This month was the second drop in a row for my net worth. However, compared to November 2017 it was just a slight drop and caused by expensive Christmas gifts and we had to pay for a surgery for our little Lucky (our Dog). I also added 100€ in donations that’s why this month wasn’t so bad at all.
Christmas was great and I received lots of great gifts myself which are very expensive and I probably wouldn’t be able to buy them in December.
The month ended with good news! My agent has found two potential clients for me in February, so I will probably be able to reach my goal of earning 8-10k€/month soon. Lastly, it was the last month of the year so it’s time to check back on my financial goals of 2017!
Without further ado, let’s dive into my third net worth report!
My total net worth
Note: All Dollar values are calculated with Googles exchange rate from Euro to Dollar on the 4th January 2018! I prefer EUR over Dollar as it’s easier to compare my performance without a dependency on the recent exchange rates. The monthly changes in dollars are not calculated from the last month but from the exchange of the according EUR values.
My total net worth of this month is 8,715.70€ ($10,515.29)! [Change: -227.11€ ($274.00)]
First, let me give you an overview of my different accounts:
- Checking account: 2,949.38€ ($3,558.36) [Change: -663.33€ ($)]
- Freelance checking account: 0.00€ ($0.00) [Change: 0€ ($0)]
- Savings account:
- Emergency fund: 1,200.23€ ($1,448.05) [Change: +0.23€ ($0.28)]
- Apartment savings: 1,100.20€ ($1,327.37) [Change:+50.20€ ($60.57)]
- Working equipment savings: 100.02€ ($120.67) [Change: +50.02€ ($60.35) ]
- Wedding savings: 963.17€ ($1,162.04) [Change: +50.17€ ($60.53)]
- Vacation savings: 500.09€ ($603.35) [Change: +100.09€ ($120.76)]
- Depot account (investing [ETF]): 1,212.44€ ($1,462.78) [Change: -8.15€ ($9.83)]
- Investing cash account [ETF]: 4.17€ ($5.03) [Change: -605.86€ ($730.96)]
- Depot account (investing [DGI]): 680.59€ ($821.12) [Change: +680.59€ ($821.12)]
- Investing cash account [DGI]: 5.41€ ($6.53) [Change: +5.41€ ($6.53)]
As mentioned before, the surgery of our dog was pretty expensive and also Christmas wasn’t that cheap for me. However, I don’t like to save on Christmas gifts at all. I know a lot of PF guys would disagree with me on this point but in my opinion, you don’t get rich by saving in December on gifts but on spending less during the other 11 months. Though, without the surgery, I would have been perfectly on +/-$0 for this month. So I think my spendings were okay.
You may notice the strange numbers on my savings accounts. I’ve switched to another savings account which not only pays higher interests (0.45% instead of 0.05%) that are very high for Germany right now but also add a lot more convenience and motivation to these accounts. I can split the account into 5 sections (which is exactly the number of savings positions I have right now) and all of them get their own IBAN. This means I can not only split them virtually but also technically and change my automatic transactions and I don’t have to keep track of them that much as the mobile application shows me the money in each account.
For motivation purposes, you can add saving goals (like a summer vacation for my vacations account or a 3-month-expenses on my emergency fund). I am also able to add images, see the progress of all my goals and the time I need with the current monthly savings to reach that goal. This motivates me, even more, to tackle that emergency fund soon.
Lastly, you may have noticed that I have two new accounts listed above. The investing and cash account for Dividend Growth Investing stocks. Yup, I have purchased my first (or better 19) shares with this strategy and I will receive my first dividend payment in this very month on this very day (5th January 2018). I had to create a new account for this strategy as my current broker had a financial trap where I have to pay roughly 5€ for each dividend payment abroad. In my portfolio, I will have just very few German companies and the costs would add up dramatically. I will go into the details of this purchases a little bit later.
Net worth detail: Income
Overall income: 1,452.01€ ($1,751.82) [Change: -369.46€ ($445.74)]
In more detail my income looks like this:
- My student job: 975,21€ ($1,176.57) [Change: +3.75€ ($4.52)]
- Support from my parents: 400.00€ ($482.59) [Change: 0€ ($0)]
- Other income: 76.80€ ($92.66) [Change: -373.18€ ($450.23)]
First of all, don’t ask me what went wrong with my paycheck in November but it was 3.75€ less than it should be. However, I think it’s not worth the effort to find someone in such a big company that can explain this to me. This month the value is correct again, so no, this wasn’t a raise. 😉
The other income went back down as expected. Last month, I’ve received money back from my mother-in-law that I lend her for a flight due to account problems of her. This month, again, I didn’t get a product of Amazon so they paid back the money to me and I sold some of my old movies and books that were just collecting dust on my shelf.
Nothing fancy here, but I hope this will change in February.
Net worth detail: Expenses
Overall expenses: 1,651.82€ ($1,992.88) [Change: -1,267.29€ ($1528.96)]
In more detail my expenses look like this:
- ATM money: 50.00€ ($60.32) [Change: -50.00€ ($60.32)]
- Mobile phone contract: 30.99€ ($37.39) [Change: -7.49€ ($9.04)]
- Insurance: 87.10€ ($105.08) [Change: -87.10€ ($105.08)]
- Spotify subscription: 4.99€ ($6.02) [Change: 0.00€ ($0.00)]
- Credit card payments: 536.98 ($647.85) [Change: +375.56€ ($453.10)]
- Amazon: 162.45€ ($195.99) [Change: +138.51€ ($167.11)]
- Development stuff: 19.83€ ($23.92) [Change: -56.36€ ($68.00)]
- Blogging stuff: 0.00€ ($0.00) [Change: 0.00€ ($0.00)]
- Train tickets: 0.00€ ($0.00) [Change: -5.50€ ($6.64)]
- Miscellaneous: 759.48€ ($916.29) [Change: -1,210.02€ ($1,459.86)]
These expenses are huge again. In general, the ATM money was fine but due to the gifts, the surgery, the donations it was again way too high for me! My insurance company was able to charge my account correctly this time so I decreased the value again to its regular amount. The credit card payments were expected high. Well, they are. Amazon was pretty expensive as I purchased lots of gifts and materials for them here.
I was able to decrease my development stuff only on paper. Parts of them are now charged to my credit card. In January 2018 they will get even higher as I’ve added a Nanodegree program to learn a new development skill for 200€/month. Anyway, I think an investment in yourself is a good investment.
One part of Amazon is a gift for a donation, however, the amount is still huge.
I am looking forward to decreasing this as a whole in January.
Net worth detail: Investments
My investments look like this right now.
- Dividends received: 4.89€ ($5.90) [Change: +2.49€ ($3.00)]
- Fees paid: 15.65€ ($18.88) [Change: +15.65€ ($18.88)]
- Taxes paid: 0.48€ ($0.58) [Change: +0.48€ ($0.58)]
- Stock value: 1,893.03€ ($2,283.90) [Change: +672.44€ ($811.28)]
- Money in my cash accounts: 9.58€ ($11.56) [Change: -600.45€ ($724.43)]
Okay, I know last month was boring but look at this! I am very excited to tell you that I’ve purchased my very first dividend stocks. I selected two European companies that stand out for me and I think I can hold them for quite a few years. I’ve tracked one company for a long time and now I finally got them.
I also received a lot of dividends from my ETFs. That’s a good thing.
The stock value increased logically because of my 19 new shares but I had to pay a large fee, too. The difference in the change of my cash account and the stock value are due to the fees, stock price changes and my monthly contribution of 100€.
Note: I won’t tell you what companies exactly I’ve purchased. The reason is, that I don’t want to influence any person to buy a company that I buy. Your circumstances are maybe totally different and a good buy at that time could be bad now. I also think that I am far from being an expert and I don’t want you to judge and buy a company because of my opinion. Anyway, I will add guides on how to pick successful DGI companies soon. For now, check out this post to learn more about the strategy.
Net worth detail: Financial goals of 2017
Let’s compare my financial goals of 2017 with my situation at the end of the year:
|Car savings account||50.00€||0.00€|
What a great year! I was close to doubling my net worth goal. The reason why I set it that low was that I was expecting higher expenses of our own apartment. We are still searching for a place to live together and we can’t move out from our parents’ places. You wouldn’t believe how bad the German real estate market is right now. We want a small 3 room apartment (I need one room to work from home). Right now, we are not able to find a place for less than 1,000.00€ which is insane! It’s not like these places are beautiful. They are just highly overvalued. For one apartment there are 150-400 applications and that means you have a lot of competition. Actually, this grows my wish to live in another country every single month. I hope we will have more luck in 2018.
With the new buys of shares, I was able to achieve the second goal with a portfolio value of 1,893.03€!
The checking account was a bit too high and I wanted to transfer the money to my savings accounts. However, I feel like not exactly knowing what will happen in January and February. I just feel safer with a little bit more on that account.
My wedding account was increased as I expected and I was able to achieve this goal in November already.
I donated a total of 100€ to 3 different charities, it’s not much but better than nothing.
You see, I failed on the last goal with the car savings account. This wasn’t caused by the lack of money but I think the goal is not worth chasing anymore. I will add huge chunks in March, April and May when I have my first client and I think a car savings account is not needed til that time.
If you want to read more about my year 2017, read this post.
What do I expect the next month(s) to be?
Well, I’ve got the feeling that we could be able to find a new home soon. This will add a huge amount to my expenses list. I do not only have to pay the rent but also our food which we do not have to that often right now. I also mentioned before that I added a Nanodegree program to increase my professional skills as a software developer. It’s like investing. I diversify myself with another highly demanded technology skill. Though, this will add another 200€/month to my expenses list. I will need a tax advisor and he doesn’t work without getting paid. Lastly, my transportation costs will increase as I have to get to my new working place by train.
On the other hand, I see a chance that I stop working as a student at the end of January and start working for a client as a freelancer immediately. If this works out as expected I can add a decent amount of money to my income and all my financial concerns will be blown away. This is far from unrealistic but also far from certain. I don’t like uncertainty and I hope to get this fixed next week on the first call with the potential client. I will keep you updated on this in the next month’s net worth report.
For my investments, I can already tell you great news. I have increased my monthly contributions to 300€. This is a gutsy call as I had a negative net worth change during the last two months. However, I also know that my expenses should decrease even more in January and I hope (think) I will be able to have a higher income soon. If everything turns out as expected I may double or triple this contribution again during the year.
One last thing I want to share, as a freelancer it’s even more important to have a large emergency fund. Therefore, I will try to increase this to at least 6,000€ soon. This combined with the need of a car as soon as we have our own apartment will probably make it impossible to increase my investing contributions to more than €600 for the next coming months. However, this is still a large sum and will help me to get financially independent sooner.
So how was your net worth behaving in the last month? Let me know by leaving a comment in the comment section below.