Net Worth Review: December 2009

Last month was pretty good and let us close out on a positive note.

Assets:

  •  Property – Zillow and CyberHomes estimates both went down, but in months previous I’ve been discounting their values by a few percentage points.  Recent home sales in our neighborhood have shown that I might have been undervaluing things, so I reduced the percentage that I’ve been lowering things.  It actually caused the reported value to be just about even to last month.  I’ll take it versus lower values which was the norm for most of the first three quarters of the year.
  • Autos – We purchased a new “used” car last month and should be set with cars for the long term future.  This amount decreased by an expected amount due to standard depriciation.
  • Investment Accounts – We saw a modest 4% gain for the month, which I’m happy with any time!
  • Cash – Cash decreased a little but it was expected as we’re going through some of our earmarked Christmas money. 
  • Retirement – Our retirement account went up about 4.5% due to contributions plus market gains. 

Debt:

  • Property – We made our standard mortgage payment.
  • Student loans – Minimum payments here for the month as has been the usual lately.
  • Credit cards – If you’ve been following my updates, you might recall that this flucuated in months pasts, but that we never carried a balance.  I was not pleased with how this looked, and I made the decision to track any credit card balances that we pay off every month (i.e. all of them) as an offset to cash.  Therefore, unless we for some reason start carrying a credit card balance, this will be $0.
  • Auto – We’ve paid off both cars outright so we have no auto loans!

I’m happy with the monthly progress that we made and think that it was a nice last report for the year.

Stay tuned and I will do a 2009 recap within a few days.

Happy Holidays!

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Student Loan Status

Here’s the status of one of the two student loans we have.  This one started off with the bigger balance and had the higher interest rate.  Notice I use the past tense!!!!

Account Summary

Serviced by……

Key Alternative Loan
KEYCORP STUDENT LOAN TRUST (xxxxxx)

Status: Paid In Full

  • Account Balance: $0.00
Woo hoo!

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Crafted Our Christmas Budget

Mrs. Beagle and I sat down a couple of weeks ago and came up with our preliminary Christmas budget.

This year, as part of our ongoing effort to ‘level’ as many expenses as possible, we started saving for Christmas gifts back in January.  We’ve contributed an equal amount every month, and therefore will not have to do any scrambling to ensure that everything gets paid off.

Now that we had the amount available to us, it was actually kind of fun to sit down and come up with the budget.  We listed out everybody that we needed to buy for and started putting amounts that we wanted to spend.   We did some tweaking, but actually came within our budget on the second pass!

We had to make some cuts, which we had talked about way in advance.  Most of the cuts are in what Mrs. Beagle and I purchase for each other.   We looked back and laughed at how extravagent we were back a few years ago before we got married.  Back then, I lived in a smaller condo, she lived with her parents, we both had jobs, and there was no Baby Beagle expenses.  So, we had a lot more disposable income and we spent quite a bit.

Now, we’ve cut that back significantly, but we’re both totally fine with that.  We now spend a lot of time looking for deals to get the most ‘bang for our buck’, so it really looks like we have gotten each other more.  Plus, this year, our greatest gift is the priceless one that was born back in May, when Baby Beagle was born!  There’s no greater gift than to watch your baby grow!

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Net Worth Review: November 2009

Last month was a pretty good month.

The biggest thing that happened, which drastically accounted for some shifting, was that I sold my old car and we purchased a newer SUV from my parents.  As a result, our cash holdings went down (which is OK, since I had earmarked money specifically for the purchase of a car) and our value of automobiles went up.  The value of the autos went up more than cash went because I had ‘written off’ a portion of the earmarked cash.  When I originally started saving, I thought we might possibly purchase a ‘new’ car, which usually sees a big chunk of depreciation the moment you drive it off the lot.

Assets:

  •  Property – Zillow estimated the price of our house to have fallen a few hundred dollars, but this is pretty much unchanged.
  • Autos – This went up significantly because the car we purchased is worth more than the car we sold.
  • Investment Accounts – The market was pretty choppy but ended up pretty flat.  Our investment holdings went up just under 1% in value.  Not a lot, but no complaints since up is better than down!
  • Cash – As mentioned, this dropped because of the purchase of a more expensive car.
  • Retirement – Our retirement account went up due to contributions plus the small market gains.

Debt:

  • Property – We made our standard mortgage payment
  • Student loans – Minimum payments here for the month as has been the usual lately.
  • Credit cards – We don’t carry a balance, so this is just what’s accrued on the card since we last paid the bill.  Because this varies and makes things look worse, I’m thinking of eliminating this, and tracking it by lowering our ‘cash’ by the amount we currently owe.  This would make for much smaller month-to-month swings
  • Auto – This stayed at zero as we were able to pay cash for the car.  That’s the first time I’ve ever been able to do so!  I do have to be honest, and admit that my parents did give us a ‘deal’ on the car, but either way, we had planned all along to pay cash for the car, and I’m very glad that we were able to meet this goal and avoid any new debt.

Overall, our net worth went up around 3.3% for the month.  We are at another new ‘All Time High’ when you remove the impact of the property (both on the asset and debt side).  We are also at an ‘All Time High’ for retirement savings.  Woo hoo!

I think I need to check my Excel formulas, because I would think that since I reduced the value of our asset, that the change in Net Worth Including Property should be lower than the Net Worth Excluding Property, but it’s the other way around.  Hmmmm……

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