know?
As of 7 March 2009, my net worth is $57276.53. In a word, it sucks. However, there has been progress on various fronts.
First, I've been able to build my emergency account back up to $20111.07 from close to $15000. Those funds were transferred into my brokerage account for trading purposes. Now that I'm back over 20K, I will redirect the $1000 that I currently Direct Deposit into that account toward my American Express debt. Paying down the AmEx to $0 is one of my goals for 2009. (And no, I was not extended the offer to cancel my card and pay off all of the debt in one shot.)
Second, if not for the need to put $999.37 worth of work into my almost 10 year old car, my balance would be less than $20K. Such is life! However, it is thrilling to really make some progress on cutting that balance down. Once I start moving funds away from the emergency savings account and toward that goal, the balance should decrease even faster. Just thinking about it is energizing (but that could also be the feeling of my body burning more fat *shrug*)!
Third, I'm getting back into the mode of reducing unnecessary expenses. My total food expenditures for February 2009 came to. I think I ate out twice, and both of those were with friends whom I hadn't caught up with in a while. (In one case, said friend is recently unemployed so I picked up the tab. In the other case, we split the bill.) I recently canceled my Zagat.com subscription because I hadn't used it since I signed up (again) in April 2008. I'm considering dropping my WSJ.com subscription and possibly my Barrons.com subscription. I love Barron's, even more than WSJ.com, but I read neither as much as I used to. I may keep Barron's and dump the WSJ since I despise the re-designed WSJ.com site. This is pretty much what I expected once Dow Jones was acquired by News Corp. I will also be canceling 2 domain name registrations with Network Solutions. These are names that I will no longer use for a business idea that I am no longer interested in pursuing. Thus, I'll let those expire at year end. Since the majority of the current calendar year is already accounted for, I hope to find another way to monetize those domain names via domain parking or some other means
Fourth, I underspent most of my targets, with the exception of food costs. (Quelle surprise!) I only spent $126.65 on gasoline against an expense target of $400; $56.01 on medical expenses, against a target of $75; $21.60 on entertainment (a lift ticket for snowboarding) against a target of $100; and $1315.84 on rent and housing costs, against a target of $1369. Food, on the other hand, hit me for $610.99, against a target of $500 per month.
In the coming months, I'll spend some time balancing my food expenses against all the other priorities I have. Key among them will be saving for both emergencies and fun, as well as food costs. Having food at home and cooking has been very kind to me, though. Once I get a acclimated to cooking, I expect that my food costs will moderate and possibly decrease. We will see.
I also anticipate moving back to the same city that I lived in prior to moving to my current apartment. In doing so, I look forward to a reduction in my insurance costs. All of my insurances increased noticeably - car, renter's and the personal articles insurance policy on my laptop. I guess that has to do with moving into a "less safe" county. Too bad it also happens to be the wealthiest (by income) predominantly Black county in the entire nation. So very sad. I hope, with the current state of the economy and the number of empty residential properties on the market, that I can find a reasonable rent in downtown Silver Spring. I think my historically good (and improving) credit, solid income, and increased supply of rental units and moderate to decreased demand for said units will work in my favor.
Overall, my goals are coming together. I attribute some of this to posting my goals around my apartment. The above blog post is taped to the wall above the head of my bed, on my refrigerator door, and on the mirror of my bathroom.
Anyway, that's a small peek into my current financial situation. I like how things are progressing. I'll keep you posted as the situation develops, so keep reading and commenting.
Until next time...