March was a wild month! We are in full-scale wedding planning mode and paid for several expenses ahead of our big day coming up in June. The stock market continued it’s gains, helping to push our investments to record highs. And on the income side, my fiance received an unexpected raise at work. All combined, we recorded another monthly GAIN to our net worth. This makes 10 straight months of gains!
As of the end of March 2006, our net worth has increased by $5,362 to a new total of $79,660.
Noteworthy highlights for the March 2006 update:
- Income was a little higher this month because of my fiance’s raise at work. It wasn’t a large amount, but it’ll add an additional and consistent $50/month into our pockets moving forward. I also took on a small side job fixing some personal computers for co-workers. I earned an additional $150 from those types of jobs this month. It may not happen every month, but I’m always open to opportunities whenever needed.
- Our expenses this month were HIGHER than usual. As we continue to get closer to our wedding date in June, there are various expenses that are starting to hit. This month……I purchased a wedding band. And wow, at $1,700 it was expensive too! Not as bad as the engagement ring, but still more than I am used to spending all at once! There were also invitations, catering deposits, and more. In total, we spent a little over $2,500 for the month.
- Even after all our extra expenses, we had so much cash sitting around (in our checking and money market accounts) that I decided to do some larger Roth IRA contributions this month. In total, I invested $3,000 between my fiance’s and my accounts. Our plan is to maximize contributions into our Roth IRA this calendar year. The most we can put in is $8,000 as a couple ($4,000 per person) for the entire year 2006. Now I did budget a consistent amount per month, to be dedicated for our Roth IRA accounts. This move is just me “front-loading” those contributions.
- The rest of the BIG increase in our Roth IRA accounts came from the stock market continuing it’s upward trajectory. Total gains from existing investments was $2,528. Wow! That’s almost as much as we contributed too. I’ll never get tired seeing gains like these.
- Normal contributions were made to my fiance’s 401k account. As I mentioned last month, I expect this account to be on “auto pilot” for the most part this year. Contributions are automatically pulled from her paycheck each pay period. I do not expect to make any changes to our investment choices either.
- We continue to take advantage of a 0% credit card offer. This means taking the money earmarked for paying our credit card bill and instead, putting that money into our Vanguard Money Market funds. We will earn interest on the money kept at Vanguard while paying no interest or fees to the credit card companies. I consider it “free money” so we will keep it up as long as they let us! But at any time we can “write a check” and pay it off though. This is the reason for the further increase in our credit card liability for the month, which now stands at $11,190.
- The regular payment was made to our student loans. But no payment was made to our general loan this month.
- I ended up making two mortgage payments this month. The first was at the beginning of the month. The second was on March 31st. Since this last day was a Friday, I would have needed to wait until Monday, April 3rd to make the payment otherwise. So I decided to submit the online payment earlier for simplicity.
- Another $1000 was saved into our “future house fund”. I didn’t write about it the last couple of updates, but I have continued to set aside this savings. It currently goes into our Vanguard Money Market funds. At some point in the future, we’ll plan to use this saved money to buy a new house!
And that’s it! See, I said it was a wild month!