The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #5, Part 2

Personal Life

Calvin knows how to woo the ladies

I take tips from Calvin on how to woo the ladies.

After all of this talk about work, it’s worth mentioning that I had, at times, something resembling a life outside of FinancialCompany. It’s always far, far too little, but a little bit of a life is infinitely better than nothing.

Since I’m on the East Coast again, I’m only a few hours a way from my family so I take opportunities when I can to visit folks.  And a few of my old guy friends live in the area, so I’m able to occasionally hang out and catch up with them, too.

But most importantly, my ex-girlfriend from college becomes my current girlfriend again.  And it’s fantastic.  Having someone really plugged into your life who you can share your experiences with goes a long way toward making that pendulum of personal satisfaction swing just a tad toward more toward ‘good’ than ‘bad.’

She works at another big corporation in the Boston area. Although our core functions are very different from one another, we share most workplace frustrations and understand one another perfectly.

Anyway, I’m still not exactly sure why she’s stuck with me, but I’m pretty glad she did.


Year End Financial Summary

Net Worth at Start:  +8K

Net Worth at End (early 2005):  +75K 

Note: I don’t include any material assets in calculating net worth, e.g. my car is not part of these totals


  • Things take off this year.  My company gives me a 20K 401(k) bonus, and a 10K regular bonus (7 after taxes) for a positive bounce of 30K. I save the entirety of these bonuses — no lifestyle creep.
  • I max out my 401(k) contributions at 15K.
  • I save another 20K of post-tax earnings
  • The amount I owe on my car goes down from 16K to 11K.
  • I barely drive vehicle, taking public transit into work.  This keeps my auto maintenance costs (gas, taxes, etc) close to 2K for the year.
  • I’m investing in mutual funds.


  • I still owe 11K on my car.
  • Suits and Dry Cleaning
  • Lunches out at work
  • I don’t yet have great asset allocations worked out yet — I’m 90% in stock, 10% in bonds.  Many of these funds are actively managed, so my fees are high.
  • I bought a surprising amount of stuff that year.  2K on furniture.  2K on electronics.  2K on books, CDs, kitchen appliances, miscellaneous stuff.  I could have spent a little less but I will say that most of the stuff is still being used.

The Job Experience, Year #5, Part 1   <<   >> The Job Experience, Year #6

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8 Responses to The Job Experience, IT Plumbing: Year #5, Part 2

  1. Dwayne Hoover says:

    “After a while certain things build up in your mind over time like plaque in your arteries and the only way to flush them out is to get up and walk to a new place. I could feel the bits of congealed frustration breaking loose and getting cleared out.”

    This part is a punch to the gut. B2B sales role for 4 years, but I’m about to take a non-selling role with my company if I can last another 30 days or so without quitting. The closer I get, the harder this job is. Probably twice a week, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, after basically have a nightmare about a technical issue with a customer – some former, some current, some a figment of my imagination. Can’t wait to clear my arteries. First thing I’ll be doing is changing my cell phone number (which my customers have).

    You’ve got a really unique voice. Keep up the awesomeness.

    • livingafi says:

      Hey Dwayne, really sorry to hear about the job situation. That totally sucks and as you know from my blog posts, I can completely relate, especially to the sleeping bit. Too many nights like that and you know it’s time for a change or you’re going to start getting ulcers. You can definitely make it for a month though, and when you get there you’ll feel SO much better, trust me. That big fat job-change reset button will get hit on the stress. Sure, your new position will be challenging but good-bye clotted up old junk. A good trade.

  2. Gamergirl says:

    I can’t believe they chastised you for bringing your lunch to work!

    And I agree with you about dressing up for work when you work in Accounting or IT is stupid. I turned down several job offers at places with strict dress codes.

  3. DS says:

    Really appreciate this series! Found your blog through either MMM or BNL and have been reading for 3 months or so. Just hit my one year mark in IT (basic project mgmt and data analysis) at a financial-based company. Between the incident counting, meeting sitting, and progress reporting, I have related a little too much to what you’ve written. Wishing every day I was hiking or doing anything but sitting in that office. Thank you again – I will continue to read, and I hope to reach FI some day soon!

    • livingafi says:

      Hey DS, thanks for stopping by. You’ll definitely make it — the only thing really required for FI is a good savings rate, and consistency i.e. sticking to your plan over time. Looking outside your window on nice days when you’re stuck in the office will help keep your motivation up and there’s no doubt you’ll stay on track. GL!

  4. Raffy says:

    I’m a new fan! I’m enjoying reading through this series. This week I had to deal with the disappointing feeling of failure and being a fake when everything is riding on you. I’m learning to accept it and move on… it’s just work after all, and the harshest critic is always yourself. Keep up the excellent writing!

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