Money Update – March 2017

Every month I’ll post an update on my finances from the last month, with a focus on increasing income, spending less, and maintaining a high savings rate.  You can see previous updates here.

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Results – March 2017

March is finally over, which means I’m about to enter Financial Hibernation – basically the first 3 months of the year are awesome in terms of financial progress for me due to lots of extra income.  The summer is pretty steady – not much changes so I focus on maintaining my spending and controlling what I can control.  It’s a time when progress seems slow, so it’s important to remind myself that what I’m doing day in and day out is progress.

I capped the month off by hitting a major financial milestone:

NET WORTH ZERO!

There’s no doubt a lot of recent progress was due to gains in the stock market.  And having a positive Net Worth doesn’t tell the whole story.  For one, there’s still a large chunk of student loans to tackle.  But to put things in perspective, at the beginning of 2015 I had a Net Worth of around -$40,000.  Looking back even two years ago the progress seemed incredibly slow.

I really can’t stress enough how much tracking your finances will change your life.  I wasn’t in a terrible financial spot in my early twenties – I was saving money and paying off debt, but in a lot of ways I still had my head in the sand.  I can’t force you to take a half hour and figure out your net worth – it’s got to be something you want to do.  All I can do is try to convince you that you have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.

2017 Savings Rate:  62%

Thoughts:

  • My yearly savings rate jumped quite a bit in March.  I finished off my 2016 IRA contributions and got a great start on this years – my goal is still to max it out by the middle of the year and save enough to front load it next January.
  • I bumped up my 401k contributions by a few percentage points.
  • Spending was much lower than last month (no doctors visits!) overall, but still spent too much on food.  Restaurants were pretty stable, groceries were high due to stocking up on a lot of stuff.

I feel good about where I stand 3 months into 2017.  Financially I feel like I’ve hit a stride and have tried to put myself in a more “relaxed” state of mind over the next few months and simply working my plan.  Personally, the beginning of the year has been hectic and stressful work-wise, despite me getting into a pretty regular routine.  I’m hoping things will slow down a little bit for the next month or so.  No vacations planned at the moment so I’m relying on making my free time My time to live the life I want to live.


Thanks for reading!  While I spend a lot of time talking about ideas and concepts in personal finance, at the end of the day I’m just a guy on the road to FI (and also a rhyme machine, it seems) who’s trying to make smart money decisions and connect with others.

If you’re interested, I use You Need A Budget for monthly budgeting.  For tracking Net Worth, I recommend Personal Capital (automatic) or NetWorthShare.com (manual).


Image by 1shots at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

2 Comments

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  1. Woohoooo! Way to go on achieving net worth zero. 🙂 We have a long way to go until that point, so I’m sure you’re super proud to have gotten here!

    • Thank you! I’ve noticed I’m starting to get the “debt free” itch so we’ll see how that goes – but any progress is always a win in my book!

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