By: Revanche

Net Worth & Life Report: November 2017

December 4, 2017

November 2017: Money and life report

On Money

Income

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.

Our side income comes from Swagbucks, selling clothes on Poshmark which is hit or miss, using cash back sites like Ebates, Mr.Rebates, and tracking activity through Achievemint (my introduction to it). Any purchases you make going through my Amazon links keep these blog lights on.

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

Our side income this year seems paltry since it was all so quickly spent on the house but I wanted to make note of the facts that it actually was a very nice chunk of money and we would not have made this much if we didn’t keep at it, year after year, long before I started tracking it.

Poshmark. Just one tiny sale this month despite listing three or four new things.

Spending

Our normal spending includes the living expenses for two households so this update ignores those ordinary living expenses. We are just now starting to transition away from that extra household support. When buying anything online, I always check Mr. Rebates and Ebates for cashback.

Post-Thanksgiving sales. I had a specific list of things we’ve been needing for weeks or months, and checked off some of the critical ones. I’ll share a more comprehensive list of our acquisitions soon.

Guest room accouterments. We finally found a bed frame and foam mattress for our guest room. We’d put this off for a while but we’re hosting people regularly and we feel like awful hosts not providing an actual bed. It’s a thing we have. The two moderately priced pieces came to $475 together. Throw in a mattress protector and we spent $500 on other people coming to stay over. That’s not spare change but also not horrible considering many of the used bed frames we’ve been seeing on Craigslist listed at $200-600 for the frame alone. The mattress should last us a good ten years if it’s only being used as a guest bed. It does remind me we need more than one set of sheets per bed, though, add another $20 for that.

Speech therapy. Consultations and evaluations are done, we’ve started speech therapy at $80 a pop. I can hear the cash register dings in my head.

Not Spending

Mortgage recast! (Does this go under not spending or spending?) This first one saved us a little over $200 a month and that’s wonderful. I’m already starting our next one. Savings savings savings.

Free notarizations. I’m filling gaps in our documents and realized that we don’t have a copy of my birth certificate or our marriage certificate. Those searches will cost money but I can mail requests instead of going to the Office of Vital Records since we don’t have an urgent need for them. If you’re a Chase customer, their bankers will notarize certain documents for you, free! Finally, Chase doesn’t annoy me in some way.

Eliminating marketing. The ISTJ in me decided that it would be best to further isolate my shopping from my real life because it’s creepy how Google mines our data to serve us up to marketers. My latest purchases generated a multitude of advertising emails but I’m not even tempted to open them because they go to my shopping email address and mentally, only order notifications are worth opening. Temptation further banished!

Free laundry basket, take two. Why do people stop needing their laundry baskets when they move? I’m not objecting, just curious. We’ve inherited a second basket which is kinda great because we’re saving it from a landfill, helping out a friend, and it’s helpful for energy allocation on big laundry days. When I have to do 3 or more loads I don’t have enough oomph left to fold and put away the clean clothes and bedding so they can sit in baskets for a while so I can rest. I prefer less stuff but in this case it requires too much energy to whip through all loads in one go since otherwise piles of clean bedding would dominate our inside landscape.

Free reading. Prime reading! I haven’t replaced my Kindle yet but I’m still using the app to borrow up to ten free books at a time from Amazon. It’s not easy to navigate but I can usually find my way back to borrow a few more books at a time.

Saving and investing

We max out a 401(k) and an IRA every year. We normally save 20% of cash of our net salaries and we’re getting back on track with that.

Impatience, thy name is Revanche. I couldn’t help myself. As soon as the cash touched down, I opened up a group of 5 year CDs with Ally. Clearly the lesson about creating a ladder for risk mitigation (when I had to break all our CDs for cash to pay for the reno) only KIND of took since I opened them all at the same time but I did break the large amount across multiple CDs so that I’d have flexibility when and if a small emergency strikes.

Cash supply. Our liquid cash savings is finally replenished. In about six months, we should tuck away small amounts each month to create a true CD ladder. Cash earns 1.25% APY but some long term CDs earn a bit better than that.

Dividend Aristocrats. I’ve picked our two possible Christmas stocks from the Dividend Aristocrats list and put in orders for them at somewhat lower than current market prices. Cross your fingers that I get them. In the helplessness of fighting the horrible tax “reform” bill, and everything else going on in the world, I’ve decided that it’s important for me to make money so I keep helping the people who need help because clearly this administration’s not going to do the right thing ever, but draining our own money entirely isn’t sustainable.

Miles & points

Alaska miles: 177,143
Chase Ultimate rewards: 299,283
Starpoints: 137,656

Our net worth: increased 1% from last month, and 10% from January.

I think I found some errors in earlier months’ spreadsheets, and thus our increase from January appears to have shrunk but let’s be honest, any increase this year is good.

Total Assets in November 2017

I did a ton of work the last couple of days in November which shifted our cash holdings from a high 31% to 25%, and increased equity in our real estate a few percent. Our investments are at their highest ever this month but as we’re staring down a pretty high market, I’m not positive that’s terribly comforting. It makes me feel like I should hold back and not buy anything but since we’re in this for the long term, we’re going to actively resist that, shall we?

Asset Allocation in November 2017: Cash is down, investments are up, real estate is up

Links from this month

On Life

My friends are amazing. Last month’s Halloween delight was courtesy of a friend who hunted down the perfect costume for JB, and while we were struggling (still are) with the aftermath of moving, one friend sent me a gift card for The Container Store to help us organize. These were completely unexpected, so thoughtful, and perfect for what we needed during a stressful time.

Seamus Seamus Seam- me. For the latter half of November, my days revolved around my and Seamus’s health: I had to take antibiotics three times a day. He had to take antibiotics daily, steroids (twice a day for three days, then once a day for three days, then every other day for five days), Vitamin E, Zyrtec, and thyroid pills twice a day, and have sardines in twice daily meals. I had to soak three of his paws in a solution for five minutes each twice a day for a week, and oh, every day he was on steroids he had to pee every two hours.

We were both Very Over It by the end of the first week. I’m grateful we survived the second week!

Hosting Thanksgiving. Five adults and two kids is about perfect for our dinner table. We don’t have enough space or servingware right now for more. Dinner was awesome because my favorite relative is awesome. She did all the heavy lifting for me, and was the reason we had so many yummy dishes. Sadly, while I love my new oven, it was the reason I ruined the turkey this year. PiC insists it was delicious but I say it was too salty and too dry. My turkey has never required gravy to make it palatable before, it’s always been perfectly cooked and moist and stands on its own. Ah well, this is the first year we cubed up almost all the leftover turkey and froze it for future cooking, and that’s a win in my book.

Family … sigh. I’m still working through the steps of not supporting my dad anymore. I wish it were totally clean and simple but it’s not.

:: How was your November? Are you feeling the pressure on as we approach the end of the year? Do you have any go to moves to make before the year is over?

Read past monthly updates here!

6 Responses to “Net Worth & Life Report: November 2017”

  1. Linda says:

    I’m so relieved December is here and we can kick 2017 out the door soon! Also, I’m looking forward to the solstice and getting some more light back into my days.

    November was more craziness since I had to deal with a very ill pup, as you know, but December is starting out well. I just did a big end of year thing and will be contributing most of my extra paycheck (hooray for a three paycheck month!) as a standard 401(k) catch up contribution. I’m taking advantage of one of the few perks of reaching 50 now.
    Linda recently posted…Rays of sunshineMy Profile

  2. SP says:

    End of the year money moves for me – moving an old rollover IRA into my 401k to enable backdoor Roths for both me and T. I think I’m going to do the backdoor part this year too, but not 100% sure.

  3. While you had a lot to deal with (health, parents, finances) it still sounds like a pretty good month. Congrats on your CDs, your happy Thanksgiving, and getting your guest room furnished.

    • Revanche says:

      Thanks, there was both a lot of bad and a lot of good to balance the scales. I can still be grateful for the good things.

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