Home > Archive: May, 2021

Archive for May, 2021

The Simple Path to Wealth

May 31st, 2021 at 03:58 pm

Have any of you read this book by JL Collins? There's not a lot of new revelations & concepts that I haven't read in other books, but I love how he articulates the importance of having money so you aren't beholden to anyone.  He calls it F U money. I like to thing of it as "forget you" money. 

While I love the idea of the security of a pension in retirement, it does not truly keep me at my job. It's definitely a factor, but if I was hating coming into work I would be exploring other possibilities. I continue at the VA because I love our mission, even when the bureaucracy frustrates me. At heart, it is the core of what we do: to care for our veterans. It is a noble cause if only we remember it.

And in honor of that, let us remember our fallen today & everyday, but especially today. May you have a peaceful Memorial Day. 🇺🇸 

May 2021 Review

May 30th, 2021 at 01:57 pm

The market is closed Monday so I can make my end of month review for May now. I am at an all time high in my investments. I close the month of May with $1.158 million in investments and a net worth of $1.292 million. I was able to add an additional $2k to savings in addition to my regular $500 monthly contribution. Next month I hope to hit $15k in savings.

I plan to work my additional jobs through June then just work my full-time job. I may pick up another job in the future, but I have no plans for that at the time. 

Credit Card Hacked

May 29th, 2021 at 05:56 pm

In the midst of everything else going on, my Capital One Credit card was hacked! I got an alert asking if I had tried to make a purchase at LA Police Gear. I responded no & immediately opened my app to review purchases. They had made several purchases at online gun & tactical gear websites. This alarmed me & I contacted Capital One and several of the vendors immediately. 

I'm getting a new card, but this worried me because of the type of purchases. I certainly don't want anyone planning anything criminal with these purchases.

Today was a great day!

May 29th, 2021 at 12:20 am

Today we finally had our lab inspection. It went great! I'm so glad that it's over. Biannual inspections are so nerve-wracking for me. I have actual physical symptoms from being so anxious. 

We switched from College of American Pathologists to the Joint Commission for our inspections so this process was entirely new. Instead of a team I only got one inspector at the clinic.

It was a much more educational process & I thoroughly enjoyed all that I learned from my inspector. Although we are the same age she has such an impressive career already. It makes me look forward to progressing in my own career.

We only had one finding & it was such an easy one I could kick myself, but I'll never make that mistake again. I am so relieved & I wish I could celebrate with a glass of wine, but I'm off to work tonight. Maybe when I get off I can properly celebrate!🍷 

Coast FIRE

May 23rd, 2021 at 02:43 pm

I follow the FIRE community a lot. There are so many different FIRE communities, but one I follow is the Coast FIRE community. It's basically when you save a certain amount that allows you to no longer have to save anymore to be able to retire when you want. My age is 57. It's the earliest I can retire & get my health insurance benefits. If I retire earlier I don't get the health care benefits. I also get a social security supplement until I reach 62.

I found this Coast FI calculator that says that I am at about twice my Coast FI number. It doesn't take into account my pension or social security. I put in $40k as my annual expenses & that's generous. I spend approximately $3k a month now. That includes $1k to savings (Roth IRA & emergency fund) & my mortgage.

I should no longer have a mortgage when I retire or have to contribute to savings. My TSP comes out of my paycheck so I don't included that in my expenses which I budget based off of my take home pay from just my full-time job, not my additional income from my two other jobs. I want to make sure when I quit my other two jobs (in the next month or two) that I don't start racking up credit card debt again. I even have money budgeted for travel on just that income. I can't live without travel!

I hear some people say that they still save in retirement. I would probably be able to do that as well, but it wouldn't be intentional for me unless there was a tax advantage.

Here's a link to the calculator:

My Flooding Experience

May 22nd, 2021 at 08:30 pm

I've tried to write this blog a few times this. Every time I thought to do it I felt exhausted thinking about it. I'm lucky that I didn't drown or flood, but it was still quite an experience to process.

I'll say I did know that we were expected to get heavy rains Monday night with chances of flooding. That's not unusual for this area. I've just never actually been caught in one.

I left work Monday night/Tuesday morning at half past midnight. It was raining, but not as heavily as it had been. About half way home I start seeing a lot of emergency vehicles. For part of my trip home briefly get on the highway that runs the length of town. I was quickly detoured off the highway as soon as I got in. As I got on the service road I realized that the medians were now lakes of water. There cars submerged with their lights still on. It was a scary sight to see.

I made it back on the highway where they allowed us & took the next to last turn to my home. The water was heavy on the road, but passable. Before I could turn on to my street I realized that it wasn't passable. Cars were already flooded out. Water was rushing into a store to my right. I turned into a parking lot to my left, which was the higher side of the road. I was so close l, literally just around the corner m, but couldn't make it. I got in the Next Door app & realized that all routes to my home were flooded.

I got out of my car thinking to walk it the short distance to my home. No go...water was too high & I didn't know what was in the water. After 1.5 hours I decided to backtrack after checking the roads. I was going to attempt to make it to my parents', but every route was blocked (I tried 5) & they shut down a portion of the interstate. 

I turned around & headed back to the open gas station that I passed. I had a bathroom, food, & water. I napped intermittently in the back seat of my car until light broke.

I went back & the roads were clear of water, though full of abandoned cars. I was able to get home, take a shower, get dressed, then head straight to work. It took me 1.5 hours to get to work. Usually a 15-20 minute trip. 

On my way to the clinic we had to turn around at an underpass that was full of cars. They found a young man in one of the SUV's that had attempted to make it through the water. So tragic.

After a week of rain we finally have sunshine today. I worked late again last night until 3 this morning. I slept in & now will attempt to do some cleaning. My rug at my French doors was full of water. I was able to hang it out today. I am mopping the floors as the smell lingers. I definitely will be purchasing that awning very soon. I'm hoping to take a few days off to take care of some things after our inspection this coming week.

Payday 5/14/21

May 15th, 2021 at 04:56 pm

All 3 of my pay days fell on Friday this pay period. I received enough to cover my bills for the month plus a surplus to save yesterday. When I get paid again in 2 weeks that will be all surplus to savings.

I made my initial savings goal last month ahead of my December timeline, so I'm working on the next $5k benchmark. This will get me to 5 months' expenses. I may achieve that goal next month at current savings rate. I don't see a reason to save beyond $20k with a very stable, in high demand job, but the surplus could be for my next car purchase, which is always inevitable.

I would like to take a short trip after this inspection, but I'm not sure where. I could also use a staycation to get things done around the house, but a change of scenery would be nice. Maybe I could do a little of both.

The market was a little all over the board this week & so were investors. Times like this I try not to read my investing groups too much because some people are so easily rattled. I started investing in college during a downturn so I'm not too bothered by the ups & downs. I survived 99-00, 08-09, 17-18, 20 and I'll survive this blip even if it turns into something major. I'm 14 years out from retirement with my current plans & I will have a pension to anchor me so I'm riding the waves. For once international stocks are doing well so I'll take those gains while I can.

It's my nephew's 8th birthday today. Time really does fly by. It feels like he was just a baby yesterday. I remember how much he loved to be held. Those days are so sweet. 💙


Candle Sales

May 8th, 2021 at 05:47 pm

I wrote a really long blog & it all disappeared. So frustrating, but I'll at least re-write about my Facebook Marketplace sales this week. It's been my first week offering shipping & I get inquiries all day long. I've made 5 shipments and made $318.03. People are really into their Yankee Candles! I did have one package arrive damaged with broken candles. I was so upset for the customer. She really wanted those discontinued scents. I packed the box very well with a ton of bubble wrap between, under, and on top of the candles. From the damage I saw I believe it was dropped/thrown from a truck despite being marked as "fragile". I submitted an insurance claim for $50 and refunded her money. Candles are super expensive to ship. Shipping them any way other than flat rate priority mail in bundles isn't cost efficient, so I encourage buyers to buy in bundles of 4.

May Day

May 1st, 2021 at 05:19 pm

My dad & I are on our way to my aunt's 70th birthday party today. Feeling a little sleepy after another late lab night, but I'm sure I'll wake up once I get to see family & friends that I haven't seen in over a year.

April was a good month financially. I worked a lot, but I saved a lot as well. $2,250 to my TSP, $4,500 to my savings, and $500 to my Roth IRA. What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time I was still paying off a car & TSP loan and was only saving $100 a month toward my savings. 

In other news, I had an interview Monday! Short notice as a key person on the interview panel was leaving on vacation so we interviewed the same day. I hate interviews because I always think of the perfect thing to say after the interview. That's even with prepping myself. My manager said that she felt it was a good interview, though, and 2 of my references told me that they were contacted. So I wait & hope for good news.