Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Another look at my NetworthIQ chart

Back in October, I posted a review of the first six months' worth of data from my NetworthIQ profile. With my March results added to the list, I now have twelve month-end snapshots on file with NetworthIQ. Here's my current chart:

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.
Overall, my net worth has increased by 85% since September 30, finally breaking the $40,000 mark. A couple of things stand out from this analysis:
  • 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.
In addition to the dollar growth in my net worth, I've seen a number of positive changes in behaviour that are really helping me to turn my financial ship around. Almost a year into this financial revolution, I'm ecstatic to see such consistent forward progress.

Bring on the next six months!

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