My Personal Finance Journey

Personal finance observation, musing and decisions in a journey toward financial independence by 2020 with at least $3 million.


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Monthly Review - June 2005 ($231,119, +$4,376)

Contributed by mm | July 3, 2005 8:39 AM PST

With only $4,376 monthly wealth accumulation, June is the least productive month for our family in 2005. Granted, it is not a month without some extraordinary events like below:

• As I disclosed in May's summary, we invited our in-laws to come over for the summer. Airfare expense of $2,100 was booked in June.
• This month is unfavorable one for MSFT as a stock. The one-dollar loss dragged down my stock option account by more than $3,000.
• To the rescue, June 30 marked the end of another ESPP period, and the discounted purchase helped our net worth my about $500.
• I was also able to cash out $570 from multiple credit card rewards program, including $460 from the accumulated 5% rebate on Citi Driver's Edge card.

This concludes the first half of 2005 with a total net worth improvement of $35,598, or 45% of my annual savings goal of ~$80,000. With some seasonal income like annual bonus and vesting of stock option/stock awards coming in during H2, I'm as optimistic about delivering the balance sheet growth as I was six months ago. In the next two weeks, I'll spend some time to review my H1 progress. Before that, here is the analysis for June results.

BALANCE SHEET RESULTS

(Please refer to definition of balance sheet line items.)

  1 Yr Ago 2-Mo Ago Last Month This Month Monthly Monthly
  Jun-04 Apr-05 May-05 Jun-05 Change Change %
Cash & Equivalent  $         1,276  $         4,559  $            443  $         5,712  $         5,269 1189.2%
Saving  $         2,524  $       16,174  $       31,647  $       34,097  $         2,450 7.7%
Brokerage  $       17,672  $       15,906  $       15,475  $       13,418  $        (2,056) -13.3%
Roth IRA  $       14,507  $       18,793  $       17,387  $       17,019  $           (368) -2.1%
401(k)  $       16,994  $       49,274  $       54,650  $       57,103  $         2,453 4.5%
Stock Option  $         7,158  $       13,245  $       14,939  $       11,686  $        (3,253) -21.8%
ESPP  $         8,084  $         1,782  $         3,471  $         5,842  $         2,371 68.3%
Home Equity  $       70,685  $       79,179  $       80,034  $       80,891  $            857 1.1%
Other Assets  $       16,622  $       30,950  $       30,525  $       30,100  $           (425) -1.4%
Receivable (Payable)  $         5,215  $         4,032  $         4,614  $         3,423  $        (1,191) -25.8%
Reserve Funds  $        (3,221)  $        (6,188)  $        (6,179)  $        (6,642)  $           (463) 7.5%
Loans  $        (2,369)  $        (1,827)  $      (13,828)  $      (15,429)  $        (1,600) 11.6%
Tax Liability  $        (2,927)  $        (5,599)  $        (6,436)  $        (6,101)  $            335 -5.2%
Net Worth  $     152,219  $     220,278  $     226,743  $     231,119  $         4,376 1.9%
Liquidation Value  $     124,056  $     183,668  $     188,899  $     193,456  $         4,558 2.4%
IMPORTANT BALANCE SHEET MOVEMENT DISCUSSION

Cash and Savings recorded healthy improvement. This is a result of more savings flowing to the cash account now that I maxed out my annual 401(k) contribution, and a stock sale with proceeds moving from the Brokerage bucket to cash accounts.

401(k) account increase is no compare to the $5,000+ monthly increase I maintained earlier this year. Monthly increase now includes the 50% deduction from my wife's paycheck, 3% company match on my gross salary, and monthly fluctuation of fund performance.

Investment Accounts (Brokerage, Roth IRA): I liquidated my position in OCA (another love-hate story :-)) and moved the proceeds to cash account.

Stock Option Account is adversely affected by the depressed MSFT stock price. I'm not concerned about it -- this account already demonstrated it can send my net worth both ways every month. As the expiration date of my outstanding options are 7 years away, I'm in no rush to lock the gains.

Loans: My credit card balance includes $13,000 in 0% APR balance transfer deals plus $2,400 from recent purchases, which I will pay off before the next due date.


BRIEF DISCUSSION OF EXPENSES

Our monthly spend is $7,990, and it is affected by the $2,100 airline tickets we paid for my in-laws. Other than that, our expense is actually in good control after our in-laws moved in -- much less dining out and clothing spending.

IMPORTANT PERSONAL FINANCE ISSUES IN MONTHS AHEAD

• We expect to cash out our ESPP shares in early July. By my estimate, about $5,800 will flow from the ESPP account to cash/savings account.

• July and August will see the vesting of several batches of stock option and stock awards. The annual bonus will come in our way in September too. All will boost our balance sheet in the summer.

• Now I have all the information to file my tax returns. I intend to complete this by mid-July.

• We expect a trip (and related expenses of about $3,000) in late July or early August. Destination still undecided for now.

• I also look forward to making some progress on the hard personal finance questions I lay out earlier in June. Keep tuned.

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