Net Worth Week 84 – Hard Week Edition

Gentle Readers,
My gig ended last Monday, but I have an interview to do similar temporary work as a supervisor. I hope that this works out. I will likely have at least two weeks without earning money.
My brother’s high-risk pregnancy ended with an apparently healthy child. They live overseas, and their country has some strict rules for fathers in hospitals. He had very little time with his child at first. Gratefully, his wife is being released today. Their child needs a little more monitoring, but things appear okay. That brother’s biopsy results indicate that he does not actually have cancer and he should be able to avoid the cancer that impacted our father by lifestyle changes.
Our father passed away a few hours after his most recent grandchild was born. Most of his children were en route, but did not make it in time for a final goodbye. One of his children had not been able to visit him during this illness at all. Another only saw him in his final hours – after he’d already lost the ability to communicate. I have many thoughts about this, but for now, I need to begin managing his estate and that involves many phone calls and figuring out what all needs to be managed.
I had to cancel my physical because I was near my dad, but I will reschedule. I also need to request a month-long break on Earnest.

This week’s net worth numbers

11/10/2017 11/17/2017
 Joy 1110 1110
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 2047  2855
 IRA  15798  15827
 Brokerage 863  851
 Rewards Card 2  -612  -891
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -5764(BT)  -5613 (BT)
SL 1 -105668 -105833
SL 2 -46566 -46642
 Earnest -2270 -2277
 Net Worth -140673 -140224
 Percentage Change .__% .31%

Have you ever had to handle an estate? Any tips?

Net Worth Week 82 – Things Get Worse Edition

Gentle Readers,
If you follow me on twitter, you’ll already know that instead of staying with me for a week, the unresolved issues in our relationship jumped out and demanded attention, which included my girlfriend staying with other friends. The short version is that she needs space right now and I am giving it. It is incredibly difficult to wonder if she’ll come back in a few (many) months and want to release the pause button.  But I know that regardless of the outcome, the way she needs love from me right now is from a distance. That means very limited direct communication. She can’t have space to focus on herself if I am filling it up with cute memes or with my woes and joys.
Any time I hurt in major ways, I allow myself to feel the fullness of what I’m feeling, but I also make sure that my friends know what is happening. They can check on me and contribute to my well-being. My friends are doing a great job of loving me.
Even so, I’ll be raw for awhile, but that is just something you experience sometimes. I am using the time to focus on being the best version of myself. I am studying hard. I am loving my friends well. I am doing many more things to develop my business.  I am crying and sleeping and remembering to eat.
I’m already a different person from when she saw me last. Quite literally, as I’m now on a new tray of invisalign. I’m sure that there will be other, less tangible changes as well between now and the next time we see one another. Time does that to people. I know what I hope for and I know that I may never get it. I’ll exist in an interstitial emotional space for a bit.
I’m looking into Talk Space, in part, so that my current string of woes does not overwhelm my friends. The weekly fee for access to the subscription is cheaper than a therapist through my insurance. I don’t think I would do the highest tier, which is the only one that includes one 30-minute Live-Session a month. Can a therapist messaging you once or twice a day make enough of a difference to be worthwhile? I’m not aware of having a mental health issue. I’m just going through a lot and a space for talking is good…
How this impacts me financially. So far, I’ve had to use will-power to prevent myself from buying very expensive beautiful shoes I cannot afford right now. Part of no communication includes me not sending her presents or planning any trips. I’ll be spending thanksgiving at my friends house in DC, which is cheaper than flying to Texas. I’m trying to spend time with friends while spending little money, and that is helped by invisalign. Eating is difficult and most menus have food that is just too tough for me right now. I also think that I’ll be talking more walks along The Mall in the near future. Due to growing my business and having a gig,I spend more time alone than this extrovert likes, and at a time when I am sad and stressed that is definitely not a good thing.
In other tales, more things got worse for my family, too.
My favorite brother who lives overseas and whose wife is in a high-risk pregnancy just told us that he has the precursors of the cancer that is killing dad. Hopefully catching things so early means that appropriate treatment will save his life. That is highly likely. Thankfully, he lives in a country where medical care won’t bankrupt him. He can access it. Being afraid for dad made him go get tested for something that has been bothering him for a year. Our dad’s illness may have saved his life.
This type of cancer mainly impacts men, but just in case environmental factors played a part, my girlfriend asked me to get my physical and update my medical record with the new cancer prevalence in the family. So I’ve made that appointment. She also wants me to do a cancer screening, and I’ll ask my doctor if that is something we should do.  I also checked out the insurance available on the exchange for next year. My premiums are going up by a lot more than any other year since the ACA started, but insurance is important. I clearly need to study to earn more so that I can cover the expensive next few months.
My dad was not actually able to begin chemotherapy because he has not been able to eat or drink enough to have the appropriate ‘levels.’  This sounds ominous to me. I did ask a nurse I know for her thoughts. To her, it sounds normal and not ominous. I’m not convinced.
We are anxiously awaiting the next baby. It’s been a very high risk pregnancy and I have a lot of stress about her safety. Baby should arrive in the very near future.

This week’s net worth numbers

10/27/2017 11/3/2017
 Joy 1109 1110
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 3424  3159
 IRA  15469  15851
 Brokerage 872  864
 Rewards Card 2  -1115  -630
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6168 (BT)  -5979 (BT)
SL 1 -105874 -105989
SL 2 -46660 -46713
 Earnest -2725 -2730
 Net Worth -141279 -140668
 Percentage Change -.67% .43%

When many things fall apart at once, what is your self-care? Have you ever used a therapist or Talk Space?

Net Worth Week 61 – PRIDE Edition

Gentle Readers,
I have not yet been able to coordinate with my roommate about removing the box spring, so my new bed is still gigantic. My back feels like it is slowly getting better, maybe. I’m monitoring it.
The gig continues to go back and forth on what we should expect. At this moment, according to one set of instructions, we have one more week on this gig, but according to another set of instructions, we probably have a few more months. How’s that for planning your life?  I’m just going to keep showing up and trying to get hours in until they take them away from us.
My trip to my love was short, but good. It was my first venture on Spirit and I was very pleased. I don’t need much when I’m visiting her and am able to be down to one personal item – at least when it is not winter.  I’ve also looked up the cost of rental cars for the first time, and I learned that the cost for renting a small car for 3 days is less than the cost of a cab from the airport to her place. I must sign up for driver’s ed and become comfortable driving. We could explore so much more if I could drive us.
June is Pride month. I don’t know if it is Pulse haunting me, or the general scary world news, or the fact that my girlfriend is over one thousand miles away from me, but I’m not really interested in going to any of the events around PRIDE this year. Pride did not used to be such a corporate, white-washed event. It used to be queer joy, queer anger, and queer liberation. I’m trying to make space in my time and mind to attend a potluck or something with other queer folk. My heart is not there, but perhaps being in a queer space would do me enormous good…

This week’s net worth numbers

6/2/2017 6/9/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 1809  455
 IRA  13166  13191
 Brokerage 703  703
 Rewards Card 2 -3215 -2873
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  (106) CR
SL 1 -104924 -104780
 SL 2 -46226 -46161
 Earnest -4893 -4427
 Net Worth -141086 -141292
 Percentage Change -.26% -.15%

Are you doing anything to learn more about PRIDE or attending any events in your area?

Net Worth Week 59

Gentle Readers,

I enjoyed the graduation party last weekend, but got stuck in the city due to mechanical issues in my plane. Thankfully, airport hotels are comfortable enough and my job is flexible. It will make it harder to get all the OT hours I intended this week, but the travel vouchers will come in handy.  Getting out of town was a definite mood boost. I need to plan for this more often now that my girlfriend lives far away.

I had a client in my office late on Thursday. Not yet sure if they’ll hire me, but good to meet new people.
I’m excited to check out the mattress deals in the suburbs this weekend. Hopefully I can find something that diminishes my pain that does not set me too far back financially, too.

This week’s net worth numbers

5/19/2016 5/26/2017
 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 1644  1907
 IRA  12883  13106
 Brokerage 685  698
 Rewards Card 2 -1474 -2034
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -918 -1028
SL 1 -104693 -104808
 SL 2 -46121 -46174
 Earnest -4872 -4883
 Net Worth -140374 -140724
 Percentage Change .49% -.25%

Do you have vacation plans lined up this summer?

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 46 – She’s Gone Edition

Gentle Readers,
I took my girlfriend to the airport this morning and called in “sick” to work. I believe mental health counts for a sick day, and that it is a stupid system that tells me I can only use the time-off I’ve earned in one particular way.
My best friend is meeting me after work. I am meeting my other best friend’s new puppy this weekend. I’ve got some client work to do and also am not trying to get any OT this week, in part because the holiday pay calculation means that I would have to physically work 40 hours plus 1 in order to get the time-and-a-half pay-rate. Not today, Satan.
 Time to do the errands I’ve been putting off while focusing on her move: trip to the tailor,  oral surgeon,  preparing taxes so that I can understand how to do my schedule c/k? properly, grocery store, skill-building.
My net worth took a slight dip this week, which is attributable to my getting a hotel for her last night in our city. Absolutely worth it.

This week’s net worth numbers

2/17/2017 2/24/2017
 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 1608  1622
 IRA 11974  12163
 Brokerage 688  693
 CC (largest) -4203 -4215
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1682 -1909
SL 1 -103970 -104085
 SL 2 -45738 -45844
 Earnest -6122 -6133
 Net Worth -144139 -144323
 Percentage Change .33% -.13%

What should I do for self-care?

Have a poem by a black, queer poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Happy Black History Month, y’all!

“I loved my friend
He went away from me
There’s nothing more to say
The poem ends,
Soft as it began-
I loved my friend.”
Langston Hughes  

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 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 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 21 – Tacos Trucks On Every Corner

Date 8/12/16 8/19/2016 8/26/2016 9/2/2016
Joy 1100 1100 1100  1100
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  2003 2003 2003 1004
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  769 1844 2127  1775
IRA  10087 10127 10058  10118
Brokerage  410 402 401  402
CC (largest)  -4791 -4791 -4791  -4755
CC (longest)  -295 -319 -427  0
Rewards Card  -273 -564 -1022  -644
SL 1  -102489  -102604 -102719 -102835
SL 2  -45115  -45167 -45220 -45273
Earnest  -8404 -8522 -8540 -8094
-$146657 -$146050 -$146599 -$146761
  -.38% change .41% change -.37% change -.11% change

Have you ever felt more secure even when the numbers stayed the same?