Net Worth Week 79 – Oof Edition

Gentle Readers,
Still no word on a will. Treatment is not going as easily as he hoped.
I still have a job.
That’s all I can say for this week.

This week’s net worth numbers

10/6/2017 10/13/2017
 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 3195  2838
 IRA  14719  15309
 Brokerage 855  838
 Rewards Card 2  0  0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6270 (BT)  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105965 -105643
SL 2 -46702 -46555
 Earnest -2708 -2713
 Net Worth -141378 -140698
 Percentage Change .16% .48%

Have you ever convinced a dying person to write a will? How did you do it? 

Net Worth Week 78 – Pushing Through Edition

Gentle Readers,
I visited my father, and am glad that I have the flexibility that allows me to leave quickly when needed. I’m glad I was there. Instead of his first radiation treatment, we were sent to an ER where he stayed for a few days. The visit also gave me a chance to get some information I’ll need for his last wishes. He wants me to be the executrix and that will be easier if I know what he wants.
I’m grateful that tray two for invisalign is less brutal than tray one was. My teeth are still tender, which is expected, but I have not woken up from the pain during this tray. It is definitely impacting my eating habits. So many foods are just a no-go when your teeth are this sensitive. The candy my girlfriend bought me for the stress of my father’s illness now must be very gingerly and carefully consumed.
Now I’m just trying to make up the hours that I missed at work. The visit included a last minute hotel stay that I hadn’t budgeted for.

This week’s net worth numbers

9/29/2017 10/6/2017
 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 3466  3195
 IRA  14542  14719
 Brokerage 827  855
 Rewards Card 2  0 0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6270 (BT)  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105849 -105965
SL 2 -46649 -46702
 Earnest -3167 -2708
 Net Worth -141602 -141378
 Percentage Change -.67% .16%

Have you ever been in charge of a person’s estate? Any tips? 

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 64 – She’s Here Edition!

Gentle Readers,
My room is not yet perfectly organized. (Hint, it never will be.) But I have reduced the amount of stuff through donations, give-aways, and trash where appropriate.  I got it done just in time for my girlfriend to arrive.
My niece is also visiting, but some tomfoolery has prevented me from seeing her until her last day here.
It is still unclear how long my job will last. We had 2.5 days of sitting waiting for work before we were put back on tasks that don’t need to be done. My resume is as current as possible.
It has been an expensive few weeks. This has corresponded with OT being curtailed due to weekend server upgrades. I thought I’d be done with my credit cards before the end of June. I was mistaken.
Thankfully, one of the expenses is for my tutor who I will be starting with very soon. July is going to be an intensely focused month on skill-building. Hopefully, when August roles around, I will find a job in that skill. There was a posting for a similar gig this week, but it is bad form to leave a gig early and I’m not quite prepared.
 It’s time to head out the door for breakfast. I hope y’all have wonderful Fourth of July Weekends!

This week’s net worth numbers

6/23/2017 6/30/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 1116  1439
 IRA  13106  13134
 Brokerage 709  704
 Rewards Card 2 -2291 -2902
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card (98) CR  0
SL 1 -105011 -105090
 SL 2 -46266 -46306
 Earnest -4455 -4465
 Net Worth -140500 -140992
 Percentage Change .19% -.35%

Do you have plans for Independence Day?

Net Worth Week 58 – Graduation Edition

Gentle Readers,

My gig continues to be managed very poorly. Once the supervisor who hated this project got a new job, it has gone downhill faster and faster. They promise there is a ton of work to do, but they are not staying enough ahead of us, me really, to ensure that there is work available when necessary. It’s frustrating. I sit at my desk waiting for work. At least I get paid when I wait. Their mismanagement messes up my ability to get overtime as planned.  Nothing is promised and I have to keep remembering that. Thankfully, I am still doing well.

A coworker I like on another project let me know about some job postings within our field but a level up. He found the pay rate and what skills we would need to show in order to qualify for it. I appreciate that he looks out for us.

I am off to my family member’s graduation party this weekend. It is important to show up for significant milestones. I’ll also get a chance to have a girl’s day with my best friend from middle school. Since she has children, I am letting her pick what we do. She gets less downtime than me. If she wants us to hang with her family or if she needs away time, I’m happy. I love her family, and I will do my part to contribute to its happiness.
My TMJ is acting up. I’m trying to do a better job taking care of this pain, but stress triggers it.
The markets were rocky this week. I wonder what they’ll have in store for us with all of the ridiculous goings-on in our Administration. My IRA is down, but my net worth is up. I’m heading in the right direction. This is the fourth week with a positive change in my net worth!

This week’s net worth numbers

5/12/2016 5/19/2017
 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 832  1644
 IRA  13002  12883
 Brokerage 693  685
 Rewards Card 2 -1572 -1474
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -999 -918
SL 1 -104577 -104693
 SL 2 -46068 -46121
 Earnest -4862 -4872
 Net Worth -141059 -140374
 Percentage Change .95% .49%

Have you noticed the rocky market or just kept on with your plan?

Planning For a Graduate’s Future – Redux

Gentle Readers,

It is graduation season again, and another family member is finishing high school. This time the plan is to stay in the family home until college starts. I like to not play favorites with siblings, so I am getting her almost the exact same set of books that I got him last year. One small deviation to account for the differences in their characters.

I decided to stick with the perennial favorite, “The Millionaire Next Door.” She plans on a high-paying career, but I think the stealth wealth envisioned here could help her stay on course no matter what happens.

Her personality is very different from her brother and I think she’ll be best served by the framework in “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke.” That will be on top of her present-stack.

I don’t think she would even read the one I was least sure of for her brother, so I did not buy her it. I don’t want to waste her bookshelf space. She plans on being pre-med. That shelf-space is precious.

She believes in deep thought, supposedly, and I got her the esoteric one, too, “Early Retirement Extreme.” I suspect she won’t touch this either.

The deviation for her was “Truth & Beauty: A Friendship.” I loved this biography and think that many women with deep but fraught friendships could benefit from seeing one displayed in all of its gory richness. Patchett is one of my favorite living authors and this was helpful and painful to read during a particular time in my life. I think this family member may understand my twenties better from reading this. Perhaps not. I hope that she navigates relationships in a far healthier way.

Unlike her brother, I think traditional education is the current best route for her. I think she will flourish in college in a way her brother never would. Maybe I’ll buy a textbook for her? Or leave that to her parents…

What do wish you had read at 18?

Net Worth Week 37 – Happy Holidays!

Gentle Readers,

Travel begins tomorrow and will mark the first time I will actually get to be in the same state as my lovely girlfriend on Christmas Day. I’m not thrilled by the area of the country we’ll be in, but she’ll be with me and that’s a lot of joy for one woman.

There’ll be limited time with my family and away from my jobs, but I will get to hug someone I have not seen for a few years due to how far away they live. I’m so excited. Definitely worth the cost of our tickets. All of my siblings in the same space happens once every 2 or 3 years. It is not easy.

12/9/16 12/16/16 12/23/16
Joy 1102 1102 1102
Travel 324 324 324
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 284 284 284
EF 309 309 309
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 445 636  1912
IRA 10988 10883  10718
Brokerage 664 661  661
CC (largest) -4341 -4341  -4256
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card -988 -510  -1274
SL 1 -103334 -103449  -103565
SL 2 -45501 -45553  -45606
Earnest -6915 -6927  -6942
Net Worth -146880 -146494  -146246
Percentage Change .27% .26% .16%

Have you traveled this holiday season?