Posts Tagged ‘finances’


Calvin and Hobbes has been my favorite comic strip most of my adult life.  Although I never had an imaginary best friend, my attitude toward life was just like Calvin’s:  Question everything, get into mischief as often as possible, and make the best out of whatever situation you find yourself in.  When I saw this on the Calvin and Hobbes Facebook page today, I had to send it out to my team at work, and I printed it out, posting the strip in my cube.

So much in life has to do with plan B’s, and sometimes, as in this strip, the plan B’s are just as good as plan A.  My life has been a series of plan B’s; the earliest I can think of would be learning to live without my mom at the age of 8.  Then going to college to be a naval officer was another plan A — plan B was volunteering for submarine duty when I dropped out of college.  When my ex-wife’s and my plan A for having children didn’t pan out, our plan B was adopting and raising my second-cousin, Kayla.  She has been a real blessing in my life.  When plan A for my marriage blew up in divorce, I was faced with my most recent series of plan B’s in my personal life and finances.  I’m still sorting things out.  Plan B at work seems to be taking me back out on the road, so I can make more money and pursue the second great love of my life, travel.  Plan B in my finances has taken me to the point of filing bankruptcy, to get rid of the debt I’d built up while married.  My hearing is next week, so I’ll see how this plan works out.  There may be other plan B’s to follow.  Then in my personal life, there are a couple of plan B’s in progress.  Will I become a loner or will someone I know accept my problems and my love for travel, and love me in spite of it?  So far, the first seems to be the most likely path, but one never knows….

That’s the optimist in me — always hoping for the best outcome.  That was Calvin.  Although he was forced to go to school and take baths, he tried to make the best of it.


What are your plans for the weekend?


I have twenty dollars to get me through until next Friday.  Tomorrow, I plan to visit with my friends from college.  Steve bought my ticket for the Royals game, so I plan to pay for parking.  That will leave me with $10, to buy snacks at the game or use next week on a movie matinée and food.  Come payday, on Friday, my road to financial recovery will be starting.  I’ll have a couple of paydays with $100 left after paying bills, then a few with $200, and in August, I’ll be averaging $300 of mad money from then, on.  Not much, really, but compared to the last 6 months, I’ll feel like I have a fortune.





I found out today, my transfer to Field Service and my new job won’t happen until sometime in August.  Three teams in my department are trying to work out an internal swap among themselves, which according to my boss won’t take place until then.  After I transfer, I’ll need to go through some refresher training, do an in-house service rotation, then spend a rotation on the road with a senior technician, to make sure I can still do the job.  Looks like it will be sometime in September or October before I really get to go back out on the road again.  (Patience….)

Once I’m back out in the field, working overtime and having the company pay for most of my expenses, my money problems should finally be over.

Don’t ever get divorced.  I wouldn’t recommend it….


I wish I still wrote poetry, something I haven’t done since college.  Why?  Sometimes I feel melancholy, and I feel only a poem could capture my feelings without coming across as whining.  But Wayne, things are looking up for you! — I guess.  Some things are looking up, like traveling again in a couple of months.  I am so looking forward to again seeing other parts of the country.  Lately I find myself daydreaming a lot, picturing myself in Tennessee, New England, or California.  I’m either driving down the Interstate or eating in a barbecue joint or diner.


But, before I can hit the road, I’ll have to leave a few things behind.  First — On Sunday, I’ll be giving my cat back to my ex-wife — he’s been my little companion for over a year.  Having my ex-wife’s cat this week keeping him company has me wishing I had two cats again, instead of soon-to-be none.  Second — I’ll need to leave behind some coworkers or one in particular, who I’ve grown used to talking with everyday.  I’ll most likely never see them again (or rarely).  Going on the road will mean taking up an isolated existence, carrying on work-related conversations with a myriad of strangers, but never really interacting with anyone on a personal level.  These things are bringing me down.


And there are my financial woes, still hanging over my head.  Sometimes they seem like they’ll never go away.  It’s become the norm for my checking account to be overdrawn before payday weekend is even over, and I have less food in the apartment than I had while in college — at least back then I could get government cheese and peanut butter.  Pardon me — I’m committing an unpardonable sin, according to my ex-in-laws, talking openly about having no money.  One should wear a brave face and quietly starve to death, I guess.  I’m not starving, but one driver for taking the new field service job is that my company will pay for my meals while I’m on the road and I won’t need to eat ramen noodles every day.  Money problems bring me down.


Over the last year, I’ve grown comfortable in my habits and rituals, and changing jobs will mean upheaving them — but it’s something I need, to get moving forward again.  In the midst of my melancholy, I know there can be positive change, and I’m looking forward to the day when I can look back on this time like the days when I was failing out of college, and say “Boy, I’m glad that’s over with.”

Yesterday I blogged about the price I was able to fetch at the local pawn shop for my Wal-Mart wedding ring — $27.  I have 27 reasons to be thankful.  What did that $27 allow me to do?

  • Bought gas for the car, which allowed me to drive to tonight’s advance screening of Oblivion (a very good movie) and will allow me to drive to church on Thursday evening, to help serve a meal to homeless folks.
  • Allowed me to go to lunch with my coworkers and a visiting former coworker and her baby today.
  • Allowed me to buy dinner for myself at McDonald’s before the movie, where I ran into a former pastor of my former church.
  • Allowed me to buy cheese for the hamburgers we’ll be serving on Thursday night.
  • And, gave me enough quarters for two loads of laundry tomorrow night.

That’s a lot of bang for my bucks!  Now I don’t feel so bad about selling the ring….

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