November Finances Update! (+General Update)

November has been a stressful month for me, but the downs also come with their ups.

Table of Contents

    What’s been good?

    1. Finally got my best friend onto the YNAB train! As soon as her free trial is done, she’ll be my first referral and will be locked in with the old $84 price before the change.

    Chat log of my best friend asking for my YNAB referral link to sign up. I replied with an OMG sticker and sent her the link.
    I was so excited when she asked me!

    Go ahead and use my referral link (above this) if you are interested! You get a free month and so do I! Not interested? Then definitely check out YNAB’s four rules to up your budgeting game!

    2. Got into exploring side hustles a bit more.

    I currently have done two jobs with them for a total of $141 earned including tips! One was a cleaning job while the other was fixing an IKEA BESTĂ… cabinet for someone (fixing IKEA furniture is a hobby of mine).

    Both were at $30/hr and I spent 2 hours on each job. I underestimated how much time I needed but my clients were super understanding.

    Tips for Taskrabbit:

    • Do not use the suggested rates they put on the app. Cleaning in my area was at a measly $15 to $17/hr. Not worth it for the work. I got my both gigs in about 2 weeks with no reviews and a fleshed out profile.
    • Generally, the higher the price the more you avoid unreasonable people. People are willing to pay for something they don’t have time or energy to do. They will pay decent amounts for this. Putting lower prices allows people to take advantage of you. This is also why I don’t do deep cleaning since many people can’t tell the difference from a light cleaning.
    • It helps to have your own tools like cleaning supplies, cooking utensils, power tools, etc. It’s more desirable to clients and they see you as a professional.
    A list of various task you can do with Taskrabbit such as cleaning, cooking/baking, delivery, and furniture assembly. The suggested rate for furniture is $19 per hour while my set rate that I was hire for was $30 per hour.
    Some of the rates are ridiculous for the jobs people can do.

    Anyway, this taught me that cleaning (even light cleaning) is not for me. It wasn’t super intense but I can’t imagine cleaning a bigger place.

    My first job was for a very organized lady who just moved into an apartment and needed some light cleaning. She even specified what needed to be cleaned in specific rooms and lent me her neighbor’s step ladder when I forgot mine.

    3. Student loan payments have been a lot easier to visualize with YNAB’s new loan accounts in the software.

    Still not sure how to deal with all of the principal payments I have been making to all of my loans but updating the balance has been working out.

    YNAB Android app view of the new loan accounts. It shows the principal balance and payments made at the top. Below that shows the payments made this month and the interest charged/paid towards with each payment. It also shows other activities on my account such as my updating my balance when I do principal payments.
    Haven’t figured out how to record payments properly, so I just update the balance during my weekly reconciliation.

    4. Got a raise in Oct and my total net worth has gone up $3k!

    Self-explanatory lol.

    Net worth graph. My current net worth is $32,955.88.
    My assets are a tiny blip but I can see the debt going down!

    What’s been meh?

    1. YNAB upped their subscription price to $100/year. This means I have to save around $8 to $9 a month. Not horrible since I’ve saved way more than that using the software but it will make it harder to recommend to friends.

    YNAB pricing options. Monthly subscription increases from $11.99 to $14.99 while annual increases from $83.99 to $98.99 starting December 1st, 2021.
    I get it but it sucks.

    2. I’m running into problems with side hustles kinda.

    My full time job is taking a toll on my mental health and passion. It’s also eating into most of the time I can do Taskrabbit, nannying or other things.

    I’m hesitant to try furniture flipping despite the low overhead, extremely low possibility of doing intense repairs on an item, and the possibility of being stuck with an item.

    Also tried (do not recommend!). Only to find out that I had to pay $18.99 to get a background check (perfectly fine) and also pay for the premium subscription to even message people back when they message me!

    Meaning I could’ve paid $8.99 for the monthly fee which includes a free background check that I paid more than twice the amount for. Partially my fault for not looking into things, but kinda their fault for having this still be a thing after so long.

    Not horrible problems but still a tad bit stressful.

    Not enough time.

    3. My loan payment strategy is starting to weigh on my brain a bit.

    Basically, I pay $150 semi-monthly for my car to help with interest and use one paycheck to put about $600 towards my student loans. The rest is to savings and my general bills left over from the previous paycheck.

    I increase the extra principal amount on my car payments by $5 every month until it gets unreasonable (which looks like it will happen soon lol).

    So December will have a total of $320 to my car ($262.88 as the amount due and $57.12 towards the principal balance). Add this with the extra principal payments I’m doing from that $5k Savings Challenge my mom gave me (almost halfway!) and the money going to just debt is ridiculous for my pay lol.

    About $2k post-tax monthly, leaving me with about $1k to use for my other bills and spending/fun money.

    YNAB has helped me not get dependent on my credit cards or spend money meant for something important, but there’s only so much to squeeze and still be mildly content.

    My best friend (the same one mentioned above) managed to snag last minute (I’m talking the day before) tickets to BTS’s Permission to Dance concert in LA, fly with two of our other friends, get a hotel there in the span of like 12 hours of planning.

    My favorite version is the R&B version!

    Now you also have to know she was planning on going before but couldn’t get tickets when they were first sold, has a dedicated account for anything dealing with the artists (which I honestly admire her for), and had already taken the days off for the trip.

    For about $500, I could’ve come along and hung out at the hotel since I just wanted to travel and didn’t care for the concert as much as my friends lol.

    But I couldn’t because of my debt. I couldn’t because I hadn’t saved that $500 for things like this. I couldn’t because I needed this job despite its current inflexibility.

    It took me a year plus to get to my $1k goal for my emergency fund and I am not at a place where I can just WAM my budget to make this work. I haven’t fixed my hair in months because I kept moving that money to something else lol.

    I feel super envious of being able to travel on the drop of a dime kinda. But I’m also motivated to kick ass with this debt, finish my degree, go to nursing school, and get myself to financial independence!

    The start of my “Rocky” montage to that stage of my life.

    4. My raise was not really a raise lol.

    It was something called a COLA raise (cost of living adjustment). Basically a raise to keep up with inflation lol.

    I got so pumped only to learn this was not the cola to drink.

    5. I have to ask for an incomplete from my professor because I did absolutely nothing for my capstone project for my degree.

    Another self-explanatory one here. Anxiety is going through the roof typing this. Wish me luck. I’m writing the email today (11/30/2021).

    I might need a bag in a few.

    That’s it! See you in the next post. And here’s to the next update being better.

    By Bell

    Probably forgetting something but it's on a list somewhere on my phone.

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