Emergency Funds and the Pricelessness of Peace of Mind

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In trying to figure out how to balance my finances, I’ve often struggled with how much is the right amount for an emergency fund. Should I save more in cash, or invest it? Should I pay off my mortgage faster, or save more? How much is enough for an emergency? How much is too much? Should I buy more cheese or less? One of those questions is easy to answer; the rest, not so much…

Standard advice is that an emergency fund should include 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses. Continue reading Emergency Funds and the Pricelessness of Peace of Mind

Is Grad School Worth It?

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I’ll admit I’ve been delinquent in my writing recently. I have a good excuse, though — maybe the best excuse. I’ve been on a multi-week, joy-filled, and overwhelming high after attending my 10-year grad school reunion. It really couldn’t have been any better — great friends and amazing people doing amazing things.

Am I one of those people? Sort of — I work in a related field, but it’s not what I went to school for and I went on to get ANOTHER degree after this one that’s required for my current job. (Yes, I be crazy. Way too much schooling.) So I have a somewhat random Master’s degree on my resume that always confuses people and no one’s quite sure what to make of it. To be honest, neither am I.

But was my two-year academic jaunt “worth” it? Continue reading Is Grad School Worth It?

Phew!

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So you know that new job I was interviewing for? I didn’t get it. And when I got the rejection email, I felt a huge waive of relief, followed by giddiness, followed by crying disappointment. Feelings are complicated, to say the least!

In the days while I was waiting, it had become more clear to me that I didn’t want the job. I realized how many great things there are about my current situation, even if it can be a little boring or frustrating sometimes (hmm, does that sound like your job?). I’m ready to reengage and rediscover the joys, challenges, and satisfaction of my work. I am also excited to work on this blog and to spend more time on some of my other creative hobbies, which I couldn’t do with a new job (or at least that one in particular), and giving that up along with the flexibility and autonomy I have now seemed like a Very Big Sacrifice. I was also worried about my ego and the excitement of such a Very Big Job getting in the way of these other things I care about, and spending time with Sweetie Pie and Cheddar Pup.

So, I feel like a winner! A rejected winner, but a winner nonetheless!

Very excited for clear skies ahead!

New Ventures

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I got a fortune cookie with my lunch last week that said, “A new venture will be a success.” I read an inappropriate amount of meaning into this because the next day I happened to be interviewing for a new job at a Very Large Tech Company.

I applied for the job almost two months ago and have spent the last several weeks thinking stressing obsessing about the role and what it would mean. In considering whether to take the job (the one that I don’t have yet), I’ve definitely sent my horse a few miles ahead of the cart, but it’s been an  interesting exercise to think about and one that has challenged my values, goals, and dreams for myself.

The role would be a big one — it’s related to my past experience but in a completely new sector with huge responsibilities, including setting up new worldwide programs and protocols in an area that the company hasn’t cohesively addressed before. It would mean long hours and high stress, but also significantly higher pay than my current job. My current job also entails long hours and high stress, but not to the same extent, and the pay is significantly less. Other than money, the biggest negative difference between in the new role would be autonomy and flexibility — something I have in my current role that the new job wouldn’t offer.

While an incredible opportunity, it has the potential to strain my relationships, test my sanity, and challenge me in ways I don’t even know yet. I’m struggling to weigh the pros and cons: I want to the kind of person who chooses lifestyle over money, family over career, and relaxation over stress and, generally, I am. But where a role would be more fun, more engaging, and more interesting, AND it would let me get to financial independence significantly faster — is it wrong to sacrifice some of those values and lifestyle benefits now, in the name of future freedom? I honestly don’t know. What do you think?