Net Worth Week 77 – Flexibility Helps Edition

Gentle Readers,
I am off to my sick relative this afternoon. I will miss 3 days of work for this visit, but seeing him before the radiation and chemo wreck havoc on him will be worth it. Thankfully, I just had to pay the cost of taxes since I still had miles available.
It’s been quite a busy week. I put my first invisalign tray in on Tuesday and it was painful. It is stillpainful, but the pain for days two and three are different from day one. I met with my client yesterday to fulfill his last minute request, and earned a little money for my business. I gave my business another loan this week to get me through the next month. Hopefully, that will be the last loan necessary. The downsides to owning a small business include needing to handle things even when your family is in an emergency.
For my relative, I have no idea how he’ll respond to treatment. If he’ll respond. So far, he is in remarkably high spirits. Perhaps my girlfriend was right to believe that my family’s ornery-nature could prove the odds wrong???

This week’s net worth numbers

9/22/2017 9/29/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 4548  3466
 IRA  14213  14542
 Brokerage 837 827
 Rewards Card 2 0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6270 (BT)  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105734 -105849
SL 2 -46596 -46649
 Earnest -3160 -3167
 Net Worth -140664 -141602
 Percentage Change .49% -.67%

How many times have your miles saved you money? I think I am at 4 or 5 “free” trips so far this year.

Net Worth Week 76 – Grief Approaches Edition

Gentle Readers,
I went to the baby-shower, and was a good family-member. I  showed up, but then I got the call no one wants. A family member has a terminal illness. The outlook is dim. It is possible he could be the outlier who lives, but the odds are not high. Very not high.
This week has been heavy and so draining. It will get worse.
Next week, I will receive my first set of invisalign and begin adjusting my teeth, and I will try to get everything I can done for my business and my job in anticipation of my flight to visit my family member for potentially the last time.
Thankfully, I work by the hour in my gig. I told them I won’t be there and I don’t have to think about them when I am gone. I do have to think about ensuring I earn enough money. But that is a problem for future ZJ. Right now, I need to be near him.
This week I’ve turned to my friends, without betraying his desire for privacy. I ate in their homes and read bedtime stories to their kids. I told them of my pain and they listened. They show up for me. They provided food and a willing ear.

This week’s net worth numbers

9/15/2017 9/22/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 4107  4548
 IRA  13882  14213
 Brokerage 823  837
 Rewards Card 2 -6345 0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105619 -105734
SL 2 -46544 -46596
 Earnest -3154 -3160
 Net Worth -141352 -140664
 Percentage Change -1.14% .49%

How have you handled anticipated grief?

Net Worth Week 75 – Babies R Us Edition


Gentle Readers,
It is almost time to pack my bag to head to the baby-shower I dread. But, my rule as a human is to show up whenever possible. Even if the family member is a schmuck. Definitely for a baby-shower, especially if the family member is a schmuck since the baby needs examples of how to be good when people are unkind.
I have now paid for nearly half of my invisalign and should receive my first trays in the next 1.5 weeks. It’s going to be more painful in the short-term, but will hopefully correct some of my TMJ. My wallet is not pleased. Since I am worried about cash-flow for myself and my business, I’ve initiated a balance transfer to give me breathing space to deal with the preliminary invisalign costs.  I will have until August 2018 to pay it off. It was approved, but has not yet shown up in the statement.
My student loan payments increase in October because I am on IBR and my income last year was higher than the year before, and I now have a monthly recurring payment for the remainder of my invisalign treatment. The last payment for invisalign corresponds closely with my last Earnest payment. It’s going to be a tight few months.
My dentist was surprised that my treatment plan is for five months. She had envisioned it closer to nine months. With her payment plan, patients pay roughly half upfront and then the remainder in equal monthly payments for the duration of treatment. If my invisalign needed longer to correct my teeth, I would have less of a cash-flow worry in the next few months. At the end of the treatment, I’ll need to pay for a new night guard to match my new smile. Unless my TMJ is entirely corrected, which is not the anticipated result

This week’s net worth numbers

9/8/2017 9/15/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 3282  4107
 IRA  13555  13882
 Brokerage 825  823
 Rewards Card 2 -3781 -6345
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105503 -105619
SL 2 -46491 -46544
 Earnest -3147 -3154
 Net Worth -139762 -141352
 Percentage Change .24% -1.14%

How much have you spent at the dentist this year?

Baby Shower Gifts When You Fear How They’ll Raise Children | baby shower gifts

Gentle Readers,

A small contingent of the family that I actually have a relationship with believes that I should stop being a lesbian and marry a man. I don’t know why this younger relative has decided to be such an ass, but he has. I don’t argue with it. I just avoid him as much as possible. I don’t have time for such ridiculous ideas. I am a lesbian. It’s not up for debate.

However, he also has a baby on the way and I have a family duty to let this little girl know that there are many ways to be a good human.

Thus began my quest to find baby books that would not be overtly LGBT-friendly, but covertly allow her to know that there are many wonderful differences in the world.

It’s a fine line. Nothing can say, “Hey your relative is a lesbian and she’s okay,” outright. I just need to plant the seeds that diversity of thought, ethnic group, and sexuality is okay.  To be extra covert, I bought some books that had no such intent, just some wonderful books that any baby would be delighted to chew on. I’m hoping the parents don’t notice what I’m doing.

The baby shower gifts I chose

Spots and Dots (Art Baby) – A beautiful book that can attract a baby’s eye. I think that there should be more art and beauty in everyone’s life.

More More More –  A book about being loved and cared for by parents. This concept is harder for my family than it should be. I hope that the cycle ends.

Spot Goes to the Farm – Dogs need adventures, too. This family member is least likely to leave a fifty-mile radius from his home. He would be well-served by learning about other ways of life. The world is less scary than he imagines.

Baby Loves Quantum Physics – Introducing hard concepts early even just briefly does wonders for expanding imaginations and belief in what is possible. And I’m a nerd who hopes to contribute to other people becoming nerds. My house growing up was filled with upper level books and I remember reading encyclopedias of science. I loved the concepts and hope she does too. I am no scientist now, but my life is enriched by hard concepts.

Whoever You Are = Accepting our differences and our similarities and loving that. This focuses on ethnic groups and nationalities. It’s a Reading Rainbow book and Levar Burton is hard to argue with.

We’re Different, We’re The Same = Sesame Street is hard to argue with, as well. Another book that focuses on visible differences rather than sexuality and gender identity.

Did I toe the line close enough? No rainbows, no two mommies, no genderqueer puppies. Just the smallest idea that there are more ways to be in the world.  Hopefully the parents won’t shut out this idea, but I must be careful.

How do you think I did in this quest?

Net Worth Week 74 – Fall is Coming Edition


Gentle Readers,
With more hurricanes impacting the US South and the Caribbean and earthquakes in Mexico, I’m still supporting Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies. I may add in Doctors Without Borders.
Another week of waiting for my invisalign, and my teeth are unhappy. The nightguard I have has not been appropriate for my mouth’s current configuration for over a year. It’s taking a toll.
Happily, the great press has resulted in one new scheduled client meeting. I don’t yet know if they will hire me, but this is a good first step. I would feel a lot better about my business’ balance sheet if I had one or two new clients. Lastly, my business finally has a Facebook page. Enough people have tried to connect with my personal page that it seemed like a page could be a good idea. No cost and low effort may pay off. I did not have a page previously because my mentor didn’t. I also had followed her advice about websites for our niche, but people who contacted my office wanted one. Responding to your market matters.

This week’s net worth numbers

9/1/2017 9/8/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 3431  3282
 IRA  13495  13555
 Brokerage 825  825
 Rewards Card 2 -3531 -3781
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105647 -105503
SL 2 -46557 -46491
 Earnest -3606 -3147
 Net Worth -140092 -139762
 Percentage Change .42% .24%

How are you supporting after the latest disasters?

Net Worth Week 73 – Harvey Edition

Gentle Readers,
I submitted the small bio and head-shot that my panel required, but mainly this week I focused on Harvey.
My girlfriend moved to Houston earlier this year and now it is underwater. Thankfully, she is safe and able to help from a distance. Every emergency needs people who are good at logistics and connecting folks to the right resources. My job right now is to be supportive without interrupting her.
The organization I am supporting during this event is Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies. People with disabilities are often the worst impacted by natural disasters. Portlight has a respected track record in responding to disasters. You probably saw some videos of people being saved out of their wheelchairs and into boats. Once those people are back to dry ground, they will again need their mobility aids. Chairs and other “durable medical equipment”  are vital to life for some people with disabilities, but not available at the Red Cross. For example, people with tracheostomies need sterile gauze and other equipment or their risk of infection and blockage in their air passageway dramatically rises.
Portlight also assists after the disaster. Following Sandy, they helped rebuild ramps into homes and helped refit homes with other accessibility equipment. The need will exist for a long time, and Portlight will be there. Being a person with a disability is never cheap. It is even more expensive when you are trying to access things vital for your particular survival after a community-wide disaster.
I’m still waiting for my invisalign and that next $2000 payment. I don’t know what the delay is. It is making me hold on to cash without paying down the CC, because I intend to do a balance transfer to keep myself liquid for life and my business. The great press my business received has mainly resulted in folks wanting to volunteer for my business and not any new clients so far. This may be an expensive year.

This week’s net worth numbers

8/25/2017 9/1/2017
 Joy 1108 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 2961  3431
 IRA  13341  13495
 Brokerage 814  825
 Rewards Card 2 -3283 -3531
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -388  0
SL 1 -105531 -105647
SL 2 -46501 -46557
 Earnest -3598 -3606
 Net Worth -140689 -140092
 Percentage Change -.63% .42%

How are you supporting after Harvey?