Net Worth Update, June 2015 (plus bonus Q2 checkin)

networthupdateI have a hard time knowing how to assess this month; I was out of town for half of it, spent weirdly on groceries, bought some clothes that I probably shouldn’t have, replaced my computer’s hard drive, finished paying for last month’s car repairs, made a lot of side hustle money, watched the stock market drop, pretty much broken even…. I don’t quite know what to think. Nor do I really know how I’m doing on my yearly goals, so I’m kind of looking forward to writing up the end of this post where I do that analysis and find out 🙂 So, since I don’t have much interesting to say about June…. To the numbers! Continue reading “Net Worth Update, June 2015 (plus bonus Q2 checkin)”

Side Hustle Income: June 2015

Wow, I can’t believe June is almost over — all that traveling made it go by really fast, I guess. I have a ton of work to get done before the month is over so I think I’ll be spending this weekend hunkered down with the computer at the coffeeshop…. This is a new type of post for me and I may not do it every month — there’s not always enough interesting non-paycheck income to warrant a separate post. But this was a great month for side hustling and I figured I’d lay out all the different types that came in.

$100 — this was an honorarium for speaking at a conference. They also paid my travel and food expenses, but I deal with those off-budget so they don’t show up either as expenses or income.

$20 — someone used my Capital One 360 referral link to open a new account. Thanks, someone! 🙂

$250 — this was the bonus from opening a new checking account and depositing $5000 into it. It’s a smaller regional bank (six states in the midwest) and required a promotion code (I got a card in the mail with the offer) so I won’t link it.

$40 — made on

$20 — earned in bank interest in May.

$25 — earned from Swagbucks. (I wrote a bit about what I do to make this roughly once a month with minimal effort — 2-3 min a day — here.)

That’s a total of $415. I know that’s not much compared to all y’all freelancers, but without it I totally wouldn’t have been able to handle paying for half a car repair and replacing my computer’s hard drive without dipping into savings. I’m really glad I happened to have a good income month at exactly this time!

Zero Food Waste, Weeks 22 and 23: Did I Mention Meal Planning? (Plus Kale, Date, and Avocado Salad)

zero food waste challenge 2015So, this week’s tip could be shorthanded: Maintain control! I was staying with my friends for much of the first half of June, and I did most of the grocery shopping (they paid me back!) but remembered how hard it is to do this zero food waste thing when all the members of the household aren’t pulling in the same direction. Since I am normally a household of one, I only have to get my worst instincts in line with the rest of me, which is much easier than corralling an entire family.

Continue reading “Zero Food Waste, Weeks 22 and 23: Did I Mention Meal Planning? (Plus Kale, Date, and Avocado Salad)”

I Am Possibly Insane About My Emergency Fund

OK, here is the down low on me: I am kind of a crazy person.

I realize that, by the standards of people on the internet, I act fairly sane. I have a 401(k) invested in index funds! I write in complete sentences!

But a number of recent occurrences have caused me to question the state of my mental regime, none more so than my realizing I would literally rather go into debt again than use my emergency fund.

Continue reading “I Am Possibly Insane About My Emergency Fund”

Well, that was exciting…


I got home from my good, yet exhausting, trip on Tuesday night. I was all excited to blog about food on Wednesday…and my computer started being crazy weird and slow. That continued, while I tried to fix it, for about 24 hours, then it totally cratered in the middle of trying to run disk utility. So, off to the Apple Store, where they told me my hard drive was toast, and did I have a backup?

As a matter of fact, I did; it was from two weeks ago, the last time I’d been in to work before I left (I keep my backup drive at the office) but everything I’d done since then was saved in dropbox, so assuming my backup actually worked and wasn’t corrupted or something, it was all good.

(Hey kids, back your stuff up. For real.)

As you might be able to tell by the fact that I’m typing this, $210 later, everything does seem to have worked out ok. I’m considering either buying another backup drive, or getting an unlimited dropbox subscription, at least until the book I’m writing is finished, so I can back all my photos up in more ways than one. But for the moment I’m feeling like I got off really lightly here, courtesy of Planning Ahead. Also possibly courtesy of the fact that I think this hard drive was probably kind of burnt from the beginning; this computer’s always been less stable than any Mac I’d ever had before, so I’ve been more paranoid than I was about backing it up. Paying the “insurance” cost of the external drive plus remembering to plug it in every few days: totally, totally worth it.

Back to normal blogging on Sunday, assuming nothing else goes disastrously wrong between now and then!

A heartening chart

Screen Shot 2015-06-06 at 8.40.25 PM

Another short post because OMG childcare. It was a long weekend, with both my goddaughter’s parents at work most of Saturday and Sunday (they are both in a really busy phase right now, which is why I’m here helping out). She’s really good and patient, on the whole, but I am glad she’s back to preschool today! My brain is exhausted from keeping up with her.

Anyway, I did have a little financial stuff to talk about, I discovered. This is a screencap of my Roth IRA, which has been at Vanguard for 15 months now. It’s actually misleading, because part of the growth up to that peak is my 401(k) contributions — they were at Vanguard until the end of 2015 at which point they were withdrawn and put into a Fidelity account when my whole employer switched providers. So the sharp drop is not a giant market crash either 🙂

The reason I wanted to post it is that the green, which represents the growth of the value of my contributions (in blue) is so much noticeably larger now! In March 2014 it was a barely visible line. But despite a couple of valleys, it’s encouraging to see that green becoming more and more sizeable; I’ve mostly neglected this account lately, except for depositing most of my tax return into it in Feburary, so yay.

Bank Account Side Hustling

Hi y’all! I’m kind of on unexpected hiatus; I’m not on vacation exactly, but working remotely for a couple of weeks so that I can help take care of my goddaughter during a really busy period for her parents. It’s great, but man, I don’t know how you people with kids do it! She’s such a constant bundle of energy that when she goes to bed, I can’t do much more than the dishes and collapsing into bed myself.

Anyway, apparently I am not going to have the wherewithal to post regularly for a little while 🙂 But I did want to quickly share that I’m side hustling this month by opening a new bank account and depositing $5000 into it. I’ve gotten bank account bonuses before, but usually not for this much. The cool thing about this is that I couldn’t have gotten the full bonus without the $5000, and I don’t think there was ever a time in my life when I had $5000 in savings to send somewhere! Even for this I had to combine all my savings accounts since my emergency fund won’t be full for another few months.

I’m trying to decide if this should be a one-time deal, or if I should do this regularly. I have no problem with taking bonus money for an account I’m actually going to use, but I’d feel weird about taking it if my plan is just to close it as soon as I’m allowed to. Maybe not though if I had my $5000 deposited for a while so I knew the bank was using it? Has anyone else done this as kind of a regular side hustle, the way people cycle credit cards for the intro bonus?

Exhaustedly yours, C