Tuesday, 2 September 2014

August 2014 Net Worth: $508,000 and Expenditure Tracker

This post covers my net worth and budget tracker for the month.  This month I suffered only my third monthly loss since I started tracking my net worth more than 3 years ago.  For an overview of what drove my performance keep reading below.

August 2014 Net Worth: $508,000 (-0.4%)

Value% Change
Net worth$508,000-0.4%

What drove my net worth performance this month?

In my last net worth post (July 2014) I mentioned that I expected this month to be challenging driven  by the fact that I was buying a diamond ring to propose to my girlfriend.  I had hoped to stay even with last month's performance (at $510,000) but in hindsight I was lucky to only be set back one month.

I have provided a break out of the key positives and negatives which affected my net worth performance below
  • Positive factors
    • Almost all the positives this month were driven by the share market
      • My portfolio increased nearly 2% over the month almost entirely driven by my investment in FKP (which I have written about extensively before).  I am currently looking to sell down this investment as it has performed well beyond what I expected.
    • My employee share plan vested and I received the inbuilt profit associated with these shares. 
      • I recently started accounting for the tax owing on these transactions as part of my net worth performance so the gains aren't quite what they used to be!
      • I continued to invest in my employee share plan in this month
  • Negative factors
    • My credit card bill was higher than it has ever been
      • I have a $12,000 limit on my credit card and I was butting up against this limit all month as I paid for the engagement ring on credit
      • Note that I had the cash to back this (I wasn't using debt to buy the ring!) 
      • I was also paying for various trips and holidays associated with the proposals (I had to pay for a flight to visit my girlfriends parents to let them know about the proposal...something I hadn't factored into my calculations!)
    • This month I experienced a significant cash drain 
      • In addition to the big expense above several large expenses fell due this month including my car registration
      • It was actually an interesting experience trying to manage all these expenses without dipping into savings (in the end I had to withdraw $2,300 from savings to cover some expenses)

What is my outlook for next month?

I am going
to be proposing to my girlfriend this month.  Although I have pre-paid several of the expenses associated with this trip and proposal there are still others that I have to pay.  There are so many moving parts that it is actually quite hard to forecast what is going to happen next.  If I manage to get to my July 2014 net worth of $510,000 for the month I think I will be quite happy.

August 2014 Expenditure Tracker

ItemAug 2014Monthly TargetPerf. vs Target
Accommodation / Living expenses $2,017$2,246-$229
Car expenses$927$692+$235
Health / Well being expenses$596$566+$30
Entertainment / Personal expenses $1,204$1,230-$27
Travel expenses$600$675-$75
Other 'big' expenses$2,127$3,508-$1,381
Savings / Investments-$1,020$1,051-$2,071

If we look at the major line items in my tracker above

  • Accommodation and living expenses
    • This was a rather 'normal' month for me with fewer utilities bills than usual.  I shopped at Costco and bought enough stuff to last me a fair while so my groceries bill was significantly higher than usual
  •  Car expenses
    • As mentioned above my car registration fell due this month which completely blew out my budget.  I had forecast $500 in registration costs and it cost me $250 more than I had expected
  • Health / well being expenses
    • This was pretty much in line with where I expected it to be
  • Entertainment / personal expenses
    • This was one of the few months where I didn't bust through my entertainment budget driven entirely by the fact that I didn't go out eating and drinking as much as I usually do.  Knowing that my credit card was so high probably had me staying at home far more than usual
    • On the downside I had a few weddings which really blew out my gifts budget.
  • Travel expenses
    • This part of the budget is really starting to worry me.  I have some really big expenses coming up in this section next month and I have not been stocking away nearly enough cash to cover it
  • Other 'big' expenses
    • This month was the first time something in my 'big expenses' section did not go to plan. I have gone about $1,000 over my budget on the purchase of the engagement ring and corresponding trip to propose
    • I have promised myself that any budget failures will be coming out of my sports car so I definitely need to pull my socks up if I actually want to buy this car at all!
  • Savings / investments
    • This is the first month where I have actually had negative savings which was entirely driven by my cash flow issues outlined above.  I keep a running tally of the amount I take out of savings to ensure that I put them back in
    • As at the end of August I currently 'owe my savings account' $5,800
This year was always meant to be my 'hold nothing back' year where I did all those things which I had been putting off for a very long time.  However the one requirement that I had was that at the end of the year my savings and investment balances were not allowed to be diminished.  I am still holding to this goal however I do find it challenging to see money flowing out of my accounts (even if it is for things that I am really enjoying doing and experiencing!)

You May Also Be Interested In
July 2014 Net Worth ($510,000) and Expenditure Tracker
How to buy a Diamond Ring (Part 1)
FKP: Another year, another rights issue
2014 Financial Goals


  1. Thanks for sharing 90M, very interesting that you flew to visit your girlfriends parents, very cool though, you didn't consider calling/skyping but good on you for doing this :)..

    All the best with the proposal then, from the sounds of it you've pulled out most of the stops..

    Looking forward to hearing the good news next month (that you're engaged)

    1. Hi Jef! I did consider doing the Skype / calling thing but it actually worked out quite well because my girlfriend suggested doing a trip to see her parents anyway. Hardest bit was actually getting them on their own without her around.

    2. Wow, so she genuinely had no idea :).. Yes I can imagine that would be quite tough then..

      All the best and looking forward to hearing back from that email I sent, although I appreciate you're probably very busy

      Good luck with the proposal then!

  2. Congratulations on the engagement - a fabulous month for you, and all very well budgeted.

    1. Thanks! I haven't actually 'done the deed' yet but it is coming up reasonably fast. At least everything is planned now so I don't need to worry about that part any more

  3. Nice month all things considered - I am glad those expenses are behind me. Just wait until you have a little baby. Whole new budgeting challenge!

    1. Hi Rob! Budgeting for a wedding is hard enough...I can't imagine the challenge of doing it for a baby.

      I actually had a stab at it a couple of months ago but gave up because there were so many unknowns!