Thanks, everyone, for all your advice, well-wishes and words of encouragement in the comments. And thanks to those of you who used ‘Contact Me’ to reach out directly. Thanks for talking me down from the ledge so-to-speak. I feel like I have a gameplan for the upcoming months.
Things are getting slightly better at the job. My optimism remains very guarded. I was able to get a portion of work done and turned in, which has satisfied the crew for now. Last week was particularly bad and stressful as I was working down to the wire. In comparison, this week has been noticeably better. However, the crew is already asking about when they’re going to get the next things I need to get done. Sigh.
I’ve been at the new job for 1 month now. The time seems to have passed very slowly. LoL. I’m kind of surprised that I’ve lasted this long. If I don’t get fired, a few things will open up for me shortly that will impact my take-home pay. First, I’ve become eligible for the 401(k) and second, I will soon get access to health insurance coverage.
I was going back and forth about whether I should invest in the 401k. Drmaddog’s comment from my last post stayed with me. I shouldn’t lose sight of saving for the future no matter how unhappy I might be today. I decided it was important to continue saving in at least one vehicle and it will allow me to benefit from some tax savings. I’m going to contribute about 16% from my pay. This employer does not offer a match, sadly. Those missing dollars will take a good bite out of my paycheck, but it’s for a good cause.
My insurance coverage starts next month, so I have to quickly decide how I want to be covered and how much I’m willing to pay. I have a few choices, an HMO, a PPO, and an HDHP. I need to figure out which one will be most useful and cost-effective in both the long and short term.
The HMO is cheapest, but has the least flexibility. No out of network coverage. The PPO has good flexibility and lower deductible, but has the highest premiums by far. The HDHP has good flexibility, and lower premiums, but has a high deductible and out of pocket max. The HDHP does not come with an HSA, sadly. I’ve got some investigating to do. I’m looking forward to having health insurance again.
Student Loan Debt
Not much to say about it at the moment. My monthly minimum payment of $332 was processed this past week. My current balance is $15,685.
“Life Fund” Savings
I’m going to stockpile cash right now because of the uncertainty I’m feeling around employment. Most of my paycheck this week went to cash savings, which brings my Life Fund total to $3,500. I’m building it up week by week. In the coming months, if I need it because I get fired or I finally have enough and run away screaming from that place, I’ll have this cash available. If things somehow improve, I can toss it at the debt down the road.
“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW Archives)