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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Today, I did my 1,000th Uber Eats delivery.  Yes it took me two years, because I do other things with my life. Kate was especially excited.

Monday, March 18, 2019

New Budget TBA

Since paying off some bills with my tax refund money, I have been meaning to make a new budget.  I’m holding off on it, because of some income changes.  Field Agent is proving to be pretty good money.  Even food deliveries are pretty decent lately with so many incentives.  I’m in Facebook groups for all three of my side hustles, and most of the others complain that it’s not enough and they are in poverty, but this isn’t the case for me.  I think some people just complain no matter what.  I often try and give advice, and the advice I give gets shot down immediately as to why they can’t take the advice.  Oh well!  Whenever people post screenshots of really good earnings for a day, I congratulate them, but that’s it. For my mental health, I need to be positive.  
Things are also changing with my “main” job, the elder home care agency.  They actually lowered our pay.  Lowered it!  We were already getting paid crap as it was!  As a result, there was a sick out this weekend.  This was not my weekend with my daughter, and I worked with my regular client.  I’m also helping his daughter take advantage of some VA benefits he qualifies for.  In a company I used to work for, we visited many clients who qualified for a VA caregiver grant, but this current company doesn’t accept that.  I also told her about the app.  You can hire caregivers privately on that app.  You can find babysitting jobs, nanny, elder care, pet sitting, and house sitting jobs on the care app.  I had a few random babysitting jobs and one elderly client for two years who recently passed away.  The elderly client’s husband would go on fishing trips and I’d live in with his wife while he was gone.  It was a pretty sweet deal. When he returned, he made me help him filet the fish.  I was a bit grossed out, but he jokingly said, “It’s in the job description!”  He was a very nice guy. Anyway, I’m going on a tangent. 
My current client immediately looked into both and called my old boss who accepts VA payments.  I know I can get in trouble for that, but I don’t care.  At least I didn’t participate in the sick out.  If I didn’t like my client and his family so much, maybe I would have.  
All of these variations in income and expenses are why I am waiting a week or two to create my new budget.  All I know is that I currently have $155 in the gas budget, and that I need a lot of help with eating inexpensively while out and about/on the go.  A lot of the finance blogs I follow talk about their grocery budget, and I just don’t know where to start with that.  

Sunday, March 17, 2019

“But it won’t be worth the gas just to get there.”

I hear this a lot from people when turning down job opportunities or shifts.  I never quite understood how they calculated gas at all.  A good way to see if a job opportunity is worth your gas is to fill the tank all the way from empty to full. Keep the receipt and only drive to and from work.  Add up how much you earned since you filled the tank until it gets all the way to empty again.  Then, do mere subtraction.  Another more precise way is to enter your vehicle information and to and from addresses into
It will tell you exactly how much in gas you spend on one trip, based on average current gas prices.  Please don’t pass up opportunities because of the false belief that “it will cost more in gas to get there than I’ll earn”.  Unless you are a migrant farm worker, that’s simply not true.

My two younger children

I have my 11 year old biological daughter, and I also have a boyfriend who has a son and daughter of his own. BF and I first met when we were 15 years old. We were friends all throughout high school and even for a year or so after graduation.  In 2009, we reconnected on social media. I separated from my ex husband thanksgiving weekend of that year, and he had just married his ex wife. We didn’t get romantically involved at first, of course, but we did chat a lot and get caught up. I remember him making comments about how my ex husband was “stupid to let me go”.  But since he was married, it never went further than that at that time.  His daughter was born close to 9 months after his wedding, and his son was born exactly 18 months later.  His ex wife then had a third child (a girl) whom he believed at first to be his, but she was not his. There were additional problems, and they went their separate ways.  At the time, I was doing volunteer work with an organization that worked with children in state custody.  His ex wife had all three of the kids removed from her care, and they went into foster care.  My boyfriend made the boldest move imaginable and actually represented himself in court and won sole custody of his two children. He learned in a court hearing that the youngest was not his.  No one bothered to tell him beforehand. During the court battle, because I was volunteering with kids in state custody, he was asking me A TON of questions.  He would actually scan court documents and email them to me. I would be like, it’s really none of my business to see all this, but he trusted me.  In the midst of all of this, he told me that he always had a crush on me in high school. Ugh- really? Why didn’t you tell me? I didn’t start dating until I was 22 and always felt like a freak for that.  His reasons for not telling me are complicated (his best friend also had a crush on me).  I’d have never gone with his friend, but with him, yes.  Now we are together.  His children are 7 and 8.  Their mother has not talked to them in two years or seen them in five years.
It’s amazing to me how you can love children so much who didn’t come from you.  I didn’t just score a great man and a best friend, I fell in love with a trio.
We are not without opposition at all, though.  A lot of people think I should not be with a man who “has baggage”. I have given up on bringing up that I have baggage, too.  Does that mean I’m someone to be avoided? At my age, who can I be with if not someone with baggage? The 40 year old virgin or someone young enough to be my son?
Other concerns are that many people want me to have a conversation with his ex wife and get her side of the story about what kind of husband he was.  They want to know if she claims he was abusive (doesn’t matter that she abused her kids), and they want to know if he cheated on her.  Once a cheater, always a cheater, right?  He didn’t cheat, but remember the youngest one wasn’t his, so I think maybe she cheated lol.  Besides, my ex husband’s wife wouldn’t care one bit about “my side” of the story. A lot of my friends and family don’t want me with him, but he makes me happy.  After college ruined my life, I would like some happiness, even though I’m “supposed to” find happiness only in myself.  I do a lot of things I’m not supposed to.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Another woman’s baby

In the  past year or so, I’ve become hooked on the HULU adaptation of “The Handmaid’s Tale”, which is named after the 1985 novel. The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian future in which the very few women left who still have their fertility are forced to bear children for the infertile leaders and their wives.  The concept of a handmaid is taken directly from the book of Genesis.  Abraham’s wife Sarah could not conceive, so she “gave” her handmaid (slave) Hagar to her husband so that Hagar would have a baby for Sarah.  Later on, their grandson Jacob had two wives, and during their own periods of infertility they each gave their handmaids/slaves to Jacob to have children for them.  In the Bible it says that Bilhah gave birth “on Rachael’s knee”, a symbolic gesture to make it as if Rachel was the one giving birth.  This is also how they do it in Margaret Atwood’s book- they not only birth the baby on the wife’s legs, but conceive the baby between the wife’s legs as well.

Watching The Handmaid’s Tale really made me think of Hagar, Bilhah, and Zilphah.  What the fertile women endured in Margaret Atwood’s book emotionally, physically, mentally, and even spiritually was dehumanizing.  Did the biblical handmaids endure the same range of brutalizing experiences?  Did they willingly have children for these other women? Did they even consent to sex, or was it rape? 

I think it’s easy to say that things are so different today.  But this is where I’m going with this- many women earn $30K-$60K to be a surrogate, and I have known of a handful of women who paid off their student loans that way.  Yes they chose it, but if you view student debt as debt slavery as I do, then are they that much different then Offred, Hagar, Zilphah And Bilhah?  I am thankful that I do not meet the requirements to be a surrogate.  I am 40 years old and also take antidepressants.  These days, you can also donate your eggs in order to allow another woman to be artificially inseminated.  However, using *your* egg means that that is your biological child somewhere out there.  You can earn between $3K-$10K to donate eggs.  I’m so thankful that I do not qualify for this either due to my advanced maternal age.  With a biological child out there somewhere, I would have my eyes wide open for the rest of my life, looking at children anywhere in public who might have come from my DNA.  Like many others, I probably would do this for money to lessen the debt slavery.  Child bearing servitude takes on a new meaning in the 21st century.

Major credit score increase!!!

I knew this would happen when I used my tax refund to pay off three debts! My credit score was 666 when I bought my car on July 9, 2018.  Because of the purchase, it dipped to 643 for the longest time.  Only recently did it creek up a little to 645, and it’s been at 645 for a while.  Now I’m at 671! I am looking forward to the day that it becomes 700 for the first time since college.  When I divorced my ex husband, my score was 800, and when I started at the university, it was in the 790’s.
Heres to better days.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Videos To take seriously

One of my goals for this blog was to share
YouTube videos about the higher education bubble and people who really got screwed by going to college.  There is one problem, though: There are way too many of them.  That’s all this blog would ever be.  To be honest, most people don’t care about young people (“millennials”) who are basically screwed for life because of college, because “They’re the ones who signed the dotted line.”  They chose to go, after all! Suckers!  What people fail to realize is that the generation right behind me (I’m technically Gen X, since I was born in 1978), didn’t really “have a choice”, did they?  We were all taught that if we didn’t go to college that our lives would be miserable with absolutely no job prospects except for maybe fast food.
That’s why I like this video about baby boomers with student loan debt.  Perhaps older Americans will empathize more if they see their own peers in this situation. There was yet another video (which I can’t find now, but I will post when I do find it) about a woman in her 60’s who went back later in life and became a dentist.  There is one loan that she took out for dental school that when she signed for it, was told that this meant she’d never be able to be on Medicare or Medicaid.  She was a bit disappointed about Medicare. But trusted that she’d save enough for retirement to have even better healthcare.  What ended up happening was that the loan *actually* meant that she is not allowed to *treat patients* who are on either Medicare or Medicaid.  Oh-oops.  That’s not how it was presented to her, though, and now she’s screwed!  There are thousands of people she can be treating as a dentist whom she is now not allowed to.  I just think that sucks.  It means her income is not what it should be.

Millennials and my people (Xennials) aren’t the only ones who got flogged by the educational system.  Hopefully, generation Z (my daughter’s generation, born after 1995, who are characterized by not remembering 9/11) will learn from our mistakes.  Maybe someday I will proudly say that my child was the first in the family not to go to college!

(I’m kidding, sort of.  I do want things to get better before she reaches college age, but the class of 2025 is closer than we think.)

Fun mystery shop ๐Ÿ“š๐Ÿ“’

I had to go to an office supply store yesterday evening to do an audit on this brand of journals.  It asked me to buy X amount of certain sku numbers, answer questions, and I will be reimbursed for the purchase and paid $7 over and above that. 
I was really excited about this one. I love office supply stores for some odd reason!
Last night, I also paid my PayPal credit monthly minimum for next month with just money I made through field agent. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A Relaxing Evening

When I need to relax, I lay in my bed and play YouTube videos that are long and easy to listen to.  Here are some of my favorites for the record:
Relaxing talk down meditation  with a nice, calming repetitive beat.
The Serenity Prayer meditation
The Book of Psalms
Native American flute music
Panic attack affirmations
And Worship Music

Good night! ๐Ÿ˜ด ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ ๐Ÿง˜‍♀️

The worst panic attacks.

I’ve been having extremely severe panic attacks for almost two days now.  I used to believe that my panic attacks couldn’t be any worse than they were, but I was wrong.  They were constant, nonstop, and severe.  I did not work yesterday afternoon or today.

Luckily, I was able to see the psychiatrist this morning.  This doctor doesn’t take my insurance, but I pay $100 cash each visit to see him, because he is very liberal with Valium.  There is always a lot of people in the waiting room, and I think that’s because he always prescribes away.  This time, he decided to switch my Zoloft to Celexa and he switched Valium to Xanax. It was mainly because of the sudden worsening and severity of my symptoms.  My cousin is also a psychiatrist, and she has been recommending I go to outpatient treatment for panic attacks, even thought she can’t ethically be my doctor.  I know my insurance covers that with only a $50 copay, but I would like to see how being on medication again (and a new medication) will help before I take such a drastic step.  

My psychiatrist also gave the ok for CBD oil, which surprised me. Doctors don’t usually like CBD products, but then again, this psychiatrist is a little on the crackhead side, especially for an old white guy.  This morning, he was drinking a monster energy drink and wearing cargo pants.  That’s how against the grain he is from your typical doctor.

Monday, March 11, 2019

The more lucrative side hustle

This afternoon, I did only one food delivery. The delivery took me far enough southwest so that there were 15 jobs on the field agent app located all along the way home. So I did all of them. The total I will be paid for all 15 is $55.  I started to wonder if field agent is actually more lucrative than food deliveries? Today it was. Those 15 audits took me a little over 3 hours. I definitely drove less than I do when doing food deliveries, but that’s because the locations were all along a route I was going anyway (or only slightly deviated).  On other days, there wouldn’t be as many audits in my area, so I would spend my free afternoon doing Postmates or Uber Eats.  The important thing is to keep active with all side gigs and keep up with which should be the better one in any specific given time. Food delivery apps are almost never busy on weekdays from 9-10 am and 2-3 pm, so those would be good times to log off of the food delivery apps and do a field agent job if there is one in the area I happen to be in.  If I end up far from home, I should picture a line across the city map from where I happen to be and where I need to drive to and accept all field agent jobs that are on the way or only slightly deviated (time permitting).  With careful planning, I can maximize side job earnings across several platforms better each time.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Will student loans be forgiven in 20 years?

I was in a Facebook group for single moms. I eventually left, because the women were really not like me at all. I stick with the CNA support group on Facebook now. It’s relatable and active. Women who have the same job as you are easy to relate to, regardless of their marital/parenting status.
In the single mom group, one woman posted asking who has student loans. She said that hers was $1,000 a month.  Everyone who commented said that she should do an income based plan. I commented that when someone does income based repayment, the balance goes up over time. They aren’t paying off the debt at all. Then I saw that most of them believed that if you had on time payments that the government would forgive the debt once it’s been 20 years.
I have heard of that, and I am skeptical.  I am extremely skeptical. There is a 100% chance that in 20 years someone in Washington is going to pass a law saying “Never mind!” And millions of people will be stuck with loan balances that are exponentially higher than when they graduated.  I am also on an IBR, but I pay extra each month into the principal.  The IBR is there in case I’m not able to in a given month.  I can definitely see sometime in the early 2030’s millions of people who expected their loans to be forgiven to really be raising hell. It has already happened with the public servants. 99% of people who applied for public service loan forgiveness were rejected. When people say that college loans will be forgiven in 20 years, I am skeptical. I am extremely, extremely skeptical ๐Ÿคจ.

Depression Bites

Yesterday while doing Uber Eats deliveries, I ended up delivering to a customer who lives in my old apartment complex.  Being there brought back a flood of wonderful memories from when I lived there with my daughter.  I only did one more delivery after that before I went home and stayed in bed for the rest of the day.  I hate when depression hits like this.  This severe depression has been going on for five years. I’m tired of it.