Tag: finances

dark night soul


I feel somewhat cruddy at the moment.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, right before Thanksgiving, the relationship I was in ended.  It came as somewhat of a surprise.  That there were some issues wasn’t, but that it was time to walk away from the relationship was a surprise.  While the relationship was still fairly young time wise, it was pretty intense emotionally.  But still there was a distance between us, that we weren’t able to overcome.  Being that J lives in Portland and I’m still in LA, there is the obvious physical distance.  Not so obvious, was little rifts that opened up as we navigated our feelings and the intensity of the relationship.

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Escape from LA!

I’ve been in LA for over three years now.  It kind of blows my mind that I’ve been here this long.  I don’t hate LA, I’ve actually come to enjoy parts of LA quite a lot.  One of the things I don’t like though is the cost of living here.  One of the big reasons I’m still here, is that I haven’t been able to afford to move.  I haven’t been able to save as much as I’d like to have since I’ve been here.  Part of that is my own fault, spending money on things I don’t necessarily need and not prioritizing savings as well as I should.  But part of it, is that I just haven’t had a lot left over after paying rent and bills either.

In the end, this has contributed to a feeling of being trapped here in LA.  I don’t like that feeling.  So I’m making it a goal to do something about it.  The first step was to reexamine my budget and make some changes to prioritize savings more than I’ve done in the past.  The second thing I did was open an account on SmartyPig.  SmartyPig is essentially an online bank that offers savings accounts.  While I already have a savings account with my local credit union and with ING Direct, and could have easily just used that to build up a “moving fund,” SmartyPig has a little different focus.  It is a goal focused savings account.  You set up specific goals and the time line you want to complete them in.  What sets it apart from just your standard account is that it interacts in your social networks.  I’ve connected my goal to my Facebook account, so everytime I add money to my account, it’ll post something on my facebook wall.  I’ve also created a widget that I included on my blogs sidebar.  The widget shows the percentage of progress I’ve made towards my goal.  The other thing that is nice, is its easy for friends or family to contribute to that goal if they so choose.

The goal I created is this:

My goal is to save up $2500 by June 30, 2011.  This is based on what I estimate it would cost me to move back to Portland.  My lease is up at the end of July, so I’d like to have this fund in place by the time I’d need to put in 30 days notice.  I’d still need to get a job lined up, but just having this money set aside for this purpose will take a lot of pressure off of me.  I won’t feel as trapped here in LA.

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Sketch 26

The end of my friends visit was punctuated by a little freaking out about my lack of job and money in my bank accounts.  I placed a call into the Diocesan’s insurance administrator to check the status of my unemployment benefits application, and was told that they only cut checks once a month and that is around the 15th of the month.  So it would mean that I wouldn’t get a check until mid-July.  Thankfully on Thursday (the 26th), a check arrived with my first payment (which was backdated to include everything from my last day of work (May 15th).  That took a big weight off my shoulders for sure.

I signed up at a temp agency downtown.  They have mentioned a few opportunities, but I haven’t been sent out on anything yet.  The person there did give me some resume tips…so I’ve made some updates and plan on bringing them in Monday after the long holiday weekend.

I saw the movie Wanted, on Friday.  It is directed by the same director as the Russian films Nightwatch and Daywatch.  It was pretty enjoyable, lots of action, a cool car chase, and fun with trains.  Its not going to win any major awards or anything…but it was fun and worth the $14 (gotta love weekend movie pricing in LA).  The car chase almost overtook my previous favorite car chase in a movie (Ronin Car Chase), but its more special effect created, while the Ronin chase was just driving. (Wanted Car Chase Part 1, Part 2)

Other than that, it was a pretty slow week.  Still trying to be frugal with the funds, trying to read, trying to spend time at the beach avoiding the heat.  I got to do the prayers of the people at church on Sunday.  That was cool, my first involvement in a church service since finishing at Canterbury.  I’m really liking the new 10:15 service.  Its keeping me at Beverly Hills right now.  I might be getting more involved with this service in the near future.

…and wow, the year is half over.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2008/sketch-26/

the times….they are a changing

My process has gone into a bit of a self-imposed hiatus. While I have managed to pick up a temporary job that will allow me to have the money to cover August’s rent, my financial situation is still tenuious at best. Its a little frustrating to me, as I was finally making some progress on my path to seminary. While I haven’t had a lot of time to concentrate on this process in the past month or so, I have been doing a little work on it as well. I recently re-read Bill Countryman’s book Living on the Border of the Holy: Renewing the Priesthood of All. Once I get a little more settled with my current job situation, I’ll probably re-read it again, as there was definitely more that I wanted to delve into with that book. Especially in regards to my call towards an ordained ministry. I really like the idea though, that we are all priests in the church and that the “ordained” priesthood is just a sacramental priesthood and that we shouldn’t view the ordained/laiety groups as opposites.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.rhinoblues.com/thoughts/2006/the-timesthey-are-a-changing/