Net WorThursday – August 2013

The last, and only, time I presented my net worth…without numbers… was Thursday and since today is Thursday, the first Thursday after the end of month will henceforth be known as NetworThursday.

Yes, a tradition like no other.  Henceforth! Is that…not the right way to use that word?

Alright, go wash up, we’re gonna set the table and take a glimpse at my portfolio plus take a plunge into my August cash outflows which feature an mp3 purchase you won’t want to miss.

The markets dipped in August so my retirement portfolio was squeezed a little.  Meh.  Moving on.

I’m still sitting in cash, house hunt and all, so nothing to talk about here, other than outflows later.

Take a look here at the pie chart – really no change to speak of since I’m not sharing numbers.

My kids’ college funds took a dip with the rest of the market, as they’re both sitting in a Total Market Index Fund.  I’m still just not quite sure whose money this.  It’s in my name and I have total control over it, but it’ll ultimately be used to pay for (part of?) their higher education and fraternity paddles.  But if they don’t end up needing it because of scholarships, or a decision to take a different path after high school, then it could be my money.

My risk adverse side says to exclude it.  But…what if…?  It stays, for now.

Here’s how the month turned out:

 August

Personal Care

This charge will hit every few months and accounts our household’s soap, cosmetics, witch hazel, apothecary creams, etc.

 Electricity

I’m…I have…this is what it is.  It’s been very, very hot and there’s always someone home.  We keep the air on 76 or 77 and I don’t think that’s crazy at all.

Water

Timing meant that two months of water bills fell into August, just an anomaly.

Car Gas

Prices at the pump didn’t do much from last month.  I took a look and it was just one of those quirky times when there are a couple of fill-ups during the last few days of the month.  I expect next month to take a dive from here.

529 Funding

You know, I think this is fair. I count it in my Net Worth, but I also include it as spending.

But for discussion, if I back off the  529 funding, plus cut the water in half, shave down the personal care by two-thirds, and pull back the gas spending a bit, it really wasn’t that bad of a month, at least compared to my personal expectations.

Frugalists and minimalists are scoffing at that.  But I can handle it.

Entertainment

Oh yeah, one more thing.  $1 on entertainment?  The whole month? Yes, folks, that’s an mp3 purchase.  Drive By by Train.  There, I said it.  My daughter loves dancing around the room to this song, again and again and again and again. It was a $1 well spent.

Great, now I’ve offended minimalists AND music snobs.  How can I go on like this?!

Talk with you soon!

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16 thoughts on “Net WorThursday – August 2013

    1. No WasteNo Waste Post author

      The cleaning service is a temporary line item while the kids are so young.

      I would rather that time be spent with the kids or relaxing when their sleeping.

    1. No WasteNo Waste Post author

      Buying music almost never bothers me because I know I’ll enjoy it for the rest of my life.

      We won’t talk about that ICP CD from high school, though.

  1. Jacob | iHeartBudgets

    I may have missed it, but why did you choose a 529 if you think you may not have to pay for college at some point? I’m probably going with a taxable account or just my Roth IRA because if I don’t use that money for education, it’s not locked down and penalized for taking it out.

    But nice work on putting cash away for kid’s college, I have yet to build anything up because we’re tapped at the moment. Ugh.
    Jacob | iHeartBudgets recently posted…Money Doesn’t Exist Unless…My Profile

    1. No WasteNo Waste Post author

      Well, probably just unfounded optimism. I would like to think my kids will get full ride scholarships to the school of their choice.

      I chose 529s because they allow us to max out our individual Roth accounts and put away money in a tax-advantaged manner for our kids’ higher education. It’s a gamble.

      In the worst case scenario, earnings become taxable and we pay a 10% penalty. My back of the envelope calculations show that would take an 7.5% return down to a 6.8% return, before tax. I can live with that because I feel pretty strongly that our kids will end up using the money for education. And the downside for our personal retirement isn’t all bad either, we would then have an unexpected contribution to our nest egg, because that money was considered spent already.

  2. Mike

    Given the comment above about your budget: you might consider going to a VOIP phone to cut out your home phone expenses; we’ve done this. Also, cut cable and just pay for Internet. We’ve also gone to one cell phone. Between those three things, we’re saving well over $200 monthly!
    Mike recently posted…Six Quick Ways to Improve Your FinancesMy Profile

    1. No WasteNo Waste Post author

      The best part about posting spending each month is that my wife and I have been talking about spending more and more.

      The home phone is going to be a goner pretty soon as a result.

      If it wasn’t for sports, we’d cut the cable.

      1. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply

        I have the Ooma and pay about $4 monthly for phone service…I just like to have it just in case. I did have to pay $150 for the device though. But still cheaper than the expensive phone service. As for sports, I read somewhere that if you buy Madden, you can get Sunday NFL Ticket if you purchase Madden 25..you get a code to watch games online this season.
        Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Week in ReviewMy Profile

        1. No WasteNo Waste Post author

          I put a call into my provider and told them I thought I was paying too much.

          They lowered my bill, upgraded my equipment, and gave me Sunday Ticket for free.

          I think they’re scared of the cable-cutting trend, and maybe they should be.

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