Thoughts on Job Searching

Life: I had a wonderful time spending Memorial Day with two college friends who flew in from Texas.
– I had told my parents that I was studying for interviews back in February, I told them I was looking for a job at the beginning of May, and today I told them that I quit my job because I was having trouble meeting deadlines at work after I made my mind up to find a new job. My mother is a big worrier and gets anxious if bad things happen that are out of her control. I’m grateful that my father works in tech and he helped reassure my mom that the job market is hot and I won’t have any trouble finding a new job. I feel justified in waiting a few weeks to tell her because having options like an offer in hand if I wanted to accept as well as multiple onsite interview request all helped reassure her. At first she was very hesitant and I could feel her apprehension and worry over the phone but 30 mins later I felt like she was smiling and my parents both wished me good luck in my job search. This was THE MOST NERVERACKING conversation I had in the past month but I’m glad that I could walk my parents through my thought process and that they trust I’ll be okay.
– My boyfriend booked flights for his family to fly out to meet my family around Fourth of July. Because I’m anonymous I can share this early, we’re getting engaged!

Health & wellness: As expected, I only worked out 6 times in May. Even though I’ve stopped exercising, I’m also eating less so I weigh the same.
– I have health, dental, and vision insurance till the end of June, I will have to explore COBRA or some alternatives for health insurance by then. I’m considering going without health insurance till I find a job if there is no tax penalty for going without insurance anymore.

Financial:
– I turbocharged my 401K in the last month I was employed and have thus contributed over $14K and got $7K in employer contributions for 2019.
– I currently have sufficient cash for my needs and am still holding $6K cash in my brokerage account
– My portfolio is only about 20% international stocks now. I’ve tried to maintain a 30/70 split between international/domestic for over a year so it’s time to rebalance.

Career:
– I’ve never felt in a position of power in my career so I often opted to please others in my job even if it happened at the detriment of completing my tasks. This is my main learning from my previous job, to be selfish and not care so much about helping others. I won’t make the same mistake in my next one.
– Job searching is emotionally draining in a different way than working full time. Working involves a lot of monotony and grinding while job searching is an emotional rollercoaster of social interactions, acceptances, and rejects on both mine and the company’s parts. Job searching plays to my strengths of people pleasing and test taking/being book smart so I’m not worried.
– The current difficulty in my job search is making sure I schedule onsites close enough together that I can get multiple offers and pit competing offers against each other.

Europe with friends

I’m still catching up on my routine tasks since I was on vacation in Eastern Europe and Denver for a good part of July but it feels good to be back. Both vacations were great, but the Europe trip was VERY hectic and my style of traveling didn’t mesh so well with how the group traveled. I am super glad to have gone though, as I’ve only taken international trips if I have a others to go with. I had pretty high credit card spending in the past few months as a result of booking airfare for traveling; it’s back under 1K now. 1K is a normal level of credit card debt for me each month if there are no irregular expenses. It’s about to go up again as I plan to pay for my car registration and book a flight to my parents’ place.

My investments are continuing to grow at a nice rate, and I’m pleased with where my portfolio is heading. My aim has been getting to 70% domestic-30% international and I’m almost there. Within the 70% domestic bucket I want to have a 70% large cap-30% smaller cap allocation. I’m currently at 90/10 but any new investments are going into smaller companies so this will get better over the next couple months. I do have some money earmarked for medium-term spending so some of what’s in the stocks column is in cash or a money market fund. Meanwhile my emergency fund is in a high-yield savings account and I’m making a whole $4/month in interest. 😀 My mother has asked me to put trailing stop orders on all my investments but I feel like I would be better off holding them and rebalancing opportunistically, I’m researching this now.

I am having trouble balancing relationships lately. Until now I’ve been pretty good at keeping in touch with long-distance friends, but lately I go hang out with people in person instead. I’m dedicated to working out at least 3 times a week so there just isn’t enough time to socialize with everyone after sleep, work, and exercise. Trust me, I’ve installed the News Feed Eradicator browser extension and cut out other sources of wasted time already. Right now I’m prioritizing: my family, my boyfriend and his family, in-person friendships, long-distance friendships. This way I have time for those who are closest to me and can see the difference we make in each others’ lives. I need to accept that this means I won’t be in touch with as many friends who are farther away. I know my close friends won’t mind either way.

I’ve realized so many gains from working out, it’s really adding up. I actually have triceps now!! Whoop!! My calves look more defined when I show my legs and wear heels. I know I have more stamina since I went on a 20km hike in Europe and wasn’t dead the next day. I wasn’t sore the day after I went kayaking back in April, and I picked up badminton again without too much soreness. In general I don’t get as sore after workouts. I know how stretch to prevent injuries and how to deal with minor aches better. I fit my pants better and don’t chafe on my thighs, but on the other hand I fit my shirts worse and chafe at my arms and chest. I’m more aware of how ergonomic things are and of maintaining good posture. I’m more mindful of my mood and my thoughts. I’m so thankful for my health, I’m going to continue my workout regimen as long as I can.

My boyfriend told me he loves that my lips are the same color as my gums. He’d previously said he likes that my gums show when I smile. I shake my head in front of him but it makes me smile thinking back on it. It gives me confidence that he notices me, takes joy in the little things, that they matter to him. He and his sister moved to a new apartment last weekend and I was amazed at how orderly the move was! Today when I reminded him not to throw cardboard in the trash, he collapsed it, kept it separately, and pointed out that he’s been setting bottles to the side to be recycled. Environmentalism is one of my top values and it means a lot that he wants to practice my values in his home.

My monthly money tasks

My credit card spend is much higher lately because of holiday travel, dining, and gift expenses as well as medical costs from physical, dental, travel, lab, and eye appointments. I got health checkups, flew to Korea, and spent $1K over 9 days in November. I flew to my parent’s house in December and gifted my mom a Fitbit. I expect it to be high again for January or February since I’ll pay for 6 months of car insurance and I’m contemplating spending time with friends for MLK day and/or President’s day. It will go back to normal around March. I also need to add the payment information for my new credit cards into my online accounts like Amazon, Uber, Comcast, etc. Right now they just have my old credit card information so I end up making purchases on it when I really should be using my new credit cards which give better rewards.

What I really need is more cash to both pay off the credit cards and for cash flow. I pay all the rent and bills for my 3 bedroom apartment and my roommates pay me back. But that means I am cash strapped for 7 days at the end of the month because I pay rent three days early, my roommates pay me on time, and it takes 3 days for my roommates’ Venmo’d funds to get to my bank account. I have recurring transfers automatically moving money from checking to savings to brokerage and I cancelled the next few occurrences so funds should slowly pool in my checking account.

I’ve always tried to automate my retirement savings and personal savings by setting up paycheck deductions, DRIPs, etc. I recently realized my 401K has an automatic rebalancing feature. But there’s still a lot that happens manually. Here are the manual money tasks I do monthly, ususally when I make a Networthshare entry:
1.) Schedule paying $3K rent to my landlady at the end of the month.
2.) Cancel the auto-transfer to savings or make purchases using transferred cash in my brokerage acct as needed.
3.) Review my credit card purchases from the previous month and dispute transactions as needed. Nowadays I also make note of whether I would have gotten better rewards had I paid using a different card so I can improve in the future.
4.) Put bills from the previous month on my roommate Splitwise group. My roommates Venmo me $2K for their share of rent so I pay back my friends from my Venmo balance and transfer the rest to my bank account.
5.) Schedule paying off the cash rewards credit card, the bank mailed me a form to set up auto-pay but I haven’t filled it out yet.
6.) I sell ESPP stock once a quarter. Starting 2018 I’ll sell RSU stock quarterly as well.

Out of curiosity, I went on Creditkarma while making this entry. My credit score is ~790. I also logged into Personal Capital and saw my asset allocation, this was an impetus to sell ESPP stock and rebalance a little. One year ago my asset allocation was 100% US stocks. Now I bought some IXUS, with the goal of getting to a 70-30 US-international allocation. I’m currently around a 90-10 allocation.

I exercised 14 times in the first three weeks of December, whereas on average I exercise thrice a week. I caught up on workouts I’d missed over Thanksgiving and kept doing extra workouts knowing I’d inevitably miss them over the holidays. I hosted a friend over Christmas weekend and was at my parent’s place from Christmas to New Years Eve.

I had a long distance relationship for all of December. It was actually really refreshing because we often get distracted by minutiae like “Wow! You look stunning!” or “Can we turn the fan down?” when we spend time in person. Our phone conversations were on much longer term topics like “How do you plan to take care of aging parents in 10 years?”. My boyfriend got back to California after I left for my parent’s house. I came back at night on Dec. 31 and he met me at the airport. We celebrated New Years in the back of an Uber riding back from the airport. Today he told me he still hasn’t met his hair goals. I exclaimed, “OMG I have a boyfriend who has hair goals!” and he called me out as being sexist. ;-D

Monthly Networthshare Entry: https://www.networthshare.com/user/labangel/2017/12