2015 Recap! ($72,307)

So I’ve already posted something close to a final loan payoff figure for the year, but I do need to provide the final amount).

In 2015, I paid off (approximately) $20,671 in student loan principal!

(Puzzle still to come — I’ll be honest, it would have only been 4 more pieces from the last post,so close to a quarter of the way there–the math is like 4.92 puzzle pieces or something–but not quite)

But wait, that’s not all. There are a few other financial milestones I’ve made this year, that I haven’t given their proper due all year.

401(k) Contributions

This year, I contributed $10,574 to my company 401(k).  Because I just became partially vested in some of my company’s matching and other contributions, I also became entitled to another (approximately) $2,000.  My total amount vested as of today is $19,610.

Roth IRA

I opened a Roth IRA earlier this year, and tried to put about $200 a month into it. Once things are more settled in 2016, I might see if there is a way to direct deposit into this account, instead of having to do a transfer (which gives me the opportunity to transfer it elsewhere).  But for now, my balance is $2,843.

HSA Contributions

With the baby coming and Mike’s eye surgery, I actually spent a huge chunk out of my HSA this year, and have almost met my deductible for the year (I might actually hit this once I get all of this year’s bills). But I contributed the maximum of $6,050 this year (plus $600 coming from my employer), and ended the year (as of now) with $3,761 in the account.  Up from $2,638 last year.

Mortgage Payments

I round my monthly payments up to the nearest $100 and send the extra to principal.  This is around an extra $40 a month.  Doing this for the last year and a half has cut three months off of my payment schedule. Doesn’t seem like much, but every time I do it, it helps more and more.  Total we’ve paid $3,085 in loan principal this year.  I’d estimate our equity in the house to be about $14,000, which assumes the house is worth exactly what we paid for it–I feel pretty confident that with the minor improvements we’ve made, and the housing market generally, it’s probably worth more than what we paid, so I think this is pretty conservative.

When I’m able to calculate my net worth through Mint, it doesn’t include any of these items.  Total they add up to $40,214 that I should conceivably be including in my net worth (though I prefer to see the more conservative number).  If I had included these, my net worth would be ($32,093).*  This number might be even be positive in a year.

(*caveat: I don’t include my hubby’s separate accounts here, again to be conservative, and because I don’t like to think of his money as accessible, even when it is. With that said, the money in the house account is as much his as it is mine, and ditto for the equity in the house.)

That’s not so bad.  I was feeling pretty down today about my ever-dwindling savings, but this helps me see how much progress I’ve made over the past year (and last couple years). Doesn’t mean I don’t have a LOT of budgeting work to do, but I need to not be so hard on myself.

Working (?) From Home ($102,535)

I’ll be working from home today*. Because the roads around my house don’t appear to be plowed, and it took me FIVE HOURS to get to my train station last night (and another 30 minutes for the drive home from the train station, but that time was completely reasonable).  The drive home would probably have been a little easier if I had done it at 6:00 like I was scheduled to, and not 9:00 since it actually started snowing again in that time.  Anyway, the train website says trains are delayed 15-20 minutes today…and since that’s what it said for most of last night I’m not trusting those jackals.

I did get some good news when I arrived at the train station last night though–apparently parking will remain free for another six months!  I’ll update my budget when I get some kind of reliable confirmation that this is, in fact, the case, but hooray for continuing to save $80 a month!  Hopefully they’ll keep this going for as long as I live two hours (not five, but two) from my job.

I paid $1,000 or so on UG2, my smallest remaining loan.  It’s down to $636!  So next month that will be wiped out on schedule.  I do need to start saving for tax time, as well as putting money away generally this month.  According to my paydown calculator, UG3 is scheduled to be paid off in June.  This does not account for (1) the fact that I’m now making more money, or (2) the fact that May has three paydays, so my goal is for UG3 to be gone in the beginning of May.  I’m not sure if I threw this out there before, but my calculator projects UG4 to be paid in October and UG5 in March 2015–my goal is for all of these bad boys to be paid in 2014. If I tackle my highest-rate, highest balance federal loans next I’d be concentrating on them from April 2015 to July 2018–that’s a long time with no payoffs.  Serious sad face.

Lastly, I updated my Law School loans, that don’t feed into Mint. Hence the increase in net worth.  I had been carrying them at ($22,900), but moved them up to ($22,000) since I got just under this number before the year ended.  Like I alluded to above, I think I might save these two for last since they have a lower interest rate than the federal loans.

I’m off to nap for a half hour before I have to start getting to work. 

* Don’t worry–I’m not blogging while I should be working–I don’t generally start for another hour or so.