Here’s Q&A Thursday for May 3rd! (Is it May already? Yikes.)
If all that is in line, open a brokerage account with a firm like Fidelity, Vanguard or Schwab and get some guidance on what to invest in. I like Index Funds that mimic the movement of one of the larger stock indexes like the S&P or the Nasdaq.
After you do an accounting of your budget, make sure all your debts are taken care of. This is not the same as being paid off. Just make sure that your debts are in your accounting of expenses so you still are paying down credit cards, student loans, and the mortgage in a reasonable way. Your retirement should be included in this assessment also since you are under no circumstances to stop paying into your retirement just because your little nugget costs more money. You will ultimately hurt your child in the long run if you don’t have yourself taken care of in your retirement years.
And finally, if you can in the next few months, build yourself a little cushion of money. Whether this is through an emergency savings, some gifts from family or clearing out some space on credit cards (not a lot, I am not advocating financing your baby), just be prepared from some first time expenses like cribs, car seats, other baby accoutrement.
I honestly could write a whole post on this and might in the future. But here are some beginning steps to get you started. And congratulations!
Ok, as someone who took a job for money and not for the love of the job, I have to say that you should take the job for peanuts. You ultimately spend more money trying to soothe yourself if you’ve taken a job that is really just toxic or against your principles. I took the job for the higher paycheck and ultimately spent the difference between what I was making before on eating out, americanos, and shopping because I was so miserable and needed some kind of therapy. Oh, and I spent it on that, too.
If you don’t have a job offer for a job you’d like but instead have a job that is a short term solution and doesn’t involve punching puppies or something else atrocious while you get your footing in the arts, I would recommend taking the job in those circumstances. The smartest thing any artist can do is have a “day job” until you are making enough to cover your basic expenses. I know successful stage managers and actors who still bartend, spend a few days a week filing, or have side jobs as home organizers to support their arts “habit”. If this position could be that, then take it and make it clear that your priority is not this job while you pursue your other goals.
But, if this is truly a question of “I have two offers and need to pick one”, take the lower paying job so you don’t need to start an online shopping habit to help yourself get through the day.
So there’s that.
Some basic tips, check on Bing.com and use their price predictor to make sure you aren’t booking flights before they’re at their lowest price. Save money on food by eating in and making lunch your big splurge meal, not dinner. Walk every where you can, that way you get some exercise and avoid paying for taxis and public transportation. See if your hotel comes with breakfast. Most overseas hotels do as do a lot of domestic chains. And if you just want to change scenery for a bit, consider a home swap or using a site like airbnb.com to find people who are renting out rooms to travelers.
Those are my simple, basic travel tips that I abide by so I don’t spend an arm and a leg to go on vacation.
And if you are a submitter and want to look at your particular question more deeply, I’m now offering a 15% discount on a comprehensive package and a 10% discount on a specific planning session to anyone who submits a question with their name attached! (Your name will not be published when Q&A Thursday gets posted.)