Financial Wrap-Up For 2011

I don’t really have the energy to organize all my financial data in a wrap up post, so this is mostly going to be qualitative in nature.

I ended 2011 in the black even though I practically didn’t get any income in November and December. This is thanks to the 8-month bonus as well as the sale of stock options in March (see why I hesitate to quit?). Stock dividends accounted for another 4K. I really would like to increase this passive income to about 10K. Maybe I should make it a goal for 2012? I also got four months of rental income from the condo.

My spending went over-budget, but only because of ownership costs of the condo (mortgage, property taxes, conservancy charges etc), which is all offset by the rental anyway. Otherwise, I kept just within the 21K annual budget. I overspent the food and discretionary spending categories (read: cabs), but came in well under in most other places so everything balanced out.

I didn’t have any major surprises this year other than the condo, so everything more or less turned out as expected. I think the condo valuation has gone up, but since I have no way of confirming this, and have no intention of paying for a valuation at this point in time, I’m not making changes there.

Net worth went up by 33K year to year. However, if I compare the final December 2011 figures to the highest net worth I achieved in April 2011, there is a drastic loss, mainly due to:

1)      Stamp duty for the condo (that’s 34K to the government, thank you very much)

2)      One of my endowments matured, but the final figure received was only slightly over half of what I had expected. I think I made a mistake reading the policy documents in the first place. Anyway, the money has been set aside for the condo renovations next March, so I decided to just leave it all out of the calculations. Loss: 16K

3)      Damn you, stock market! That’s 16K paper loss since April.

I guess I should be grateful there is even a positive trend this year.

Next year is going to be a lot slower. I am certainly not expecting the same level of bonus distribution and there will definitely be no selling of my stock options in the current bear market situation. I am expecting that I will need to spend more than what I have received from the matured endowment, so that will be one major piece of spending. The budget is going to be tight next year if I want to maintain the same level of saving.

On a more frivolous note, I am spending $800 next week. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9” appears to be finally available in Singapore, so I am giving it to me as a combination Christmas and birthday present (who cares if March is still months away?). This may just be the pick-me-up I need to get me out of this whole emotional funk!

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