In recovery: Down $24K & bought a house – December 2021 Freedom update

It’s getting real in Oklahoma City. What a month. I’m emotionally and spiritually depleted – and my finances took their expected dip.

Along with furnishing a down payment for a house, the markets also reacted because of Omicron fears. Moving and setup costs were more than anticipated.

But I’m here in Oklahoma City. I’ve been coughing and sickly since I moved in – and two days after I closed, my dad died.

So I drove all way the to Mississippi to get my stuff and go to his house, which went terribly. His wife was awful to me. I missed a lot of work and the following week was Thanksgiving.

Now there’s talk about a new Covid variant and I am still shell shocked. My nervous system is shot and I haven’t even begun to process everything that’s happened.

December 2021 Freedom Update

This was two days before my dad died and I’d just closed on my new house

This month, I should find out who my new mortgage holder is (my lender is going to sell the mortgage) and be able to add my house and mortgage account to my net worth calculations.

I almost didn’t post this month. My finances are in flux and things haven’t settled yet from the move. But in the spirit of honestly documenting this journey, I’m here, raw as I am, dips and all.

I will say – the house is so, so sweet. Such a good energy. Once I catch my breath, I can’t wait to get it decorated and furnished and work in the yard.

But for now, I’m being extra extra gentle with myself. Losing a parent you weren’t really close with has so many complicated emotions.

December 2021 Freedom update

All that said, my automatic investments still went through. I dumped some cash into my 401k and only took what I absolutely needed from savings. I want to guard those funds for emergencies or Things That Really Matter, and this month had both. I’m unable to speak freely on this topic right now, so the vague description will have to do.

I put 5% down on the house and got the seller to contribute $5,000 toward closing. So I brought ~$15,000 to the table, which is now part of my home’s equity.

a bench in a park

My back yard is so park-like

I had to pay for the moving truck, setup costs for all the utilities, new bed, gas, and all the rest. Once I get a few more paychecks in my account, I’ll be able to make progress toward my $500,000 goal.

Being down ~$24K does sting, especially when I was almost to the halfway point. But January 2022 should put me near where I was – plus I have a house accruing equity and appreciation. It feels good to have a home base again.

And with that, my nomadic adventure is over. 🎉 Ah, but it was fun while it lasted. Now I have other things to focus on here.

Markets took a beating

Just last month, I hit $200K invested and today I’m at $196K invested. Because of my stock-heavy position, I’m down across all my accounts. But, I’m sure it’ll pick back up eventually. Another Covid variant is all the world needs right now. #sarcasm

a man with glasses and a dog on a couch

I got to hang with this cuddly pup last month

But for real, I’m going to stay the course and keep working and investing. I believe Oklahoma City is on the up and up – and I’m really glad I own property here now. I want to scoop up a couple more as soon as I’m able.

Back to hardcore savings mode

My current savings number is $9K – which is a lot less than my desired $30K. But that’s what it was there for – to use for something when I needed it.

But on January 1, I fully plan to add $6,000 to my Roth IRA, which will cause my savings to dip even more – again, temporarily.

a room with a wood floor and windows

Now my desk is in front of that window and I’m using this room as my office. It gets amazing light all day long

After that, I’ll spend 2022 getting my savings back up to $30K and potentially looking to spend it on an investment property here in Oklahoma City. 🏡

By the numbers

So here it is all laid out.

You can see the dips all across the board – in my investments, savings, and overall net worth.

2022 will definitely be about bulking up my savings and putting any excess into my taxable brokerage account.

Work also just announced a 3% 401k match starting in January, so that’ll be a little extra toward my overall investments. As I always say, it all adds up (lol I say that like I came up with it).

CurrentLast monthChange2021 Goal
Overall investments$196,110$200,190-$4,080As much as possible
401k (contributions only)$17,500$15,833+$1,667$19,500
Traditional IRA$116,002$118,923-$2,921xx (can't contribute)
Roth IRA$47,250$48,655-$1,405$6,000COMPLETE!
Taxable brokerage$9,554$9,847-$293$15,000
Net worth in Personal Capital $215,765$240,017-$24,252$500,000 (overall goal)Track your net worth with Personal Capital

It hurt to turn nearly all my pluses into minuses. 😢 But I know it’s just a season and that it’ll all swing back up again soon.

December 2021 Freedom update

All in all, life’s good. I have a lot to look forward to now. This past month brought changes that will stick with me for a long, long time.

December 2021 Freedom update bottom line

In the last 30 days:

  • I bought a house (!!!)
  • My father passed away on November 17
  • My savings went way down because of moving and down payment
  • Markets dipped in a big way
  • My net worth went down $24K

In life, it’s the natural progression of things to lose your parents as some point. I really thought I would have my dad for a lot longer – at least a few more years. He was only 61 and passed away two days before his 62nd birthday. I’ll be working through a complex network of feelings about it for a long time. It didn’t directly affect my finances, but I think it’ll change how I view money long-term. I’m still thinking about that. 

And now I’m officially an Oklahoman. On top of feeling pretty sick most of last month, I’m ready to put this year in the can and get to 2022. It has been a good year. A lot happened. A lot of good changes that I’m grateful for. I’ve been quiet here and on social media – so now you know why. But, I look forward to sharing more once I start feeling better about everything.

Thank you to everyone who reads these updates. It means the world to me. 🌌

Stay safe and scrappy out there! ✨


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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Memphis, traveling, and working toward financial independence.

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  1. My sincerest condolences at the loss of your father, Harlan. I hope you are able to enjoy the memories you made with him and time will ease the sting of loss. Congrats on the new home, it looks wonderful.

  2. I’m sorry about your father. Don’t be too hard on his wife, yet. People grieve in a lot of different ways. Give her some time before judgement. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

    As far as your investments. It seems like you have some liquidity. Most modern thinking is that mortgage interest is so low that you should keep your money in stocks but you might consider pushing more cash towards the mortgage principle. Even if you had a 2% loan, typically houses will go up in value 6 to 8% so you really have to combine the two understand the long term gain. 2+6=8% for example. I’d at least make sure I’m in a 15 year or less mortgage if you can afford it. I would think we are headed for a downturn or stagnation in real estate but OKC is a good place to be as the market isn’t as overheated as it is in some areas.

  3. Sounds like a rough ride in spots (my condolences on the loss of your dad) but I’m glad you’re hanging in there and staying positive. Congratulations on your new house! It does indeed look sweet.

    Enjoy it in good health!

  4. So sorry to hear about your father. Doesn’t matter if you weren’t close, because it’s still your dad. Just gotta keep marching along. I’m not looking forward to that day, and we’re not really close either. But it’s a part of life we must move past. You’ve got a lot of great things going and they will hep lift you up. Happy thoughts. Happy thoughts 🙂

  5. I too lost my male parent in November. We were distant, but there is a hole there that won’t be filled or revisited in person. Pain is and was our relationship. Still am and will be for a while trying to find the meaning of his existence in this world and my life. The period after still sucks and will suck for a while, even if one cannot label it mourning. Take time for yourself and your process. It has sharpened my focus on where I stand with the people in my life and what to do/not do moving forward. All the best!

  6. Congratulations on the new home! I hope it all goes well for you and you’re feeling better now. Also extending my condolences regarding the loss of your father. I was close to mine when he passed in 2004, saw him 2 days before though we had our moments for sure. Losing a parent can be hard. Allow yourself to go through the process and talk about your feelings. It sounds like you already have a lot of gratitude and that is a good place to be. <3

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