Where I'm Starting
In my first post, I outlined 6 things I'm not happy with in my life right now: finances, health, romantic relationships, friendships, career, and lack of purpose. I believe improving all of these things will be important for living an enjoyable life. Although I intend to work on all six concurrently, I feel like it is important to put an emphasis on one area at a time. As I start out, I plan on focusing on fixing my finances first. This is the biggest stressor in my life so it is the thing I think can help the most proportionally.
It is also an extremely important time for me to focus on my financial situation. As I write this, I'm anticipating having to blow a major hole in my finances this week. I am a gig worker. I do food delivery for third-party delivery companies. I have two cars for work, a 2016 Kia Forte and a 2002 PT Cruiser. I prefer using the PT Cruiser for work to reduce the wear and tear on the newer of the two cars.
Having two cars has been really important for doing this work. When I had only one car, a day in the shop for repairs meant lost earnings along with repair bills so a $600 repair also came with $200 or so of lost earnings for every day I couldn't use the car. The drawback to the two-car system is when both cars need repairs at the same time. And that is where I'm at today.
I won't bore with the details, but both of my cars need repair work done. The Kia starts, then stalls, the restarts then stalls again usually in less than a mile. I really wish it didn't restart because I would guess it was an alternator issue. Alternators aren't cheap but at least I know what to expect. The PT has been overheating. I tried all the cheap fixes I could but didn't have any luck. When this has happened in other cars, it was usually the radiator fan. This time, I don't think I'm that "lucky" since it won't cool down when the car is moving. Like an alternator, a new radiator fan isn't cheap but at least I know what to expect. It's the whole devil-you-know versus the devil-you-don't thing. I'd rather know what to expect in costs instead of potentially getting caught off-guard by something major.
I know openly discussing finances is the second taboo I've broken within the first three posts on this site. I plan on breaking this taboo a lot. There is such a stigma around finances, most people would rather discuss intimate details of their sex life before admitting their credit score. Mine is 634 or 581 depending on which credit card or bank report I rely on. According to the two sources they are both FICO scores also which is extremely confusing to me. I'm sure there is a reason for two vastly different FICO scores, but honestly, I've never been interested in personal finance so I pretty much just refused to learn even the basics.
This is where I start, I have spent years just kicking the can of my finances down the road and hoping by some stroke of luck it would all clear itself up. After roughly 15 years of spiraling further out of control, it is time to take accountability and stop thinking it will get fixed through no effort on my part. Today, I take responsibility for not being able to cover my car repairs without doing major damage to my savings. I want to learn to take control of my finances so the next repair won't hurt my wallet nearly as bad as this one will.
The first step I'm going to take toward improving my finances is turning to books on the topic. I'm not going to be reading the "become a millionaire" self-help stuff, just basic personal finance tips, tricks, and strategies. For my first book I've chosen:
If you have any personal finance books you would recommend please tell me about them in the comments.
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Randy Miller is on a quest to move his life along the scale from completely sucking to sucking slightly less to potentially sucking very little. He isn't really sure how he'll do this, but maybe writing about it will help.
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