Financially, it was a rough January for me. I had a few things on the to-do list that I had been holding off on because they were expensive. Expensive for me. All told, the to-do list will cost me $1,700 dollars and while I’m grateful that I have the means to do what needs to be done, it’s still a financial bummer.
I’ve grown accustomed to watching my accounts and net worth rise every single month. No matter how small the rise, I make sure they are all headed north. This will be the first month in a long time that I’m forced to draw down any of my accounts for reasons other than investing. The last time I touched my emergency fund was July 10, 2017.
That was a nice run and I hope the next one is five times longer. Taking money out of my emergency fund before reaching my goal is bordering on physical pain for me.
If the expensive to-do list weren’t enough, the stock market has decided to take a dip for the last few days of January. However, this doesn’t matter to me very much because I’m decently diversified among, cash, stocks and bonds. And two of those sectors (cash and I-bonds) will not be dropping with the market.
Also, as I mentioned before, I only purchase stocks that pay dividends so I’m not concerned with the heavy market dips and dives that may or may not continue. I only care about the dividends I receive every three months for each share of stock that I own in a respective company.
The truth is, if the market really tanks I’ll be pleased because it will be the first time in my life that I’m prepared to take advantage of the situation and purchase a bunch of additional money-making dividend stocks at potentially half price or better.
Things haven’t been all gloomy for my personal economy and I think it’s better to end on a good note. I managed to add to my dividend portfolio with the purchase of SEP and I also managed to pick up additional shares of Starbucks (SBUX).
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that SBUX has increased its dividend. The dividend increase, along with the extra shares I picked up, will make for a nice upward trend in my passive income. My retirement accounts were humming along up until around January 29th. But they are still up overall because of market gains early in the month and my automatic monthly deposits.
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t include my home in my net worth. Because as far as I’m concerned, it is simply a necessary liability that has no value until I sell it or pay it off completely.
Full disclosure, I also have a business account that hovers around $3,500 that I can’t touch because $3,000 is the minimum balance required to not receive the bank’s monthly fee. It took a lot of scrimping to bring it up to the required balance but I was determined to not ever have a fee again going into the new year.
While I’m happy to have to have stopped the leak. I’m having a hard time with $3,000 of my money being held hostage to avoid fees. Only two things can happen in this situation, either I change banks in the near-future (ugh!) or I end up having so much money this year that $3,000 gaining no interest at all will be something that no longer concerns me. At any rate, I’ll start including the business account in my net worth updates.
Finally, I plan to start totaling my net worth for you once it hits the $50,000 mark. It’s a small milestone but one that I’m seriously looking forward to. Progress on this financial journey is tough and often feels too slow. But when I look back at my spreadsheets from 2016 and 2017, I know that if I weren’t being diligent about saving and stopping financial leaks like the $17/month banks fee that I was being charged for years (which, by the way, only came to my attention after I put all my finances on Personal Capital), my net worth would be $10,000 to $15,000 less than it is today.
So, continue to be diligent and patient with yourselves. We will get there!
January 2018 Net Worth Update
SEP IRA: $6,816.47
MM/E Fund: $4,125.24
Stocks (taxable) $3,850.40
Investing fund: $1,182.74
Business acct.: $3,500.00
Credit Card: $6,480 @ 0%