Net Worth Week 41 – Washington Changes Edition

This change is hard. The new man openly talks about assaulting women. It’s a lot to take in. But I must keep trying to be the change I wish to see in the world. I can do that best from a place of financial wellness. This is my eighth week in a row of net worth increase. It’s a good start.
1/13/17 1/20/17
Joy 1103 1103
Travel 324 324
Down Payment 19 19
Retirement 21 21
Health 45 45
Moving 284 284
EF 310 310
Business 501 501
Bed 0.29 0.29
Life 1128  1716
IRA 11075 11020
Brokerage 666  663
CC (largest) -4210 -4265
CC (longest) 0 0
Rewards Card -999 -1365
SL 1 -103652 -103767
SL 2 -45646 -45698
Earnest -6519 -6532
Net Worth -145550 -145120  
Percentage Change .22% .29%

How are you handling the changes? I’ll be volunteering this weekend.

Net Worth Week 31 – Sick and Tired

10/28/16 11/4/16 11/11/16
Joy 1101 1102 1102
Travel 323 324 324
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 284 284 284
EF 105 105 309
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 2145 2256  1475
IRA 9917 9773  9954
Brokerage 391 377  396
CC (largest) -4499 -4479  -4390
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card -647 -199  0
SL 1 -103159 -103275  -103115
SL 2 -45421 -45474  -45401
Earnest -7752 -7768  -7318
Net Worth -147122 -146887  -146293
Percentage Change -.76% .15% .40%

Have you encouraged someone who is despairing?

Net Worth Week 29 – Halloween is Scary Edition

10/14/16 10/21/16 10/28/16
Joy 1101 1101 1101
Travel 323 323 323
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 284 284 284
EF 1005 1005 105
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 946 1942  2145
IRA 9914 10011  9917
Brokerage 400 399 391
CC (largest) -4559 -4559  -4499
CC (longest) 0 -62 0
Rewards Card 0 -383  -647
SL 1 -102929 -103044  -103159
SL 2 -45316 -45368  -45421
Earnest -7720 -7736  -7752
Net Worth -146463 -146000  -147122
Percentage Change .11% .31% -.76%

How are you celebrating Halloween?

Net Worth Week 24 – Fall Growth Edition

9/9/16 9/16/16 9/23/16
Joy 1100 1100 1100
Travel 323 323 323
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 31 283 283
EF 1004 1004 1004
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 747 871  1732
IRA 10186 9854  10079
Brokerage 403 395  402
CC (largest) -4699 -4699  -4693
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card 0 0  0
SL 1 -102594 -102726  -102858
SL 2 -45163 -45223  -45283
Earnest -8109 -8126  -8143
Net Worth -146532 -146867  -145967
Percentage Change .15% -0.22%  0.60%

Is Fall a busy season in your industry?

Net Worth Week 14

Gentle Readers,

There is still steady progress in my net worth. It’s a turtle’s pace, but the turtle will get there.

If you want to know more about my life philosophy, read this piece on empathy and curiosity that I wrote as an entry for a contest to win a trip to FinCon.

Hearing about the attack in Nice and feeling like this violence won’t end. Be good to yourself, friends. Hug your people.

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

Date 6/25/16 7/1/2016 7/8/2016 7/15/2016
Joy 1098 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  2597 2002 2002 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1140 1929 863  746
IRA  8765 9580 9653  9894
Brokerage  315 324 329  335
CC (largest)  0 0 0 0
CC (longest)  0 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -5347 -5675 -5247  -4862
SL 1  -102284  -102482 -102258 -102374
SL 2  -45067  -45112 -45010 -45062
Earnest  -9306 -9328 -8878 -8897
-$147748 -$147222 -$147006 -$146678
  -.24% change .35% change .14% change  .22% change

How did you acclimate to slow and steady progress when you have a hare’s heart?

Net Worth Week 13

Gentle Reader,

Man, the violence in our world is a lot sometimes. It is hard to be hopeful, but then I see the image of the strangers in Dallas who immediately surrounded a baby in a stroller when the shots rang out.  They were willing to put their body in harm’s way to protect a small life. That crowd was diverse and, I assume, did not all personally know that baby. They did not know why the shots were happening or who was being targeted, but they decided to protect a defenseless child. That is my hope for the world. That crowd of strangers who chose danger for another.

I know that y’all noticed I was quiet on twitter this week, and thanks for checking on me. PF bloggers are a great community. I had family in town and they had shenanigans to put me through.  I’m still trying to win my way to FinCon – in large part to meet y’all. It is already an honor to know you and I can only suspect that honor will grow when I can shake your hand.

My net worth plucked along in the positive direction and that small victory is helping me remember the destination this journey is leading me to.

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

Date 6/17/16 6/25/2016 7/1/2016 7/8/2016
Joy 1098 1098 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  2597 2597 2002 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1839 1140 1929  863
IRA  8285 8765 9580  9653
Brokerage  221 315 324 329
CC (largest)  0 0 0 0
CC (longest)  0 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -5300 -5347 -5675  -5247
SL 1  -102268  -102284 -102482 -102258
SL 2  -45017  -45067 -45112 -45010
Earnest  -9286 -9306 -9328 -8878
-$147390 -$147748 -$147222 -$147006
  -1.0% change -.24% change .35% change  .14% change

Have you been encouraged by small progress?

Net Worth Week 10 – Grief Edition

Gentle Reader,

My heart still aches for my LGBT Family in Orlando. I focused this week on time with other LGBT people and in LGBT spaces. I allowed myself to overspend on food to be near people I was grieving with. I knew I was doing it and it was the right thing for my heart. I’m also still operating from a much smaller than average paycheck. It will be a few more weeks of loss. Thankfully small.

I am so encouraged at how many allies and people not directly impacted this time are trying to make us safer. Thank you. I don’t know if you know how much succor it gives us. Only one of my many relatives has checked on me at all, and that is a good summation of what it is like to be a lesbian. We’ve never felt safe in this world, and this has made it worse, but the response of so many people who are taking this as a call to action is so encouraging. Thank you a million times.

My IRA and brokerage accounts took hits this week, in addition to missing a month’s worth of funding that I had previously planned.

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

Date 5/27/16 6/3/2016 6/10/2016 6/17/2016
Joy 1098 1098 1098  1098
Travel 322 322 323 323
Down Payment  18 19 19 19
retirement  21 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  2597 2597 2597 2597
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  2765 2344 1729  1839
IRA  8359 8378 8516  8285
Brokerage  222 224 226  221
CC (largest)  0 0 0 0
CC (longest)  0 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -3998 -4481 -5434  -5300
SL 1  -102245  -102360 -102120 -102268
SL 2  -45059  -45095 -44971 -45017
Earnest  -9696 -9247 -9258 -9286
-$145518 -$146101 -$147176 -$147390
  2.95% change -1.0% change -1.0% change  -1.0% change

Has tragedy ever drastically changed your spending patterns?

My IRA Does Not Understand My Heart’s Goal

Gentle Readers,
As I have said, I have made a series of changes in the past six months to improve my financial situation.  Many of the things I currently must do make me miserable. If I were financially free, I could walk away from some of this. I could choose to do what serves me.
When I decided I needed to prepare myself for buying a home in the next year, I made the decision to update my IRA, which I had started at the end of 2015. Then I fully funded it before 2015 ended, because I did not realize I had until April of 2016 to do this. I’m still learning.
But I was scared.
I had not previously started my IRA because I was worried about draining my liquidity in a very uncertain job market for me. I made the jump in September, but still put in a “safeguard.” I told close to the truth about my risk aversion in my Intelligent Portfolio. I told them I was less risk averse than I truly am.
I fear risk.
This is rational in many instances, but not the best decision at this point in my retirement timeline.
Starting an IRA was terrifying. Thankfully, since September, I have continued seeking out information to make myself more comfortable with the “risks” of having so many stocks in my portfolio. The risk of not having enough stocks in my portfolio is not having enough money for my life when I age. That is a risk I am not willing to take any longer.
So, on April 16th, 2016, I signed into my Intelligent Portfolio. According to their calculations, I was on track for retirement. In September, I had stated my retirement goal as $875,000 when I turn 67.
Thirty-five years from now.
That accounts for $35,000 worth of spending a year in a 25 year retirement with the standard caveats about investing. My portfolio said I was on target to get to $880,000 in 35 years, with the average returns it expects. It predicts a worst case performance of $675,000 and a best case performance of $1,300,000.
In 2051, thirty-five years from now, I will be 67 years old.   This is not good. I want the option to retire much sooner than that. I may need to stop before then due to disability or enormous changes in the job market, because anything can happen. I want that option by 57 at the latest.
My heart is afraid to say that I want that option at 37.
On April 16th, 2016, I changed my risk profile. I assumed risk now to hopefully skip the risk later. I told the questionnaire what it needed to get me there. It is going to be a bumpy ride. Hopefully education will make it easier on my heart.
Before I adjusted my risk tolerance, my allocation was:
  • 68.08% stock
  • 16.76% fixed income
  • 5.76% commodities
  • 9.4% cash
It took a few days for the account to re-balance itself. The re-balancing says that it will be settled once it gets to 94% stocks and 6% cash and cash equivalents.
On May 9, 2016 the allocation is:
  • 91.89% stocks
  • 8.11% cash
My IRA’s swings since re-balancing have been more dramatic than I experienced in January 2016. This will take getting used to.
Have you made dramatic changes to your investments lately? 

How I Got Here

Gentle Reader,

Every indebted person is unique in how they arrived to their indebtedness. The majority of my debt is educational, and contributed to my becoming a Professional. The debt is not just from my degrees though. I have used some of this debt to position my life and business in a way that I hope will sustain me in the near future.

My professional industry is rapidly changing.  Unfortunately, my entrance to my profession coincided with its crash. I have been working in gigs rather than a full career job since 2012. The gigs pay more than childhood me ever thought she would earn. The gigs pay more than the career I had always assumed I would have. The gigs pulled me away from considering the nonprofit work that would not pay me enough to live in this city.  For this, I am actually grateful. Having enough has taught me that work should not underpay me just because the work was important and necessary to the world. Work that cannot pay a living wage for its location while being location-dependent is unfair to workers and inappropriate. You should not have to take a vow of poverty to do good work.

In 2014, with the emotional and, at times, substantive, support of Mabel and TBO, I incorporated my own business in a niche within my professional field. I was able to do this by taking half of my liquid savings. All of my savings, outside of my investments in my brain and relationships, were liquid at this point because I was in a scary market and afraid of gigs drying up.

I used my investment in my LLC, and began slowly building it up while working gigs full time. I supported my life with the gig money, and also credit cards. I had some CC debt when this began, due to making a poor decision in a previous relationship. However, starting my business took so much from me and I did not feel able to get a bank loan. I never tried though. The CC debt and revolving gig work created a bad cycle.

My LLC is a bare-bones business that is able to support itself for the next few months without an infusion of cash from my personal accounts. I’m hopeful that my LLC will pay me for the first time this calendar year.

So my story is like many others’ before. Poor decisions in a relationship. Then fear keeping my savings liquid. Finally making decisions designed to take control of my life and financial well-being. This took longer than I am proud of, but I am still young enough to make my life resemble what I desire.

Wish me luck.

How’d you get where you are?