Net Worth Update – January 2016

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Welcome to my monthly net worth post for January, 2016. Each month, I post a complete breakdown of my net worth, along with a chart showing the progression of my net worth since the start of this blog. Posting my net worth helps keep me accountable for what I do with my money, and motivates me to make better choices and push to reach new goals. You can see previous net worth updates here

January wasn’t exactly the start to 2016 that I was hoping for. At least not financially speaking. I ended the month at a loss over last month.

January 2016 Net Worth:

Net Worth - 0116
Net Worth as of January 31, 2016

All said, I lost $422 in January. Not the end of the world. There were numerous things that attributed to the loss, some of which are obvious from the numbers, and some of which aren’t. The drop in the market is obvious: My 401(k) lost $681, and my Roth IRA lost $73. My 401(k) should actually be a bit higher: For some reason my weekly contribution and my employer’s monthly contribution haven’t hit my account yet. I briefly considered adding those amounts to the total for the month, but in the end decided against it. I don’t want to start into adding things every month. It’s so much easier to just count the numbers as they are in the accounts.

What isn’t so obvious? My emergency fund is down $1,000 this month. My cash accounts vary month to month, so it really isn’t obvious that the money is gone. Where did it go? With it being winter, Bryan is laid off. He’s managed to pick-up a few odd jobs here and there, but it definitely isn’t the same as his full-time job. We’re mostly down to one income. Not a big deal; That’s what the emergency fund is for!

Depending on the weather, things should be back to normal in the next couple of months. In the mean-time, I’ll reduce what I’m paying towards my car loan, instead of pulling any more from the emergency fund. For now, I don’t plan to build the emergency fund back to $5,000; The $4,000 that’s there now should be enough for any emergencies that should come up. I want to keep my focus on the car loan, for now.

This should be the last rough winter for Bryan. I’m not implying that he won’t get laid off again. Until he retires, layoffs will likely be a normal part of his job. The difference will be preparation. Bryan lost his salaried position in September of 2014 unexpectedly. He had no chance to prepare for being laid off. He spent most of 2015 struggling to stay afloat. In 2016, he’ll no longer have a house payment, along with a variety of smaller monthly expenses. Once the season starts off again, he’ll be able to payoff all his debts, and then start saving for next year. By the time layoffs come again in 2016, he should be prepared.

So, I’m down a little in January. I knew that was a possibility going into the month. It could have been better. It could have been worse. I’m not going to stress about it. February should definitely see some improvement.

Net Worth Progress Chart:

My net wroth update since the start of this blog (February, 2013).
Monthly Net Worth since the start of this blog (February, 2013).

Of course, I’d love to see my net worth going up every month. But the reality is, life doesn’t really work that way. We save, we spend, we try to roll with what life brings our way. I have a solid plan, and if I can continue to stick with it, things will start heading in the right direction again.

  • Cindy W.

Comments

  1. All in all, that’s a pretty small drop. At least, compared to what I’ve seen around the web from other bloggers.

    I try to ignore our retirement accounts, since they’re paltry and any drops make me jumpy. But I’m sure we lost some. It’ll come back over time.

    Sorry that your husband’s situation is so tenuous. You’re doing far better than I would inre: not freaking out.

    1. Yes, it could have been much, much worse. Although, I think part of that is because my accounts don’t have very large balances, and I’m still contributing every month. The contributions are helping to round out the losses, so it doesn’t look like much.

      I’ve been round and round in my head how to handle the market fluctuations and net worth updates. Overall, the variance doesn’t bother me, since I know if will be many, many years before I touch the money. But, at the same time, I hate that it’s pulling down my net worth. But that’s more from the stance of wanting to make my goals than anything.

      Bryan and I aren’t married (yet!), so we keep separate finances. I think that kind of insulates me from some of the worry. That being said, we live a pretty inexpensive lifestyle: I could fully support us on my salary. It would slow down my progress on paying off my car, but overall, wouldn’t be a big deal. I think the biggest struggle is more his pride. Especially since he was such a high-earner until a year and a half ago. Now he feels like he’s starting over again.

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