This month has been full of ups and downs when it comes to my finances- mostly ups though! I'm going to show you the graph early in today's blog post so that you can see what I mean. I'll be moving the graph over to 2019 only next month so that it is easier to see but for now you can see all of 2018 plus January 2019.
The reason some of the decrease in November and December is also the reason for a portion of the sizable bump up this month- the market. The amount that my house is estimated to be worth went up this month and even though I don't have a lot invested right now- less than $10,000 divided between a 403b from my time as a teacher and a 401k from my current job- those accounts also increased this month, by more than just contributions. My job also started matching 4% in my 401k this month which did add slightly to the increase as well. The rest was good old fashioned payoff of debt. I'm positive I can hit my goal of being net worth positive this year so I'm feeling pretty happy right now.
I didn't bring in a lot of extra money from side hustles this last month ($56.18) but I was able to pay for several items with gift cards received over the holidays and from various apps that I have been trialing for the blog. Gift cards used this month included one gift of $50 and another $75 earned through travel programs and apps. It sounds fairly small but for me that's a week of groceries- or more if I'm eating mostly from the deep freezer's stash of meal prepped food with fresh veggies added in! I was also able to use a travel voucher I received due to a delayed flight last year to lower the cost of of my flight to DC later this year which was already budgeted for. This means that voucher allowed me to move $100 back into the general budget for allocating towards debt payments. These small savings really do add up.
The final piece of the puzzle, as it were, was medical benefits restarting for the year. My company puts $700 into my HSA for me at the beginning of each year (and then I contribute another $2,800 to reach the max for a single person on a 1/25th per paycheck schedule for the rest of the year) plus they fund my Limited FSA of $500 upfront so I tend to get a bump in January each year on the graph due to this inflow. A lot of this money, if not all of it, will disappear over the next few months as my medical bills start rolling in. I anticipate hitting my out of pocket max of $5,400 for medical this year on top of the expenses that I know are not going to be covered- some of my chiropractor bills, my mast cell stabilizer medication, my inhaler, all of the over the counter medications that my allergist has in my therapy plan, and etc. and then the Limited FSA will cover most of the cost of my glasses and contacts which need to be purchased early this year. My medical costs are likely higher than many people's due to my medical issues (and my plan is fairly good, thankfully) so later in the year I'll likely create a blog about how I budget for and save money on my health care costs in a separate post. For now I just wanted to touch on these accounts as they do affect my net worth as the money in these accounts, especially the HSA, could potentially be money that is growing if I was able to not utilize it.
What do I think February will look like... budget wise we were looking pretty good until a few weeks ago. Unfortunately it looks like the people who flipped my house cut corners (surprise surprise) so I will need to complete a repairs and projects on my home in February that may end up putting me in a little more debt. Not the direction I wanted to be going but you'll see why its important they not wait when you see the list:
Until next time,
2018 was an interesting year, full of major positive moments as well as some huge downturns as well. I struggled to stick with my "One Word" more than any other year to date... balance was difficult to achieve consistently. With that said, it was overall a good year. I thrived in my career, had amazing experiences with my friends and met a lot of my goals, including the giant one of buying a house!
So, let's jump into goals and wrap ups for each section of my life in 2018.
My career goals (which don't go online... sorry!) were almost 100% accomplished this year which was great. I love what I do and the people I work for and with and am continuing to learn and grow which is my #1 priority in this category right now. Unfortunately I didn't accomplish all of my side-hustle goals though. This was for several reasons but it essentially boils down to time commitments and my mental health. My Oma (grandmother) passed in November and my health had taken several hits in the previous few months which both affected my mental well-being. I needed to take a break to get back into a healthy place mentally and that need superseded the rather aggressive timelines I had set for my side-hustle goals in this situation. Its important to realize that sometimes your goals change or need to be put on a temporary hold for something more important- and that's ok. Just don't give up on something that you really want, rework the plan and keep going!
Social & Recreation
I didn't put any goals online in this category but I did have a few things that occurred here. With my "One Word" being 'Balance' this year I knew there would have to be some changes but, as I stated before, it was a battle. I hate saying no. Like, really hate it. I love my friends and my hobbies and would love to participate in everything that is out there... but I can't. The end of this year saw me cutting back on chorus activities to take care of myself and find a bit more balance in my life. Long term this is a transition to, unfortunately, resigning from one of my choruses and the board member position that I hold there. This was a difficult decision as I love all of the women there but with the move it just isn't possible to keep driving there weekly. This decision was announced in the last quarter of 2018 and will take effect in April. I'm working to find a way to keep these wonderful people in my life though, I love them!
Well, this one's simple... still single. Haha! I'm online and making sure to remain open minded about people that I meet but so far I haven't begun a relationship with anyone. We'll see what 2019 holds though. I'm content with my life but I am also hopeful that I will find the person God has in mind for me eventually. Fingers crossed for 2019!
Health & Wellness
Here's another place where I didn't quite make it to my goals. I did great for the first 3 quarters of the year but depression and stress derailed me. I'm back on track though and didn't let the partial failure get me down. Giving some grace and moving forward! I ended up losing about 20 pounds (I had gotten up to 40 pounds lost before things went crazy in my life) which means I've got a ways to go. I reset the under 200 pounds goal to June 2019 but I am hoping that I make it there a little sooner, we'll see! I love keto though, its definitely that best option for my body and its where I've decided to focus going forward.
Health wise... well its been more difficult for me the past 4-5 months than I have had to deal with in the past few years. This caused additional stress and pain which I'm sure didn't help with the weight loss journey. One day I'll talk about my medical conditions but I don't really have enough time to get into all of it today. I'll leave it at I've been in a lot of pain intermittently, my heart rate has been elevated significantly more often than usual and I've been dealing with some major allergy issues. No fun.
Education & Personal Development
I did meet the goals I put here with the exception of SEO classes. No time, its been rescheduled to later in 2019 and I'm a-ok with that. I read several really great books and have developed a love for audio-books during my drive time. Give it a try, I definitely recommend audio-books!
I'm still in progress on this goal as I added it towards the end of the year. I'm using the YouVersion app to work towards it. :)
Household & Home Life
I bought my house! Ahh! This is a new category since I'm officially back on my own (well, with the pups) so you'll see some goals developed here over the next few months. For now its mostly been: unpacking everything, getting the Master bed and bath linens purchased, sorting through clothing and trying to decide on curtains. The last one is still in the air... I'm not great with curtains.
OK, the big one that I talk about a lot here: financial goals. My main goals for 2018 here were: save up for a down payment for a house (check), pay off $5,000 in debt (the payment didn't clear till January, but soooo close!) and lower my monthly expenses. I managed to stick to my goals until I got the house when the last one- lowering monthly expenses- got a little more difficult. Between having some unexpected home bills, unexpected travel and depression it was difficult to keep steam rolling at the pace I was going before and I back slid a bit. Not an astronomical amount but I had hoped to blow the $5,000 goal out of the water rather than missing it by a paycheck. I'm not deterred though and next year will be easier to plan now that I've been in the house a bit longer and have a better idea on my monthly costs. I'm excited for where this one is going. One thing to note... though I didn't pay off as much debt as I wanted my net worth rose by over $15,000! This is from investments and growth in my 401k and 403b, debt payoff and the house purchase. Here's to next year being amazing!
I've updated the home page with my current set of goals for the coming year. Have you set your goals? Next week I plan to be back with another app review. See you then!
Hi guys! I'm so sorry I've been MIA for a while... I bought a house! It's been a bit of a wild ride this past month due to that but I'm excited to finally be in my own place. It will be a little while before I'm completely unpacked with all of the decor and etc. in place but all of the furniture is in place for the most part and everything that I need is unpacked except my office so its getting closer every day. That's not the point of this post though, its financial update time!
First up... side hustle income. For tracking purposes, only income that hits my accounts during the month is counted here rather than income earned that I will receive at a later time.
Total Side Hustle Income Banked In September: