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?  

Preparing to Buy a Place – 1 Year Out

Gentle Readers,

In April 2016  – I made the decision to get my financial house in order, because it is time for them to become my erstwhile roommates. This is the true reason I started this blog. I know that I work best under “pressure,” which is where putting my financial mess out in public comes in. This is a space for me to learn and grow.

I know a few things. I need great credit so that I can get a favorable rate on my mortgage and I need a down payment.

My Fico Score was 732 when I made this decision. This is essentially what it was before I opened my business two years ago.  It was great, but not excellent. By most reckonings, the bottom end of excellent is 750. I was close. That 18 point difference will make a difference on the APR I’m offered on my mortgage, and thus on the amount of interest I will pay over the life of my loan.

Once I made this decision I began making calculations.  How long to pay off my CC debt.  How long to save up a deposit. How to get my credit score up.

I’m on track to pay off my credit card debt by October or November, barring new expenses. I have an upcoming dentist visit and I think it will be time for adult braces due to some bad changes in my mouth. Expensive. I’ll see if they have a payment plan.

I’m glad to report that my credit score is now 787 as of May. HAPPY DANCE!

I did this by paying off two of my three credit cards. I took out a loan through earnest to do this.  I learned that the right type of credit (the earnest loan) looks more like a mini-mortgage and makes me look more responsible. I also kept the amount of credit utilized on the other card low because I learned that having less than 30% of your available credit utilized makes a difference in your credit score. This is why I did not close those cards, but continue to use them for tiny purchases each month. 

I did all this in April. More than 6 months before I would approach a lender to see what I could get pre-approved for.  It worked. All of this concentrated effort paid off. I’m firmly in the excellent credit category and can keep improving.

I also put more of my expenses on auto-debit so that I won’t accidentally miss them.

I learned that a mortgage should not be more than 2.5 times your annual salary. I had never heard this rule, but it makes sense to me. Helps me to plan. Thanks to Freedom is Groovy for linking here to Fritz Gilbert’s Retirement Manifesto, which is available here.

I do not consider the place I live to be an investment since I need to live somewhere. I do not want to tie up too much of my capital in my mortgage and other housing costs. That means I’m looking to pay little. I don’t want to live in a dump, but I don’t want something incredibly nice.

Things I need to learn:

  • What the heck is a basis point?
  • Will I even be able to get a mortgage without a cosigner since I have years of contingency work?
  • FHA loan rules.
  • HOA rules.
  • The differences between condos and coops.
  • If I want a coop, learn about the coop mortgage rules.
  • How much of an emergency fund will make me feel secure?

Things I need to do:

  • Pay off the rest of my credit card debt.
  • Get into no more credit card debt
  • Save a down payment.
  • Save enough money to actually move.
  • Prepare my financial documents so I’m ready to talk to a lender.
  • Find a realtor I respect
  • Decide what I want versus what I need in a home.
  • Monitor the local market.
  • Buy a home.
  • Take advantage of my access to a garage to paint and/or build the furniture I want for the new space.
  • Move.
  • Unpack.
  • Not share my shower with people I’m not in love with.

How did you prepare when you wanted to buy a home? Am I missing anything?

 

 

 

My Current Situation

Gentle Reader,

I am in debt. I do not wish to be. I wish to be able to retire early and only do the type of work that makes me feel better about the world. This blog is a personal attempt to document improving my financial situation while trying to improve the world.

I began life poor. I am now fortunate to be a professional in a city away from my former poverty. Jumping classes means that I look around and see a world I do not know. I am still learning how to navigate and master this new world.

This blog will document my journey to financial freedom, but it is also a place for me to share my plans to make the world more decent and fair. Largely, this will involve my being more decent and fair. A place for me to grow.
Every great journey must have an origin story, and your heroine, ZJ Thorne, has one ready for you.
In the past few weeks, a friend, Mabel, suggested that I buy her coop. I ran the numbers, and realized that even if I wanted her coop, I could not afford it. However, running the numbers made me realize how much I want out of my current living situation. Mabel inspired me to get serious.
Thankfully, my journey is not just my own. I have the pleasure of being in a relationship with The Beautiful One, TBO. She is not at a place where our relationship involves co-habitating, and thus, I decided that I need to focus on getting my financial house in order so that I can buy my way out of living with my PAR, passive-aggressive roommate, in the next year, if possible.
My professional life sees me as a W2 employee who bounces between gigs and the owner of a small business in a niche in the same field. My income varies greatly and feels impossible to predict, which has added that extra kink into planning.
My personal life is that of a young lesbian in a serious relationship with TBO in a major US city.
My hope is to conquer my personal and educational debt and achieve enough passive income to only accept the type of work that brings me joy.
My hope is to live in a place where I share the bathroom with noone I am not in love with.
My hope is to continue growing as a human and to encourage deep thinking about the world, and then seeking to change what can be changed.
My hope is to share that journey with you.
Inspired by J. Money,  I will share my net worth on a regular basis. The situation is dire, my net worth is negative $150,000. A very large, very negative number.
Date 3/28/2016 4/1/2016 4/8/2016 4/15/2016
Joy 1097 1097 1097
Travel 752 322 322
Down Payment 284 18 18
retirement 221 21 21
health 45 45 45
Moving 31 31 31
EF 9 9 9
Business 1 1 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 471 1066 907
IRA 6928 6885 7026
Brokerage 220 217 221
CC (largest) -11883.98 -983 0
CC (longest) -567.28 0 0
Rewards Card -2762 -2850 -3000
SL 1 -101791 -101892
SL 2 -44970 -45001
Earnest -10000 -10009 -10036
–$151,164.31 -151728 -150890.71 -150230.71
-1.0% change -1.0% change .99% change .99% change
So this is where I begin my journey. Thank you for joining me on it.
I’d love to hear how your Financial Freedom is going.