Author Topic: A celebration of small steps in the right direction  (Read 1557 times)

joeypants

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: Washington
A celebration of small steps in the right direction
« on: August 12, 2016, 12:40:17 PM »
Hi,

Lots of people here seem to have super high incomes, high dual incomes w/ a partner, or are already FIRE, and it can feel discouraging for the rest of us at times. As someone who is still relatively new to taking control of my finances, and who happens to live in a HCOL area (Seattle), it's really nice to look back over the past year and see progress, even if it's slow.

Just thought I'd share & celebrate progress, no matter how slow it may seem. Hopefully this encourages others who are also at the beginning of their journey, too. Some roughish/rounded numbers to share...

At this time last year, in 2015:
Total Assets: $34,117
Online Savings Account: $15,053
Bank Savings Account: $5000
Checking Account: $6247
401K: $4825
Roth IRA: $492

Student Loan Debt:
$13,789

Credit Card Debt:
Card #1 $89
Card #2 $188

Net Worth: $17,606

This year, things have improved slowly, mostly due to student loan payments:
Total Assets: $43,571
Online Savings Account: $18,110
Bank Savings Account: $2501
Checking Account: $6,313
401K: $14,037
Roth IRA: $546

Student Loan Debt:
$2,268 (@3.4%... taking my time with this one since monthly payments are manageable, just under $31/mo)

Credit Card Debt:
0$

Total: Net Worth: $41,075

There's still a long road ahead, of course, but it feels really nice to have taken steps to cut expenses, pay off higher interest student loans completely, and see the overall net worth start to rise a little. Really nice to see the net worth more than double simply due to getting serious about destroying the bigger student loans I had.

I'm fully aware that my numbers aren't great still, but hopefully this might encourage other people who are also at the beginning stages of being smart about money to keep going, and encourage people in the idea that small steps, while they can feel tedious, really can add up to some decent progress.

That's all, thanks for reading!

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3802
Re: A celebration of small steps in the right direction
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 01:21:46 PM »
That's actually a pretty awesome increase.

I gotta ask, though. Why so much in cash?

joeypants

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 20
  • Location: Washington
Re: A celebration of small steps in the right direction
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 02:21:18 PM »
That's actually a pretty awesome increase.

I gotta ask, though. Why so much in cash?

Thank you!

The cash is our emergency fund, considering that we live in Seattle with high rent. I work in a fairly volatile industry where layoffs are an inevitability, unfortunately, and it provides peace of mind. It might be a little much, but it also includes the beginning of our house/down-payment savings.

Lunasol

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 221
  • Location: MX
Re: A celebration of small steps in the right direction
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 02:35:37 PM »
I totally agree with "discouraging for the rest of us", I'm glad to see you're doing well and look forward to hear more about your path to FIRE :)

icemodeled

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 158
  • Location: Southwest FL
Re: A celebration of small steps in the right direction
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 02:49:58 PM »
I understand what you mean, I feel pretty discouraged seeing incomes so high (though that's awesome for them!) it does make it feel impossible for us. Our income has changed a lot but right now it's around $30000 a year ($2500/mo) combined. We average spending of $1200-1400/mo, we are in a lower COL area thankfully. I am part time at the moment but do side hustles as does my husband. Don't be discouraged though! From your numbers you did amazingly well in just a years time! You also have little debt left, awesome! I personally would probably just pay off the student loan, it's a smaller amount and you have a decent savings. The payment is low though and rate not to bad, just a thought. Keep it up!! :)

CestMoi

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 100
Re: A celebration of small steps in the right direction
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 03:46:04 PM »
RE: Lots of people here seem to have super high incomes, high dual incomes w/ a partner, or are already FIRE, and it can feel discouraging for the rest of us at times

-- I think you're doing well. You didn't mention your age. Why keep so much in your online bank account and not max out your Roth IRA?

I'm a living example of building net worth through small, tedious steps. I'm a creative (meaning underpaid), single (engaged) woman, in one of the most expensive areas of the country. I've never earned big bucks, at least not for this area. I've never had a classic work pension. I've never taken financial support from my partners. Most of my life I paid not only for my own apartment, but also for a separate art studio. I slowly worked my way to FIRE. Make careful choices in home purchase/rent and car purchases (older economy car, in cash). Pay off debt quickly as possible, credit cards each month, and keep spending in check. Every year, aim to max out all retirement plans available to you. Take inexpensive vacations. Invest any extra money when it comes. Continue to learn about investing. You can do it.