Income & Net Worth Update: January 2016


Well! Interesting start to the year, net-worth-wise. I spent more than usual this month, and the markets were, um, exciting. At the very last second, however, a rebound day in stocks, combined with a higher than usual freelance income, did keep me from having my very first net worth decline, so that’s something.




Income Sources

$2557.43: Full-time job (net, after taxes, 403(b) contribution & insurance premiums)

$25.00: Swagbucks

$25.60: Interest (this will be the last month this number is so high, because I had a promo)

$120.00: Freelance writing. During this first month of my freelance writing career, I took on a few small gigs for practice. My hope is to increase the $$-per-article quickly.

$51.43: Cash back from credit cards (Unusually high because of a reimbursed hotel trip and also because I’d been saving up points for a while to meet a redemption threshold on one card)

Total net income: $2836.43

I am sooooooooo close to my first ever Adsense payout — next month, I think/hope? I’ll also have income from Ebates in February. Anyway — how did I save/spend this income this month? To the numbers!

Continue reading “Income & Net Worth Update: January 2016”

Net Worth Update (and Year-End Update): December 2015

networthupdateHappy new year, savers and debt-slayers! December 2015 turned out to be kind of a spendy month. Even though I bought many of my Christmas presents in November, I bought a few more in December; spent money on travel over the holidays; and dropped several hundred $$ on gremlins, including two years of hosting and domain registration. Even so, the month turned out OK, with a big chunk of change added to my down payment fund. But enough summary: to the numbers!

Continue reading “Net Worth Update (and Year-End Update): December 2015”

Net Worth Update: November 2015

networthupdateHello and welcome to my penultimate 2015 net worth update. I once again took advantage of this semester’s unusually extreme flexibility and worked remotely for the last couple of weeks. During this time I stayed with my BFF and her family in California, helping to care for their newborn, my goddaughter’s younger sister. I…may not have gotten very much work done, but on the plus side (1) I spent a lot of time with an infant sleeping on my chest or smiling at me, and (2) it ended up being a very cheap month because they paid for most food and there weren’t a lot of opportunities to spend money on entertainment. (I did “bill” my travel fund for a few things — a checked baggage fee and airport shuttle fee, and gas for a weekend trip I made at the start of the month — but made up for it with a cash draw of only $200, which I used to pay for groceries early in the month and a few small items while traveling, like lunch out with a friend and various coffees.)

To the numbers!

Continue reading “Net Worth Update: November 2015”

Net Worth Update: October 2015

networthupdateWell, the tenth month of the year was much kinder to my dashboard than the previous two. It’s interesting — my portfolio is the vast majority of my net worth, since I don’t own real estate (and especially now that a big chunk of my previous cash savings are in a taxable brokerage account.) Therefore, big swings really matter to my bottom line now, where they didn’t even a year ago. Like I said earlier this month, when I put the drop of the last two months in perspective, there was nothing to worry about. But it was definitely less fun writing the September update than it is doing this one 🙂 To the numbers! Continue reading “Net Worth Update: October 2015”

Net Worth Update, September 2015, & Q3 goals checkin

networthupdateHi everyone! Obviously I’ve been pretty absent lately — I’ve been trying to read and comment on others’ blogs as I have time, but mostly I just haven’t had the energy, let alone to post myself. Nothing bad is going on. It’s just been a very busy season at work, plus I’ve ramped up a couple of volunteer activities (yesterday, which might have been a prime time to write a post, I was at one of those from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm) and the end result is that I’ve been busy plus, when I get home, exhausted. I’ve rarely had energy to do much other than fall into bed with a book.

However, I miss blogging, so I’m going to make a concerted effort to get back into the swing of things a little bit more this month. I have a food post planned for Wednesday (hint: black bean soup with garlic and tomatoes), and I have a few other ideas for posts too. First, however, the depressing September net worth update. To the numbers! Continue reading “Net Worth Update, September 2015, & Q3 goals checkin”

Net Worth Update: July 2015

networthupdateY’all. July has been…a month.

First of all, I realized I’d been overspending like whoa. I wrote about that, and that was good, because I basically stopped; I swiped my credit card this morning for the first time in ten days, and it was for a reimbursable work expense.

Second of all, speaking of work, it has been heavy. It’s all good stuff, but I’ve been pretty overwhelmed, hence the radio silence. The huge project I’ve been working on is debuting tomorrow, so that’s good, but now I have several weeks’ worth of neglected other projects to catch up on. It could be a while until I’ve totally righted the balance, both at work and in my finances.

It was enough of a messy month, and I’m rushed enough still, that I’m not going to do a whole accounting of my spending (just picture a lot of red category balances and you’ll have a decent idea), but here’s the net worth numbers:

Screen Shot 2015-08-01 at 1.15.04 PMThe reason I’m not showing debt, even though I did actually go over in a bunch of spending categories, is that I used some of August’s money (income I made in July) to pay off my credit card already. So my checking account is low now, but if I can get through August without doing a bunch of totally random spending, I should be back on a more even keel again.

I’m kind of disappointed with this month; the market going way up (in time to make my first retirement contribution this month “expensive”) and then going way down again, didn’t help, and neither did my overspending. A $1200 increase is way off where I want to be every month (I aim for a $2000 increase). However, I do feel like I’m turned around in a positive direction, so fingers crossed for a good August.

Net Worth Update May 2015

networthupdateAnother month down! Wow.

I was about to write that this one was weird, except let’s face it, I have a lot of weird months. This wasn’t a great month for savings and scrimpings, but it wasn’t as much of a complete collapse as, say, March. It was just a month with a couple of large expenses and nearly no side income; I was crazy busy with my actual job and didn’t have time or energy for hustling on top of that. If I ignore all the money I put into savings (which would have covered the expenses easily) then I can kind of sense what it would be like to be really living paycheck to paycheck right now. Glad that’s not actually my reality at the moment (and hopefully never again, but you never know.)

To the numbers!

Continue reading “Net Worth Update May 2015”

Net Worth Update: April 2015

networthupdateBuckling Down

Y’all, I am so happy with this month’s report, I can’t even. After my awful financial March, I really wanted to make back some of the lost ground this month, as well as pay off the credit card. As you know, Bob, there are two ways to increase net worth: spend less and earn more. (Yes, I am a font of PF wisdom.) My side hustling had dropped to almost nothing recently, but I set a goal of paying off the $250 I still had on my CC using solely side income, and took a few steps to increase it: I kept the usertesting window open more (and made $177)), I applied my cash-back points to my credit card ($35.84), and I spent a bit of extra time at Swagbucks (and made $50). I also put the word out that I was looking for babysitting, though nothing’s actually come through on that yet. All of that plus $20 in interest added up to $282 of side income — $30 more than my goal.

Then I got around to looking at the “spending less” side of the equation. A third of the way through the month, on April 10, I was up to $846 in expenditures (rent, cash draw, credit card expenses — see below). I started to wonder if I could make it through the following 20 days on (1) the cash I’d already withdrawn for the month and (2) $150 in other expenditures, leaving me at under $1000 for total April expenses. Did I make it?

To the numbers!

Continue reading “Net Worth Update: April 2015”

March 2015 Net Worth Update & Q1 Update

networthupdateMan oh man, March came in like a lamb and roared out like a lion, financially speaking! My February update was, in retrospect, remarkably blasé about my prospects for March — I was confidently predicting I’d shoot past my $20K net worth goal. Uh, not so much.

Regular readers will recall, because, you know, I just talked about it last week, that I had a major setback in March, to the tune of [OH GOD HOW MUCH?!?!] for last-minute plane tickets. This included the original cost of tickets, plus a substantial stupidity tax related to having to make even more last-minute changes when I realized I’d book the wrong date [every time I mention this, a sad accordian goes “womp womp WOMPPPPPP” in my head, like I have a TV music soundtrack to my thought process.]

However, mama said there’d be months like this, and like I said last week, you know, things are actually OK. I kept up my e-fund and retirement contributions, so at least the basics got taken care of, you know? Continue reading “March 2015 Net Worth Update & Q1 Update”