The Future is The Present

Getting over a bit of a funk post valentine’s day. 15, 16, 17, 18, and now 19 I haven’t been in a relationship. It really does suck and I try to be hopeful / optimistic only for things to fall apart. A friend joked with me the other morning, at least I saved $250. In terms of just cashflow out he is absolutely right..

Many many years ago I used to get an allowance from my parents. The amount steadily increased but toward the end, I was receiving $20/week to complete assorted chores around the house. When I didn’t do the tasks asked of me, I didn’t get paid. This at an early age was a way of teaching me a lesson. If I expected to get paid, I needed to do work.

Around 1997 I started tracking how much money I had saved in a spreadsheet. It initially was just what I had saved in an envelope through allowances and birthdays. My first paycheck from an employers was ~$80. I had almost no expenses and marvelled as I slowly gradually added more digits to my overall savings. Then life hit. Before I knew it, my financial obligations exceeded my income and to this day I have never fully been free. Some of it is unavoidable and comes with being an adult. Can’t live in your parents house forever.

Fast forward to 2019 I’m keenly aware of the fact that I’m getting older. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances as much as 12 years younger. I hear about some of their life aspirations, or things they are up to and just reflect. It’s like fuck I need to hurry along before life passes me by. Plus my energy levels aren’t what they used to be. I get home and a lot of the time I’m tired. Not like have to crawl into bed unable to function tired, but just an overall lack of the energy / drive. Not sure if it’s a commute totaling 70 minutes a day, related to weight, hormones, the lack of a strong social group, or something else. I wrote a couple paragraphs about social missteps over the years but decided not to post.

Fighting the aging process comes along with it, I workout regularly, struggle with my diet, and an experiencing a bit of pattern male baldness. If it was in the back which part of it is I wouldn’t care as much. It’s in the front though, annoying as fuuuuck. Seriously thinking about taking finasteride to help address combat it. I can always stop after a few months and the dosage would be low enough. The only thing that stops me is some of the side effects seen by a very small percentage of people. Monoxodil is another option. My dermatologist says it’s better to catch things early aka now versus when the balding has become more permanent.

I’m trying to control my expenses while still enjoying what I consider a good quality of life. Two of my high school friends lost their husbands within 7 days of each other. Once was due to cancer, the other I’m not really sure what happened. Last month someone I know lost a parent post complications from a massive stroke. Someone else on Facebook I follow lost a parent last week due to cancer. Lots of constant reminders of my mortality. Onto a financial update.

Current Debts:
Nissan Loan – $10,880
Nissan Extended 8yr/120mi Warranty – $1,809.50
iPhone X Loan – $898.72
Credit Card – $0
Total Debt – $13,588.22

Current Retirement:
401k: $45,285.83
Roth IRA: $1,623.44
Total Retirement: $46,909.27

Personal loan funds owed back to me : $1,250 before April 1st
Emergency Fund: $1,501.35
Car Payment account buffer: $545 (next payment due 3/12)

About 11 years ago I got braces for the first time. They really helped give me more self confidence. I had to wear them for close to 2 years, that’s how bad my teeth were originally. Over the years though, I accidentally snapped my bottom retainer in half, my ex threw them out twice since they were in a napkin. I also didn’t see an orthodontist for followup visits. Something about having no job for 6 months, minimum dental benefits, and a massive amount of student loan debt. Simply put, it no longer became a priority in my life.

Fast forward to 2019. After watching all the videos on youtube I was sold on going with Invisalign. However the orthodontist I went to charges $2k more for them and only does it out of one office. Not particularly convenient. Also why should I pay more for the plastic that is going to take longer to treat my condition and require much greater effort in terms of daily upkeep.

Original fee:
Clear Braces: $4,990
Insurance Discount: $2,000
Actual Fee: $2,990 and optional 5% / $150 discount.
With a payment plan this works out to be $399 and 15 individual installments of $172.73. Almost all of the funding will occur through my HSA. So I essentially am getting a tax break and the much desired dental work I’m seeking.

I recently paid off a vet bill for my dog. Standard stuff, immunizations, adn a checkup. The bill was $300. If I wanted to get her teeth cleaned it would be an additonal $325. Call me cheap but I started trying to brush the dog’s teeth myself with mixed success…

This weekend I finished getting my car inspected, and renewed my registration. Not going through an itemized list of expenses. In terms of car ownership, nothing I’ve paid for is what I’d define as too out of the ordinary. However when I look back, there are a shit ton of expenses that just seem to add up over the years.

$650 for tires, $200 for an inspection for the warranty, $2k for the warranty, $480/yr in tolls, $1200/yr in gas, roughly $500/yr in routine maintenance, $1200/yr for insurance.. Relative to my salary none of these is really breaking me, but I do think about how the money could have been invested into assets that go up in value, not down.

OTOH, I could own a house and have worries related to basic maintenance, cleaning, heating / cooling, taxes, etc. It’s all a toss up. I am thinking about 5 steps ahead right now. There are things I really enjoy about the Dallas area, and others I wish were different. I could see myself moving to Austin or another city in the next 4-5 years. Maybe up North but I can’t stand the high taxes, cold weather, and super liberal politics up there. It’s like just because you’re gay and considered a minority, you’re expected to support every possible social welfare program regardless of how to fund it. Aside from my job and familiarity with the area, really not a ton of things keeping me here. I’m ready for some excitement in my life.