Happy November, everyone! Hope you all had a good Halloween. We picked up a new hobby in the month of October so instead of passing out candy or partying in the city, we spent the evening rock climbing at an indoor gym. I guess everyone was out doing other Halloween things so we had it mostly to ourselves which was pretty cool.
Any baseball fans out there? I admit, I didn’t watch until this year (– I generally find sports boring until I know the rules –) but our pals are HUGE Giants fans so we ended up watching several games leading up to and during the world series. Taco Bell was running a “Steal a base, steal a taco” promotion during the World Series, and thanks to Angel Pagan, I had two free Doritos Locos Tacos to munch on while I was pulling this net worth update together. We have an unnatural love of Taco Bell in our house so it was pretty much the greatest promo ever
October was a *tough* month for us because we were so loose with our wallets, so I was very confused to see my net worth go up. (We went to the San Diego Zoo, hit up the Sequoia National Forest, and I treated myself to a lot of new clothes and a Ramit Sethi course which was pricier than I expected!) I’m still confused actually, but here goes the breakdown:
Cash: This category is always in flux, and it includes the money in all of my checking and non-emergency fund savings accounts. I just got my bi-weekly paycheck last Friday and that’s why this is a little higher. I think I want to make a separate, non-EF savings account for buying clothes and stuff, but I just have too many accounts as is.
Emergency Fund: It’s been so long since I actually added any money to this, but I added an extra $400 this month. I also just moved it from Discover Bank (which I was really fond of) to Barclays US which has a slightly sweeter 1.00% savings interest rate. Assuming the interest rate holds, I’ll make an extra $150 annually just for parking my money here which isn’t great, but it’s pretty good as far as options go.
401k’s and Roth IRAs: Had good gains in these categories too. I automate my contributions to both of these, so the gain is largely what I personally contributed but it still counts, right? I think I’m two-thirds of the way to maxing out my Roth contribution limit for the year, so I might see about doing that before I put any more money into savings. Otherwise, I’m contributing about 10% of my paychecks every month to the 401k. Gosh, I’m having such a hard time figuring out what to do with my 401k at my old employer, so I’m definitely open to enlightenment from the blogosphere.
Investment: Good and bad this month. I have 3 investment accounts.
On the first, I realized I’ve averaged a 38% overall return since I started investing in 2009. Can you believe it?! On average it turned out to be 29.2% return each year which totally beats the pants off my 1% savings account interest rate.
For my second account, I purchased stocks in my former employer who was just bought out by a bigger company… so they liquidated these stocks for me at a loss on what I paid. Oh well, at least that money is coming back to me.
My third account has been a bust. I’ve been investing in individual stocks here and not making much progress. I finally took the plunge two weeks ago and bought a single share of Apple for ($646) figuring that Christmas sales would drive the price up. I’ve already lost $60 on this stock because the price has been dropping ever since my purchase. Note to self, automate in life cycle funds and ETFs… don’t think you can come out ahead with individual stocks!
Auto Worth: This is probably where a lot of my net worth was added and is the most confusing part for me. My auto worth went up about $1000. Granted, I had some body work done (paid for by the guy who hit my car), but I didn’t think the improved appearance would affect the auto price that much. Hmm… I keep toying with the idea of selling it while the paint and detailing are perfection. The hybrid engine is starting to require a lot more maintenance and I’m nervous about what unpredicted auto expenses lie ahead of me.
Gift Cards: This is my favorite category! We have these things called “Bravo!” awards at work where you can gift someone cash for doing a good job. Happily, several people gifted me! I picked $80 in Express gift cards (because my wardrobe needs a makeover), $75 to either Home Goods and Bed Bath & Beyond (I was thinking this would be Christmas gifts To boyf and me From boyf and me), and $25 to the Outback Steakhouse family of restaurants because I desperately want to go on a date but the boy is always claiming they’re too expensive. Now he can’t complain because I’m treating!
The reason I put gift cards in my net worth is because they’re truly like cash. Think: if someone gives you a $20 Starbucks gift card, you could go blow it all over the next week, or you could save it in your wallet for those times when you really want that pick me up. It’s “free money”, true, but it also has real value and you could probably sell it to a friend or on E-Bay if you needed to. That’s what I’m trying to remember about my Home Goods gift cards. I could spend them tomorrow on an impulse purchase, but it would be even better if I saved it to get something that I really need.
Anyway that’s it for me. Hopefully November will slow some things down for me, and I’m really looking forward to the extra hour we’ll get from daylight savings time this Sunday. I’m also trying to think of either a money or diet challenge for the month. Something like “No-spend November” (for $$ spent on eating out) or “No-sugar November”. haha. It’s gimmicky but it could also be motivating. We’ll see if I can come up with anything