Net Worth Week 93

Gentle Readers,
The gig has gone even more ridiculously this week. They let us know on midday Wednesday that for the next three days they’d like us to work even more and that they’ll base their culling decisions on h0w much we work. It’s been exhausting, especially because the systems naturally did not cooperate.
I made it back to the free cabaret and played soccer. My deskmate asked why I was not putting in 15 hour days and then bemoaned that I’m “probably making healthier choices” than them. Yes. Yes, I am.
No advances on the estate paperwork.
I received a present from my girlfriend and her mom. A delicious King Cake. This may signify nothing, or is just a nice thing to do, or maybe I should let hope grow. Outlook unclear. So I’m just going to keep focusing on the things I’m doing to make my life great.
A friend from grad school contacted me at midnight and set me up with tickets to a great networking and learning event. I’ll have to miss four days of work, but, per above, it is not clear that I’ll have the gig by the end of next week anyway. I chose advancing my career. I think it was the right choice.
The numbers look slightly better than they are because my brother has not cashed the check I gave him yet. But I like the trend.

This week’s net worth numbers

1/12/2017 1/19/2018
 Joy 1112 1112
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Moving 286 286
 EF 57 57
 Business 5 5
Life 1479  2128
IRA 16837  16960
 Brokerage  877  896
 Rewards Card 2 -4469  -4114
 CC (largest  0  0
 CC (longest 0  0
 Rewards Card -5400 (BT)  -5000 (BT)
 SL 1 -105832  -105948
SL 2 -46641 -46694
Earnest -1375 -1378
 Repay brother  0! 0!
 Net Worth -143023 -141649
 Percentage Change .16% .96%

Have you ever worked at a job with so much downtime?

Net Worth Week 23 – Pain Abatement Edition

9/2/16 9/9/16 9/16/16
Joy 1100 1100 1100
Travel 323 323 323
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 31 31 283
EF 1004 1004 1004
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 1775 747  871
IRA 10118 10186  9854
Brokerage 402 403  395
CC (largest) -4755 -4699  -4699
CC (longest) -0 0 0
Rewards Card -644 -0  0
SL 1 -102835 -102594  -102726
SL 2 -45273 -45163  -45223
Earnest -8094 -8109  -8126
Net Worth -146761 -146532  -146867
Percentage Change -0.11% .15%  -0.22%

Have are your Septembers going? Is learning happening in your lives and professions?

Net Worth Week 16

Gentle Readers,

I’m still spending a lot of money attempting to get a handle on my pain, but there has been some improvement and the hope for much more. It will take more money and will definitely impact my timing, but not as much as the new FHA mortgage guidance. I am getting lessons in patience and working harder towards goals.

I’ve been interested in dividend growth investing, but I find it intimidating. To see in more stark terms what it can be like, I bought one stock. That’s right, one. I’ve been reading a lot at http://www.suredividend.com/ and http://bamfmoney.com/. They’ve both taught me a lot, but there is so much value in seeing for yourself. Financially, it was silly to buy one. The fee will take a long time to pay for itself, but I think the opportunity to learn is worth it.

I was bummed to learn that I did not win the contest to make it to FinCon this year. I’ll keep learning and growing with y’all and we can see what next year is like.

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

Date 7/8/16 7/15/2016 7/22/2016 7/29/2016
Joy 1099 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  2002 2002 2002 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  863 746 897  1796
IRA  9653 9894 9908  9920
Brokerage  329 335 337  407
CC (largest)  0 0 -4791  -4791
CC (longest)  0 0 -529  -1095
Rewards Card  -5247 -4862 0  0
SL 1  -102258  -102374 -102489 -102604
SL 2  -45010  -450062 -45115 -45168
Earnest  -8878 -8897 -8915 -8934
-$147006 -$146678 -$147156 -$146927
  .14% change .22% change -.32% change  .15% change

Do you stick to one type of investment (indexing) or have more variety in your portfolios?

Discretion – Necessary on the Path to Financial Freedom

Gentle Readers,

Discretion is one of your most valuable assets. In your career, friendships, and financial decisions. Discretion is directly linked to your reputation, and your reputation is priceless.

I have a co-worker whose financial and career choices are not working for her. It’s hard to watch, especially as I see previous versions of myself in her actions and inactions. I listen. If asked, I offer advice. Mainly, I just hope that she will stop making choices that are not serving her – the only polite thing to do.

Personal Discretion

My coworker owns her home and supports her extended family in it. A close-knit family can be a great thing. However, it can also be an emotional and financial stressor. Her family does not contribute to the household income, but wants to direct her income to luxury goods that she does not want. The guilt trips are incredible and painful to even hear about.

“My parents died. I need luxuries because life is short. You have not given me a grandchild. The least you can do is buy me a luxury car.” ~Mother

BRUTAL. Unfair. Unkind. Untrue. You do not owe anyone children. You do not owe others luxuries. You do not deserve to be manipulated. What her mother is doing is not right.

My coworker has a brutally long commute. She is exhausted. Before the luxury car demand, she had decided that her family could continue living in her home, but that she would rent closer to work. However, with her mother’s demand for a luxury car to replace a perfectly good car that now bores her, my coworker’s plan to move and greatly increase her time and happiness is delayed.

She and I discussed this briefly, and I pointed out that my coworker is not saving for retirement. Her mother is stealing her ability to protect her future self through this emotional and financial manipulation. Coworker agreed, but “cannot” be a bad daughter and family member. She feels like she is drowning in obligations, but cannot, yet, say no to her family.

Professional Discretion

Our work environment is toxic. We are merely visitors in it, but we see the shenanigans play out for the career-folks at our job-site. One of the middle managers quit with two hours’ notice. My coworker and I discussed the manager’s departure and wondered who would be the next to abandon ship. I suggested that the incompetent one would be unlikely to apply or be hired elsewhere. My coworker was offended.

“How could you want to harm someone’s money???”

I don’t.

I see that the incompetent one is a bad employee and would have already lost her position due to negligence in a better-run workplace. It would be hard for her to even get a good recommendation as her superiors think little of her. This set my coworker over the edge. She likes the incompetent one as a person.

Being a friendly person is not enough. A recommendation is about someone’s personality fit, but it is also about someone’s fitness to perform the job duties competently. When you offer a recommendation, you are telling someone to rely upon your reputation and discernment. You are telling them that your opinion matters.

I asked my coworker what sort of recommendation she could reasonably offer on behalf of the incompetent one. My coworker, without admitting she would lie, insisted that it is just too unkind to not say (untrue) positive things about a person. Coworker did not think my assessment was wrong. Coworker further offered that she could not give a non-positive recommendation to a person even if she hated them.

Readers, you don’t have to actually say anything negative to get a point across.

A person who wastes the reputation they earned by praising what is awful is showing no discretion and cannot be trusted.

I understand more of my coworker’s dilemmas now that I see her lack of discretion in non-financial spheres. I now know that, should my LLC ever need to hire someone, I cannot trust my coworker to direct anyone my way.  Her desire to appear friendly has already harmed her, and she does not realize it.

I hope she finds a way to make the choices she desires.

In the meantime, I will learn from her.

What do you think? Would you give a recommendation based on personality and not skills?