The new gig, a move, and other life stuff

As you already know, I did not post last Saturday evening as I planned, and from this, we can learn two things: 1) I am not to be trusted with respect to my intentions to post and 2) life comes at you fast…

While I didn’t mention it then, I was actually posting last week from my best friend’s home in the northeast. (Have I given her a moniker yet?) She and her partner recently ended their relationship and she needed an ear and a distraction. I did my best to provide both. However, I returned to the Southeast this past Sunday at Boss Lady’s request that I attend two staff meetings on Monday. I was a bit concerned about attending these meetings given that I still didn’t have an official offer letter, however, as Boss Lady and half of the department will be at a conference next week, it seemed like something I needed to attend. (Note: Human Resources (HR) at University B is almost universally panned for being egregiously slow…) In any instance, fourteen business days later and I finally have an official offer letter.

As I mentioned previously, the new gig with University B is full-time and temporary through July 1st. However, and this was a pleasant surprise, it comes with University B’s financial and healthcare benefits. (Yay to no longer raiding my HSA to pay for consistent basic healthcare!) As a salaried, exempt employee, I am paid monthly and my annualized salary is $51,000.00. Now, I know what you might be thinking: that seems like a significant step down from the previous role with Organization C in terms of salary ($75,000.00). And on the basis of salary alone, it is. It’s also a step down in terms of title but my ego and I got over it. However, the reason I was willing to accept this offer, in addition to Boss Lady being kinda awesome, is that the role comes with a three-bedroom apartment and a meal plan. 👀

My new department at University B does not regularly hire temporary employees and when I was initially talking to Boss Lady about this role, it was her expectation that the role would be temporary, hourly, not benefits-eligible, and would not come with the fringe package. However, and it’s almost enough to get me to take back my own critique of their timeliness, HR told Boss Lady’s boss that to ensure pay equity with my peers in the same or similar roles, I had to be offered benefits and a fringe package. Well, I’ll be.

Because Boss Lady had originally told me that I would not be offered a fringe package, and it is a temporary role, I had no intention of moving. However, after thinking it over, I have decided to move into my campus apartment because 1) it’s a requirement of the role if housing is offered, 2) a current colleague told me of his intention to leave the department at the end of the semester and shared this with both Boss Lady and Boss Lady’s boss, creating another permanent opening on the team, and 3) and perhaps most significantly of all, I have been extended interviews by three other universities in my state…making it to the final round of all three. And, as Boss Lady shared during my orientation meeting, it is currently a job candidates market in this field. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, people have re-evaluated the kinds of work they want to perform, and fewer and fewer graduates are interested in the high-touch, high-care aspects of this field. Things I really enjoy. For now, I’m pretty confident that even if I can’t remain at University B, on July 1st, I will have somewhere to go.

Once I made the decision to move, I needed to decide when I would move. Well, it turns out my new housemate has a friend in a pretty rough living situation who would be open to taking over my lease beginning March 1st. We emailed my landlord last night and she approved the lease termination/transfer…which means, over the next six days, I will need to move from my current place to my new apartment. 👀 I am extremely fortunate that my best friend works remotely, is still a bit lonely, and immediately volunteered to come hang out and help me move.

Moving obviously has financial implications and I will get to those in my long overdue “2023 Financial Goals” post, which will include my plans to replenish my beleaguered emergency fund and return to aggressive student loan repayment. 👀

February 2023 – Life Update…she’s back

Ya’ll…I know. But life has been life-ing over the past few weeks. I planned to get a post up as soon as I had news, and…I finally have news. Like…she’s back.

Post Backlog – Yea…so I still need to get up my 2022 financial recap AND my 2023 financial goals. I have been dragging my feet on this because these are usually such hopeful posts, and my end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023 felt anything but hopeful. But the tide began to change dramatically two weeks ago…

Answers for Eva (and everybody else) – I also owe you all a post (Is this the 3rd post that I owe?) about my decision to backtrack for the millionth time and sit for the MCAT again. What I will say for now is that the course in the Midwest turned out to be a poor fit/kind of a scam. There turned out to be little thought or intention put into the course design and it was mostly an attempt by a university to capitalize on the test prep market…gross. I expressed my disappointment in a firm but professional manner and was refunded almost all of my course fee despite the university having a “no refund” policy. In any instance, I returned to the South on February 1st, having lived in the Midwestern state for approximately eight days. I regret nothing. My brief jaunt in the Midwest helped me regain my stride…more on that later.

My new (old) car – One of the reasons for my end-of-the-year malaise and beginning-of-the-year funk was because I was in a car accident on New Year’s Eve. While my physical wounds and pride slowly recovered, my car did not. State Farm totaled my vehicle and I felt unusually…bereft. I found this out while I was in the Midwest, at which time State Farm also told me that I now had seven days to turn in my rental vehicle. By that point, I had already decided to return to the South but was incredibly anxious about what to do about my car situation. Did I buy a new car? Did I buy a used car? Did I buy an electric vehicle? I really miss my old car.

It was the final sentiment that got me to investigate whether my old car (2018 Ford Focus Hatchback SE) was for sale anywhere. It turned out that there was one for sale about an hour down the road, on my way back to the south. So I packed up all of my stuff, got into my rental, and decided to stop by the dealership. The car was the same color, make, model, and year as my old vehicle but in much better condition. It had never been in an accident, had 15,000 fewer miles, AND it was for sale for just a bit less than State Farm given me when they totaled my vehicle. After taking the car for a test drive, I stopped by Enterprise to see if I could leave the rental in the Midwestern state. The leasing agent in the South where I picked up my vehicle had told me this was not possible. In the Midwest, I was told that this was indeed possible and that they would waive the “one-way” fee because the rental was being paid for by an insurance company. I went back to the dealership and purchased the vehicle.

The difference between my old loan and my new loan is about $3,000.00 but that is primarily the cost of the bumper-to-bumper, 5-year/60,000 miles warranty. While most folks might not opt for this extended coverage, as I had already had to use it once with my old vehicle, I elected to get it.

It shouldn’t feel this way, because it’s just a car, and it doesn’t always work out like this but when I got back into my new, old car, on my seven-hour road trip south, it felt like I got a bit of me back.

A Full-Time Job – I know! So one of the things that happened on my way to the Midwest that I didn’t tell you about was that I had been contacted by a friend (Boss Lady) at University B. We had coffee a week earlier and I mentioned my intention to return to college/university work for the upcoming academic year, while I figured things out. Boss Lady was now calling to say that one of her staff members had unexpectedly departed for another role and that while she would need to conduct a full search for the permanent role, she could hire me full-time through the end of the original contract period (July 1st). I immediately said yes. Then I called her back and declined because I was literally driving to the Midwest. I explained that I had said yes out of a place of fear and scarcity (I hadn’t been employed full-time since July) but that I needed to make the commitment to really study for the MCAT. Boss Lady seemed disappointed but she said she understood.

So…I had been back in the South for about a week and was on a walk with a friend/mentor who also works at University B. I told him about the earlier encounter with Boss Lady and how I now regretted turning down the job. He told me to call her. I declined and said I couldn’t because it would make me seem like the biggest flake ever. He knows Boss Lady and tried to persuade me to reach out but I demmured. I then began applying for full-time jobs, including the full-time role that starts on July 1st in Boss Lady’s department. Two days later, at 8:00PM, Boss Lady sends me an email setting up a time for me to interview for the permanent role beginning on July 1st. I then send her an email back, chiding her (Remember: we were friends and had worked together for several years) about why she was sending emails at 8:00PM in the evening. She responded to my email by calling me, cackling at me for calling her out. During that chat, I disclosed that I had returned to the South. She was like, “Wait, I’m sad it didn’t work out for you but this is great. You can help me out, right?” The backstory is that because her staff member left, she was left doing her own job and the job of this departed staff member including the supervision of 11 student workers. As she said, “I’m tired.”

I start the new role Monday. It’s only through July 1st, and I’m unlikely to get the permanent position (I would not contribute to the diversity of her staff…I know, but it is what it is), but I’m still pretty excited. I also have a couple of other interviews at other universities for full-time roles beginning on July 1st.

Sheesh. I know I owe you all the financial details of this role (and the three consulting contracts I picked up…all of which blissfully begin AFTER I sit for the MCAT in May) but that, like so many things, is for another post.

A room with no view…and a coat.

I want to apologize for alarming some of you with my last two posts. I generally try to write once I have things “worked out” but I realized that waiting for things to settle had become an excuse for not posting at all, so the posts from the past couple of days probably seemed hectic/unsettling because I was posting in the middle of the process as opposed to reporting at its end. In any instance, I am very appreciative of your thoughtful comments and concerns. I am indeed “okay.”

This upcoming Sunday is my day off from work and studying, and I plan to catch up on the threeish post I owe, explaining how I arrived at the place I currently find myself (in many respects). While I have said it previously, 2022 was not a great year for me in any aspect of my life but 2023 already feels like it is headed in a better direction…

I found a room. I arrived in the midwest yesterday and will remain here until April 28th when I sit for the MCAT exam. I contemplated/thought to attempt living out of my car as a way to avoid paying rent on my room back in the south and a room here. Despite understanding that it would be snowy and frigid in the midwest, from my cozy room in the south, I was emboldened by YouTube videos about “van living” and convinced I too could do it. Yea…no. Yesterday, just as the sun set, I realized how woefully unprepared I was to actually live out of my car. I contemplated this while sitting in front of a Planet Fitness, getting in and out of my car several times, convinced that if I just took a shower, I would feel better and could spend the night in my backseat. Observing all of this was a policeman sitting in a parked cruiser in front of the gym. I don’t know what he thought he was witnessing but I hope his kind smile as I got back into my car the final time means he just thought I was giving up on a New Year’s resolution.

Now, that general stupidity aside, prior to leaving the south, I did do a bit of research about housing options around the university (where the course is being offered), and found a rental company that leases rooms on a month-to-month basis. After my hotel stay last evening, I caved and called them as soon as I woke up this morning. By 3:00PM, I had viewed and applied to lease the room. It’s an old building, and not particularly well kept, but the carpet is new, the room is clean, and the price is right at $300.00/month inclusive of all utilities. Assuming my criminal background check comes back clear (it will, I’m boring), I will pay my deposit and move in the same day. The leasing manager said that it was likely that the background check would come back tomorrow. For now, I am in a slightly less dodgy hotel, enjoying strong wi-fi, and happy to be warm.

I also had luck in finding a winter coat. There was a Goodwill just down the street from the hotel I stayed at yesterday. I found a comfortable wool coat for $12.99 and purchased a deeply discounted pair of gloves at Kohls for $4.99. After some aggressive lint rolling and a spray down with fabric disinfectant, it’s cute enough and smells good enough to get me through the next few months, and perhaps enter the coat rotation next winter with a bit more care.

Today was a good day.

I forgot my coat.

It was a long day.

I left the south a bit later than I had planned and arrived at a small, public university, in an only electorally significant, midwestern state, just thirteen minutes before my first MCAT prep class began. There was nothing surprising about the course content and I was significantly less anxious about the material I need to review than I was last September when every day required cramming.

I’m writing from a dangerously cheap hotel room just outside the city limits. Despite my plans to live out of my car, the frigid temperatures have me rethinking my plans, at least for the winter months. I will have to sort out my living arrangements tomorrow.

And I forgot my coat.

Happy Lunar New Year!

Yea…2022 was kind of a crap year for me (much of it my own making) and the earliest bit of 2023 has felt like a hangover (fixing ish that went wrong in 2022). But now I’m mostly healed up, feeling better, and ready to begin 2023 in earnest. I need this year to be better.

So, to begin the year, I am going to move to a state in the midwest for three months (I presently live in the southeast), and take a three-month-long MCAT prep course, while continuing to work remotely…and living out of my car. I know.

I still owe a 2022 reflection post, a 2023 goals post, and other confessions but I figured if I didn’t just start blogging again, I’d never start blogging again. So I decided to take another Lunar New Year Do-Over/Restart. I’ll begin with the daily posts tomorrow. And while it’s unlikely they will last as long as I would like, I’ll at least get you caught up on most of my ridiculous choices/plans.

They’re coming…

I was in a car accident yesterday and I’m okay but some of my bits and my ego are bruised. I will get my 2022 recap, new post, and my January balance post up shortly.

Didn’t want anyone to think that I’d fallen off again. Just needed a bit more rest today.

My student loan interest rate…drops?

A little over a year ago, I was thrilled to refinance my student loans at 3.5% fixed with PenFed. Thrilled. The interest and payment abatement on student loans, instituted at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, was supposed to come to an end early in the new year, and I was excited to complete my refinance while interest rates were still low. PenFed was a great lender and the application process was fairly simple.

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My refinance fevor was slightly dampened after the Biden Administration extended the interest and payment abatement on student loans several more times. Had I declined to refinance my student loans, I would have saved a little more than $200.00 in interest each month. A year later, interest and payments still abated, and I would have now saved more than $2,400.00.

While I am thrilled that our society is having meaningful conversations about student loan debt relief, I have been feeling a bit bad for myself and what would appear to be my mistimed student loan refinance. At least I was until I received this email from PenFed earlier this afternoon…

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It’s rare that good news follows “Important information regarding your student loan” and momentary panic set in when I read the email subject line. PenFed had been great up to this point and I was dreading whatever change was going to accompany this correspondence. However, after reading and rereading the email several times, I finally realized that this was likely the best news I had received about my student loans…ever. While the refund for the finance change overpayment is appreciated, on principle, the reduction of my interest rate “…by 0.999315% for the remainder of the loan” is a much bigger deal. A rough estimate suggests that if I only made minimum payments on my student loan for the remainder of the term, the reduction in interest rate alone would shave off seven months of payments and interest.

Now, I have not taken leave of my senses and I have every intention of returning to aggressive student loan repayment in the near future once I have stabilized my finances.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? Honestly, I don’t entirely understand why they responded in this wonderful way given that I have had my loan with them for a little over a year. Excellent customer service? Am I missing something?

UPDATE: So after Avery and my exchange in the comments, I just KNEW it was phishing. So I called PenFed at 9:10PM ET this evening, and after confirming my identity, I rambled a bit about how I thought I might have received a phishing email. The woman interrupted me mid-ramble to say, “Yes…” and I immediately took that to be confirmation that it was phishing and began to ramble some more. She then interrupted me and said, “Could you please confirm your address?” I did. She then said, “Yea, you hadn’t confirmed your address in a while so I needed you to do that. But otherwise, that was a perfectly legitimate email. Is there anything else I can help you with?” I thanked her profusely and then slinked off, 1% less indebted.

My Confessions Part I

Okay, much like the weaker first Usher track (I said what I said), the confession in this post is a warm-up to a bigger confession. And we’ll get to that later, but for now…

In my recent return to the bloggerwebs, I shared that I had bought a new iPhone 14. I know that seems like a fairly banal purchase for many but for someone with an iPhone 8, almost $68,000.00 of student loan debt, who is not employed full time, it’s a big deal. While I was contemplating a new phone purchase, I was also reevaluating other monthly payments. I have had T-Mobile since I left my parents’ family plan and I had it prior to my stint abroad. Back then, it was $55.00 for unlimited everything with no contract and no one else was really offering that deal. However, fast forward several years and my monthly unlimited plan with T-Mobile is $70.00/month with auto-pay; which still isn’t terrible, but there are now quite a few other players on the scene. In addition to low-cost carriers who operate on larger service networks, even titans like Verizon now offer low-cost plans. After a bit of research, and a holiday deal, I decided to switch from T-Mobile to Mint.

Through the end of the year, Mint is essentially offering a buy-one, get-one on its service when you bring your own number. All Mint plans are prepaid, so if you buy 3 months of service, you get 3 months free, or 6 months of service, you get 6 months free. While my phone was old and freezing badly, it technically still worked, and I could have probably kept it for almost another year before Apple stops providing updates for iPhone 8s in 2023. The financial calculation broke down as follows:

1) Keep iPhone 8. Stay with T-Mobile. – Phone cost: $0.00. Service Cost: $840.00 for 12 months. Total Cost: $840.00.
2) Keep iPhone 8. Switch to Mint: – Phone cost: $0.00. Service Cost: $180.00 for 12 months. Total Cost: $180.00.
3) Purchase iPhone 14. Switch to Mint: Phone cost: $929.00. Service Cost: $180.00 for 12 months. Total Cost: $1109.00.

First, I decided to get a new phone. Even if my old phone wasn’t dead, it was on its last leg, Apple will no longer provide updates at some point in 2023, and I kept reading about production delays that will lead to an iPhone shortage soon due to supply chain problems. Yes, I could have bought a cheaper, non-Apple phone. I could have done that. Second, I decided to switch to Mint because the difference between choices one and three was so small, and would entirely be made up if I keep Mint, or another low-cost carrier, for a second year.

I know what you’re thinking. “Ummm, AP, this just sounds like a person reasoning through a financial choice that while not wildly frugal, isn’t wildly spendthrift either. How is this a confession?” The financing, my blogger friend, the financing.

A couple of months ago, it would have been nothing to drop a little more than $1,000.00 on a new phone. Nothing. However, times have certainly changed for your old pal AP and this choice was much more significant than I care to admit. First, I was not prepared to dip into my $5,000.00 emergency fund for this phone purchase. I was not. Not dipping into my $5,000.00 emergency fund is my only point of financial pride at this point. I also wasn’t prepared to finance the phone using Affirm as the interest rates were close to 8%. So then I wondered if there was a way to “self-finance” it. First, I checked to see which of my credit cards was offering a balance transfer. Discover had the best rate at a 2% transfer fee for 0% interest for 12 months. However, I currently bill several recurring bills (insurance, etc.) to my Discover card and was worried about mixing payments. Next, Chase was offering 3% balance transfer fee for 0% interest for 18 months. Not terrible but definitely more than I ever want to pay in interest on commercial debt. Then I remembered that Chase would allow me to balance transfer through a deposit to my checking account. Which meant I could pay for the phone/service with a cashback card like Citi Double Cash, which offers 2% cashback, and then immediately pay off the Citi card with the Chase balance transfer, creating an effective transfer fee of 1%. This is what I did.

So, my confession is that I am now carrying $1,145.20 in credit card debt. My current plan is to just pay this off over the next 12 months, much like I would a monthly phone payment unless I have a lump of cash I can devote to it sooner.

Why was this important enough to blog about it? First, I think it’s important for me to be transparent about what I am doing with my finances. I don’t want anyone to ever read this blog in the future and think that it was smooth sailing 100% of the time, or as though I didn’t have to get creative. Second, I think I have felt like I have regressed in my career at several points over the past few months, in different ways. This has been tough even if it was largely a choice of my own making (I still don’t regret leaving Organization C). The only thing I have been clinging onto is the fact that I am still in a better position financially than I was a few years ago, in terms of both my actual finances and my mindset, and I am desperate not to lose either of those…

Never Keeping Secrets…

Well…that’s a lie. In fact, as my family members and other fictive kin would say, “Yous a lie.” Instead of referencing the classic Babyface hit, I should have titled it, “Confessions, Pt. II.” …so, what are the secrets I have been keeping and the confessions I need to make?…we’ll get to that. First…

I would like to apologize for the disappearing act and for not being a better blogger friend to so many of you. While I have been sick and busy, I really had no excuse. I could have made time to respond to communications but I’ll also admit that I was a bit “lost” for a while and my focus was on just “performing” in real life. In any instance, I thank so many of you for sending me an email or leaving a comment. Your kindness was so very much appreciated and I will try to do better in the future.

I recently celebrated my birthday and looked back at my December posts from 2021. I was so excited and hopeful. I still am hopeful but my outlook is definitely a bit more cautiously optimistic than it was then…

Health – I have developed a new appreciation for those who experience chronic health issues and for those who work in service positions with the public. One of my biggest challenges in October and November was staying healthy. Gigging and volunteering means that I was come into contact with the public, and children, far more often than I have previously. Unfortunately, I got another cold and the flu, and the flu resulted in bronchitis. I was tired and constantly worried because being sick meant I couldn’t work. I was also a bit angry with myself…the reason I hadn’t gotten the flu shot this season is that without insurance it’s $40.00. After I got the flu, I investigated lower-cost options and found that Costco offered the vaccination for just under $20.00. I subsequently got the flu shot and have been more diligent about masking, washing my hands, taking my vitamins, and getting enough sleep. I’ve been healthy the last couple of weeks and very grateful.

Work – …has been all over. I didn’t end up getting that role at University B…and I’m not sad. Ultimately, I could have done the job but the person to whom I would have reported has a far different approach to the work of equity and inclusion than I do. Like, I understand we are in the south and that religion and spirituality are important aspects of the daily life for many folks…BUT they cannot be the basis or the lens through which you approach equity work. Full stop. I think there is a bit of generational tension between older folks who do this work (Baby Boomers and some older GenX) and millennials who are now slowly moving into more senior leadership positions behind GenXers. This is further complicated, particularly in the south, by cultural performances/expectations but…yea. I’m okay with how this shook out.

If I work a gig through Qwick and the manager/owner isn’t offering me a job, then I just haven’t worked hard enough. Fortunately, this has not been the case and every gig I have worked recently has resulted in them offering me a permanent position. Most of the time, I have not been too tempted but recently have been giving more thought to it. A more permanent gig in food service would not appropriately compensate the time and money I have invested in my education. However, it would just be for now and result in a more consistent income… A friend who works at Target also let me know she spoke about me to her store manager and that the store manager would be interested in hiring me as a “team lead.” Before you laugh, the team lead salaries start at $70K. Yea. What the hell was I doing at University B for three years?

I continue to be in contact with colleagues at Organization C. Another left and I was recently asked to complete a reference on behalf of another. Bad Leader (this is what I’m calling my former boss) continues to reach out to me. At first, I was entirely perplexed. These emails were super vague, and didn’t really ask for or share information. This guy doesn’t really talk to you unless he needs something/can get something from you. After my departure, Bad Leader collapsed my role with that of another amazing, departing colleague and replaced us with one of his “old friends.” Well…apparently this is her “ride out to retirement” role and she isn’t really interested in doing any work. She is disliked by both the few remaining staff, community partners, AND Bad Leader. Apparently, he wants to fire her but is worried about doing so given the recent staff turnover and what it would look like to the board. It was suggested that he is reaching out to me to see my interest in rejoining the organization in some capacity…

Career – Ummmm…this is a confession for a later post.

Money Out – November was an expensive month. I decided to cancel the expensive gym membership that I had been so excited about at the beginning of the year but never really used. While I had to pay a stiff penalty, it would still be cheaper than paying the monthly membership and then not going through June of next year. I know, “But AP, wouldn’t the cheapest thing just be to go?” Sure. But I wasn’t going to go. The lesson I am slowly learning in my 30s is to accept who I am and work with that instead of planning to become someone else. I realized what kind of gym classes I like and now I drive to University B twice a week to take those classes on campus for $15.00/month thanks to my ongoing part-time work at University B. I figure, if I do that and go for walks outside through the end of when my other gym membership would have expired (June 2023), canceling will have been the correct financial choice.

My iPhone 8 finally died. Well, it didn’t die but it continued to freeze for really long periods of time at inopportune moments (like for over an hour when I needed to clock in for a gig on Qwick). I got a new phone, an iPhone 14, I switched carriers, and I self-financed. How I did that is a confession for later…

Money In – Income in November was kinda spotty due to being sick and I used up what remained of my non-emergency fund savings to augment income for December 1st monthly expenses. Towards the end of the month, things picked up unexpectedly and I worked one opportunity for the county for an entire week but because payment is through the state, the money won’t be deposited until late December. That being said, between that money and the additional income I am earning in December, January 1st could see me possibly return to making student loan payments…or not.

Men – There were some wins and some losses here. The win is that shortly before my birthday, I cut off communication with Gentleman Avery. We had been chatting before the Thanksgiving holiday and I accepted for the millionth time that nothing is ever going to change and despite being a good communicator about most things, he’s terrible when it comes to relationships. And that doesn’t work for me. I don’t like ghosting/disappearing on people but in the past when I have tried to bring our connection to a close, he has not been respectful of my wishes. And the end of the day, I have to look out for AP.

My connection with Herr Philosopher came to an abrupt end. I was a bit sad at first…but it was for the best. I was not prepared to make the sacrifices that would need to have been made for that relationship to work. He is an amazing person, who has been through a lot, and I wish him nothing but the best.

I am currently talking to Mr. Trucker. We actually began talking back in April and I brought our connection to a close because I just wasn’t feeling it. We got back in touch over the summer and early fall, but it was just friendly and I was studying for the MCAT. Recently, he called me and we had a great chat. He persuaded me to have coffee/tea with him and we are going on a coffee/tea date tomorrow morning. He is nothing like the guys I usually date or express an interest…most guys hold graduate degrees, are highly cerebral, have traveled, and align closely politically. Mr. Trucker has never traveled abroad, is a picky eater, didn’t go to college, and isn’t particularly cerebral but is highly opinionated…and he watches Joe Rogan. However, he does seem reasonably happy with where he is at in life, owns a home, invests well, and generally knows what he wants. I have concerns about long-term compatibility given what I suspect are wildly different political views but for now, I’m just trying to have fun.

I owe you more. It’s coming. Thanks for sticking around…

What I spent and earned: October 20th-October 23rd – Overbooked

Between applying for a new job, networking, and social obligations, I have been a bit overbooked the past few days…

Variable Expenses Budget: $500.00
Spent Today: $42.62 – October 20th through October 23rd
Variable Budget Remaining: $11.49

October Income Goal: $2,500.00
Earned Today: $356.06 – October 20th and October 21st
Earned To Date: $1,580.12*
Goal Remaining: ($919.88)

The weekend felt like it began on Thursday and didn’t end until this morning…

On Thursday, I worked all day at the big-box-store gig and then met with a former colleague about a job opening at her organization. It was a pretty cheap meeting and led to her submitting an employee referral for me. On Friday, I worked in the morning and then spent the afternoon with a colleague who helped me think more about the role at University B and the “vision summary” I need to submit with my cover letter and resume. Friday evening was spent at a wine and paint night with former colleagues from University B who updated me on changes at the university. I spent Saturday morning volunteering and afterward, I had a very, very late lunch with a student I used to advise to talk about his financial picture. He has financially irresponsible parents who used his credit when he was a minor and siblings for whom he provides some financial support. He is only 25. He went to University B for free so the small amount of debt he has is commercial and can be dealt with but the strains on his income are significant. My plan is to sit him down over the next couple of weeks and have the conversation with him I wish someone had had with me when I was 25.

Saturday evening was spent on the couch at a friend’s/former colleague’s apartment as we continued to chatter about University B and we relaxed. Sunday was spent at my parents’ home visiting with family who are visiting from the northeast. Today began early with a six-hour online “retreat,” I write now during the lunch break…

The amount I have left to earn this month to hit my income goal is a little less than $1,000 but seems attainable as I am scheduled to work at the big-box store every day this week, except today as I am working for University B. Ultimately, I think I will be just shy of reaching my income goal…

My remaining variable budget is almost non-existent. However, I think when all is said and done I will likely come in about $10.00 over budget but I am cutting myself a bit of slack as a lot of gas went towards transportation to gigs and going to my parents’ home three weekends this month.

Okay, now that I am all caught up on the money front, I will share some social/personal concerns in my post for today…

*Income is reported as cash on hand. Some gigs are 1099 gigs (taxes not withheld) and some gigs are W-2 gigs (taxes withheld) and it would be tough to distinguish between the two in a neat way. Instead, I will report cash in hand, and money set aside for taxes and expenses related to gig work will have a budget line item each month.