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Archive for July, 2018

July Recap

July 29th, 2018 at 04:51 pm

I can't believe that the month is almost over. It never stops amazing me how fast the time flies.

I've been in my new position for two weeks now and it's been more than a little stressful - to the point where I managed to get myself sick. heh. Thankfully that has calmed down and I'm trying to cut some other things out of my life to give myself some breathing room.

Went to Nashville both this weekend and last for events and doing headshots - $750 in extra income for the month, so not bad. That being said, I'm looking forward to staying in town for the next few weeks. It was a lot of fun nonetheless. I judged a film competition this weekend, and got to see so many of my friends from my creative community. It definitely reaffirmed and reenergized my desire to move back in a year, so that's really nice. Need to stay focused and financially prepare.

Got home and took a look at my financial picture right now. I'm not looking too bad. Once a payment and a transfer clear, I'm going to pay off the student loan balance at one of the companies I have debts with - roughly $2,500. That'll eliminate another $100 minimum payment and begin the process of snowballing this debt away. All the debt I'll have after that are two other student loan balances. And the credit card, which I'll be paying off in full every month (I just like getting the Amazon points).

Canceled MoviePass today (I haven't been using it) and Simplisafe (now that I'm living in a less intimidating part of town, I don't feel the need for a security system). So that will be some money saved.

Tomorrow DXH and I will be back at the old place doing the final cleaning and purging. It'll be nice to have that chapter closed - and hopefully all of our security deposit coming back. We were in there on Thursday getting a jump on it, and there were a few issues starting with leaking and water damage. It seems like we're moving out at a really good time.

Given that July was a turbulent month for me, and I moved, it was definitely a spendy one - but it feels good that things are separated now, that I made some long overdue progress on my debt, got a raise, and some freelance work that really makes me comfortable in approaching this new phase of my life successfully.

I'll be getting paid this Friday, and I'm excited to see what that paycheck looks like with the bump in my pay. Also excited to start August completely separate from DXH - no double rent or any residual stuff. Theoretically it'll all be my "normal" expenses moving forward.

There's nothing really left to buy for the apartment, I've got my washer/dryer in and functional (after having to swap out the cord for a 3-prong), and so I'm shooting for a very low-spend August. I want to really focus on my writing this month and get back into a solid creative roll again. Particularly coming off the energy I experienced over the weekend. I'm going to take a break from a couple of other activities and make sure I'm giving what's important it's due diligence.

That's about all I've got for now in this long-winded ramble. I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend!

Raise and Car Paid Off

July 14th, 2018 at 09:59 am

This was my boss' last week at work, and I've been talking with our CEO about how things are going to progress moving forward (as well as learning a whole new job in just a hand full of days). Needless to say, it was an exhausting week - but of course there's good to come of all of it. One was the conversation I had about my pay increase.

I had given them a number last week that I would have been comfortable with. I'm currently making $35k, and asked for $42k as a base salary for my current job, not the interim department head. They came back with $39k for now - explaining that we can revisit after the transition time. They don't know how much they'll be paying the new hires, and there's a good chance that the department will be restructured a bit, so I can live with it. But during the interim while I'm taking over my boss' job, I'll also be making a bonus of $200/week - which would work out to more than he was paid monthly all things considered.

It's not quite what I wanted, but I didn't expect them to get there anyway. Our entire staff is grossly underpaid. Nonprofit or not, but I like my job and this raise certainly sets me up better on one income than I was before. For now, it's workable.

My boss that left, too, mentioned that they're going to need to hire someone new in his department coming up and would love to poach me. haha. So at least I know I'll have some options if things go terribly wrong. I wouldn't want to do that to the organization, so I likely wont. But again, it's good to have options.

For now, I'm just trying to stay sane and wrap my head around doing 3 peoples' jobs and enjoy my weekend. Things were overwhelming this past week, but they will be even more so without my boss around to answer questions and walk me through things. Trial by fire indeed.

***

Now that DXH and I split our finances and I have a decent handle on what my financial situation is going to look like, I decided to pay off my CC (I had racked up quite a few charges while replacing many of my belongings) and then made a $4k payment on my car, wiping that balance entirely. That's going to eliminate a $182 monthly payment, which I'm super happy about. Regardless of this raise, I'd love to have as much of my income freed up to use as I need to.

My account is going to have a surplus of about $3k at that point, which I'd like to move to a savings account and at minimum not touch, but hopefully add to. That's a nice little emergency fund. My only debt left at that point are student loans - shiny and refinanced. I'd like to start snowballing those babies ASAP. Right now I've got:

$2,570 AES Loan
$3,126 Great Lakes Loan
$31,146 Firstmark Loan
---
$36,844 Total

That total is still overwhelming but given it was over $50k at one point and largely rocking a 10% interest rate, I'm feeling okay about it. Just need to get aggressive. I'm hoping to eliminate the AES Loan entirely by the end of the year, and I think that's entirely doable given that I'm freeing up $182/month in car payment and getting a substantial raise, at least in the short term.

I'm also taking on more freelance work. Which may not be smart for my sanity, but is certainly a good financial move. That being said, I might have to step away from a couple of other extracurriculars. I'm already feeling the pressure on my time and energy. Something's gotta give. And because my goal here is to set myself up financially to possibly move out of state again in a year, the revenue-generating aspects of my life are probably not the ones to skirt.

I need to do some real soul searching here soon to determine where that energy is going to be best spent.

***

The rest of my to-do list right now is centered around getting the last of my things from the last place, getting it all cleaned up. Should be getting my $600 half of our security deposit back, so that'll help in paying off that loan as well.

Still need to start the divorce paperwork. That's a task for this weekend. As well as filling out my beneficiary changes on my insurance and adjusting my HSA - I'm planning to schedule a whole battery of medical appointments I've been putting off for a while now. Guess I should start adulting properly. I have nobody else to lean on anymore, after all.

***

At any rate, that's a lengthy update. I hope you all are enjoying your weekends and making progress on those goals! Have a good one!

Work Craziness and Progress Made

July 7th, 2018 at 03:53 pm

So D(X?)H and I got our bank account situation squared away this past week. He had a previously existing account still open from before we got married, so we just split our joint balance down the middle and transferred half to his account, then took his name off of it. Closed the joint CC. We're getting there.

Still haven't moved my washer/dryer. Between the hassle of hiring a truck, the weather not cooperating with my dear sweet volunteers, and the whirlwind of my life, I think I'm just going to hire someone to do it and save myself some headache.

The last two weeks have been rough to say the least. Had a really really bad (emotional) day at the end of last week, and it happened to coincide with my boss' announcement that he put in his two weeks. We were still trying to fill *his* boss' position, so currently I'm the most qualified person in the building to step up. Which I'm now doing, at least temporarily. While there are so many good things to this (will look good on my resume, is good experience, will come with a bonus), it's going to add a mountain-load of stress on my plate at a time where I was trying to eliminate as much change as possible. I really loved my management team when I was hired on, and now both are going to be leaving or gone. I met the top candidate for the senior position and wasn't even remotely impressed, so this could be really terrible in the end. I'm trying to stay optimistic, but it's hard to not be ridden with anxiety about the whole thing.

But hey, rolling with the punches is just what I've got to do right now. So do it I will.

The good news in all of this is that the raise I was already going to fight for has a lot more leverage behind it. I had the opportunity to give them a number, and we'll see what they come back with. Depending on how all of the transition goes, I may end up looking for another job. Not ideal given I'm not sure I'll even be in this city for longer than a year, but we'll see. If I can manage to stay put while making enough money and not wanting to rip my hair out, that's definitely my preference. haha.

***

Now that our finances are split, I have a much more accurate picture of what I have to work with and my budget. I'm really curious to see my first utility bill - that's still kind of a question mark. But hopefully once that bill comes in and I figure out how big of a bump I'm going to see in my salary, I can be on more solid ground for planning. Until then, just trying to keep expenses low and my mental health stable.

Hope everyone had a great holiday week. Enjoy the rest of your weekends!