Some days, everyone hates his or her job. Today was one of those days for me. Twenty-nine 15-year-olds in the classroom all day, every day is really difficult to manage, but two days before winter break it gets really rowdy. Also, today I had a lot of meetings. I know meetings are sort of a drag in every profession, but on a day when I’m already totally rattled, dealing with parents and counselors and psychologists and principals is just….very draining. Plus, I sort of put my foot in my mouth in my department meeting, so on top of being stressed and drained, I also feel like a dummy. Sigh.
Speaking of my department meeting, I learned today that I’m almost surely not getting a raise for the 2010-2011 school year. I’ll say it again: I got a very substantial raise last year (2008-2009 SY), so I’m not going to complain. But, it’s a discouraging piece of information on a hectic day. Also, $31 out of every paycheck goes to union dues. I teach in a state where teachers’ unions are extremely weak, and so far I haven’t seen our union do anything valuable (like negotiate pay raises in tough times), largely because they’re hampered by state laws that prevent strikes. Coming from a state where teachers went on strike frequently – and, incidentally, the public schools were much better – this frustrates me. To sum up, my work has not put me in a great place today, for financial and emotional reasons.
But I need to focus on moving forward financially, regardless of the pay raise situation. I haven’t finalized my 2010 financial goals, but this is what I’m thinking:
– Get my Freedom Fund up to $7,000
– Pay off my T.V.
– Continue contributing to my Roth (albeit at a low level)
– Keep my Car Repair Fund at $1000
Getting my Freedom Fund to $7000 will be tough, but I think I can do it. A few weeks ago I questioned whether I should focus on building up my Freedom Fund or paying off my smaller student loan in 2010. I’ve decided that I’m going to focus on building up my Freedom Fund for three reasons:
1. It’s what I want to do.
2. If interest rates start going back up, I can always pull money from my FF to pay off the loan.
3. My savings level right now is so low that I feel vulnerable.
So in 2010, I can promise that my #1 goal will be to build up my Freedom Fund. I just need to finalize the other goals. For today, I need to get out of this funk. Maybe some French truffles and merlot will help….
Update: Ok, this just tops my day off. Has the whole world gone mad?! I’m going to bed now and hoping that tomorrow is more sane…