By: Revanche

Net Worth & Life Report: May 2017

June 5, 2017

Money and Life Report: May 2017

On Money


Our normal income comes from two full time day jobs.

We experiment with earning money on the side, including minimal cash flow that we don’t touch from an investment property and investing in dividend stocks.

Some side income comes from Swagbucks, selling clothes on Poshmark which is hit or miss, and Achievemint (my introduction to it).

The long term goal is to replace our day job income before my health declines and prevents me from working.

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Rental income

The rental has been pretty quiet and that’s exactly how I like it. I was only breaking even for the past two years.

I had been waiting to change property managers for mid-year so that my reserves would be healthy enough that the $150 change fee wouldn’t be a problem.

With an increase in the rent, and a lull in repairs, that should be ok to do any time now, plus – bonus – I’ve now got a wee nest egg for rental related emergencies. I’ll need to price out a new roof and water heater to set a baseline for that emergency fund. Around $12,000 would be a good number and that’s going to many months of rent before we have it.


Our normal spending includes the living expenses for two households so this update ignores those ordinary living expenses. When buying anything online, I always check Mr. Rebates and Ebates for cashback.

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Half of Christmas shopping done!

Stacking bonuses FTW! Take a $50 off $100 purchase GapCash, add $50 in discounted gift cards, plus a summer sale. Result: I paid $60 for a full stash of Christmas gifts for all four kids. An average of $15 per kid, and 1-2 outfits per kid, is pretty good when bought new. That’s more than I’d pay for JuggerBaby who lives almost entirely in hand me downs but I don’t feel right giving out cheapish used clothing as a Christmas gift for some reason.

Earnest deposit deposited

Once your offer is accepted, it’s time to bid bye-bye to your money. Time to write a check with five figures, bye-bye 3% earnest deposit. Yay….

Down payment prep

I’ve held a lot more money in cash than seemed rational over the past few years. Though there was no concrete reason to suspect we’d need to access it quickly, my instinct told me to hang onto it even after firmly resolving that it was being moved into stocks last year. Originally I chalked it up to election jitters but now I see it was a good call, gut.

It’s time to break the piggy bank which is just as painful electronically as it was when I had to pull the plug on my real porcelain piggy bank. Breaking CDs, transferring funds, and preparing to send a truckload of money via wire transfer – that all leaves me on edge.

Saving and investing

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

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Now that we’re committed to a contract, I REALLY can’t spend our money on investments, but I’m still doing my research. I’m really hoping that my preferred fund options at Fundrise stay open until we have cash again. My original plan was to add a rental property to our holdings every two years but the deals haven’t been good enough to justify buying. This is a good alternate for the real estate side of our portfolio.

Balancing the portfolio

I’ve finally organized my current stock portfolio by the type of industry so that it’s going to be more balanced. Who knew that I owned too many companies of the “Cyclical Consumer Goods & Services” variety? I tend to go with buying what I know and love as a consumer, that’s why that happened.

Going forward, I may be adding a favorite airline or some energy stocks. What companies do you love?

Adios, TradeKing, hello, Ally

My portfolio at TradeKing was transferred to Ally this month and I’m rather enjoying having it in the same place as our long term savings.  The transition was seamless for me, so I’m feeling charitable about the changes so far and they should still have cheap trades, but we’ll see how I like it goin forward. I do wish this meant that I could transfer money in and out instantly like any other Ally between-accounts transfer.

Links from this month

On Health

My steps this month: 106,276, 48 miles

All hail Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Cough, Mucus and Congestion!

I normally take all generic medications but the tail end of April left me with the worst sore throat, congestion, and hacking cough. And me with my humidifier packed away out of reach. Nothing was helping, until Crystal showed up and picked out this packet of savior pills. Within half a day I was starting to feel human again, and in two days, I was 80% back to normal. Just magical. I’ll be looking for these on sale ASAP.

On Life

Stress monster rampages

All the house stuff is making me a bit batty. So much paperwork, so much back and forth with the lender, so much time. It only gets worse from here so I’m taking so many deep yoga breaths before I spontaneously combust.

Mother’s Day

It wasn’t terrible this year. At least I didn’t feel terrible and grief stricken and empty like I have every year before. I’m still not up to spending it in the company of people who still have their moms, but alone (with my little family) was good.

PiC ran out extra early to get me my two favorite donuts and an adorable tiny potted plant which hasn’t died yet. After I slept in a little, we had a doggy play date during which we walked way too much and I was exhausted afterward. But it was satisfying in that small warm way when you do just the things that make you happy and nothing else.

Sugar high

As a general rule, I don’t buy pastry treats for myself anymore. Not because I’m a virtuous eater, though. Quite the opposite. I don’t buy them because once I start, I can’t stop. The bakery across the street is so good it had me craving their pastries like an actual addict, plotting how to get my next fix and hiding the evidence so PiC and JuggerBaby wouldn’t know I’d been indulging. That’s a totally unnecessary deception, except it avoids having to share so it was time to cut back. I hate to admit I’ve got a problem but this was A Problem.

As a special treat after a particularly hard day of house stuff, PiC picked up a small box of goodies for me, not thinking about the double batch of brownies I’d made three days earlier. This was also right before Mother’s Day so we had sugary treats coming out of our ears for a couple of weeks. I’m still detoxing.

The world is disappointing

Or should I say our government representatives are disappointing? Because that’s what I mean. I wonder how anyone, and especially small business PF bloggers, without a massive safety net will manage if this AHCA bill becomes law – what I’ve read of it manages to put anyone with a preexisting condition at risk of losing access to health care one way or another.

The CBO report confirmed the worries that this is going to put many of my chronic illness entrepreneur friends in a horrible position where none of their medications that they need to live are affordable. Heck, some of the provisions may adversely affect those of us who have employer insurance. I shudder to think we couldn’t, as a nation, go five minutes of helping the vulnerable among us before ripping that support away.

:: How was your May? Do you plan or purchase any Christmas gifts throughout the year?

Read past monthly updates here!

9 Responses to “Net Worth & Life Report: May 2017”

  1. I like the idea of a life report in addition to the net worth! Also, the AHCA bill gives me anxiety. Not because I necessarily have any pre-existing conditions, but more because I work in a field where my clients receive services from their health insurance, and MediCal, so that in itself is anxiety inducing. The whole thing is a mess. Ugh.
    High Class Low Income recently posted…June Goals!My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      It’s hard to separate the life things from the money things!

      I really hope the bill fails. It’s so damaging.

  2. That’s awesome that you were able to finally start making a little money on the rental property. I have been looking for a property that will yield the 1% rule. So I too am looking at Fundrise to see if that makes more sense. Thanks for sharing your recap!!!
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…When Will You Reach Retirement?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Yes, I had worried about coming up with the rental’s emergency fund but with the change in tenant and one increase, we’re finally on the right track. I’m risk averse though, so can’t justify another rental unless it definitely meets the 1% rule.

  3. Great post! I like that you went beyond just net worth and provided extra info! Thanks for sharing!

  4. There’s so much going on with the government right now that should be concerning small business owners—especially online! The potential destruction of net neutrality. This healthcare bill (which also imposes an increased tax on the self-employed.)

    Madness. Absolute madness.

    I’m glad you followed your gut! So hard to do that sometimes, but how fortunate that it worked out! So glad you guys will be able to get into a home you’re satisfied with. I hear you, though; transferring that much money is HARD!
    Femme Frugality recently posted…What Financial Health Means to Me #FinHealthMattersMy Profile

  5. The Roamer says:

    I’m with you. AHCA is no bueno. But honestly the waiting I think makes it worse. Everything is up in the air.

    On the bright side it’s good you have a little maintenance fund for your rental.

    • Revanche says:

      It’s terrible, but I suspect having one of these versions passed would be even worse. Crossing my fingers we get something rational if a change is to be made.

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