Checkup – January 2020

Welcome to another Dr. PayItBack monthly checkup! I use this space to remain accountable to our expenses and goals, track net worth and debt, and muse on what was done well and what can be improved.

The start of the new year was a bit of a mixed bag. I’ve finally hit an essentially full schedule at work, after months of building up a new patient base. It’s kept me busy, at least as busy as a no call/nights/weekends gig can be. Now that I know what full-time feels like, I’m trying to figure out how to carve out time for myself and my family, and avoid saying ‘yes’ to too many projects.

Budget/Cash Flow

January 2020 Budget

We didn’t hit our wealth-building goal this month, mostly due to pre-paying for a few trips and memberships. Largest single expense was an Airbnb for the beach in April ($830). After that were a new camera lens for my wife ($420), a new set of SUV tires ($390), the fee for my state professional society annual meeting ($350), and an annual membership to the local children’s museum ($140).

PayItBack Progress

January 2020 Debt

This is where the action really has been, and will be next month as well. I paid off my car loan in one feel swoop, meaning my two-year loan was paid off in exactly one year. Still not as good as buying in cash, but I will have paid just $626 on a $23,000 loan, or an effective interest rate of 2.7%. Not too shabby!

We also refinanced Mrs. PiB’s federal loans to private, and in so doing got an excellent variable rate similar to mine. We used Credible, which connected us with a final offer from SoFi.

Net Worth

January 2020 Net Worth

The market ended just about even on the month after a strong first half. As such, wealth-building number = increase in net worth, give or take a few bucks. I’ve been spoiled for the last several months seeing my gains inflated by the tailwind of strong market performance, but that’s the game isn’t it?

That credit card balance just doesn’t seem to want to budge, but it’s so hard to motivate myself to throw money at it, so long as it’s going to be 0% until August. Maybe in the spring.

Financial Goals for 2020

1) Devote 2/3 (66.7%) of net income to wealth-building: 59.9% running average
2) Max out 403b: $1,764 of $19,500 (9.0% done)
3) Max out backdoor Roth IRAs: $0 of $12,000 (0% done)
4) Max out 529s for state tax benefit: $0 of $16,000 (0% done)
5) Save an additional amount to achieve 20% of gross salary: $0 of $28,500 (0% done)
6) Pay 2019 tax underpayment: $9,000
7) Pay off all carried 0% APR credit card balances: $18,700 remaining
8) Pay off my car loan: $0 remaining
9) Pay off Mrs. PIB’s car loan: $7,800 remaining
10) Pay off Mrs. PIB’s student loans: $29,940 remaining

How Far I’ve Come

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