Author Topic: Case Study Cross-Posted From Journals: Nothing But Time  (Read 2950 times)

derekh

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Case Study Cross-Posted From Journals: Nothing But Time
« on: November 25, 2013, 08:21:10 AM »
I saw that through your help, previously about-to-be homeless and unemployed people have turned their lives around!  I run a journal in the journal section and would love a wider range of input. 

I have 4 "Jobs," a paid-off car (my parents are generously covering insurance and cell phone,) and no outstanding debts.  I have a checking account with $800 in it, and an emergency savings account with $3,500 in it. I have a BA in Psychology.

1. I teach Sunday school and make roughly $200/month- only during the school year.  5 hours/week
2. I tutor math and make $45/week from this. 5 hours/week including driving
3. I intern on a farm.  Starting in February, this will be roughly 15 hours a week and $400/month + veggies (ending in the winter).  Currently, it is just veggies and only 5 hours/week
4. I start a part-time marketing internship in January that will pay $500 for 3 months of work, roughly 5 hours/week with an opportunity for bonuses based on performance.

The teaching and tutoring stops as of 4 PM today and does not pick up again until January 4th (parents choice, not mine for the tutoring clients!)

Here are my average spendings (this is before paying rent, which is $200/month and starting this December.)  Over the past 5 months, my average income has been $408.

$96.40/month on groceries
$57.60/month on gas
$25.06/month on entertainment
$21.20/month on charity (I have since reduced this category to $10/month because I volunteer 3 hours a week doing data entry at a local food bank)

Part of my problem is that because I have social difficulties (social workers have hinted that I likely have Aspergers but were not licensed to diagnose,) I tend to flub interviews no matter how much I research, and because I am very slow to pick up social cues, I do not learn quickly, which has caused people in the past to cut my hours.  This is one reason I have always wanted a farm- I would like a job that involved a slower pace of constant work, working alone, and I enjoy repetitive tasks like weeding once I learn how.

My grandmother passed away and through my parents, left me roughly $10,000 with the stipulation that it be used for my wedding.  I was hoping to use the money, if I am legally allowed to, to go back to school or to go to a certificate program.  If anyone can recommend any unconventional job ideas or certificate programs costing this much or less that would allow me to get a job, I would be happy to hear them. 

Ultimately, I will be a career farmer, and through extensive studying and my internship, I know I can make it work and it will be low risk, but only if I buy my land up front, which will require working as something other than a farmer.

1. What should I do in December when I am not working to maximize skills?  Ideally it should be free to learn and something I could leverage into a job.

2. Any ideas of what programs I should go to that would cost less than $10,000 that could lead to a job?

3. Should I put the $3,500 of emergency fund into something other than a savings account now that my checkings has $800?  Should I open a Vanguard account?  I don't want to lose 2% of my meager life savings every month because of inflation.  If I'm only spending $400 a month with rent, then I have a 2-month emergency fund in my checking account.

Thank you so much for your help!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2013, 08:25:29 AM by derekh »

CommonCents

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Re: Case Study Cross-Posted From Journals: Nothing But Time
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2013, 09:19:22 AM »
My grandmother passed away and through my parents, left me roughly $10,000 with the stipulation that it be used for my wedding.  I was hoping to use the money, if I am legally allowed to, to go back to school or to go to a certificate program.  If anyone can recommend any unconventional job ideas or certificate programs costing this much or less that would allow me to get a job, I would be happy to hear them. 

Ultimately, I will be a career farmer, and through extensive studying and my internship, I know I can make it work and it will be low risk, but only if I buy my land up front, which will require working as something other than a farmer.

1. What should I do in December when I am not working to maximize skills?  Ideally it should be free to learn and something I could leverage into a job.

2. Any ideas of what programs I should go to that would cost less than $10,000 that could lead to a job?

3. Should I put the $3,500 of emergency fund into something other than a savings account now that my checkings has $800?  Should I open a Vanguard account?  I don't want to lose 2% of my meager life savings every month because of inflation.  If I'm only spending $400 a month with rent, then I have a 2-month emergency fund in my checking account.

Thank you so much for your help!

If your grandmother restricted it in the will, I wouldn't count too heavily on being able to get around it.  Also consider whether it's truly the right thing to try to get around her express last wishes, doing what you want rather than honoring what she wants. (That's the thing about giving money to people.  YOU get to decide how they use it, not you.)

I would NOT consider farming to be low risk.  Most of what I've heard is that it's fairly risky (hello weather!) and you are frequently living on the edge.

1. Volunteer more (and reduce charitable contributions?).  I can't advise more on where w/o knowing more about what you are interested in doing.
2. See above re using the $10K.  I would not count on being able to access it for anything other than your wedding.
3. Regardless of how you shuffle about your money, consider opening a higher yield savings account.  I have one that earns 0.7%  Not great, but better than 0.

willn

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Re: Case Study Cross-Posted From Journals: Nothing But Time
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2013, 09:22:52 AM »
Quick thoughts:

--Sounds like you are good at math.  Maybe try to get more tutoring jobs.  Spread the word in your neighborhood, ask existing clients to recommend you.  Oh, and raise your price.  9$/hour sounds way too cheap. I'd suggest more like 25-40/hour.  Maybe not for your existing clients, but let them know you'll be charging a bit more for the referrals so they don't set a low expectation with their friends.

--Being good at math and deficient at social skills sounds like the recipe for a computer programmer.  Pick up a beginning programming book or find some tutorials on the internet

--An emergency fund savings account is insurance, not an investment.   Your expenses are very low so maybe you can reduce that to 2K and put the rest into a IRA, see next point.

--I'd open a Roth with part of your 10K. Your grandparents money is "fungible"--the 10K is a drop of water in a bucket--when you drain water off you don't get the same exact drop, do you?  So later, when you get married, and spend 10K, it can be thought of as "grandma's contribution", may they rest in peace.

--You can learn programming cheaply, but maybe you need a laptop and some books, a community college course can't hurt either so maybe use some of the 10K to that.

Lil_Bit

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Re: Case Study Cross-Posted From Journals: Nothing But Time
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2013, 10:39:53 AM »
Hi derekh - first, so sorry for the loss of your grandmother.

Glad that you have some savings set aside and your expenses are quite low, thatís a great start.  I personally think itís a good idea to use the money your grandmother left for you to expand your knowledge and career.  Definitely discuss this with your parents; they may be able to work out an arrangement with you where they can pay for your courses directly.

Let us know what type of courses or certificate program you are focusing on and Iím sure we can all try to help point you in that direction.  I know that many local community colleges offer some online courses.

Iím not sure what state you are in but you can check to see if there are other local farmers in your area that you could possible intern at as well, especially the ones that run the CSA programs, they need help year round.  Here are two links for reference:

http://www.localharvest.org/organic-farms/
https://www.pinckneysproduce.com/

Oh and I agree with the previous poster, you should increase your hourly rate for the tutoring jobs.   ~ Wishing you the best.