Saturday, July 07, 2007

A new direction for my net worth this month...

I compiled my net worth statement this month and wasn't too surprised by the results - I'm down about $5,000 - because I finally decided to spend some of my damn money. :) This August, Boyfriend and I will be taking a week-long trip to Rome! I love to travel and Boyfriend took Italian all year, so it works out well. I am so psyched I cannot even begin to tell you.

I am doing pretty well on my "save all my salary, live on business earnings" plan - I am getting a little chicken though, since with paying for the Rome trip I'm down to only (gasp) two or three months worth of living expenses in the emergency fund. You can tell how chicken I am.

I've taken a new philosophy over the past six months or so - I'm finally realizing that I do in fact earn quite a bit of money, and that money isn't any good if you don't use it to get what you want. At first what I wanted was assurance of financial security, now and in the future, so my focus was on building up an emergency fund and retirement savings. Well, I have over $10,000 in cash, albeit earmarked for different purposes, and as of now I have a smidge over $40k in retirement savings. My outlook on savings could best be described as "starvation mode" - you can never have enough. But I am relaxing some, and not saving every dime. Another facet of my realization is that I am spending a good deal more now on restaurants, entertainment, movies, etc, and often paying for my friends (most of whom are students) because I've realized that one thing that I want is to go out and have a good time with my friends, and there is No Good Reason to not use my money to accomplish this end. :)

Next month I will be moving into a more expensive apartment (it's a duplex) and I am also really excited about this. We need more space, and I want a backyard very badly. (My guinea pigs haven't been outside except to go to the vet in a year and a half.) Boyfriend is getting a grill, partially because it is entirely my idea to move as he's perfectly comfortable in our current apartment, and he is putting up graciously with my shenanigans. (Of course, he also has a room to himself as an office, while my desk is in the bedroom.) Now we'll both have an office, and a very nice kitchen and dining room area, which we use extensively. Of course it is more expensive than where we live now, but this is yet another arena in which I need to remind myself that I can well and easily afford this. There is quite a difference between living below your means, and living vastly below them to the point of unhappiness.

I fully expect my net worth to reverse next month, as I am paying off the Rome trip in a lump sum. I also need to contribute more to my SEP IRA, but I have until April 2008 to do that, so I'm not in a hurry.