February Net Worth

So I just feel the heck off, didn't I? A lot and nothing has been going on. Lemme 'splain:

1. I got back into the habit of cooking at home and bringing breakfast/lunch with me to work. I feel better physically and emotionally because I'm eating healthier food. I also am saving money will doing it. YESSSS!

2. I finally bit the bullet and got the ball rolling on opening a Roth IRA with Vanguard. There's just one document I have to get before I mail off the forms to have my Roth moved from my brick-and-mortar bank to Vanguard. I estimate that the whole process will take a little over a month. Until then, I've moved the 2008 contributions I have so far ($2,050) to a savings account. All other contributions will go there also until the Roth has been moved. So that monkey is almost off my back! (BTW, I've updated my Roth bar on the right to reflect the $2,050 even though it's not in the fund yet. It is off to the side.). Once that is done, I will adjust my 401k to reflect the change in my whole portfolio. Since the Target Retirement Fund I am opening already has a bunch of international funds that are less expensive, I'm going to sell the more expensive international funds I have with my 401k and buy more S&P 500 stocks (which, ironically, is managed by Vanguard, so it's cheap!). Yay me! I hope I'm making the right decision. I believe I am. I'll know in about 30 years. ;)

Thanks to eHarmony, I met this really great dude last weekend. We talked on the phone and email for about a month before he came to visit me (he lives in another state). The weekend was fantastic and I was stunned by how well we got along. We kept everything pretty controlled, cost-wise...:::ahem:::... We did a lot of walking, talking, hanging out at coffee shops, sandwiches instead of elaborate meals, etc. And we had a great time. There was one point were he was supposed to take me home, but we ended up sitting in the car for three hours just laughing and talking. And that's all we did. I swear. It was a public parking lot! I know that wouldn't stop some of you dirty birds...:::starting flash back sequence, sigh, coming back:::

So anyway, I think it helps that on eHarmony, you're in the company of people looking for something long-term, so you're going to ask more important questions. In my profile, I make it very clear that financial stability and responsibility are very important to me and it came up in our conversations. Dude I met last weekend meets me eye-to-eye on that, and more, so far. We're still getting to know each other. He's got some things to work out, and I'm not ready to pack it in and take myself off the market just yet, but it's good to know that I can find people that view fiscal fitness the same way I do. Plus he's just adorable. :-D Anyway, we'll see. The distance is good, in that it forces us to take things slow, but bad because it costs money to see each other (good thing he drives a hybrid!).

Depending on how things go, travel won't be the only cost I'd have to consider. There's this thing called birth control that would behoove me to factor in. I have no idea how much the pill is going for these days (I haven't been sexually active in a few years. No, I'm not happy about that.), but it would be another line item on my monthly budget that I wasn't planning on. But better that than getting pregnant and facing the cost of an abortion or child-rearing. Now that I think about it, not only will I be on the pill, I'll make sure he wears two condoms. Just in case... ;)

I got my federal tax refund in less than 10 days

Color me stunned
I filed both my federal and state taxes on Sunday, January 27. I checked my bank account yesterday and noticed I had all this money. At first I was alarmed because I thought I forget to make a payment or something was wrong. I looked at the details and saw that the federal government was actually on point with paying my refund. With all the talk of delays and such, I thought I would be seeing anything until May. Guess it pays to file early.

Travel fund goal updated
So now I have my $622 much sooner than I thought I would and I put it into my travel fund as planned. It brings me to 62% of my travel fund goal, the bar on right has been updated.

So about that Roth IRA...
I'm still trying to figure out what to do as far as:
  1. Whether or not I should move my Roth from my bank; and
  2. What kind of fund(s) I should get to with it to make sure my overall retirement portfolio is balanced and diverse while suited to my goals.
I'll admit the second point is keeping me stagnated. I honestly don't know how to proceed with that and it's making me want to look for a fee-based financial planner to give me advice on what to do. But even if I do that, I have to research and become educated so I know what they are talking about. So really, I'm somewhat paralyzed by my ignorance, fear, and ineptitude. Until and I can woman up and move forward, I'm just going to start making contributions again to my Roth at the bank until I figure out just what in the deep-fried hell I'm doing. I figure putting money into it is better than letting it sit in my checking account.

January 2008 Net Worth and Updates

My net worth
While my overall net worth took a ding going down 3.27%, my cash on-hand has gone up by 51%! Clearly, the current market slide is hurting my retirement funds. Also I rebalanced my 401(k) portfolio to reflect my aggressive growth goals. This required selling a bit (yeah, boo) but also buying a lot more at a discount (yay!). Some of those funds yielded high returns but had a hefty expense ratio. My emerging markets fund's expense ratio was 1.40%. Yeah, had to let that go.

I think the next step is to move my Roth from my bank to a Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 Fund. These are all index funds with far more reasonable expense ratios. It's just a matter of figuring out how to move the money with the least amout of problems.

Update: Goal reached!
I've fully funded my health care/deductible fund! Moving forward, all of my savings over the next few months will be going towards my Roth contribution.