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Starting with a change of plans

Today I was supposed to go down to visit my grandparents since I had to work when the rest of the family had the Christmas get together. I wake up to a text from my grandmother saying that she caught some sort of bug. This saves me 2-2 hour drives today, but now I don’t have anything to do. Not having anything planned is dangerous for me. I tend to resort to sitting around eating, watching TV, and slowly thinking about what I could get from Amazon with 2 day shipping.

Today I got my car cleaned because it was filthy, and went to my chiropractor appointment. Forcing myself to go to the gym this afternoon, and see what I can declutter.

I think every week, I’ll post my net worth and weight as a tracker for how I am doing. I’ll also be creating a spreadsheet to track both, with graphs.

January 2021 Review

Well 2021 started and things didn’t magically get better. I wonder why people always put some much weight on the start of a new year. “New year, new me…” More like “New year, new gym membership I’ll go to maybe 3 times and forget I had it and ended up paying tons just because…”. I have fallen victim to that trap a couple times but this year I didn’t. However, January has always been a time of yearly expenses. Amazon prime renews, my NHL Gamecenter Live payment showed up with the return of the season, I had to finish paying for my tuition for the program I’m taking, and a few other yearly expenses hit. Now it isn’t almost $700 worth of expenses, but with all of the commotion in the stock market and media lately, my investments have been on the shakiest rollercoaster. Last week I hit some good highs and lows, but I’m still keeping the course.

The weather has been not fun this month. it has either been so cold or wet that running isn’t an option or safe for that matter. I tried running one day at work when I was behind and almost ate asphalt. I have started to cut down on sugary things, mainly because we found that our neighbors who moved out earlier this month, we feeding a whole mess of ants, and when the food dried up, they came in full force to our apartment. I should have taken a picture of the amount of ants piled up in the ant trap, it had to be in the hundreds. So while they slowly die, keeping the foods they like away is a must. plus that should help me a little bit with the ol’ belly.

On the Covid front, My old job acquired a second round of PPP loans, and they feel that if things keep going right for the vaccines, we’ll be back for concerts and events this summer. We finally got the call back to work. However, I have to see how flexible my FedEx boss will actually be in this transition. If he isn’t willing to wean me off of his employ, I’ll have to fill in the missing 25% of my income with delivery apps. I know the math shows that I can live off of 75% of my salary, but I really want this debt to be gone by the end of the year. I don’t think I am going to crush my federal loans just yet. I’m going to wait out the political atmosphere to see if some might be forgiven. Plus no interest until September now.

Total Assets: $46,283.88
Total Liabilities: -$36,238.83
Net Worth: $10,045.05
Monthly Change:-$683.33
YTD change:-$683.33

Weight: 185.1 lbs
Monthly Change: -0.1 lbs
YTD Change:-0.1 lbs

Back in School

Although my Bookkeeping program classes start tomorrow, some of my classes have opened up a week early on blackboard. I binged my Quickbooks class and am almost done with the 8 week course in 2 weeks.

So far I definitely remember that I am not the best student. Memorizing facts and terms is not my strong suit. At least only 2 of my classes are “normal classes” the other 3 are learning programs and practical learning (more my style). I’m trying to front load as much as I can so I hopefully can be prepared to go back to my old job, should the vaccines all work out.

My biggest fear is that I get called back to work and then lose the time to do my school work and all of the time and money put towards this is wasted. I definitely hope that the estimates for time required for each class is exaggerated.

December/ 2020 Review

This year has definitely been a roller coaster. I was fortunate to have employment throughout the pandemic, granted I changed jobs several times to get where I am now. Hopefully I’ll be able to return to my old job once things clam down. I was able to spend less money and tackle some big debt. I paid off my car loan, paid down a huge chunk of credit card debt, and in a couple months, I’ll be tackling student loans and be so much closer to being debt free. I was able to go from a negative net worth, to being worth near $11,000! Looking through the past I had good weeks and bad weeks. I wasn’t as consistent as I’d like with being in my budget. I was lucky enough to stay calm during all of the market volatility and have been rewarded for keeping everything in place. I had a week where my net worth dropped over $3,000 and other weeks where I gained the same. My goal is to be debt free by the end of 2021 although my spreadsheet says that I should be debt free by April 2022. If I can keep doing side hustles and push any extra money to my debt, I hope I can beat my spreadsheet.

Chocolate is definitely my weakness. With all of the video chat family gatherings for Christmas, we had 3 sets of grandparents send us holiday care packages with enough cookies, sweets and candy to feed an army. My self control was more like self indulge. this coupled with snow causing me to walk and not run deliveries, I have not been as active as I could be. Luckily, the snow means that outdoor ice rinks should be open so I can start playing hockey and if the ice isn’t ready, snowshoeing. Definitely cutting back on unnecessary food.

2021 Goals:
– Be debt free
– get down to weight goal of 160
– finish bookeeping diploma
– (after debt payoff) get emergency fund to 6 months

Total Assets: $45,890.96
Total Liabilities: -$35,162.58
Net Worth: $10,728.38
Monthly Change:+$505.81
YTD change:+$16,140.45

Weight: 185.2 lbs
Monthly Change: +5.0 lbs
YTD Change:-20.3 lbs

Shame

After years of struggling on my own, I’ve realized how much my pride has gotten in my way. I’ve had to move back in with my parents when I maxed out my student loans, maxed out credit cards and suffered through high interest debt. Last week I have started to change that by getting a consolidation loan.

But to bring back some examples of how my pride and being afraid of shame have kept me from going places in life.

When is went to college back in 2010, my parents helped me set up bank account with the credit union on campus. Including a credit card with a whopping $1,000 limit. I had saved up a couple grand to put into my checking and savings from my awful summer job. As my parents left me to fend for myself, they told me to save the credit card for emergencies only. I listened at first because I knew how bad credit card debt was.

As I found my group of friends, who all wanted to go to diners at 3am on a week night, I blew apart my budget I tried to set out. I had a job on campus running sound for the Basketball, Soccer, and Volleyball games. That helped me stay afloat for the most part. But slowly as the year dragged on, I started to rack up debt little by little.

I worked my awful, but decent paying summer job in a warehouse, and that crushed my credit card debt pretty quickly. I was able to save up more money to help me survive sophomore year. But lifestyle creep hit me pretty quick and I ran out of money halfway through the second semester. Enter calling the credit card company to bump my limit up and opening my second credit card (both at 20%+)

My junior year I got a bit smarter and took on a couple more on campus jobs and moved off campus where I could (foolishly) live off my student loan refunds. I had everything budgeted for and we packed 6 people into a duplex that overall cost me $125/ month. I ate the poor college kid life with ramen and the cheapest frozen pizzas money could buy.

Here’s where my financial life fell apart the first time. I was maxing out the student loans through my college’s credit union. And joke’s on me, the fine print says max of $40,000 lifetime. well I was at $39,000ish. They denied me for any future loans. I looked into part time jobs, dropping out, and even seeing how I could finance my life. On top of that my housing situation crumbled after some drama only Shakespeare could write. Although I was living (illegally) on campus with a friend when my lease ran up, I was effectively going to be homeless once the people who were actually supposed to be there moved in.

A little while later, my Dad called me. It was my birthday. I’ll never forget how he started that conversation. “Happy birthday son. How’s maxing out your student loans going?” Apparently my sister had this same problem and he probably knew that I wasn’t going to confess to him that I couldn’t make it on my own. He offered to let me move home and keep using the 1998-Manual Transmission-CD blew up inside the radio so you had to listen to the radio stations-Ford Ranger. I was now a commuter and felt like a failure.

Most of my friends looked at the situation in a positive light. Free food, housing, laundry, and utilities. But I felt ashamed that I couldn’t even make it on my own. My parents even offered to pay for gas for my daily 40 minute-19Mpg- 30 mile commute. I refused. I told them that I make enough at my jobs to get by. But because I commuted and worked on theater shows (for free) as a part of my schooling, work was not as often as I needed. At one point, I remember getting done tearing down a show at 2 am and I started my commute home. My gas light came on. My debit card declined, My credit cards declined, all I had left was the $20 bill I leave in my glovebox. I was out of money. I had 3 days of fuel left in my truck before I was literally stuck. I had another full week until the next paycheck came through. I had to go back home with my tail between my legs and ask for help.

From hitting that rock bottom, I was given gift cards to help me finish out the semester and I took on extra gigs to make money, which hurt my grades, but I felt like I had to pick myself up. I didn’t like the handouts. After that I started turning my financial life around.

Since then, I have had my slip ups, over extended myself, but I have never had a card decline or be maxed out. But my pride and shame have slowed me down. I felt that getting a consolidation loan was going to be an awful process and make me feel judged by my bank, or like I failed. But the reality is that after 4 years of trying to pay off cards with over 20% APR, I wasn’t making any progress. I wasted so much money and I don’t even want to see how the math would have worked out. But even from looking forward, dropping the interest rate down, I will be saving well over $1,000 and almost 2 years of payoff time.

We can all look back and say “woulda, shoulda, coulda”, but I won’t make that kind of mistake again. I could be miles ahead of where I am today if I would have put my pride aside and gotten the loan sooner. Maybe I’d be in my own home, or be looking at maxing out retirement accounts and be closer to FI. All I can do now is make good choices going forward and being independent is all the motivation I need.

November End of Month Review

I’VE GAINED A FIGURE!

I’ve put on a ton more workload since the holidays are approaching. I now work 6 day weeks with 12 hour days. Seeing that my life is now working and sleeping, I rarely have time to write and track my life weekly. Plus the only interesting thing in my daily life is the dogs I get to interact with on my route. Also the Semi driving job didn’t work out for many reasons. So I’m back with Fedex.

Now that I’m back at my old job, I’m so busy I don’t have time to waste money on shopping or food or fun things. Plus I get a bonus for working 6 days a week plus an extra money for going that extra day.

In the last month my credit card company raised my rate from the 10% I had negotiated back to the 23% standard rate. I tried talking it back down, but they wouldn’t let me. So I am going to follow through on my threat and I applied for a loan from my credit union to lower my rate and hopefully fast track my debt payoff. I have $8,000 to go, and with all of the money I’m making now, I should have that paid off in no time.

The market has also bounced back pretty well for me in the last month making my graph look like a hockey stick. I’m hoping that if I get this loan, that I can knock out my debt, including my private student loans, by this coming summer. I’m going to hold onto my federal loans just in case some politicians decide to do some sort of forgiveness. Plus my highest interest on the federal loans is 4% but my private loans get up to 8%. And I’ve also been paying the minimum payments during the pandemic freeze.

The not so good news is the slowdown of my weight loss. Working for a week as a semi driver made me gain 4 pounds. for 13 hours a day I was just sitting in a seat maybe doing a couple thousand steps a day and because I was doing this 5 days a week, I didn’t have much off time to go workout or be physical. So now I’m playing catch up for the 4 pounds I gained. In trying to lose those 4 pounds I gained in that week, I tried soylent to try and keep the intake down. Turns out that my body has an issue with that and I think I may be allergic to something in that which made for a very uncomfortable day. Not trying shortcuts anymore. Just good old fashioned hard work and not buying delicious but awful snacks.

Total Assets: $44,501.39
Total Liabilities: -$34,278.82
Net Worth: $10,222.57
Monthly Change:+$3,255.72
YTD change:+$15,634.64

Weight: 180.2 lbs
Monthly Change: -1.6 lbs
YTD Change:-25.3 lbs

End of Week Review 11/1/2020

This week the stock market took a dip which is the downside to doing these weekly check-ins. Who knows maybe today everything will bounce back and the $500 dip in my net worth will all be back. Or it could get worse. Still not going to touch that money. I am still going to invest my weekly amount to get that dollar cost averaging on the way in. Luckily I get to buy low due to the dip.

I’m back on track with losing weight. My only fear is that I have once again changed jobs and now will be driving Truck around the Midwest. So a lot less active work life. With the new job, I work for 4 days, and then have 4 days off. I’m home every night, but they’ll be 12 hour days. I have to keep myself motivated to be active and eat less. Luckily I won’t have to stop at a truck stop to fuel up unless I want to stop. So snacking will be at a minimum. I’ll stuck with my trusty old PB&J sandwich and granola.

Total Assets: $41,972.22
Total Liabilities: -$34,444.72
Net Worth: $6,966.85
Weekly Change:-$560.65
Monthly Change:+$66.11
YTD change:+$12,378.92

Weight: 181.8 lbs
Weekly Change: -0.2 lbs
Monthly Change: +4.1 lbs
YTD Change:-23.7 lbs

End of Week Review 10/27/2020

So life is crazy. After a couple Covid scares and a wild rollercoaster of emotions that lasted a couple weeks, I finally have the mental capacity to catch up with this. With all of the stress may have been some stress eating so I added on a couple pounds. However I did land a new job that I start in a week that gives me less exposure, more money, but less physical activity. The schedule is 4 days on and 4 days off. So I’m going to actually have time to go running, or when it gets to be winter, Snowshoeing and pond hockey.

I’ll even have more time to remember to write.

Total Assets: $41,972.22
Total Liabilities: -$34,444.72
Net Worth: $7,527.50
“Weekly” Change:+$281.12
YTD change:+$12,939.57

Weight: 182.0 lbs
“Weekly” Change: +4.3 lbs
YTD Change:-23.5 lbs

End of Week Review 10/4/2020

This week I was a bit more deliberate in my spending. Partly because I was busier working on this show so I don’t have free time to think about shopping and I’m only buying essentials for food. Last week I splurged on food when I shouldn’t have. Especially since the splurge wasn’t healthy food. Laziness is not helping my quest to be healthier.

Total Assets: $41,173.57
Total Liabilities: -$34,553.95
Net Worth: $6,900.74
Weekly Change:$281.12
Monthly Change:-$90.14
YTD change:+$12,031.69

Weight: 177.7 lbs
Weekly Change: -0.1 lbs
Monthly Change:-0.3 lbs
YTD Change:-27.8 lbs

End of Week Review 9/28/2020

I didn’t even realize that I missed a week last week. I was handed a gig! So I’ve been binge designing lighting for “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” which is a musical about kids in a spelling bee. It is as ridiculous as it sounds. But it has now taken almost all of my free time and will for the next couple of weeks. The problem with doing a design is the need to purchase office supplies. That entails Binders, Post it tabs, a ton of printing, and surprisingly a bunch of pencils (they tend to walk away). Not blaming all of the backtracking of my net worth. I did get a little lax in the last 2 weeks with my spending. and I’m working on settling that down.

Seeing how I’m going to be throwing myself at my next design, I won’t have the time to spend any money.

Total Assets: $41,173.57
Total Liabilities: -$34,553.95
Net Worth: $6619.62
Weekly Change:-$512.89
YTD change:+$12,031.69

Weight: 177.8 lbs
Weekly Change: -0.1 lbs
YTD Change:-27.7 lbs

End of Week Review 9/14/2020

My wife and I have been talking about the virus and have decided to stock up on the stuff that became hard to find during the first run of the pandemic. So We both dropped a decent chunk of change on all of the necessities so we don’t run out of the essentials.

I might have strained something with my knee. It’s had a dull pain for the last couple of days, so I’m on light duty and bracing it up.

Total Assets: $41,415.57
Total Liabilities: -$34,283.06
Net Worth: $7,132.51
Weekly Change:-$141.63
YTD change:+$12,544.58

Weight: 177.9 lbs
Weekly Change: -0.1 lbs
YTD Change:-27.6 lbs