Month 53: Why 1984 won’t be like 1984

It is now 1984. It appears IBM wants it all. Apple is perceived to be the only hope to offer IBM a run for its money. Dealers, initially welcoming IBM with open arms, now fear an IBM-dominated and controlled future. They are increasingly and desperately turning back to Apple as the only force that can ensure their future freedom.

Oh wait… Not that 1984, but $1,984. As in my student loan balance. That’s about what my computer, a MacBook Pro cost when I purchased it in early 2014. This is a moment to celebrate. Why? For the first time ever my student loan is below $2,000. Progress my friends, it’s all about progress.

What about Retirement? $18,223 in my 401k and $362 in my Betterment Roth IRA. So $18,585 total. Credit cards? Credit card balance is around $1400. Each paycheck I make a $700-800 payment toward that with plans to increase once student loans are gone.

Now what about the car???  Current payoff is $29,169.81 at 1.9%. That’s down from $1997.39 from $31,167.20. I have another payment coming up in a week which will drop it below $29k.

Not being content with where I am today, I started to do a little bit of job searching. Interviewed with a local employment agency for a contract gig. The position sounded interesting and I think would be a step forward in my career. However I don’t think they would be able to match my benefits aside from medical and dental. 160 hours of vacation, essentially unlimited sick time, paid holidays, 5% retirement matching… As a contractor, you need to plan for all of those things.

It’s important to look at the big picture when making big moves like working for another company. Can’t afford to leave money on the table. I’ve been following a little bit of Alex Becker‘s work, read his book 10 Pillars of Wealth where he talks a lot about working for yourself and the benefits of a cash flow business. I also am in the middle of Scott Alan Turner‘s 99 Minute Millionaire ebook along with The Procrastinator’s Handbook – Mastering the Art of Doing It Now by Rita Emmett.

My last point and this is a big one. Don’t stop. Live is a marathon, not a sprint. Just because you had a setback or 5 doesn’t mean you let that break you and give up. From 2009-2011 I went a year without a regular FT job, not qualifying for unemployment and over $42k in student loan debt. I was down, depressed and unsure my future. Today I am on more solid footing. Not balling by any means but I’m way better off than those dark days.

Applying my own advice to different areas of my life, learning from experts to save time, minimize frustration and see results.Hope to share more with you on that soon.

3 thoughts on “Month 53: Why 1984 won’t be like 1984

  1. I read through your post for the first time on my phone, and I found myself with a huge grin on my face at the end of it. You can tell how pumped you truly are, how good things are going for you right now, and I say that in terms of you knowing yourself. How you looked at the other opportunity and then thought of all the stuff you might leave behind if you took that other opportunity. As long as not taking the other choice makes you happy, then go, you!!

    So happy for you that the student loan is almost gone. It’s gonna be gone by December, absolutely, if not in the next month or two! 🙂

    Question – why didn’t you qualify for unemployment when you lost your job those several years ago?

    • Thanks yeah I’m feeling optimistic and realistic. Been through a lot and while I’m not feeling paralyzed by fear, I also don’t want to go from a good arrangement to a bad one. A lot of recruiters get you in the door and could care less about what happens over the long term. It’s sort of the nature of the business they’re in. It’s also a lot easier for an employer to terminate a contractor if they don’t like them. It’s all about risk and reward.

      As far as unemployment it doesn’t apply when you quit a job or decide to move halfway across the country. So no income for 6 months and before that I worked as an underpaid ‘independent contractor’. My boss made a series of broken promises. That 2009 experience left a bitter taste in my mouth.

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