January 2015 Net Worth Update (-$20,867)




Highlights for January

  • We have earned approx $3,000 (in gift cards, points, and miles) through 6 credit card signup bonuses last year. Our credit scores are still hovering around 800, but since we have no plans to utilize our credit for other financing anytime soon, we are making a little money off our credit scores by taking advantage of these promotional opportunities.We are not spending extra, but focusing our spending on these new cards to earn the bonuses.
  • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions.
  • Our expenses were up significantly in January namely due to Christmas spending overhang. A large portion of this was ~$1,600 in giftcards (with promotional discounts) we purchased for ourselves since we knew we would use them in the next several months. The biggest spend was the 10% of Target giftcards during Black Friday since we do the majority of our food shopping @ SuperTarget.
  • We filed an homeowner's insurance claim late last year for hail damage to our roof. In January we had a new roof put on and paid $500 out of pocket to the contractor for a ~$8,600 roof.
  • I was on business trips for approximately half of January. Our family expenses are now ticking up when I'm traveling more whereas previously we were saving a bit of money. This primarily due to my wife having to take care of 2 young kids on her own with less help. I also had about $500 in reimbursed travel expense in Jan that under my new employer take a bit longer to get reimbursed than before (approx 1.5 months vs 2 weeks).
  • I made an additional investment of ~$2,100 in Genworth which contributed to our cash reduction but otherwise was a quiet investment month. I haven't spent enough time recently on keeping up with our overall finances (including our investments) and its beginning to show.
  • Im still trying to understand why our networth dropped $20k in January. Obviously the US markets being down ~4% was a major part of that, but Im guessing also our account totals at the end of January may have been off a bit - we will see if February brings a bit of balance. If not I'm concerned that I'm not paying close enough attention to our cash flows.

  • December 2014 Net Worth Update (+$1,239)




    Highlights for December

    • We have earned approx $3,000 (in gift cards, points, and miles) through 6 credit card signup bonuses this year. Our credit scores are still hovering around 800, but since we have no plans to utilize our credit for other financing anytime soon, we are making a little money off our credit scores by taking advantage of these promotional opportunities.We are not spending extra, but focusing our spending on these new cards to earn the bonuses.
    • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions. For those interested, our November Zillow property estimates are: $205,750; $127,006; $296,989; and $227,259 (total: $857,004 vs $751,255 on balance sheet).
    • Our expenses were up significantly in December due to Christmas shopping and annual real estate tax payments for 2 of our rental properties. We ended the month with our net worth balance up slightly.
    • I switched from AT&T to Cricket Wireless for my cell phone this month. My contract recently ended and I was able to purchase a phone with a Cyber Monday deal. I paid $210 for a new phone (my current phone had become unreliable. I reduced my monthly bill from an average of $70/month to $35/month. The change increases the minutes and texts available to me, but throttles my data after 1G (vs 2G w/ ATT) and doesn't offer the same international connectivity. Its worth it to me to cut our monthly phone bill in 1/2. We expect to save $420 (annual savings $35 x12) - $210 (cost of phone) = $210 over the course of the first year.


    November 2014 Net Worth Update (+$26,286)




    Highlights for November

    • Between my wife and I we have earned approx $3,000 (in gift cards, points, and miles) through 6 credit card signup bonuses this year. Our credit scores are still hovering around 800, but since we have no plans to utilize our credit for other financing anytime soon, we are making a little money off our credit scores by taking advantage of these promotional opportunities.We are not spending extra, but focusing our spending on these new cards to earn the bonuses.
    • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions. For those interested, our November Zillow property estimates are: $205,750; $127,006; $296,989; and $227,259 (total: $857,004 vs $751,255 on balance sheet).
    • My former employer (IBM) paid our our annual 401k match in November after my business unit was sold to Lenovo. The match made for a healthy increase in our pre-tax retirement accounts this month.
    • Our balance sheet improved in November, but doing some quick number crunching I suspect I will be a bit surprised in the return on our portfolio we experienced in 2014, likely in the low single digits. More to come once we close out the year in January.
    • Other wise a very quiet month. I took a two week international business trip in November and added to some of our frequent flyer/guest accounts. Now I just need to find time to enjoy them w/ my family!


    Free EPIX HD Online Trial till March 6


    EPIX is offering a free trial until March 6 for their online movie streaming subscription. No credit card or existing cable account required to signup. I've signed up and used my account on an Android tablet and Chromecast. Per their website they also have apps for Apple, Roku, XBOX, PS3/4 devices.

    What is EPIX? Its a cable movie channel and the service is similar to a netflix subscription with focus on movie content.

    hat tip to slickdeals.net for the find.


    October 2014 Net Worth Update (+$11,916)




    Highlights for October

    • Between my wife and I we have earned approx $3,000 (in gift cards, points, and miles) through 6 credit card signup bonuses this year. Our credit scores are still hovering around 800, but since we have no plans to utilize our credit for other financing anytime soon, we are making a little money off our credit scores by taking advantage of these promotional opportunities.We are not spending extra, but focusing our spending on these new cards to earn the bonuses.
    • Our properties are listed on our balance sheet based on their cost basis, not current market value. We have done this during the the real estate market highs and lows. I believe real estate is too illiquid to list based on recent sale transactions. For those interested, our October Zillow property estimates are: $204,473; $127,463; $296,877; and $226,616 (total: $855,429 vs $751,255 on balance sheet).
    • Our balance sheet appears pretty muted for October, regaining some of the ground lost in September.
    • My job feels all-consuming as I struggle to find better balance between work, family, and everything else. On the plus side I feel like if I can hang in there for 5-8 more years we will have likely reached our financial goals and feel comfortable perhaps making some unconventional lifestyle changes.
    • As I settle in at the new company we also get adjusted to our new benefits. After looking at the health care options is looks like the high-deductible health care plan may the lowest cost plan regardless of whether we have a lot or just a little health expenses. Guess we will give it a try!


    Last 15 Personal Finance Entries


    10/19/2014 | GUL Cash Accumulation Fund
    10/07/2014 | September 2014 Net Worth Update (-$14,957)
    09/27/2014 | Free Museum Day 2014
    09/05/2014 | August 2014 Cash Flow
    09/03/2014 | August 2014 Net Worth Update (+$32,704)
    08/03/2014 | July 2014 Net Worth Update (-$12,499)
    07/20/2014 | Toyota Sienna 2014 Purchase Breakdown
    07/10/2014 | June Net Worth Update (+$19,776)
    06/10/2014 | May 2014 Net Worth Update (+$17,335)
    05/12/2014 | April 2014 Net Worth Update (-$5,069)
    04/07/2014 | Car Purchasing Decision: Minivan or Not?
    04/03/2014 | March 2014 Net Worth Update (+$14,117)
    03/09/2014 | Chairmen Letters to Shareholders
    03/04/2014 | February 2014 Net Worth Update (+$21,948)
    02/23/2014 | Investment Performance January 2014 (-2.94%)

About 2millionblog.com

A personal finance weblog of my journey to reach my goal of $2 million + the value of my primary residence.
Current Net Worth: $1,343,091

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