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Monday, February 22, 2010

Who's Says You Can't Go Home Again?

Net Worth: Well, I guess I don't need to post this anymore.

So we've all but made the decision. We are moving in with my wife's parents. I can't believe I just typed that. We are moving in with my wife's parents. Well, it might make this blog a lot funnier. I'm sure I'll have plenty of stories to write about for the next year. My parents think I'm crazy.

The saddest part is I am getting rid of my dog. Hopefully, we can find a good home for her. If not, I will be giving her to the Animal Protective League (APL). It sucks, but the only reason I took her was to save her from a home that was not a good place to begin with. Hopefully, we can find her a good home. The other dog is going to stay temporally with a friend of ours as long as our dogs get along with one another. I don't think it will be a problem, although he is a little grumpy at times.

So here's how this works. We are going to rent out our half of the duplex. The income from both halves will almost equal the mortgage payment and the taxes combined. Throw in the cost of utilities and canceling our internet service and DirecTV bill, it will be saving us close to a total of $750 a month.

Also, I found out that the second job I applied for still has me on the list of potential hires, which is great news. I figure at part-time, I can make around $400 a month. Add that to the savings from moving in with her parents, about $1150 a month. If we are able to survive for a year, we will have $13,800 towards savings and debt.

As I've explained to my wife, I am 100% excited about this. I finally feel like we have a plan, a goal that we can actually accomplish. Let's just hope that I am still sane when this goal is still accomplished.

T.O.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Risk Management 101

Net Worth: -$250k strong *EDIT* Just found a net worth tracking gadget thanks to Change Is A Good Thing.

It’s time I get this one over with. I’m quitting teaching. This is one of the reasons why I am trying to keep my anonymity. I plan on finishing out the school year, maybe enjoy a month or two of my summer, and then start the new job. Unlike most people who leave teaching, it’s not that I can’t handle teaching. It’s strictly financial.

So, I’m going to take the actuary exam and try to use my math talents to the fullest. I love to be challenged, which is what I am missing at my current job. I can never get the kids to care as much as I do about math. I’m not “super math geek” or anything, I do have other interests in life, but I do enjoy the mysteries of the world and the mathematical answers to them.

But this change comes with more anxiety than a Southwest pilot boarding Kevin Smith. First, I haven’t had calculus in about four years. I’m sure I can still get back on that horse, but it’s going to take some refreshing. Second, I’ve NEVER even taken a statistics course! All the statistics I’ve managed to learn has been done by using my other math skills and logic and applying it. This level of statistics just might be above my head right now. Third, financially, it’s a major gamble. I have to buy all the study materials and pay for the test. I’m looking at about $300 dollars just to study for and take the test. And if I don’t pass? Another $200 bucks. This much I can tell you about statistics, the probability of someone passing on their first try is unlikely. Quite ironic that I can’t even figure out the risk of taking the first test in the field of finding the probability of risk.

I think the old me would be overwhelmed by the obstacles in my way. But not anymore.

T.O.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Will Work For Food

Net Worth:  -$250K....Still.  This is a marathon, not a sprint

I think that the most depressing thing about being a teacher, other than the fact that kids don't truly appreciate for years later, is the second job.  Every teacher does it.  Well, almost every teacher.  Some have the benefit of the husband with the $100k plus career selling securities.  Seeing as I am the husband, my family doesn't have that benefit.  So, my wife and I have the second job.

Now, most teachers work the second job into their teaching career.  Doing this not only masks the fact that they've taken a second job, but it makes them feel better by being involved with the kids.  These jobs include tutoring, overload classes, coaching, "Head of the Department" titles, etc.  It's all extra work outside of our required job that we do because we could use the extra money.

These jobs are scarce though.  Every teacher in the building is trying to get one of the positions.  Sometimes, it's taken before you've even found out about it.  So I take what I can.  And when I get it, I wait two-three months before I even see it.  Awesome.

So, I get real second jobs.  For that last two years, I delivered pizzas.  If you want to make money fast, like right now, get a pizza delivery job.  It's hard on your car, you have to pay for your own gas, the customers are usually either dumb or drunk, or both, but you still make quite a bit of money.  But there's a downfall to a job like this.  For one, depending on where you work, it's dangerous.  Delivery drivers in my town get robbed every other month if not more.  After I was nearly robbed, I didn't even tell my wife because I knew we needed the money, but she'd make me quit.  A friend of mine was robbed by knife by a couple of kids!  And one time, a delivery driver from another restaurant was taken, tied up, beaten and robbed!  Then again, for every story like that, I have a story that would blow the minds of every teenage boy in America!  Let's just say I've been offered many things in my pizza delivery experiences.  But, once school started again, I did quit.  Like I said in a previous post, I thought we were good on money.

I'm looking again for a second job.  Just another way for us to get this debt out of our lives for good.  I don't think I can go back to delivering pizzas though.  It's greasy, I get really annoyed with customers who don't tip, it's hard on my car, etc.  I just applied at a store that I think will be fun, relaxed, and I will learn a lot.  Hopefully, I get hired.  It's strange competing for jobs with high school kids as a 30 something year old man.  My stuff on Amazon.com and eBay.com isn't selling as fast as I had hoped.  Just got to keep coming up ideas until we get this paid off.

T.O.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rock bottom prices!

Net worth:  Still in the -$250k range.  Still avoiding figuring out the correct answer.

My wife and I recently hammered out our budget.  We discovered that we were about $600 dollars short of paying our bills every month.  This was quite a shocking discovery.  We were already pretty tight on our personal spending budgets, with groceries, gas, prescriptions, etc., now we find out we need to take more money out of that budget to pay the bills. 

We have to make changes.  We put both of our student loans on forbearance, again.  That saved around $800 a month right there.  I know that many of you financially savoy people are probably freaking out at that idea, but we didn't know what else to do.  But, it gives us the money we were short and an extra $200 to start putting towards other bills.

Our other plan is to just start selling everything.  And I mean everything.  I have at this time, 4 auctions up on eBay.  I started an account at Amazon.com.  I posted ads on Craigslist.  Nothing is sacred.  The vehicle we paid off, we can sell it and downsize.  My first guitar, furniture, unused kitchen appliances, heck even the kitchen, well, bathroom sink!  Time to sell it all.  I know it's just stuff, but it still hurts to get rid of some of it.  But, it's time to make a change.

Finally, we made a step of progress today.  I sold  off my Wii, took some gift money we saved and we paid off our department store card!  Now it only had a balance of a little more than $500, but still, the interest rate on those puppies is ridiculous.  I believe that the card was at a 19% interest rate, so that $500 would've taken close to 4 years to pay off and added an additional $216 in interest by just paying the minimum payment.  (You can find this information by doing a "credit card amortization schedule" search.)  Again, just a drop in the bucket of turning my net worth around, but a drop non-the-less.

We've got some more major life changes in the works.  I don't know if we are ready to make some of them yet.  I'll let you know soon.
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