Let’s talk about September. September was a good financial month for many reasons. Some of these reasons were more obvious than others. Some reasons I didn’t even put together in my head until September was over. Let’s get into it.
1. Hubs and I combined finances!
After 2 years of co-habitation and 3 whole years of marriage, Hubs and I finally have a joint checking account and combined finances. For all financial intents and purposes, we are now one. Friday’s paychecks marked the first time we’ve entered a month as a financial unit. To prepare for any implementation hiccups, I am hoarding cash. The actual method we’ve chosen to corral our spending was Hubs idea. As the finance nerd in the family, it was exciting to have him be a key part of the process. I’m looking forward to having 1 account to manage.
2. My student loans have been gone for 6 whole months!
I didn’t realize the significance of the day when September 27 passed. It marked 6 whole months since my last repayment day. I still feel a little lost not working toward such an aggressive goal, but every day it gets better. Happy Half Student Loan Payoff Anniversary to me!
3. Effectively Debt Free!
September marks a glorious occasion! I am effectively debt free! Because my car loan interest rate is 1%, I’ve decided to make the scheduled payment and not attack it. The interest rate is too good. After 6 month of saving, I officially have more in my House Fund than I owe on my car. Hooray! This feels pretty excellent. It’s also pretty cool to think that had I gone after it, my car would have been paid off in under 6 months.
Due to the different in interest rates between my car and my savings account, I’m technically losing .25% on my money today, but over 3 years, I expect it to be a wash. 1% is cheap money and I’m happy to take advantage of that, especially as my goals overlap.
4. A Mental Investment Break Through!
Over the last 2 months, when the market played its game, I’ve thought about how I feel today with my current investments and how I would feel if I had a big nest egg. For two months, I’ve belittled my baby nest egg and been thankful that I don’t have much invested. Then, it dawned on me. I didn’t actually know how much I had invested. I knew my individual accounts, but I’d never aggregated my 401k, Roth, Taxable and the invested part of my HSA. When I did, I realized I had just over $30,000 working for me. Simply knowing that number felt different. That’s a lot of coin!
I’m a newbie and you may be a newbie. Let’s be newbies together and celebrate that we got started. My current road is different than a seasoned investor. Yes, its good to learn how to handle market downturns with a smaller balance, but I (and we) should really stop comparing financial swings to people who’ve been investing for years.
September 2014: I started the month in Scotland (that beautiful country). I had $25,485 in student loans remaining. With this wonderful community’s support, I came out to Hubs as a blogger. I can’t believe I kept this from his for so long. To this day, no one else knows.
September 2013: A whole lot of nothing. I turned 27 and had a law degree with no job to show for it. The dark depression days were starting. It was a bad time. It’s amazing what can change in a year.
September 2015: A New Financial Beginning
Retirement: $20,248 (+544) I broke through $20,000!!! I went from $0 in August 2013 to $20,000 just over 2 years later. Those 2 years include 6 months of unemployment and 14 months of debt slaying. My brain tried to be sad about this number because 1 year of maxing a 401k is $18,000 and I’ve lost that space. But no no. It is time to be positive. This is a pretty sweet accomplishment and I need to be proud of it.
To get over $20k, I capitalized on one of the downturns this month and threw some extra into the market. I have little to show for it now. I’m thankful to walk through these crappy returns while I have a small balance. It’s all training for the balances to come.
Taxable: $8,485 I presume this is still down. I try not to look because I like the surprise in December. I’m concerned this account will be down overall for the year, even with the dividends. Please don’t let that happen Market! I don’t want to go backwards!
Auto Value: $13,000 Valuing cars is stupid. I’m going to keep this as $13,000 until the end of the year and then I’ll re-calculate. If anything happens to the car between now and then, I’ll also re-calculate. Recalculating, Recalculating. After that, I’ll update it every 6 months.
House Fund: $11,593 (+1,564) A good month for the House Fund and a great month with context. I am hoarding cash in my checking account while Hubs and I get through the finance merger. It’s not a lot of cash, but we were consciously conservative adding money to House Fund this month. I view this as a vault. Once money comes into this account, I don’t want it to leave (unless of course, we buy a house!) I’m happy to accept smaller progress this month.
Round Two Progress: (What is Round Two? check here!)
- Baby Saver: $2125 ✔
- Middle Saver: $7953 (Loan value: $5828) ✔
- Thing 1: $16,453 (Loan value: $8500) >in progress<
- Yee! $10,593 down, $4,859 to go!
- Things 2: $24,953 (Loan value: $8500)
- Big Momma: $45,330 (Loan value: $20,377)
Thought Bubble: I would love to break into working on Thing 2 before the end of the year. How far can I get?
HSA: $4,757 (+155) There were several doctor visits in September for Hubs…. and dental visits for both of us. I view this little increase as the calm before the storm. I would love to keep this above $4500 for the year. We’ll see how it all hits.
Car Fund: $175 (+74) I shuffled some money around again. Poor Car Fund. This is where I go to pull money when I want to throw extra into my index funds. I need to stop playing around with this. It’s become a futile account. Leave it alone, Kate. Leave it alone.
Student Loan: $0! 6 months with no student loans!! *does a little dance*
Car Loan: $9,848 (-374) Look at that 🙂 Under $10,000. I lost a digit! It’s beautiful 🙂
- Net worth: $48,410. Up $2,711 from last month.
I wanted to hit $50,000 this month, but that didn’t happen. Had the markets behaved, I could have gotten there and that’s progress enough for me. Pending any disasters, I should cross that line with ease in October.
- Net worth increase: $125/day
How was your September? Tell me, tell me! Did you cross any milestones? Share and we can celebrate!