So I've decided to start a journal. I've been reading these forums daily for nearly a year now, but have seldom posted. I changed my username so that I might maintain some anonymity -- I used to go by my first name.
eating out: 20
drinking out: 31
Student loan: 131.27
Cell phone: 81.50
Gifts: 125.75 + 1,000.00
Utilities this month included a $46.50 water bill, which comes quarterly. I seldom go out drinking, so this expense was also not normal. I plan to return a pair of boots that I bought ($89), so my real clothes expense will be $15. The $1000 gift is somewhat of a loan to my boyfriend towards a car. While I don't agree that a car is the dire necessity that he believes it to be, it is my xmas gift to him to help him out. He says he will pay me back, though it's my general philsophy to regard friendly loans as gifts...
January will be a tricky month. I am on vacation until the 18th (not by choice, though I'm welcoming the time off). I will be paid when I return, though my income for this month will most likely be lower than it has been for the past few months. I have some expenses coming up:
I have real estate taxes to pay on some land I own: $660
My tuition for this semester is currently about $3100, but I am contemplating dropping a class.
I am pursuing a second bachelor's degree for reasons I can't fully rectify with my desire for ERE. I got my first degree from a very competitive (but very expensive) university in the oh-so-useful humanities (the student loan listed above is a remnant of that). I'm currently pursuing biology (ecology). I've been in school for the past year or so, taking 1-2 classes per semester (plus winter and summer sessions). I started out in bio during my first time around, so some classes transferred. I have about a year to go, if I take both classes this spring. I'm sort of treating school as my hobby at this point: I really enjoy it, I'm able to take classes in a sequence that is different from other undergrads (who seem to believe that you have to play by the rules), and I believe I have established some good relationships with my professors. I realize that I will probably make about the same income that I do now (and quite possibly less) from any bio job that I get with just a B.S. I hope to work as a fisheries observer in Alaska for maybe a year or two when I finish (this is a sort of bucket list job for me). I would love to go to grad school, but only if I'm paid to do it, or after I've reached ERE. As far as the upcoming semester, I'm becoming more attracted to taking only one class (and thereby reducing my tuition to about $1400). This might put off my graduation date, but I'm still not convinced that I absolutely need (another) piece of paper to do what I want.
I suppose I am retired in the sense that I work part time while I'm free to pursue various interests. For the most part I enjoy what I do for work (I bartend), though I think it will be time for a change within the next year or two. As an INTJ, socializing and dealing with people makes me exhausted, although I believe that my discomfort in these situations has been rather positive for the way I associate with people in general (I also believe it's good to regularly step out of your comfort zone). My goal is to build up my savings, create sources of passive income, and have the freedom to live in a few different locations around U.S. and abroad). I bought land a few years ago (which I just paid off in October) with the dream of building myself a little off-the-grid cabin (to live in for part of the year, and live somewhere else the other part of the year). I may still do this. There is the possibility of harvesting timber from the land, or just selling it down the road.
This post has gotten much longer than I intended.