Jul 5th, 2012 by Jennifer Lynn
Once every few months I peek at my finances to crunch some numbers and receive an overview of my financial well-being, and I’m tickled pink to share with you.
(When I talk about financial stuff with my significant other, his eyes glaze over. This is what he hears: blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.)
Soo, ready? Here’s how my July numbers are shaking out…
Credit Card / Car Loan / Student Loan Debt:
I paid off my car in three years on a five-year loan and have no revolving credit card debt balance or lingering student loan debt. This was all aggressively paid off in 2009.
Credit Cards I use:
American Express Gold Card (my primary card)
My American Express credit card is used for our daily household expenses — but I pay the balance off in full each month. In fact, I’m notorious for immediately paying the bill after returning home that evening, rather than waiting for the billing statement to even arrive in the mail.
Discover Card (my secondary card) — although I love the cashback program and customer service offered by Discover, it has been shuffled to the rear of the pile since I opened an Amex account. (I tend to funnel all my purchases through one card to maximize rewards.) I do, however, still have an online savings account with Discover.
So, why American Express, you may ask, when there is a burly $125 annual fee attached?
Here’s my reasoning:
When Amex invited me into their Gold card program, they waived the first-year annual fee, so initially my intention was to give the card a try and cancel before the promotional period ended. However, something changed my mind in the process.
When M. (my significant other) and I flew to Honolulu, Hawaii to visit his sister in 2011, we rented a car to travel around the island of Oahu, and — based on card perks — saved almost $400 on car rental insurance by booking through Amex. This is just one instance where the gold card has provided astounding value, and the card, essentially, has paid for itself for the next three years. I do feel it’s an invaluable card to have in one’s traveling arsenal.
Without using the travel perks, however, the annual fee wouldn’t be justified.
Personal Checking Account: $3,000.00
My checking account is set up at a local community bank.
Personal Online Savings Account: $565.00
My Discover online savings account has a minimum balance requirement of $500 @ .90% APY — however, this rate may not be available to newer customers. (I haven’t checked rates in a while since they all tend to be paltry right now.)
Soo, why do I keep more in my checking account than in savings?
Depreciation and liquidity.
Interest rates are simply not attractive right now so I like to keep cash handy while I’m out scouring estate sales and other local events for undervalued, appreciating items (ie, rare items, antiques, numismatics, precious metals).
M. and I also have a joint savings account at a local credit union.
Our Joint Savings: $5,000.00
My Other Investments: $23,088.00
Various conservative investments which can be liquidated if necessary in the near term.
Current Net Worth in 2012: $31, 653
M. is a computer engineer with a steady income but substantial student loan debt. We’ve avoided a mortgage due to this, and currently rent in the city, so one of my financial goals is to save for a starter income property, such as a duplex.
There is a rough rendering of my finances. Your financial goals so far? Do tell.