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It's been a while

January 10th, 2017 at 02:02 pm

New year brings thoughts of all sorts of re-inventing one's life, new opportunities and etc. I've continued to read everyone even if I haven't posted. I'm a lurker for sure! Here's my catch up...

In July, my partner and I moved in together. The townhouse is paid off and the space is small but we've made it work. I only wish that I had a two car garage not a single. Had we been a bit quicker in going through our stuff, I was hoping to be able to keep my truck(which was originally my father's) in the garage in the winter but we still have too many boxes to go through. This state has a terrible winter.

She's an artist and needed private studio space so she got the small bedroom and it's her dressing room. The large bedroom is my office and dressing room + our den/guest room/library. Our bedroom is a very nice murphy bed in the living room.

Our housing expenses are less than $200 a month each.

I still have my house in another town which I'm renting out (third year with the same renters) and am paying at least double for each mortgage payment. I hope it have it paid off by August 2019 assuming there isn't any major expenses for me.

My son is expected to graduate from college after this semester and I've agreed to match his student loan payment each month. It's amazing to me that I could call the Department of Education's loan servicing folks and get his outstanding balance and etc on his loan. I was lucky enough to have my undergrad degree paid for by my grandparents and I'd like to see if I can help my son have as little student loans as possible.

Also if anyone remembers my last post, I did complete my sabbatical. Travel study to NZ some on my own to AUS. I also finished a second Masters. Graduated in May. In 2016 I also traveled to WA, FL, GA, MS for various different fun events.

I'm struggling trying to figure out what's next in my future. I'm so accustomed to being goal driven and at this point, I don't have anything I have to do. I can coast mostly.

Next week I'm going to meet with my financial planner, rate of return was good(10% I think) and I want to look further our...retirement, perhaps traveling in an RV.

It's so strange to be at this place in my life.

Education with no (little debt)

July 21st, 2015 at 08:03 am

Thanks for the warm welcome from you all!

I saw a couple of questions about my education so I thought I'd do a post and answer them.

I was very fortunate that my maternal grandmother had an annuity that she received when her husband died that she was not aware of. She gave this to my mother (who was an only child) and it was invested when we were children (back when it was double digit interest for savings :-) ) This allowed my sisters (2) and I about $15k each for our education.

We all spent it differently. My older sister spent it within a couple of years at a private college. My younger sister spent it at a public state university with a little bit more help because it took her a little longer and the cost increased over time.

I attended a community college before I graduated high school through the PSEO (post secondary education options program). This can provide students up to 2 years of college education before a student graduates high school and it's all paid for! I completed the remaining credits at the community college to complete my associates degree which transferred whole to the state public university. I really love community colleges in the state where I live, they are cheaper, smaller class sizes and most of the faculty do really care about teaching (versus research like some universities). I ran out of my money just as I completed my undergrad degree. :-)

Almost 10 years later as a single parent working in a call center, I realized there was no way I could do that the rest of my life! They had tuition reimbursement and because I already had a 4 year degree, I had to pursue a graduate degree. Looking at my strengths (I'm very resourceful) and anticipated job openings (which were WRONG) I decided to pursue Library and Information Science. For my tuition reimbursement (90%!!) I focused on the Information Science aspects so that this would be covered. It was for two classes until my entire department was laid off. We were given 60 day notice and a nice severance package. I was able to find another job before my end date and pocketed the severance which was 3 weeks of pay for each year of service. They rounded me up! 15 weeks of pay into the bank! The job I found started the very next day after I ended my call center job and they also covered one of my classes at 50% (tuition reimbursement is your friend!~).

I'm going to post what the last 6 months of my degree was like another time if you're interested.

The challenge like Laura might know is that despite previous reports of so many older librarians retiring, technology and budgets have limited the number of jobs available. My state especially in the metro area is very competitive for jobs. After graduation, I worked a number of part time and temporary positions while searching for the elusive full time with benefits. I was willing to take just about anything and it still took me 3 1/2 years to find that permanent position. Thankfully, as a single parent I was lucky enough to keep working in my field. At one point, I was driving in two different directions an hour each way depending on the day of the week for up to three different jobs at a time.

I do confess that I did take a small student loan for my last semester of library school because I didn't want to drain my bank account while I wasn't working. I'll share more about that later.

I've been employed at my current position for 7 years and this fall I will be taking a sabbatical to finish my second masters degree in Educational Leadership. I'm able to take classes in the same educational system with free tuition, I just need to pay for books and fees. I always believe that you should take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. It also will bring me up to the highest level of education (credits counted not actual degrees, I don't have a PhD) in my position so my salary goes up to the highest column.

First post

July 16th, 2015 at 12:04 pm

I've lurked here and read for years and now I think I'm finally going to start my own blog. I don't even remember how or when I started following these blogs. I live in the same state as Cee Jay, read CB in the City before she moved back and as a fellow librarian, read Laura before she got her job as a librarian.

A little about me: I'm an empty nested, single parent who's figuring out what the next part of life is like. My son is still in the process of launching, he's expecting to finish his undergrad degree next spring. Coincidentally, I will also be finishing my second master's degree then, perhaps we'll have a joint celebration.

I've been very fortunate to have learned to be pretty frugal and lived that way most of my life. I'm not sure how it happened (mostly through my parents' examples I'm sure) but I'm grateful. As a result of the values I grew up with, I am about to finish my second master's degree without student loans. Another value I grew up with was to work in a field of interest where we impact the world versus just to make money. Fortunately I've also been blessed with high standards and tenacity (one might call it stubbornness) so I can get things done. I have no debt and thanks to my father's tragic death (small inheritance and lawsuit), I'm a lot more flexible with money than I once was. With this blog, I'm looking forward to connecting with you all instead of just lurking.