How I am Saving Money by Buying a Scooter

This crazy feeling had come over me. I was intoxicated by the thought of saving money, or was it the shiny metal? My friend had gotten a motorcycle as a gift from his father. He eventually took classes and found enjoyment with it on weekends. During his escapades I was given amazing pictures of Red Rocks and other beautiful scenery. It made me homesick for Colorado, but also made me wonder how much money I could save if I had a similar vehicle. 

Right now I drive an SUV which is probably one of the worst vehicles to drive when thinking about gas mileage and saving money. I work about 2 miles from my house so right now gas isn’t bad, but if I want to see my mom or go to the gym every day my money starts draining quickly. I figured I would start researching cute little slow scooters to see if there was anything that looked like it would be fun. There should be a saying about not window shopping unless you expect to buy, because I found the perfect one. Something not too fast, that sat upright and it was a steal of a deal. The previous owner was moving so I purchased a 2005 Vespa for $1200. 

I know that spending $1200 doesn’t sound like saving money–yet. The Vespa may have been a good deal, but I still had to take motorcycle classes and put down money for equipment and titling. 

I am in the process of getting my motorcycle license and will be getting the scooter road ready next month. This doesn’t leave me too many non-rainy days left to ride it, but I would ride it in the rain and snow if I could. 

I’m almost done with my motorcycle class in which I already got to ride and brake in the rain. I had more fun while wet than I did while dry. Once I added in higher speeds and cornering I was hooked. Of course I didn’t get to use my Vespa, but I did find a new love of Kawasakis and all things two-wheeled. This may turn into a new hobby and less about saving money but if it makes me smile like it did today after playing in the rain, then I am hooked for all its worth. 

Have you ever bought a vehicle in order to save money?

- FBS

Working on a new Budget and a new Blog

It has been 6 months since my last post. I stopped writing because I no longer cared about finances. I didn’t want to talk about money as I felt my life was at a standstill. I wanted a better life, a different life, but most importantly I wanted to live life.

I took a medication aide class in order to better my life. Through all the good and bad, this class has done just that. I thought it would increase my finances but instead I’ve taken a lower paying job in order to have a better life. The effect this has had on me is worth its weight in gold. Eventually, I will work on my budget again to reflect the changes, but for now I am trying to focus on the positive health benefits I am seeing.

Although I am now making $2.50 less an hour at my new job, I believe this job has given me a better life.  I no longer come home after work in pain to where any small household task would have been ignored.  I do not wake up in pain.  I do not go to my job in pain every day wondering if I would ever feel good.  I never knew I had so much pain until it completely stopped.  This is all because I no longer have to lift human beings.  Human beings are not made to lift other humans.  There is no correct body mechanics for that.

Have you ever taken a pay cut for a better job?  What was your reasoning?

- FBS

Fun for Friday: Parts of a paper that never made the final cut

Fun for Friday: Parts of a paper that never made the final cut

When I write I end up all engrossed in whatever it is I am saying.  Usually this comes after a long time or reading and pondering articles and books.  I read, read and read some more until an idea pops in my head and I have to get it out on the computer.  I free write the heck out of it until it’s all down on paper.  I don’t worry about punctuation, or grammar or even which words would be better used.  Instead I just write.  What comes of it is some quite hilarious works at times that thankfully never make the final cut.  Here are a few of those homework assignments I am very thankful didn’t end up in the hands of my instructors:

This was for a forecasting weather paper, after confirming I was still surrounded by bodies of water:

“That’s why it’s so damn wet here, but hey I already knew that.”

This was after finding out my water wasted by a leaky faucet was $0.99 per year:

“In all fairness water is cheap and also free in the area I live in, so this is all relative.  It is way more impressive or in this case, unimpressive to say I am losing 548 gallons per year for the leaky faucet or 1,277.50 gallons of water by taking a regular shower versus a military shower.”

This was writing about something that was considered general truth, but was false:

“Columbus day shall not be celebrated, or if it shall, let it be of something more important than of an Italian who accidently discovered the Americas.  Let it be of the indigenous people of the land surviving long enough to kick the Englishman’s ass.”

Writing about if there is intelligent life in the Milky Way Galaxy:

“That somewhere along the evolutionary chain humans won the mutation to become intelligent beings.  I’m thinking some humans lost their publisher’s clearinghouse notice in the mail.”

I’m very glad I to have a wonderful proofreader as I allow my brain to explode onto the paper without any idea of what might happen afterwards.

- FBS

Certification with Possible Increase in Income

Certified Medication Aide GreenAs you read this post I will have started a new class for another certification.  This certification will hopefully further my career.  Four months ago I took on the scary tasks of changing careers and becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant.  You can read about it here.

Since then I have been learning the whole* nursing home of 250 people. What feels like a huge daunting task, has become love.  Even the smallest gesture by the wonderful people I work with makes the whole night worth whatever crap I had to go through.  The rest of the time I feel like I am happy 90% of the time.  Something that every guru would disagree with and say could not happen.  This wasn’t even a job I thought I loved, before I even tried for the class I swore up and down that “I hated it”!

Now, instead of hating it I am trying to further my career by becoming a CMA or Certified Medication Aide.  Basically I would be a CNA that could pass medications.  I’ve been wondering if a business management degree is worth anything.  I started thinking that maybe I should go into something in the health care industry.  People asked me that when I first moved here and I said “hell no”.  Now that I am seriously considering it, I figured this certification would be a great real life experience as to what some of the things a nurse might do in my current work environment.

My CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) class was $645.  It ended up being paid back to me (over the next few months) because my current job does reimbursement.  As a CNA my pay rate is about $4 more per hour than my job in the ER with less stress.  This new CMA (Certified Medication Aide) class will be $710 with no chance of reimbursement.  There were rumors about it being paid for, but I found no such luck when I asked Human Resources about it.  I’m looking at a possible $4 more per hour when I am a CMA.  Of course that too is a rumor since I cannot for the life of me, find a job posting with pay on it for this area.

Cost of CNA classes = $0

Pay Increase of $600 per month after taxes**

Cost of CMA classes = $710

Pay Increase of approximately $320 per month before taxes

It doesn’t look like a CMA certification is worth a whole lot right now, but any increase in income is welcome to me.  I could also take the certification and go to other places of business and use this certification as a second job.  I don’t necessarily have to use it where I currently work.  Although, there is a guarantee of 8 hours every week once accepted into the CMA pool at my current job.  Besides if I like the real world experience a CMA job gives me, who knows, I might just continue my education in health care.  I’ve gone this far.

- FBS

*Complete exaggeration.  Working the overnight shift allows me to learn 4 areas or approximately 150 people.  There are 250 residents in the building.

**CNA pay was drastically increased because my last job would never give me full time hours.

Back on Track for the Holiday Season

I’ve been pretty quiet on my blog.  I wrote and wrote and wrote, but never published anything.  I wrote for school, I wrote down my thoughts, I wrote about everything.  Nothing financial showed up on the computer screen.  It was all about frustrations with work, or school or life.  I talked about the good, the bad, and nothing in between.  I stopped thinking financially and started just living life.  I can’t say it was bad, I just had nothing I wanted to write about.

I’m back on track

I’m in school for business, but also taking a Certified Medical Aide class at the same time.  These two don’t allow me to have much time outside of the classroom, except to eat, some sleep, and clean.  I do all my talking at work, so I’m not missing the social life too much.  I’ve only been missing down time.

The only down time I have had lately is when I was sick for a week.  I had the flu, which meant I wasn’t allowed to work, but still had school work and housework.  I will be writing about the cost of getting sick.  All I can say for now is thank goodness I have good insurance.  I only had the flu, but medical costs around this area are crazy high because the insurance sucks.

Minimalism Start

I had to take a step away from school for a few hours to keep my sanity.  During that time I cleaned my closet and started cleaning my house.  More on that later, but let’s just say I am on a good start for trying out minimalism living.

As for the rest of my financial life, I have decided that I will think about moving to another area.  I won’t make this decision fully for two years, because I have to finish school first.  In that time I will downsize, fix up my house, and start looking at other places to call home.  I will eventually make the decision to stay for good or get up and go to a new adventure.  I figured since I’m in school for two more years, I have a lot of time to figure out what I want.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!

- FBS