So now that I’ve completely paid off my student loans, what else is there to track other than my monthly budgets? Time to track my progress in the opposite direction of course! I’ve been excited to share this progress with everyone since I started this blog, but the student loans always seemed to take precedence over that at the time. Not to mention they were taking up a huge portion of my net worth anyways, so it didn’t really make sense to include this as a monthly post when I was already giving the monthly student loan updates. I posted the retirement account update in May, but I now plan on incorporating those accounts into a monthly update starting this month.
I wrote a review about Republic Wireless back in April of last year when they essentially had two simple plans. Since then, a lot has changed and I decided it was time to update my review. I’ve been with Republic Wireless since December of 2013 now and I plan on sticking with them as long as my phone continues to perform at a decent level. I have the 1st generation Moto X and while the battery isn’t what it used to be, the Lollipop system update really brought new life to the phone and it’s as fast as ever. But this updated review isn’t about what Republic used to offer. I’m going to write about what they plan on offering and whether or not it’s a good deal for new customers or those looking to switch.
I’m continuing the low spending trend far into 2016, this is now the fifth month in a row that I’ve been under budget. I had a few unexpected expenses this month, but the low spending across the majority of categories countered that once again. In fact, the only category that I was above my budgeted amount was the health care category. And the unexpected expenses were the cheap part of the category! I’m expecting the below budget trend to reverse next month after going on vacation and contributing a larger amount to my Roth IRA, but it was a nice run to start the year off. It’s a weird feeling to not be devoting the majority of my paycheck towards my student loan, all of a sudden I’ve dropped a huge spending category from my budget.
Time to share how I’m doing on the savings side of personal finance, specifically my retirement accounts. I last shared an update back in January based on the account balances that I had at the end of December. With my student loans finally being paid off, saving has now become my personal finance priority. Taking advantage of retirement accounts and the tax savings that they have to offer is an important part in meeting those savings goals. I’m hoping that by trying to max these accounts out it will bring me closer to my goal of financial independence. This snapshot should hopefully give a better picture of that!
I’m going to go slightly off topic today for this post, but there is still some relevance here as your job is obviously an important part of personal finance. Your income is basically what you build you entire budget around! Now I may not be actively searching for jobs, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to take a look at the market and see what exactly is out there. If there is something that really piques my interest I do try and apply because I think it’s important to stay fresh on your interviewing skills and you never know what exactly might come from it. But there is one thing that usually makes me pause before applying or sometimes may persuade me not to apply at all: Taleo. As soon as I see that an employer is using Taleo software I know that I’m most likely in for a frustrating and repetitive experience.