Happy Memorial weekend/day! I’ve been laying SUPER low all weekend. Reading, exercising, cooking, and watching random TV shows on Netflix and Hulu. A lot went on in May, so let’s get right to it!
May was a spendy month because I had my yearly car insurance due, as well as my vacation to Michigan.
This month my net worth increased by $1,749. Not as big as the last few months, but moving in the right direction. I would LOVE to crack 200k in net worth by the end of the year, but it’s going to be tough.
People love to know how they are doing compared to other people, and I’m no different. Plus it keeps me motivated. Although technically I’m ahead of the curve for my age (the median net worth for my age (using this calculator) is $98,350), it still doesn’t give me much comfort.
Here are some interesting developments though that should help my savings rate: I called my cable company and got my internet dropped from $66 to $55, so an $11 savings there. Through my company’s payroll service, I got a discount on my cell phone service, so that is going from $72 to (aprox.) $57, so $15 savings there.
Lastly, we are switching health and dental insurance at work beginning 6/1. While I was paying $274 out of pocket, now I’ll be paying $0! I could have picked a PPO and spent $83 per month, but after agonizing over the decision, researching, and agonizing some more, I decided to go with Kaiser Permanente, a HMO. I hope I don’t regret it…but at the very least I only have to do it for a year and if I hate it I can go back to a PPO. I ended up contributing $500 to a FSA as well. That’s the amount that can be carried over, so I didn’t want to go higher because I have no idea what, if anything, I’ll be spending on health care this year.
The other agonizing part was figuring out what to do with the extra money per month. In the end I distributed it amongst several buckets, including savings and a couple charities that resonated with me (thanks for your help on that!)
I’ll break down my savings buckets in a second, but before I do I should mention that I met my emergency fund goal of just over 20k! So I asked Coach Shannon what I should do next, and she wanted me to start contributing to my Vanguard brokerage account. So here is the savings per month breakdown:
- 401k: 5%-employee match begins after a year of employment.
- Vanguard brokerage: $1,369
- Vacation: $230
- Sh*t is getting old fund/car repair: $100
- Digit: It depends on the month. This month it was $262.
Speaking of Digit, I’m still not sure what this account could be used for savings wise. Travel? Roth IRA? I already have an emergency fund…so what do you think?
Home and Garden
The garden is still going strong (although one tomato plant is…questionable). It was getting too bushy though so I trimmed it back yesterday and hope that helps. The fruit is starting to come in!
I’ve also been trying to spruce up my place (frugally of course), which has been challenging. I spent a backbreaking afternoon trying to re-arrange my furniture, but in the end the way I had it originally is the most “open,” so not much I can do.
My friend posted on FB that she was giving away her dining room table. It’s darker and more “sophisticated” than my former beige Ikea table, so I told her I’d take it off her hands. I’ve been wanting to have my kitchen table be an actual kitchen table and not an office for quite some time.
So I picked that up but that left me wondering what to do with my computer. I ended up moving my breakfast bar (aka extra counter space) to the living room to create a little work station. I like it, but that leaves me with NO extra counter space in the kitchen. What to do, what to do…
No, not visiting China. My grandma left me her china when she passed away. It’s 56 pieces and in perfect condition. I have no use for it and transporting it back to LA would be even more problematic, so my dad and I thought it would be best to sell. I’m trying Craigslist but having no luck. I’ll give it some more time of course, but any thoughts on a plan B?
This is an area that I’m not feeling the best in right now. My back has been bothering me for a couple months now. What is frustrating is it seems riding my bike exacerbates the pain, so I’ve put that on hold for the moment. I spent $100 on ART, which definitely helped in the moment, but not long term. I need to be super diligent about stretching my legs and glutes every night to loosen my back.
I also tried paleo for a week and, well, it didn’t go well. I felt 10 times worse, even though I had been warned about the “low carb flu.” For me it was more about it being sustainable for the long term, and personally I could not handle eating eggs every morning for breakfast, as much as I like eggs.
Somewhere in there is a middle ground.
I’m going to head to my gym’s pool today (followed by the jacuzzi) to see if that form of exercise will help. Ironically, yoga made it feel kind of worse too. In any case, health is an area right now that is a bit under construction. 🙁
How was your month? Any advice on more counter space and/or selling the china? I’m currently listing it for $600. Too much?