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 39

12/23/16 12/30/16 1/6/17
Joy 1102 1102 1103
Travel 324 324 324
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 284 284 284
EF 309 309 310
Business 1 501 501
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 1912 1889  1422
IRA 10718 10879  11055
Brokerage 661 658  669
CC (largest) -4256 -4251  -4210
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card -1274 -1534  -1406
SL 1 -103565 -103680  -103795
SL 2 -45606 -45659  -45711
Earnest -6942 -6956  -6507
Net Worth -146246 -146o49  -145876
Percentage Change .16% .13% .12%

Have you ever fired a client over ethics?

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 38 – The Year End Edition

I once again travel today, but this time to New England to begin the year with some of my favorite people. I love starting the year with them, but have not done it for a few years. Extra bonus, my girlfriend loves every time I visit this region because I come home so happy. Everybody wins.

My business had a major milestone. I paid myself out of the profits for the first time. It is a small amount, and does not begin to repay me the loan of my money and time over these years, but it is an incredible start. I’m quite happy to start small, because this gives me a chance to feel what paying self-employment taxes are like on a limited-scale. If I mess up, the error should be smaller, right? My current plan is to pay myself from the profits, but not spend the money. Just have it set aside into my “business” account. Once I get the hang of paying quarterly taxes, I can save it/invest it/use it like regular money.

Thirty-eight weeks of tracking my net worth and I’m doing slightly better than I was when I began. I had hoped to be in a much better position at the end of the year, but I had not anticipated the thousands of dollars in medical bills. I still know that I am doing better, but it is important to remember that life can come at you sideways.

12/16/16 12/23/16 12/30/16
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 1 501
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 636 1912  1889
IRA 10883 10718  10879
Brokerage 661 661  658
CC (largest) -4341 -4256  -4251
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card -510 -1274  -1534
SL 1 -103449 -103565  -103680
SL 2 -45553 -45606  -45659
Earnest -6927 -6942  -6956
Net Worth -146494 -146246  -146049
Percentage Change .26% .16% .13%

Are you ready for a New Year?

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?

Net Worth Week 35 – You Better Work Edition

11/25/16 12/2/16 12/9/16
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 1632 2617  445
IRA 10170 10124  10988
Brokerage 406 399  664
CC (largest) -4332 -4341  -4341
CC (longest) 0 -98 0
Rewards Card -1443 -1683  -988
SL 1 -103378 -103477  -103334
SL 2 -45521 -45566  -45501
Earnest -7351 -7364  -6915
Net Worth -147712 -147283  -146880
Percentage Change -1.12% .29% .27%

Have you ever had the option of Unlimited Overtime? How much would you work if you could?

Yakezie Challenge Update – Under 200,000!

Gentle Readers,

I completed the Yakezie Challenge!!!

I listened to the free advice from Sam and have succeeded in exactly the way he promised. My original post was one day over six months ago.

A refresher on joining the Yakezie Challenge :

1) Install the Alexa toolbar if not already and comment what your current Alexa ranking is.

2) Write consistently 2-4 times a week on your own site and consider guest posting around the community including on Yakezie.com to raise your profile. (I was consistently twice a week at first, and lately I have done 1 post a week)

3) Install the Yakezie Challenger Badge.

4) Announce on your blog that you have joined the Yakezie Challenge.

5) Selflessly promote others and build relationships. (Still good for all of life)

6) Stay committed and consistent over the next 6 months!

7) Introduce yourself on the Yakezie Challengers Forum and get to know your fellow Challengers and Members. (I’m not clear if this is still being updated and never added myself.)

8) After you’ve completed the 6-month challenge, let everyone know how it worked for you. If you’ve done it as intended, you could be invited to become an official Yakezie member.

As of  June 6, 2016, my Alexa ranking was 14,000,562 internationally and 1,489,921 nationally.

As of December 7, my Alexa ranking was 684,605 internationally and remarkably 180,247 in the US.  ZJ Thorne is officially under 200,000 and I did not fully follow all of the steps in the end. Imagine where I would be had I been able to make the full commitment!

Have you listened to the blogging giants and seen success?

 

 

Net Worth Week 28

10/7/16 10/14/16 10/21/16
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 1005
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 596 946  1942
IRA 10007 9914  10011
Brokerage 401 400 399
CC (largest) -4652 -4559  -4559
CC (longest) 0 0 -62
Rewards Card 0 0  -383
SL 1 -102813 -102929  -103044
SL 2 -45263 -45316  -45368
Earnest -7713 -7720  -7736
Net Worth -146637 -146463  -146000
Percentage Change .23% .11%  .31%

How are your Octobers going?

Net Worth Week 26

9/23/16 9/30/16 10/7/16
Joy 1100 1100 1101
Travel 323 323 323
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 283 283 284
EF 1004 1004 1005
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 1732 1596  596
IRA 10079 10033  10007
Brokerage 402 400  401
CC (largest) -4693 -4660  -4652
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card 0 -701  0
SL 1 -102858 -102957  -102813
SL 2 -45283 -45328  -45263
Earnest -8143 -8160  -7713
Net Worth -145967 -146981  -146637
Percentage Change .60% -.69%  .23%

Have you ever walked away from a potential mentor because you weren’t sure of their character?

Why I Still Give As I’m Getting Out of Debt

Gentle Readers,

It is true that I am pursuing financial independence, and that I am beginning far behind the starting line to the tune of negative $146,000. I am working my behind off and pursuing many strategies to change my situation. However, I still donate time and money to good causes. Some folks in the PF sphere will think me mad, and that’s okay by me. Everyone is allowed their own priorities.

I donate and give gifts to people and causes who do not directly benefit me. I do this for many reasons. The main one being that I want the world to be better. It would break my heart to know that I spent the next five years so focused on my own financial situation and ignored the world around me. If I can make the world even slightly better as I’m going, I will. Future me will be grateful, I’m sure.

When a young couple I know recently had a child, I checked in after the birth to see what they were missing now that they know what this baby in particular was lacking.  Then I mailed it to them. I also sent them a meal of their choice. They are growing accustomed to being parents and starting to learn some of the true costs. I am a practical woman and usually give practical gifts. I love adorable baby clothes and items, but babies need rash ointment. I can give that.

When I learned a friend had lost his job in a way that will preclude him getting similar employment, I stopped mowing my own lawn and paid him to do it instead. I also began asking around to see if I knew of any opportunities for him.

When people I admire and respect run for local office, I donate. Currently, a teacher from high school is running and so is a woman I met at a gala a few years ago. I do not live in their jurisdictions, but I care that they have excellent, respectable leadership. Neither of these people are running out of hubris. They are running because they have concrete ways they want to improve their community. Local politics matters so much to our daily lives. I give them money. I want America to be better.

I could get out of debt faster if I focused solely on my debt, but that is not how I want to live my life. I want to consistently work on improving the world while also improving my own financially life. I choose both. I’ll get there more slowly, but the view is worth it.

Do you make money choices that are financially irresponsible but right for you?