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ENW November 2019 – $25,000

On October 31, I was feeling pretty good about our finances. I mean, relatively speaking. Freelance goals were being met, bills were getting paid bit by bit, I got an extra hundred bucks last week for giving a talk on a topic that I could wax on about for free for hours. Things are looking up.

Except yesterday my car broke in a way that the Internet tells me is “severe,” the vacuum cleaner broke in a way that duct tape won’t fix, and this morning the fish tank filter just…isn’t filting. So it’s not a great day for me to be thinking about money.

Except it’s November 1, so I have no choice! So here goes. ENW at the start of October was $20,000.

As of a few seconds ago, Mint thinks my net worth is $46,534.28 An increase of about $14K since Mint’s opinion in October, which is absurd. Come on, Mint, get it together.

Mint thinks my house is worth $132K. We bought it for $115K. On one hand, of course it’s worth more – we put in a fancy new bathroom and a second half-bath and solar panels, we waterproofed the basement and cut down some falling-down trees. On the other hand, does Zillow know about how Viv tore the wallpaper off the stairwell, the Sharpie writing on the wall, the peeling paint on the trim, the broken screen door?

Oh also, I transferred one credit card balance to a 0% card that Mint doesn’t know about, so that increased my “Mint net worth.”

At any rate, we’ll go with it. In addition, here’s what Mint doesn’t know: I have about $24,000 in no-interest cards (Citi card, Bank of America, Lowe’s, Home Depot). So…just from those balances, my net worth is down to about $22,000.

But that’s not all! I have about $25K in my husband’s retirement account (less than I thought – I thought it was closer to $30K, but I finally got the balance a few days ago), but I owe about $21,000 in home improvement loans (solar panels, waterproofing the basement), $750 in brain surgery debt. So in this paragraph, I am down $22K, up $25K, so an increase in $3K from the previous paragraph.

So: $25,000! I’ll take it. Although our consumer debt it insane, it’s also incredibly cheap, and for now we’re making it work. And somehow our net worth is growing month by month.

I’m going to plug my fingers in my ears and pretend like the “severe” problem in my engine will be fine when I take it to the mechanic today, and forget about the $750 that I put onto my card yesterday for preschool ($500 of that should be reimbursed immediately, the other $250 not until the end of November), and also the $1600 that my husband is adding to the card for an Internet course that he will get reimbursed for in…several months. $25K.

I paid off our IKEA card and our Lowe’s card is down to one payment. Then Home Depot, then PMI goes away, then my brain surgery bill disappears. We’re moving in the right direction, even if it’s slow. I’ve been doing great with freelancing, and month by month, we’re moving closer to where I can feel good about our situation.

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