October 2013 Update

debt-picture

Debt repayment is going slowly.

Good News:
I have paid off one more debt. I had a $1500 student loan that was not in forbearance that I have been paying $40 towards each month.  With my previous paycheck, I paid off the remaining $690 balance. I know that it wasn’t the best move from an interest rate payoff perspective given the loan only had a 5% interest rate, but it was an annoying debt to deal with month after month. I’m glad it is gone. This will free up $40/mo to go towards my credit card payoff.

Other News:
I’m on the verge of shutting down my gym membership. Despite living only 1.5 blocks away, I have been there only once since signing up, and that was for an equipment orientation. There is no excuse for this, except for one thing  — exhaustion.

gym

I don’t know how people do it. My main job is very stressful for me because it is a lot more responsibility than I am used to. I still feel as though I’m thrashing around in the deep end of the pool so to speak. When I come home after a cramped 1 hour rush-hour public transit commute, I’m exhausted. All I want to do is drop my heavy laptop bag and fall face first into bed, but I can’t. I have more work to do. Between my two jobs, there is always more work to do.

I am very grateful for my two jobs, however I have been having a few warning signs of impending health problems.  One such sign is constant fatigue. Exercise would help relieve the stress, but how do I get the energy to exercise?  I know this sounds like a whine-fest.  I’m going to have to make an effort to at least work out at home and see how that goes. I’m going to make a good faith effort to use the gym before shutting down my membership…

Work:

Despite the stress, it is going relatively well. I admit that for the first couple of months, every time my manager asked to speak with me, I became terrified that I was going get fired.

fired suddenly

I have since learned that this is fairly typical among those who were fired from their previous job.  Now, I just get a little nervous, but not panicky like I used to. Ugh. Debt and fear are the worst.

Social/Dating Life:
Zilch. Nada. This is another source of stress, but it is another post (or 10!) entirely…

For now I need to focus on one thing at a time.

#1 Health

fitspiration-and-custard-oats-L-H7hTab.

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

My ‘Working Again’ Debt Payoff Budget September 2013

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Photo credit: LabMinions.com

Now that I am working again and no longer unemployed, I’m revisiting my old unemployment budget and making updates.

NET Income Per Month (after taxes & required deductions)

Job #1:  $4,935    Omg, taxes are a BEAST!  Grrr.

Job #2:  $540

I am not pursuing any additional side hustles at this time. Between these two jobs, I’m maxed out on hours and stress (60-75 hours per week). Any more than that and my health suffers noticeably.

Total Income:  $5, 475

sad-woman

The Outgo per month

Rent+Utilities:  $1465   (Unfortunately, I’m back in an expensive apartment, this time WITH a roommate.  How this happened.)

Phone:  $70    (Yes, I still have my iPhone. Sigh.)

Student Loan 1: $40    (This one is not bundled with my others, so I pay on it every month.)

Food: $500    (Yes, this is too high. I am not cooking and still eating out a lot.)

Public Transportation: $200  (Yikes! Public transit is waaay more expensive here than I thought it would be. )

Health Insurance: $100  (Yikes again! This is the cheapest High Deductible plan offered.)

Credit Card Debt:  $2,000  (Ouch!  Did I mention how much I HATE debt!? The credit card debt will die first.)

Student Loan 2: $850    (These payments begin next month. This is interest only. Aggghhh! This should be retirement money!)

Gym Membership: $65

Netflix: $15

Fun/Misc/Clothing: $100

Emergency Savings: $70

Outgo Total:  $5,475

 

What Does This Mean?

rough-road-ahead

This will roughly be my budget for the next year. I will not be having fun. This assumes that all goes well with my new job and that I don’t get fired again. This assumes that I don’t have any major health problems. Items in red are targets for cutting. This apartment complex makes it virtually impossible to get out of your lease, so I may be stuck here for a while, but I will consider my options. As soon as I am able to look for cheaper housing I will do so. That will save me hundreds of dollars each month that I can put towards retirement and emergency savings.

What Does This Really Mean?

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

Post-Job Loss Euphoria

unemployed

Thank you to those of you who sent me well-wishes after I lost my job a week ago.

I thought that would be devastated by losing my job. I was shocked by the swiftness and finality of it, but I was not surprised.  They say that job loss is one of those things that everyone will go through at least once in their lifetime. Well, I guess I can cross that off my bucket list.  I did spend one day feeling depressed about my lot in life. And not one former co-worker has contacted me to say anything. It’s like I never existed. But I was only down for that one day. I’ve found that another emotion has taken over.

Enjoying the sun

Relief! I really was not happy there. And now I’m happy that I don’t have to put up with some things that I had to deal with all the time. I should have made moves to get out sooner, but I felt trapped by my debt. So they made the move for me. Now, I feel like I have a chance to make a fresh start.  When I say fresh start, I mean finding a career that is better suited to me.  And I would do that, except that I don’t have the time or money to start over. I have debt that is accruing interest daily. I do want to get my side projects off the ground, but those take  upfront money to make happen. So, right now I’m in a holding pattern. I have tons of ideas and the time, but not the money. I am in emergency finance mode until I line up another job.

job-board1

On that front, I have spent the last week applying online for jobs. I have submitted about 15 applications. That may not sound like a lot to some people, but in my small niche industry, that’s a large number. Most job postings in my specialization are for senior level positions.  I’ve applied for all decent jobs at junior/mid-level that I can find that are here on the West Coast.

Here is another issue. I like the small city where I live, but it is rather provincial and not diverse at all. My dating life has been nil. I’d like to move to a place that is more cosmopolitan and multi-cultural and where my dating prospects will hopefully be better as a single woman. I don’t want to move to the middle of nowhere just to have a job. No offense if you happen to live in the middle of nowhere. But it is another thing that I will have to keep in mind depending on how long I am out of work. Hopefully, I won’t have to make that decision. I will see what happens.

Good news!

I have an interview. This was a job that I applied for before I was let go. I’ve gone through two rounds of interviews with them by phone. The second one I was sure I bombed. I was in a tricky situation because during the first interview I had a job and right before the second interview, I no longer had a job. I had to explain that I was no longer employed and why, etc. The interviewer did not seem very interested, and the interview only lasted 30 minutes instead of  1 hour. I was shocked when I was notified that they want to fly me out there for a third round, all-day, face-to-face interview. When I saw the email, I thought it was a mistake.  No mistake.  I’m guessing that the first interviewer liked me and overruled the second one.

interview

It is a senior position. I must have applied while in a state of delirium, because the job is too senior for me, but who knows. In my field, our interviews are  4 to 8 hour gauntlets, complete with a project exercise, a portfolio presentation, and back to back interviews. This interview will be an 8 hour one.  I do frazzle easily, so I’m not getting my hopes high on this one. However, it does give me something to hang on to for right now. I haven’t heard back from any of the other places I’ve applied to. If I can make it out of this interview without embarrassing myself, I will consider it a success!

Nokia-Lumia-800

On the personal front, I still have not told my family. My parents will flip out and overreact. They will do this because I “don’t have a man to take care of [me].” My siblings will be concerned but more steady.  I will have to have “the talk” this weekend.

In my next post, I’ll give a run-down of my finances and what my emergency budget and strategy will be for the foreseeable future.

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“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)