January 2019 – Net Worth Update

January 2019 – Net Worth Update

January 2019 was a good month, both personally and financially. My girlfriend and I started a 21 day fast of Video Media (YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc), fast food, alcohol, meat, unhealthy snacks. We were pretty disciplined and stuck to our sacrifices, even though we had with a few slip-ups along the way. Public schools in China were closed for the Winter Holiday. Our work schedule had a few changes. We worked a 9 am – 5 pm (Monday – Friday) schedule instead of our normal 3 pm – 9 pm schedule.

Last month, I had several ‘Action Items’ that I wanted to complete in January. Lets see how I did.

January Action Items – Review

[x] 1. Increase Cash Reserves to $1000. (Complete)
[x] 2. Make Extra Payments on Credit Card. (Complete)
[  ] 3. Decrease Grocery bill to $200. (Incomplete)
[  ] 4. Decrease Restaurant Budget to $100. (Incomplete)

2/4 – Not Bad!

January 2019 Net Worth Update

Income ($2,387)

My income increased by $946.61. This was because I received my first full salary from my ESL Job. I don’t expect many fluctuations in the future from my salary number. I also received a, one time, Christmas gift from a family friend ($250).

Going forward, I need to find someway to increase my income to reach my FI goal. Some ideas that I’ve been working on are more tutoring hours, or starting a small business on the side.

Expenses ($1,433)

I spent $8 less than December 2018. Some of the most notable changes in spending were in the Restaurant, Transportation, Business Expense, and Tax Expense categories.

  • Restaurants ($158): My goal this month was to decrease spending at restaurants to $100. Although I missed my goal, I spent $127.77 less than last month. Fasting restaurants for 21 days may have helped a little
  • Transportation ($17): My transportation expenses drastically decreased ($-75.75). I used less Taxis in January. Taxis are SUPER cheap in China, but they are not the most frugal way to move around the city. The subway and buses are, by far, the cheapest way to move. So no more Taxis for me.
  • Business Expenses ($90) & Taxes ($80): I spent an annual $90 to purchase the domain and web-hosting for this blog. $80 went to Turbo Tax to file my 2018 taxes. These are one off expenses that will not occur again next month.

Overall, I’m happy with my ability to decrease my expenses while maintaining a solid quality of life. I look forward to pulling back even more in the month of February. It should be easier with four less days in February.

Debt ($14,605) 

Debt decreased by $157. Not much to celebrate, but I will take it.
  • Credit Card: Another one of my  ‘action items’ from last month was to decrease my credit card bill by $200. I accomplished this goal! Eliminating this debt will be a recurring goal.
  • Student Loan: My student loans have been in deferment for 3 months. Therefore, interest has been growing to about $42.

Assets ($8,294)

This category had the largest change over last month. Yay! My net-worth grew by more than $1400 this month.

  • Cash ($1,100): My goal last month was to increase my cash reserves to $1000. My cash reserves are now $1,100! It’s not as much as I would like, but I’ll take it. In a perfect world I will have 3-6 months of expenses in cash.
  • Investments ($7,194): My investment account grew by more than $900! I deposited $400, or 20% of my income, into my Vanguard Brokerage account. The stock market also has shown huge growth over last months lows. This also helped with overall portfolio growth.

February Action Items

I completed half of my ‘Action Items’ in January. This month I’m aiming to complete all of them. Take a look at a completed list of February Action Items below.

[  ] Purchase my return flight to the US ($800).
[  ] Keep Restaurant spending below $100.
[  ] Keep Grocery spending below $250.

As always I look forward to the coming month of February. I am also open to any questions, comments, or advice from anyone.

 

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