February 2022 – Life Update

I know, I know, where have I been and what have I been doing? And even if you don’t care about that, why haven’t I been writing? Honestly, I didn’t feel like writing. So, I didn’t. I hope you all have been well and haven’t been too disappointed by my absence…

1) Work – Organization C: So far, I like my job, I love my colleagues, and the networking has been incredible. That being said, I dislike my boss. At first, I thought it was just a difference in communication styles or how we show up but…no. I don’t like him. He is a much older gentleman who comes across as condescending, dismissive, and entitled; and there is a clear gender bias as he behaves this way towards all of the female employees but not our male colleague who is his age. Initially, I thought it was just me who perceived him this way but…no. Not only have my colleagues divulged that this is also their perception but so has one of our principal donors in an “off-the-record” conversation. This is such a great opportunity for my career so I plan on enjoying it as much as I can, networking, and positioning myself well for my next jump but this is looking more and more like a 3-year stint than the long-term role for which I was hoping. Unless there is a leadership change…

University B: Most days I think, “Why did you decide to keep doing this?” (I actually asked that question out loud to a friend/colleague and she replied, “Honestly, I don’t know. At the time you said you were trying to pay off your student loans…” And then I said, “Right.”) I am putting in about 18 hours a week at University B and my pay rate is $23.00/hour. I will receive my first part-time paycheck from them on the 25th of this month and actually should receive a final “salaried” paycheck that includes the first couple days of this month and potentially the stipend from my on-call work which I have continued to perform. I was given the option of changing my 403b elections but I left them the same. I have no idea what this paycheck (I billed for 37 hours over two weeks) is going to look like at the end of the month and will be totally surprised. I am still doing the weekend work for University B at the moment but that will taper off completely come April. I am just trying to stick it out until then. Once April rolls around, my work from then until the end of June will mostly be end-of-year communications and reporting which I actually enjoy.

2) Taxes and a Sinking Fund – I completed my taxes earlier this month and was happy to find out that I was actually entitled to a small federal refund (~$1,000.00) and owed $11.00 in state income tax. Once received, I moved these funds to a savings account and promptly checked off 2021 Revised Financial Goal #2 of establishing a $1,000.00 sinking fund that is separate from my emergency fund. Well, the universe decided I was far too self-satisfied and my car’s check-engine light came on for the first time since I have owned the car. More on that below…

3) Dating – I am taking a break from dating in general. There is so much going on at work that I just haven’t felt like it. I also have made friends here and they need attention too. If I’m really honest, I think I also needed a break from Gentleman Avery. While the chemistry and interest are clear, I feel like maybe we missed our moment… Generally, when I decide that a romantic relationship won’t work out, I have a mature conversation with the other party, and we amicably part ways. As I explained in a post earlier this month, that’s never worked with Gentleman Avery. I could pretend to be confused as to why that is the case but that would be disingenuous. I don’t want to part ways. There is still some small part of me that hopes it will work out. I’d like to smother that part of me. Or at least make it quieter.

Lunar Do-Over Day FAIL: Still Chuggin’

1. How much did I spend today? – $0.00 – I haven’t spent anything today because it’s Sunday and as I have previously recounted, Sundays are usually days I stay at home. My spending (register below) since I last posted it on February 5th is pretty typically of what I spend during the month. Including the far too many sweets, around my cycle, during the middle of the month. The only other things of note are 1) the $3.00 ATM fee will be rebated by my bank at the end of the month (I know there are some folks who would have immeidately gasped at frugal person paying an ATM fee) and 2) I will get around to telling the automotive story in another post. This one is already far too long.

$29.76 doesn’t seem like a lot of money for what remains of the month but given that my pantry, fridge, and freezer still have food in them, and my gas tank is full, I suspect I’ll make it pretty easily.

February Variable (food, gas, misc.) Budget Initial Balance: $463.77
February Variable (food, gas, misc.) Budget Remaining Balance: $29.76

2. What financial information have I learned to help me when I’m debt-free? – I’ve learned that it’s probably going to be okay… Since sharing my debt story with Mr. Pokémon, he has talked to me a lot more about investing and the power of compound interest (Like…don’t I know it? Who better than a person in thousands of dollars in debt to tell you about the power of compound interest?). He consistently has talked about the power of investing early and given that I am not done paying off my debt, in many ways I have been a bit down about my investing prospect. Allowing myself to get hung up on how much time and money I have “lost.” However, this article from Investopedia gave me a reason to feel a bit more hopeful. Specifically,

An employee in this age category who is offered a 401(k) at work should consider funding it to the maximum amount. To provide you with a sense of how powerful maxing out a 401(k) can be, consider the following: An individual who is 40 years old and who contributes $17,500 annually to a 401(k) could accumulate more than $1.3 million in savings by age 65. This assumes an 8% return and no employer contributions...

While this is by no means an excuse for my past financially irresponsible behaviors, it does give me hope that if stick to my current plan, and pay off my student loan debt before I turn 40, that getting more aggressive with my 401K savings at 40 can still leave me comfortable in retirement.

3. How have I lived abundantly? – Today is a rest day. Sometimes, on Sundays, I force myself to be productive and get all of my personal tasks and cleaning done. And if I don’t, I feel incredibly guilty. Today, I’ve decided to let my body rest and my mind wander. I’m happy it wandered over to my neglected blog.

4 thoughts on “February 2022 – Life Update

  1. I love the details in this post. It’s so interesting to me to see what other people buy. In fact I looked up Biscoff ice cream after reading. That must be a Southern thing – I’ve never heard of it! Anyway I really appreciated this post and forgot to comment until prompted by seeing your next post!

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    • So Biscoff isn’t a Southern thing…they are famous for their cookies (I grew up in upstate NY and there are photos of me teething with them as a baby…I was such a fat baby). Unfortunately, their ice cream brand was not successful and I actually bought the last carton at my local Walmart. When I went back later in the month to see if they had anymore I was told that Walmart would no longer carry that brand, at least in my state. I’m sad because it was lite ice cream that was actually delicious.

      Awe, thank you for commenting. I’m thinking I am going to try posting again every day in March but just being less ambitious. Like, committing myself to a paragraph. This is going to be a very challenging month in terms of all of the balancing I have to do and I think it might help me let go of some stress. I might keep “what I bought today” as a part of it.

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  2. Hi, just want to let you know, I discovered you way back in 2019 on DDSW’s blog, and I’ve been following you since. Sometimes I forget to visit and have some catch up work to do, but I get to reading almost all your posts eventually. Amazing journey, progress, and reportage. Rooting for you every day, not just to reach your goals but to surpass them beyond what you dreamed was possible.

    On the stock market and investments, I would say things are now looking good to buy in. Try with a few hundred $$ and let them ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awe, thank you so much for continuing to read my blog Czanclus. And please visit or don’t inclination and time allows. I really appreciate you even taking the time to comment. Thank you so much for the kind words. I remember you sharing a bit about your journey on DDSW’s blog and looking around to see if you had one…you don’t, yes? Cause if you do… 🙂

      You are right. I should set aside a bit of money (a fairly small amount) to invest to learn. Until I’m actually doing it, it is unlikely I will try and learn what is happening.

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