All about family

I have shifted these entries later and later, to the point that this entry is three weeks late. No bueno. I will work on recording them earlier going forward. I also want to get to work earlier going forward. I’m really busy at work nowadays and I want to get more focus hours by being at work in the morning when fewer people are around. I also signed up to do a small dance at my company in two weeks. Going to dance practice in the mornings will be a good motivator for two weeks at least. Another incentive is that I will go home on time without feeling guilty.

I traveled and attended a family wedding last weekend. It was a nice ceremony and I enjoyed catching up with most of my extended family. At the same time I acknowledge that I have some less than pleasant family members who I don’t enjoy interacting with, namely one cousin who excluded me from performing a dance with her and our other cousins on the wedding stage. Most of my family members treat and respect me like a capable adult, I’m learning to ignore the select few who do not.

A new Staff Software Engineer joined my team last month. She came from the same company I was at before I joined LinkedIn. She and I are the two women in our team. Having her around makes me feel less alone. I also had a six-month mini performance review with my manager today where we went through the company’s performance guidelines and he told me I’m performing at my seniority level. I’m lucky to have a communicative manager. I’ve grown a lot in the past six months and I’m happy with myself for this. I have a good job paying an amazing salary where I can learn and thrive without burning out or completely trashing my health. I recognize I should be more confident in my abilities and push back saying I am exceeding expectations, I hope that will come with time.

I spent a lot of time with my parents over the past week and I’ve been pointing out and convincing them of small changes I’d like them to make. Often times my father says some small indiscretion aloud for everyone to hear instead of taking me or my sister aside to tell us individually. And my mother overcompensates for my father when he does this. This happened in August when my father commented, as he often does, that the skirt my sister was wearing was too short. That annoyed her, but she held it together. Then my mom commented that if my sister just got skinnier the skirt wouldn’t expose so much of her thighs. That pushed my sister over the edge and she stayed holed up in bed the rest of the night instead of coming to that important dinner with my boyfriend’s family. I hope my parents improve, I have more hope that my mom will than that my dad will change.

I lived with my boyfriend for over a week and it was glorious except for the last day when we fought and I stormed out. We made up that evening but I’m less confident in this relationship than I was in August. I’ve been having too many arguments with him and we’ve said a lot of hurtful words on both sides.

Other than that, I finally sent the last check from the old 401k to my new one. Yay for me I guess. Till next time!

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/09

Dinner with parents and future in-laws

Jellyfish at Monterrey Bay Aquarium

I write these entries as my log of the month past. And I try to write them when I’m in a good or neutral mood. I already have a notebook I write in when I’m so blindingly angry that I can’t express what I’m angry about. Writing down my thoughts helps me slow down and recognize what issues I’m pissed about and which are just annoying or extenuating circumstances. The entries here are different. I don’t want to reread my personal writing and think I am always a negative person. So I record these entries with a neutral to positive outlook, as an accurate snapshot of my life.

With that being said, the end of August was a sad time for me. I always have my period around that time, on top of that I had a week of being seriously sick with fever, congestion, the whole kit. I took a couple days off of work and only had the energy to collate August numbers. I got a bunch of R&R over this Labor Day weekend and want to backfill my entry.

The dynamics of my team changed last month. My team consists of four developers under my manager: the oldest engineer has been at the company for 5 years, the next oldest who has been here for 4 years, the youngest who joined last summer after doing an internship here, and me who joined in February. The youngest engineer on my team got promoted to Senior Engineer last month. That makes me the only one on my team with the title Engineer. Everyone else is Senior or Staff Engineer. Having my younger peer get promoted a year after joining the company made me feel really bad during the last two weeks of August. I felt like I was stuck in the same place while the world moved forward. It didn’t help that my manager estimated I would get promoted next fall when I want to be promoted next spring.

My parents and sister flew in from the east coast and I bought a sofa-bed and coffee table for my living room in preparation. I also borrowed some folding chairs from a friend. The visit went as well as could be hoped given that my sister is a teenager. She and my parents tend to miscommunicate and set off each other’s pet peeves. It’s a headache when it’s happening but funny to think back on. My parents usually speak in our native language which my sister doesn’t have a thorough understanding of. One time my mom used an idiom in our native language whose literal English translation is “the time never happened” but which really means “the occasion never came up”. My sister thinks my parents are dumb because they speak Indian English and she often corrects their pronunciations to be more American. So my sister starts yelling at my mom, “What do you mean, you had so many weekends of free time!!!”. And I had to explain to the teenage know-it-all that she doesn’t understand idioms in our native language and that even though the denotation of the word my mom said means one thing, the connotation is another thing entirely. I had to propose that in such a scenario she should always pause and clarify what my mom meant before politely correcting her. I hope my sister becomes more mature in college.

My boyfriend has been busy with his own family, he took them to see all the sights nearby. I had met and liked his sister already, and his parents are good people. We arranged a dinner with both sets of parents and his sister (my sister refused to go when my parents set off her pet peeve). From being around his parents, his perspective of our relationship has gotten more serious. Yesterday he asked me if I wanted to stay at his place for 10 days straight to test drive living together. So we’re doing it.

After my parents left, my good friend from undergrad was in town for a business trip. I drove him, his colleague, and I to Monterrey Bay Aquarium. We had a nice time there and stopped at a redwood state park on the way back. His wife later flew in on her own business trip and I got dinner with them and his cousin one evening. One of my mentees flew here for her cousin’s wedding and she, her sister, and another mentee who’s lived here came to my workplace to get lunch with me. I’m glad I live in a place where people travel and contact me to meet up. It’s easier to stay in touch with old friends. One sad thing is the mentee who’s lived here accepted a job by Seattle and flew away last week.

Family and relationships aside, there was a lot of spending on the money front. I bought living room furniture, another year of car registration with the DMV, flights to the east coast for my cousin’s wedding, and flights to Seoul for an extended vacation over Thanksgiving. I also forgot to pay for my car insurance renewal because I was sick. I just realized I’ve been driving without car insurance for over a week. I’m kinda too lazy to shop around for a better deal right now so I just paid it for another six months even though they increased the rate by $40 for 6 months. The old 401k check is still with me but I did end up investing the cash from selling my company stock. I literally bought IXUS with it.

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/08

Impostor syndrome and friends

Saint Charles Air Line Bridge

Hello world! Usually the first day of my period is the worst day of the month, but today was pretty good considering. My manager has doubled as my career coach for the past 6 months and I’m really grateful he invests so much time in me every week. His birthday was this week and I drove the team to buy him a birthday cake and surprised him at the end of a team lunch with 40 or so people! He was really touched and thanked me later, and organizing it made me happy too.

I’m starting to realize my X factor is communicating and doing people stuff. My presentation from last month went well and I’ve made good progress on my next main task. I’m easily overwhelmed by information especially since I’ve been oncall for the past two weeks so I’m depending on my team to help handle some of it because in the end we all have the same goals. I’m learning to be more comfortable taking their help. I’m transitioning to the attitude that my not being able to handle oncall duties and make progress on my own tasks is not a reflection of me being a bad coder.

Chicago was amazing! I had a ton of fun catching up with two friends from undergrad and seeing the city. I stayed with my friend right in downtown, about two blocks from the Field Museum. And I hung out with them Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday and did touristy stuff the rest of the days. It worked out really well.

The next weekend a different undergrad friend visited and stayed with me. I took her to see the redwoods, San Jose downtown, and the beach. And she took the Caltrain to San Francisco while I was at work on Monday. Friends are the best.

Last weekend and the next few weekends I’m busy deep cleaning in my car and apartment in preparation for my family staying with me for the first two weeks of August. My living room is completely empty (it’s better than a week ago when the room was being used as storage). I have two weeks until I host a get-together of 10 people to make it look like a normal living room. Yep, I have my work cut out for me. I’m planning to buy a sofa bed and a couple folding chairs.

Those checks from my old 401k are in a giant pile of paperwork I need to sort through…so yeah. In brighter news, I got the first proceeds of my company’s ESPP! That’s why the amount of money in my stocks category jumped by 10K. I sold the stock immediately (well, a couple days later) and now I need to invest the cash in some index funds. I only have domestic equities right now so I’ll look up some good international ex-US funds.

Last and most crucial, my boyfriend’s parents flew here last week. Tomorrow, I’m meeting them for the first time. This relationship is at a point of no return. Wish me luck!

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/07

Self-affirmations

It’s only been three weeks but it’s time for another life update. I like having my updates about two-three weeks into the month because my credit card balance always clears mid-month so my balance in my entry a more accurate reflection of the last months’ spending.

At work I finished the two large tasks I mentioned last month and I’m super happy since I’m presenting the work I did for one of them to my wider team on Friday! It’s really good visibility-wise! I have the next large task lined up and another being designed which I think I will be coding on. For once I feel like a software engineer, previously I thought myself mostly a code monkey. And I’m really thankful for my relationship with my manager who is also into personal finance, we even got to discussing dividend reinvestment one evening after wrapping up our work.

Big purchases-wise I just made one today. I’d booked a free 15 min massage promo and they totally upsold me into buying a $200 5-massage package. Each massage is for 25 min, and the masseuse assured me that I could sneak my boyfriend in to see her for one session. Otherwise my money also went into summer holiday travel. I’m going to Chicago for the weekend and week of July 4th!

I got another pair of checks to transfer from my old 401k to my new one. I believe these are the last checks which will close out the account. It’s exciting to see how close I am to my retirement account going over $100K. Every milestone is something to celebrate.

My weekends have been packed, and they will be packed for the next month at least. I’d just recovered from being sick so my boyfriend and I went to my company picnic two weekends ago. Then last weekend my boyfriend introduced me to his exclusive friend group. We went to Pacifica beach and the Golden Gate bridge with them despite my boyfriend being sick at the time. Driving home we got into a huge argument about my hat and jacket choices. He apologized the next day, and what’s more, he apologized saying he shouldn’t have put so much importance on impressing his friends with his trophy girlfriend. This boy really knows how to push all the right feminist buttons. That’s just as well because his parents are flying to California in July to meet me (among other things like touring western USA). We’ve kept having serious conversations through the weeks; I feel so connected to him.

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/06

Slogging work, slugging life

Hat Creek Rim Scenic Viewpoint

I’m back! Something broke on networthshare.com and the login through Facebook functionality had stopped working so I wasn’t able to log in for my April entry. Shoutout to whoever fixed it! I deal with member feedback tickets in my job so I know how thankless it is.

Job-wise, I’ve been stuck on one major task for the past 6 weeks. I did my work and two weeks in we decided to scrap that and I had to redo the work over again. It’s almost done now and I hope to finish it by the end of this week, but “almost done” is not the same as “done done” -sigh-. I have actually finished one complicated task in the last 6 weeks and am almost done debugging another large refactor but those are not as important as the major task that’s dragged on. I’m losing the esteem of my manager and need to build it up again by finishing the two large tasks on my plate right now.

I finished taxes last month, it wasn’t too complicated. The funds from my previous 401K transferred to the new account. I later got another pair of checks from dividends, miscalculation, etc. which transferred to the new account as well. My brokerage account has grown nicely with the auto transfer and my retirement account is growing quickly with my employer match.

I’m still accumulating creature comforts. Last month I bought a desk and a computer monitor off Craigslist so I can viably work from home now. This month I bought a used iPhone 6 off Craigslist and a new Fitbit from Best Buy. The phone was overdue as my previous phone’s screen had cracked three months ago. I got a new case and screen protector from Best Buy so this won’t be happening again. Next up I’ll continue to work on my wardrobe but mostly I’ll spend money on summer travel.

I just came back from an epic road trip with my boyfriend in which we spent three days in the volcanic region of California. We had some serious couple talks and I couldn’t be happier with the long weekend. And I’m taking two days vacation and flying to the east coast next weekend. I think I’ll book tickets to Chicago for Independence Day weekend as well.

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/05

Transitioning to a new company

The new job is going well. I feel so much more welcomed on my new team than I was at my previous job. We had a sendoff at a nearby restaurant this evening for a teammate who’s moving to Seattle. I felt so welcome even though I only knew a few people going in. I’m also much faster picking up the new stuff I’m working on so I feel more accomplished all of a sudden. My manager sits next to me now so I am able to get immediate feedback about my work. I hardly saw my manager at my previous company. I’m glad I switched jobs.

Money-wise I have waaay more cash but that’s expected. I got my Roth IRA distribution checks (they got split into contributions and earnings). This means I can file my taxes now. I’m about done with federal taxes but haven’t looked into doing California state taxes yet. I’m fairly certain I owe federal taxes, I’ll need some cash for that. I did buy a microwave and might buy a desk this week, we shall see.

I got my first paycheck from the new job and I also got a sign on bonus. I set up very sizable paycheck deductions to the new company’s Roth 401k and their employee stock plan so I will be living off my cash stockpile for a while. I’ve never had a stock plan before. My company gives a 10% discount on the stock’s closing value at the end of each quarter. My 401k is fancier as well; my new company gives double the match that my previous company gave. It allows pre-tax, Roth, and after-tax contributions as well as automatic in service distributions of after-tax money.

I want to transfer my previous 401k so I currently have two checks totaling 55k on my bedroom floor (they got split into pre-tax and Roth). I will send them to the new plan administrator next. I’m also really proud of myself for setting up an auto-transfer into my brokerage account every two weeks. This too will draw on my cash reserves.

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/03

Minutiae of changing jobs

I’m late in making my entry this month. There is a lot going on. I quit my previous job and flew to visit my college friend over a weekend and stay with my parents for a week. I am so happy I got this time with my family, I didn’t spend so much time actually with family the last time I went to my parents’. I also got sick while at my parents’ and had to fly back while sick on Presidents Day with my flight getting delayed. I started a new job a week ago.

Money-wise too, lots going on. I got a tax refund check from filing a 2015 tax return amendment. My previous company paid me for accrued vacation so my last paycheck was extra large. With two roommates having moved out recently, I bought a dining set and will buy a microwave, desk, and maybe a sofa.

According to my W2, I made too much money last year to make a full Roth IRA contribution. I submitted the excess contribution withdrawal form to my brokerage and will get a check in the mail soon. The Retirement number in Networthshare will decrease and my cash will increase in the near future. Also I used my credit card to pay for 6 months of car insurance so that number is abnormally large just now. My car insurance rate did go down a little since I turned 25, but I really should shop around for a cheaper plan with a good company.

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/02

Grateful

I’m about to turn 25, this is a good time for an entry. I feel happy with my life, I have a wonderful boyfriend who plans us getaway trips to new places on long weekends like MLK Day last week. I can be moody and annoying, somehow he senses exactly how I’m feeling and helps me move past it. Maybe it’s an extraordinary sense of smell, he told me I smelled tired today and he was spot on.

I have parents who give me support and advice and a beautiful sister to share stories and laughter with. I speak to my parents regularly but not so often with my sister, I’m happy I spoke with her on the phone for two hours today.

I have wonderful circles of friends who are passionate about their own interests and share them with me. And I’m happy that I have friends all across the US from my having lived in different regions for childhood, college, jobs, etc. I do wish I had more friends internationally.

I’m happy with my health, but I should exercise more. I’m happy with the wealth I’m building, but I need to be smarter at it. I decided to keep my company stock as is until it would be taxed at the long term capital gains rate. I really believe in the company, there are good people doing good things here.

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/01

On Personal Capital

I just signed up for PersonalCapital.com last week and I’m using it to categorize stocks, bonds, and cash in my investment accts. I have only put investment accts there and no bank accts because I don’t want all my finances with one company. Opening this acct I realized that my company stock is 5% of my total portfolio, and I will definitely be aware of the risk that comes with it (I have an employee stock plan). One thing that annoys me about PersonalCapital is that it lists me as having more liquidity than I actually do by over-counting my cash. As in, I am holding ETFs that keep portions of their assets in cash, and PersonalCapital counts these as me holding cash. But these ETFs are not as liquid as cash, I wish there was a way to separate cash controlled by me from cash controlled by my investments. I also wish PersonalCapital had a way to separate my taxable accts from Roth accts. Except for those two hitches, I like being able to keep track of so many different accounts in one place. So far so good with PersonalCapital!!!

Edited to add: This post contains my referral link, you and I both get $20 if you use it to sign up: https://share.personalcapital.com/x/r0YIbi

Monthly Networthshare Entry : https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2016/12