Once again, it’s time for a monthly review of my finances. I generally break things down by evaluating my assets and my debts (which together make up 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 and debts and make sure that they are consistently heading in the right direction. Let’s break it down.
This month, I really tightened things down and focused heavily on debt repayment, which is why you see that my total debt went down 1.2% this month. I knocked off a big chunk of student loan debt this month and didn’t spend very much at all. It was a good feeling, one that I intend to repeat in coming months.
How are we doing this? Early in November, we sat down and assembled a debt snowball for all of our remaining debts – our student loans and our mortgage. We’re throwing our money at this snowball as hard as we can, watching the debt disappear. Our anticipated date for the first payoff is next July, and then the remaining loan will be done in October, after which we’ll start hammering away on our mortgage.
What about next month? The month of December looks to be one that will see a lot of extra expenses due to the Christmas season. Thus, my goals for the coming month are relatively easy:
Asset growth of 0.2% This should largely result from normal deposits into my retirement fund and having slightly more in checking and savings at the end of the month than at the start.
Debt reduction of 1% I’ve set up a lot of large automatic payments on my student loan debts, so this is roughly what should occur with those payments, and perhaps one extra one (a Christmas gift to myself, in the form of peace of mind).
Christmas gift-giving without worry This is the first year in my entire life where I’ll be able to give nice Christmas gifts without financial worry. I really look forward to it.