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January 2016 Net Worth Update: We’re Getting Closer to Zero!

january 2016 net worth update were getting closer to zero
Don’t worry — I wasn’t hiding anything from you when I didn’t post a net worth update last month! I was just too busy making Christmas happen for my family. Now that the holiday season has died down, I have a chance to regroup and debrief about December. Plus, I think it’s really important to look at the year ahead and set some goals and priorities.

I’m thrilled to report that we moved the needle even closer to zero last month!

I’m also going to do quarterly financial updates instead of monthly updates. I think we’ll be better able to separate the hiccups from the trends that way.

January Net Worth Update:

December 2015 Net Worth
December 2015 Net Worth

Cash: +$2,126. 

Credit Cards: -$1,445.   

Loans: -$267.  

Investments:  -$481. Although the markets have taken some dips, we continue to invest 6% of our net salaries into our retirement accounts. The best part of this arrangement is that only 3% of our income goes towards this goal, and our employers contribute the other 3%.

Net Worth: + $2,826. We are so close to zero net worth — and I hope we can get there by the end of the year!

November Goals:

      • Finish Christmas Shopping: SUCCESS! Obviously, I got this done, because Christmas is over! Unfortunately, I missed the mailing deadline for some gifts because I just couldn’t churn out the ornaments fast enough. But I did discover that the $5.95 flat rate Priority shipping boxes are cheaper than mailing in my own mailer — no matter that the ornaments were really light. So, procrastination didn’t cost me more this year.
      • Improve our heating efficiency: SUCCESS! 
      • Contribute to a savings account for capital expenditures: SUCCESS! It’s not much, but I have been slowly adding our “leftover” cash in our checking account at the end of the month to a savings account. 
      • Open a credit card so we can “travel hack” our way to a family reunion next Spring: SUCCESS!   I contacted the fabulous Holly Johnson at Club Thrifty for a credit card recommendation and she quickly knew what card would be the best fit for us. This card gives 50,000 bonus points for signing up, which translate to 50,000 Southwest miles — enough for the entire family to travel! If you’re thinking about travel hacking, send her an email (HERE) and see what she recommends!

Q1 Goals:

      • Meet the Minimum Spend on the New Credit Card: No, we’re not going to spend more than usual. I’m going to set aside my favorite card, my American Express Blue Cash Rewards, and instead focus on spending on our new Chase Sapphire.
      • Keep a Frugal Lifestyle: We will soon find out what Mr. Stapler’s bonus will be. Unlike last year, when we spent Mr. Stapler’s side hustle income before we received it, I don’t want to spend any of his bonus until it hits the bank. 
      • Establish a Plan for The Bonus: We have a lot of options when it comes to spending The Bonus. I want to attack the “problem” rationally and have a plan before we get the money.

What do you think we should do with The Bonus? 

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    1. We are planning to see the in-laws in June, but the tickets are $500 each. The new credit card offers a 50,000 mileage bonus that would allow us to fly for free. But the bonus is only issued if we spend $3,000 in the first 90 days of having the card. Unfortunately, we have a $900 medical bill that will get us 1/3 of the way towards the minimum spend.

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