Net Worth Week 58 – Graduation Edition

Gentle Readers,

My gig continues to be managed very poorly. Once the supervisor who hated this project got a new job, it has gone downhill faster and faster. They promise there is a ton of work to do, but they are not staying enough ahead of us, me really, to ensure that there is work available when necessary. It’s frustrating. I sit at my desk waiting for work. At least I get paid when I wait. Their mismanagement messes up my ability to get overtime as planned.  Nothing is promised and I have to keep remembering that. Thankfully, I am still doing well.

A coworker I like on another project let me know about some job postings within our field but a level up. He found the pay rate and what skills we would need to show in order to qualify for it. I appreciate that he looks out for us.

I am off to my family member’s graduation party this weekend. It is important to show up for significant milestones. I’ll also get a chance to have a girl’s day with my best friend from middle school. Since she has children, I am letting her pick what we do. She gets less downtime than me. If she wants us to hang with her family or if she needs away time, I’m happy. I love her family, and I will do my part to contribute to its happiness.
My TMJ is acting up. I’m trying to do a better job taking care of this pain, but stress triggers it.
The markets were rocky this week. I wonder what they’ll have in store for us with all of the ridiculous goings-on in our Administration. My IRA is down, but my net worth is up. I’m heading in the right direction. This is the fourth week with a positive change in my net worth!

This week’s net worth numbers

5/12/2016 5/19/2017
 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 832  1644
 IRA  13002  12883
 Brokerage 693  685
 Rewards Card 2 -1572 -1474
 CC (largest) 0  0
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -999 -918
SL 1 -104577 -104693
 SL 2 -46068 -46121
 Earnest -4862 -4872
 Net Worth -141059 -140374
 Percentage Change .95% .49%

Have you noticed the rocky market or just kept on with your plan?

Planning For a Graduate’s Future – Redux

Gentle Readers,

It is graduation season again, and another family member is finishing high school. This time the plan is to stay in the family home until college starts. I like to not play favorites with siblings, so I am getting her almost the exact same set of books that I got him last year. One small deviation to account for the differences in their characters.

I decided to stick with the perennial favorite, “The Millionaire Next Door.” She plans on a high-paying career, but I think the stealth wealth envisioned here could help her stay on course no matter what happens.

Her personality is very different from her brother and I think she’ll be best served by the framework in “The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke.” That will be on top of her present-stack.

I don’t think she would even read the one I was least sure of for her brother, so I did not buy her it. I don’t want to waste her bookshelf space. She plans on being pre-med. That shelf-space is precious.

She believes in deep thought, supposedly, and I got her the esoteric one, too, “Early Retirement Extreme.” I suspect she won’t touch this either.

The deviation for her was “Truth & Beauty: A Friendship.” I loved this biography and think that many women with deep but fraught friendships could benefit from seeing one displayed in all of its gory richness. Patchett is one of my favorite living authors and this was helpful and painful to read during a particular time in my life. I think this family member may understand my twenties better from reading this. Perhaps not. I hope that she navigates relationships in a far healthier way.

Unlike her brother, I think traditional education is the current best route for her. I think she will flourish in college in a way her brother never would. Maybe I’ll buy a textbook for her? Or leave that to her parents…

What do wish you had read at 18?

Net Worth Week 56

Gentle Readers,
The same grind as last week. Being diligent getting my hours, going to class, and studying. The business front has been quiet for the past two weeks, which has been a nice change. I can focus on getting my OT and paying down this personal debt for the time being. I have spoken with other similar professionals and they are having a slow few weeks, too. Apparently, all of our clients only came in with their tax refund money.
Still working according to the plan and on track to pay off the balance transfer before the rate changes in early.
I finally figured out why I could not get my numbers to reconcile. I had a decimal place off for one category for the past few weeks.
Tonight I celebrate my best friend’s birthday. It also happens to be the anniversary of meeting my girlfriend. Lots of happiness. It is strange to think that I have only known her for part of my life. She feels so vital to it.

This week’s net worth numbers

4/28/2016 5/5/2017
 Joy 1105 1106
 Travel 1  1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1003
Life 1324  1397
 IRA  12974  12937
 Brokerage 698  689
 Rewards Card 2 -1859 -1727
 CC (largest) -1629  -879
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1200 -1150
SL 1 -104606 -104721
 SL 2 -46081 -46134
 Earnest -5307 -5318
 Net Worth -143110 -142414
 Percentage Change .26 % .55%

Are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo ?

Net Worth Week 55

Gentle Readers,
I think I figured out my self-employment taxes last weekend. Based on the forms I filled out, I don’t need to prepay quarterly taxes for Self-Employment Tax purposes because I do not anticipate earning enough through my business this year. I also received my federal refund and immediately plowed it into paying down debt as intended.
My overtime goal was thwarted this week because we were made to leave early on Thursday. I used the “extra” time to mow my lawn before we get into the 90s this weekend, which was great because all of the rain had prevented me from maintaining it properly. The added $30 from my roommates never hurts either.
I’m still doing what I can overtime-wise, but it will be smaller than I intended this week.  My project got a surprise two new coworkers this week. Our project manager is now indicating more strongly that we will have work after the next eight weeks, but there are never any guarantees in this industry. I’m still going to try to overload on OT while I can, because you never know what the future holds.  If all goes according to plan, I will pay off my balance transfer before the 0% interest rate changes in early July. In the past two weeks, I have paid off 49% of the remaining balance. The next two paychecks are entirely devoted to debt reduction.
I have used my girlfriend’s old crock pot twice now, which means my lunches have been far more frugal than usual. I’m still getting the hang of the process and seeking out better recipes. Do you recommend any?
This weekend I’m looking forward to dinner with a friend who is in town and also a college alumnae resistance event. See, I do some balance.

This week’s net worth numbers

4/21/2016 4/28/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 1 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 1239  1324
 IRA  12768  12974
 Brokerage 691  698
 Rewards Card 2 -1000 -1859
 CC (largest) -2761  -1629
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1176 -1200
SL 1 -104490 -104606
 SL 2 -46029 -46081
 Earnest -5296 -5307
 Net Worth -143478 -143110
 Percentage Change .92 % .26%

Has the rain ended in your area yet?

Net Worth Week 53 – Maintenance Edition

Gentle Readers,
Monday I saw a play with a friend. Last night I had dinner with another friend. Today, I am meeting up with two different college friends. Neither of whom were planned before yesterday. I had brunch at my friends’ house last weekend and have plans with humans not my office for both days this weekend. I am doing a good job of maintaining friendships this month. It’s a lot though. I need to get some more things done. Always seeking balance.
I’ve had two different meetings with potential clients and another client may finally provide me with the final details so I can finish his case. My business will support itself for a few more months on this money.
I know I am behind on self-employment taxes and will pay the penalty, but I just couldn’t get to it by March 15th. I paid myself so little that I am hopeful that this learning experience will be worth the fee.

This week’s net worth numbers

4/7/2016 4/14/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 1 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 285 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 639  518
 IRA  12736  12645
 Brokerage 689  682
 Rewards Card 2 -585 -1138
 CC (largest) -3264  -3227
 CC (longest) 0  0
 Rewards Card -1331 -1231
SL 1 -104519 -104375
 SL 2 -46041 -45976
 Earnest -5274 -5285
 Net Worth -144460 -144811
 Percentage Change .07 % -.24%

Are you ready for tax day?

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 51 – After Vacation Edition

Gentle Readers,
I saw my girlfriend for the first time in a month! It was heaven! It also was my first vacation of more than 2 days in a very long time. I set an out-of-office for my business, and warned my clients. So many ignored the warnings, but I held firm and did not engage in any work while I was there.
I meandered. I strolled. I had a networking lunch with someone in my profession who was incredibly kind. I saw a friend. I ate good food. I rocked a rainbow bikini.
Back to reality.  I am a candidate for the cheaper Invisalign according to the company I met with. I still need to talk to my dentist and get approval to pursue this option.
I was given a bed to replace the one I had that my body hated. Unfortunately, even with my brother’s help, the bed I received is not salvageable. I’ll figure out in a few days if I need to replace the frame and mattress or just the frame. This is not an expense I planned for. But I gave my bed away on the promise of this new bed. Sigh.
I spent more on ubers/lyfts this weekend than my normal, but it helped me see her city and meet the folks I wanted to meet.

This week’s net worth numbers

3/24/2017 4/4/2017
 Joy 1105 1105
 Travel 1 1
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 285
 EF 11 11
Business 1002 1002
Life 994 1666
 IRA  12693  12757
 Brokerage 684  689
 Rewards Card 2 -301 -950
 CC (largest) -3500  -3514
 CC (longest) 0  -65
 Rewards Card -1302 -1416
SL 1 -104288 -104469
 SL 2 -45936 -46019
 Earnest -5716 -5736
 Net Worth -144183 -144567
 Percentage Change -.01% -.27%

When was your last vacation?

Yakezie Challenge Update – Under 200,000!

Gentle Readers,

I completed the Yakezie Challenge!!!

I listened to the free advice from Sam and have succeeded in exactly the way he promised. My original post was one day over six months ago.

A refresher on joining the Yakezie Challenge :

1) Install the Alexa toolbar if not already and comment what your current Alexa ranking is.

2) Write consistently 2-4 times a week on your own site and consider guest posting around the community including on Yakezie.com to raise your profile. (I was consistently twice a week at first, and lately I have done 1 post a week)

3) Install the Yakezie Challenger Badge.

4) Announce on your blog that you have joined the Yakezie Challenge.

5) Selflessly promote others and build relationships. (Still good for all of life)

6) Stay committed and consistent over the next 6 months!

7) Introduce yourself on the Yakezie Challengers Forum and get to know your fellow Challengers and Members. (I’m not clear if this is still being updated and never added myself.)

8) After you’ve completed the 6-month challenge, let everyone know how it worked for you. If you’ve done it as intended, you could be invited to become an official Yakezie member.

As of  June 6, 2016, my Alexa ranking was 14,000,562 internationally and 1,489,921 nationally.

As of December 7, my Alexa ranking was 684,605 internationally and remarkably 180,247 in the US.  ZJ Thorne is officially under 200,000 and I did not fully follow all of the steps in the end. Imagine where I would be had I been able to make the full commitment!

Have you listened to the blogging giants and seen success?

 

 

Net Worth Week 8 – Two Months of Progress to Celebrate Pride

Gentle Readers,

A week of no gig means that my net worth to begin Pride Month won’t have the same triumphant tenor as last week’s major gains.  I cannot grow accustomed to 2.95% gains, but I can look back at two month’s worth of progress and be happy with my path of financial and personal growth.

The freedom of no work has allowed me to perform many errands and do some important work at my LLC. The LLC work should pay off fairly soon, and leave one less client matter over my head.  After using my days off to visit with friends, I switched to using my day’s off to help friends. One friend needed help cleaning their apartment, and another needed help unpacking. We all needed human interaction, too. It was lovely and I was glad to help my friends with my extra time. I know that I am in a better emotional space when I get to see my friends more often – especially in their homes away from the noise and crowd.

The gig is continuing to suggest that I will start soon. I’m still not applying for other gigs, because this one is at the 25% higher pay-rate and has more stability. Most likely it will begin next week.  I’m fortunate that I can go a few weeks without earning money and still be fine. It’s a little frustrating because these weeks were going to be dedicated to beginning my Down Payment Fund, but that will just have to wait.

Two months of tracking net worth has been incredibly informative. I began with ~$151,164 as my baseline. I’m now making progress and am at $146,101. That’s a 3.349% difference and $5,063 gain. 

The percent change for this week was less exciting, but when you are not actively working, it is expected. Next week will not be any better, since I will have no paycheck. I am still grateful for Earnest changing my ability to conquer my debt. I count them

Date 4/1/16 5/20/2016 5/27/2016 6/3/2016
Joy 1097 1098 1098  1098
Travel 752 322 322 323
Down Payment  284 18 18 19
retirement  221 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  9 9 2597 2597
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  471 1716 2765  2344
IRA  6928 7295 8359  8378
Brokerage  220 218 222  224
CC (largest)  -11883 0 0 0
CC (longest)  -567 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -2762 -3890 -3998  -4481
SL 1  –  -102130 -102245 -102360
SL 2  –  -45024 -45059 -45095
Earnest  -10000 -9673 -9696 -9247
-$151164 -$149942 -$145518 -$146101
  BASELINE -1.0% change 2.95% change  -1.0% change

When is the first time you saw that slow and steady was really winning the race?