By: Revanche

Net Worth & Life Report: December 2016

January 4, 2017

Money & Life Report: December 2016

On Money

Income

Our normal income is two full time day job salaries. We experiment with earning money on the side, including minimal cash flow that we don’t touch from an investment property. The goal is to replace our day job income before my health gives out and prevents me from working. Any purchases you make going through my Amazon links keep these blog lights on!

Our incomes remain the same. I don’t anticipate any danger to them this year, but the election result is very likely to impact both of our industries to varying degrees. I think we have at least a year before we start to see negative changes but that might be optimistic.

Spending

Our normal spending includes the living expenses for two households so this update ignores those ordinary living expenses.

Charitable giving: We don’t do as well in this area as I’d like, and the way I know this is that I end up making monetary donations at the beginning and at the end of the year. What this tells you is that it isn’t yet a regular part of our budget – or that I have trouble committing the funds throughout the year regularly. One reason for that is uncertainty. When unexpected expenses creep in, I need to know that we have enough cushion in the cashflow to bear it, and this hasn’t been the case this year. The other reason is that I do give regularly to individuals. When dear friends suffer loss, when dear friends hit a rough patch. While causes are important to me, the people I love are that little bit more important to me, and I have to take care of my chosen family before I can lend a hand to others outside that circle. This is an extension of my policy of taking care of my biological family – they’re not a burden on the state and taxing those meager resources.

I have to decide if I am ok with giving twice a year and making that our plan so that we have the flexibility to continue sending care packages as needed or if we should change to monthly contributions even if they’re still small.

Personal spending: PiC and I spent $800 on clothing in December. Most of it will be returned. Of the 4 pairs of pants for me, I’ll keep one pair ($70). It’s quite hard to meet my exacting specifications, one of which is that these pants will last at least 7 years. The pants these are replacing are worn all the way through, cost $15 and only lasted 4 years. Of the 13 pairs of pants bought for JuggerBaby to get zir through an awkward growth spurt, we kept 2 pairs ($12). We were able to raid the yard sale pile a little while after that, but we couldn’t go 2 weeks without pants in the winter. Both my Target shirts for layering were perfect ($12 for both) so they’re staying with me. That totals $94, or around $100 after tax, and is more than we normally spend on clothing, but we also rarely buy clothes and everything will last. We’re also very lucky that we have good access to used clothing for JuggerBaby.

Saving and investing

We max out a 401(k) and IRA each year and save 20% of our net salaries.

An IRA for all, or a ROTH?
One thing that I’ve well overdue to take care of: an IRA for PiC. He always maxes his 401(k) but we need to be maximizing our investing dollars. Whether that takes the form of a backdoor IRA or not, we should be putting more dollars into an IRA for him too. This action will partially be a concrete action to combat that feeling of strong pessimism and worry about our future.

Our net worth: increased 1% from last month, and 34% from January.

I’m holding on to cash that I was going to move into investments for a few reasons: uncertainty with the government situation, prices in the market are too high to buy, my next focus is now on a second rental property.

Links from this month

On Life

On holidays:  I didn’t get to enjoy the holiday period as much as I would have liked because I had to work the whole time, but we finally scheduled a week of visiting that was much less stressful than previous years. Part of the success was not overcommitting. We broke up the visits by location and group instead of trying to fit multiple visits in a day and we had to give up seeing several friends, but it was necessary to maintain our sanity.

On horrible neighbors: I am mentally living on Zillow or Trulia now.  Still looking for tall walls and a moat. After PiC remarked to the PigeonFeeding DogPoop Neighbor that leaving out dishes of water and cat food attracts vermin as well as stray cats, he showed up on our doorstep twice on New Year’s Eve, the latter time to bang on our door with a cane and leave a threatening note saying that he was going to make sure that “you, your family, and your things will all pay!”

That’s enough. I called the police to file a report. They can’t do anything until he actually harms someone or something, which is Just Great. But they spoke to him, saying that he was to leave us alone, that he wasn’t allowed to leave notes, and that he had no reasonable expectation that people wouldn’t clean up his messes if he persisted in leaving things out on public property, particularly if it was going to attract vermin.

Supposedly he agreed to this but who the heck knows what he’s going to pull next. He is a horrible person. What a way to ring out 2016.

:: How was your December? Are you as grateful as I am that 2016 is over, in the high hopes that 2017 will be less nervewracking and sad?  Do you have any concerns for your jobs with the incoming administration?

8 Responses to “Net Worth & Life Report: December 2016”

  1. That’s scary (re: your neighbor)! I’m glad you called the police.

    DH’s job is always dicey and heavily dependent on government investment. If the DoD gets more funding that’s good. If all gov’t research gets less money, that’s bad.

    For me, word is out that we may stop getting raises again in the near future. I’m glad I got that big raise last year even if I’m still underpaid, I’m less underpaid than I had been.

    I have accepted that 2017 is going to be horrific and I’m going to do my best to keep the horrificness as small as possible even though it means “wasting” a huge amount of time on political activism. I say wasting because the whole point of representative democracy is outsourcing political stuff to trusted officials, but that only works when the officials are trusted.
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted…Grumpy Rumblings 2016 Year in bloggingMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      I don’t love the uncertainty we’re all facing. I think it’s likely that there will be no raises again this year, for a 3rd year, and that sucks.

      Agreed about the waste of time. It sucks but it’s necessary when the elected officials aren’t trustworthy.

  2. There are definitely situations where “building a wall” is necessary – and your neighbour is a case in point. What a guy! I’m glad you reported him. I am too inclined to make the mistake of “overcommitting” during the holidays, but I have two weeks off, so I can make up for the over-committment of last week with a lot of truly relaxed time this week : ) Here’s wishing you and your family all the best for 2017!
    Fruclassity (Ruth) recently posted…7 Things You Can Do to Help Your Finances Soar This YearMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Lovely that you still had a couple weeks left to recover from the holidays – we scheduled a few days of that for ourselves and were ever so grateful that we did. I hope you’re refreshed!

  3. NZ Muse says:

    Umm, WTF. That is a cray cray neighbour. Moats indeed. (We just learned the empty house next door is a Housing NZ house – ie public housing – and there’s been a lot of maintenance/cleaning work going on this week so I assume someone will be moving in soonish. Fingers crossed for decent folk.)

    I’ve always intended to give small amounts monthly but I must admit it doesn’t always happen. I tend to rotate between crisis donations (eg floods), campaigns that friends are raising funds for, and a small list of random interesting causes that I add to when I learn about them. And some months just fly by. And then there my high school mentee, and occasionally family things.

    2016 was very up and down, but personally it was positive overall. But I’m very much looking forward to 2017 and what it brings.
    NZ Muse recently posted…An update on life with two rescue dogsMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      My fingers are crossed for you as well – a good neighbor is beyond price, I’ve discovered.

      There’s always a campaign of some sort during those months I don’t make a formal donation to a registered charity, especially here with the medical problems that people face.

  4. Mrs. BITA says:

    Yay for the 34% increaase and boo to that nasty neighbour. What a piece of work!
    A Happy New Year to you and yours!
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…On the path to financial independence: December 2016My Profile

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This website and its content are copyright of A Gai Shan Life  | © A Gai Shan Life 2017. All rights reserved.

Site design by 801red