It’s almost hard to believe all that’s happened since July.
My first reaction was to escape to cooler weather (hello, Massachusetts!) and drown my sorrows in all the lobster rolls my body could comfortably ingest.
Then, I went into bare bones budget survival mode, slashing expenses wherever possible. This meant making tough decisions.
Luckily, my company offered a severance that covered my expenses just past the end of August. But the past two months were expensive!
Here is my current net worth:
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
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After the layoff, I resisted the urge to fall into the scarcity mindset.
I focused on current projects, organizing my finances, taking care of my health, and preparing for these conferences.
This meant dipping into my emergency fund for the past two months. But I’ve picked up some exciting new clients, and I’m back on track for October.
Curious how I’m earning money?
Right now my income comes from freelance writing, social media consulting, marketing, blogging (advertising, sponsored posts, affiliates), and dividends.
As I mentioned, August and September were super expensive.
Here are the major things I paid for:
- Annual car insurance – $663
- Driver’s license renewal – $84.91
- Dental surgery – $916
- Doctor’s appointments – $132
- Health insurance – $225 per month
- New glasses & sunglasses lenses – $193.80
- Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – $197 (review coming soon!)
- Frye boot repair (two pairs) – $152.73
- Business cards – $138.75
- Dry cleaning – $92.80
- Clothing for conferences – $201.28
- Travel for XYPN – $1,093.94
- Travel for FinCon – $1,134.91
It’s a coincidence so many planned expenses hit right after the layoff. Luckily, I had been saving for many of them — like car expenses — monthly.
I strategically took advantage of my old health insurance by finally scheduling things I had been putting off. I visited the eye doctor, dermatologist, and had some blood work done.
Look, no one likes dental surgery.
But paying for it out-of-pocket 100% makes it a lot more painful.
I’ve switched to a high-deductible health plan paired with a health savings account. Health savings accounts offer triple tax advantages because:
- Your contributions are both pre-tax* and tax-deductible.
- Your earnings grow tax-free.
- Your withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free. At 65, withdrawals for non-medical expenses are taxed at your current rate, like an IRA.
*Contributions are only pre-tax if they are made by an employer through a payroll deduction.
My cash took a $2,307.81 hit since last quarter.
I spent $5,001.12 more than usual over the past two months, but $2,858.68 was toward my business and future career. I have no doubt the investment will pay for itself quickly.
I’ve been saving a little every day with Digit. It’s a handy, free tool that I’ve automatically saved over $800 with.
I love managing my account via text message!
Read my full Digit review here.
Not going to lie, I’m pretty jazzed about my new health savings account.
Currently, my allocation is 25% cash and 75% index funds. But I’m going to try to pay for health expenses out-of-pocket whenever possible. Why? It’s like another Roth IRA for healthcare expenses in retirement.
Other than this, my investments haven’t been very exciting (that’s a good thing).
Nashville home inventory is still low, so buyers continue to overpay.
We’re going to see a property tax hike in 2017.
I’m slightly concerned for when the city assesses my property from $170,000 to over $270,000. But based on the city’s tax calculator, I should only see ~ $1,100 tax increase.
4th Quarter 2016 Goals
- Build cash emergency fund back over $10,000.
- Focus on passing two Certified Financial Planner® classes.
Readers: Did you meet your financial goals this quarter?