Net Worth Week 76 – Grief Approaches Edition

Gentle Readers,
I went to the baby-shower, and was a good family-member. I  showed up, but then I got the call no one wants. A family member has a terminal illness. The outlook is dim. It is possible he could be the outlier who lives, but the odds are not high. Very not high.
This week has been heavy and so draining. It will get worse.
Next week, I will receive my first set of invisalign and begin adjusting my teeth, and I will try to get everything I can done for my business and my job in anticipation of my flight to visit my family member for potentially the last time.
Thankfully, I work by the hour in my gig. I told them I won’t be there and I don’t have to think about them when I am gone. I do have to think about ensuring I earn enough money. But that is a problem for future ZJ. Right now, I need to be near him.
This week I’ve turned to my friends, without betraying his desire for privacy. I ate in their homes and read bedtime stories to their kids. I told them of my pain and they listened. They show up for me. They provided food and a willing ear.

This week’s net worth numbers

9/15/2017 9/22/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 4107  4548
 IRA  13882  14213
 Brokerage 823  837
 Rewards Card 2 -6345 0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105619 -105734
SL 2 -46544 -46596
 Earnest -3154 -3160
 Net Worth -141352 -140664
 Percentage Change -1.14% .49%

How have you handled anticipated grief?

Net Worth Week 75 – Babies R Us Edition


Gentle Readers,
It is almost time to pack my bag to head to the baby-shower I dread. But, my rule as a human is to show up whenever possible. Even if the family member is a schmuck. Definitely for a baby-shower, especially if the family member is a schmuck since the baby needs examples of how to be good when people are unkind.
I have now paid for nearly half of my invisalign and should receive my first trays in the next 1.5 weeks. It’s going to be more painful in the short-term, but will hopefully correct some of my TMJ. My wallet is not pleased. Since I am worried about cash-flow for myself and my business, I’ve initiated a balance transfer to give me breathing space to deal with the preliminary invisalign costs.  I will have until August 2018 to pay it off. It was approved, but has not yet shown up in the statement.
My student loan payments increase in October because I am on IBR and my income last year was higher than the year before, and I now have a monthly recurring payment for the remainder of my invisalign treatment. The last payment for invisalign corresponds closely with my last Earnest payment. It’s going to be a tight few months.
My dentist was surprised that my treatment plan is for five months. She had envisioned it closer to nine months. With her payment plan, patients pay roughly half upfront and then the remainder in equal monthly payments for the duration of treatment. If my invisalign needed longer to correct my teeth, I would have less of a cash-flow worry in the next few months. At the end of the treatment, I’ll need to pay for a new night guard to match my new smile. Unless my TMJ is entirely corrected, which is not the anticipated result

This week’s net worth numbers

9/8/2017 9/15/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 3282  4107
 IRA  13555  13882
 Brokerage 825  823
 Rewards Card 2 -3781 -6345
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105503 -105619
SL 2 -46491 -46544
 Earnest -3147 -3154
 Net Worth -139762 -141352
 Percentage Change .24% -1.14%

How much have you spent at the dentist this year?

Net Worth Week 74 – Fall is Coming Edition


Gentle Readers,
With more hurricanes impacting the US South and the Caribbean and earthquakes in Mexico, I’m still supporting Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies. I may add in Doctors Without Borders.
Another week of waiting for my invisalign, and my teeth are unhappy. The nightguard I have has not been appropriate for my mouth’s current configuration for over a year. It’s taking a toll.
Happily, the great press has resulted in one new scheduled client meeting. I don’t yet know if they will hire me, but this is a good first step. I would feel a lot better about my business’ balance sheet if I had one or two new clients. Lastly, my business finally has a Facebook page. Enough people have tried to connect with my personal page that it seemed like a page could be a good idea. No cost and low effort may pay off. I did not have a page previously because my mentor didn’t. I also had followed her advice about websites for our niche, but people who contacted my office wanted one. Responding to your market matters.

This week’s net worth numbers

9/1/2017 9/8/2017
 Joy 1109 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 286 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 3431  3282
 IRA  13495  13555
 Brokerage 825  825
 Rewards Card 2 -3531 -3781
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105647 -105503
SL 2 -46557 -46491
 Earnest -3606 -3147
 Net Worth -140092 -139762
 Percentage Change .42% .24%

How are you supporting after the latest disasters?

Net Worth Week 73 – Harvey Edition

Gentle Readers,
I submitted the small bio and head-shot that my panel required, but mainly this week I focused on Harvey.
My girlfriend moved to Houston earlier this year and now it is underwater. Thankfully, she is safe and able to help from a distance. Every emergency needs people who are good at logistics and connecting folks to the right resources. My job right now is to be supportive without interrupting her.
The organization I am supporting during this event is Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies. People with disabilities are often the worst impacted by natural disasters. Portlight has a respected track record in responding to disasters. You probably saw some videos of people being saved out of their wheelchairs and into boats. Once those people are back to dry ground, they will again need their mobility aids. Chairs and other “durable medical equipment”  are vital to life for some people with disabilities, but not available at the Red Cross. For example, people with tracheostomies need sterile gauze and other equipment or their risk of infection and blockage in their air passageway dramatically rises.
Portlight also assists after the disaster. Following Sandy, they helped rebuild ramps into homes and helped refit homes with other accessibility equipment. The need will exist for a long time, and Portlight will be there. Being a person with a disability is never cheap. It is even more expensive when you are trying to access things vital for your particular survival after a community-wide disaster.
I’m still waiting for my invisalign and that next $2000 payment. I don’t know what the delay is. It is making me hold on to cash without paying down the CC, because I intend to do a balance transfer to keep myself liquid for life and my business. The great press my business received has mainly resulted in folks wanting to volunteer for my business and not any new clients so far. This may be an expensive year.

This week’s net worth numbers

8/25/2017 9/1/2017
 Joy 1108 1109
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 286
 EF 11 11
Business 5 5
Life 2961  3431
 IRA  13341  13495
 Brokerage 814  825
 Rewards Card 2 -3283 -3531
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -388  0
SL 1 -105531 -105647
SL 2 -46501 -46557
 Earnest -3598 -3606
 Net Worth -140689 -140092
 Percentage Change -.63% .42%

How are you supporting after Harvey?

Net Worth Week 72 – Keep on Building Edition

Gentle Readers,
My interview happened and was published today! It’s still unreal and wonderful. The author did not expect such a fast turn-around either. She confused one of the minor details, which is important to remember when I read the news. This woman was meticulous and recorded our conversation and asked follow ups, but still misunderstood something.
My panel won’t be for many months, but I have done a tiny bit of the preparation. Small bites makes it less intimidating. Both of these things make me feel that the momentum is finally on my side.
I met with a more experienced woman in my profession this week and got a lot of great advice and camaraderie. It seems that she has sufficient interest in mentoring me. I can relieve some of her overflow work so she can focus on the more lucrative tasks. I get a little money and a little supervision. She gets annoying tasks off her desk. I think we both win here. I look forward to growing this relationship. She was warm and kind and very good at her job.
My business was also nominated for a small local award! It’s been quite a week. Even being nominated is a good sign for my reputation.
I’m still waiting for my invisalign and that next $2000 payment. My teeth are definitely ready. The pain is constant.

This week’s net worth numbers

8/18/2017 8/25/2017
 Joy 1108 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1005 5
Life 2722  2961
 IRA  13236  13341
 Brokerage 809  814
 Rewards Card 2 -3123 -3283
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) -47  0
 Rewards Card -438  -388
SL 1 -105416 -105531
SL 2 -46451 -46501
 Earnest -3591 -3598
 Net Worth -139803 -140689
 Percentage Change .37% -.63%

Do you feel like you are the right side of momentum? 

Net Worth Week 71

Gentle Readers,
It’s been an exciting, but unprofitable week for my business. I was invited to do an interview and to be a panelist. Both will be excellent publicity. I have not previously done either, and will need to prepare. They are both good skills to have, and I must keep developing.
My agency did not tell me that I was eligible for paid vacation based on the type of work I am doing and my longevity on a single job.  Heading to Texas last week was my first paid vacation ever. My agency still has not let me know how much leave I’ve accrued, but I know that I have a minimum of 2 days remaining.
My invisalign has not yet arrived, but my dentist thinks I’ll get them in two more weeks. That will be another cool $2000 to start and the beginning of a different type of pain.
I finished the personal tutoring this week and will restart group classes next week. I also talked with a friend who does the type of work I am skill-building in. She gave me some tips on how to handle the process and let me know what a passing score is.
I will have to write a check to my business this week. It just won’t be able to cover the big August bills otherwise.
On a happy note, I will get to see my girlfriend again two times in September!

This week’s net worth numbers

8/12/2017 8/18/2017
 Joy 1108 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1005 1005
Life 1632  2722
 IRA  13267  13236
 Brokerage 812  809
 Rewards Card 2 -2784 -3123
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  -47
 Rewards Card -438  -438
SL 1 -105317 -105416
SL 2 -46406 -46451
 Earnest -3584 -3591
 Net Worth -140322 -139803
 Percentage Change -.37% .37%

How are you growing your skills?

Net Worth Week 70 – Love in the South Edition

Gentle Readers,
Quick post from vacation. Keeping myself liquid because my business will most likely need cash from me soon. A big jump in CC was the first payment for invisalign.
Back to eating TexMex!

This week’s net worth numbers

8/4/2017 8/12/2017
 Joy 1108 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1005 1005
Life 1818  1632
 IRA  13486  13267
 Brokerage 836  812
 Rewards Card 2 -2489 -2784
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  -438
SL 1 -105444 -105317
SL 2 -46464 -46406
 Earnest -4042 -3584
 Net Worth -139803 -140322
 Percentage Change .15% -.37%

How are your vacations going?

Net Worth Week 69 – Spinning Round Edition

Gentle Readers,
My tutoring sessions continue to improve my skills greatly. Every day I am more excited about the possibilities on the horizon.
Knowing that I will pay out of pocket for Invisalign the same month that my business has many bills due has been stressful. I think I will have to return the money my business “paid” me back to my operating account. Unless a new client comes in ready to hire me very soon. One current client contacted me yesterday for a tiny bit of work that will help enormously, but not cover everything I have going out this month. I should be able to do everything he needs this weekend.
I am grateful that I have this blog, because it taught me how simple a balance transfer is; it also reminds me that the last time I took this step it was because of dental pain, as well. C’est la vie.  My credit score is good and I have no plans in the next six months to take out a loan of any sort. Knowing that I have significantly higher outlays than projected income in the next two months, my plan is to hold off on paying down my credit card so that I have the funds available for my business, if necessary. Once the first big payment is due for my Invisalign, I’ll put it on my credit card and then initiate a balance transfer. That will buy me many months of no interest for the fee of a 2% balance transfer. This is much cheaper than letting it sit on a credit card with an APR over 10%.  It’s not the greatest situation, but I know better how to use the tools available.
Next week may not have a net worth check in because I will be in Texas visiting my love! I cannot lie, I have been dreaming about TexMex.

This week’s net worth numbers

7/28/2017 8/4/2017
 Joy 1107 1108
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1005
Life 1499  1818
 IRA  13481  13486
 Brokerage 809  836
 Rewards Card 2 -2406 -2489
 CC (largest) -114  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105329 -105444
SL 2 -46411 -46464
 Earnest -4033 -4042
 Net Worth -140010 -139803
 Percentage Change -.46% .15%

How often have you felt the phrase “One step forward and two steps back” in your financial life?

Net Worth Week 66 – It’s Hot in Here Edition

Gentle Readers,
My city is experiencing a heat wave, and I may need more bandelettes to continue the good fight against friction.
I’m a bit frustrated with my teeth. I take good care of them, but they cause me enormous bills. I’ve been in constant tooth pain since last summer when my final wisdom tooth came in. It came in such a way to alter the position of my other teeth. That process was painful. Unfortunately, the new position also means that my night-guard which prevents my TMJ from making my pain unbearable is no longer fitted to my teeth as they are. My dentist is aware, but told me that we can’t do anything until 7 + months after my wisdom tooth removal, because my jaw and teeth will still be settling. Then she wants me to do braces and force my teeth into healthier positions to ease some of the pain and tension. For now, I just wait in pain. Wearing the guard causes deep pain in all of my teeth, but not wearing it allows me to grind my teeth causing damage. It’s an expensive and painful position to be in.
I’m really enjoying my tutoring. I am definitely learning a ton, but it is eating in to my sleeping time so I’m extra tired. There will be three more weeks of this, and then I’ll reassess to see if I need to purchase some more. Or if my body can take more, we’ll see what wins out. My progress has definitely kicked up a notch.
Today I’m off work to attend a training for young professionals in my field. I won’t be paid for these hours, but I think I will be much more confident in my business. Definitely worth it.
In more happy news, a potential client contacted my business. He’s been a bit flaky before, but it would be nice to add to my client-base now that I cannot do overtime.
I’m happy to see my debt go down. This is the first time I’ve been under -$140000!

This week’s net worth numbers

7/7/2017 7/14/2017
 Joy 1107 1107
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 46 46
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1004 1004
Life 500  508
 IRA  13085  13304
 Brokerage 700  817
 Rewards Card 2 -2121 -1693
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card 0  0
SL 1 -105242 -105098
SL 2 -46372 -46306
 Earnest -4008 -4016
 Net Worth -140964 -139990
 Percentage Change .02% .69%

How are you handling your heat wave?

Net Worth Week 64 – She’s Here Edition!

Gentle Readers,
My room is not yet perfectly organized. (Hint, it never will be.) But I have reduced the amount of stuff through donations, give-aways, and trash where appropriate.  I got it done just in time for my girlfriend to arrive.
My niece is also visiting, but some tomfoolery has prevented me from seeing her until her last day here.
It is still unclear how long my job will last. We had 2.5 days of sitting waiting for work before we were put back on tasks that don’t need to be done. My resume is as current as possible.
It has been an expensive few weeks. This has corresponded with OT being curtailed due to weekend server upgrades. I thought I’d be done with my credit cards before the end of June. I was mistaken.
Thankfully, one of the expenses is for my tutor who I will be starting with very soon. July is going to be an intensely focused month on skill-building. Hopefully, when August roles around, I will find a job in that skill. There was a posting for a similar gig this week, but it is bad form to leave a gig early and I’m not quite prepared.
 It’s time to head out the door for breakfast. I hope y’all have wonderful Fourth of July Weekends!

This week’s net worth numbers

6/23/2017 6/30/2017
 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 1116  1439
 IRA  13106  13134
 Brokerage 709  704
 Rewards Card 2 -2291 -2902
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card (98) CR  0
SL 1 -105011 -105090
 SL 2 -46266 -46306
 Earnest -4455 -4465
 Net Worth -140500 -140992
 Percentage Change .19% -.35%

Do you have plans for Independence Day?