Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September update

For a month with only 30 days, September seemed to go on forever. Now we're into October, and the Christmas merchandise is already starting to crop up in stores everywhere. Have you been setting aside cash for holiday shopping? If not, now might be a good time to start.

Let's take a look at how I did with my September goals:
  • Reduce my revolving debt to $17,500 - I nailed this one, closing the month at $17,433.79 in revolving debt. That's still a lot of revolving debt to have, but it's $644.41 less than I had a month ago, so I'm happy with the progress.

  • Grow my Emergency Fund to $2,000 - Done. After interest posted to my accounts, my Emergency Fund balance was $2,018.33. That puts me at a point where I can ease off my emergency savings and focus on other areas that need the funds.

  • Run at least twice per week - Not quite. I did get out running five times this month, which is more than once per week, but unless my math is wrong, it falls short of twice a week. We also played squash a few times, so my activity level wasn't bad, but I didn't quite get there.

  • Try two new recipes for foods that we would usually buy prepared - Not so much. We've been a tad lazy on the cooking front this month, and haven't been flexing our creative muscles in the kitchen.
Now, on to my month-end update:

Online Savings - $2,420.86
Self-Directed RSP - $38,853.91
Employer Group RSP - $8,394.48

Revolving Debt - $17,433.79
Student Loans - $24,859.31

Net Investable Assets: $7,376.15
Net Liquid Assets: ($39,872.24)

Due to some items being paid out of savings this month, even with the growth in my Emergency Fund, my cash savings dropped by $187.45. Also, thanks to the shenanigans on Wall Street this month, my retirement investments once again showed a month-over-month decrease, dropping by $4,343.09 in spite of over $600 in RRSP contributions. This translates to a net decrease of $4,530.54 in my investable assets, which more than offset the $1,205.93 of progress I made in reducing my non-mortgage debt.

Overall, my net investable assets decreased by $3,324.61, and my net liquid assets increased by $1,018.48. My NetworthIQ profile has also been updated (including loose cash, home, car and mortgage). Over the 17 months I've been tracking my progress, this is only the fifth time I've had negative growth in my net investable assets, and each time this has been driven almost entirely by a drop in investment value. The silver lining to this is that I'm maintaining forward progress on the items I can control (like debt reduction and cash savings), in spite of the factors I can't control (like investment returns).