September 2017 Net Worth Update

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?

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

6 thoughts on “September 2017 Net Worth Update

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi! It’s nice to read an update from you. 🙂 I’d been meaning to tell you I was reading a bunch of your older posts (circa 2014-2015) recently as inspiration. I think I’m at a place right now that is roughly where you were around that time, financially and/or career-wise, and I’m glad to have your archives available to read over!

    So are you going on the job market again this fall? (I think I actually am going on the job market now-ish, if I can gather enough courage to start the process…very daunting…)

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Hey, that’s cool! It’s nice to know that. Job market: it is daunting. I did it for five years (twice in a full-on blitz, three times in a more limited way) and decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. It wasn’t getting me anywhere; my subfield is just not hiring. I do plan to stay more or less in my field, but I’m thinking of high school teaching, of archives work, or of something administrativeish like program-directing a center. Not that those are easy jobs to get necessarily, but I have a lot of experience and groundwork laid for all of them and I think they’ll give me much more choice of location, which is really important to me right now in a way it wasn’t five or six years ago.

      1. Sarah says:

        Ah, location, location, yes…I feel like one of the huge problems with my going on the job market is that I’m super duper picky about places I would live (and in the worst possible way, too — like, I would only consider living in one of the same 6 or 7 cities that everyone else also wants to live in). So I can already tell that’s going to be an issue.

        I think it’s great that you are considering a bunch of different options! Program-directing could be a lot of fun (as could teaching and archives work). I’ll be interested to hear more about how this goes!

      2. University administration can pay a pretty penny if you get a good position, but it is very competitive. Sounds like you’ve got a few good options.

        1. thesingledollar says:

          Yeah, I don’t expect to get a fancy university administration job 🙂 The kind I’m thinking of would be pretty close to what I make now. But I dunno, it’s all up in the air. Right now I’m so exhausted with the strain of teaching in a new place and making up new curriculum on the fly that I’m not planning very well!

  2. Chonce says:

    So many life changes all at once! It’s good to see that you are ahead of the game though, so congrats on that. What would you want to do for your small business?

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