PoP Balance Sheet – September 2014

Welcome to our September 2014 Balance Sheet!

We use the structure of a monthly income statement and balance sheet in tandem to make sure we are keeping our expenses low and planting our pennies wisely. If you’re not already tracking your finances using these two methods, go to mint.com and get started today! If you have any questions about how we do this just post a comment and we’ll be sure to help!

While we had some good after-tax savings this month (over $7K!) on our income statement, most of that actually got eaten up by losses in our equity portfolio.  With over $400K in various brokerage accounts, and an equity heavy allocation, it takes less than a 2% dip in prices across the board to eat up all those gains and then some.  While that didn’t (quite!) happen this month, we came darned close.  It’s a good reminder – the bigger our holdings get, the less of an impact our month-to-month savings have in comparison to the market swings.

Now, that’s not to be taken as a disincentive to save, but rather just a reminder that we need to get used to feeling the up and down motion of the markets and being okay with it in much the same way that when you get on a boat for the first time you need to get used to the up and downs of the waves.  In that sense, we’re earning our “sea legs” right now.  So far, no need for barf bags or Dramamine.

So for the month of September:

  • Our total assets went down by $0.3K  (oh no!  wrong way!)
  • Our total liabilities went down by $1.1K
  • Net worth rose by $0.8K
  • Total net worth as of the end of September is $787.1K, which represents a measly 0.10% increase this month.

And for the details… Continue reading PoP Balance Sheet – September 2014

PoP Income Statement – September 2014

Welcome to our September 2014 Income Statement!

Kitty PoP looks kindof old man-ish with his shaved chin!

Kitty PoP looks kindof old man-ish with his shaved chin!

Mr. PoP and I put these income statements together for two reasons. First, we want to be transparent about our finances because we’re trying to be role models for other people who are trying to plant their own pennies (and end up with dollars someday!). Second, we do this to make sure we’re on track to meet our own long-term goals. If you’re not tracking your income statement and balance sheet, we highly recommend you start using a program like Mint to keep track of it all.

It’s been a crazy month here in the PoP household.  I managed to maim myself not once, but twice.  (My klutziness knows no bounds!)  And Mr PoP had some work travel that is driving him a little nuts these days, too.  Not even Kitty PoP escaped the crazy as he did his first ever interview – check out his interview with Frugal Hound at Frugalwoods.

The income statement looks a little more flush than usual this month, but it comes with a caveat.  I am now officially maxed out on my 401K for the year, which means funds (to the tune of ~$2K/month) that were bypassing our income statement and going straight to the balance sheet (how we always treat pre-tax savings), have to come through our income statement (and get taxed along the way… sad face!) before we can allocate them as savings to our taxable account.  Mr PoP is also on track to max out his 401K, but we’re trying to get that to happen as close to the end of the year as we can (this will maximize his employer match) while dealing with his unpredictable income from his commission sales job.

Also boosting the income this month was the fact that one of our renters decided they wanted to pay us in advance every 2 months.  So the amount recorded for rental income there is ~1.5 months of rent from our 2 units, and next month will reflect ~0.5 months.  Makes income slightly lumpier, but we don’t mind the lumps.

On the expenses side, we’ve also added a new category under “Home” for our kitchen renovations.  Though the bulk of these expenses will come in 2015, there are a few (probably totaling $3K or less) that we are trying to get done in 2014 in preparation for the big event.  It’ll be a bit of a squeeze to get these expenses in under the $50K mark that we are aiming for in total 2014 spending, but if we end up going over by the “Kitchen” amount or less we won’t stress it since it’s more a matter of bringing these expenses forward from the 2015 year.

The Bottom Line

  • Earnings before principal paydowns and savings allocations of $7,436.

And here are the details…

Continue reading PoP Income Statement – September 2014

Building and Maintaining Your Commuter Bike

20140907-182952-66592380.jpgAs primary bike mechanic, Mr PoP is giving his thoughts today on bike maintenance for your daily-rider!

It’s been great having Mrs. PoP ride her bike to work every day .  She is less stressed, healthier, and wealthier, which is a pretty incredible trifecta. Behind the scenes I’ve also been having a ton of fun learning how to tinker with and maintain her trusty Jamis commuter bike (we call her Go-Go!), and turn her into a true commuting machine.  Quick Note – the links below may go to Amazon! I get my stuff through there if the LBS (local bike shop) doesn’t have the right tools.

 

What Makes a Bicycle a Good Commuter?

Continue reading Building and Maintaining Your Commuter Bike

Getting The Plans For Our Dream Kitchen

View into kitchen/dining area with thick blue lines indicating change to ceiling line and where wall will move opening up the space.

View into kitchen/dining area with thick blue lines indicating change to ceiling line and where wall will move opening up the space.

Last we left in the grand saga that will become (already is getting to be?) this kitchen remodel, we had dreamed up some major changes.

A lot of them were aesthetic.  New cabinetry with a new layout and new flooring are the big aesthetic changes, which is pretty standard for a DIY kitchen remodel.  And the great thing about aesthetic changes is that most of the time they don’t need to be permitted*.

Don’t get me wrong, I love our city employees.  (Seriously, I was just telling Mr PoP how fabulous of an experience I had with our city’s public works office the other day.)  But if I don’t have to deal with an added layer of bureaucracy to make a minor change to our house, I’ll be glad to omit that step.

Sometimes Looks Aren’t Everything

But in addition to the aesthetic changes, we had some bigger ideas for the kitchen – vaulting the ceiling and moving the kitchen wall by about 3.5 feet to expand the footprint and make it feel much bigger.  Those ideas were definitely structural changes and we knew before we could move forward with the ideas we would need some help finding answers to these two main questions: Continue reading Getting The Plans For Our Dream Kitchen

PoP Economics of Bike Commuting, 17 Months In

20140907-182952-66592380.jpg

My bike all decked out and up on the rack for a tune up!

Since I started bike commuting back in April 2013, we haven’t really done much of an update in terms of what the ongoing biking expenses have been like and what kind of savings we are realizing in terms of other modes of transportation (ie cars). Here’s that update.

Bike Costs

In the last 17 months, my bike has gotten a bit of a makeover, though slowly. The makeover is mostly complete, but it has been a little on the pricey side to transform my trusty GoGo (a Jamis commuter hybrid originally purchased in 2005) from a 3-mile per day fair weather commuter bike I used in school 8 years ago into a 20-mile per day commuter bike that gets me reliably to and from my “corporate America” job.

Here’s what was added or upgraded as part of her transformation this year:

Continue reading PoP Economics of Bike Commuting, 17 Months In