December 16, 2014

Net Worth Update - 12/16/2014

Assets:

Retirement account: $27,434.20
Estimated home value: $405,632.00


Debts:

Credit card debt: $8,948.70
Student loan: $60,145.17
Auto loan: $25,447.83
Home loan: $240,663.01

Total net worth: $97,861.49 (up from $80,017.01 in October 2014)

December 2, 2014

Cancel Your Unnecessary Monthly Subscriptions for Increased Financial Peace of Mind

There is nothing that companies like more than to find a way to get subscription-based monthly revenue out of your wallet.  From video games to mobile devices, from banking services to the wine-of-the-month club, your five or ten or fifteen dollars per month, combined with those of other subscribers, are worth countless millions of dollars of monthly revenue to almost any industry you care to name.

If you take the time to add up each and every one of your seemingly inconsequential monthly subscriptions and auto-debits, you might be shocked how much you are really spending.  Each of these mini-subscriptions is like a tiny crack in your financial dam, a leak in the holding tank of your financial peace of mind.

So what is the answer?  Pull out an old-fashioned piece of paper (really!), make a list of each and every one of your monthly subscriptions fees and auto-debits, and start taking a proverbial red pen to the ones you really don't need or want anymore.

For example, I had recently been paying $25/month for a cellular data plan for my old iPad 2, which has remained quietly stowed away and undisturbed in its carrying case for the past 9 months.  Since purchasing my iPhone 5c a few months ago, I had barely touched my iPad (a noteworthy piece of Apple  user experience data in and of itself), but for some reason I just never got around to canceling the iPad data plan.  So this morning I charged up my iPad, logged in to the cellular settings, and cancelled my unnecessary data plan subscription, saving myself a nice $25/month in the process.

Don't let these greedy corporations continue bleeding away your hard-earned money, especially on monthly subscriptions that you no longer need or want.  Find a better use, any better use, for that money, reduce your monthly expenses, and reclaim a little peace of mind in the process.

October 9, 2014

Net Worth Update - 10/9/2014

Assets:

Retirement Account: $26,238.46
Estimated home value: $389,910.00

Debts:

Credit card debt: $8,335.35
Student loan: $60,314.41
Auto loan: $26,094.93
Home Loan: $241,386.76

Total net worth: $80,017.01 (up from 3,677.84 in February 2014)


Analysis:

  • Credit card debt increased slightly, and it is still too high for my comfort zone. The culprits seem to be my making credit card payments that are too large and then running out of cash at the end of the pay period (a vicious cycle), unexpected travel costs arising from recent trips to visit family out of state in Utah and Oregon, and excessive spending on food and entertainment.
  • The recovery and stabilization of the local housing market accounts for much of this net worth increase. We continue to benefit financially from having purchased a house at the lowest point in the local real estate crash in 2012.
  • Slightly above minimum payments for auto and student loans are finally starting to make a dent in these larger loans.
  • Minimum payments for low-interest loans and larger payments on credit cards will be the norm going forward until credit card debt is significantly reduced or eliminated.