Detailed Financial Picture – March 2013

February’s Numbers

As of March 8, 2013, we are $475,895.33 in debt (that includes the mortgage).  Without the mortgage, we’re at $50,743.10 in debt.  This includes credit cards, student loans, lines of credit and an auto loan.  We currently have $931,237.03 in assets (including our house).  Our retirement accounts are at $275,024.19.  This includes my February contribution.  Our Net Worth is $455,341.70 (includes house and mortgage), up from $437,309.58 last month (4.12% increase).

Our retirement accounts did well again this month (up 3.32%); I spent a good portion of the month moving our investments around to reduce the fees and keep our allocation.  The fees in my 401(k) account *start* at .65% for an index fund!  I have no intentions of leaving my company anytime soon, and the company match makes up for the fees (100% of the first 4%), so I’m not going to be moving out of that account anytime soon.  I have all of the money in that account in the lowest fee fund and have been making it up in the other accounts.  We crossed the magic $10,000 threshold for many of the funds we’re in at Fidelity and qualify for the “Advantage” class funds – same shares, less fees.  I actually moved some money around to make us hit those numbers in the funds that offer an Advantage class share.   I got our average fees down from about .85% to .40%, while keeping the same allocation (more or less).  I moved almost everything out of actively managed funds into index funds except a few “alternatives”, in which case I selected the lowest fee fund that met my criteria for an “OK” fund.  To balance out the extremely high fees in my 401(k), Dad’s 403(b) account with Fidelity offers “Institutional” class shares, for a mere .04% fee.  For those funds that tend to have higher fees, like real estate and commodities, we put those in Dad’s account since he gets that benefit.

We slowed down on paying down debts this month so that we could add a whole house humidifier to the “new” furnace.  We went with a steam humidifier since I abhor wasting water.  We weren’t able to get the main room of the house above 25% relative humidity with our console unit, and we were tired of filling it up (and hearing it).  Our skin was starting to notice the arid air, and our wood floors were not happy either, so we got the whole house unit.  We can now easily keep the main room at 40% (or even 45%, but that tends to cause condensation on the windows, so we don’t keep it that high).  It’s controlled by our existing thermostat and there’s an “auto” setting, so we don’t really have to do much other than figure out what setting we want and it’ll go from there.  It will increase our electricity bill by an estimated $30-$40/mth, but we won’t see how much for us until next month – and it’s wired into the heat pump, so I can’t put a kill-a-watt on it either :(.

Making up for last month’s bonus, I  changed my tax withholding to see if we could not owe so much at the end of the year.  I set it to “married, but withhold at higher single rate”.  It took *way* too much out – $400 extra per month – which would make up our average tax difference in three months.  I need to actually do the math and tell it how much to take out.  I also bumped my 401(k) withholding up to 6%, with 5% going into the traditional 401(k), and 1% going into a Roth 401(k).  Our income is too high to contribute to a Roth IRA, and I think it’ll be nice to have some completely tax-free money come retirement, so we want to have a Roth to help with taxes when we’re older.

I didn’t have many bites on selling stuff this month. I earned about $100 on an old DVD that I’m pretty sure I paid $25-30 for, but it’s out of print.  I have another out of print DVD set listed, which the lowest price is almost $200 – it’s a collector’s item which I just don’t need any more.  Hopefully it sells.  I have been getting rid of things on Craigslist and Freecycle though, so things are leaving the house.

Debt (in the order we’re paying it down):

  • Line of credit (8.75%): $5,900 (-361.73) <-shooting to pay this off by the end of May
  • Student loans (aggregated 6.55%):  $13,766.70  (-145.42)
  • Chase (4.99% for life): $6,616.40  (-71.02)
  • Car loan (0%): $24,460.00 (-490.00)
  • Mortgage (4.125%): $425,152.23 (-633.26)

Total paid off in February: $1,701.43

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