End of July update

I’m not quite back from my trip yet, but I have an unexpected free hour plus internet connection tonight, so blog update time it is. I’m looking forward to my monthly trip around the internet to see everyone else’s end of the month summaries too 🙂

July was an ok month, neither awesome nor terrible. It started with having to throw out several days’ worth of food after a power outage and ended with an out of town trip (always expensive) and a big dinner party. It also included some paycheck weirdness as I waited for paperwork to go through at my new employer. But through most of the month I tried fairly hard to stick to the plan, and the end results aren’t too awful, although they also aren’t as good as they could have been with the usual “just a LITTLE more discipline.”

Food: I totally blew my food budget, coming in at $400 for the month when I’d budgeted $250. I reallocated $50 to cover the emergency at the beginning of the month, and then the extra $100 went on that dinner party plus some food bought while traveling. Sigh.

Rent and utilities and whatnot: $555

Gas, tolls, car insurance: $134

Travel: $458 (plane ticket for my brother’s wedding. Not really optional travel.)

Gifts, charity, and entertainment: $105

As the regular reader will recall, I decided not to put anything towards debt or savings in July (except for retirement contributions) so I could start ‘living on last month’s income’ in August. So, my credit card debt is actually going *up* (because I couldn’t pay for the entire plane ticket out of this month’s travel budget, especially given how badly I did on the food front) and my EF number isn’t budging either. Another thing that makes July more of a holding pattern month than anything else.

There is good news on the retirement fund front, though. I put another $500 in side hustle income into my Roth IRA, and also had the first $500 deducted from my paycheck into a 403(b). So that feels like a nice solid contribution in that direction. The total of my retirement accounts is over $4000 now; it seems like it ought to be more given how hard I’ve focused in that direction lately but it’s a start!

Totals for July:

-$2159.17, a change of -$301 from the end of June
Net worth:
$4261, a change of +$1863 from the end of June


Career choices and cold hard cash

[This is a scheduled post, since I’m traveling. I’ll give an end-of-July update on August 5 or so, when I’m back.]

I’ve written before about the way in which being single affects my emotional life; I’m more invested in my godchildren than I suspect most people who have their own biological children are, for example. I also take some of that nurturing instinct out on my students. I don’t always “click” with my classes — I’ve had some real drags — but I had one last year that was really special. I got an email from one of the students in that class earlier today that made my week; she told me that something from our class had come up in her everyday life and she’d loved thinking about it and had to tell me.

I wish I could get into detail, but it’s not really a good idea to talk on the open internet about specific students, even when you’re vaguely semi anonymous like me 🙂

Anyway, I was just thrilled to get this email. I worry about money constantly because my career choice was so fiscally unwise, and I’m afraid that given my one-low-income status I’ve wrecked my chances at a comfortable retirement. But the occasional thing like this reminds me that there are in fact other things in life; I don’t have kids, but there are hundreds of my former students in the world who’ve engaged with ideas and people they wouldn’t have if they hadn’t taken my classes. If I stay in teaching, that number will get into the thousands pretty fast. It’s not the worst legacy in the world, even if I don’t have a dime to leave behind.