Wow, it seems hard to believe that three months have passed in 2016, but they have. This week's post will look at our financial status after the first quarter of 2016.
We haven't added any money to our savings account but our checking account is about $7,000 more than it was at the end of last year. January, February and March are our saving months; we have no big periodic bill due during these months. In April we pay car insurance. May is summer camp. Catholic school tuition is due in June, along with life insurance. July is vacation. August is college tuition and homeowners and flood insurance. September is an "off" month, unless we are still paying the homowner's/flood; and car insurance rolls around again in October. November is "off" and in December we pay for Christmas, college tuition and property taxes. The point is that while it is much better to have saved the $7,000 than not, it has to help pay those big bills in months to come.
This is up, a little since the first of the year, which is a good thing since it was down almost 5% for the year as of the end of February. I'm putting 11% of my pay into this account and the firm kicks in 5%.
Our Vanguard Portfolio:
We have several accounts with Vanguard. Our Roth IRAs are invested in the S&P 500 Index Fund. We have a small taxable account that was moved from a brokerage firm to Vanguard, and my husband and I both have regular IRAs that were moved from the brokerage to Vanguard. When we moved those accounts, we sold the funds that were significantly under-performing as compared to their index but we didn't want to sell everything because of the fees and taxes. The investments brought over from the brokerage firm are a large collection of various styles of mutual funds. We took the money from the funds we sold and used it to buy Vanguard's Total Market Index Fund, Total International Bond Index fund, Total Bond Market Index Fund and Total International Stock Market Index fund. The total value of the account is up for the year, and it has paid over $1,100 in dividends.
I've invested $7,000 in a variety of stocks. Basically Motif lets you design your own ETF; you can buy shares in up to thirty companies at one time for one commission of $9.95 (and there are times they reduce that price for at least some transactions on a motif). You can either pick your own stocks or buy a pre-designed motif, and I've done both. I'm up about $200 since the beginning of the year, and that includes dividends. If Motif sounds interesting to you, use my link and we'll both get $100.00..
I haven't been keeping up my Loyal3 Lunch portofolio; I got into a couple of busy weeks when I ate out way too much and my stats on those posts weren't all that great, so I kind of lost interest. However, the portfolio I have is doing well; it is worth 6% ,more than what I spent on it. I have invested in AMC, Walt Disney, Hershey, Intel, Kohls, Target and VF. All are up except Disney and I plan to buy more of that this week.
My account value is up $321 this quarter which gives me an annualized return of 6.6 percent. I have not added to this account, and do not plan to do so in the near future, just because I want to watch the returns without the addition of new money.
I added $300 to this account in January, and I plan to add some more once we sit down and look at those once a year bills and make sure we have enough money to pay them. This is where we are saving for our next car(s). We have enough money in our savings account to buy those cars tomorrow if we had to (and we buy new (to us) cars when we need to and not before) but it would clean us out. In Prosper the money gets more interest (we hope) and is reasonably liquid so would use Prosper money to rebuild our savings account. The account value is up $323 (plus the $300 we added) for an annualized rate of 6.5%.
Kickfurther is a crowdfunding site where investors help companies finance inventory by purchasing that inventory and then returning it to the companies to sell on consignment. You can read a lot more about Kickfurther in other posts on this blog. So far this year I've added about $37.00 to my investments at Kickfurther. I also continually reinvest returns. My account is now worth more than it was January 1. My lifetime investment is $2,691.67. I've gotten $15 in bonuses and my lifetime profit is $184.23, or about 6.8% of my investment. Considering I started with Kickfurther about a year ago, and didn't put most of the money in until late summer/fall, that's not too bad. However, looking at my investment list, I think there is a decent chance I'm going to lose over $100 of that, depending on how much Kickfurther is able to make off repossessed inventory, and that is something that no one knows at this time. If Kickfurther looks interesting to you, use my link and get $5.00 toward your first investment.
One of the companies about whom I wrote on this blog asked me to write a post for their blog. Then I started soliciting clients and looking for work and so far this year I've earned over $200. Considering there is no commute, and I can do it in my pjs while supervising homework, it works for me. At least at this point my boss doesn't have to worry about me quitting my job to write full time.
Things are pretty much on track. That $7000 extra in our checking account will pay the car insurance and the Catholic school tuition. We should be able to handle most of the other bills out of monthly income, but we'll need to save up for that August tuition payment and the homeowner's insurance payment. The market is doing well so we are making money, and that's a good thing.