Life: Still local since the last entry. Still planning on visiting a friend in mid-May. Still haven’t booked flights yet.
– Highlight of my month: I went to Women Who Code’s Connect 2019 conference in SF. I volunteered for WWC so I got to attend for free. I really enjoyed getting to learn about all the amazing women working in my industry.
– I went to San Francisco’s Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown last weekend. The weekend before I met a friend to walk in Golden Gate Park for an afternoon.
– I’m Konmarie’ing my boyfriend’s apartment to some extent by giving him closet and drawer organizers. I commute to and from his place so nowadays we spend most nights together. We also attended a friend’s engagement party together this past month and got invited to another friend’s wedding in July.
Health & wellness: I worked out 14 times in March. But I’m skipping the evening classes I usually attend at the company gym lately and working late instead. I won’t match this number in April.
– I got a DXA scan earlier this week and I’m composed of 36% body fat, which put’s me at 80th percentile for 20-somethings. I was at 36% one year ago, I plateaued. I need to start watching what I eat, especially sweets, in order to make progress getting a healthier body. -_-
– I tried out a few dance studios nearby and decided I like the fitness classes at my company’s gym the best.
– I filed federal and state taxes. But I think I made a mistake entering the cost-basis of the stocks I bought through ESPP so I want to go back and check whether I need to file an amendment.
– Grove was really good in getting my boyfriend more comfortable thinking about and discussing questions around finances and goals as a couple. He learned the concept of having limited investment options in a 401K and is thinking about the pros and cons of rolling over his old 401K vs. keeping it as-is. I was surprised to learn that he knew what accredited investors were and had done some research about becoming one.
– My boyfriend and I also discussed goals we wanted to reach before and after meeting with the Grove financial advisor. It’s made the future seem a lot more concrete and close-at-hand.
– I got a warning from my manager that I -need- to show results at work so I’ve been really diligent in the office for the past month. I use Pomotodo every day to track when I work and what I work on. I also plan what to work on each day and Pomotodo makes me keep re-focusing on completing those tasks.
– My boyfriend cooks more and it’s done alot freeing up energy and willpower I expend for food. I used to pick up dinner from a restaurant for both of us on my way to his home. Lately I have dinner at work while he cooks himself chicken breasts or other frozen food. He packs tea in my water bottle in the morning for me to drink during my commute to work. And he keeps oatmeal or can make me eggs in the morning on the weekends. Spending the night with him makes me feel less guilty about going to work early and staying late because we still spend sufficient time together. So him leveling up in the kitchen is indirectly helping me focus on my career.
I’m trying out a new format. Let me know how you like it!
Life: I stayed local in February but I am considering making the trip to a friend’s graduation in May.
– Highlight of my month: Going to the Exploratorium on Valentine’s Day. It was open in the evening for adults-only, plus they had special chocolate-themed exhibits. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more of their adults-only evenings.
– I went to a Cal Performances show in Berkeley with an old colleague. The show itself was overpriced; I’ll only go again if a show -really- intrigues me. But my friend and I chatted for hours afterwards over food and coffee. I super enjoyed catching up since I hadn’t seen her since last year!
– Finally, I made my boyfriend watch a couple episodes of Marie Kondo and he hated it. He couldn’t understand why she was so happy and squealed with joy whenever she entered the home. He understood why I felt vindicated by her philosophy of tidy tho. For years I’ve wanted him to assign a designated place for his household things. Haha!
Health & wellness: I worked out 12 times in February.
– I went to the optometrist and used up last and this years’ FSA funds for a year of contacts. I spent $70 on top of insurance and FSA: $10 in copay, $30 for a special test to check for blood flow, etc. which was healthy, $30 to express my Meibomian gland since the optometrist said it was clogged and causing the dryness in my right eye. Afterwards I watched videos about it and will use a warm towel on my eyes if I notice a clog going forward. Now that I’ve tried them, I won’t do the special test or gland expression again.
– I got a hair trim. Yay no more split ends!
– I converted my Traditional IRA to Roth.
– I started taxes around President’s Day and plan to file by next week. I’ll need to pay a lot in federal taxes since I didn’t have enough withheld and I’ll get a state tax refund. I’m pooling together extra cash to pay the IRS next month.
– I scheduled an appointment with a Grove financial planner in mid-March for me and my boyfriend. It cost me the early bird price of $600 since I got on the wait list last year; their regular price is $900 annually. We connected all our accounts before scheduling the appointment and the planner asked me to fill out a spreadsheet with our cash flow, earnings, etc. before our appointment.
– I think I spend less time keeping up with media now. I worry less about coordinating my schedule with my boyfriend’s too. I’m spending that time doing Leetcode a few hours a week instead. I’ve solved 21 questions so far.
– At my boyfriend’s recommendation, I’m trying out Pomotodo to track my time at work. I like it so far but often forget to start tracking when I start working on something.
I stuck around this month. I played badminton with a couple friends the first weekend, hung out with alumni from my graduate college the next weekend, spent MLK Day weekend with my boyfriend in SF, and was very much a homebody last weekend. My boyfriend has never been to a Women’s March and I considered taking him the Saturday before MLK Day, but did laundry and yoga instead. He made some digital art that Sunday and I did another hour of yoga. We cooked together for an Indian holiday on MLK day. We also went to a beach where my boyfriend took a perfect picture of the wind in my hair in the sunset, it’s currently tied as my 4th most-liked post on Instagram. Last but opposite of least, my boyfriend got me a super pretty watch for my birthday and planned a dinner at what I swear is the fanciest Indian restaurant in the city. They had a tasting menu for restaurant week so we had a full 3 course meal. It was inventive and filling and delicious, I can’t even… Two of the dishes I got were topped with gold foil!
Tidying Up by Marie Kondo is all the rage right now. I tidied the files and photos on my personal laptop, thumb drives, and microSD cards and took a backup of my personal files from my work laptop last weekend. I’ve been meaning to do this for a long time; it felt good removing it from my todo list. The next steps are to backup my personal laptop and phone, and tidy my external hard drive. Also, I had a pile of old clothes that were too worn to donate. Did you know that H&M takes back such clothes for textile recycling and gives you a 15% off coupon for bring them in? I don’t know what they do with the clothes, but it eases my conscience knowing I didn’t just throw them away and I got a 15% off H&M coupon to boot.
I worked out 15 times this month, keeping to my thrice a week schedule. Moreover, I had gotten my mom to start a 30 day workout program over the holidays. She finished the foundation and has now moved on to a second 30 day program, I’m so proud of her for taking charge of her body! I scheduled an optometrist appointment as well as my yearly DEXA scan. I’m planning to use up FSA funds from last year to get contacts and may get prescription glasses or sunglasses using this year’s funds. Since I’ve let my hair grow out for the past 1.5 years, I have A TON of split-ends and badly need a haircut but oh well. Overall, I’m content on the health front.
Financially, there’s a lot going on. I made my backdoor Roth IRA contribution for 2019 and invested it all in ITOT. I have to fill out and mail in a form in order to convert my Traditional IRA monies into Roth, so I’m super jealous of my boyfriend who can convert his online. I also introduced my boyfriend to the helpful graphics on Personal Capital from which you can get a handle on your asset allocation and sector breakdown. I find those and the Investment Checkup page the 3 most helpful pages on Personal Capital. My manager brought up compensation during one of our weekly 1-1 meetings. I was happy with my compensation but that meeting made me research what the market rate is like, just to check. The conclusion: I’m still happy with my compensation.
In terms of work, I’m totally failing my 2019 goal to become more engaged with my industry. But I have become a slightly more productive worker in the past 6 months, my manager said so. I still don’t have a plan for achieving this goal, but I realize I have to let some other things go in order spend more time on my career. I’m not sure what to let go yet so I’ll cool my expectations for now while I focus on making time and space for this.
Every January I review how the past year went, compare it to previous year’s prediction, and give an estimate for the upcoming year. My last paycheck for the year says I got 296K W-2 gross income in 2018. From what I can tell of my brokerage accounts, I had at least 4K investment income. That puts me over 300K pre-tax income for the year, which is just astounding to me as I never imagined making so much growing up! But my boyfriend likes to quote Professor Scott Galloway saying “It’s not how much you earn, but how much you burn.” so I’d also like to calculate my annual expenses and savings rate for the year. Let’s see how this year compared to my 2017 Financial Review predictions…
||I just made a 6K backdoor IRA contribution for 2019.
|Stocks (Brokerages + ESPP proceeds)
||I had predicted 119K RSU contributions using pre-tax numbers, the actual uses post-tax proceeds. From my paycheck, I actually got 130K of RSU’s pre-tax. Between ESPP and RSUs I got 112K post-tax, sold 98K of it (all RSUs and some ESPP), and am currently holding 18K. I believe in my company and can wait till ESPP stock becomes a long position.
|Retirement (401K + IRAs)
||I contributed 28K to my 401K and am counting a 6K 2019 backdoor IRA contribution with this annual review.
|Other (Rollover IRA)
||I rolled my rollover IRA into my 401K. I hadn’t planned to do this last January.
||My car turned 5. I paid off the loan and own it outright.
||I have a lower credit card balance and have misplaced some Treasury bonds.
My net worth increased by 139K to 353K in 2018 between December 2017 and December 2018 entries, broken down as follows:
- Cash: 11K original amount, -6K change from 2019 backdoor Roth IRA contribution
- Stocks: 85K original amount, +121K change
- +36K personal savings
- +29K ESPP contributions for five quarters
- +83K proceeds selling RSUs
- -28K losses remaining. I realized 5K gains, 3.5K losses, and have 15K unrealized losses in IXUS.
- Retirement: 122K original amount, +21K change
- +18.5K my contributions
- +9.25K company contributions
- +6K 2019 backdoor Roth IRA contribution
- +.3K IRA rolled in
- -13K losses remaining
- Other: Rolled .3K into 401K
- Car Loan: Paid off remaining 2K
- Everything else: Stay the same, within $3K of current levels
- Cash: +6K for 2020 backdoor Roth IRA contribution
- Stocks: +24K ESPP contributions for four quarters, +50K proceeds selling RSUs
- Retirement: +19K my contributions, +9.5K company contributions
- Bonds: Currently this is a placeholder for some misplaced Treasury bonds. I want to either find them or write them off as lost forever.
- Everything else: Stay the same, within $3K of current levels
Annual Expenses & Savings Rate
300K pre-tax and 201K after-tax is probably a good estimate of how much income I made in 2018. I saved 182K this year and my expenses are ~28K so I have an 86-90% after-tax savings rate.
- Taxes: 99K total (withheld so far)
- 58K federal
- 27.5K state
- 13K SS & Medicare
- Stock Contributions: 148K
- Retirement Contributions: 34K
- Rent: 12K, I share a 3 bd apt with roommates
- Credit Cards: 16K, I pay off my balances in full each month
Happy New Year! I booked flights last minute and arrived at my parent’s house on Christmas Eve, I flew back to the west coast on New Years Day. I spent a lot of time with my family and had an amazing time. I’d worked from home the last time I visited and hadn’t gotten much time with family then. This time I was on vacation all week so I went on a walk with my mom, helped her start a 30-day exercise program and configure her phone settings, and bought my dad some badly needed new pants. I also read Anthem by Ayn Rand, The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells, and Little Moments of Love Catana Comics by Catana Chetwynd, among others. Our family went to an amusement center where my mom played laser tag for the first time. I had a lot of fun on the ropes course they had hung from the ceiling too!
I’ve taught my boyfriend about personal finance for the past year and helped him fund a backdoor roth IRA for 2018. I’m getting fairly advanced with my own financial life as well. I took advantage of the downturn in December to tax loss harvest and move money from a fund with a 0.17% fee to one with a 0.03% fee. Since I closed my rollover IRA in 2018, I’m funding a backdoor roth IRA for 2019 now.
I was a health beast in December; I worked out 22 times, including 13 days in a row at the beginning of the month! This means I’m starting 2019 feeling caught up on exercise and I’ll be happy as long as I continue working out thrice a week going forward. I can finally breath through my nose again thanks to Flonase, it’s soooo freeing because I’m very particular about having my sinuses clear at all times. My sister even commented on how soft my arms felt! My hands and arms used to be really rough and dry 3 years ago, they’ve improved a lot since I established a skincare routine earlier in 2018. I’m really proud of how I’ve designed a healthy lifestyle in 2018.
My goal for 2019 is to become more engaged with my industry. Since I work at a large company it’s easy to work a bare minimum and stop growing; I also work on a mature application so it’s hard to move fast. Incidentally, my two remaining quarterly goals from last quarter got rolled over into this quarter, and I was assigned one new goal this quarter. I’ve spoken to a couple people working at smaller companies in the past month and their work is a lot more self-directed. They learn things outside of work and help apply those things at their jobs. I want to get closer to that. Perhaps I’ll read an industry article every day, learn a new technology and get certified for it, or take an evening class. I need to come up with a plan this week and stick to it.
For anyone in the tech industry, I’d love to hear about what you’re planning to learn next and how 😀
Happy Holidays! I attended a family wedding over Thanksgiving weekend and stayed at my parent’s house the week after the wedding, so I just got back to California this past Sunday. It was a pretty long wedding since I also attended dinner events for the couple’s close friends and family for two nights before wedding day, but mostly it went smoothly. My parents let me take it easy at home last week since they could tell I was really tired after traveling and attending the wedding. This had the added effect of going easy on my credit card balances. I stayed in my sister’s bedroom and raided her dresser and desk while home; we’re similar sizes so this turned up some nice “new” clothes she let me take. I’m thinking of going back for the last week of December.
Otherwise, I’m grinding away… I took the online traffic school course, just need to confirm that they’ve told the county that I passed. And I rolled over IRA into my 401K, which is why I can zero out the Other Assets category. Fidelity made this really easy since I could just photograph the checks on their NetBenefits app. I’m grateful! Now my remaining IRA is Roth and I will be able to do backdoor Roth IRA contributions next year. My boyfriend has no IRA so I’ve sent him various resources on doing a backdoor Roth IRA contribution and told him to do it THIS YEAR. He’s promised me he will open one by the end of this week.
I worked out 10 times in November, which is quite good considering I was gone for a third of the month. My nose is still alternately stuffed or runny, but I feel better rested than a month ago. The week at home really helped!
I made some progress on my two remaining quarterly goals, honestly I’ll be happy to even finish one of them by the holiday shutdown in two weeks. Speaking with other women in my org this week made me realize that almost everyone else has a mentor. Since I’ve joined my company, I’ve cycled between viewing multiple people as my mentors but circumstances have forced these relationships to deteriorate somewhat. One high-level engineer moved to Seattle, I only see him in person every few months if he visits California. Another mid-level engineer stopped meeting me regularly in order to focus on his own career progression, he’s the one who got promoted in September and he’s super-busy now. And finally the last high-level engineer to join our team became my manager, so she can’t mentor me anymore even though I see her every day. These are the three people at my company who I’ve tried the most to open up to, they know my vulnerabilities the best and they’ve given me countless tips. The guy from Seattle is in California this week and catching up with him helped me shift to a broader perspective. I’ve decided to set up monthly video calls with him. I feel like I’ve gotten into a rut and notice myself repeating the same mistakes. I hope some of the things he suggested me will help me grow out of it. I will take all the help I can get at work right now. How about you? What have you learned from a mentor?
I started to blog anonymously so I can be open about my job and compensation. I got the idea of a numbers post from HerEveryCentCounts, who in turn credits Leigh’s Financial Journey. All numbers are in thousands of USD. Salary is as of December of the listed year, Gross Income is the income from my tax return. Net worth lists Assets – Liabilities using December Networthshare entries.
My income fluctuates from my salary because some of my compensation comes from RSUs and an annual bonus. I have a small amount of income from dividends and capital gains. I’ve always had generous 401K company matches and I participate in my current company’s ESPP plan as well.
||48 – 10 = 38
|| Started 1st job!
||110 – 7 = 103
||RSU 1 yr grant
||219 – 5 = 214
||RSU 1 yr grant
I graduated college and started my first full time job in the latter half of 2015 so that’s when I start tracking. I’ve had a lot of financial help and guidance from my parents so I started off with $10K in my bank account, a Roth IRA with $11K from 2 year’s internship earnings, a car that my parents made payments on for 6 months after I graduated, a company which paid for my relocation to the SF Bay Area and gave me temporary housing for a month, and no student loans.