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Raise!

September 17th, 2022 at 07:12 am

I walked into my office Friday morning & the first thing my co-worker said was that we got our salary increase. It turned out to be a little over 16% which is better than I expected. I had hoped for at least 10% to make our current (temporary) retention pay of 10% a permanent increase. Once we start being able to fill vacancies due to the increased pay, we'll lose the retention pay. The increase to salary is more important as it impacts your retirement pay, matching for retirement contributions, and more. I am very excited & so thankful. 

I had made some stretch savings goals when I started looking at my budget for next year. I am going to be able to meet that & more. People that were looking to retire are also reconsidering as their retirement pay is based on their high 3 years of salary. We'll be able to retain employees when we've been losing them. Everyone seemed to be in a jolly mood all day.

We federal employees should get a 4.6% increase in January. It will be slightly less for us as we are on this special salary scale, but that is another added bonus. I'm glad that retirement contribution limits are increasing so I can take advantage of this increased income to save for my future.

 

Hello August

August 1st, 2022 at 03:48 pm

It is August already! This summer is flying by. I don't like to wish time to pass, but I always enjoy the autumn. It is my favorite season. 🍁🍂🐿

I'm looking forward to our trip to Maine at the end of September. I am encouraged to read that airline tickets are decreasing in price. I need to book my ticket to Boston or Portland soon. 🦞⛵️

In June my investments & savings were down $83,439. For July I gained $90,928. I read this article this morning & a BoA executive predicts we're still at least 6 months out from an economic recovery. Who knows? I am glad that at least my cash savings, which isn't a huge amount, are getting more in interest. It can't combat this rapidly rising inflation, but it's something.

Net Worth $1,221,187

Finance Buff’s Annual Predictions

July 24th, 2022 at 01:55 pm

The Finance Buff has released his annual predictions for contribution limits for retirement plans. As he mentions, so far he has predicted these with 100% accuracy. I enjoy reading his posts every year. 

He is predicting an increase to the 401k contribution limit of $2,000, not the $1,500 I posted recently from another source. And an increase to the IRA congribution limit of $500. That would be an annual increase of $2,500 or a little more than $200 a month. 

https://thefinancebuff.com/401k-403b-ira-contribution-limits.html

Q2 Summary

July 3rd, 2022 at 10:58 pm

So I calculated my Q2 & monthly losses.

Last month I was down $84,439.

Last quarter I down $188,231.

This included biweekly contributions of $800 to my TSP and monthly contributions of $1,000 to my savings. Last quarter I contributed $8,600. I maxed out my IRA in January, which in hindsight was not a good idea, but fortunately is a very small portion of my holdings.

If the 401k limit goes up to $22,000 next year I'll increase my contributions to $850 biweekly.

Q2 and Mid-Year Outlook

July 1st, 2022 at 08:44 am

I haven't done the final tally, but I'm down again for Q2. I don't know if there's an end in sight so I just keep plugging away. I'm still north of $1 million overall, and also in retirement.

This is a strange economy. There seems to be no limit on jobs available, yet no people to fill the vacancies. So many people are leaving the healthcare field. It makes me nervous for the future of healthcare in this country. And I'm happy that I'm not traveling this summer as flights continue to be canceled due to a shortage of pilots.

I read an article that estimated that 401k limits will increase to $22,000 next year due to inflation. I am anticipating an increase to the IRA limit as well. We shall see.

Father’s Day and Juneteenth

June 25th, 2022 at 03:03 pm

I went home last weekend for the combined Father's Day/Juneteenth holiday. As a federal employee I was off on Monday.

I didn't plan Father's Day well. I thought we would go to the movies on Sunday since I figured the restaurants would be busy, then to a restaurant for lunch on Monday. We ended up doing the opposite. When we showed up to the theatre on Sunday I realized that I should have bought tickets in advance because the seats for Top Gun were sparse and not in a good location.

We ended up purchasing tickets for the next day, then getting take-out from Texas Roadhouse. My parents love Texas Roadhouse and order from them often. I avoid restaurants on busy days because of course, they forgot the butter and sour cream for my loaded baked potato. Also, my steak was a little undercooked. And my dad's baked potato was black through half of it. A little disappointing.

We loved Top Gun. I thought by waiting 3 weeks we would avoid crowds, but I realized that many were seeing it for a second time. I could definitely see it again myself. I think my parents thought it was a bit too long. My mom has pain when she sits for too long so she kept going back and forth between reclining and sitting upright. She still enjoyed it & was excited to tell the kids about the movies afterwards. I don't think their parents will let them see it until an edited version comes out. They are very conservative. Understandably so. 

And to make this blog financially related, I got a nice surprise on my paycheck yesterday. The 10% retention incentive did increase with my step increase. They told me that it wouldn't increase with any future increases, but would stay the 10% of my salary at the time. This is promising if we get a special salary increase this year. 

Delayed Bonus…finally paid!

June 4th, 2022 at 04:14 pm

So much good news, that I forgot to share this! Last fall when we were having a lot of staffing shortages (still do) we were offered shift incentives for picking up extra shifts. Well leadership stepped in & made it difficult for our managers to get the incentives processed so we never got paid...until now!

I got another update to my employee file last week, but I thought it was a duplicate update of my retention incentive so I forgot about it...until another employee contacted me that people were getting notices of cash awards & she didn't receive hers. So I checked my file & sure enough I'll be getting a $600 bonus on my next check! This has been a very fruitful time for me. I'm very thankful.

Step Increase & TSP

June 4th, 2022 at 02:31 pm

The TSP website went down on May 26th to switch to a new management company & upgrade the site. Normally if this has happened on the 6th, rather than the 26th I wouldn't be bothered. But I like to chart my investments at the end of every month as you well know. Some people have been able to get into the new website, but many others including myself, are still having issues. I am trying to be patient & wait for the busyness to subside. Few are able to get through the helpline.

I am looking forward to seeing the new website. They have taken away one feature that I loved which was the historical look back. You used to be able to search to see your balance on a particular date & I hear that is gone. So I guess I won't be able to get my balance as of May 31st. Bummer. Hopefully the Daily TSP app has that feature when I can link my updated account again.

June 6th is my anniversary date for my new position so I'll be getting a step increase with the pay period starting tomorrow. $1.33 per hour or $106.40 biweekly will buy me a couple of tanks of gas so I'm thankful. ⛽️ 

Retention Incentive…finally!

May 28th, 2022 at 02:12 pm

We finally got paid our retention incentive & as a bonus they even made it retroactive! So in addition to receiving an extra 10% for this paycheck, we also got back pay for the 5 previous pay periods. It was a very nice check, even though they took out a lot in taxes. I am grateful for this added income over the next year. I want to make the best use of it.

 

 

 

Made Some Market Moves

May 13th, 2022 at 06:50 pm

So for the first time in a very long time I did some portfolio re-balancing. I've been using my contributions to slowly change my target allocations the past few years, but that is a slow process with the size of my portfolio versus the amount I'm contributing. With the market down I decided to make some changes. Long story short I went from 71% domestic allocation in my mutual funds to 78%, and from 29% to 22% international allocation in my mutual funds. This will still keep me on target for the 20-40% international stocks that most recommend. I had changed to a 60% domestic/40% international allocation back in 2017. Slowly I drifted from that allocation just due to US stocks outperforming international stocks. I was at about 34-35% international when I just stopped contributing to them entirely, then it had drifted down to 28% by the end of 2022 first quarter. I know that I wanted to get it closer to 20% so I just bit the bullet & did a re-balancing this week. Right now I'm just contributing to the S fund in my TSP and VTSAX in my IRA, though I still hold C,S, and I, as well as VTSAX and VTIAX. I also hold VHYAX in my taxable brokerage account. That is the money from the sale of my condo for a future home purchase. It is holding nicely despite the downturn. I'm actually still up from when I invested back in September.

In income news I still haven't received the 10% retention incentive that we signed for back in March, and the salary survey for our special pay scale has been completed, but mum has been the word on that. We shall see. Despite not doing any OT, I am still making extra at my PRN job. It would be nice if I can start contributing to the brokerage account regularly. I could scale back my monthly savings contributions and maybe split them between cash savings and the brokerage fund. I'll probably finish out this year of fully contributing to cash savings, though. Then maybe get back to investing in the brokerage account in 2023. I'm trying to get close to being able to pay cash for my next car and with these car prices, that could be a pretty penny!

According to Mint I am down $138,880 over the past month, but still holding well over $1.111 million in investments.

Bad Habit

April 29th, 2022 at 07:58 am

I've gotten in the bad habit of waking up in the middle of the night, in which case I end up on my phone, like now.

Still no retention bonus on our checks. I believe that once is goes through the process that we will get retroactive payments, which will be nice. We were under the impression that it could happen a lot quicker than it actually has so that leaves people feeling frustrated. 

I'm still not quite sure how I would like to allocate this money. I am saving $1,000 cash monthly already. I'm not sure that I want a lot of cash on hand, but at the same time I feel like my cash reserves are minuscule compared to my investments. Perhaps I should keep building it for a future car purchase? It's either that, or fund the brokerage for a home purchase.

In hindsight I do have a little regret about front-loading my IRA in January, right before the market started tanking. Maybe next year I'll go back to monthly contributions. If only we had a magic ball to predict these things!🔮

Heavy Spending Month so far…

April 21st, 2022 at 07:41 pm

This month has had some big spending due to work expenses, most of which as being reimbursed for our laboratory's recognition week. I also paid the first installment of next season's theatre tickets.

I'm excited about the season which includes: Six, Moulin Rouge, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lion King, Tina, Pretty Woman, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Fiddler on the Roof. I passed on the season option of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I've seen it before (as I've seen many of these shows) and the holidays are busy enough as is. If the Christmas show was White Christmas I probably wouldn't pass it up. I love that movie. ☃️ 

Our Easter was nice & quiet filled with good food and beautiful spring weather. I love this time of year before it gets crazy hot. I am trying to think of a getaway before the temps start rising. I would say Maine, but we already have our trip to Maine booked for this fall. I am looking forward to it, rustic as the trip may be. I have been wanting to visit Maine for a while. Maybe I will venture further north, like Quebec. 🇨🇦 

We have not yet received our retention incentive, but I continue to work overtime and my PRN job. This month is also a 3 paycheck month, so yay! I'm not making any big money moves right now, but I may get back to adding to my brokerage account for a future home purchase. Right now it stands at $75k.

 

Q1 March 2022

April 9th, 2022 at 03:00 pm

I can't recall if I've been using my car value in my net worth as does Mint, but when I calculate it myself I never do.

Investments $1,271,591

Cash $14,888 

Total $1,286,479

Net Gain from February $29,318

My gains include my contributions which are $800 to my TSP every two weeks & $1,000 to my cash savings monthly. The TSP is going to open up an investment window this summer, but I am planning on sticking with their low cost options. I am big on low cost index funds & I don't plan on changing that strategy anytime soon.

We still haven't received the 10% retention incentive on our checks, but I've been training on my PRN job steadily, which means most Saturdays. So there's still some extra income coming in.

Hallelujah!

February 12th, 2022 at 05:32 am

I usually have to pay even more in taxes when I file, but this year, I actually broken even...or as close to it as possible. I'm actually getting two small checks from the state & federal. 🙌🏾

And despite my complaining, my corrected W-2 from 2020 caused no issues & I didn't have to do an amended return. 👏🏾

Corrected W-2

January 13th, 2022 at 10:32 pm

Since I just finished paying back the SS taxes  from when they didn't withhold them the last few months of 2020, I got a corrected W-2 for that year. I really hated that supposed tax holiday. It has caused more issues than anything else. I hope that I don't have to go back & refile for 2020. The guidance says that you don't have to if you had just one job, but I was working three jobs in 2020. Thankfully, the other 2 jobs were smart enough to opt of the tax pause. As a federal employee I didn't have that option. (I think only one agency was able to opt out.) What a mess!

Happy New Year! 🎆

January 1st, 2022 at 09:57 pm

Happy New Year! I wish you and yours happiness & health in 2022. I meant to post at least once in December, but with the busyness of the holidays time got away from me. 🎄 

I celebrated a birthday last month. I celebrated by going out to lunch with my parents. They rarely eat out since the pandemic began & with Omicron I doubt they'll be doing it again anytime soon. 🎂 

My sisters came home for Christmas. It was so good to see my niece & nephew for the first time since Christmas 2019.  My younger sister flew home, while my older sister & her family drove from Virginia. We had an outdoor Christmas Day gathering with extended family. For once I was thankful for a warm Christmas! The high was 80 degrees here on Christmas Day. ☀️ 

I leave Wednesday for Nashville. There's a 40% chance of snow there on Thursday. I'm looking forward to my trip. I ordered some KN95 masks to wear. While I wore cloth masks in New York & was fine, with this new more contagious variant I thought it would be good to get more effective masks. Where we are going is requiring vaccination for entrance & I'm thankful for that. 😷 

I did my budgeting this morning since it's the first of the month & year. Nobember & December were high-spending months. I appreciate the cash my parents have me for my birthday & Christmas. My investments grew over $56k last month. I placed a trade for $6k to my IRA today. I was going to do $500 monthly contributions, but got inspired to go all in today. 💰

I get an annual raise of 2.2% in the new year & I will get a step increase in June. I have increased my retirement contributions to meet the $20.5k limit this year. I decreased my FSA contributions & I hope I don't regret that. It's always a gamble as you never know what will happen. I appreciated when they allowed us to change our allocation mid-year. 

Net Worth $1.388 million 

Inverstments $1.340 million

Happy Thanksgiving! 🍁🦃🍽

November 28th, 2021 at 04:24 pm

I see the website has been upgraded in my absence. I like what I see so far!

I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving. Ours was quiet as usual. We continued our new tradition from last year of Rock Cornish game hens instead of turkey, along with ham, cornbread dressing, carrot soufflé, and my homemade cranberry sauce. I usually do the fresh snap beans with potatoes & bacon, but my dad said to just cooked the stir-fry veggies we had in the freezer. Fine by me! Everything was delish & I'm eating my leftovers today. 🍗🍖🥕

My last two paychecks have had OT on them & that adds up quick. I'm always surprised by how much of an impact it has, but at a rate of 1.5 pay plus the shift differentials, it is significant. Much better than my pay when I had two PRN jobs. Work is about to get busier as my lab manager retires at the end of the year & I am the assistant lab manager. 

I traveled for the first time since 2019! My friends & I met up with my sister in New York. We had a great time. We saw 4 shows, ate great food, & did a ton of walking. 🍎🚖🗽

I have two more trips booked: Nashville in January & Maine next fall. 🎸🪕🦞⛵️ It is also my parents' 50th anniversary this summer so we may do a family trip.

I thought I might hit a million dollars by the end of the year in my TSP, but then the market pulled back due to Omicron. It still may hit those elusive 7 figures in 2021, we shall see. 

Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby & Michael's looking for a Christmas tree. I had thrown my tree out last year as it had seen better days. I got a 7.5 ft pencil tree at Michael's and a tree skirt at Hobby Lobby. Michael's was much less crowded than Hobby Lobby. The pencil tree will take some getting used to, but it's decked out in rose gold, gold, & silver this year. It's a very pretty color combination, if I do say so myself. 🎄

My birthday is next week & I will probably have a quiet dinner with my parents. 🎂

 

October Check-In

October 23rd, 2021 at 02:10 am

My investments are almost back to the high of September 6th. Today they stand at $1,300,918 which is almost my entire net worth with the addition of my car & cash savings. 

I applied for a PRN position (you knew I couldn't stay away from a second job for long!), but turned it down when they told me the per diem rate, which was the same rate I was paid in 2008. You'd think with all these healthcare shortages that they would up there rate.

This past Saturday I did some OT at my hospital and that rate is more than twice the per diem I was offered. Our ENW supervisor, who is desperately short-staffed, asked me to work as much as I could so it looks like I'll be pulling some OT. One good thing about my promotion is that by losing my supervisory status I can make time and a half overtime, whereas I used to just get comp time. I am always in use or lose territory with my annual leave by the end of the year, so I don't really need to earn more time. 

I am setting into my new apartment. Furniture keeps trickling in & I am doing a little updating in my decor. I had some rowdy upstairs neighbors, but after a few complaints it looks like they have settled down. The leasing agent said she would contact the dad. I guess that worked. It's super annoying to be kept on weeknights by kids who have their daddy to pay their rent. The rest of us have to get to work in the morning!

Budgeting & New Mattress

October 9th, 2021 at 01:28 pm

I took some time this morning to update my budget in Mint. So many categories were obsolete now: homeowners insurance, alarm system, property taxes, student loans (which I paid off over 4 years ago!). Then others needed to be adjuste: mortgage & rent, which more than doubled. 

One of my credit union accounts won't update in Mint, which is frustrating because it's my largest cash account. It is, however, updating in Personal Capital.

I finally figured out how to add my car value in Personal Capital this morning. It's crazy because the Kelley blue book value today is almost the same as it was when I bought it 5 years ago. Supply & demand, I suppose. I think this is the first time in my lifetime that cars have held their value. Usually they are rapidly depreciating as soon as you drive them off the lot.

My new mattress will be delivered today. Mattresses have become quite expensive, but at least I get interest free payments for 4 years. The furniture will be no payments for one year. I don't expect to pay for that long on the mattress, but will take advantage of the one year payoff for the furniture.

My furniture went from expected delivery in October to full delivery expected in January. I should get some pieces this month. That is one thing that hasn't changed: furniture deliveries getting delayed. They blame it on the pandemic, but I remember prior orders. I'm looking forward to getting my second bedroom & sun room (office) furnished.

My investments for Q3 were up, partly because I invested the profits from the sale of my condo just before the end of the month. Since it's only 5% on my portfolio I decided to try something a little different & invest in Vagaurd's high dividend yield index fund. It's pretty new having began in 2019. It will be interesting having a new fund to follow.

Money Invested from Condo Sale

September 30th, 2021 at 08:18 pm

I was able to transfer the funds from the sale of my condo to my new brokerage account just in time to invest before the end of the 3rd quarter. The proceeds ended up being just 5% of my total investments so I played with the investments just a little rather than sticking to my usual index funds. I still selected an index fund, but not the total domestic stock and total international stock index funds I'm currently invested in for my IRA. 

After living in my condo for 15 years, it's interesting that my equity was such a small amount of my net worth, when I always read that most people's net worth is largely tied up with their home. I'm not anxious to own again, and I've done much better selecting mutual fund investments that investing in my home. That's not to say that I'll never own again, but I always been told that renting was throwing away money. I don't have that perspective now.

Still Purging & Packing

July 24th, 2021 at 05:16 pm

It's amazing what you can accumulate in a home after 15 years. I moved into this home with only the bedroom set I had in my parents' home. I have accumulated so much stuff, some that I didn't buy myself & never used. Such as a silver gravy boat. I don't even make gravy & if I did, I wouldn't serve it in silver! So that has been my life the past 3 weeks. If anything will cure me of my love of shopping it's weeks of having to give things away. 🛍 

I hope to get repairs done soon so I can list my condo soon after I move out. It's so hard to find reliable people that follow up. 

My rent will be more than double my mortgage, which I can afford & am okay with. Since I applied 3 weeks ago they have already raised the rent by a few hundred dollars. (On another note I hope I don't regret passing up on the 3rd floor unit with the vaulted ceilings & skylight.)

My 401k rollover has been deposited in my TSP. It was only a little over $1k, but I'm glad to have the money consolidated in my TSP. I was being charged a $1.25 fee for what I'm not sure. It's not much, but I try to avoid any fees.

Stocks were up & down this week, but ended up at a high. My accounts are at an all-time high. 

Investments $1.193 million

Net Worth $1.335 million

Leased an Apartment

July 4th, 2021 at 06:27 am

I signed a lease for an apartment on Friday. I will not move in until August 5th. The commute from where I live now is about 1.5 hours to the hospital. Luckily with school out traffic has not been horrible. But it is surprisingly, somewhat tiring. I'm usually not motivated to do much when I get home, though I will now need to pick up the pace on packing my things.

I'm excited about my apartment. I've actually never rented an apartment, even in college. I've lived in dorms or homes that were owned (house, condo). The rent is expensive, but I wanted to be in a quiet, safe part of town. I will have 2 bedrooms, 2 baths. I looked at a 3rd floor model with vaulted ceilings. I ultimately took the 2nd floor apartment with better views. I was a little worried about electricity costs & my mom walking that many stairs when she visits. 

The grounds are beautiful & there are creeks and jogging paths that run through the property. It feels so peaceful. I will think about maybe getting a second job when I've had some time to settle into this job, but that may be at least a year in the future. For now, I will buckle down & budget to accommodate my increased expenses. The move was worth any increased expenses for me. Some things go beyond money, such as our happiness & peace of mind.

I am planning on taking some furniture and giving away or selling the rest. I would like to replace my guest bedroom, living & dining room furniture. I have picked out some not expensive replacements at Rooms To Go. Some things are available now, others have availability at the end of the year, though they could come in sooner. I'd rather wait to get what I want. 

I am praying that my condo sells quickly. I am having work done on Monday, then a few more things to do dealing with water leaks. It's just one thing after another. I'm ready to be free of all these issues.

First Week

June 26th, 2021 at 12:08 pm

My first week went well. It's a lot of new information, but I love point of care testing already. It's always interesting. 

My promotion took effect 2 weeks before I actually started the position. So I had increased pay this week, including holiday pay for working the new Juneteenth holiday. I also had increased contributions to my FSA take effect. My matching TSP contributions increased due to my new base pay.

Investments were up over $32k this week & my condo also increased in value a little.

 

 

Employment

June 5th, 2021 at 05:47 pm

I notice that employers are trying hard to recruit employees. Costco upped their minimum wage to $16 & Wal-Mart has a minimum wage of $11. McDonald's is starting at $10 and is even advertising paying workers daily.  Last time I went to Wal-Mart there were signs advertising $13-21 for overnight stockers. These are really good wages for my area.

It seems employers are going to effectively raise the minimum wage even if the government can't seem to find consensus. And the more they raise their wages the less $15 as minimum wage seems a pipe dream as it once did. I think a split between current minimum wage & $15 should be easy to pass now. 

As for my own wages, the President has proposed a 2.7% raise for federal employees, which would be nice. If I get a promotion that will be a nice bump on top of that raise with another step increase to come in a year's time. I won't be making 6 figures, but I'll be close enough with working just one job.

My investments are up $8k this week. I hit $1.3 million net worth and $1.165 million in investments. I should hit $15k in savings this month before I quit my second & third jobs. I already sent off my resignation letter for my weekend job at the hospital. 

 

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. 

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:

https://walletburst.com/tools/coast-fire-calc/

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. 💙

 

Another Late Night & Storms

April 24th, 2021 at 06:32 pm

I worked another late, stormy night with bad weather. There were tornado warnings & my mom texted to see where I was. I told her I was at work & she told me that I should stay there for a while. I told her that I had my co-worker there (I always work alone except for last night) and we were going to be there a few more hours. I ended up leaving after 2 a.m. and he was hoping to be gone within the hour. The rain was pretty heavy, but not nearly as bad as the storm a couple of weeks ago. 

My co-worker was doing a big batch run (almost 200 patients) on the PCR analyzer while I was doing smaller runs on the quicker, but smaller capacity analyzer. They want me to come in again this afternoon/evening. We are staying so busy because we contracted with a film company. We are testing the entire cast & crew multiple times a week for COVID-19. Great for my cash flow, but I'm a little tired. I also have a 12 hour shift at the hospital tomorrow.

We had a quiet, but nice lab week at the clinic. I was talking to my manager about how event planning isn't my forte. She felt the same, but we got it through it successfully. On the career front, I qualified for an interview for a potential promotion. I owe a lot of people my thanks in the entire messy, complicated process. Our biannual lab next inspection has been scheduled & I'm looking forward to getting past that successfully. 

My investments are at an all time high. I don't know where things will go from here with the changes being proposed, but I'm just chugging along & staying the course. I continue to vacillate between staying or selling my home. I am consistent about wanting to move forward on a few needed repairs, though they may wait until work is a little more settled.

Investments $1,143,270

Facebook Market Sales

April 17th, 2021 at 12:48 pm

I'm going to spend some time this week changing my candles for sale by delivery only to offer shipping. A potential buyer mentioned that you can ship 4 large candles for $22 flat rate shipping. I think it would help me move my inventory a lot quicker. I went to the post office & picked up a large priority shipping box. I packed 4 large candles to make sure that they would fit well with plenty of packing material to minimize breakage. They are insulated pretty well.

I have been paid 6 times already this month. Two paychecks to go. Income surplus is nearly $4,000 now. That will be a nice deposit to savings. $500 to my IRA on Thursday & $750 to my TSP yesterday. 

Investments $1,142,785

 

So Many Hours

April 10th, 2021 at 03:52 pm

It's 10 o'clock in the morning & I'm just waking up. I didn't getting home until after 4 this morning, after getting caught in a horrible storm. So thankful to have made it home okay. I left & it was raining, but not horribly. By the time I got halfway home I had little to no visibility due to driving rain coming in waves, lights were going out as I drove putting everything in complete darkness, & the winds were terrifying: knocking traffic lights askew & debris across the road. I was shaking & praying the whole time. When I got out of my car I could barely see to unlock my door & I got drenched from head to toe in a matter of a few seconds.  Still thanking God that I made it home safely. I never want to experience something like that again.

I worked so late last night (or rather this morning) because my third job picked up a major client. Just when I thought things would be slowing down due to vaccinations, I learn that not only is the Covid testing picking up, but also we will be getting mass collections. I worked every weekday except Good Friday & this Thursday and still made over 55 hours. That's the most I've made since I got hired a year ago & had to put in training hours. Thankfully I didn't pick up many hours at my second job. The only thing keeping me at my second job at this point is that I genuinely like the people. 

I'll definitely have a nice chunk of change to send to my savings this month. I get 8 paychecks this month! My checking balance is at over $11k as I continue to have surpluses in my budget. My goal is to keep it at least $5k to avoid fees. As much as work I can't outwork my investments! They continue to grow. This week was a good week for the market, though Friday ended a little down. It's exciting to see people meeting big goals. I saw a few people become TSP millionaires this week. I know I'll get there, too. 

Today I'll stay mainly close to home, cleaning up around my home. I'll also stop by to visit with my parents. Tomorrow I'll meet up with several girlfriends to celebrate a friend's birthday. It's my first social gathering in over a year. The birthday girl is staying two hours away, so we're splitting the distance and meeting up at a street fair in a city an hour away. We wanted to stick to something outdoors for safety, though I think most if not all of us have now been vaccinated. I hope the weather cooperates! 

Net Worth: $1,248,369

 

 


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