March 27, 2009

March 2009 Net Worth Update (+$3,253.07)

We had a good increase to our new worth in March. In increased $3,253.07 from last month to $42,636.19 (click on spreadsheet below).

What worked:

We contributed $943.94 to our retirement accounts (401k and Roth IRAs) and saw them increase a total of $3,185.34 over last month. Pretty amazing! We rolled my wife’s old 401(k) to a traditional IRA this month. My wife also received a $862.00 quarterly bonus ($490.91 net) from her old company.

What did not work:

We saved a total of $820.00, but had to pull $1,279 for federal income taxes and $745 for state income taxes. We had been saving up for our tax bill, so this withdrawal was not unexpected. It did, however, reduce our savings balance. We had a $215.36 medical bill for my wife come due. We also purchased a Nintendo Wii video game console and accessories for $344.77. What’s life without a little splurging along the way?

Next month:

April should be another good month for saving money, both in our savings account and retirement accounts. I have a large gym membership bill coming due (15 months prepaid) and we may have another medical bill of ~$285 for my wife.

March 21, 2009

Personal Finance Rap Off

Budgets are Sexy put together a PF Rap Off post that is original and hilarious. Click here to check it out.

March 18, 2009

Wife Opened a Traditional IRA

My wife rolled over a $1,493.85 balance from her old company 401(k) into an traditional IRA with Vanguard. We already have our Roth IRAs with Vanguard and like the company. She chose to invest the traditional IRA money in Vanguard STAR Fund (VGSTX) a balanced fund of stocks, bonds, and short-term investments. She is eligible to contribute to her new company 401(k) in April.

March 15, 2009

Quarterly bonus

My wife just received her quarterly bonus from her old company. She earned a $862.00 bonus that came to $490.91 after taxes. While it wasn't as large as her last quarterly bonus ($2,028.95 net), it's "extra" money that we weren't planning on receiving. After tithing a portion of the bonus, the rest will go into savings.

March 12, 2009

1MansMoney blog is 2 years old!

1MansMoney blog is 2 years old and I'm happy to say that we've come a long way in our journey to retire early. Having started with a negative net worth of -$3,168.85 in February of 2007, we’ve progressed to our current net worth of $39,003.57.

This blog has been a great way to organize our thoughts and track our progress. I appreciate everyone who reads it and want to thank those who take the time to post comments and/or email. The feedback is very helpful and motivating.

March 11, 2009

A Few Extra Bucks In Our Pockets

I received my paycheck today and noticed it was ~$30 more than usual. The controller of my company said that our checks will all be a bit higher than usual because of the Economic Stimulus Act. Rather than issue rebate checks as in the past, the government is adjusting downwards the withholding tables and putting a little more money in our hands thru bigger paychecks. Mines going in the bank.

March 5, 2009

Got a Good Scare

A couple of days ago, my boss told me that the Owner of our company may be laying off 20% of the company and that my name came up during a conversation. He explained that it was because I am not putting in enough extra hours during this very tough time for our company. I explained to him that, in addition to coming into work earlier than everyone each morning, I spend evening and weekends at home working.
Long story short, my boss spoke with the Owner cleared it up. I have also decided to put in extra "face time" at the office in the evenings to eliminate any perception that I am not working enough hours. Thankfully, our sales are up and there won't be a layoff this month. My boss assured me that I would not be let go if we do another layoff.

My wife and I have decided to focus on building our cash reserves again and reduce our retirement contributions. This will serve two purposes: 1st to provide security should I lose my job and 2nd to help us save for a house if I do not lose my job.

March 1, 2009

February 2009 Income statement

February was an okay income month (click on spreadsheet below) considering it was the first full month of my wife being laid off and my company reduced my salary 10% (from $70,460/year to $63,423/year). Like January, it was also a good month for keeping our expenses low.

In addition to my two paychecks (the 2nd of which included my 10% salary reduction), my wife received a $2,025.00 in unemployment and $180 for babysitting. We also received $20 from selling two items on, and earned interest income on our savings account of $8.27.

We were able to continue keeping our spending down for the second month in a row and only spent $5,759.69 in February. That’s just a bit above our January total and well below our budget. That’s pretty good considering I took my wife with me on a week long business trip to the East Coast. We split meals as much as possible because my company pays for me, but we still had a larger than usual “dining” and “entertainment” totals this month.

Next month should be a strong income month with my wife’s new job and her final bonus check from old company. Expensewise, we have ~$2,000 in Federal and State taxes to pay and ~$800 in medical bills that may come due. Our fuel costs should go down a bit because my wife is getting a company car and gas card.