Financial Update – November 2019

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal is to hit “Financial Equilibrium.” This means, more or less, FIRE at roughly 4% withdrawal rate.

nov19.png

 

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

nov19joint.png

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $450 (revised down from $600) or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

nov19ind

Monthly Summary

It’s nice to be making money again. My attention is still drifting away from this blog, and I don’t see myself writing much more than monthly updates anytime soon.

How were your finances in November? 

Financial Update – October 2019

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal is to hit “Financial Equilibrium.” This means, more or less, FIRE at roughly 4% withdrawal rate.

joint oct 19 net

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

oct19joint.png

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $450 (revised down from $600) or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

october.png

Monthly Summary

So, clearly I went overboard this month on my personal discretionary spending. This is mostly due to clothing repair. I wanted to get an old fancy watch I’d received as a wedding gift tuned up (oiled, cleaned, battery replacement, etc.) and have the small tear in my leather jacket fixed. Altogether this cost $335, all but $25 of which I put on my personal spending. Note I could easily have bought another used jacket and watch for that amount, but they wouldn’t be of the same quality. I greatly prefer maintaining the pieces that I have rather than buying new.

For net worth calculations, I’ve taken out my husband’s pension from the table. I’d been logging his contributions but since he can’t cash out his pension, and he wouldn’t qualify for payments until he was 55 and worked at least 10 years anyway, I’ve decided to just nix it from the board. We’ll treat it like social security: great if it happens, but won’t count on it.

In other news, I got a job. Yippee! I start mid-November. Training will be in SF and I’ll have a per diem, so if you have any food recommendations or recommendations on what to bring if the rolling blackout/regional fire situation continues, I’m all ears.

How were your finances in October? 

Finally Got A Job Offer And I’m Taking It

After 3 months, 56 applications, 21 recruiter screeners, 16 first-round calls, 6 on-site interviews, and one reneged verbal offer, I finally got a written job offer and I’m going to take it.

Here are the highlights:

  • Well-known tech company that will be helpful on my resume if I have to go through this whole job-searching thing again
  • Same role as I had previously in a high-demand domain that I am actually interested in
  • 35% increase in total compensation compared to former employer (ignoring the value of private stock options at former shop)
  • Excellent benefits: full health insurance, maternity leave, lunch daily, phone reimbursement, etc.
  • Lots of growth opportunities within this group if I manage to do my job well
  • Company known for good work-life balance, especially compared to the other behemoth going through a hiring boom in the area

Yellow flags:

  • Geographically distributed stakeholders across multiple continents, which means the occasional early morning or late night call (this is pretty typical for my role so I’m okay with this)
  • Boss is remote — good for my sense of autonomy, not great for training
  • Team’s been shuffled around a bit and isn’t fully staffed for their new goals, which will probably cause some pain as priorities shift and new people come onboard
  • No women on my team as far as I can tell, but everyone I met was very nice and it didn’t feel “bro-y” which is a good sign

It’s going to take a few weeks to get my background check processed and get me on the calendar to start training. But I’m ready to start working again. Thank goodness this job search is finally over.

Financial Update – September 2019

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal is to hit “Financial Equilibrium.” This means, more or less, FIRE at roughly 4% withdrawal rate.

sept19

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

sept19joint.png

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $450 (revised down from $600) or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

sept19ind

Monthly Summary

Still no job, though lots of interviewing. Anxiety brain is reminding me that I’m somewhat fearful I may have ruined my career? I’ve resolved myself to begging for my old consulting job back if something doesn’t pan out by the end of October. I cried when I told my husband that. I really did not like that job.

I have no inclination, however, to put my abundant spare time to a profitable use. I feel incapable of it, rather. Lots of reading, writing, starting a podcast, learning AWS fundamentals, minor programming projects and the like. But nothing I can make money from. Half my brain: Make some money, you worthless pile of... Other half of my brain: Your soul has been crushed into a fine-grained paste and all you can think about is your capital “value” which you know does not correlate at all with the actual value of your labor for others in a making-the-world-better way. Not that you’d be useful for that either.

It’s not all bad, honestly. My anxiety brain has been quiet for the most part. My days feel mostly relaxed and peaceful, nice even. Apart from the whole money thing, I’d be happily unemployed indefinitely. But putting together monthly wrap up posts and blogging in general has a knack of kicking the anxiety-driven self-loathing part of my brain into gear, which is part of the reason I haven’t posted much lately.

Anyway, that’s where I’m at. See you all in a month.

How were your finances in September? 

Financial Update – August 2019

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal is to hit “Financial Equilibrium.” This means, more or less, FIRE at roughly 4% withdrawal rate.

august 2019.png

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

joint august 2019.png

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $450 (revised down from $600) or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

august 19 ind

Monthly Summary

I am deeply unhappy.

How were your finances in August? 

Financial Update – July 2019

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our goal has been to hit “Financial Freedom.” This means:

  • A retirement account that can support us when my husband hits 65
  • Two college savings funds funded for four years of in-state public university tuition, room, and board
  • An emergency fund for six or more months of living expenses
  • Sufficient liquidity for my husband and/or I to make a career change with one to two years’ runway
  • A mortgage less than two times our combined gross salaries without bonuses or equity.

Well, guess what? We hit Financial Freedom this month. Woohoo!

July 19 net

Now, even though I expect our net worth to gradually decline over the next few months, I’m going to switch us over to our next goal: “Financial Equilibrium”. By the time we hit this, we’ll be roughly at a 4% withdrawal rate for financial independence, more or less.

Note that as we track for our new goal, we’re going to switch over to a new unit measurement (confusing, I know). New Units = Old Units x 0.25. Now on with our new progress tracker:

july 19 eq

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

july 2019.png

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $600 or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

july 2019 individual

Monthly Summary

We hit our Financial Freedom (inflection) point! This required a little optimistic accounting; in particular I am including the value of my exercised equity based on the stock’s current FMV (“fair market value”). But I feel comfortable with that.

Looking at the markers for “Financial Equilibrium” (which is more or less around 4% withdrawal rate), we are such a long ways away. All the financial calculators say around 6-7 years assuming healthy stock market returns and my old income level. I wish I could come up with a milestone that’s a little… closer?

In other news, I quit my job this month, so I’m expecting these numbers to degrade a bit over the next while. It was the right decision though. My stress levels are about 20% of what they were. I’m a little antsy about career and money things, I’ll admit, but I don’t feel like I’m about to have a heart attack every other day like I did while I was working. My energy levels have taken a hit– I was clearly running on adrenaline and office candy. It’ll take a while, but I’m feeling pretty confident that I’ll land back on my feet.

How were your finances in July? How do you muster up motivation when there isn’t a financial milestone coming up soon?

Trust The Process

I am drafting this post less than a week after quitting my job. I have more or less completed all the niggling little errands I’ve needed to get done. Now, all that’s left is the task of figuring out what I want to do with my life and career, etc. No big.

One of the things I was hoping to feel coming out of my job was a sense of elation, like a weight lifted off my shoulders. That… didn’t happen. After I left my last job, in the month of downtime, I was feeling light and airy and serene. (I also had a job nearly lined up, so that low-grade anxiety wasn’t an issue at the time.) This round I don’t have that same positive sentiment, but not a negative one either. Leaving my job has afforded me a gap where the acute stress or anxiety that I’d been feeling the past few months resided. But there is no joy or optimism in its place.

I feel as though I could live this lazing about life indefinitely. Not that I’ve really been lazing about– I’ve been going to various medical appointments while my health insurance is still active, tidying the house, returning old library books, and the like. How did I have time for a job, I wonder, with so much to do around here?

I’ve been trying to think about what I want to do with my life and I keep drawing blanks. I look at my list of post-FI plans and they seem quaint. Those aren’t life plans, those are hobbies. I don’t feel motivated enough to even take on hobbies right now. I could just sit in the quiet buzz of my brain for a good, long time.

The tiny rational-anxiety part of my brain (which has felt desperately miniscule and muffled, which is nice) worries: What if this means my ambition is gone? Does this mean that any job is going to feel awful? Will I ever be able to return back to the working world? And to all that I think: Calm down, will ya? You’re harshing my chill.

That is not to say anxiety-brain is entirely wrong, but it is probably misguided. My husband has told me a thousand times that I need to take time to relax. He’s seen me day after day, week after week, stressed and anxious and unhappy. And he’s right. I’m burnt out. It’s going to take time to feel like I can be optimistic or excited again. I quit my job to give myself that time. Until then, I know the empty lack is going to feel uncomfortable, but it’s a necessary step to get from where I was to where I will (eventually) want to be.

It is not fun, but I need to trust the process.