Net Worth Update: June 2010 – Moving On

Net Change: +$1,550.75

Net Cashflow: +$2,600.85

Investment Performance: $ (1,050.10)
2010 S&P Performance: (5.4%)

Food Spend Monthly Change: +$0.86
Dining Out: $ (299.26)
Groceries: $ (173.96)

Maybe I should just move all my investments to cash?  I know, I know, I’m just kidding.  The market will have its ups and downs.  Stocks are a good long term investment.  Yada, yada, yada.  And yes, I’m still consistently investing in my 401K.  I’m just tired of comparing my net cashflow to my change in net worth each month; in June I surpassed $2,500 in net cashflow due to an FSA reimbursement and getting paid to do a user test for SAP, but my overall change in net worth was nearly cut in half by my lousy investment performance.  No, I’m not going to move all my investments to cash, but I’ll still probably whine and complain until the market turns.

It’s time for me to move on.  The past two months have shown dismal economic results and the next few months don’t look that great either.  I need to put this behind me.  The investment losses of the last two months are only temporary.  One of the major things I did this month was sign up for the Manhattan GMAT Online prep course.  While it cost me $1000 bucks, it was definitely a positive investment for my career.  I’m determined and committed to take the GMAT and get an MBA from a top business school, which will probably act as a better form of job security than any stash of cash I could accumulate.  My motto now is that I am “future focused.”

In the month of June, America lost 125,000 jobs, the first time we showed a net loss of jobs this year.  The market is shaky and it’s causing me to consider lowering my 401K contribution percentage.  Keep in mind, this isn’t a market timing strategy per se, but more one of risk aversion: if my company goes under or I get laid off, I’m going to need more cash.  With the economy in bad shape, I don’t want my money tied up in tax deferred assets that carry a penalty for early withdrawal.

In terms of healthcare expenses, I didn’t show very much on my ledger, even though I know I spent a ton of money in that category.  (I had more than $300 in dental expenses)  That’s because I was using my FSA debit card to make all of my purchases.  Since these are directly deducted from my FSA allocation, they are not recorded as an expense in my ledger nor income from a reimbursement – one of the annoying features I lamented about the FSA.

For food spending, I managed to spend a whopping 86 cents less than I did the previous month.  While the amount is technically lower, I spent a much greater proportion of my budget on dining out than I did groceries, which is not the trend that I want.

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