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Archive for August, 2009

Preparing for home.

August 29th, 2009 at 03:39 pm

So it's come to my attention that I'll be back home in Ohio in less than a week. Holy crap. heh.

I've been trying to prepare for this for a while now, and each day it gets a little easier and I get a little more excited. I was dreading my return not a month ago, but I feel I'm finally ready. It's time.

Money is going to be INCREDIBLY tight until January. My grace period ended on the student loans, and I'm paying out about $400 a month until I'm enrolled back in school. The good news is once I am enrolled, my loans will be deferred again and I'll be getting my GI Bill-- with kicker. Which means the army will be giving me more or less $500/month. That's on top of paying for my school. So I'll still hold at least a part time job, and be good to go.

Until then, however, I have work to do. I'm lucky in that I'm going to be living with my best friend in her house, and she wants no rent from me. I'll secretly hide money in her pockets come November, but for the next couple months, I'll likely take advantage of that while I get back on my feet.

I'll get my bonus money within the next 2 months. After taxes that should net me somewhere around $8000. A chunk of that is going into a savings account for emergencies and my travel savings. The rest will be used to put a down payment on a car. I'll definitely need one come the wintertime. For job and school purposes. Until then, I'll be pedalling it on my bike and bumming rides.

I was looking at the local YMCA website, seeing if they had military discounts, and I went out on a whim and looked at job postings. They had a few, and I filled out the online application for the hell of it. Got a call a couple days ago from the director of the childcare department. I have a job interview the week I get back. I'm rather excited about that. I love kids, and I think I would like it a lot. I do need to discuss what I would be getting paid/hours I'd be working. At this point, however, it's nice to know I have the job hunt started. And with the way the job market is looking in Ohio these days, even if I'm getting close to minimum wage, something is better than nothing. I've got bills to pay.

Even if I dont get a very high paying job, the good news is that I get $150/month in drill pay. Not much, but it's something. And I do my fair share of babysitting. And I'll be getting back into my music once I get home, with a friend who is an exceptional guitarist. We're hoping to start playing out in the next few months. It would be great if that generated some income as well. Every little bit helps.

I'm going to post my financial goals here in the next week. I'll be posting much more often once I get home. My internet access out here is limited, so it's rather inconsistent. I also have to establish said goals, so look forward to them!

I've started doing some lightweight budgeting, but it's hard when I have no clue what my income is going to be. So it's a rough draft thus far. It's going to be pretty tight for the next couple months for sure. But I'm okay with that. Lucky for me, my friends and I do many cheap(er) things for fun... like playing board games and drinking Big Grin haha. I'm definitely looking forward to spending time with my friends. Particularly my best friend. We'll call her DW, because on facebook we are technically married. haha. Her husband is actually returning from his deployment next month as well. It's going to be quite the party.

The only clear goal I have is going to Kenya next summer. I'm budgeting $2k for plane ticket and spending while I'm there (which will be minimal). If I use a chunk of my bonus money, monthly saving wont be too bad. But we'll see. I've been trying to get out of the country and see the world for a while now. I think this is my chance. I'm rather excited about it Smile

So I think that's enough for now. Hope everyone is doing well, and I'll post again soon Big Grin

Preparing for home.

August 29th, 2009 at 03:38 pm

So it's come to my attention that I'll be back home in Ohio in less than a week. Holy crap. heh.

I've been trying to prepare for this for a while now, and each day it gets a little easier and I get a little more excited. I was dreading my return not a month ago, but I feel I'm finally ready. It's time.

Money is going to be INCREDIBLY tight until January. My grace period ended on the student loans, and I'm paying out about $400 a month until I'm enrolled back in school. The good news is once I am enrolled, my loans will be deferred again and I'll be getting my GI Bill-- with kicker. Which means the army will be giving me more or less $500/month. That's on top of paying for my school. So I'll still hold at least a part time job, and be good to go.

Until then, however, I have work to do. I'm lucky in that I'm going to be living with my best friend in her house, and she wants no rent from me. I'll secretly hide money in her pockets come November, but for the next couple months, I'll likely take advantage of that while I get back on my feet.

I'll get my bonus money within the next 2 months. After taxes that should net me somewhere around $8000. A chunk of that is going into a savings account for emergencies and my travel savings. The rest will be used to put a down payment on a car. I'll definitely need one come the wintertime. For job and school purposes. Until then, I'll be pedalling it on my bike and bumming rides.

I was looking at the local YMCA website, seeing if they had military discounts, and I went out on a whim and looked at job postings. They had a few, and I filled out the online application for the hell of it. Got a call a couple days ago from the director of the childcare department. I have a job interview the week I get back. I'm rather excited about that. I love kids, and I think I would like it a lot. I do need to discuss what I would be getting paid/hours I'd be working. At this point, however, it's nice to know I have the job hunt started. And with the way the job market is looking in Ohio these days, even if I'm getting close to minimum wage, something is better than nothing. I've got bills to pay.

Even if I dont get a very high paying job, the good news is that I get $150/month in drill pay. Not much, but it's something. And I do my fair share of babysitting. And I'll be getting back into my music once I get home, with a friend who is an exceptional guitarist. We're hoping to start playing out in the next few months. It would be great if that generated some income as well. Every little bit helps.

I'm going to post my financial goals here in the next week. I'll be posting much more often once I get home. My internet access out here is limited, so it's rather inconsistent. I also have to establish said goals, so look forward to them!

I've started doing some lightweight budgeting, but it's hard when I have no clue what my income is going to be. So it's a rough draft thus far. It's going to be pretty tight for the next couple months for sure. But I'm okay with that. Lucky for me, my friends and I do many cheap(er) things for fun... like playing board games and drinking Big Grin haha. I'm definitely looking forward to spending time with my friends. Particularly my best friend. We'll call her DW, because on facebook we are technically married. haha. Her husband is actually returning from his deployment next month as well. It's going to be quite the party.

The only clear goal I have is going to Kenya next summer. I'm budgeting $2k for plane ticket and spending while I'm there (which will be minimal). If I use a chunk of my bonus money, monthly saving wont be too bad. But we'll see. I've been trying to get out of the country and see the world for a while now. I think this is my chance. I'm rather excited about it Smile

So I think that's enough for now. Hope everyone is doing well, and I'll post again soon Big Grin

Holy crap, she's back!

August 16th, 2009 at 03:12 pm

So... it's been a while... over a year, as I look at my previous entries. What the hell happened, you ask? Well. It would be silly to sum it all up in a few paragraphs, but this is what I'm going to do anyway Smile

My last entry was October of 2008. The BF was preparing for his deployment, and things were getting hectic on the job front. I was wanting to rip my eyes out every day studying accounting. Things were monotonous and frustrating and I realized I was far from happy.

In November I decided to enlist in the Army National Guard. Big step, right? haha. I did it for a few reasons: Mostly money. A $20k bonus, $18k in student loan repayment, and unlimited options for future employment in a rather unhealthy job market seemed like a good combination of rationality to up and do it. There was also the notion that I would have something to do for the year the BF would be away in the big sandbox.

That's probably the best decision I've made in a long time. I spent a few months working at my original job at the poultry place because I quit that bartending job I had. My boss made me miserable.

The cons to joining the military: Gave up puppy... that was probably the hardest and most depressing thing I've ever done. I still miss the crap out of that dog, despite the fact that she chewed up my favorite cookbook, and peed all over the carpet... There will always be a special place in my heart for Madi.

I also broke the lease at my apartment, as no one would be living in it. All of my things are now sitting in a storage unit, and I'll be living with my bestest friend in the whole world when I get back.

Basic Training was one hell of an experience. I left on St. Patrick's Day of 2009. I finished up on my birthday at the end of May. Since, I've been in fabulous Ft. Eustis, VA. My job is probably the best part about being in the military. I work on these tiny little helicopters. I'm a mechanic, and I love every minute of it. Like, a lot. It's definitely not psychology or accounting or any of that fluff. Just straightforward wrench turning and pulling out and putting back in.

BF and I split about a month and a half ago. It's a looooooong complicated situation and I'm still incredibly bummed about the whole thing. It's been a rough time. Really rough. Long story short, he wanted the freedom to do what he pleased when he finally comes back to the states, and neither of us wanted me to be the one to hold him back from that. A relationship with such distance in the way is hard enough to maintain without one person not really having their heart in it. I miss him terribly.

I go back to Ohio in a little over 2 weeks, and I'm not ready in any way, shape, or form. I never thought I would dread returning home, but the fact of the matter is that I've had all my decisions made for me for the last 6 months, and it kind of works for me. For anyone who has been on this site since 2004, you've seen me live my life, seen me change my mind and make decisions that have totally reorganized my world time and again. It's hard to tell if the decisions I'm making these days will really be all that good for me. It's hard to trust a 5 year crazy streak...

Not only that, but I do love what I do in the Army, and I dont have a steady job waiting for me when I get home. I do have a rent-free place to stay, which takes much of the burden off, but I dont want to be a total mooch.

I will be purchasing a new car when I make my return. Haven't had one in the last 4 years. I'm pretty sure it's going to be essential to the job-getting process. That, and I get the first half of my bonus... so I'll put about $9k down and pay off the remaining balance over the course of the next 2 years. Have a warranty and a car that shouldn't break. I'm buying a Yaris. Drove BF's back before I left, loved it. It'll be a manual. Much more fun, and much cheaper. I'm pretty excited about it.

I need to find a job ASAP. I'll be attempting to find a full time tech position at my unit. Pays great and I'll be doing something I really love. I'll return to school either full or part time in January, depending on what job I find. If the tech thing doesn't work out, I'll probably go back to waitressing, and do school full time-- reaping the benefits of my GI Bill.

Other than that, things are just kind of suspended til I get home. The last month has been really crappy, and I'm hoping that getting back will get me in gear rather than make me feel more hopeless, which is what I'm dreading.

Regardless, I apologize for the depressing nature of this entry. I'm hoping that getting back in control of my finances will help me feel some amount of control over the rest of my life. I'm a single gal now, with endless possibilities. That should be exciting. Really, it's overwhelming because I have no idea what in the world I want to do.

Sigh.

At any rate, I want to say hello again to all the old friends hanging around still, and I hope to find some positive support here in my financial endevours. As always, what I intended to do didn't really end up happening, and the amount of money I saved/paid off my CC with wasn't nearly as much as I had hoped for through all this.

Time for change.

At this time, I'll let y'all move on to other entries or the activities of your everyday life, but I look forward to blogging with you all again Big Grin