Net Worth Tracker: December 2017

Happy New Year everyone! December was an interesting month for us, as Mrs. NFF went back to work following her maternity leave and I took mine. (Today is my first day back, and explains the late posting of this month’s net worth). For anyone who is on the fence about taking paternity leave, TAKE IT! I had an amazing time with my boy, and it is incredible to see him grow and learn new things every day. I was also lucky because I could delay my leave and so I took it as my wife went back to work. This gave me some great alone time with my son, and being the sole caregiver was a great experience.

It was also a decent month for us financially, though that is owed almost exclusively to the stock market gains. Present shopping, end of year charity donations, and holiday travel expenses really hurt our spending, and consequently December was our worst “savings” month this year. However, a very healthy stock market more than made up for it, and we were able to grow our net worth by ~$11,000. We also received some very generous gifts for NFF Jr. to put into his college fund, adding an additional $25,000. (Note: I include college savings in our overall Net Worth to keep a full view of every dollar we have. However, our FIRE number does not include this money for obvious reasons.) read more

Net Worth Tracker: November 2017

I love November. Usually it is the height of fall in the DC region and it also kicks off the start of the holiday season. I love seeing my family and spending time with them, and Thanksgiving is the first opportunity we’ve had in several months to do that. Additionally, this Thanksgiving was extra special because it was the first time many of my family members got to meet NFF Jr.

Financially, November was an ok month for us. Mrs. NFF is not back at work yet, and her limited maternity leave policy meant we went this month without any income from her. Maternity/Paternity policies in the US are truly f***ed up. We are fortunate that Mrs. NFF could take 3 months off work (half of it unpaid) and be ok, but I can’t image how the millions of other families in the US deal with it. read more

Net Worth Tracker: October 2017

The first half of October was a busy month for us. We spent 2 weeks in Maine enjoying the start of the fall season. I was expecting to have to travel for work during those weeks, but project delays meant I got to spend every night with my wife and son. Returning to a travel schedule is going to be hard for both me and Mrs. NFF, so the longer I can delay that the better.

All of the travel, along with Mrs. NFF’s birthday, certainly added some additional costs to our budget this month. We also had renewals of larger expenses, like car insurance. I know I plan for those charges, but mentally it is still challenging to see such a large expense hit our credit card. Despite all of that, we still managed to grow our net worth by $11,516. It wasn’t our best month this year, but it definitely wasn’t our worst. Most of the gains (~$7,600) came from increases in the stock market which helped to lift our 401k and other retirement account balances. The rest was a result of our monthly savings, which goes directly towards our house fund. read more

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Net Worth Tracker: September 2017

September was a big month for Mrs. NFF and I. We brought our new baby home from the hospital, we celebrate our 2-year marriage anniversary, I celebrated my 2-year anniversary at my company, and I turned one year older. Fall (my favorite season) is here, and we celebrated by traveling to Maine this past week to see the first leaves begin to change.

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What Does It Mean To Be Vested?

Last Sunday, I hit a major milestone at my company. I have officially been working here for 2 years. In some ways, it feels like I’m just starting but in others I feel like a seasoned veteran. This is especially true since the average job tenure of people my age is just 3 years (should I be looking for a new job already?). The anniversary date came and went without any fanfare. I didn’t get to chose an anniversary gift out of a magazine, or even receive a card from my company. I actually got something much, much better: I vested.

What is Vesting?

Vesting is a term used to describe how much of your 401k you are allowed to take with you if you leave the company. You may be thinking “Wait, I don’t get to keep my entire 401k?” Before you overreact, I want to be clear that vesting only applies to the portion that your company contributes. If you invest $5,000 in your 401k, and your company contributes $1,000, vesting only applies to the $1,000. You get to keep your $5,000 plus whatever you’ve earned in the market when you leave. read more

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Net Worth Tracker: August 2017

First off, I must apologize for the late net worth posting, but I promise that I do have a good excuse. A little more than a week ago, our family grew by one as we welcomed NFF Jr. into the world. It has been an amazing, if thoroughly exhausting, couple of weeks for my wife and me. But I find myself now with some extra time to update you on our financial happenings since last month.

August 2017 was another up month for the New Father Finance family, though I have to admit it is our worst month for spending this year. Some extra costs related to the birth of our son played a major part of that. In a later post, I’ll go into a bit more detail about our actual spending this month, and perhaps go into a little detail about some of our larger baby purchases. read more

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Net Worth Tracker: July 2017

On the last day of every month, I take an assessment of all of my financial accounts and calculate my net worth. It allows me to get a detailed look of how my savings accounts are growing, my investment accounts are changing, and how much longer I have until I hit each of my financial goals.

July 2017 was a great month for the New Father Finance family. Our net worth increased by 10% this month, growing by $39,467! A large part of this is owing to my wife’s grandmother, who generously contributed $25,000 for NFF Jr.’s college education. However, even without the gift, we still were able to grow our net worth by over $14,000, putting July as one of our best month’s ever. Here is a breakdown of he we did in each savings category. read more

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