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.
Emergency Fund: No changes to this account. I’m glad I made the switch to CIT Bank to get a 1.35% interest rate on my money here. That’s not bad for a cash account, and I feel good about having that kind of money set aside for a rainy day.
Working Capital: We spent a lot this month out of our personal accounts. My biggest expenses where buying the gifts my wife wanted for her birthday. Normally we don’t spend much money on each other, but she wanted new clothes that make it easier for her to do the things new moms need to do and didn’t have enough money in her personal account to pay for them. I offered to buy them for her. Not the most romantic gesture, but it was certainly something the gets a lot of value out of.
Related Article: Managing Our Finances as a Couple
Down Payment: Our savings were decent this month. Despite some over-spending on restaurants, car expenses, and deposits for a future vacation, we were able to contribute ~$4,400 to our down payment fund. Given that daycare expenses are about to start soon, I want to get that number up as high as I can in the next few months.
Education: NFF Jr’s account is finally growing thanks to strong stock market returns this month. A significant portion of this account is still in cash, thanks to gift rules we need to follow (hence the 1.1% versus market ~2% this month). NFF Jr. also received a $100, which we promptly added to his college fund. Until the cash is fully invested, the returns will continue to lag the market, but that will all change in January.
Retirement: After my company screwed up my 401k contribution last month, I upped my contribution for the rest of the year to make up for it and get as close to $18,000 for the year as I can. My wife isn’t contributing anything right now since she is still on short-term-disability from her maternity leave. Her paychecks also stop entirely in November until she goes back, so that will hurt our finances a bit next month. But for now, we’ll take the high stock market returns and enjoy the growth in our retirement funds.
How was your October?