My name is H.A. Larson and I am a Woman of a Particular Age. I occasionally write ghostly and horror novellas, as well as some editorials for different publications, from my desk in the Midwest. I'm a hiker, adventurer, and traveler. I'm an ex-pat in-training that likes wine and Renaissance Faires. I'm a music fanatic and I much prefer a book over television.
Good morning! I realize it's been a while since I posted last, but that just seems to be my life these days. While there are definitive upsides to working two jobs, there are downsides as well. The upsides are that I'm making the extra money I need to pay down debt and I keep myself active, but the major downside is that I don't have as much time to do or engage in other things. One of those things is this blog and writing, but I still manage to do both - albeit it much less frequently. I miss seeing my friends as often or spending more time in leisure pursuits, but the trade-off is worth it. Besides, I'd rather sacrifice now to get where I want to be in the future. That future includes me retiring early and living the life of an adventurer-traveler, so it will all pay off in the end. And honestly, I do have some downtime, but I use that downtime to read, hang out with my daughter (more her than my son because my son lives on his own in a different town), and get important things done - like my laundry and doing food prep.
A few years ago, I talked about net worth in a post from my Basic Financial Fitness series. I started tracking my own Net Worth back in 2017 when I started using the Mint app. At that time, I barely had any assets but I had a hefty amount of student loans and other debt (car loan, credit cards, doctor bill, etc.). I remember looking at my incredibly negative net worth and feeling depressed. While I quit using Mint a year ago (I was admittedly a bit nervous aggregating all my account information in one place), I started a series of Excel worksheets, compiled in a workbook, to track my debt and my savings. When I began pursuing FIRE in August of last year, I decided I needed to pick up a second job to aggressively pay down debt. At the same time, I also decided I would start keeping track of my net worth again, so I made a spreadsheet for that and added it to my workbook. After my last paycheck, I'm happy to report that I am on the positive side of net worth. Granted, it's a low net worth, but for once in my adult life, my assets exceed my debt load. I have one last thing to pay off before I tackle my student loans, but I'm getting there. On top of all that, I've been saving around 40% of my regular income as well as employer-sponsored retirement with both jobs. The increase in my savings/retirement accounts is beginning to rapidly overtake my diminishing debt. I will be excited when I am debt-free and will begin saving as much of my income as possible.
Believe it or not, I am writing. Granted, it's a slow-moving process, but I am writing nonetheless. Since I don't have the same kind of time I had before to work on novellas, I spend time, instead, fleshing out and writing bits and pieces of short stories. While I had been putting out a few short stories as series in my monthly newsletters, I've decided to write them and polish them to send to publishers at some point. I'm also still toying with the idea of a book of short stories - something I started working on a while back as well. Who knows how my short stories will end up being released, but rest assured they will be released when the time comes. And even though I'm writing at a much slower pace, it still makes me proud and happy that I'm writing regularly at all. If you've been following my blog for any time, you know exactly what I am talking about. My creative process is always there, a small wheel of ideas constantly spinning somewhere in the recesses of my mind.
I do have some things to share with you coming up - time allowing - so as always, keep your eyes here in the coming weeks. Have a great week!