2 weeks ago
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I got to the end of this week without getting a notification that I won’t be having my contract renewed next year. I am going to roll with the assumption that I’ll keep my job when school starts in September!
In that light, I took a big ass chunk of money out of my wedding savings (since the Man is not working, the wedding is not anywhere in the near future). I used it to pay off one of my student loans. ALL GONE. NO MORE.
Hot damn, that feels good! 2 months ago
I attended a seminar today about our state teachers’ retirement plan, and it made me feel a little bit better about my future. At this point, I’ve been teaching long enough to qualify for a retirement benefit. They went through how the benefit is calculated, and what you can do to maximize your retirement.
One of the brochures I picked up mentioned something about being able to supplement the amount that I pay into my retirement, so I may want to call them and find out about that. Compounding interest is a gorgeous thing, and if I start now, I can be pretty well set when I am 65 and ready to be done.
The other great thing I found out is that because I have been paying into Social Security with all of my other non-teaching jobs, I’ll still qualify to receive a Social Security benefit. It won’t be much if I give up my side gigs anytime soon, but as long as I continue to work in a gig that takes out Social Security, I am racking up years on that end as well.
I feel a bit more confident now that we will not be destitute when we are old. Between my state retirement, SocSec, and the Man’s USMC retirement, we should be pretty good to go. Nonetheless, I am probably going to talk to the credit union about a 403b (like a 401K but for nonprofit employees). Even if I can’t contribute much out of pocket right now, whatever I put in will still gather interest – and when I’m making more and putting less into paying off debt, I can contribute more.
Whew. 2 months ago
$224 Refund from the Fed! Hooray!
$423 being paid to the state! Boo hiss lame + anger at secondary employment and 1099 independent contractor status.
But it’s done and now I don’t have to worry about it anymore. 3 months ago
For the third year in a row, the church I work for has fucked up my taxes. At some point they must have changed my withholding, because when I’m filing my tax return, I am usually due for a significant refund until I input the information from my W2 from the church. One year, I had to pay almost $4000 between the fed and the state. This year, it’s reduced my federal return from $1400 to $400, and apparently I owe the state almost $400.
WHAT. THE. FUCK. I don’t even make $10,000 a year from this job. This is ridiculous.
Two years ago when this first happened, I submitted a new W4 to the church, requesting that they withhold the maximum amount allowable so that I should never have to shell out for unpaid taxes in January again. Either they ignored my W4, or they’re simply not paying those taxes to the government. Both options constitute tax fraud, as far as I am concerned.
I just finished writing a report to the IRS to make a claim against them for failure to withhold. I am so fucking sick of this happening EVERY YEAR; maybe intervention from the authorities will be enough to make sure it doesn’t happen next year. 3 months ago
I have scheduled myself to go to a workshop about CalSTRS (California State Teachers’ Retirement System) so I can find out how it all works, and what other things I can do to invest in my retirement.
In March, I will know whether or not I am being re-hired at my current position. If I am going to be re-hired, I am planning on taking a couple grand from my wedding savings and using it to pay off my student loans completely. It’s going to be at least a year or two until the Man’s been working long enough to have saved his half of our wedding/honeymoon expenses, so in the short term it’s better for me to knock out some debt and then replenish my savings.
HOWEVER, if I am NOT being re-hired next year, then that savings becomes living expenses during a term of unemployment :( There’s a lot hinging on March 15th. I can’t wait until I have tenure and I don’t have to hold my breath every spring to see if my contract is being renewed. 4 months ago
AGAIN. Dammit. I’ve been putting Xmas purchases on it and some other stuff I don’t need (like a $100+ dinner at a gastrodouche restaurant in LA? WTF, self. Really?). Fortunately, all Xmas gifts are purchased, along with wrapping accoutrements, so there should be nothing new going down between now and the end of the month.
Charitable giving is also going to cease for a bit, as I’ve been kind of running amok with it – being generous feels so good! But not when it puts me in debt :\ Also going to have to take serious looks at the grocery bill, since that’s where most of the money whiffs into thin air. I have stepped up the monthly transfer to the wedding savings as well, since I am trying to hit the $10K mark by the end of the year.
Mindfulness. I could use some. 5 months ago
As a public school teacher for the state of California, I don’t pay into Social Security (which means I don’t draw from it, either). Instead, the state pension plan for teachers, CalSTRS, is the entity which takes a significant portion of my paycheck.
(This is why I get so angry when people bitch about teachers sucking off the government teat. We pay into our retirement plans; it is not an “entitlement,” it is not free money, it is not taxpayers ponying up more cash so that I can live on an island when I hit 55.)
Anyway, I got my annual statement in the mail, along with some other useful stuff that I haven’t ever really looked at because retirement has always seemed like it is a million years away. I think I am going to sign up for a CalSTRS benefit workshop to figure out how all this shiz works. Can’t hurt, might help.
There are also individual retirement plans that I can pay into, and I think that when we are done paying for the wedding and the honeymoon, I am going to contribute that same amount of money (if not more) into a supplemental retirement account.
This all has come to the forefront in recent months because my father, at age 67 and after over 30 years of service to the company, was forcibly retired from his job. My mother has been an independent contractor for a decade and was on his health insurance – she won’t qualify for Medicare for two more years and she has no retirement plan, as far as I know. I don’t think the one my dad got from his company was worth much either, although they did manage a decent severance package. But now I’m watching both of them struggle to figure out what the hell they’re going to do for their money for the next twenty-odd years, and I don’t want to end up there. It terrifies me. And I wish I could help them, but even if I could, I doubt they’d accept my help. 6 months ago
Pulled my credit report and my FICO score today, and both are in very good shape. Busting my ass for the last ten years has paid off.
The Man, on the other hand…I don’t think he is in quite such good shape. Must find out. It was not awesome the last time we pulled it, and I’m not sure it’s gotten any better since then.
He keeps telling me that the Veterans Administration home loans are soooo amazing, but at this point, I doubt he qualifies for the good ones – and he’s the veteran, not me. The teachers’ credit union in my district, on the other hand, probably also gives decent rates…and I’m the one with the good credit score. Things to consider.
We’re not looking to purchase property for a while anyway, but I do want to start thinking now about what kind of house we could eventually afford. Right now we don’t even know if we’ll be staying here in Long Beach or ending up in San Francisco (a dream for both of us, but only viable if we can both find work there). Both places are not cheap, unfortunately. However, if we do end up in SF, it will be because the Man has found a job that he can get to via public transpo, so the lack of vehicle will also free up some cash.
This, of course, all hinges on him graduating in December and finding a job. Fingers crossed. 6 months ago
This was the first month in years that I was able to pay my gas card balance in full. Stick that in your juice box and suck on it, Chevron… you get no interest payments from me this month.
Next month (or potentially even the end of this month) the Visa will be back to zero as well. I am waiting to see how much my monthly check from the district is going to be – presumably my salary has moved up to the next salary step, but I don’t know how much $$ that translates over to my monthly paycheck. Once I know that, I can start making plans. Savings plans. Spending plans. Vacation plans.WEDDING PLANS.
The student loans are next to go. I’ve had them on auto-debit from my checking account for so long that I don’t even know my usernames or passwords on the websites anymore. What I do know is that the websites won’t let me schedule payments of paying MORE than the minimum every month. BOLLOCKS. This may mean I have to send a paper check to the company for the overage every month, which is annoying. I wonder if there’s a way to do it via my bank.
To the folks at Sallie Mae, I still owe $4000. I don’t know how much I owe the folks at ACS (formerly a loan through my bank, quite annoyed that this was sold to another lender), because I can’t log into their website. I think it’s probably about the same though. 8 months ago
from “live debt-free” to “figure out how to manage my money so that I don’t end up penniless in my old age.” Because living debt-free is only part of it, and I want to make this a more long-term, multipart goal. I also have to figure out how to invest for retirement, whether or not we want to try to buy property (now is a great time in SoCal with the housing bubble burst and bleeding), and lots of other shiz that makes my head spin to think about it.
But getting my arse out of debt is still priority numero uno, followed closely by saving enough money that having a wedding and going on our honeymoon doesn’t bankrupt us. I am SO looking forward to the Man being done with school next semester and getting a damn job. USMC disability retirement does not exactly allow for living high on the hog. 10 months ago