Hi! I’m checking back in now that things have settled down a little. It’s nice to see my net worth chart going back UP again after several flatline months and a couple of decline while I was unemployed:
So, what’s happened?
- I filed for unemployment while I was, well, unemployed. It took a while for the actual money to arrive though — I didn’t receive anything until I was employed again! Of course I have savings so I was ok, but that would be a really hard situation for people who were living paycheck to paycheck. Man. Anyway, I did finally receive unemployment compensation for four out of my six weeks of unemployment (one week was a waiting period and for one week I wasn’t able to get a voucher filed on time because I was out of town.) I put that back into the “life fund” savings account from which I withdrew the money I was living on.
- I also got $1000 of moving expenses reimbursed. There were some technical snafus so even though I’d been expecting the money for a while it didn’t finally hit my account until a week ago. I put that in my emergency fund, which was low because of a car repair I made, but is now nearly up to my $5K goal.
- I got some regular paychecks!
What else is happening in my financial life…I have been housesitting since I got to my new city, and that lasts another month. I have a place to move to on November 1, which will cost money ($1000 a month, ouch) so I am trying to take as much advantage as I possibly can of this rent-free period. After deductions (more on that in a minute) I’m taking home about $3000 a month; in both September and October I decided to put $2000 into my “life fund.” September’s money is now all in the fund, which is nearly back to where it was before I needed to use it for all my summer living expenses — it had been up to $16500, and is now just over $16000 again. If nothing goes wrong, I hope to have it at $20K before the end of the year, reflecting another $2000 deposit in October and $1000 each in November and December.
Deductions! One positive of my new employer is that they started contributing to my 401(k) immediately. I’ve never actually qualified for a 401(k) match before; either I didn’t work at the place long enough, or I wasn’t in the right kind of job. It’s a little bit fake — they could just pay me the extra money in salary and I could put it in myself, right? — but it still feels like #winning. It’s a good amount, too, 9.5%. (Which is nice since the actual salary is not all that high! So in real dollar terms I suppose it’s not super impressive, but better than with a 5% match on the same salary.) I’m putting in 10% of my own, as well. So that’s nice. If I were ten years younger I’d feel super secure about all this; even so I feel ok.
I also have access to a Health Savings Account because I joined the high-deductible health plan. I’m contributing $100 a month to that out of my paycheck and my employer is putting in $500 a year — in theory I think I’m supposed to get a pro-rated match, which would be $166 for 2017 (that will pay for when I get cancer, I’m sure) but I haven’t seen that money in the account yet.
The other weird thing is that because it’s a university and a one-year contract, I will almost certainly not be working for them after May 15. (At this moment, I don’t want to renew for a second year, for a variety of reasons.) My previous university employers have just started paying me on July 1 and stopped on June 30, smoothing out the paychecks. For some reason this one doesn’t — they started paying me August 15 and will stop on May 15, unless I were to renew, in which case they’d just keep paying me all summer. But if I leave after May 15, they’ll give me all that money in a lump sum at the end of May.
I’m honestly pretty annoyed about this. Tax withholding will be awful, and I’d rather have the money now than later so I could put it in savings myself, etc. However, I don’t have a choice, so I just have to make the best of it. My plan, assuming I do in fact leave and get a multi-thousand-dollar payout, is to use that as a big final boost to my “life” account. I’d like to buy a house next year and I’m kicking around the idea of starting a small business, and in either/both cases I suppose having a few thousand dollars come in at the last minute would help.
Finally, the numbers as of right this second!
Cash (checking account, savings accounts, HSA): $21788
Retirement (IRA, Roth IRA, 401(k): $43546
Total Net Worth: $65325