"Love My Way, It's a New Road"

Archive for the ‘money’ Category

PayDay!

This week I received my first paycheck.  It’s the first steady paycheck I have received in over 15 years.  Quite the momentous occasion for me.  The revelation that I’ll get another one in two weeks is awesome.  I signed up for my benefits this week.  The cost, fully loaded with vision, dental, short and long-term disability, is about 60% – 70% less than what I currently pay for basic healthcare. Wow.

I continue to shake my head about the normalcy that has returned to my life. This company is filled with people who do the 9-5 with no overtime and no expectations of you staying late.  I am use to a world that if you walk out at closing time, people scoff that you are only working part-time.  This keeping normal hours is a revelation.

I had dinner with a dear GF from my old profession.  She and I have talked candidly about the financial problems we are facing.  She was always far more successful for me, but now she’s hit the skids.  For good reasons, but her financial instability is panic-inducing.  Balancing her arrears in her mortgage and other bills.  Getting a nice size check only to spend it on catching up on bills.  Facing a grim future.  I feel for her.

She was so incredibly happy for me.  She said it gives her hope that her future will shift soon also.

I am obnoxiously happy.  I am that obnoxious friend that is so incredibly blissful about life.  I continue to enjoy my job and figure out new things to do and people to meet.  I make a positive impact to the company’s bottom line every day.  I like everyone I have met.  Nothing but sunshine and rainbows over here.

Next week I am starting a couple of new habits.  I have been allowing myself the excuse of a long commute to not exercise or take my lunch.  Lunch excuses also involve using the social experience of lunching with colleagues to build relationships.  Time to curb the procrastination.

On Friday I bounced over to the nearby gym that has showers and opens early enough that I can go there before work.  My plan is to put on my exercise garb and drive to work where I will be forced to work out since I’m already dressed.  Even if I don’t do that, I can work out at lunch or after work.

I have to start moving my body.  Sitting/standing in an office all day with a 2-hour round trip commute is not helping my aging body.  It feels stiff, bloated and out of shape.  This weekend, I’ll put together my gym bag so I can get started Monday morning.

The other thing is lunch.  Let’s face it, I can’t afford $15/day for lunch.  That doesn’t fit with my new frugal strategy.

I am about to embark on an IRS repayment plan that will demand that I adhere to a tighter budget so I can get my ass out of debt.  Even though Maggie & Co. is still generating some $$ that will provide an emergency fund, monies to relocate and pay off debt, I’m still not out of the woods.  I still have to be smart.

The lingering clients of Maggie & Co. have some ups and downs that constantly remind me why I have fled this business.  I just got off the phone with one that makes me take a deep sigh and shake my head in frustration.  Yep, I made the right decision.

Now, let me do a little more Maggie & Co. work, some admin work for the Hunter and then I can put my gym bag together.  Busy, busy, busy in an obnoxiously happy way.  Life is good.  Thank you, dear Lord, Karma or whoever you are.  I am grateful each and every day.

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Photo by Johen Redman on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

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The End is Near

Today is the last day of Maggie & Co.  I am wrapping things up, turning over projects to friends and generally tying up the loose ends as best I can.  Just in time for vacation.

I feel great.  OK, my mouth is a little sore from my dentist installing a crown yesterday.  I love my new dentist, as much as one can love an inflicter of pain.  She told me I was a queen and she was just giving me the crown I deserved.  Then she and her staff made sure I was comfy, pain-free, played the music I wanted and generally nurtured me into submission.

I had lunch with Robin this week.  She is well.  We are planning for her to visit me when I move in the Fall.  It was a happy get together.  She agreed that I am so fortunate to be handed this opportunity to hit the Reset button.

My Son broke up with his girlfriend.  I’m relived about that.  She wasn’t the One for him.  Sorry, but she wasn’t.  He feels bad about it, but also relieved.  I think breaking up with someone when you are literally halfway around the world provides some guilt.

I wonder about how this new job will work out.  I’m excited for it.  It seems to have a great culture.  I’ve been reading a couple of books that tackle the issues I will be confronting with these folks.  It’s fascinating and I’m full of ideas.  I know, I know, I have to sit back, watch, observe and learn more about these folks before I jump in with my ideas.  I’ll be patient.  I promise.

I told the Hunter that my plan for at least the next two years is simple:  WORK, Exercise, Rest.  That’s it.  My BFF loved this — very simple.  But it’s true.  I want to work both with the new company and any side hustle I create, so I can pay off all my debt and be financially stable.  I want to exercise because I am perilously close to my all-time high on the scale.  So disappointing.  I’ll write more about the food issues.  Rest because everybody needs to recharge.  Rest may include some play, but rest to recharge both mind and body.

So the end of Maggie & Co as we know it is upon me.  It will still be around because I need the corporate entity for the side hustles, but not the way I envisioned it.  That’s OK, I am much happier with my future.

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Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

 

 

 

The Tax Man Cometh

I called the IRS this week so I can begin the process of paying my back taxes.  I had tried registering on the on-line system, but it didn’t want anything to do with me.

After waiting on hold for one hours.  Yes, one hour during which I took a shower, dried my hair, shredded some papers, cleaned out some files and other mundane tasks.  I finally got a real live person on the phone. Mr. L with a badge number.  Very official.

The reason I couldn’t do the online is that the IRS doesn’t have a record of my 2018 tax return.  He wasn’t surprised by that because April 15th had only recently passed and they were still loading returns into the system.  Then he said that they don’t have my 2017 return.  Hang on, Mr. L.  I sent that via my accountant as an e-return on time.  Nope, we don’t have it.  Uh oh.

I proceeded with politeness and asked him what I needed to do.  Do I have a fax machine?  No.  Do I have access to one where I could fax the return while on the phone with the IRS?  Um, not nearby, I would have to call back.  Mr. L says I could mail the missing returns in or fax them.  I ask for the address because I figure mailing may be easier for me.  I also get a more direct line than the phone tree labyrinth I successfully navigated.  I knew I couldn’t accomplish that a second time.

Now I have a record with the IRS.  They have opened a file on me.  They have notes in the system stating that I have promised to call back by such and such date with either an update or I’ll be standing beside a fax machine.

I called my accountant whose reaction was, “WTF”.  I had to swing by his office today to sign some stuff so he can sign and we can send the duplicate returns to the address provided.  I’m waiting for the tracking info so I can call back and sit on hold for another hour.

Now here’s the interesting part for me:  I feel no anxiety, no despair, panic or any negative emotion about this.  I just feel matter-of-fact about the need to get this fixed.  Much the same way I felt at the dentist.  Yeah, another same day task.

I went to a new dentist because the Hunter had bartered with the dentist and had a credit which covered a deep cleaning.  Yay!  With the X-rays, they found a nice size cavity on my molar and my other molar has a crack.  I knew about that crack and it’s grown since I last went to my Miami dentist.  I need a crown plus the cavity repair to the tune of $1,700 and I have no dental insurance.

I ask if we can wait until my dental insurance kicks in.  It would be 6-7 months before I would get coverage for major dental work.  I’ve already waited three years, but something told me to wait no longer.  That molar crack is now on both sides of my tooth.  If it breaks, I lose the tooth and am faced with an implant.  Ugh.

So I’m scheduled for a crown.  I really hate the dentist, but I sat there like a trooper and just endured.  My hygienist was a charming man who coaxed me through the cleaning like a champ.  I’ll be fine.  I gotta get it done –just like the taxes.  Wow, I’m being a real adult these days — that’s a new one!

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Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Do the Right Thing

I had a situation today that happens in my world more frequently than I care to admit.  I had to fall on the sword and give up the ability to get paid so my client can get what they want.  It’s not a lot of money, so that doesn’t really bug me, although I’ve put about 8-10 hours of work into this.  What bugs me is that my client is held hostage until I agree to the ransom.  What bugs me is I have documentation to the terrorist clearly stating my intentions.

I provided the necessary release and told the terrorist that they were cowards for refusing to talk to me directly.  OK, I didn’t call them cowards, but I did call them out for refusing to communicate directly with me.  I took the high road in a very professional manner.  My client was grateful.  I told her that I was thankful that we met and that she should always consider me a resource.

I don’t have negative emotional energy to waste on this unhappy terrorist who thinks that screwing me out of less than $3,000 is the right thing to do.  I have Karma behind me and she has been showing me her magnificent self each and every day.  Now, it’s approaching 5:00 on a Friday, so I am going to have a lovely cocktail soon. Namaste!

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Wait, What?

I have a couple of those “Wait, what?” moments already this week.  One is my pipeline of money.  What is going to get paid and what won’t.  I have no idea at this point.  Actually I have the conservative approach and the “maybe, just maybe” approach.  Who knows?  I certainly don’t at this point, so I keep just trudging forward.

The Hunter has made some decisions about our relationship and what it will look like over the summer.  He wants to be simply friends and have me help him with his business.  He sat down with his attorney (who I introduced him to) and they discussed the fact that I still own 25% of his company.  Yeah, the company that is about to start churning out some serious profits.

He has offered me a Promissory Note of a nice chunk of change that I wasn’t expecting.  I found his offer to be very fair.  Let’s see what the Promissory Note says and if I actually get the money.  I can always use the tax write-off.

Next up, he wants to move out of the bedroom and take over my office as his bedroom.  I am fine with that, surprised, but fine.  This means that I have to pack up my office almost immediately.  To that end, I went on Offerup and got a bunch of boxes so I can start packing.

He gently asked me this morning how I was feeling about it all.  I said that I am processing it, but I’m fine.  I have known that all this change was coming, but it is coming faster than I anticipated.  It’s OK.  I asked for this, so I have to roll with it.

The Hunter wanted to cut our romantic ties because he believes that I am seeing someone or am interested in someone else.  “When my gut tells me, I listen,” he said.  I think, like most men, he prefers to think that there is a competitor rather than a complete rejection of the relationship.  I guess it makes it easier to swallow.  For the record, another man is the furthest thing on my mind.  I have so much more to be thinking about.

My friggin’ professional organization has turned into a cesspool of bickering women.  Ugh.  I am setting up the June event even though I won’t be there.  I should have that settled up by the end of the week and then they can go fuck themselves.  I am putting together an amazing presentation with top-notch speakers.  Ha!  I figure I would go out with a splash.

I have been shopping the past two days.  I bought some new slacks and a casual blazer to spice up my wardrobe.  I don’t think I have bought new work clothes (except for my Target interview suit) for over a year.  The new job is a “business casual” environment but as women, what the heck does that mean?  I will dress more professionally than most, but I prefer that.  I hauled my favorite work shoes to the cobbler for an overhaul and got three new pairs from DSW just to add some fun to my tootsies.  That should hold me for now.

Next up, I’m heading to the dentist for a long overdue cleaning.  I have to change my air filter in the car and get my tires rotated.  I have to call the IRS and get my payment program set up.  For some reason I cannot make their online portal work.  Sigh.  I can’t decide if the dentist or the IRS is the worse thing I’ll do this week.  LOL.

I have meetings scheduled with two clients so I can pass the baton.  I am telling them a partial truth (or partial lie – your pick) by saying that I am starting a very large project in another city that will be taking me away from them.  This will allow me to scoot back to them if needed.  Internal agreements with my replacements are being signed.

There are a lot of spinning plates right now, but I find myself working half days.  I get up in the morning and attempt to push my projects forward, then I take the afternoon off to run errands.  It’s nice.  I don’t feel stressed.  I’m ready to start my new chapter.  I am NOT looking forward to packing, but it has to be done.

Hopefully the Hunter and I continue on this cordial path of uncoupling.  Hopefully the folks I’m giving my business to will remember to treat me well.  Hopefully this job is the dream job I wanted.  Hopefully the pot of money is bigger than my conservative estimate.  I got lots of hope.  Lots.

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Photo by Hoan Vo on Unsplash

A Win for The Hunter

The Hunter had a preliminary meeting with a new client last week.  This is someone I introduced him to.  Based on work he had done with a previous client I had introduced him to plus a glowing reference from that client and a vendor, the new client is eager for his services.  These are good people.  They are good people who have TONS of work for him.  This contract will make him financially stable.  Seriously.  Crazy, right?

We sat down and de-briefed his meeting.  Talked about the next steps.  He needs a detailed proposal, we have to do some work to make sure we are pricing this correctly, etc.  It’s a big fucking deal.  This is not a “if he get this” but a “when he gets this”.  He has no competition for this account.  I am so happy for him.  Not a shred of remorse about our decision to uncouple, only relief and happiness that his future is more secure.

I told him that.  I told him that one of my concerns about our uncoupling was his economic security.  He smiled and said that he is a grown 50ish-year-old man and I should have no worries regardless of the outcome of this contract.  I felt relief.

I also had a moment while we were sitting and talking about our week together, where I thought, “I’m going to miss this.”  I am going to miss that intimacy of having someone that you can tell everything to.  Someone who listens to all your stories and you know that they will keep your confidences.  That is the part of a relationship that I crave the most oftentimes.  Something to think about.  How am I going to feel being alone after a really great week with no one to celebrate it with me?  How do I fill that void?

Anyway, this contract would get me my new sofa (LOL).  It will get him off my cell phone plan.  I can be reimbursed for his laptop, phone and more.  It will help set things right between us economically, at least a little.  Wow, is Karma blessing me this year or what?

We have a lot of work before us.  I am busy closing Maggie & Co even though people are throwing business my way.  I say “yes, however..” and explain how I will be partnering with someone to complete it. New clients don’t mind.  Crazy, right?

We have to prepare his proposal and think about how he will get the work done.  In addition, he has a large volume of potential new business (smaller projects) from another source.  He needs a part-time admin, a good CPA and some part-time independent contractors to help execute it — infrastructure.  He also wants to stand on his own two feet.  My advice is acknowledged, but he wants to find his own CPA — he didn’t like mine.  He has identified his independent contractors (great choices) and we talked about the part-time admin.  He was initially thinking about going with a young college student.  I disagreed and suggested that since this will be someone working from home and very independently, perhaps a stay-at-home mom or someone older would be a better fit.  My position was that he doesn’t need someone learning on the job; he needs someone who can hit the ground running.  He agreed.

We talked about the furniture situation.  What I will take and what he can have.  It’s all coming together.  It is interesting to see how we are pulling away romantically, but our friendship and respect for one another continues.  Six more months of this weird cohabitation….

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Photo by Philippe Montes on Unsplash

I am so Happy!!

I am so incredibly happy these days.  I go about my days full of sunshine and rainbows.  I am so relieved about so many things.  What am I relieved about, you ask.  Why, let me list them:

  • I got the job and my days of income insecurity are coming to a close.  Whew!
  • I am earning enough money from the waning days of Maggie & Co. that I will pay off a sizable chunk of my debt plus have a cushy emergency fund.
  • The Hunter & I have amicably decided that while we care for one another, we need to live apart.  We are both incredibly happy with one another right now about that decision.
  • I have been talking to a few very close colleagues and they are generously agreeing to help me with several clients that will have ongoing projects and future projects that will need help.  I will get paid for these things.
  • I am able to step down from my professional organization for a really good reason (new job) and that time-sucking volunteer role will soon be behind me.
  • I visited my little bank and they are bending over backwards to accommodate me when I move further away.  They are really nice folks.
  • My stars keep aligning and good fortune keeps following me.  I cannot express enough how well things are falling into place.

If you ask me about my new job, I am thrilled to chatter along about it.  If you ask me about moving, I talk about how excited I am to move.  If you ask me about the Hunter, I explain how happy we are to have our own spaces again.  I am just so damn happy.  I haven’t felt this great in a long, long time.

This happiness/joy is also a blessing in itself.  I have realized that it has been a long time since I have truly felt relatively stress-free like this.  I don’t have the burden of worrying about where my next dollar will come from.  I have the joy of creating a beautiful new home that will once again be the way I want it.  No compromise (except for the budget I am giving myself).

I am busy right now, but not too busy.  I am writing lists and lists of things to get done in my remaining days of Maggie & Co.  Now excuse me while I happily get back to business.

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Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

 

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