Give Me Back My Five Bucks

One present down, one more to go!

Well I spent $65 on my sister’s birthday present, $15 over budget, but that’s okay. I got her an awesome zip-up jacket at 50% off, so I only paid $45 for it. Then I bought her a photo storage box, and filled it with little odds and ends I know she’ll enjoy. Even though I spent a little more on her, I don’t feel bad about it. She’s the only sister I have, afterall! :)

I don’t think the BF wants anything fancy for his birthday. He wants to go with me to MEC and pick out a bell for his bicycle, and maybe a pair of cheap cargo shorts, because he likes to wear them over top of his bicycling spandex. I kinda went overboard on his Christmas present anyway, so I think I’ll be able to stay within my $50 budget for him.

Updated the sidebar

Okay, so today is pay day. Unfortunately because I work for a professional hockey team (farm team to an NHL team) as my part-time job, they were away for the past two weeks, so I didn’t get any shifts. Just one pay cheque today, but that’s okay.

The sidebar is updated with new totals. I paid off my doctor’s bill of $200 for my surgery. Then I put $100 into my emergency fund – yahhh I’m over $500 now too NIUiceprincess! :) I put $125 in my condo down payment fund, and $50 into my RRSP contribution. Unfortunately, because I didn’t get a second pay cheque, and because I had that doctor’s bill, I’m now off track for my monthly debt repayment goal. I wanted to put $1,000 away every pay cheque, but I’ll have to settle for $700 this time. I’ll try to make up the extra $300 on the next cheque, but that might be pushing it a little too tight.

March Goals (mid-month review):

  • Talk to potential client for my graphic design business, and get a contract signed. I have yet to touch base with the client, though I do know that she is finalizing her budget for the year. I should be hearing from her soon.
  • Take on a 3rd job that will yield 10-15 hrs/month or less. I spoke with the supervisor of the organization I want to work for, and he told me to fill in an application and submit my resume, and he’ll get the ball rolling. There’s a 95% chance I’ll get hired, so I’m not really worried. But I still should get on submitting that resume.
  • $2,000 towards my line of credit. Currently, I’ve put $700 towards the LOC. $1300 to go, and one pay cheque remaining this month.
  • $1,000 towards my student loans. DONE!!! :)
  • $150 towards RRSP. $100 contributed so far, so I’m right on track.
  • $75 towards Condo Down Payment fund. I’m happy to report I’ve contributed $200 so far!
  • $300 into my Emergency Fund. $200 so far, so I’m on track for this one.

What’s the value of education?

I am not a University graduate. I have 2 1/2 yrs. completed towards a BA. I was on a full athletic scholarship, but I left after my 2nd year. I guess I was homesick and burnt out from training so intensely for so many years. Looking back, it wasn’t anything I couldn’t suck up for another 2 years … but back then, quitting and going home seemed like a matter of life or death. I was such an idiot!

And I can’t go back there and finish up my degree because I refuse to play elite level sports again. I still play 3 or 4 times a week, and I still go to the gym almost every day, but I don’t obsessively train for 5-6 hrs a day like I used to (in the summer it was 8 hrs/day!!!). I think that might kill me! Anyway, to go back without a scholarship, as an international student, it would cost me $36,000 for tuition and board alone.

Of course, it’s easy to reflect on how stupid I was, now that I’ve taken myself far away from that situation. And it’s not like I fully regret quitting, because I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had stayed … but I’m upset that I had a FULL SCHOLARSHIP (i.e. free money), and passed it up because I believed I was too tired to train, and too homesick to continue.

I have a college diploma hanging up on the wall behind me from a 2-year program I graduated from last year. At least that’s something. And it’s transferable, so I only have to take 2 more years to earn my B.A. in Communication Studies. That was the plan. I have an acceptance letter from Athabasca University’s distance education program sitting in a folder at home, and I had every intention of taking classes as soon as I gained full-time employment after college. So a year later, why haven’t I taken a single class?

The big barrier is money. Isn’t that always the case? :) Other priorities came up for me, namely paying off my student loans. And now, saving up for a down payment on a condo. It’s approximately $650 for each class through Athabasca, all distance-ed, so I could still continue to work full-time. I need 20 classes. $650 x 20 = $13,000.

I really really REALLY don’t want to take out student loans again if I don’t have to. So is it worth it? Is it worth $13,000 for a university degree? Is it really going to help me out in the job force?

The job I have now required a university degree and 3 years of experience – I have neither and got the job. So can experience outweigh education? Or was it just a fluke that I got hired here? In the future, are my resumes going to be tossed out as soon as they’re received because I don’t fit the educational mold they’re after?

If an employer is looking for someone with a degree, and all I have is a diploma and a bunch of experience, is that employer going to pick the person with the degree and little to no experience? Because if that’s the case, I don’t want to get screwed over, and I’ll go get that degree. But if it’s just a matter of digging a little more and applying to more places before an employer decides to considers me, then maybe it’s not worth it. What do you think?

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