By: Revanche

Net Worth & Life Report: September 2017

October 2, 2017

Money & Life Report: September 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 enough to prevent me from working.

***   ***   ***

Poshmark sale! I thought the shop was on vacation, and it was, but it came out of vacation mode before I was ready. My first inkling of this was the sale of a belt that’s been listed for MONTHS. $5 in my pocket is more satisfaction on principle than anything, but satisfaction it is, nonetheless.

A second, also tiny, sale came in the week after so that’s lovely.

I have the sneaking suspicion that whatever I speculate here has a better than zero chance of happening so, universe, listen up: let’s find buyers who won’t haggle too much over the cost of all the dresses that I’ve listed and make at least five sales per month starting… NOW!

Cash cash cash! We closed! We are no longer the nervous owners of two Bay Area properties, just the relieved owners of one, and with that, we have money in the bank. Whew.


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.

Rental trucks and movers. I got quotes from movers for the bulk of our furniture and it was astounding! Is it normal to take 4-9 hours to move ten pieces of furniture? If it really would take that long, and I can’t imagine how or why, that would cost us $1500 for a single day of work. *blanch* 

Comcast got a bad rap from me last month – deservedly so – but the one nice thing that’s happened with the move is that they count the move as a new service address and that means we are eligible for new customer discounts again! Back to 100 Mbps of internet for $40 a month instead of $70! WOO!

Birthday celebré! If I knew that the rest of the month was going to be this expensive, I probably would have skipped my birthday dinner. But we splurged on a $60 dinner of Korean food and had some friends over for a relaxing dinner at home.

Mortifying and expensive mistakes. We each got one of these.

PiC got a speeding ticket ($400) when we were on our way out of town and it’s going to cost nearly $500 for him to do traffic school since it’s too far and too expensive for him to show up in court to request a reduced ticket.

I missed a payment on a churner credit card. I got the late fee waived but the interest will still cost $16. It’s incredibly annoying but at least we got 30,000 bonus miles at the end so my mistake is covered.

Just expensive. We’ve had some challenges with JuggerBaby that are prompting some speech therapy evaluations. The first person we met with, and liked, would see zir twice a week at $90 a pop. Our insurance only covers in-HMO services which I’m usually fine with but in this case, while we will get evaluated there as well since it’s part of our benefits, I’d like to work with the first person as well and that’s going to be entirely out of pocket. $800 a month. Whoooooosh.

Car repairs. It has been our month for getting the good ole 1-2 punch in the wallet. Car 2 was due for maintenance so PiC took half a day to take care of that and a weird belt malfunction. He was literally on his way home when the handling got weirdly rough in a way we both recognize – the dang coils must be bad. Even with our friends and family discount, the total bill was a painful $800. What is it with us and $800 this month??

Charity. Now that we have money again, and terrible things are still happening in the world (on a global scale: Harvey, Irma, Maria), we’re doing what we can, a little at a time. We have to replenish all our coffers but we can donate in $20 increments while money remains tight.

Saving and investing

We max out a 401(k) and IRA every year. We normally save 20% of cash of our net salaries but that’s on hold while we get ourselves sorted out.

Renovations are winding down and that means SAVINGS. It means that we can stop paying double mortgages, double gas, electricity, water, and trash bills. Oh my gosh, I have been looking forward to this day so much.

Replacing old stuff – free. While packing up our place, our sinfully luxurious rug pad fell apart in horrible multicolor gobs of fluff. SAD. It was the only thing that allowed my old bones to lay on the floor and trim Seamus’s nails. But I called up our carpet people to see if they’d give me a better price on padding than Home Depot would, and they did me one better. We scored a huge roll of padding for the great low price of Come pick it up!

Credit card churning

I got reorganized and back on the card churning wagon two years ago, wow. Last August, I decided to commit to just earning points and miles well ahead of planning any trips because doing it the other way around was not working for me. This is meant to pay for at least one domestic and one international vacation. Our current balances are:

Alaska miles: 146,002
Chase Ultimate rewards: 198,498
Starpoints: 127,906

Our net worth: down. A lot.

It could be a lot worse, though. We should be well over a 25% increase by now, but to be honest, with the “upgraded” home, I suspected that we were going to actually drop below our total NW from the end of last year. It looks like we may come out of this purchase, sale, and payment of debts cycle with a 4% increase of our net worth since January. We lost a lot of ground over the year. Trying to look on the bright side, I still have a couple of months to repair the damage before closing the books on 2017!

Links from this month

On Health

The relief of winding up the renovations, buying, and selling, and all of the attendant worries, has been palpable. I knew the stress was getting right into my marrow but I didn’t expect to feel resolution so soon. Some of the excess fatigue has lifted, about 50%, as has the intensified pain. I’ve had more than one less-bad day and while I don’t actually feel good, it’s marvelous to have that much improvement.

On Life

Scam Alert! Did you know that scammers will spoof caller ID by picking an area code, a prefix, and any random four numbers to robo-dial all numbers that have the same area code and prefix to get you to pick up? The logic is that you’re more likely to pick up a number that is so close to your own.

I screen calls anyway but these jokers started trying this scam on me several months ago and even used the same spoofed number for months. Handily, and it’s one of the few things I like about the iPhone, “block this number” is a built in feature so I just block each new number they spoof.

Lest you think I’m ignoring an important call, rest assured. They have never left a message.

Free birthday cake! I’m signed up for emails from Nothing Bundt Cake and I picked up my free birthday bundtlet to make up for the lousy birthday weekend that I’m in no hurry to repeat. I don’t have an issue with aging, but 95% of my birthday weekend was bad bad bad: seemingly endless toddler tantrums, wetting the bed accidents in the middle of the night, spats, and car dings. I offered Maggie from Northern Expenditure my birthday since she spent hers sick in bed a few weeks ago, I’m taking a mulligan sometime next month.

Presents! I don’t ask for birthday presents since the list would never end so it’s always a fabulous surprise when I get a book in the mail, or a lovely card from an old friend. Those little thoughts are worth a million bucks. And of course JuggerBaby singing various version of Happy Birthday to me all weekend, substituting zirself for me every 5th rendition, was worth another million bucks.

TEETH! Finally had that six month check up following my root canal … 8 months later. That appointment was rescheduled about 9 times because of all the summer reno craziness, and maybe a touch because I really didn’t want to go back to the dentist yet. But I was vaguely worried for nothing! The area of infection is almost completely filled in with healing bone and my next follow-up is in a year. In the meantime, I’m strongly considering Invisalign because I hate how my teeth have moved. I forget how much they were quoting me but I’ve put it off because of cost after the expensive few years we’ve had.

:: What’s your favorite birthday gift you’ve ever been given? What’s your charitable giving budget? Do you steer clear of the dentist?

Read past monthly updates here!

23 Responses to “Net Worth & Life Report: September 2017”

  1. Congrats on the closing! I hope you get to catch your breath, even with the last repairs going on.

    I allocate 10% of my post-tax income for charitable donations. When I give, it’s mostly sporadic like when a natural disaster hits or a major political event affecting one group or another happens, though there are a couple food pantries I donate to around the holidays each year.
    Yet Another PF Blog recently posted…Financial Update – September 2017My Profile

  2. Cindy in the South says:

    Yay on the closing!!! That is so awesome and such a relief! Ckut yourself some slack about the income drop. It is always a nightmare (and expensive) to move, close, repair, etc. and hopefully, you are in your forever home and will not have to do this again. Cheers to stress relief!!!

  3. Cindy in the South says:

    Uhmm that would be “Cut” not “Ckut”…sigh……lol

  4. Cassie says:

    Those spoofed phone numbers are the bane of my existence. It’s bad enough here that I’ve stopped answering calls if I don’t recognize the number. If it’s important, they’ll leave a message. I received a nasty message from someone in another province once because the scammers had spoofed my number. A friend of mine had a scammer spoof his wife’s phone number, which was an obvious one to ignore since her cell was sitting on the counter beside him when they called.

    Congratulations on closing your house sale!

    • Revanche says:

      Same here! I won’t answer any calls from numbers that I don’t recognize because of them! They’re awful.


  5. First, glad you’re feeling a bit better. The end to the move is in sight…you can do it. (Hear that? It’s your cheering section. They all have on alien masks and are waving glow in the dark pompoms, but they’re with you to the finish line.)

    Happy birthday. I hope you got a couple of the Happy Birthday renditions recorded.

    I have been getting so many spoofed calls lately, it’s ridiculous. I don’t even answer my phone unless it comes up as someone I know.

  6. Karen says:

    The move quote might include time to wrap the furniture? When I moved and at least half of my stuff already packed for the movers it still took about a day to load to the truck and pack. And it might be man hours and not start to finish. Eg two people move two hours…

    Re robodial ah I noticed a number that was almost mine but for the reversing of the last two digits. Still didn’t answer lol

    I guess the seaplane trip weekend was the best birthday gift I’ve given.

    Happy birthday!

  7. SP says:

    Congrats on a nice September – must be so nice to be on the down slope of stress/renovation/moving/selling! Happy belated birthday!

    Since my area code is from a place where I don’t get legit calls from, the spoofing is not very successful for me – but still annoying!
    SP recently posted…What percentage of your assets are in home equity?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you! It was both a hectic and nice September. What a huge weight off our shoulders to finally be NOT responsible for all that work now.

  8. Congratulations on the closing! That’s a relief, for sure.

    I don’t know what JB is or is not eligible for, but California offers all kinds of resources depending on diagnosis and need. I just came across this, which may be helpful: We did private speech therapy for Baguette for several years; sometimes insurance covered some of it, sometimes we paid entirely out of pocket–it depended on the insurance. We got her evaluated in-network, but (a) while the evaluation made a recommendation of 2-3x/weekly sessions, insurance turned it down, and (b) the in-network location was geographically not feasible for us.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks so much for the link! Wish us luck, ze’ll be getting formally evaluated both by Kaiser and the private therapist this month.

  9. Michelle says:

    I got a $50 parking ticket because I missed the visitor parking spot by ONE FREAKING SPACE.

  10. I’m late to the party here, but happy birthday and congratulations on selling the house! There’s nothing like having the cash in hand again. Equity’s nice, but there’s so little you can do with it.

    Our net worth took a hit when we sold our primary residence, primarily because we were overestimating the home’s value by a bit. It’s hard to really zero in on its value until you actually sell…
    Done by Forty recently posted…Inside the IndexMy Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Thank you!

      Equity’s only useful when we actually get rid of it, for that reason, I always underestimate the value on paper because I know we can’t control the market in which we sell. We got lucky with this sale, though. For a certain value of luck since we also BOUGHT in this market.

  11. Congrats on the close. Must feel great to have cash in hand. 🙂

    Good luck with the remainder of the year. I wouldn’t worry too much about a single down year (if it comes to that), you seem to be intentional on where you’re going so as long as you’re staying the course it won’t matter in the long run.

    Happy belated birthday!

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