Accountability: October 2014


I am thirty years old and I still work as an assistant production manager. I’m debt free, live in one of the most expensive cities in America, and my yearly salary is $53,560.

Saving & Spending

Who maxed out her IRA this month?

That’s right, this girl. Take that Money Manifesto for IRA 2014 – nailed it.

I actually anticipated really being squeezed for cash this month and somehow that wound up not the case at all.

Since I’m a crazy person and I pay my rent way ahead, I sent out my last rent check for the year this week. I’m really intent on building up my emergency savings and starting a mortgage fund, so I’m moving back in with my parents for a while when my lease is up in January.

There are no words for how much I’m looking forward to NOT paying rent for a while.

There are lots of words for how I feel about moving back in with my parents, but for now I’m going to concentrate on being grateful for the opportunity to save some cash and remain well aware that I can move out as soon as the arrangement stops working for either of us.

Also, I added $300 to my emergency savings! Not a lot, but more than I’ve added in a long time.

Part of the reason I was ready to get hit by expenses was paying for a flight, hotels and tickets to Universal Studios in Florida for next month. I’m going to go geek it up at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with one of my best friends for a few days in November. I knew it would be pretty expensive, but the prices just kept creeping higher and higher than expected.

I wanted to use frequent flier miles on United to get there – between our two work schedules there was no way to do that. Lame, United, lame.

When we first started looking, there was a pretty good tickets + hotel room deal for several days for $600. By the time we actually committed to going, that deal was long gone. We were both pretty intent on figuring out how you get to enter the park an hour early, which seems to be only by staying in a hotel in Universal Studios… so that jacked up the price considerably.

All said and done, the 4 day trip was coming out close to $1,000… before we even leave, so that’s not accounting for all the butterbeer and pumpkin juice we are absolutely going to drink.

Thank goodness for good rewards cards though, amiright? Turns out with my United Mileage Plus I could also apply those points to reduce the cost of the fare, so while it’s still a far cry from free $300 was a lot more manageable than $600.

My Barclaycard will cover my portion of the hotel. All in all, I managed to cut the cost of the trip in half.

It was a much calmer month too because I was working like a crazy person for the majority of the month. The one full weekend I had off, I went camping with my family, which didn’t cost much.

Sometimes I just really like to take pictures of fire... especially when camping.

Sometimes I just really like to take pictures of fire… especially when camping.

I actually think my largest expense this month was picking up a bottle of vodka and a dog toy for my cousin’s dog’s first birthday/Halloween party.

To make life even better, I was doing much better on the side hustle side this month too. I finally got paid for my last props job. I picked up some freelance work at FinCon that started up.

Side Hustling Numbers:

Props: $432.92

Stage Management Gig: $60

Freelance Work: $57.36

Advertising: $1.14

Stock Dividends: $16.96

Net Worth: October 2014

Net Worth: October 2014 — Creep on little net worth, creep on.

Wondering how to do this yourself? I use Mint to fill out 95% of this form and you can too.


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

My Favorite Post to Write This Month: You Can Do More Than You Think You Can

Elsewhere on the Web: 101 Cheap Living Tips and Ideas for Smart Families at Scratch Wireless (Tip #65)

What happened to my goal to write a guest post on a finance site and a theater site? Actually, I nailed it. They’re just not up yet. So here’s to hoping I pull it off next month too.

Entirely Unrelated to Personal Finance

I just finished watching Ugly Betty. I loved how positive it was, but now I’m looking for something new to binge watch. Suggestions?

Someone introduced me to this incredible band called The Mountain Goats. I’m a little obsessed with them now and have decide that their song This Year is the anthem of 2014 for me. I’ve been listening to it pretty much on repeat for days. Favorite line: “I am going to make it through this year if it kills me.” Also, the music video is charmingly bizarre and weirdly Purge like… even if I am the only person on earth who liked that movie.


Start looking for a job that doesn’t give me an ulcer every day. Seriously.

Figure out how my health insurance works.

Buy at least $1,000 in stock. Get my emergency fund much closer to $4,000. This should be pretty do-able since I DON’T have to pay rent next month – especially if I do manage to rent out my place on AirBnB while I go on vacation in a few weeks.

28 thoughts on “Accountability: October 2014

    • I really want to get back to stage managing, so I’ve been keeping an eye out for jobs in that realm – however I’d like to not take a gigantic pay cut, so that sort of really narrows down the types of shows I want to work on.

    • Ugh. I’m trying to not think about how the move will impact my commute. It’ll pretty much double it from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. There’s a good chance that will irritate me more than living at home since it bugged the heck out of me when I was staying with them for a few weeks right after I got the job.

  1. Congrats to maxing out the IRA this year! We did the same with our retirement accounts and it feels good I must say. Please make sure to report back on the Harry Potter experience when you return from Florida! I’m a big Harry Potter fan so going to The Wizarding World would be fun for me.
    Kassandra recently posted…Harnessing The Power Of CommunityMy Profile

  2. I love the content you post! I really appreciate how genuine and honest you are. (Although aren’t you afraid your boss will read your blog?) just wanted to say thanks for being you and sharing what you know. Orange is the new black is a great show if you haven’t already watched it. Also it seems like you do a lot- do you have a post on time management? Thanks again :)

    • I do worry a little he’ll read my blog, but I don’t think I say anything particularly bad about my job. I just don’t really think production management is for me. I get a little more nervous about it when I’m interviewing with potential employers. I’m waiting for the day one says “so, we notice you put your salary up online. Don’t.” …which is actually illegal for them to say, but we’ll see if that day comes.

    • Yes, that would be way more productive than I usually am on the train. I often just watch an episode of TV on my laptop or read a book. There’s no reason I couldn’t be working on articles or something that’s actually beneficial.

    • I saw the first season of The Walking Dead and it was alright, not enough to totally suck me in. I’m actually catching up on Bones now since I was a season behind and am more than a little irritated about the spoiler I saw on Facebook at the beginning of this season.

  3. Nice job on the IRA!! Can I just say you are my financial hero? Seriously, I want to be maxing out my IRA this time next you, so I’m going to make you my goal person. Hope that’s not creepy… :) Also, you’re not crazy for paying your rent in advance! I did that at my last apartment. It’s just easier to take care of it and get it out of the way!
    Melissa @ Sunburnt Saver recently posted…Choose Your Candy Calories Wisely!My Profile

    • I liked knowing I had a cushion there in case something happened. Kind of a mini emergency savings, I guess.

      And yay for being someone’s financial hero! I bet you can do it. We’ll celebrate together when you write your “I maxed out my IRA post” next year!

  4. I admire you for choosing to move back in with your parents to save some money. There won’t be many more times in life when that sort of decision will be possible! I’ve thought doing the same, but unfortunately, my parents live two hours away so it wouldn’t be possible for my job. Congrats on maxing out your IRA! Quite an accomplishment :)
    Amy @ Live Smart Be Frugal recently posted…Where The Money Goes // October 2014My Profile

  5. You have a very good looking net worth so far. As everyone else has mentioned on here good job maxing out your IRA. You are sitting very good not having any debt and I can say from experience, moving back home is a great decision if you want to save up for a house. My parents let me rent out my first house and move home for a little over a year while the Mrs. and me saved up enough for another house. If you can take that long commute, i would suggest staying there as long as possible.

    One suggestion i do have on the house, just because you get approved for X amount of dollars on a mortgage doesn’t mean that you HAVE to spend that amount. I know in my case i could have got away with a much smaller house on my first buy and i would have gotten the same amount of satisfaction out of it. Keep your costs on it as low as possible and then in the future upgrade to something more along the lines of what you want.

    I’m looking forward to reading updates now that i have found this. Subscribed!

    Jeff recently posted…Can money buy happiness?My Profile

    • ^^^ I apologize for that link that somehow posted. I just set up some new tools on my blog and apparently it automatically inserts new posts. I wasn’t trying to spam.

        • That is a good spot to be in. My first house I rushed into, the average house price was going up $3000 a day where I live. The thought process that was going through my head was a) If this keeps going up I will never be able to buy a house and b) It doesn’t matter if i buy an expensive house, its real estate, real estate always goes up. I wish i would have thought about c) Wait until this housing bubble bursts, and buy a house for what its really worth.

          Looking back it would have been very nice to have time to sit back and think about the situation, you are definitely doing the right thing.

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