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?


August 2016 Net Worth


August was a month of different and it came just in time.

I’ve been struggling lately with a lot of things and it was time for something different. Thankfully, that fit right into what life had planned.

My grandpa passed earlier this year, but his funeral was this month. We had a party planned for his 90th birthday and no one wanted to cancel it.  I was asked to sing during the memorial service and at first I was hesitant, but I agreed. It was wonderful to sing again. It felt so good to see so much of the family together. To laugh, to cry and to remember.

Hubs broke his phone mid-month. It should have been a simple frustrating event, followed by the purchase of a new phone. Instead of something run-of-the-mill, I spiraled out of control. I’ve struggled with my mental health for 20 years and this was one of the worst episodes I’ve had in a while. I’m still learning to take care of myself, but I’m getting much better at realizing when I need to slow down. This lead to some radio silence and a lot of repetitive motions to try to reset the rhythm of my brain. {Note: He bought an LG Stylo 2. So far, so good!}

Speaking of repetitive motions, I took to cross stitching! It was the perfect activity to enjoy during the Olympics. Boy, did I watch a lot of Olympics. The swimming did not disappoint! My stitching also allowed me to zone out during the crappy commentary and only pay attention to the action. I propose we make swimming a mainstream sport. Whose with me!?


August 2015: I broke through $10k in the house fund and had my first nasty month in the market. It was the closest I’ve been to having my investments go down since I started tracking.  I also skipped my grandpa’s 89th birthday because Hubs and I were both battling a nasty chest infection. As life would happen, I would never see him again.

August 2014: Hubs and I left for a birthday trip to London! I had $27,594 in debt. I paid off my third loan and said goodbye with an obituary. I was hoping to pay off my debt by December 2015. {Spoiler Alert: I finished 9 months ahead of schedule!}

August 2013: I started looking for a job outside of the traditional legal world. So many coffee dates! Hubs and I celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary.



Retirement: $45,781 (+2,084) $45,000! Look at that! Included is this awesomeness, my 401k is now bigger than my IRA. I contributed $1,895 so there was only a hair of growth here. I still hope I can make it to $50k by the end of next month for my birthday, but that is looking like more and more of a pipe dream. I will hold out hope until the end. $50k or bust!

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

Auto Value: $11,619 (-150)  The depreciating asset keeps depreciating.

House Fund: $33,128 (+908) Saving! But gone are the days of major increases here. Summer is expensive! Hubs also upped his 401k contribution so there is less to go around. We had a joint hustle in July and we got paid in August. That counts for most of this. 

HSA: $7,388 (+160) I paid my medical bills! I am not a deadbeat! Somehow, I still managed to log an increase here. In addition to being a deadbeat, perhaps I am also a wizard. This account is starting to throw its weight around. It’s getting so beautiful and big! 

Car Fund: $778 (+50) I had some semi-significant maintenance on my car this month. I went in expecting only ~$80 and I left paying $350! I didn’t see that coming! This whole not owning a brand new car thing is different. I’ve never paid much of anything for maintenance. This time I pulled the cash to cover it out of our cash flow, but I was happy to have this account at the ready. I still think I’m going to use this money to buy out Hubs’ car, but its nice to have the back up. Keep on saving on. 


Car Loan: $5,707 ($377)  The progress is slow and steady here. Nothing to report except FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS! Woot! This is the minimum payment on a cheap loan.


Net worth: $102,168. Up $3,431 from last month. 

$100,000!! $100,000!! $100,000!!!

I will be subtle with my celebrating, so I will sit and clap while the confetti rains down on me. It didn’t take me nearly as long to get here as I thought. It’s difficult to comprehend that my initial plan was to have my loans paid off by next month, but here I am with all that paid off, $45k in my retirement accounts and a sizable down payment saved. It feels pretty gosh darn fabulous to have my student loan kick-assery pay off. It provided some incredible momentum.

How was your August?  Ups, downs, confetti?

July 2016 Net Worth


I read recently that a way to slow down time is to do new things. It forces your brain to place new markers so you can remember the first time or few times you experience something.

I need to do this.

I’ve been home from my trip for a month. What? How did that happen.

I’m like an adult. Life is flying by.

I go to work, come home, go for a walk with Hubs. For dinner, I eat rice, broccoli and chicken. On the weekends in July, I do the same hustle I’ve done every year since 1999 [not an exaggeration.. gosh I sound old].

I need a new hobby.

So, what’s new….?

I tried the Moment App. I wanted to get a better handle on how I was using my phone. I also wanted to use my phone less. The App was great for like 2 days and then I realized that it just drains my battery like crazy. I guess that’s one way to limit my phone use!

I’ve also been experimenting with using a Bullet Journal. It isn’t a true bullet journal, but I feel super cool when I call it that. Really, its just a notebook that I keep my to dos in. I’ve been incredibly productive since I started using it. As my baby sister likes to yell way too loud during MarioKart Wii, I’m the Bullet!!!!

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Be the bullet!

I got a nice surprise this month. I {finally} cancelled my gym membership and I avoided most of the run around. This was planned. The surprise was that my apartment building built a huge gym. It has all new equipment, including free weights and a path for me to do all the lunges. LET THERE BE LUNGES! That’s exciting. .. my rent is going to go up, isn’t it?

In other equally exciting news, it looks like I’m going to be able to keep my ear piercing. It’s been bugging me for a while, quite frankly its still bugging me, but I know how to take care of it and the local piercer gave me the okay.

Ok, money time.


July 2015:  I had a net worth of $43,892. I got to go to New York City for the first time! So many tall buildings! Such a big park!

July 2014: I owed $29,167 on my student loans.  I decided to stop saving to buy my car and dumped all my extra money on my debt.

July 2013: I took the Bar Exam and survived!

July 2016: Markets Gone Wild!
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Retirement: $43,697 (+3,799) Dang! I flew past $40k! This extra large swing is thanks to a 3-check month. Do you think I can get to $50k by the end of September? That would be the ultimate birthday gift. You know I’m all about birthdays. 🙂 See herehere, and here.

Taxable: $9,181 (+2) I jumped the gun on the update last month. I was incredibly impatient waiting for paper statement (yea yea, sign up for online access), so I posted when I had enough data to make an educated guess. My guess was pretty gosh darn accurate! I was only off by $2!

Auto Value: $11,769 (-150)  The depreciating asset keeps depreciating. I ran the numbers in Kelly Blue Book and apparently its back up to being worth $12,428, but I’m not here to play games. I’m already playing games by listing my car as part of my net worth. I also probably wouldn’t be able to get top dollar for my car anyway. If I sell it, it will be because I have to. 

House Fund: $32,220 (+2,134) My first big saving month since APRIL! July was still expensive getting the trip paid for, but it was also a 3 check month! 3 paychecks FTW!

HSA: $7,296 (+431) How long do you wait after you get a bill to pay it? I am a deadbeat and try to stretch it out as long as possible. Most of that is because I log into my HSA to cancel my auto-transfers, then I wait until payday. Effectively, I hate seeing this account go down, so I delay paying my bills as long as I can. #deadbeat.

Car Fund: $728 (+76) I could buy tires! This fund is morphing into the down payment for Hubs’ car. Unless we have a major emergency and I need to pay for car expenses, I totally expect to cash flow any expenses… like my scheduled maintenance on my car. Ain’t no reason to tap into this fund for that!


Car Loan: $6,086 ($377)  The progress is slow and steady here. Nothing to report. This is simply a minimum payment on a cheap loan.


Net worth: $98,805. Up $6,667 from last month. 

6667? That sounds like a rounding error! But it’s not! A 3 check month on top of excellent market gains makes July my second largest increase of the year! Let the good times continue! I should cross through a certain milestone next month!

How was your July?  Are you hanging loose, riding these market waves? Also, if you’re pierced and like money, there’s a whole bunch of us. Raise your hand and we can be friends.