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?

Net Worth Week 69 – Spinning Round Edition

Gentle Readers,
My tutoring sessions continue to improve my skills greatly. Every day I am more excited about the possibilities on the horizon.
Knowing that I will pay out of pocket for Invisalign the same month that my business has many bills due has been stressful. I think I will have to return the money my business “paid” me back to my operating account. Unless a new client comes in ready to hire me very soon. One current client contacted me yesterday for a tiny bit of work that will help enormously, but not cover everything I have going out this month. I should be able to do everything he needs this weekend.
I am grateful that I have this blog, because it taught me how simple a balance transfer is; it also reminds me that the last time I took this step it was because of dental pain, as well. C’est la vie.  My credit score is good and I have no plans in the next six months to take out a loan of any sort. Knowing that I have significantly higher outlays than projected income in the next two months, my plan is to hold off on paying down my credit card so that I have the funds available for my business, if necessary. Once the first big payment is due for my Invisalign, I’ll put it on my credit card and then initiate a balance transfer. That will buy me many months of no interest for the fee of a 2% balance transfer. This is much cheaper than letting it sit on a credit card with an APR over 10%.  It’s not the greatest situation, but I know better how to use the tools available.
Next week may not have a net worth check in because I will be in Texas visiting my love! I cannot lie, I have been dreaming about TexMex.

This week’s net worth numbers

7/28/2017 8/4/2017
 Joy 1107 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1005
Life 1499  1818
 IRA  13481  13486
 Brokerage 809  836
 Rewards Card 2 -2406 -2489
 CC (largest) -114  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105329 -105444
SL 2 -46411 -46464
 Earnest -4033 -4042
 Net Worth -140010 -139803
 Percentage Change -.46% .15%

How often have you felt the phrase “One step forward and two steps back” in your financial life?

Net Worth Week 57 – One is Done Edition!

Gentle Readers,
This week has been a whirlwind. We sat for days at work waiting for our task to be available. Naturally, our supervisor did not communicate with us for two and a half days. So we sat. Thursday morning rolled around and we were told that unlimited OT was being “temporarily” suspended since work was not available. Sensible, but frustrating to my plans. A few hours later, not only do we have work, but we have multiple urgent projects. No word on OT until I had to ask my supervisor if the approval would be back since we have deadlines. This is the uncertainty of my job. We just never know what will happen.
I used my downtime at work to study and it feels like it’s paying off. I’m feeling very hopeful about my ability to get a gig in this new skill soon.
In wonderful news, I paid off the balance transfer ahead of schedule!!! No weird spike in interest rate on that bit of money. I’ve been throwing money at this particular sore-spot for weeks. In mid-April, I still had a balance of over $3000. This is one of the reasons I’ve been working my tail off in overtime. I wanted this gone and now it is!
My remaining credit card debt is $2571. Much better than the almost $6000 it was just a short while ago. I will continue working hard towards demolishing this debt. If my job can keep overtime available, it will be very useful for me. I am traveling next weekend, so my ability to work a ton will be diminished substantially.
This is my fourth week in a row of positive gains. I love that sort of trend!

This week’s net worth numbers

5/5/2016 5/12/2017
 Joy 1106 1106
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1003 1003
Life 1397  832
 IRA  12937  13002
 Brokerage 689  693
 Rewards Card 2 -1727 -1572
 CC (largest) -879  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1150 -999
SL 1 -104721 -104577
 SL 2 -46134 -46068
 Earnest -5318 -4862
 Net Worth -142414 -141059
 Percentage Change .55 % .95%

Have you paid off something lately ?

Net Worth Week 44 – Best Week Yet

Gentle Readers,
My high credit score officially returned last week. It took a beating down from excellent to high-ish after I completed a balance transfer last summer. The balance transfer rate ends in July. I am doing a lot of OT right now, and part of the aim is to use those funds to knock it out before then.
I still have not made an appointment  with an oral surgeon.  There is not time right now, and my focus is elsewhere. I am going to try and sneak in a massage or reflexology. My body is terribly stressed right now.
My streak re-set to 2 week’s positive net worth growth! This is my closest to zero since I’ve kept track.

This week’s net worth numbers

2/3/2017 2/10/2017
 Joy 1103 1104
 Travel 324 324
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 284
 EF 810 810
Business 7511 751
Bed  0.19 0.19
 Life 1356  819
 IRA 11459  11536
 Brokerage 674  679
 CC (largest) -4182 -4182
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1530 -1120
SL 1 -103998 -103854
 SL 2 -45804 -45738
 Earnest -6562 -6109
 Net Worth -145201 -144610
 Percentage Change .33% .40%

Are you making plans for Valentine’s Day? Do you spend a standard amount?  

Goals 2017 – Accountability and Chutzpah!

Gentle Readers,

I am not typically into resolutions, but I think that financial ones could be helpful in focusing me and so I will try them this year. Last year at this time, I did not have this blog or the goals the blog has led me to pursuing. I was ignoring my money and figuring that student debt would constrain my choices for life.  That’s unpleasant to consider.

In April of 2016 I began this blog, and I was in debt to the tune of -$151,728. Focusing on my money had my debt diminish to -$146,049 by year end. That’s an increase of 3.74%. I had hoped to do better than that, but was not anticipating so many medical expenses. Explicit goals are said to be helpful. Let’s give it a go.

2017 Achievable Financial Goals for ZJ Thorne

  1. Pay myself from my business at least a nominal amount every month. If I get one client a month to cash-flow properly, I could pay myself $500/m before taxes.
  2. Finish contributing to my 2016 IRA ($1340 to go)
  3. Increase my Emergency Fund to $1000. ($691 to go)
  4. Pay off Credit Cards ($5785).
  5. Fully fund 2017 IRA ($5500 to go)

This is $13,316.  That is $256.07 a week or $1109 a month for all of these goals. I have until April 15 to finish contributing to my 2016 IRA. It and the emergency fund will be my first priority. Then I will shift to paying down my credit card. The 0% balance transfer ends in July. If I cease spending on my credit cards and pay them off in 6 months, that would be $964.17 monthly. Perhaps this is attainable. If July through December is dedicated to funding my 2017 IRA, that is $916.67 a month in contributions.

My current gig is scheduled to last until mid-February, and we are supposed to continue with unlimited overtime until then. It is possible they will extend beyond February. We won’t know for some time. Our industry shifts rapidly. It is not uncommon to be told at 2 pm that your gig ends that day. Staying gainfully employed is helpful to achieving these goals.

The big goals are even grander and dependent upon finding a gig utilizing the skill I’ve been mastering. If I do that, I can double my pay for some gigs. If I do that, my goals can become enormous depending on how long a gig at that rate could last. These goals are too big for one year, but they are in my mind. Luring me.

2017 Stretch Goals for ZJ Thorne

  1. Get my Emergency Fund up to $5000-$10000 ($4691-$9691 to go).
  2. Save up a down-payment of $15000-$30000 ($14981-$29981 to go).
  3. Spend $5000 on my brokerage account.
  4. Pay off the smaller student loan in a fell-swoop $45000.

What are your goals for 2017?

Net Worth Week 15 – Dental Pain Edition

Gentle Readers,

There’s been a slight setback in my finances due to some pain issues I’m trying to take care of.  It’s been a physically painful week in my house. I had my semi-annual dental cleaning and learned the reason for some of my jaw pain – I have a new wisdom tooth that is stuck inside for the next six months at least. My chronic, undiagosed back pain also grew much worse. My physician won’t even look at the body parts I complain about so I’ve been pursuing some alternative healing methods. I have an acupuncture and massage appointment this weekend to try to help with this pain until I can find a new doctor. This will cost me roughly $100 because I’ve found places I trust that give really good deals. Hopefully my back approves. I miss being able to run. My girlfriend misses me not being in constant pain.

I initiated a balance transfer on the 15th and it went through today. My old Barclay Card missed me and offered me zero percent financing until next July. I intend to pay it off before then, and it will be a lot easier when it is not earning interest. Thank you, to YETInvesting for talking me through the process and encouraging me. Hopefully this will help my debt reduction process.

I would be delighted if you read my entry to win a trip to FinCon. I’d love to meet y’all.

I still love Earnest and credit them with my ability to conquer some of this debt.

Date 7/1/16 7/8/2016 7/15/2016 7/22/2016
Joy 1099 1099 1099  1099
Travel 323 323 323 323
Down Payment  19 19 19 19
retirement  21 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  2002 2002 2002 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1929 863 746  897
IRA  9580 9653 9894  9908
Brokerage  324 329 335  337
CC (largest)  0 0 0  -4791
CC (longest)  0 0 0  -529
Rewards Card  -5675 -5247 -4862  0
SL 1  -102482  -102258 -102374 -102489
SL 2  -45112  -45010 -45062 -45115
Earnest  -9328 -8878 -8897 -8915
-$147222 -$147006 -$146678 -$147156
  .35% change .14% change .22% change  -.32% change

Have medical issues ever set you back financially?