I sat down for my monthly financial review recently to see what sort of progress I’d made in the last month. I generally break things down by evaluating my assets, my debts, and then my net worth, and then using these numbers, I attempt to set goals for the coming month. This is a useful exercise for everyone to do, simply so they can keep tabs on their overall assets. Let’s break it down.
Assets My assets increased in value by only 0.4% this month. The biggest reason for this was that I expended a large amount paying off my truck loan, knocking off almost a year’s worth of payments at once. I also purchased a new laptop. I was almost surprised to find that my asset values had actually increased for the month, as I expected a slight drop for the month. I attribute the gain to a good month for my retirement plans.
Debts My debts overall went down by 1.5% this month. Why not more, with my truck loan being paid off? Christmas spending was the culprit, as I put my Christmas gift purchases on a credit card to earn bonus points and I’m taking advantage of my ongoing interest-free period on the card to not pay it off all at once. Next month, I’m going to whack away a large piece of that balance, so my debt reduction should be nice next month.
Net Worth With my assets going up and my debts going down, my net worth took a nice 3.7% bump again this month. That felt really, really good, considering I purchased a new laptop (which I’m not counting as an asset, so the cost is a loss) during the month and also purchased lots of Christmas gifts.
Last Month’s Goals (see last month’s review)
1. An asset increase of 0.5% I just barely missed this goal. The reason? Core 2 Duo and 2 GB of RAM in my laptop. I look at it as an investment to extend the life of the machine.
2. A debt reduction of 1.5% I made this goal!
Now that Christmas, a laptop purchase, and the paying off of my truck loan are out of the way, January should be a good month. Let’s put the bar up high, shall we?
This Month’s Goals
1. An asset increase of 1.5% I managed 0.4% while dumping out several months of truck payments at once. How can I do without dumping out those payments?
2. A debt reduction of 3% That credit card balance is going away, or at least getting tiny, next month