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 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 55

Gentle Readers,
I think I figured out my self-employment taxes last weekend. Based on the forms I filled out, I don’t need to prepay quarterly taxes for Self-Employment Tax purposes because I do not anticipate earning enough through my business this year. I also received my federal refund and immediately plowed it into paying down debt as intended.
My overtime goal was thwarted this week because we were made to leave early on Thursday. I used the “extra” time to mow my lawn before we get into the 90s this weekend, which was great because all of the rain had prevented me from maintaining it properly. The added $30 from my roommates never hurts either.
I’m still doing what I can overtime-wise, but it will be smaller than I intended this week.  My project got a surprise two new coworkers this week. Our project manager is now indicating more strongly that we will have work after the next eight weeks, but there are never any guarantees in this industry. I’m still going to try to overload on OT while I can, because you never know what the future holds.  If all goes according to plan, I will pay off my balance transfer before the 0% interest rate changes in early July. In the past two weeks, I have paid off 49% of the remaining balance. The next two paychecks are entirely devoted to debt reduction.
I have used my girlfriend’s old crock pot twice now, which means my lunches have been far more frugal than usual. I’m still getting the hang of the process and seeking out better recipes. Do you recommend any?
This weekend I’m looking forward to dinner with a friend who is in town and also a college alumnae resistance event. See, I do some balance.

This week’s net worth numbers

4/21/2016 4/28/2017
 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 1239  1324
 IRA  12768  12974
 Brokerage 691  698
 Rewards Card 2 -1000 -1859
 CC (largest) -2761  -1629
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1176 -1200
SL 1 -104490 -104606
 SL 2 -46029 -46081
 Earnest -5296 -5307
 Net Worth -143478 -143110
 Percentage Change .92 % .26%

Has the rain ended in your area yet?

Net Worth Week 54 – Dine With Friends Edition

Gentle Readers,
At long last, my client who insisted everything was urgent weeks ago, is coming in for final approval this weekend. Then my business can get paid!
I’m trying really hard to get a ton of overtime this week, while also planning on finally doing my Self-Employment taxes, which I am still intimidated by. I really want to pay off these credit cards and keep them paid off. My project is only scheduled for 8 more weeks, but could potentially last longer. I want to get myself into a really good position before the ability to do so much overtime goes away. Nearly $5K I’d like to pay off in the next eight weeks, and then I can re-focus on funding my IRA.
I did have a delightful text asking me to join a friend and his family for lunch in ten minutes on Thursday. I ignored my packed lunch and met them. This was the first time their son actually talked to me, too. It was wonderful. Dining with friends makes such a difference in my happiness levels. I would like to do this at least once a week. Lunch or happy hour or a walk or something.

This week’s net worth numbers

4/14/2016 4/21/2017
 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 518  1239
 IRA  12645  12768
 Brokerage 682  691
 Rewards Card 2 -1138 -1000
 CC (largest) -3227  -2761
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1231 -1176
SL 1 -104375 -104490
 SL 2 -45976 -46029
 Earnest -5285 -5296
 Net Worth -144811 -143478
 Percentage Change -.24 % .92%

Have you ever ditched your packed lunch for camaraderie?

Net Worth Week 52 – Year One Done

Gentle Readers,
One year of tracking my net worth is officially complete!
I’ve learned a lot by focusing so intently and have had some improvements while also having some setbacks. Those setbacks would have been worse if I hadn’t been focusing so hard.
At this point last year, my business was not going as well and I was about to spend a lot of my personal money keeping it afloat. I was also in a lot of pain, but had not yet figured out how to navigate the health system to get the care I needed. My girlfriend lived in my town, but in a very high stress, high hour job. I had begun learning a new skill, but was still very much a novice.
This year, I’m in a slightly better financial situation. My business is doing better and I understand better how to make it work. My pain is diminished and I am physically stronger. My girlfriend lives over 1000 miles away, and this chapter in our relationship has already taught us a lot. My skill-building is reaching exponential-growth levels and it is encouraging. My heart is also in a much calmer position. I’ve become more centered in a few ways even as the world around me, and portions of my life, are more uncertain.
This week has had some financial setbacks. After a few days with the mattress my roommate “gifted” me, my body has concluded it needs to be replaced along with the frame that is not structurally sound. I’m not thrilled with this, but I think my body can hold off a while. I ordered the frame my brother recommended and will use that once it comes in. I was worried for 24 hours that I would have to replace my phone after it took a trip into water. Thankfully, it is back in working order for now and I can wait to replace it.
I still find this weekly exercise useful and think I’ll keep it up for the time-being. One more year ought to get me into a better place.

This week’s net worth numbers

4/15/2016 4/7/2017
 Joy 1097 1105
 Travel 322 1
 Down Payment 18 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 31 285
 EF 9 11
Business 1 1002
Life 907  639
 IRA  7026  12736
 Brokerage 221  689
 Rewards Card 2 n/a -585
 CC (largest) 0  -3264
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -3000 -1331
SL 1 -101892 -104519
 SL 2 -45001 -46041
 Earnest -10036 -5274
 Net Worth -150230 -144460
 Percentage Change 3.84%

Have you grown this year?

Net Worth Week 50 – It Might As Well Be Spring

Gentle Readers,
So sleepy this week. I’ve been working hard in my own business and getting OT at the gig. I’m trying to get more than ten hours of OT this week especially since I will miss a day each in the next two weeks because I get to see my girlfriend in person for the first time since she moved! All of the happy dancing!
I had a free appointment to see if I am a candidate for a cheaper version of invisalign. My dentist wants me to wait at least six months after my wisdom tooth extraction regardless, but I wanted to collect the data. I don’t fully understand why this version is significantly cheaper than traditional invisalign. I am waiting to hear from my friends to hear about their experience of this company. To be continued.
My company is stonewalling me about the W2 and I’m still waiting for a K-1 from an investment. Sigh.
I’m getting more and more excited about my skill-building classes. My progress feels like it is tipping over into the exponential realm

This week’s net worth numbers

3/17/2017 3/24/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 1 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 284
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 342 994
 IRA  12812  12693
 Brokerage 694  684
 Rewards Card 2 0 -301
 CC (largest) -3500  -3500
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1252 -1302
SL 1 -104172 -104288
 SL 2 -45883 -45936
 Earnest -5704 -5716
 Net Worth -144174 -144183
 Percentage Change .46% -.01%

How has Spring Sprung in your neck of the woods? We’re in a cold front and anticipating.

  

Net Worth Week 49 – Stella Edition

Gentle Readers,
My new suit is still being fixed at the dry cleaner, I’ll write a post about this drawn out process soon.
I began talking to my friends about local orthodontist and invisalign costs and timelines. My crooked teeth are causing more pain and I need to use my money to lessen that.
Still couldn’t finish my taxes, because my W2 is wrong, again. This company was wrong last year, too. Same damn issue. Same nonsense of telling me that they aren’t wrong. If they don’t fix it by Monday, I’m reporting them to the IRS. Tired of their bullshit.
It was a busy week with Winter Storm Stella and my skill-building class, but I am feeling more and more confident in my abilities.
I see her in two weeks and I’m so excited!

This week’s net worth numbers

3/10/2017 3/17/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 1 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 284
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 622 342
 IRA  12568  12812
 Brokerage 688  694
 Rewards Card 2 0 0
 CC (largest) -3999  -3500
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1629 -1252
SL 1 -104057 -104172
 SL 2 -45831 -45883
 Earnest -5692 -5704
 Net Worth -144841 -144174
 Percentage Change -.70%  .46%

Were you impacted by Stella?

  

Net Worth Week 48 – Oral Surgery Edition

Gentle Readers,
My suit arrived and the tailored made it fit. There’s still one small snag that I’ll need to have my dry-cleaner fix, but it looks like a million bucks. I’ll write a post about this drawn out process soon.
Oral surgery happened. Then ice cream and applesauce did. This process let me know that my insurance is now only acceptable at pharmacies that my insurer runs. No longer may I utilize CVS. It is inconvenient, but my past performance on prescriptions being such a rarity for me will hopefully continue trending.
I opened a new rewards credit card and was able to use my oral surgery to hit part of the spending limit. This card is for an airline that flies often between the cities my girlfriend and I live in. For now, I’m keeping all of my other cards open, but I may re-assess my needs and potential impact on credit rating. You’ll notice the big dip in my travel and EF account, because I wanted to pay for as much of my oral surgery as possible up front.
Taxes drafted. Schedule C. (got side-lined this week)
Skill-building classes returned!
Another client hired me as I nearly completed work on a different client’s project.
I finished funding my 2016 IRA.
 I bought my first ticket to go visit her in her new city!

This week’s net worth numbers

3/3/2017 3/10/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 324 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 284
 EF 811 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 2640 622
 IRA  12234  12568
 Brokerage 698  688
 Rewards Card 2 0 0
 CC (largest) -4260  -3999
 CC (longest) -191  0
 Rewards Card -2322 -1629
SL 1 -104201 -104057
 SL 2 -45896 -45831
 Earnest -6145 -5692
 Net Worth -143831 -144841
 Percentage Change .34% -.70%

How have your Marches begun?

  

Net Worth Week 45 – A Change is Gonna Come

Gentle Readers,
There was another week of net worth growth, but big changes are brewing. These changes will impact my money, my time, and my general happiness.
My wonderful girlfriend had a short period of unemployment before accepting a job very far away. It’s an exciting opportunity and will be a great chance to grow professionally, but it is also bittersweet. A change of scenery may be good for the spirit, but it also means that our hug quotient will go way down. She flies away next week.
Thankfully, my employment is flexible. I have not yet broached it with my agency, but I will request that they allow me to work remotely outside of the weekend to sometimes work from her new place while she is at her job. This will make visiting her monthly far more feasible. I have the approved computer for remote work. My bosses don’t supervise us, nor care that one person sleeps while “working.” This would allow me to continue pursuing their overtime goals and allow me to purchase cheaper airfare. They should say yes, but may balk. We’ll see.
With all of this, I also need to continue to work on my balance transfer from last summer, and pay it off before July.  Her move is why I have not yet made my appointment with an oral surgeon. I want to spend as much time with her and helping her as possible. Sometimes love includes dental pain.
I have a lot to learn to make this change work. I did not previously know that South West Airlines had such flexible tickets. I will be looking up travel hacking, and all sorts of other things to make sure that our love and support stay strong.
 .

This week’s net worth numbers

2/10/2017 2/17/2017
 Joy 1104 1104
 Travel 324 324
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 284
 EF 810 810
Business 751 751
Bed  0.19 0.19
 Life 819  1608
 IRA 11536  11974
 Brokerage 679  688
 CC (largest) -4182 -4203
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1120 -1682
SL 1 -103854 -103970
 SL 2 -45738 -45791
 Earnest -6109 -6122
 Net Worth -144610 -144139
 Percentage Change .40% .33%

What made a long-distance relationship work for you?  

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?