Naked With Cash is the year-long series on Consumerism Commentary where seven readers’ households share their financial progress on a monthly basis. I’ve partnered with financial planners who will offer some guidance along the way. Read this introduction to learn more about the series.
Kathleen is thirty-one years old, single, and living in Portland, Oregon. She loves her job, even if it isn’t very lucrative. With her $33,000 income last year, she’s looking to make more money from “side hustles” this year, such as her blog, Frugal Portland. To learn more about Kathleen, read her bio here. Kathleen is on Team Sara, with Certified Financial Planner Sara Stanich.
Kathleen’s report this month, below, includes Kathleen’s progress over the three months leading up to the end of June 2013. Following Kathleen’s own self-analysis, Sara Stanich will offer thoughts from her perspective.
Comments and analysis from Kathleen
I bought a condo and somehow, that didn’t break my bank. I think it had something to do with the fact that the gifted down payment was $3,000 more than the title company needed, so I had a bit of breathing room to buy a washer/dryer and blinds. This was a great idea, even though it was completely accidental. Thanks, parents!
Other than that, it took me a long time to be comfortable with the fact that the “woo hoo no more debt yay!” feeling was so fleeting. I beat myself up quite a bit, had to flesh out my thoughts, and I’m finally comfortable with a mortgage.
Sure, it’ll take me a long time to pay it off, but now, I’m paying my own mortgage instead of someone else’s. Also, I got to paint a wall.
Feedback from Sara Stanich, CFP
I’ve been saying it a lot, but congrats!
Your finances are in good shape. You bought a home without overextending yourself. You have a habit of saving. You have no debt (outside your mortgage). Sure, we can always do more or better, but you can also relax a little and let your automated payments and savings do the work for you.
That clears a lot of mental space you can use for other (dare I say more important?) parts of your life. I am excited to see what comes next for you!
Feedback from Jacob Wade
Nice work, Kathleen! Bought a place and your net worth still went up! That’s rare. And I’m glad you’re comfortable with your newly acquired home, as you have just purchased an appreciating asset, and that’s a good thing! No advice on this front except the keep up the savings and rock the retirement savings.
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Updated June 22, 2016 and originally published July 30, 2013.