Welcome to my first net worth update of 2019! January was an expensive month for me. I had an unexpected tax bill, unexpected car repair bill, a couple of friends and family members with birthdays and a host of other expenses that came to just over $2,000.
I charged everything and then quickly paid it all off, which was my financial version of ripping off the band-aid. After the dust settled and the credit cards were back to zero balance due, I realized that all the scrimping and saving that I did last year was worth it.
While I wasn’t happy taking so much money out of my “paycheck-to-paycheck” (P-to-P) savings account, I was certainly happy that I had the foresight to create it in the first place. I started building the P-to-P savings account because at my last job someone ruined the payroll and diverted the company money to the wrong accounts (he was fired) and I didn’t get paid. With every bill on automatic, I woke up that Friday to a bank account deep in the red.
I didn’t have enough cash in my savings account at the same bank to get me out of the red and I had to wait two to three business days for money to transfer over from my online savings account to start cleaning things up. I vowed that day to make sure my finances never collapsed like that again because one paycheck was missed.
I commenced to saving up one month of my salary in my everyday-bank savings account even with the dismal interest rate. Six months after the first payroll mishap, guess what? It happened again. No pay on payday for me. This time, however, I was prepared. I didn’t have a full month of my salary saved but I had enough to cover my bills until they figured out the payroll SNAFU.
I didn’t miss a beat. There was no need for me to stand around the water cooler with the rest of my office mates complaining about the horror of it all.
Getting to the one-month salary saved mark wasn’t easy. It took me a little over a year to do it. Periodically, I needed to dip into those savings for an unexpected cause. That said, it was one of the best things that I’ve ever done for myself. The one thing that you never want to interrupt on your journey to financial independence is momentum. This P-to-P account prevents me from ever having to go into my emergency fund, brokerage account or having to charge something that I can’t pay in full.
I’m watching Vikings on the History Channel. This season there is an all-out war among the sons of Ragnar Lothbrok. Bjorn Ironside, the oldest brother, formed an army to attack his younger half brother Ivar, to take back land that belongs to him. Bjorn’s army was powerful and his soldiers were skilled fighters. However, Ivar the Boneless, is a war strategist like no one has ever seen before, which is why Ivar was able to take the land in first place.
When Bjorn and his armies attack the wall of Ivar’s kingdom, Ivar and his men defend it to the hilt. Meanwhile, Bjorn and his men work to take down the only entrance to the wall. It takes Bjorn and his men an absurd amount of time to penetrate the wall’s only doors. Once the door is brought down, Ivar’s kingdom would be lost to Bjorn and his mighty warriors…one would think. However, when the door finally comes down and Bjorn and his most fierce fighters charge though, they learn they have not penetrated the inner sanctum of Ivar’s kingdom. They are met with another wall equally as tall, made of stone, closed in on three sides, and with hundreds of archers aiming down at them. Bjorn’s men were all murdered and the rest were forced to retreat.
I’m working to be just as strategic with my finances as Ivar is with his military game. My P-to-P savings account represents that first wall of defense in my financial kingdom.
Are your finances setup to withstand a big financial attack (huge unexpected bills)?
Okay, time for the Net Worth Update:
January 2019 Net Worth Update
Checking $ 500.00
Savings $ 3,225.00
Business $ 3,039.00
MM/E Fund $ 9,775.00
Taxable Investment Accounts
Ally Brokerage $ 8,276.00
Investing MM $ 247.00
Vanguard $ 194.26
SEP IRA $ 8,392.00
Traditional IRA $14,589.00
Credit Card: $0.00
- Checking: This account has been very stable over the last few months. I haven’t had to transfer any money to make up for overspending. Money for bills and savings has been going in and coming out on schedule. The current $500 is spoken for and will be totally depleted the day before I get paid.
- Savings (P-to-P): Had a lot of bills to cover this month. Withdrew more than $1000 to cover them.
- SEP IRA: The market was up a lot in January. I recovered half of what I lost in Nov. and Dec. of last year.
- Traditional IRA: The market was also responsible for the boost in this account. It seems I’ll finally cross over $15,000 next month. Also, I’ll be raising the automatic deduction from $455 to $500 in April to meet the new $6,000 limit.
- Business Account: Had to cover more than $1000 in business expenses this month.
- The E/Fund: Haven’t had any reason to hit up the emergency fund so it continues to grow undisturbed.
- Stocks (taxable): This account has held up well in the market turbulence. I reached a new personal best with dividends and will post a full dividend update in March.
- Bonds: This account is doing great and is now $0.28 short of kicking me $25 a month in interest. All purchases are earning 2.83% interest until April 2019.
- Ally Investments: I haven’t been able to accumulate any money in this account because every time it hits $250 to $300 I’m looking to buy stock.
- Credit Card Debt: Currently stands at ZERO. I’m not a Dave Ramsey follower, per se, but I believe paying off consumer debt is Baby Step No. 2. If you’re on top of your financial game with the hope of being financially independent, you will have to eliminate all credit card debt. There is no getting around it. There is no downside to getting rid of all your credit card debt. I’m able to save and invest all the money I once had to pay in credit card debt.
It is a fight to build wealth no matter where you are in the process. Everything around us conspires to take money out of our hands. But you must fight the good fight. Continue to save, invest and grow your net worth even when it seems impossible. Save your pennies (copper) until they become dollars (cotton).