Net Worth Week 53 – Maintenance Edition

Gentle Readers,
Monday I saw a play with a friend. Last night I had dinner with another friend. Today, I am meeting up with two different college friends. Neither of whom were planned before yesterday. I had brunch at my friends’ house last weekend and have plans with humans not my office for both days this weekend. I am doing a good job of maintaining friendships this month. It’s a lot though. I need to get some more things done. Always seeking balance.
I’ve had two different meetings with potential clients and another client may finally provide me with the final details so I can finish his case. My business will support itself for a few more months on this money.
I know I am behind on self-employment taxes and will pay the penalty, but I just couldn’t get to it by March 15th. I paid myself so little that I am hopeful that this learning experience will be worth the fee.

This week’s net worth numbers

4/7/2016 4/14/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 1 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 639  518
 IRA  12736  12645
 Brokerage 689  682
 Rewards Card 2 -585 -1138
 CC (largest) -3264  -3227
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1331 -1231
SL 1 -104519 -104375
 SL 2 -46041 -45976
 Earnest -5274 -5285
 Net Worth -144460 -144811
 Percentage Change .07 % -.24%

Are you ready for tax day?

Net Worth Week 51 – After Vacation Edition

Gentle Readers,
I saw my girlfriend for the first time in a month! It was heaven! It also was my first vacation of more than 2 days in a very long time. I set an out-of-office for my business, and warned my clients. So many ignored the warnings, but I held firm and did not engage in any work while I was there.
I meandered. I strolled. I had a networking lunch with someone in my profession who was incredibly kind. I saw a friend. I ate good food. I rocked a rainbow bikini.
Back to reality.  I am a candidate for the cheaper Invisalign according to the company I met with. I still need to talk to my dentist and get approval to pursue this option.
I was given a bed to replace the one I had that my body hated. Unfortunately, even with my brother’s help, the bed I received is not salvageable. I’ll figure out in a few days if I need to replace the frame and mattress or just the frame. This is not an expense I planned for. But I gave my bed away on the promise of this new bed. Sigh.
I spent more on ubers/lyfts this weekend than my normal, but it helped me see her city and meet the folks I wanted to meet.

This week’s net worth numbers

3/24/2017 4/4/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 1 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 994 1666
 IRA  12693  12757
 Brokerage 684  689
 Rewards Card 2 -301 -950
 CC (largest) -3500  -3514
 CC (longest) 0  -65
 Rewards Card -1302 -1416
SL 1 -104288 -104469
 SL 2 -45936 -46019
 Earnest -5716 -5736
 Net Worth -144183 -144567
 Percentage Change -.01% -.27%

When was your last vacation?

Net Worth Week 33 – Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition

11/11/16 11/18/16 11/25/16
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 1475 2288  1632
IRA 9965 10004  10170
Brokerage 396 400  406
CC (largest) -4390 -4370  -4332
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card 0 -454  -1443
SL 1 -103115 -103247  -103378
SL 2 -45401 -45461  -45521
Earnest -7318 -7335  -7351
Net Worth -146293 -146069  -147712
Percentage Change .40% .15% -1.12%

Are you enjoying rest this Holiday Weekend?

Road Less Traveled Challenge

Gentle Readers,

If you are not reading Our Next Life, you are missing out on some delightful people. They have issued a challenge whose mantle is well-worth taking up.

The challenge: Instead of talking about what we’re all doing that’s the same (saving at a high rate, optimizing our budgets, etc.), let’s celebrate what we’re each doing that’s unique.

My unique path is relatively simple. I’m a dyke and have been setting my own course from a very early age. If you do not conform to heterosexuality and the assumptions that many people attach to it, you must necessarily decide what life should be for you because there are fewer examples. This is a blessing. You have to figure out what is important to you. You have to create your joy. The day I graduated from high school, I moved out of my “family” home. I’ve been forging an expanded version of family and what life means for me ever since.  It changes with new information and new versions of myself. Self-improvement means that you have to accept new ways of being.

I was fortunate to find other families to take me in at all times. I was never on the street. In other people’s homes, I found a way to contribute, but mainly I learned from them and appreciated the safety and food they provided. The conclusion I reached from living with so many diverse people was that every person believes they are normal. Every person thinks that the way their family has always done something is the way to do something. Everyone’s assumptions are hidden from themselves because they’ve lived in them for so long. The greatest thing about my early nomadic lifestyle was to see through the veil of normal. There are a million ways to “properly” prepare dinner, and all of them are right for someone.

The way you’ve always done something does not have to be the way you continue doing something. 

Until very recently, I never imagined that I would be able to retire at all. I have significant student loan debt and some personal debt. My net worth is hovering around -$150,000.  However, there has been a change brewing in me. I see hope to drastically alter my situation through two different mechanisms.

The first mechanism involves learning a skill that will double my earnings. I’m really enjoying the learning process and plan to continue learning it even after it becomes profitable for me. Once I’m able to do temp work based on that skill-set, my take home pay will skyrocket. It will be enough money that I could realistically pay off all of my debt and save for a down payment in a high COL area in three years or less. With a much higher income, I intend to take a “balanced” approach. Credit card debt will be knocked out entirely in a month. Then I will save a down payment while increasing my emergency fund. If all goes well, I’ll find a small place that is affordable. Once I get an understanding of what my mortgage feels like on my bank account, I will shift focus to buying index funds and paying down my student loans. After the educational debt is gone, I will probably work one more year doing the highly lucrative temp work and plow most of my earnings into index funds.

Then, I will stop.

I will shift to my second mechanism. With the encouragement of my best friends and girlfriend, I started an LLC two years ago that will eventually allow me to live the lifestyle I desire. The work is a passion of mine and contributes to making the world better. With an appropriate nest egg and low expenses, I could work 20 hours a week doing something of value for the world without wearing myself out. My free time will be mine. I will have slow mornings with strong coffee.

I will use the freedom to travel to practice languages I’ve learned. To go on miniature adventures and learn even more ways people view their choices as normal.

I will use the freedom to create things. I like to write stories and paint furniture. I think I will continue to like that in the future.

I will use the freedom to properly learn how to cook. I’m an excellent baker, but my cooking skills are mediocre. Classes would be wonderful. I love food. I’m sure I can learn.

I will use my freedom to continue volunteering for organizations in my city. I will use my freedom to be a more involved citizen.

I will use my freedom to get a puppy. A big one.

What is your unique approach to life and FIRE?

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?

Checking in on a Delicious Venture – Perks of Being a Silent Partner

Gentle Readers,

I have one investment that I do not include in my list of assets or liabilities, because I don’t know precisely how to in a way that makes sense for me, yet.

I invested in a friend’s small business last summer. I am one of under 30 shareholders. I am a silent partner. This sounds terribly foreign to me, even a year later. In part, because I am an out of state investor. I invested on the strength of his paperwork and photos and his pitch.

My friend created a food business that I understand and believe he can succeed in. I finally got to check in on that business in person as part of my vacation trip today.

(when did this become my life? It sounds terribly mature)

20160512_143807

(checking out the kitchen and the sous vide)

It tastes incredible.  Seriously, my mouth is really glad I had to check out my investment. I now understand why all of his customers are spreading the word.

I do not know if my share will make a financial return. I believe it will, based on projections. He is attracting clients rapidly. I suspect that he’ll need to do another capital infusion in the next 12-18 months, unless there is a recession, because he will need to expand to keep up with the demand. It’s a good problem to have.

I also believe that investing in my friend gave him more than money. This business is great for him and for his relationship to his career. He was floundering after leaving his former profession, and came up with an incredible idea that he was capable of executing. He just needed capital. The change in him has been incredible to see.

Even if I end up writing off this investment, my money is worth what it can do to make the world better. One person at a time.

Have you invested as a silent partner? 

 

 

 

Net Worth Week 3

Gentle Readers,

My tracking of my Net Worth is going strong. There has not been much visible progress, and my IRA had a more volatile week than normal due to being readjusted last weekend. It will be interesting acclimating to my increased volatility. I trust that it will be worth it to Future ZJ, and I like her.

This week began with a panic at my small business. The timing of my deposits and my expenditures was off and I got a notice on Monday morning to that effect. I worried that I would have to use personal funds to cover next month’s expenses. Thankfully, that did not happen this time. My business got hit with a penalty, but it did not drain everything it has.

I am proud that I have successfully kept the balance off of two of my three credit cards, but the Rewards Card balance still grows. I put all of my life expenses on it (utilities, health insurance, food, alcohol, dates with TBO etc). I am not yet willing to go entirely frugal, but I need to reduce my alcohol in public consumption. Spending time with TBO and my friends usually involves food in public, because living in a city involves being far away from each other’s homes. Spending those meals with people I love helps to maintain my heart and friendships. It is good for me. Spending time in public and, also money, is  good for professional networking; people who’ve never met me are less likely to refer individuals to my business.  This spending may not be good for my current bank balance, but I anticipate that it will be worth it in the long run. It is also just fun.

This week’s paycheck is devoted to my student loan payments and my Earnest loan, but they won’t auto-debit until next week.

It’s fascinating to watch my negative net worth change by .99 and -1.0% every week.

Date 4/8/16 4/15/2016 4/24/2016 4/29/2016
Joy 1097 1097 1097 1097
Travel 322 322 322 322
Down Payment  18 18 18 18
retirement  21 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  9 9 9 9
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1066 907 963  1097
IRA  6885 7026 7100  7045
Brokerage  217 221 222  219
CC (largest)  -983 0 0 0
CC (longest)  0 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -2850 -3000 -3060  -3558
SL 1  -101791  -101892 -102041 -102123
SL 2  -44970  -45001 -45046 -45072
Earnest  -10009 -10036 -10054 -10078
–$150,890 -$150,230 -$150471 -$150079
  .99% change .99% change -1.0% change   .99% change

How’s your progress coming?