Net Worth Week 83 – Find Support Edition

Gentle Readers,
My heart is still hurting, but  I must just wait for her. I know that it will likely be many months. My twitter shows how swiftly my feelings and hopes and fears can change about this. However, I am following our boundaries as stated. No matter how I feel at a given moment. I’m really proud of myself.
This post is so late because I had a slumber-party with my friend and her family. It was soul-refreshing. The kids were sad I had to leave, but I can’t sleep on their couch forever. We played. We ate delicious food. We talked. She and I made plans to make plans for a trip. It was lovely. Rejuvenated me.
 I attended a conference about my business this week, and had my gig likely canceled. It is only likely until someone with the authority to fire me is actually at work. The two people authorized to make the decision were out on vacation when my supervisor said that the project is likely over. Thankfully, the conference was very informative and introduced me to people of like mind.
I’ve not further looked into Talk Space yet. I’m not sure that I need it, or that I can afford it since I don’t know if I will be employed come Monday.
This next week should see the biopsy results for my brother. Then we’ll know what steps he’ll need to take. His wife’s c-section is also planned.  I’m really hoping that it goes well and that the baby is healthy.
Per my girlfriend’s request, I’ll have my physical this week and see if any tests would be necessary for me.
For the second week, my dad could not begin chemotherapy because he has not been able to consume enough. It has been four weeks since he has been able to receive any treatment. I fear that means he has only weeks to live.

This week’s net worth numbers

11/3/2017 11/10/2017
 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 3159  2047
 IRA  15851  15798
 Brokerage 864  863
 Rewards Card 2  -630  -612
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -5979 (BT)  -5764 (BT)
SL 1 -105989 -105668
SL 2 -46713 -46566
 Earnest -2730 -2270
 Net Worth -140668 -140673
 Percentage Change .43% .–%

Do you think I’ll have a job for the next few weeks?

Net Worth Week 80 – Do What You Can Edition

Gentle Readers,
We’ve upgraded to a living will, but no will yet. He said he’d mail me a copy since I will be the one to make final decisions on his behalf. I wish he would draft a will. He’s told me generally what he wants, but that conversation has no legal ramifications.
My favorite uncle is on day 5 at the hospital now, as well. The pregnant people remain pregnant thankfully.
I did some good business things this week. I attended a professional luncheon and met others doing similar work. Multiple people also told me that they are sending people to my business soon. I hope at least one pans out. One client at a time is easiest when you have another job. I don’t know what my capacity for clients is during family emergencies, but I know that my business needs money to survive.
My dentist thinks my invisalign is going well. I told her about the travel situation with my dad and got her advice on how to handle timing. The pain is still around, but much better than before. My teeth are still sensitive enough that I can’t eat hard things and that is impacting me a bit, and I think that this restriction will last throughout treatment.
I’ve been very focused on studying when not worrying about my dad and my business. I have a 3 month plan to get myself over this hurdle and able to take on work in the skill.  These extra expenses right now are stressful and I am trying to focus that stress into learning.

This week’s net worth numbers

10/13/2017 10/20/2017
 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 2838  3001
 IRA  15309  15549
 Brokerage 838  863
 Rewards Card 2  0  0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6270 (BT)  -6168 (BT)
SL 1 -105643 -105759
SL 2 -46555 -46608
 Earnest -2713 -2719
 Net Worth -140698 -140343
 Percentage Change .48% .25%

Still I wonder how to convince a dying person to write a will. Any tips?

Net Worth Week 78 – Pushing Through Edition

Gentle Readers,
I visited my father, and am glad that I have the flexibility that allows me to leave quickly when needed. I’m glad I was there. Instead of his first radiation treatment, we were sent to an ER where he stayed for a few days. The visit also gave me a chance to get some information I’ll need for his last wishes. He wants me to be the executrix and that will be easier if I know what he wants.
I’m grateful that tray two for invisalign is less brutal than tray one was. My teeth are still tender, which is expected, but I have not woken up from the pain during this tray. It is definitely impacting my eating habits. So many foods are just a no-go when your teeth are this sensitive. The candy my girlfriend bought me for the stress of my father’s illness now must be very gingerly and carefully consumed.
Now I’m just trying to make up the hours that I missed at work. The visit included a last minute hotel stay that I hadn’t budgeted for.

This week’s net worth numbers

9/29/2017 10/6/2017
 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 3466  3195
 IRA  14542  14719
 Brokerage 827  855
 Rewards Card 2  0 0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6270 (BT)  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105849 -105965
SL 2 -46649 -46702
 Earnest -3167 -2708
 Net Worth -141602 -141378
 Percentage Change -.67% .16%

Have you ever been in charge of a person’s estate? Any tips? 

Net Worth Week 77 – Flexibility Helps Edition

Gentle Readers,
I am off to my sick relative this afternoon. I will miss 3 days of work for this visit, but seeing him before the radiation and chemo wreck havoc on him will be worth it. Thankfully, I just had to pay the cost of taxes since I still had miles available.
It’s been quite a busy week. I put my first invisalign tray in on Tuesday and it was painful. It is stillpainful, but the pain for days two and three are different from day one. I met with my client yesterday to fulfill his last minute request, and earned a little money for my business. I gave my business another loan this week to get me through the next month. Hopefully, that will be the last loan necessary. The downsides to owning a small business include needing to handle things even when your family is in an emergency.
For my relative, I have no idea how he’ll respond to treatment. If he’ll respond. So far, he is in remarkably high spirits. Perhaps my girlfriend was right to believe that my family’s ornery-nature could prove the odds wrong???

This week’s net worth numbers

9/22/2017 9/29/2017
 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 4548  3466
 IRA  14213  14542
 Brokerage 837 827
 Rewards Card 2 0
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -6270 (BT)  -6270 (BT)
SL 1 -105734 -105849
SL 2 -46596 -46649
 Earnest -3160 -3167
 Net Worth -140664 -141602
 Percentage Change .49% -.67%

How many times have your miles saved you money? I think I am at 4 or 5 “free” trips so far this year.

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?

Baby Shower Gifts When You Fear How They’ll Raise Children | baby shower gifts

Gentle Readers,

A small contingent of the family that I actually have a relationship with believes that I should stop being a lesbian and marry a man. I don’t know why this younger relative has decided to be such an ass, but he has. I don’t argue with it. I just avoid him as much as possible. I don’t have time for such ridiculous ideas. I am a lesbian. It’s not up for debate.

However, he also has a baby on the way and I have a family duty to let this little girl know that there are many ways to be a good human.

Thus began my quest to find baby books that would not be overtly LGBT-friendly, but covertly allow her to know that there are many wonderful differences in the world.

It’s a fine line. Nothing can say, “Hey your relative is a lesbian and she’s okay,” outright. I just need to plant the seeds that diversity of thought, ethnic group, and sexuality is okay.  To be extra covert, I bought some books that had no such intent, just some wonderful books that any baby would be delighted to chew on. I’m hoping the parents don’t notice what I’m doing.

The baby shower gifts I chose

Spots and Dots (Art Baby) – A beautiful book that can attract a baby’s eye. I think that there should be more art and beauty in everyone’s life.

More More More –  A book about being loved and cared for by parents. This concept is harder for my family than it should be. I hope that the cycle ends.

Spot Goes to the Farm – Dogs need adventures, too. This family member is least likely to leave a fifty-mile radius from his home. He would be well-served by learning about other ways of life. The world is less scary than he imagines.

Baby Loves Quantum Physics – Introducing hard concepts early even just briefly does wonders for expanding imaginations and belief in what is possible. And I’m a nerd who hopes to contribute to other people becoming nerds. My house growing up was filled with upper level books and I remember reading encyclopedias of science. I loved the concepts and hope she does too. I am no scientist now, but my life is enriched by hard concepts.

Whoever You Are = Accepting our differences and our similarities and loving that. This focuses on ethnic groups and nationalities. It’s a Reading Rainbow book and Levar Burton is hard to argue with.

We’re Different, We’re The Same = Sesame Street is hard to argue with, as well. Another book that focuses on visible differences rather than sexuality and gender identity.

Did I toe the line close enough? No rainbows, no two mommies, no genderqueer puppies. Just the smallest idea that there are more ways to be in the world.  Hopefully the parents won’t shut out this idea, but I must be careful.

How do you think I did in this quest?

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 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?