Ups and downs the past 2 months

June 29, 2010 at 7:41 am (mr. maven, things I bought, truck)

It’s been mostly downs when it comes to money, but things are certainly looking up going forward. You’ll notice that my mini-funds are mostly exhausted (on the right). Here’s an overview of what’s been going on:

Vehicle Issues
One night leaving work my truck refused to stay running and started chugging in fits and starts. Luckily I was able to limp to the mechanic and catch a ride home with a coworker without having to get a tow. A $175 diagnostic later, and a $475 Nissan specialized part later, my bill came to $777.87 for a new mass airflow sensor. That cleaned out my meager $360 car fund. The rest (more than $400) came out of what should otherwise have gone towards debt.

J’s continued unemployment
J finished his 2 year paralegal program earlier this month and he is DONE! However, he has continued to remain unemployed in order to have time to complete his 2 final classes. Now that he’s done he has decided to be self-employed and try to find several lawyer clients to do contract paralegal work for. He has one person lined up and is in the process of getting another. However he wants to stay unemployed through the summer if possible to finish getting his business house in order and to help study for a big paralegal exam. So for a while he is going to continue to pay less than his normal share of rent and expenses. That is a direct impact on me, as I have to make up the difference, which means less money to pay towards debt (to the tune of $150-$250/month).

New art purchases
I couldn’t help myself. I bought another sculpture from my favorite artist. I am helpless when it comes to this person’s art. Damage: $240. I still don’t feel bad about it however.

Hiking, more hiking, and supporting REI
I made a pact with a good friend of mine to go for a hike every Saturday. Except for one weekend she was out of town for a trip (and I still went without her), and last week when I had strep throat and was in bed for 5 days straight, we’ve not missed a weekend in the last 3 months. We’re doing this to get out of dodge as well as get good rigorous exercise. To really make this possible I had to replace my nasty ill-fitting hiking boots (they gave me such a bad blister one weekend that it took me 3 weeks to heal the skin on my heal), buy some gear, some hiking books, and clothes. Damage: $270 for new hardcore boots (which fit like a dream), $275 for wicking shorts/convertible pants/wicking tops, $40 for 6 hiking books (all used!!), and an extra tank of gas every other week (driving 2 1/2 hours outside of Seattle to get into the mountains); $30 for an annual trail pass, $30 for an annual Mt. Rainier national park pass, $60 for a pair of used trekking poles, and a bunch of other misc. items. I did pay for this partially with my clothes and health fund – I’m considering this an investment on my health and well-being.

I’ll definitely be paying more in the future as I have a few more items to get (a good day pack to replace my cheesy $10 target backpack for example), but I still have most of my camping gear. I don’t know if I will need a new backpack, as the one I have is expensive, but I don’t like it very much. Maybe I will return it to REI for a refund, I think it was in the $300-$400 range. Tent, check. Sleeping bag, check. Cookware and stove, check.

I’ll also be planning a few backpacking trips for overnight or multiple days, and hopefully a week-long trip in September or October where I plan on hiking every day.

I could have neglected to buy the new art and not invest in hiking gear, but I don’t think I can maintain not hiking or buying new art for another 4 years. Marathon, not a sprint, remember! I’m in this for the long haul, and want to enjoy my life as I get out of debt in a maintainable way.

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