by Lindsey Boycott
Greetings from the BAD community. I hope you all have a magical day, even if Tuesdays are basically a disappointment. I’ve heard from some of you that numbers matter, so I’d like to share some of my monthly expenses. I haven’t dealt with discretionary spending because that’s an issue for another day. Before we get to that, here is my life in numbers:
Hello, my name is Lindsey. I have a BA in Psychology and currently work as a mental health officer for the provincial health department. I make about $ 75,000 a year, but I can bring in extra cash writing freelance – up to $ 15,000 a year. But I try to avoid working so much because I burn out and then I am useless.
Single Motherhood & University
When I graduated from college, I was charged $ 45,000 in student loans for raising my daughter in high school. My first job paid next to nothing, and it was difficult to make ends meet at first. Still, I paid off all these loans, even though it took me 18 years to get them. Boo Goodbye
Love, marriage & home buying
When I bought a house with my then husband ten years ago, I ventured into the real estate business, but it didn’t last. For the first year, a heavy rain shower streaked water through our pot lights – insurance didn’t pay, but we were still hooked. In the second year there was a hail shower with an expensive deductible. To this day, I believe this house was built out of marshmallows and built on a sacred burial site. It was so cursed.
My spouse was unemployed for almost 18 months during that time, so we decided to sell the house. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it’s only been three bad years and we ran out of options. We made a modest profit on the sale and paid off the cars and credit card debt. We separated in 2016 and divorced in 2019. There was no bad blood; it was just something that had to happen.
Go brave, child
My daughter moved out and started college in 2016. She has finished school for the time being, but finances herself with a full-time job. I think you can say that she still finds herself and is happy to work in any job she can find right now. Being young is a journey, and sometimes one path is more winding than the other.
Right here, right now
Now I am a 45 year old “empty nest” with a decent career and few financial commitments. I’ll be paying the last of my credit card debt next month and I have less than two years on my car loan. I have some extra expenses like my $ 500 personal training package that I signed with my gym. I wanted to make my health a priority and have a flexible spending account as part of my benefits that cover most of it.
I have been living in a community with my partner for four years. He has three children and sees them every other weekend. When I started dating him, his children got older and my relationship with them reflects that reality. After speaking with an attorney, I decided to keep my finances segregated as it is easy to get legally caught up in financial obligations for child support. Is there anyone else in a “mixed” home? If so, how do you decide how to split the expenses?
Can’t sing, can’t dance and I’m too fat to fly
Professionally, I have no idea what I’m doing. I’ve reached the top end of what I can do with my degree. Healthcare is a highly regulated profession so options are limited unless I go back to school for a very similar degree to my current one. It’s a really cool job and there are lots of perks like an excellent defined benefit plan, strong union protection, prescription protection, and a flexible spending account. But it also holds me tight because I don’t want to leave a safe, warm working cocoon for a “risky” job in the private sector. What would you do?
When it comes to financial goals, I’m similarly handicapped. I think paying off my car sooner could be a good goal. I don’t think it will save me any money, but it is one less monthly payment. While this is important, I also need to spend more time planning retirement. If I stay in healthcare, I’ll be paying into a defined benefit retirement plan that pays nearly $ 50,000 a year. On the other hand, I have to save a lot more when I get into the private sector.
At least here is my current budget. The rest will come when I figure out how best to convey all of this information.
What do you think so far?
** You may need to use the drop down menu to have the table show all 12 rows of my budget.
|Car payment||$ 330|
|Car insurance||$ 170|
|Credit card||$ 200|
|Cell phone with AppleCare||$ 150|
|Streaming services||$ 40|
|Internet and web hosting||$ 90|
|Personal training||$ 500|
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash