Graduated Learning: Life after College

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

Money: 2012 Year in Review January 9, 2013

Filed under: General Blogging,Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 10:28 pm
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Happy New Year!  It’s 2013! I’ve been posting my yearly changes in assets and debts for the past few years now.  One thing I noticed this time around is that the changes in my liquid assets and my student loans are just about the same as they were last time around. How much did my assets and debts change this past year?  Check it out:

Assets:

  • Retirement (401(k), Roth IRA, Rollover IRA):  +$28,369
  • Car (edmunds.com private sale value): -$938 (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 $713 less to pay off as of the same time last year.

Change in net worth since last year:  +$55,194. Booya!

It turns out, I didn’t post very often.  Only 26 posts!  And quite a few of them talked about fitness.  That became quite a focus for me this year.  (More on that in a separate post).  Though I definitely thought about money and fitness together!

Looking back at my old personal finance related posts….remember the Approved Card from Suze Orman?  I wasn’t a fan.

I shared my story about getting into and (partially) out of student debt.

I confessed that I have a strange relationship with shopping, especially when it comes to Kohls.

I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff, and keep thinking about the big picture.

My nagging tendency was in full force when I told you that there were NO EXCUSES when it comes to opening an IRA.

I tackled the yearly concern of Benefits Open Enrollment.

I converted my traditional IRA into my Roth IRA.  Which also means that the networth numbers will be lowered in the next few months when I have to pay taxes on the converted amount.  Shhhhh.  Don’t worry, I have the money saved to pay the taxes, but we’ll recalculate things later.

And, even though this is more in the fitness than the personal finance category, I’m really glad I did the Walk For Hunger last year.  I look forward to doing it again in 2013!

I mused on twitter that I might try to pay off my entire student loan balance by the end of the year.  Not sure yet if I’ll actually do it, but I do have a plan in mind.  The cool part about that tweet?  The amazing, personal finance queen Gail Vaz-Oxlade replied to my tweet asking how I would do it!  So that might become a 2013 personal finance goal.

Happy New Year! How was your 2012?  What were your big events (positive or negative) for 2012?  What are your big plans for 2013!  Please share your own blog posts (if you have them) in the comments, I want to make sure I read all of your year-end wrap ups and your 2013 goals!

 

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

Filed under: Personal Finance — Stephanie @ 6:16 pm
Tags: , , , ,

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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