2015: A year in review!

2015.

What a year.

It was my first year with my head officially on straight with my finances. I guess, I’ve been on top of things for a while, but 2015 is when things felt like they clicked.

I made a lot of progress in several directions in 2015. I paid off my student loans, but refused to pay off my car. I drained my house fund, only to fill it back up again. I effectively started saving for retirement and began investing my HSA dollars. There was a lot of movement. Let’s see if I can set it all straight.

The Liabilities!

2015 was a tale of two different approaches to liabilities. Approach One: KILL IT; and Approach Two: DON’T KILL IT!

I brought nearly $16,000 of student loans into 2015. I had an excellent month in January, when I received my work bonus and drained my original house fund. In February and March, I found all the extra dollars I could to finish off my loans.

In contrast, I’ve paid nothing but the bare minimum payment on my car loan. I made a steady dent in the principal of between $370 and $376 per month, with the exception of January where it only dropped $360.

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 The Assets!

It was a strong year for asset growth. I rode the waive of paying off my loans and threw the momentum into saving.

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Retirement: +$16,118 The poor market performance in 2015 means that nearly all of this are my contributions. Over half of this is Roth contributions, as I filled up 2014 and 2015 during this calendar year.

I also began contributing to my 401k with a vengeance. I only contributed a measly 1% in 2014 as I threw everything I could at my student loans. In 2015, it was time to turn up the heat.

Taxable: 😦 -$262  I’m not contributing to this, and don’t plan to for quite some time. This was a tough account to watch over the year. It grew from $3000 to $8500 without me paying attention. I finally chose to pay attention and it drops in value. Do better, taxable investment. Do better.

Auto Value: -$2,595 The value of my car dropped more than I expected during 2015. This doesn’t matter much because I like the car and have no intentions of selling it. I’m glad that I’m above water with the car. I also pay off more of the balance each month than the car depreciates. I look forward to the day this is paid off and the value is all equity.

House Fund: +$7,755 This isn’t as impressive when I zoom out for the whole year. I liquidated the original house fund early in the year and built it back up after my loans were paid off.

HSA: +$2,642 2015 was an expensive year when it came to health expenses. Hubs had back problems and I dealt with knee and chest problems. Overall, I’m impressed this account went up by as much as it did. With only being able to contribute $3,350, $2,642 looks even healthier for growth!

Car Fund: +$251 This account is not my best savings effort. I’m happy to see it growing, but $251 over an entire year is a bit weak. Thankfully, I haven’t needed anything in this account for car expenses.  Now if only I can keep my mitts off of it!

Overall

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12 months of Financial Awareness

2015 was a strong financial year. I don’t have anything negative to say. I started the year with a net worth of $14,152 and finished at $58,442. I finished the year just shy of a $45k net worth increase. I set a goal to increase my net worth by $100 per day or $36,500/ year. As you can see below, I finished the year at $121/day.

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I’m excited to see what 2016 has in store!

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12 comments

  1. YAY! What a great year. Look at that graph! And your net worth increase?! Amazing what a year can do when you’re on fire! I’m hoping to see our net worth climb tremendously this year as well. 🙂

  2. What a great year. I love seeing when liabilties drop in comparison to assets and networth growth. 😀 2015 was a good year for you. Cheers. Here’s to 2016. 🙂

  3. Wohoo — you killed it! I’m so glad you broke down the whole year, and built that pretty sedimentary rock chart. Sometimes in small scale, it’s hard to see the progress, but $121 gain per day during a flat market year? Awesome stuff.

    1. You are so right. It is so easy to get caught up in monthly (or even daily stock market) changes. Zooming out over a whole year really puts things in perspective. And the perspective is good.
      Cheers to more sedimentary rock charts!

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