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Mrs. Micah Answers Almost Everything

Last week I asked you if there was anything you’d been wanting to ask and see answered on the blog. Well, here are the answers! If you ever have a question, feel free to contact me.

Vered asks:

I am curious about your long-term plans… say 10 years from now: where do you see yourself, financially, professionally, personally?

Last week, I probably would have been a lot more thrown by that than I am now. Not that I know what is going to happen in 10 years, but I’ve gotten some ideas about what I’d like.

Financially, I’d like to be free or almost free from our entire debt. I certainly intend to keep paying it off as fast as I can. And I hope that in 10 years we’ll have a solid start to our retirement accounts. Because at our age, compound interest can make a big difference. So we won’t be giving debt total priority (hence why it might not be paid off) because this isn’t high-interest debt.

Professionally, I’d like to be working in libraries, technology, or both. Lately, I’ve been looking into technical positions with libraries which I think would combine what I enjoy about both fields.

I’m going to need to learn more programming languages and possibly do a Master’s program at some point. My goal is to get the right work experience, self-education, and formal education so that I can work anywhere from a county library reference desk, to special systems librarian position, to a university library, to even a standard programming job. A spectrum of flexibility.

Personally, I’d like not to be depressed anymore. And still with Micah.

Lydia asked by e-mail:

Would you recommend being a freelancer?

Tough question. As I mentioned above, I’m trying to work out a non-freelance career path. Let me explain what I do and don’t like about freelancing.

What I do like: The variety, the challenge. I like working on different and completely unrelated projects. It’s like being in college—doing work for different courses. If you liked that, then you might like freelancing.

What I don’t like as much: The lack of stability, the work-hunting time. If, on the other hand, you sometimes said in college “I wish I was just doing one course at a time,” then freelancing may not be for you. Your work may not overlap, but it has a definite jumping about feeling from project to project. It’s easier to find continuity in the workplace (though not all).

I also dislike the work-finding time and pitching. It’s all time when I could be working. If you found job-hunting enjoyable and you really like selling yourself, then this might not be a problem. I’m glad, for instance, that right now I have a mildly stable copy writing gig, though I take on other projects too.

To end on a happy note, the thing I like most about freelancing is that it gives me a chance to dabble in various areas so I can figure out what I’d like to do most in the long term. It gives me a chance to apply new skills and deal with new challenges that I couldn’t have done as easily while working as a receptionist last fall.

Money Blue Book asked:

How about weekly home meal preparation advice for us guys who suck at cooking and often end up eating out a lot?

When I prepare food for the week, I tend to only make 2 or 3 large dishes (because we’re not terribly exciting when it comes to food). Then we alternate them. Anyway, I do my best to make all the dishes in the same afternoon or evening.

If you don’t enjoy the cooking and don’t have much practice with it, I’d suggest starting with something simple like a basic curry over rice. And if I highly recommend setting up a tv or laptop near the kitchen or listening to something you really like on your iPod/radio/etc. I always watch movies or tv shows on DVD on my laptop while I cook. Helps keep me from getting frustrated over the seemingly never-ending chopping and whatnot.

budgets are sexy asked:

Would you rather have $500k now (no taxes, fees, etc) OR would you rather get 1 million ten years from now (no fees again)?

Definitely the $500k now. That’d be enough to pay off our debt. Then I’d put some aside in an accessible short-term account (perhaps for a house later?) and I’d invest the rest.

The amount of freedom from paying everything off and being able to use all our money for our present and future would be well worth the wait. It’d mean cutting off all interest payment now…and paying less money overall. Plus, inflation means that in 10 years 1million won’t go as far. 😉 But even if it was the equivalent I’d still take the money now for peace of mind.

That’s it for this week. I don’t plan to do this weekly, but I am always open for questions. If you’d ever like to see your question answered in a post form, just let me know…otherwise I’m happy to talk via e-mail. Thanks for reading!


{ 3 trackbacks }

The Friday Gathering - Need some advice edition
June 27, 2008 at 5:03 am
» Money Blue Book Weekend Roundup - 6
June 28, 2008 at 2:49 pm
Financial Independence Day — What Financial Independence Means to Me
July 4, 2008 at 3:08 am

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

SavingDiva June 24, 2008 at 11:11 am

Right now, I have to admit that I like the stability of a job…I’m losing that stability in a month, but I do enjoy it…health insurance covered…a nice retirement plan….

Vered June 24, 2008 at 12:11 pm

I think your goals are great and make a lot of sense. Saving for retirement while still paying off debt is definitely a smart move, especially if one of you or both have a 401(k) with employer matching.

I didn’t realize you suffer from depression. I’m sorry. I hope you get better soon.

Kelly June 24, 2008 at 4:49 pm

If you’re seriously looking into the library/technology career field you may want to look into a masters in library science. I completed a masters in information management at Syracuse University and they had a well established MLS program. They even offer a fair number of distance classes these days so you might not even have to be on campus. Best of luck!

mrsmicah June 24, 2008 at 5:08 pm

@Kelly,

That’s the professional part…perhaps an MLS or something combining with an MLS and a tech degree. I’ve seen something at Drexel, but I have to look into it further.

Cath Lawson June 25, 2008 at 2:12 am

Hi Mrs M – Great answers to interesting questions. I did not realise that you prepared all your meals for the whole week in one go. That really must save a lot of time. How long does it take you to do them all in one go?

mrsmicah June 25, 2008 at 7:14 am

@Cath,

Depends a lot on what I’m making. If the ingredients are similar, sometimes I can have two pots on at the same time. In general it takes 4 hours or less to do both. Five 45-minute tv episodes or 2 movies. 😉

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