February 2020 Financial Update

It’s time for another one of these, and I know I didn’t do one last month so don’t go looking for it…

In January, I earned $4,611.63 in freelance income and $0.47 in publishing royalties. Since it’s been two months since my last financial update, I’ll also report that in December I earned $11,833.09 in freelance income and $0.22 in publishing royalties.

January is often a slow month for freelancing; everyone’s ramping back up after the holidays, budgets are getting reconfigured and reshifted, and so on. In my case, I also took some time off for the Writer’s Winter Break conference (but I ended up writing and filing two freelance pieces during the conference because THAT IS HOW I WORK).

And I’ve also got something like $3,050 in outstanding invoices, and $9,000 worth of work already on the schedule for February, so… I’m not worried, financially.

Nor am I worried about the stock-market-related dip in my net worth.

So my net worth over the past three months has gone from $164,475.44 to $167,031.85 to $162,736.15 as of this morning, and I also bought a bunch of Vanguard ETFs this morning because stocks are on sale.

That said, I’m really curious what you’d like to see in these financial updates for 2020. I’d be happy to keep writing about my income and my investments, but if there’s something else you’d like to know about How I Do Money, um… tell me?

Because this monthly roundup doesn’t have to be just about various numbers in various accounts. Maybe I should also tell you the smartest thing I did with my money in the past month and, like, the least smartest.

In January, the smartest thing I did with my money was to switch my Capital One 360 Savings account earning 0.63% APY for a Capital One 360 Performance Savings account earning 1.70% APY. (For the record, Capital One should have highlighted this opportunity in my online dashboard; I should not have had to discover it when I was researching high-yield savings accounts for Lifehacker.)

The least smartest thing was… maybe… spending $13.38 on a bunch of hair clips from Amazon. They turned out to be the wrong shade, and I didn’t like the way they looked, and I keep feeling like I’m too old to wear hair clips anyway. The only thing in my hair at this point in my life should be hair, and a very small amount of smoothing product to prevent flyaways.

What about you? ❤️

5 thoughts on “February 2020 Financial Update

  1. I think you could pull off a cool scarf or something.

    I’m curious about your updated FI date, evolving thoughts on FI and your long-term goals. I’d also love to read more about your transition back to the Midwest + anything you plan to change since first settling in.

    1. Calculators are still saying 5 years and 9 months at my current income/spending/investing level, and 7 years and 2 months if I continue running my business after FI. I assume all of those numbers should be treated as candy, since who knows what’s going to happen.

      As for the Midwest… I had thought about doing a post on how it feels to have stayed in one place for so long. I actually spent more time living in Seattle (so far), but my time in Cedar Rapids feels different because I’m so involved in the community. Putting down roots, as it were.

  2. The smartest thing I did with my money in recent months was rebalance my 401k to minimize mutual fund expenses – I still had a few funds hanging around from ages ago that were relatively high-fee, but Personal Capital app’s “Investment checkup” feature spotted them and they are…no more.

    My least smart thing might have been…deciding to do BOAT this year as a *last-minute lark*. I would have saved quite a lot of money by either NOT doing that or having bought a (somewhat less-nice) berth option 9 months earlier than I did.

    (I assume you’re not going this year?)

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