Accountability: February 2017


I am thirty two years old and I’m unemployed. It’s cool though. Well… no it’s not. But I’m surviving.

Flipper McGillicuddy Looks for a Job (And So Do I)

Flipper McGillicuddy Looks for a Job (And So Do I)

Saving & Spending

2017 might be cursed. I’m not sure yet.

For the first time in my career, a job got cancelled at the last minute. And by last minute I mean, like… less than 24 hours before I was supposed to fly out. So that was not cool.

I’ve spent most of February scrambling like crazy to try to figure out how to make money and to figure out what on earth I’m doing with my life.

In December, life seemed set like always. I was going to finish up Fame in January. Hop on this other tour with a company I’ve done multiple tours with before for a month and a half and then I was probably going to go ask for an old job back for a few months until August when I’d either be heading back to school, going out on another tour or, if all that failed, I could’ve stayed at that old job for a few more months while I looked for work.

The old job was Ringling Brothers and I was moderately sure my old boss would’ve been fine with rehiring me. There was an opening in my old position. Who on earth would’ve thought that after 146 years the circus would close?

I mean, really? 2017 probably is cursed. I imagine all the people still out on the circus train agree.

I also did not get into one of the schools I applied to and am pretty doubtful the results will be different with the other, so at least that’s one more variable solved about the future. Also, I wasn’t actually all that sad… so I think not getting in was probably the right life direction anyway.

In the meantime, I’ve spent the month applying for roughly 8,000,000 jobs (seriously though, Cirque du Soleil, why won’t you interview me? I’m really a very good stage manager). I’ve landed two smaller stage management gigs at the end of March and April that I’m looking forward to. One just seems fun. The other is building a skill that I’m really weak in (opera), but the pay at both of them is a fraction of what I usually make. That being said, I am 100% grateful to have them to look forward to.

I stage managed a one off classical music concert in Washington, DC at the end of the month, though I haven’t been paid yet and got to catch up with two old friends who live there and spend the morning with one of their adorable kids.

I spent a day down at my old college doing stagehand work.

I learned how to be a transcriptionist.

I sold stuff on eBay.

I picked up a new freelance writing client.

I babysat.

So… at least I didn’t just sit around moping or anything. I’ve also put some wheels in motion to update my blog header, because the last few years I’ve wanted it to reflect stage management somehow.

I took a gamble and signed up for a blogging course, even though my income is a super erratic right now. I’m still waiting to learn something to really justify the cost, but I’m not that far into the course yet. Also, to be fair, I’m pretty sure I’ve been blogging long enough that I could skip the entire section I’ve been working on in the course, but it seems like if I paid for it, I might as well listen to each of these early lectures and see if I learn something I’ve overlooked or missed. It has got me thinking more about possibly turning either my stage management or side hustle posts into a small eBook. I’m really looking forward to the Pinterest section.

Have any of you taken the Pro-Blogging Secrets course? I’ll review whether or not it was a worthwhile investment once I’m done.

I also got thinking about that goal to add 2 resume skills this year and I became a Notary Public. That might seem a little weird, but I’ve been interested in doing it for years and it turns out so far its super easy. You pretty much just fill out an application online. When I went into the county courthouse to be sworn in, they gave me a book to read about how to conduct notary business that is pretty clear. I’m also attending a workshop about it next Friday that only cost $5. I’m honestly not sure whether or not I can make this financially pay for itself, but I’ve been kind of fascinated by Notaries for years.

I’m also leaning towards taking the OSHA 60 hours workplace safety course, if I wind up with extra time on my hands again this year. I was hoping to train in pyrotechnics but, of course, the two nearby training courses I found are both offered during the shows I booked to stage manage.

  • Gym – $41.73
  • Food – $76.48
  • Healthcare – $305.77
  • Postage – $52.40
  • Notary Expenses – $52.00
  • Clothes – $6.99
  • Toiletries – $25.99
  • Stage Management – $25.00
  • Taxes – $182.86
  • Entertainment – $39.50
  • Blog – $301.99
  • Charity – $100.00
  • Gifts – $5.85
  • Gas – $21.98

Total Spending in February: $1,238.54 

I also tapped every free or saved up thing I had. I went into the city with a friend for the day, but I already had a roundtrip ticket on my NJ Transit app from a trip I was supposed to take and then cancelled a few weeks ago.

A good friend’s kid’s birthday was this month and I was able to use a Macy’s giftcard for his gift.

My dad gets free lift tickets for a local ski resort because he’s on the ski patrol there and I actually used two of them for a change.

Also, my family has been housing and feeding me this whole time. I’ve been really lucky.


My income this month was pretty strange and I’m still waiting payment for some of the things I’ve done. I got two weeks of pay from the tour that was cancelled. I sold a bunch of things on eBay. I babysat. I made some money freelance writing and with brokeGIRLrich. And I got a tax refund this month (after paying NJ $29). I did some transcribing with Rev. I sold some books. I finally got paid for substitute teaching last month.

  • Stage Managing – $1,170.04
  • brokeGIRLrich – $195.80
  • Taxes – $389.00
  • Substitute Teaching – 282.68
  • User Testing – $90.00
  • Rev – $280.91
  • Textbook Buyback – $15.53
  • Freelance Writing – $350.00
  • Babysitting – $50.00
  • eBay – $202.84

Income This Month: $3,026.80

…that weird moment when you’ve had your nose to the grindstone so hard all month, freaking out about not bringing in enough money, only to suddenly realize upon calculating this that I actually managed to bring in more money than plenty of months.

Net Worth: February 2017

Net Worth: February 2017

…that equally weird moment when you were bracing yourself for a net worth drop, but between the stock market being happy and working your butt off all month, you finally break $80,000.

Most Popular Post of the Month: 114 Side Hustles: Ways to Make More Money

My Favorite Post to Write This Month: Groupon, PeggyBank & the $29 I’ll Never Get Back (because it was at least cathartic).

Elsewhere On the Web: The Aftermath of Travel Hacking at Money Under 30

Where Kids Eat Free On Sunday? Here Are the Places to Choose From at First Quarter Finance

Entirely Unrelated to Personal Finance

I realized that when I’m home, I don’t move nearly enough. This is definitely due, in part, to the fact that most of my side hustles involve being glued to a computer screen.

So I’ve decided to Whole 30 it again. Turns out Round 2 is weirdly easier in many ways and slightly harder in other. I’m not nearly on top of preparing food in advance this time (though I do have a lot more time on my hands these days) and I’m more likely to settle for a handful of shredded chicken and a bunch of carrots than before, but all the mental side effects are much easier.

Physically, I had a raging headache the first week and a half this time that didn’t happen last time, so who knows what’s up with that. Overall though, totally worth it. I know I would’ve been chowing down on crap if I hadn’t and my energy levels and mood are way better while I’m Whole 30-ing.

Whole 30 Recipes

Used that homemade mayo to make this.

I have also learned how to make my own mayo. It’s surprisingly easy. And then cooked up some tasty creamy balsamic chicken and Brussel sprouts.


  • Max out my IRA. – $4,582 to go. Currently on track. To my total surprise.
  • Buy $1,000 in stock.
  • Contribute $2,000 to my New Car Fund – $1,666 to go. Currently on track.
  • Contribute $5,000 to my Down Payment Fund – $4,166 to go. Currently on track.
  • Contribute $1,000 to my cousin’s wedding fund. – I did nothing for this, although I did open a new rewards card to pay for the flight to her bachelorette party, if I’m not working. That should cover $400 in travel fees. So I’m knocking this goal back down to $1,000 and saying $200 to go now.
  • Develop 2 new resume skills – 1 Down! I’m a Notary Public now.
  • Do something really fun with my brother.
  • Write a journal or magazine article.
  • Hike something.
  • Master making macaroons.

12 thoughts on “Accountability: February 2017

  1. Now I’m curious about being a notary! You really are doing very well for earning income in a scrappy variety of ways. Congrats on breaking $80,000! I started a Problogger class, too, but it was the one that came with the Genius Blogger’s Toolkit. When I say “started”, I mean I signed up for it. Then I got slammed with work and we had a power outage for 2 days, so I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet. I’ll be interested to read your review over the course you’re taking.
    Jamie @ Medium Sized Family recently posted…5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week 66My Profile

  2. Does your state require notaries to be bonded? Even if they don’t, it is probably a good idea; it’s kind of like malpractice insurance. Oh, and if any of your readers are wondering, it is easy to become a notary in all states but one–in Louisiana you have to pass an extremely difficult test or be an attorney to be a notary.
    RAnn recently posted…Kickfurther Merchant of the Week: Mirage Pet ProductsMy Profile

  3. It sounds like it was an unexpectedly good money month despite how stressful it was. I was happy Ringling shut down but I never considered the people who work there and how hard it is now to find employment.

    Congratulations on breaking $80k! I hope next month brings less stress and steady employment!
    Jax recently posted…Pay Off High-Interest Debt-America Saves WeekMy Profile

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