Today I tried to be productive even though I’m home sick; decided I would clean out my closet and put a few things up for sale. I’ve been putting this task off for a while but was motivated by the indoctrinated guilt of being out sick while working in the medical field. Back when I was in medical school and when I was an intern, I never took the day off when sick, even when I had pneumonia for two months and fractured my rib from coughing, I still went in. Things are much different now but it’s still hard to shake the guilt.
I became short of breath when I walked the dog this morning. By the time I got home, I needed to use a rescue inhaler that the NP gave me after he listened to my lungs. I don’t have asthma and have never used one before! The flu test was negative, but I tested positive for RSV, which is not as bad as the flu but worse than a common cold. It’s like a cold but with a lot more congestion and asthma like respiratory symptoms.
There were a few items in my wardrobe that were in good condition but were just items that I didn’t gravitate to anymore. They are up for sale here (if you leave a comment that you found any sale item through this blog, I’ll let you have it for whatever you offer, except for the Nisolo shoes because that belongs to the BF). After I photographed flat lays of each item, I clean them up with a lint roller, package them into pink envelopes, label them, and store them all in the back of my closet. That way they stay clean and out of the way. When someone buys, its quick and easy to just then drop them off at at the mailbox on my way to work.
I got an email from my personal finance coach today to check in on me (my job provides free personal finance coaching to its employees). She wanted to know if I had been doing my homework of tracking all my expenses. I had to admit that I had been delinquent on my homework and that I didn’t think it was possible for me to keep up with tracking every expense because I’m just too lazy. I also don’t trust apps like Mint. I read the book Art of Invisibility, which made me very paranoid about hacking and identity theft. She emailed back saying that it was OK to not track every expense as long as I was setting limits on my spending. A part of me wonders if she is being too lenient on me. I kind of want her to get all tiger mom and scold me for not being more responsible, lol. I think the biggest accomplishment I made with her help has been reducing my spending on food by 50%, saving about $500 per month, but as a result I’ve been washing dishes all the time. I’ve also scheduled two nights per month where I’m doing my “side hustle” job to earn extra $1000 per month. With this extra money, I’m hoping to pay off a loan and save for my move back to California.
I’m very close to taking a job in LA right now. I can pretty much say I have the job but signing on the dotted line takes time with this particular institution. During the job hunt, I’ve been asking my sister for financial advice in analyzing benefit packages. As you all know, I am absolutely clueless when it comes to finances. But luckily for me, my sister is a senior financial specialist for the city of Los Angeles. She manages the city’s 5.5 billion dollar debt. I’ve been reading a lot of personal finance blogs out there, and think my sister could actually blow them out of the water if she started one but I think she’d rather spend her free time not thinking about finances since that is what she does all day at work. The other night I had a thought that maybe it would be a fun idea to interview my sister on this blog, have readers submit personal finance questions for her and post her responses here. That would be a big shift from what I normally do here, but thought maybe it would be of interest to you guys. Just an idea that is floating around my head at this point. Whenever I diverge from the topic of getting dressed here, I have to think long and hard about it.
In any case, after crunching the numbers, my sister advised me to imagine that I will be making much less income than my real income, after she calculated the amount I would get in my retirement and compared that to my pre-retirement income, so that I don’t experience a drop in quality of life when I retire. So for example, if you’ll get 50% of your pre retirement income after you retire, you should live like you are making 50% of your actual income, and put the rest into savings/investments. Then the worst case scenario would be that your standard of living remains the same, but if you had been saving up your whole life, then you might have extra in your retirement.
She also reminded me that we have family obligations and aging parents (with no retirement of their own) to take care of as well. The bottom line was to live like you are poor even if you aren’t, #thepoorlife. She also advised me to decide after two years if I want to stick with whatever job I’m in long term because of how many years it takes to qualify for retirement, ie. people who switch jobs often will have the clock reset and will have to retire much later in life to get their retirement.
My next step is to decide whether or not to buy long term disability. A lot of doctor friends tell me this is wise, but my sister expressed doubt about this. Luckily my cousin has a high level position at a major insurance company, so at some point, I will consult with him about whether the disability insurance route is something that makes sense for my unique situation. So stay tuned for that.
And just for fun, here is what I submitted to the New Yorker caption contest today. Fingers crossed I win (fat chance). 🤷🏻♀️