Laid off again, up $13K, and starting a dream – July 2024 Freedom update

What a month already! A week ago, I was laid off from my job. It was my second layoff in as many years, just when I was starting to feel like I was doing well in the position. Oh well—it lasted a year. So that was how June ended.

It was a particularly nasty layoff: the kind you hear so much about on LinkedIn these days. I was shocked/sad/mad for about a day, then decided to move on. Easy come, easy go.

a body of water with trees in the background

Here’s to more peaceful and prosperous times ahead

While I look for the next thing, I decided to go full force into creating a points, miles, and travel rewards community packed with info, courses, events, and more. I announced Points Hub on Friday. As of today (Monday), many members joined with a Pro Lifetime membership, which showed me how crucial this resource will be for so many people.

I’m still applying to full-time jobs on the side. I’m also making outlines for courses, adding info, and building the community at Points Hub. It’s just getting started, but already a blast. Come on in!

Also, spoiler alert, this is kind of an anti-update because, uh… no income at the moment. But this journey has its own life, so let’s see what’s up.

July 2024 Freedom update

Obviously the layoff deeply affected my finances. I lost my 401k, didn’t get any of the company match because of the vesting schedule (Which like, what company still does that in 2024? That always bugged me), lost health insurance for me and my family, and am only getting pennies as a severance. What a joke.

I already started transferring the 401k to Fidelity where I can invest in low-cost, broad-market index funds of my choosing, and will transfer the HSA account this week (also to Fidelity for the same reason). Despite this, my net worth went up this month.

a man taking a selfie

Arcade lighting FTW

I of course don’t know how long I’ll be “unemployed” in the traditional sense, but it feels good to finally make a bet on myself and pursue a passion project until something pans out. The layoff was definitely the kick in the pants I needed to get Points Hub going, so it was a net positive in that regard.

Unlike when I was laid off last year, I don’t have that sense of rising panic. Instead, I know I have a lot to offer and am simply picking up the next thing. Is this… growth? (The devil on my shoulder is whispering “delulu” in my ear.)

This month’s progress

This month is/was an inflection point with my finances. To recap, I:

  • Got laid off aaaagain, dammit
  • Paid down my credit cards as much as I could pre-layoff (which wasn’t much)
  • Invested in my 401k and HSA before they were closed
  • Pulled back on spending as much as possible (but the kids need diapers, so no getting around that)
  • Spent money on software to launch Points Hub—but already made it all back with membership sign-ups
  • Had a busy week applying to jobs and launching my passion project
a cartoon character holding a tree

It’s actually taking

By the numbers

I have no idea what these numbers will look like in a month. I have to make my car payment, but currently have no 401k or HSA to build. And, no sense of when the next opportunity will come along. I’m truly floating along and trusting the process. Here’s where I landed for the month:

CurrentLast MonthChange2024 Goal
Overall investments$311,576$295,867+$15,709As much as possible
Roth IRA total$76,076$72,677+$3,399
Roth IRA 2024$2,700$2,700xx$7,000 (in new contributions)
HSA$3,958$3,441+$182$6,000Done for now
Taxable brokerage + UTMAs$3,936$3,776+$160$25,000 (total invested)
Raw land$40,400$40,400xxNo goal, just including for completeness 🙂
Car loan $24,715$25,014-$299?
Credit card #1 (0% APR)$8,663$8,838-$175$0
Credit card #2 (0% APR)$11,815$12,055-$240As much as possible
Net worth in Empower Personal Dashboard$333,007$320,018+$12,989$500,000 (overall goal)Track your net worth with Personal Capital

The big news is I now have well over $300K invested. Now I’m working on my fourth $100K! I may have to dip into my savings, depending on how things go this month. But I’ve managed to leave it alone so far.

July 2024 Freedom update

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose

I don’t know when I can finish maxing out my 2024 Roth IRA. But I know how quickly things can change, so I’m ready for anything by this time next month.

Short- and long-term goals include:

  • Pay off credit cards
  • Build my savings account again in 2024
  • Work up to 15% in 401k contributions
  • Put more money into Beck’s UTMA (tabled for now)
  • Contribute to new baby’s UTMA (ditto)
  • Max out my Roth IRA for 2024
  • Find new sources of income
a close up of a painting

Check out Warren’s latest art: “The Paper of Liberty,” mixed media on paper, 2024

July 2024 Freedom update bottom line

This month, a lot of life happened. Instead of lingering in bitterness, I jumped right into making one of my long-standing dreams a reality. ❤️‍ It may not improve my finances, but I’m following my heart—and that’s value of another kind.

I know there are many travel rewards groups in an already crowded space, but I don’t care. I’m putting everything in a centralized location, making courses for beginners, and working on features no other group has. I decided to go with a membership model to weed out lurkers and because what I have to share will return ongoing dividends.

I set out to provide real value in a community setting and after only a few days in, I can feel the energy buzzing through this new project. This is your invitation to join Points Hub. I have some $99 Pro Lifetime seats left (limited to the first 200 sign-ups), so snag one before they disappear.

Financially speaking, I have no idea where any of this is heading, other than making a big trust fall to the universe. But my net worth is up $13K, life is good, and I’m busy working. Sometimes I feel like I’m watching myself from the outside when I write these updates like “What’s gonna happen next?”  Whatever happens, I’ll be back to update in another month or so. Here goes… somethin’!

As always, thank you for reading and following my journey. Hope everyone is doing well!

Stay safe and scrappy out there! ✨


* If you liked this post, consider signing up to receive free blog posts in an RSS reader and you’ll never miss an update!

Announcing Points Hub—points, miles, and travel rewards community. Join for just $9/month or $99/year.

BEST Current Credit Card Deals

  • Capital One Venture X Rewards—Earn 75,000 Venture miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening, plus a $300 annual statement credit for travel booked through Capital One
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card—Earn 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and 3X bonus points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Amex Blue Business Plus—Earn 15,00 Membership Rewards points once you spend after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of Card Membership and 2X bonus points on up to $50,000 in spending per year with NO annual fee

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

About Harlan

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

More articles by Harlan »


  1. This is a situation out of your control but you can choose how to handle it. So kudos for being so positive!

Leave a Reply