The Money Snapshot: A CPA Shares Thoughts on Her Side Gig and Saving for Retirement

Presenting our fifth “money snapshot,” this time with a CPA in Arizona! She notes: “I save approximately $ 40,000 after tax a year. This is my side-job income after tax. I try and spent half of it on meaningful purchases such as building my current house, and save the rest long term. … [My goal is to] pay off my house and afford to live on only my side-job income.”

By way of background: We got a few requests from readers to launch our own “money diary” series, so we’ve asked willing readers to fill out a form with lots of details about debt, spending, saving and more! If you’d like to fill out the form and be considered for a future personal money snapshot, please click here to submit your response! You can see a PDF of the questions if you want to review them ahead of time. See others in the Personal Money Snapshot series here.

Please remember that this is is a real person who has feelings and isn’t gaining anything from this, unlike your usual friendly (soul-deadened, thick-skinned, cold-hearted, money-grubbing) blogger — so please be kind with any comments. Thank you! — Kat

Name: AZCPA
Location: Arizona, LCOL
Age: 38 [now 39]
Occupation: CPA
Income: Salaried job: $ 155,000. Side job $ 55,000 gross, $ 46,000 net
Partner’s age: 43 (live together, intentionally not married, not having children)
Household income:
$ 220,000
Net worth: Not including partner, net worth $ 400,000
Net worth when started working: Worked part time in high school (16). Started FT at 22 after college — net worth was $ 5,000.
Living situation: Own 4/2 single-family home, mortgage $ 2,000/month.

We asked what AZCPA meant when she wrote “intentionally not married,” above, and she explained: 

I wrote that to indicate that we were stable/happy as we are, rather the necessarily seeing this as a step towards marriage, or that I’m waiting for him to propose or anything. There is a financial impact — we’d pay a ton more in taxes, and my boyfriend is likely going to do another degree; he’ll get infinitely better financial aid single. But if we were dying to get married we’d probably do so regardless. 

Debt

What does your debt picture look like?
Mortgage $ 300,000, car $ 20,000. No CC or other debt.

How much money are you spending each month to pay down debt?
$ 2,400 on mortgage and car combined

How did you pay for school?
Scholarships and one 30-hour/week job

Have you paid off any major debt?
n/a, never had non-mortgage/vehicle debt

Home debt: 
My current home is the third I’ve owned. First was at 24; built current home in 2017. This is intended as the permanent/dream home. Looked at existing homes for two years before deciding to build a semi-custom home (chose from four set floorplans in a 24-home new subdivision, but all interior finishes and many options such as bathrooms were custom). Based on income and assets, wanted to pay ~$ 350,000 for the house and planned $ 50,000 for backyard, furniture, etc. Took out a $ 300,000 30-year mortgage and paid cash for the rest. Was an optimal price point for the area and features — well above median for Tucson, but easy to sell if needed. Am inside city limits, with all city services (a huge perk in Tucson, as “rural” fire and water service are very expensive). A similar home in an equivalent area in Austin inside the city limits would be $ 750,000, or $ 1.2M in San Diego (other places I looked to live).

Savings, Investments & Retirement

How much do you save for retirement?
$ 25,000/year

How much money do you allocate to other tax-savvy investments/accounts?
When I could do an HSA, I put in the max allowed. I currently have an FSA, and I contribute ~$ 2,000 annually. No 529s, as no kids.

How much do you save outside of retirement accounts?
I save approximately $ 40,000 after tax a year. This is my side-job income after tax. I try and spent half of it on meaningful purchases such as building my current house, and save the rest long term.

Talk to us about investments.
I keep it simple, using target funds and index funds. When I bought my first Mac in 1998 I also bought $ 1,000 in Apple stock, which I still have.

Do you have an end goal for saving or are you just saving for a rainy day?
I want to pay off my house and afford to live on only my side-job income.

When did you start saving seriously? How has your savings strategy changed over the years?
I’ve always been a saver.

How much do you have in cash that’s available today?
$ 5,000

How much do you have in cash that’s available in a week?
$ 77,000

How much is in your “emergency fund,” and where do you keep it?
$ 50,000, included in above

How much do you have in retirement savings?
$ 350,000

We asked AZCPA about her impressive retirement savings and whether she’s planning to retire early: 

I honestly don’t know. I really just want enough savings to be able to be flexible and enjoy wherever life takes me. Since I’m hoping to live on my side job once the house is paid off, I’d like to front-load my retirement as much as I can now, while I have a higher income.

How much $ do you have in long-term investments and savings (CDs, index funds, stocks) that are not behind a retirement wall?
$ 50,000

If property values (home, car) are included in your net worth, how much are those worth?
home $ 400,000, car $ 24,000

AZCPA told us more about her job on the side: 

My side gig is a boutique tax practice (my main job is tax-related for a major corporation). I was in public accounting a long time and had a number of clients who desperately wanted to stay with me when I left. That was the start. Now I have part-time employees to assist me as the business grows. I was super used to working tons of hours at a CPA firm (like 100 a week), so even two jobs doesn’t feel that hard on comparison. The side gig is somewhat seasonal, so a lot of the year its only five hours or so a week.

Spending 

How much do you spend on the following categories on a monthly basis?

Groceries: $ 400
Restaurants, bars, takeout, and delivery:
$ 400
Clothing and accessories: $ 800
Transportation: $ 475
Rent/living expenses: $ 2,500
Entertainment: $ 25
Health care — premiums and other costs: $ 25/month for insurance through employer

What’s your spending range for these things? What’s your average?

Vacations – Range: $ 500–$ 8,000
Vacations – Average:
$ 4,000

Individual items of clothing – Range: $ 40–$ 300
Individual items of clothing – Average: $ 30 for tops, maybe $ 50 for pants/shoes — I buy almost exclusively on sale or Poshmark for those items. But I do own two four-figure designer bags (both purchased at half their MSRP from Poshmark), which would drive up the average dramatically!

Apartment or house – Range: $ 200,000–$ 400,000
Apartment or house – Current main residence:
$ 400,000

Car or other vehicle – Range: $ 15,000–$ 50,000
Car or other vehicle – Last purchase / current main vehicle: $ 35,000

Fill in the blank on this question: I could save _____ if I stopped ______, but I don’t because _______.
I could save $ 500/month if I stopped eating out, but I don’t because I enjoy it.

At any point in your life to date, has inheritance played a role in your money situation?  
Never 

Money Strategy

Do you have a general money strategy? 
No 

What are your favorite resources for personal finance?
Mint

What advice would you give your younger self about personal finance?
Keep saving.

Photo credit: icons via Stencil. 

The post The Money Snapshot: A CPA Shares Thoughts on Her Side Gig and Saving for Retirement appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Spring Forward Signals Daylight Saving Time and … Jet Lag?

March 10, 2019, is the start of daylight saving time. Daylight saving time normally signals the incoming spring season and extra sunshine in the evenings for those late walks, but some people, like parents with young children, are dreading the hour of sleep we are all going to lose on Sunday — and the effects can be noticeable.

We are living in a time when numerous studies are showing that one-third of Americans are sleep deprived and weekend sleep can’t quite make up for our reduced sleep time during the work week! Basically, if you’re already somewhat sleep-deprived, giving up just 1 hour of shut-eye can negatively impact how you feel and function during the day; it’s as if you are experiencing a mild case of jet lag.

“This is due to your body’s internal clock, also known as circadian rhythm, being thrown off,” said Dennis Hwang, MD, at Kaiser Permanente Southern California Sleep Center in San Bernardino, California. “During daylight saving time, the internal sleep clock becomes misaligned. This complex timekeeper is controlled by areas of the brain that respond to light and can suppress the release of melatonin and affect your ability to sleep.”

While this shift is unlikely to cause serious health consequences, a disruption in your circadian rhythm does not only affect your ability to sleep but can also affect the function of many of your body’s systems. In addition to sleepiness, it can cause:

  • Problems with concentration and mental functioning
  • Neurologic symptoms
  • Stomach and intestinal symptoms
  • Elevations in blood pressure and heart rate (and can possibly even lead to irregular heartbeats)

Dr. Hwang offers tips to prepare for daylight saving time and to reset your internal clock:

  • A couple days before daylight saving time, start going to bed 15-20 minutes earlier than your normal bedtime (or at least go to bed earlier on the night of the time change).
  • Sleep an extra half hour on the morning of daylight saving time.
  • A dose of 0.25 to 1 mg of melatonin about 2 hours before bedtime can sometimes help you fall asleep.
  • Reduce your caffeine intake (and consume none after lunchtime).
  • Avoid alcohol and exercising before bedtime.
  • Put your phone (and tablets/computers) away at least an hour before bedtime!
  • When using your electronic device in the night, wearing blue-light blocking glasses or turning on the blue light filter on your phone or tablet can be good for your sleep.
  • Spend some time with your family and enjoy a relaxing evening at home.

To learn more about sleep, visit a Kaiser Permanente sleep center or visit www.kp.org.

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Want to own investment property at some point? This podcast episode is a good place to start; Watch out for this fake healthcare scam making the rounds; Did you know that you can actually save for your child’s college before they are born? Clark explains.

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Daylight saving time: How it affects your sleep, and tips to adjust to the extra hour

It’s time to turn back the clocks. Here are some ways to manage your sleep.
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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Like Clockwork: How Daylight Saving Time Stumps Hospital Record Keeping

Modern technology has helped medical professionals do robot-assisted surgeries and sequence whole genomes, but hospital software still can’t handle daylight saving time.

One of the most popular electronic health records software systems used by hospitals, Epic Systems, can delete records or require cumbersome workarounds when clocks are set back for an hour, prompting many hospitals to opt for paper records for part of the night shift.

And it happens every year.

“It’s mind-boggling,” said Dr. Mark Friedberg, a senior physician policy researcher at RAND, adding that in 2018, “we expect electronics to handle something as simple as a time change. “Nobody is surprised by daylight savings time. They have years to prep. Only, surprise, it hasn’t been fixed.”

Dr. Steven Stack, a past president of the American Medical Association, called the glitches “perplexing” and “unacceptable,” considering that hospitals spend millions of dollars on these systems, and Apple and Google seem to have dealt with seasonal time changes long ago. Epic was founded in 1979, but some hospitals have used these electronic systems longer than others.

Carol Hawthorne-Johnson, an ICU nurse in California, said her hospital doesn’t shut down the Epic system during the fall time change. But she’s come to expect that the vitals she enters into the system from 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. will be deleted when the clock falls back to 1 a.m. One hour’s worth of electronic record-keeping “is gone,” she said.

Hospital staff have learned to deal with it by taking extra chart notes by hand, but it’s still a burden, she said, especially if vitals change, or a patient needs something like a blood transfusion.

Although hospitals often avoid the software glitches by turning the software off and switching to paper charts, it’s far from ideal because hospitals have evolved to become increasingly reliant on electronic systems, said Stack, an emergency physician in Kentucky.

“When [electronic medical records] work, it’s wonderful,” he said, but when the system is turned off, doctors can’t use it to access patient records or order tests. Whiteboards are a thing of the past, and some staff members aren’t as comfortable with paper records because they’ve relied on electronic records their entire careers.

“It’s an hour where you’re flying sort of blind,” Friedberg said.

The one-hour pause slows everything down, which can cause patients to spend more time in emergency department waiting rooms, prompting some to go home before seeing a health care provider. That’s dangerous, Stack said.

Not all hospitals turn Epic off, however. At Johns Hopkins Hospital, providers who need to check patients periodically through the night use a workaround. They enter vitals at 1 a.m. and then when the clock falls back an hour later and they have to enter new vitals, they list them at 1:01 a.m. They leave a note that it’s an hour later, not a minute later. That’s how the Cleveland Clinic does it, too.

“I don’t disagree with the sentiment that we would like health IT systems to be much more sophisticated,” said Dr. Peter Greene, Johns Hopkins chief medical information officer. But there are plenty of other problems he’d like to see fixed first. “This particular aspect is not one that has caused us a lot of trouble.”

Other electronic medical records systems may require similar workarounds, said Jennifer Carpenter, vice president of IT clinical systems at University Hospitals in Cleveland, which uses several electronic medical records systems. Cerner, another major electronic medical records company, was unavailable for comment, but many hospitals plan for Cerner to be down during the time change, too.

When asked to comment on the glitches and workarounds, Epic spokeswoman Meghan Roh provided the following statement:

“Daylight savings time is inherently nuanced for healthcare organizations, which is why we work closely with customers to provide guidance on how to most effectively use their system to care for their patients during this time period. We’re constantly making improvements and looking for opportunities to enhance the system.”

But Friedberg pointed out that hospitals are locked into their electronic medical record systems because they’ve invested so much money in them. And it would cost even more to convert and transfer the records into a new system. As a result, there’s little incentive for software companies to improve their products, he said.

“I shudder to think … what does it do with leap years?” Friedberg wondered.

Kaiser Health News

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Here’s everything coming from Fenty Beauty’s #CHILLOWT Holiday collection, so start saving your coins now

Here’s everything coming from Fenty Beauty’s #CHILLOWT Holiday collection, so start saving your coins now


Here’s everything coming from Fenty Beauty’s #CHILLOWT Holiday collection, so start saving your coins now

We haven’t even gotten through October and Rihanna already has us super excited for the holidays. In case you totally missed it, Fenty Beauty teased its holiday collection earlier this week. Now, the full #CHILLOWT collection has been revealed in its entirety and contrary to the name, it’s hot AF. In addition to the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighting Palette, Fenty’s icy hot metallic collection will include three eye + lip trios, seven loose color pigments, brand-new Mattemoiselle lipsticks, and so much more. #CHILLOWT is set to hit Sephora, Harvey Nichols, and Fenty.com on October 12th, so put some money to the side now before you regret it later.

If you didn’t take our advice the first time around, now’s the time to gather some extra coins for Fenty. There’s so much to want from this collection, it’s pointless asking Santa for anything else.

Here’s everything coming from Fenty Beauty’s#CHILLOWT holiday collection.

Killawatt Foil Freestyle Highlighting Palette, $ 54

The same cream-to-powder formula that you know and love, but in shades that will heat up your look in the dead of the winter.  

Metallic Eye + Lip Crayon Trios in #FrostHunny, $ 39 

These multi-tasking metallic crayons have endless possibilities and will spice up your holiday makeup. Use them as liner, shadow, lipstick or whatever else your little heart desires.

Metallic Eye + Lip Crayon Trios in #FrostMoney, $ 39

If you like to keep it cool, #FrostMoney is the cool version of #FrostHunny. As per usual, Fenty’s got you.

And there’s even more.

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2/2 OMGGGG!!!!!! 🙀✨🙀✨🚨Here is the FULL #Holidays2018 #Collection ✨❄ @fentybeauty ✨includes: 1. Mini #FairyBomb $ 20 Each in: Candy Sparks – glimmering iridescent pink 2. #KillawattFoilFreestyle Highlighter Palette $ 54 3. Metallic #Eye + #Lip #Crayon $ 39 creamy, metallic crayons for both eyes and lips in: Frost Bunny – Banana Frost, Parka Princess, Guava Mint Frost Money – $ lu$ h Fund, Igloo Bloo, Smokin' Purp Frost Hunny – Sunfrost, Ice Dunes, Pretty Penny 4. Frosted Metal #Lipstick $ 36 creamy, metallic lipsticks: Snow Nights – No Chill, Frost Sauce, Fog Snog Snow Daze – Cuffing Season, What's Your Numb'a, So Chilli 5. Two Lil #Mattemoiselles – Chill Owt Edition $ 19 Griselda / Spanked – bold burgundy/ dusty rose 6. Mattemoiselle 10/10 #Set !! 👀🙀 10 all-new, full-size Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks $ 149: Violet Fury – vivid violet Pumpkin Rose -rich marigold Flamingo Acid – bright berry Dragon Mami – tropical papaya I Quit – true mink F'n Black – navy black Turks & Caicos – deep teal Ballerina Blackout -loud bubblegum Thicc – sultry mauve Tiger Tini – exotic orange 7. #MatchStix By The Dozen $ 129 12 mini shimmer sticks (5 bestsellers + 7 new shades): Bordeaux Brat – radiant berry Champagne Heist – glittering champagne Starstruck – iced-out pearl Yacht Lyfe – glimmering peach-pink Ridiiic – golden papaya Confetti – iridescent purple Pink Lemonade – glimmering pink Hibi$ Cu$ -shimmering grapefruit Beach Bum -radiant peach Blonde -glimmering gold Cognac -gilded chestnut Platinum Pearl -iced-out platinum 8. Avalanche All-Over #MetallicPowder Set $ 99 includes 7 loose, metallic pigments for eyes, cheeks, and lips in: February -metallic violet Cleopatra -metallic green-gold Foxy -metallic terracotta Raspberry Rave -metallic berry Brain Freeze -metallic gunmetal Ice Cream -metallic gold Glacier Gang -metallic blue . . Will be available ➡ globally on OCTOBER 12TH on their website @sephora, @harveynichols, and #SephorainJCP worldwide! Note: the palette available now @sephoraaus and @sephoranz, online & in stores . . . . #Holidays2018 ✨❄Are you ready for it? 😍 XO #TRENDMOOD @badgalriri #fenty #fentybeauty #sephora

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Fenty hasn’t put up any official swatches yet, but according to TrendMood (who always has the scoop) and Sephora’s website, there will be one additional Eye + Lip Trip in #FrostBunny, as well as a set of 10 brand-new Mattemoiselle lipsticks, a mini Fairy Bomb, and a set of 12 Matchstix that include five bestsellers and seven new shades.

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1/2 OMGGGG!!!! L👀K! At these sets!! 🙀✨🙀✨🚨Here is the FULL #Holidays2018 #Collection ✨❄ @fentybeauty ✨includes: 1. Mini #FairyBomb $ 20 Each in: Candy Sparks – glimmering iridescent pink 2. #KillawattFoilFreestyle Highlighter Palette $ 54 3. Metallic #Eye + #Lip #Crayon $ 39 creamy, metallic crayons for both eyes and lips in: Frost Bunny – Banana Frost, Parka Princess, Guava Mint Frost Money – $ lu$ h Fund, Igloo Bloo, Smokin' Purp Frost Hunny – Sunfrost, Ice Dunes, Pretty Penny 4. Frosted Metal #Lipstick $ 36 creamy, metallic lipsticks: Snow Nights – No Chill, Frost Sauce, Fog Snog Snow Daze – Cuffing Season, What's Your Numb'a, So Chilli 5. Two Lil #Mattemoiselles – Chill Owt Edition $ 19 Griselda / Spanked – bold burgundy/ dusty rose 6. Mattemoiselle 10/10 #Set !! 👀🙀 10 all-new, full-size Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks $ 149: Violet Fury – vivid violet Pumpkin Rose -rich marigold Flamingo Acid – bright berry Dragon Mami – tropical papaya I Quit – true mink F'n Black – navy black Turks & Caicos – deep teal Ballerina Blackout -loud bubblegum Thicc – sultry mauve Tiger Tini – exotic orange 7. #MatchStix By The Dozen $ 129 12 mini shimmer sticks (5 bestsellers + 7 new shades): Bordeaux Brat – radiant berry Champagne Heist – glittering champagne Starstruck – iced-out pearl Yacht Lyfe – glimmering peach-pink Ridiiic – golden papaya Confetti – iridescent purple Pink Lemonade – glimmering pink Hibi$ Cu$ -shimmering grapefruit Beach Bum -radiant peach Blonde -glimmering gold Cognac -gilded chestnut Platinum Pearl -iced-out platinum 8. Avalanche All-Over #MetallicPowder Set $ 99 includes 7 loose, metallic pigments for eyes, cheeks, and lips in: February -metallic violet Cleopatra -metallic green-gold Foxy -metallic terracotta Raspberry Rave -metallic berry Brain Freeze -metallic gunmetal Ice Cream -metallic gold Glacier Gang -metallic blue . . Will be available ➡ globally on OCTOBER 12TH on their website @sephora, @harveynichols, and #SephorainJCP worldwide! Note: the palette available now @sephoraaus and @sephoranz, online & in stores . . . . #Holidays2018 ✨❄Are you ready for it? 😍 XO #TRENDMOOD @badgalriri #fenty #fentybeauty #sephora

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We’re gonna go broke, Rih! Early Christmas present, anyone?

The post Here’s everything coming from Fenty Beauty’s #CHILLOWT Holiday collection, so start saving your coins now appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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