Net Worth Week 43 – Back on the Right Track

Gentle Readers,
I have not been able to make an appointment with an oral surgeon yet, and am going to hold off for a few weeks. Some big changes are happening and I need to focus my attentions elsewhere for the short-term.
My “new client” from last weekend never arrived. Cash-flow is always going to be interesting it seems.
My streak re-set to 1 week positive net worth growth.

This week’s net worth numbers

1/27/2017 2/3/2017
 Joy 1103 1104
 Travel 324 324
 Down Payment 19 19
 Retirement 21 21
 Health 45 45
 Moving 284 284
 EF 810 810
Business 501 751
Bed  0.19 0.19
 Life 1501  1356
 IRA 11458  11459
 Brokerage 674 674
 CC (largest) -4209 -4182
 CC (longest) -10  0
 Rewards Card -2030 -1503
 SL 1 -103883 -103998
 SL 2 -45751 -45804
 Earnest -6546 -6562
 Net Worth -145688 -145201
 Percentage Change -.39% .33%

Any unexpected changes to your plans hit you lately? 

Net Worth Week 41 – Washington Changes Edition

This change is hard. The new man openly talks about assaulting women. It’s a lot to take in. But I must keep trying to be the change I wish to see in the world. I can do that best from a place of financial wellness. This is my eighth week in a row of net worth increase. It’s a good start.
1/13/17 1/20/17
Joy 1103 1103
Travel 324 324
Down Payment 19 19
Retirement 21 21
Health 45 45
Moving 284 284
EF 310 310
Business 501 501
Bed 0.29 0.29
Life 1128  1716
IRA 11075 11020
Brokerage 666  663
CC (largest) -4210 -4265
CC (longest) 0 0
Rewards Card -999 -1365
SL 1 -103652 -103767
SL 2 -45646 -45698
Earnest -6519 -6532
Net Worth -145550 -145120  
Percentage Change .22% .29%

How are you handling the changes? I’ll be volunteering this weekend.

Net Worth Week 39

12/23/16 12/30/16 1/6/17
Joy 1102 1102 1103
Travel 324 324 324
Down Payment 19 19 19
Retirement 21 21 21
Health 45 45 45
Moving 284 284 284
EF 309 309 310
Business 1 501 501
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 1912 1889  1422
IRA 10718 10879  11055
Brokerage 661 658  669
CC (largest) -4256 -4251  -4210
CC (longest) 0 0 0
Rewards Card -1274 -1534  -1406
SL 1 -103565 -103680  -103795
SL 2 -45606 -45659  -45711
Earnest -6942 -6956  -6507
Net Worth -146246 -146o49  -145876
Percentage Change .16% .13% .12%

Have you ever fired a client over ethics?

Net Worth Week 35 – You Better Work Edition

11/25/16 12/2/16 12/9/16
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 1
Bed 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life 1632 2617  445
IRA 10170 10124  10988
Brokerage 406 399  664
CC (largest) -4332 -4341  -4341
CC (longest) 0 -98 0
Rewards Card -1443 -1683  -988
SL 1 -103378 -103477  -103334
SL 2 -45521 -45566  -45501
Earnest -7351 -7364  -6915
Net Worth -147712 -147283  -146880
Percentage Change -1.12% .29% .27%

Have you ever had the option of Unlimited Overtime? How much would you work if you could?

Net Worth Week 13

Gentle Reader,

Man, the violence in our world is a lot sometimes. It is hard to be hopeful, but then I see the image of the strangers in Dallas who immediately surrounded a baby in a stroller when the shots rang out.  They were willing to put their body in harm’s way to protect a small life. That crowd was diverse and, I assume, did not all personally know that baby. They did not know why the shots were happening or who was being targeted, but they decided to protect a defenseless child. That is my hope for the world. That crowd of strangers who chose danger for another.

I know that y’all noticed I was quiet on twitter this week, and thanks for checking on me. PF bloggers are a great community. I had family in town and they had shenanigans to put me through.  I’m still trying to win my way to FinCon – in large part to meet y’all. It is already an honor to know you and I can only suspect that honor will grow when I can shake your hand.

My net worth plucked along in the positive direction and that small victory is helping me remember the destination this journey is leading me to.

I still love Earnest and credit them with my ability to conquer some of this debt.

Date 6/17/16 6/25/2016 7/1/2016 7/8/2016
Joy 1098 1098 1099  1099
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  2597 2597 2002 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1839 1140 1929  863
IRA  8285 8765 9580  9653
Brokerage  221 315 324 329
CC (largest)  0 0 0 0
CC (longest)  0 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -5300 -5347 -5675  -5247
SL 1  -102268  -102284 -102482 -102258
SL 2  -45017  -45067 -45112 -45010
Earnest  -9286 -9306 -9328 -8878
-$147390 -$147748 -$147222 -$147006
  -1.0% change -.24% change .35% change  .14% change

Have you been encouraged by small progress?

Net Worth Week 12 – A Glimmer of Progress

Gentle Reader,

This summer and year have been about volatility in unexpected places. We all watched the markets dip and rebound after the initial Brexit vote. I personally had some shenanigans at my gig, but was really encouraged by the community’s response to my attempt to get to FinCon. Y’all are wonderful and supportive. Thank you.

I am an hourly employee at my temp gig, and I had the misfortune of being sent home after a half day unexpectedly. I did nothing wrong, but they could not get their systems to work, which meant that I couldn’t work either. This will definitely impact next week’s paycheck and comes at an unfortunate time since I had worked a half-day on Monday as well. You are guaranteed nothing as a contingent employee. This week reminds me that I need to pursue FIRE to rid myself of the vicissitudes of laboring for others.

Brexit definitely impacted my retirement accounts. I’m personally on the right track, but am worried for the world in the next few years. Increased volatility hits financial markets definitely, but it absolutely increases violence in the world. I’m watching Venezuela and worrying what other countries will respond to market conditions in a similar vein.

I still love Earnest and credit them with my ability to conquer some of this debt.

Date 6/10/16 6/17/2016 6/25/2016 7/1/2016
Joy 1098 1098 1098  1099
Travel 322 323 323 323
Down Payment  19 19 19 19
retirement  21 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  2597 2597 2597 2002
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1729 1839 1140  1929
IRA  8516 8285 8765  9580
Brokerage  226 221 315 324
CC (largest)  0 0 0 0
CC (longest)  0 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -5434 -5300 -5347  -5675
SL 1  -102120  -102268 -102284 -102482
SL 2  -44971  -45017 -45067 -45112
Earnest  -9258 -9286 -9306 -9328
-$147176 -$147390 -$147748 -$147222
  -1.0% change -1.0% change -.24% change  .35% change

How did your week go? Have your accounts already recovered from Brexit?

Expensive Shoes Can Be A Frugal Investment

Gentle Readers,

I love shoes.  As a lesbian who refuses to allow fashion to hurt me, I have some problems finding appropriate shoes for my professional work environment that follow my personal aesthetic. This problem is compounded by my walker’s lifestyle.

I am on a mission to have 5 pair of amazing shoes that I can wear for work and play. I want one pair per day of the work week.  Dressing in a manner I like is important to me. I perform my gender, and my shoes are a huge part of that. I also know that good shoes need a day or two to breath between wearings to extend their life. I am at 3 pair of amazing shoes. I’m on the lookout for 2 more.

I buy (or am gifted) expensive shoes because I prefer quality construction that is meant to last. I want shoes that I will be wearing for decades. I want shoes that do not harm my feet. Not all expensive shoes are expensive because they are good. You must be careful. I focus on quality construction and classic styles. I don’t trust brands.

You’ll notice that I do not wear heels, but I like a fancy look as I am a fancy lady. Finding shoes that work well with dresses at fancy events is a mean-feat if you ignore heels, but it is doable.

I have a further problem in that I have smallish feet. I adore men’s dress shoes, but most do not come in my size. I’m excited about Tomboy Toes, but I cannot personally recommend them yet as I have not worn any. If I hadn’t had work shenanigans impacting my finances, maybe I would have tried them this summer. Sigh.

These shoes, the Lita, from BedStu are my go-tos. I have them in a color they no longer sell. But they have been my main-stays for two years. I paid nearly $200 for them, and get them re-soled every year for ~$60. Absolutely worth it. I can walk in them day after day and never have foot pain from them. Most women can tell you how incredible that is.

I also appreciate Fleuvog’s Tuxedo Flats. Unfortunately, they are not available any more, but these are close.  They are beautiful and narrow. Perfect for fancier events, and do not cause me pain from standing. Sadly, they do not include much by way of arch support so they can not be for daily wear. My feet just won’t allow it.

These are the most beautiful shoes I own. I feel like I can take down any enemy when I wear them. I wear them like armor. I wear them when I anticipate a client is going to be tough. I still need to take them to the cobbler to stretch the toe-box a tiny-bit, but holy cow are they beautiful!

A good cobbler will lengthen the life of your shoes by many years. Especially if you are like me and do not drive, but walk and use public transportation for all your needs. My shoes and feet need this pampering so that they will both last me many decades. Men can expect this in their dress shoes, and I think all genders should be allowed this non-luxury.

Where do you find your professional shoes?  

 

 

 

Having Savings Makes Emergencies Manageable

Gentle Readers,

What was supposed to be a vacation to celebrate a graduation turned into a Family Medical emergency  and it is ongoing. Thankfully, my savings has made this fraught time easier to navigate.

I did not quit as planned before I left for the airport, but I am even more concerned about my employer’s behavior. I informed them of the emergency and let them know that my return is up in the air. I have heard nothing. Not even the standard, “I hope you are well.” I still have heard nothing about being told to work for no pay. I still am refusing to donate my time to this corporation. They have not fired me. Nor have I quit. We’ll see what develops.

Meanwhile, I am currently at a hotel. Not an expense I anticipated when originally planning this trip, but I found something near the hospital that allows me to Uber to it. This gives me some more freedom in this state that does not believe in public transportation or non-car-based-infrastructure. This expense won’t really harm me, even if I lose my job, because I have enough cushion right now. This expense allows me to be near my loved-one so that I can advocate on his behalf. This expense allows me to know what is going on.

Today I do not know if I need to stay in this place. Today I do not know if my job will be there when I return, but my savings is working for me. I am not stressed about money. This is freeing.

Tomorrow, we contact the lawyer to make sure the Power of Attorney exists with the person we think it does. Tomorrow, we see that the directive includes information about what level of assisted living is desired. Tomorrow, we find out what next steps are inevitable. Tomorrow, we’ll show up for the people we love and do the things they need.

Net Worth Week 6

Gentle Readers,

I’m on a small vacation again, but this time for my graduating relative. Work was ridiculous, and the result is indeterminate, because a family medical emergency was discovered as a result of my travel. I do not know when I will return to work at this point.

The market has taken some value out of my IRA, but volatility is just fierce when you are at a 92% stock allocation.

My family is an interesting bunch, and showing up physically is a thing I’m striving to improve within my own terms. It is not easy for me. I do not drive and some of them live in a place that requires a car. This makes traveling to them difficult. They also are not necessarily the best communicators, which involves extra emotional labor on my part. I want my young relatives to know that they have me in their lives and I want them to have memories with me. Showing up helps with that. If I buy a place that they can visit easily, there could be improvement that way, too. This is even more important after discovering the newest medical emergency.

The percent change returned to -1.0%, but I knew that I worked less last week and spent money on vacation. Not a huge loss.

Date 4/29/16 5/6/2016 5/13/2016 5/13/2016
Joy 1097 1098 1098  1098
Travel 322 322 322 322
Down Payment  18 18 18 18
retirement  21 21 21 21
health  45 45 45 45
Moving  31 31 31 31
EF  9 9 9 9
Business  1 1 1 1
Bed  .29 0.29 0.29 0.29
Life  1097 1526 2004  1716
IRA  7045 7346 7315  7295
Brokerage  219 218 219  218
CC (largest)  0 0 0 0
CC (longest)  0 0 0 0
Rewards Card  -3558 -3426 -3718  -3890
SL 1  -102123  -102222 -102014 -102130
SL 2  -45072  -45102 -44988 -45024
Earnest  -10078 -9632 -9653 -9673
–$150,079 -$149746 -$149289 -$149942
  .99% change .99% change .99% change  -1.0% change

Are you investing in your family time?

It’s Not Work If You Don’t Pay Me

Gentle Readers,

You may have seen my twitter rant. The W2 job is engaged in shenanigans that may require my departure.

I work a full-time gig in a professional capacity. This gig is one in a series of gigs that have supported me since 2012. They come and go. They largely treat us as the highly expendable contingent workers we are. It is not unusual to learn that you are unemployed by a phone call after hours telling you to not come in the next day. It is stressful, but you know this, and should prepare yourself for this as much as you can.

Current gig is with an agency I liked. The past tense is key. The contractor who asked my agency to provide them with workers is a highly dysfunctional work environment. The dysfunction usually does not directly impact me outside of my side-eyeing their behavior and wondering how these workers get through their lives.

This week was different. I was given 3 days to perform a task for work outside of work hours. I said no. In part, because my hours outside of work are fully occupied this week, but mainly because they do not intend to pay me for this work.

They are telling me that I must work for no money. I said no.

I checked in with my agency, because, surely this cannot be a reasonable request. So far, my agency has gotten me an extension to complete the contractor’s request command.

This is not enough.

I asked my agency again how I could possibly be required to complete work tasks for no money. They’ve not yet responded. The contractor has let me know that I will be fired if I do not complete their command since it is a requirement for continued employment.

If I don’t hear from my agency by noon tomorrow, I will let them know that I am prepared to leave my keys at my desk as I leave for my flight on Friday if the command to work without pay is still on the table.

My agency is not going to expect this. We are contingent workers and we are not unionized. We rarely push back against the excesses imposed upon us.

BUT

I have an emotional fuck-off fund. I have my LLC. I have concrete steps I am taking to increase my pay rate for the contingency work. I have enough savings to wait for a new gig. I do not volunteer for corporations.

I do not want to quit this gig. It pays better than many gigs on the market. But even one hour of work without pay is unacceptable.  This agency has engaged in different shenanigans I will write about later, but this egregious act required its own post, in my opinion.

Has an employer ever stolen your hours and money in this way?