September 2016 Update


I’ve been waiting for this month for a long time. For my golden birthday, for my 30s to officially start, for my student loans to originally be paid off. If there was a month of my life that I’ve given too much credence to, it would be this month. There was a lot of hype.

Like nearly all hype, September couldn’t live up to my unrealistic expectations. I’m sorry, September. Actually, I should be apologizing to myself. I put so much pressure on 30 being everything more than another year and much more than just another birthday. I’m not sure what I expected it to be. Maybe I’ve seen too many movies. But I kept asking myself, “Is this all there is?”

My existential crisis turned into real depression. The thoughts started in early summer and robbed the joy from my life through my birthday. I shared a glimpse of it here when Hubs broke his phone. I pulled away from friends, family and life. I cried all the time. I stopped writing for the most part because my creative valve was shut off. I couldn’t even enjoy money. I love money!!, but it was hard to enjoy anything. I hate to blame it all on my birthday, but I’m going to.

Screw you 30.

The haze has lifted slightly, as I write this in early October. I’ve got an appointment with a professional in a few days to see how things are.

All this to say, Depression sucks and 30 means nothing.

Now back to the regularly scheduled programming.


September 2015: Hubs & I combined finances! Woo Adulthood! For the first time, I summed all of my investments and it changed my perspective on investing. I had 30k! That was on its way to being a lot!

September 2014: I started the month in Scotland (that beautiful country). I had $25,485 in student loans remaining. With this wonderful community’s support, I came out to Hubs as a blogger. I can’t believe I kept this from his for so long. To this day, no one else knows. {this is still true.}

September 2013: A whole lot of nothing. I turned 27 and had a law degree with no job to show for it. The dark depression days were starting. It was a bad time.

September 2016: 


Retirement: $47,784 (+2,003) This is all on auto pilot. So much so, that it doesn’t feel like my effort. That’s good though. These dollars can go forth and make me money while I tend to the other things in life. 

The big news here is my 401k account. On September 27, I noticed I was $28 short of having $25,000 in my 401k. Even though my combined retirement balances are higher, I really really wanted to get to $25,000 in my 401k, especially because I was so close. The market went up, then down, then up. It was a nail biter, but I MADE IT! I am the proud owner of $25,000 in my 401k. 

I had brief hopes that I would get to $50k by this month, but the market would have had to be fabulous to accomplish that and it wasn’t. October or November, I’ll get there. 

Taxable: $9,181 NC I’m back to waiting on this account until December. 

Auto Value: $11,469 (-150)  The depreciating asset keeps depreciating.

House Fund: $39,428 (+6,300) Hello House Fund! This surge is almost entirely due to my Grandpa money. I cashed out the whole life policy he opened for me and promptly deposited the money here. I actually had a pretty sizable taxable gain. (Well, as much as you can have for cashing out $5500 in cash value). I also took the time to calculate how much this money would be worth had it been invested in the market the whole time. I was expecting to be heartbroken, that it had been a huge waste of time and money. Nah. It annualized to just below 6%. Not bad at all!

HSA: $7,624 (+236) 2 contributions as scheduled and no medical bills. I also have $109 in a Limited Purpose FSA I have to use by the end of the year. LPFSA… never again. 

Car Fund: $828 (+50) Hubs punctured one of his tires with the longest nail I’ve ever seen. It was probably bigger than my face. I only saw pictures and not the actual nail, so that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself. The patch job was $20 and we took it out of normal cash flow. It’s going to take a lot for me to tap into this account. I’m still thinking it would be good for tires or to buy out Hubs’ car. 


Car Loan: $5,330 ($377)  The progress is slow and steady here. Nothing to report. This is the minimum payment on a cheap loan.


Net worth: $110,984. Up $8,816 from last month. 

Thanks Gramps for the big increase! What a delightful birthday gift. Last month I celebrated $100k and here I am already over $110k! Will next month bring $120k??  Doubt it. I don’t have a money tree in the backyard and so much of this is in cash. I can’t rely on the market for much movement!


How was your September? Do you have any wise advice as I enter 30? Other than, of course, to not put so much freaking pressure on myself?


15 thoughts on “September 2016 Update

  1. 30 is the best! I spent the month before I turned 30 writing down one little thing each day that I wanted to savor. And I’ve tried to be really mindful of that all year. I’m just about 6 months in, and it’s been working really well. I think people put WAAAAAY too much pressure on 30 as a milestone birthday. Although you’ve definitely got reason to celebrate. $110k! Woot!

    • Ooo A savor list! I like it! I’ve thought about keeping a gratitude journal. It might help in times like these.

      Totally agree that people put way too much pressure on 30. Guilty guilty. Though I never called it dirty 30 and for that I’m grateful!

  2. I turn 30 next year and your feelings parallel mine. I know it’s just a number and even with it several months away, it’s put me in a bad place a few times. Mine is more so I felt I was going to have accomplished more by then (I have done a lot) and I realize no amount of things done would change that feeling. I think a list is a great idea! I’m thinking of making one too next year. Kudos on your net worth!

    • Sorry you are going through this too. It’s been no fun at all. My biggest suggestion for the feelings of ‘I should have accomplished more’ is to realize that so few people actually accomplish all those milestones. And there is no sense in rushing them just to tick the box.

  3. That is a great net worth at 30. I graduated law school the same year as you, but only have 60k to my name at the moment. Hitting 30 years old next year and am going to keep hustling for that 6 figure net worth one of these days!

  4. Welcome to your 30s! It really does get better from here. 🙂 I’m sorry to know about your rough patch lately — I’m glad you’re talking to someone and taking care of yourself. I’ve been there and know that asking for help is super hard — I’m here to talk if you ever need it! But big hugs either way! And hooray for the snowball effect — that keeps getting better too. 🙂

    • Thanks, thanks, thanks! I certainly built it up too big (why must everything be done by 30? There are other timelines too, Kate!) Now that the milestone has passed and I’m getting help, things are mending. Yay for mending!

  5. Oh, so sorry to hear that it was a tough month. Hope you’re feeling better, and good for you for going to see someone about it. I think sometimes big changes can stir up a lot of things that we didn’t necessarily know were there — at least they can for me.
    By the way, welcome to the 30s — they’re a lot of fun! 😀

    • Thanks Sarah. I’m on the mend, but as you said there’s been a lot going on that stirred up unknown feelings. Hopefully the pot will continue to settle!
      I’ve heard good things about 30s! Here I go!

  6. Oh gosh I’m sorry about the depression! I hope you find a professional that can help you. One of my close friends got it really bad around her 30th birthday – she felt like she hadn’t “done enough yet”. I found a therapist recently who I love and she’s been really helpful to work through some of my hang-ups about life.

      • I hit my deductible so early this year due to other issues that therapy is about the cost of a glass of wine 😉

  7. Sorry to hear about the struggles you’ve had lately. Turning 30 wasn’t too big of a deal for me… But I used it as an excuse to have a big party! A few years later now, and I’ve become pretty relaxed and happy with who I am. I have lost the stress of caring what others think as much (it’s never completely gone, but it is way better than when I was younger) and I am comfortable with life in general. I hope that you can sort through your issues and come out the other side happy and really enjoy your 30s.

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