Graduated Learning: Life after College

I got my degree, I got a job…now what?

2011 Year in Review: Networth Update, Looking Back, Looking Forward January 1, 2012

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 6:16 pm
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Happy New Year!  It’s 2012!

A year ago today, I posted some numbers.  The changes in my finances in 2010.  So it’s time to see how I did in 2011!

How much did my assets and debts change this past year?  Check it out:

Assets:

  • Liquid assets (checking and savings accounts):
    +$15,101 (would have been ~$4k higher…see student loans below)
  • Retirement (401(k), Roth IRA, Rollover IRA):
    +$12,235 (the stock market is still a little crummy.  But I did increase my 401(k) contributions to 7% as of the end of November)
  • Car (edmunds.com private sale value):
    -$626 (I know there’s a lot of debate over including cars in net worth calculations.  I initially included it to make myself feel better about my auto loan, to balance out the ugly dip in my net worth)

Debts:

  • Credit cards:
    I pay them off every month, but if I want to be exact, I have $446 more to pay off as of December 31, 2011 than I did on January 1, 2011.

Change in net worth since last year:  +$37,386

Not as high as last year’s change of +$43,140.  But I’m still pretty impressed.

Let’s review this year!

I read a bunch of personal finance books, including Generation Earn by Kimberly Palmer and Get A Financial Life by Beth Kobliner  I did read the Personal Finance Book Club book, Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What Can Be Done About It by Mariko Chang, but never got around to reviewing it.  You can check out reviews from Savvy Working Gal and Little Miss Moneybags.  I am also halfway through John C. Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.  Spoiler alert of anything you’ll read by Bogle:  Buy low cost index funds and hold them forever.

We moved!  We used to live in a 4 bedroom apartment with roommates.  Now we live in a smaller apartment, just the two of us!  It costs a bit more to live in the new place, but it was time for a change, and we love our new apartment!

I’ve checked out a few personal finance websites.  Though I’ve tried more, I only reviewed Payoff.com and Credit Karma.  I’m a fan of both!

I tried again to get Take Control of Your Finances Day up and running.  Hope to get even more support this year to help spread it!

I started a blogging series:  My Friends are Buying Houses.  So far I just have 2 posts, but I welcome more!  Let me know if you’re interested in posting about your homebuying experience (or why you’re not buying a house yet!)

I guess there were a lot of other things that happened on my blog (and in my life) this year. You know, like paying $4k towards a student loan.  But you’ve heard about that a few times now 🙂

Reading last year’s post is funny because I realize not much has changed when it comes to my personal finance tendencies.  I’m still wishy washy about my decisions (personal finance or otherwise).  And still paying down my loans with occasional lump sums in addition to the monthly payments.  I also thought it was funny that I debated doing a $4k lump sum payment.  Which I ended up doing!  I didn’t even remember that part of the post!

So looking ahead.  Should I make the same goal I made last year?  Take the gains in my liquid assets and apply them towards my loans?  $15k would eliminate a few of my loans!  Hmmm.

I don’t have any big plans for this year (as of yet).  Maybe we’ll finally go on a big vacation (we’ve been talking about taking one for years).  That would cut into the liquid assets a bit.  But we haven’t gone on a big trip since Nicaragua in 2007 (unless you count all the weddings we’ve gone to).  We’ll see.  For now, I’m just going to relax for the last few days of my vacation, and meditate on my future goals.  I’ll try to make (and actually meet) some resolutions/goals soon!

Happy New Year!

How was your 2011?  What were your main successes?  What are your top resolutions for 2012?

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Happy New Year! January 5, 2009

I hope everyone is enjoying 2009 so far!

New Years gives a chance to both look back and look forward.  I did a bit of a review of the past year in my blogoversary post (and what a year it was!).

And, while I tend to be crummy at these sorts of things, it’s time to set some goals for the coming year.

Financial goals:

  • Attain positive net worth.  After analyzing my net worth changes using NetworthIQ, and assuming the trends will continue, I should hit a positive net worth by August.  To speed this up, I also intend to pay extra on my student loans every month.  I think I’ll pay an extra $500-1000 each month, or perhaps just change my monthly payment to what it used to be back when my rates were higher.
  • Rebalance my retirement portfolio.   My Roth IRA, rollover IRA, and 401(k) are all run by the same financial company.  They’ve run some analysis of my overall portfolio, and there are some chances that could be made overall.  I set up my new 401(k) as balanced on its own, but when you include my IRAs, the percentages of assorted get thrown off from my ideally balanced portfolio.

Other life goals:

  • Live more healthily.  I know that goals should be specific  if you’re hoping to accomplish them.  But I’m looking to you guys for some suggestions.  I know there’s exercising to be done, and healthier foods to be eaten, but other than that, I’m not sure what definite goals to make.  Well, one is to drop my BMI by 1.5.  That might sound extreme, but that means dropping less than a pound a month.  I like the idea of being a bit more in the middle of “normal” for my height than towards the top.
  • Get and then keep my room clean and organized.  My sister is pretty good at this sort of thing, so she’s offered to come by and help me with the initial clean.  I’m also reading some organization books to get myself motivated.
  • Blog more often! Let’s try at least once a week.  I’ve got some ideas in my head (including a post that further discusses the goal to be a healthier person).

So I think those are some good goals!  I’d love to hear what your goals are, and how you hope to attain them (especially if they’re health related goals, as that’s something I want to learn more about).  Are there any other goals I may have missed?

 

 
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