Thursday, 2 October 2014

September 2014 Net Worth: $509,000 (+0.1%) and Expenditure Tracker

I managed to get back into positive growth with my net worth this month but it was a close run thing. There were a range of factors which influenced this outcome which I will go through below.  This post also includes my expenditure tracker which helps me track my financial goals for the month.

September 2014 Net Worth: $509,000 (+0.1%)

Value% Change
Net worth$509,000+0.1%

What drove my net worth performance this month?

There were a range of factors which influenced my net worth this month.  The share market was a significant negative (and although I felt that a correction was coming I didn't alter my portfolio in time) however a range of small factors all combined to ensure that I was still slightly ahead for the month (although I did miss my target of $510,000 for the month).

  • Positive factors
    • My restricted bonus vested
      • Part of my bonus every year is restricted and vests in portions over a multi year period.  I count this restricted amount in my net worth so this did not move the dial significantly however it did help pay off some of my large, engagement ring driven credit card bill
    • Continued contribution to superannuation and my employee share plan
      • The power of automatic savings cannot be underestimated and my continued contributions to my superannuation and employee share plan helped incrementally improve my net worth performance this month
  • Negative factors
    • A weak share market performance
      • The sell off in the share market towards the tail end of the month caused a ~$5,000 decrease in my share portfolio and consequently my net worth
      • This would have been much worse if the exchange rate hadn't fallen as well.  A significant part of my portfolio is in US$ denominated investments and these benefited from the falling A$
    • High personal expenditures for the month
      • I will discuss this more in my expenditure tracker below but as I have written about before this year is a year for large one off expenditures on things or experiences that you only do once in a lifetime
      • A lot of these expenses (such as my large overseas holiday, my sports car and proposing to my girlfriend) were tail ended in the year - i.e. I have been building up cash for these expenses and now I am making them
      • The expenditure of this cash on both credit and from savings has started to hit my net worth and will continue for the foreseeable future

What is my outlook for next month?

October is likely to be another flat to negative month for me.  I have several large swing factors hitting in this month including

  • My large overseas holiday
    • I have budgeted ~$4,000 in additional spending on this holiday (beyond those things I've already paid for) so I am already starting out on the back foot
  • I'm currently completing my taxes
    • I decided to do my own taxes this year and have almost finished them.  I don't know what the end result is likely to be but it is possible that I am going to have to pay tax (whereas in the past my investment property has resulted in a nice tax refund for me)
  • I have a few large events coming up
    • In the coming month I have 2 weddings and 3 bucks nights.  Each of these tends to cost a large amount of cash which is likely to be an incremental negative
If the share market bounces back then I may be able to hold my net worth flat or even have a nice gain but there is no guarantee that this will happen.  I am targeting a net worth of $510,000 for October 2014.

September 2014 Expenditure Tracker

ItemApr 2014Monthly TargetPerf. vs Target
Accommodation / Living expenses $2,095$2,246-$151
Car expenses$399$692-$293
Health / Well being expenses$456$566-$110
Entertainment / Personal expenses $865$1,230-$365
Travel expenses$2,273$675+$1,598
Other 'big' expenses$2,867$3,508-$641
Savings / Investments$2,237$1,051+$1,187

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

  • Accommodation and living expenses
    • My living expenses were in line with what I budget once you account for the large upfront expenses that came about when I moved into my apartment in January
    • It was helped by the fact that I now split a lot of my grocery and other bills with my fiancĂ©e
  •  Car expenses
    • Once again this category is dominated by large maintenance, registration and insurance expenses.  None of these this month meant that I outperformed but this was in line with expectations
  • Health / well being expenses
    • I was actually surprised to find that I outperformed in this particular areas.  It seemed to be driven by the timing of payments for the hobby that I engage in (i.e. I paid it in advance so it hit the August expenditure tracker and not this months)
  • Entertainment / personal expenses
    • This is the best performance that I've had to date for entertainment and personal expenses but it is actually a bit misleading
    • I proposed to my girlfriend this month and spent quite a lot of money on the proposal.  However the expenses for this weekend away were accounted for in the 'other big expenses' line item below.  I had budgeted for the trip away and spent more than I had budgeted but it didn't hit this line item
  • Travel expenses
    • The blow out in this month is not surprising given I am leaving for my large overseas holiday in under a month
    • A significant amount of this expenditure was cash I had put away for the trip (into my new Citi account which was set up specifically to travel)
  • Other 'big' expenses
    • The expenditure in this section was entirely driven by proposing to my girlfriend this month (as well as some cash put away for the wedding)
    • The reason I'm below budget in this area is because I'm looking to buy my sports car in November.  Watch this line item blow out when that happens!
  • Savings / investments
    • I was actually surprised to see that I had saved more than I had intended this month however most of it was actually a repayment of amounts I had pulled out of savings
    • As I continue to pay back this 'loan to myself' I should see this continue to outperform in the short term
Tracking my budget as closely as I have over the last 9 months has been an incredibly interesting exercise and it certainly has affected my behaviour.  I'm happy with how it is turning out and am actually really looking forward to seeing the year end numbers.  So many categories are affected by one off annual payments and I am looking forward to seeing how I perform when everything is taken into account.

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August 2014 Net Worth: $508,000 and Expenditure Tracker
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  1. Overall, appears you have done quite well.. Must say that it is inspiring to see someone with that amount of net wealth.. It's simply a matter of me following the trail blazer :)..

    Seems like you're always quite busy as well and know a lot of people (with the weddings and bucks parties) haha..

    1. Thanks for the compliments Jef. It actually surprises me to see the number grow.

      I originally thought that to be financially secure you had to do something massive but watching my net worth grow on this blog has made me realise that just being aware of saving / investing and budgeting on a regular basis is incredibly important.

  2. Definitely agree, increasing and having a decent income helps as well :) haha..

    When do you head away to South America? Must be getting pretty close and you must be getting excited..

    I feel that the toughest time is starting out and getting to a bit of critical mass i.e. the point I'm at, at the moment.. Then it's probably about working out the goals and why they're important