Author Topic: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road  (Read 3808 times)

stevenb

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Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« on: December 10, 2013, 10:19:46 PM »
Hi everyone, I'm extremely green to the whole savings game, but at 25 years old, I feel confident that I'm in a fortunate position. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to maximize my frugalness and see a return. My current job, as you will see below, won't allow for a super early retirement. But before I get into where I'm stuck, let me provide some background:

Salary: 35k/year (new job in action sports industry where people are in it for the passion, not money haha)
Additional income: 5-10k (I shoot/edit video on the side, trying to build name for myself, already invested in the necessary gear)
No debt and no savings

I did some heavy digging through my financials and I can get by saving 15k to 20k a year. If you'd like me to provide hard numbers on how I got to this, I can provide estimates.

It looks as though in the next 6 to 10 months I'll receive another 5k bump to my salary. Still very little, but will add to my savings since I don't plan on spending it;) There isn't too much growth in the sport we manufacture for, so if I stick around for a long time, I don't expect to make that much money, even if I dedicate my life to the company! haha

Here's where the fork lies in the road: I can continue with my work and have great work life balance with surfing and traveling internationally comped by the company I work for, which is a tremendous opportunity. My boss is a great friend that I knew years before I started working for the company. But I also am not that motivated by the work and the industry. It's easy. I sit at a desk, do some sales, talk to dealers and customers, and no one breathes down my neck.

Or...

I can go back to school in South Florida and become a fire fighter. Being from Miami, I have a lot of connections for side hustles on my days off and the South Florida fire department pays much more than other parts of the country (est. 60k FF/paramedic). I have a good friend who has been in the department for almost a decade and should be able to pull strings for me (fingers crossed even though he tells me to rest assured). I figure with the fire fighter gig, I can still stay active and not be stuck behind a desk, plus have the opportunity to make more money, save, and retire earlier. Plus I could see myself enjoying the job as well, but who knows!

In this situation, do you stick with what you know and what's comfortable (hoping things work out) or try and shake things up a bit make more and save more? Thanks for the help everyone. Just been beating myself up over it and figured this audience would have some experience with this situation early on in their career.

-Steven

Khan

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2013, 10:35:39 PM »
I'm 26 as well. I have a couple thoughts on the matter
1. You only live once. You're young and have plenty of room to jump, so go for it. What's the worst thing that could happen?
2. Don't ever trust an employer as far as you can throw them. Who knows what takeover/buyout/layoff could be in the future.
3. 35k/year is decent, but nothing to just sit on your haunches for. I make 75k/year and I'm planning on quitting my job in the near future to make my own leap.
4. Renegotiate? Attempt to get a profit-sharing addition or something to your salary if you like the job so much.

lackofstache

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2013, 09:57:05 AM »
Kudos on no debt, but I'd have some savings before making the leap. Enjoy your job now, save up enough to get by if there is some down time between jobs, then make the leap. I don't see a good reason to make the jump immediately unless there's a specific timeline for the firefighting gig...

stevenb

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2013, 07:01:06 PM »
Thanks for the replies!

@lackofstache, saving more money is definitely do-able and great advice before taking the leap. However, I'd like to start taking the classes sooner rather than later since my parents are willing to help me out financially (very, very fortunate situation). 

@Khanjar, your second and third point really struck home for me. Thank you.

Peony

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2013, 07:10:01 PM »
You sound more enthusiastic about the possible firefighting gig than the one you have. Is there any way to get a closer look at the reality of that job? Can you hang around the firehouse with your buddy, or get onto some kind of firefighter message board or something? If, after some research, it really seems like something you'd like, I'd go for it sooner rather than later. I could be wrong, but a physically demanding job like firefighting seems like something you do when you are young, quick and strong. And why not go for the better money now?

FrugalSpendthrift

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2013, 07:29:10 PM »
2. Don't ever trust an employer as far as you can throw them. Who knows what takeover/buyout/layoff could be in the future.
Geez!  As an employer I guess I should never trust an employee either.

MKinVA

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2013, 07:33:45 PM »
You're young. Jump now. It's never going to be easier.

_JT

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2013, 07:38:20 PM »
Possibility at a better job that pays double with no debt at 25? No brainer.

stevenb

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Re: Young Grasshopper - Fork In The Road
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2013, 07:51:42 PM »
2. Don't ever trust an employer as far as you can throw them. Who knows what takeover/buyout/layoff could be in the future.
Geez!  As an employer I guess I should never trust an employee either.

Haha great point, but with my company having recalled several products just in the 2013 season and more issues on the way for 2014... the high season isn't looking great since I handle customer service/warranty.