Monday, February 6, 2017

Disposable income

I've had it pretty good the last decade or so. I was able to work part time (less than 30 hours) and still make ends meet because my job paid me nicely, and since I live a pretty frugal life I haven't had to struggle. I lack the expenses some folks in my situation usually have (no car payments or associated fees, for instance, and I don't have dependents or pets). And because of both occasional windfall and the checks that come in from my writing, I have a little disposable income.

Which I mostly use to buy toys and silly things, but sometimes I use it to buy new clothes or unnecessary-but-fun accessories, or to donate to charities/causes, or to get BOOKS, or to go on vacation.

Now that I'm officially between jobs, I can't trust that I will continue to have a disposable income, at least for a while. I got a nice severance package and payout from my unused vacation days, but I'm pretending it isn't there since I'll have to live on it if I don't get a job right away. (I have multiple interviews this week so I'm hoping at least one will shake out into a job offer.) Once I do get a job, assuming it's soon, I'll be able to treat that package like a little bonus: probably save most of it, but use it to do some things I've been putting off. Here's my shopping list for when that day comes:
  • Some new work clothes
  • A pair of jeans
  • A couple clothing items for my mom, if she'll let me buy her stuff
  • Marker refills for my Copic set
  • Steven Universe Pop toys when they come out in March
  • Animaniacs Pop toys that are already out
  • Some shelves for all the damn toys in my room
  • A SingSnap membership for my friend Paul who's losing his soon
  • A belated birthday gift for Meggie
  • An upgraded ukulele
  • Perhaps an up-to-date computer with up-to-date video editing software
There are also a couple necessaries like paying off my credit card from the holidays (I could do it, but elected not to in case I have to stretch what I have; I'm just making small payments), paying taxes, and possibly getting a new phone or paying for repairs on mine because it has been rebooting itself at weird times and farting here and there and getting low on battery sooner than it should.

And maybe I'll get some weird candy or something. But that's about it.

It's a little weird to put aside stuff I would ordinarily just buy when I wanted it, but I'm not upset about it. This is the kind of thing I was privileged to enjoy when it was available to me, not something I just expected. I was always grateful for it--grateful for not having to worry about what purchases like this would do to my wallet, for the most part. I'm being cautious now because I no longer have a guaranteed income until I secure employment, and I'm not gonna be salty about it if it takes longer than I thought and I have to go without fun things for longer (the way I did the entire time I was working the bookstore job for six years, ya know). I'll deal.

And I'll be grateful again if I get back to having a disposable income. Looking forward to those markers. :)

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