Freelance and $262K, progress after layoff and ruling – March 2023 Freedom update

Life is completely different than it was even a few weeks ago. We got our ruling, finally, in our favor. We’ve been in and our of court for the last year, and now we can take some action and move on with our lives.

There will inevitably be appeals, but we’ve been assured they’ll either be thrown out or the higher court will uphold our ruling. It’ll be some more paperwork, but it’s a non-issue so I’m going to put it out of my mind and not even think about it. For the first time in a while, I’m dreaming about the future and what that could look like. Definitely a lot more travel once I get all the documents switched over. ✈️ Ya know, travel blog and all. 💁🏻‍♂️

march 2023 freedom update

How we feel about our court ruling

Money stuff has shifted, too. It’s been a lousy patch for the stock market, my home lost some of its appraisal value, and I’ve had to charge up my cards to get stuff paid.

That said, I’m thrilled because I’ve been picking up a few freelance projects that pay more than my previous income. I think I’ll come out ahead – it’ll just take a little bit for things to settle.

So let’s get into that.

March 2023 Freedom update

Last month found me at a new net worth peak. This month, I’m still hovering around that $250K mark again. I’ve had drastic swings in the past, but I’m ready to get some traction. Things like inflation, a sluggish economy, rising interest rates, and student loan uncertainty are making it hard for folks to find financial footing.

Despite being laid off last month, I’m grateful for all the income streams I kept open. They are my safety net now, and making me feel settled and secure during this time. That so valuable.

Last month, I riffed about everything I’d try to do by now. Let’s review – and I’ll add what happened:

  • Finish funding my 2023 Roth IRA – Getting there! I’m at $3K / $6.5K
  • Make a big credit card payment – Paid $1,000. More this month!
  • Give my lawyer a big payment – Yep 🥴
  • Maybe get a new MacBook Pro (the one I’m using is literally from 2013 💀) – Arriving Monday! I got a tricked out upgrade with extra storage, faster processing, the newest software… I’m soooo excited about the possibilities it’ll unlock!
  • Add to my savings – Didn’t happen
  • Maybe plan a trip? I really really really miss traveling – Going to Seattle in July! 
a baby lying on a man's lap

We’ve also been raising baybeeees 🐣

All said, it was a month full of progress… it just isn’t reflected in my finances – yet.

Money movements

I rid myself of all my ex-employer’s financial institutions and moved everything to Fidelity: my 401k and HSA. The 401k came over quickly, but still waiting on the HSA to appear.

I got tired of seeing the little BS fees like “asset fee” and “fund fee” and other random junk. But not any more! I got everything set up with FSKAX to keep things simple.

Then, I got my lawyer’s fees paid down to 4 digits, so that was good. Ready to be on the other side of all the legal drama. I’m glad the public has started to dig around more, discovered the truth, and lost interest in the other party’s lie and the media’s sensationalism. We prevailed, so I won’t dwell on it. I’m just grateful. ✨

a boy standing in a tree

My sweet baby

Other money goals

My droogs, I wrote a list of goals and they add up to $40,000. That’s how much it’d take to make me level-set, right as rain, zeroed out, back to baseline.

They include:

  • Paying off my lawyer
  • Getting a new couch
  • Paying off the HVAC
  • Installing new pipes in the house (the current ones are v old)
  • Saving up for a down payment on a new SUV/van/something bigger for the kiddos

God I’m so domestic. When tf did that happen? I also want to keep investing in Warren’s UTMA, max out the Roth IRA, build savings… the usual.

It’s just gonna be slow and steady out this way for a while. But I’m getting there. I have hope for the first time in a long time. Hope and energy and a will to make it happen.

By the numbers

I went ahead and killed the 401k goal because I don’t have a traditional W-2 job at the moment. I also rolled my traditional 401k balance into “overall investments” since I now have a new rollover IRA account, just to streamline.

My big focus now will be on paying off that credit card (0% APR until December) and filling up my savings so I can go car shopping. My current car situation is really tight, y’all. We have no room for air after we all pile in and add a stroller.

And the other stuff falls into “nice to have” but I’d rather get them done before they become “fix this right now.”

CurrentLast MonthChange2023 Goal
Overall investments$209,162$220,780-$11,618As much as possible
Roth IRA$49,863$50,665-$802$6,500 (in new contributions)
Taxable brokerage + UTMA$11,798$12,011-$213$25,000 (total invested)
Primary home equity + appreciation$46,074$49,868-$3,794$70,000
Credit card/HVAC upgrade$11,708$12,708-$1,000$12,708
Net worth in Personal Capital$262,014$273,473-$11,459$500,000 (overall goal)Track your net worth with Personal Capital
March 2023 Freedom update

Red dirt boys

That’s where I’m at this month. Plugging away and looking forward. Hopeful and grateful.

March 2023 Freedom update bottom line

I also want to write more here too. In that spirit, I’m so tired rn I’m just gonna glance over this and send it out semi-raw. This post has turned into a massive time investment, so I want to streamline and just get things out, even if they’re not up to my perfectionistic standards.

Let’s do the dang things. I feel love for being able to write this right now. I realize how incredibly blessed and fortunate I am. My ultimate goal is to inspire people to keep forward on their own paths, even when it’s difficult and even when it looks like it’s going nowhere. I just got beyond all that. Trust yourself and the process. Slow and steady wins the race.

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. Whoop movin’ on up! Feels great to get stuff behind you I bet. Any Japan plans?

    Why not invest in something like SPAXX or FDRXX at Fidelity? They’re both nearly all gov’t treasuries and yield is very high with the high fed funds rate at around 4.25%. No appreciation from stocks though if that’s what you’re looking for.

    Would love to hear more about your freelance gigs. I’m bored out of my mind with little to do. Here or email would be great.

    • Yes, my investing horizon is still (hopefully, realistically) 20+ years out so long-term investments are where I like to be. If it were shorter, you definitely can’t beat the current rates!

      Japan is always in the plans, just have to figure out how to do it. We still a couple more hurdles to overcome before the kiddos can travel internationally. I’ll email you!

  2. I never heard about your legal drama, is there a payday coming your way for something? Would you care to elaborate for those of us that have no idea what you are referencing. Stay handsome, your pay Skip

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