Significant chunks of change

So, my salary is restructured right now because I’m getting paid for most of my work through my normal job, and then they broke the teaching out because another department is paying for that. We weren’t sure how it was going to get structured, but it turns out the university decided to pay for the teaching in one lump sum. So my paycheck that I’m getting on Thursday is massive. After taxes and deductions, I’m taking home around $4000. (I may get some of that taxed money back in February, but I’m not worrying about that right now, just looking at the income I have tomorrow.)

Wow! So I opened up YNAB and took a look. $950 of it needs to be set aside for next month’s income, since it’s off my “normal” check. I decided to take the opportunity to pay a few bigger bills, too: I needed to renew my New Yorker subscription, so I went for two years, which was almost $200. is going out of business (sob!) so I stocked up on a massive box of the things I usually buy from there, which should keep me going for quite a long time. That was $300ish. I’d also been leaking small amounts of cash over the summer, so I put about $250 extra into my “cash” category to get caught up; fall and winter are much quieter for me and I should be able to manage fine now that I’m all caught up.

I also decided to stock up some of my sinking funds, which I’ve been totally ignoring the last year or two. Not by a ton; for example, I decided to budget $200 into professional expenses and $300 into repairs and maintenance, and either could get eaten up quickly. But at least it’s something.

After I’d done all that, I still had $1500 left of the teaching money. So I’m putting that in my Life Fund for now. It would be enough to max out my Roth IRA for 2016, and I may do that in a little bit, but I want to sit on it just for the moment.

Part of me wishes that the money had come every two weeks like a normal salary; maybe I’m spending more of it this way than I would have if it had been coming in as part of a regular check. But on the other hand, it’s really fun to get such a huge infusion at once. My net worth ought to be more interesting this month than it has been in a while!

6 thoughts on “Significant chunks of change

  1. Isabella says:

    I’m surprised a frugalista like you pays so much for a magazine subscription! Do you do this for professional reasons? (ie. writing samples?)

    1. thesingledollar says:

      It seems less expensive when you realize it’s around $2 an issue (it comes about once a week.) I guess that’s still expensive for a magazine subscription. But it’s a really high-quality magazine — I’m consistently amazed at the quality of their reporting and writing, and I love getting it every week and am glad to support the work financially. I read it cover to cover, and then I usually pass it on to the community house I’m affiliated with, so more people get to read it there.

  2. Jason says:

    I struggle with this. Over the next two paychecks I will be getting additional compensation of over $6000. I am not sure if I should pay down some debt, put it aside and add to the emergency fund or do some repairs on the house that need to be done, but aren’t necessary at the moment. A good problem to have, but it is maddening the different choices.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Wow! That’s cool. Even after taxes $6000+ is no joke.

      You still have a lot of student loan debt left, right? I would split it, if it were me: half to the student loan debt, half to the emergency fund. (If the house repairs are the kind of thing that can wait a while, that is.)

  3. Amy says:

    I had no idea was going out of business! That must be why I’ve been getting so many emails from them lately…

    Getting a lump-sum payment like that would really challenge me, and probably terrify me as well. I admire your discipline.

    1. thesingledollar says:

      Yeah, I”m super bummed about — I’ve been getting everything from them for a couple of years and now I’ll have to get a new supplier…. I think the lump sums are easiest in some ways. When I was in debt, the whole thing would have gone to debt. Now, most of it goes to savings. It’s the month to month I struggle with.

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