I thought I'd follow up my earlier review with a look at the changes in my finances since the end of September.
- October - Ms. Loonie and I took a road trip with friends, and I hosted a bachelor party, both of which put a dent in liquid savings and revolving debt paydown. However, overall debt reduction led to a 14% increase in net worth.
- November - A three-pay month helped to build up a cushion of savings, and stay on top of debt reduction, while market volatility ate away at my retirement savings in spite of continued bi-weekly contributions. In the end, net worth grew by 12%.
- December - Bring on the holidays! My first-ever cash-only Christmas drained my liquid savings, but debt reduction kept me on track. Net result: 7% growth.
- January - My year-end bonus came in this month, so retirement savings saw a bump, as I deferred a big chunk of the incentive into my RRSP. I also moved the bulk of my ULOC balance onto a 0% credit card. Markets dove in January, but I ended up with a 20% increase in net worth.
- February - The market staged a late-February comeback, which bolstered my retirement savings. Good movement on debt reduction gave me a 7% net worth boost.
- March - The markets held on by their fingernails this month, so most of the 6% growth in March was due to debt reduction.
- I continue to see large percentage growth, although not as high as in my first few months. This is more or less common sense: as my net worth increases, a $2,000 increase in a given month becomes less and less significant in percentage terms. However, I'm still at the point where I'm growing by about 10% each month, which is very encouraging.
- "Special" spending takes its toll. As I saw before, vacations, special "night out" activities, and holiday shopping can really put a dent in my cash savings. However, this can be looked at as a good thing, since I'm managing to pay for these things with money I've saved, rather than relying exclusively on credit. That's a big change from where I was a year ago.
- You have to love those three-pay months. Being on a bi-weekly pay schedule, there are two months a year where I get three paycheques. This has proven to be an absolute godsend in accelerating my savings and debt reduction. This year, May and October are three-pay months, and I'm really looking forward to them.
Bring on the next six months!