Bacon Jobs vs. Bacon Grease Jobs
People who know me in real life are probably sick of me saying, "I work for pennies." But it's the best quip I have to describe the fact that I make very little money. And it is a quip, not a complaint. I knew when I applied to work at my church that I would not be paid the equivalent of what I could make elsewhere for the same work. Everyone knows that. You take a church job like mine because you have a sincere passion for using your gifts to enable your church to better reach out to people who are hurting. You take it to give back to the people who have always been there to support you. You take it because you really can't stand that the church website is done in Microsoft Publisher.
(Side note: the job does have a lot of perks, like an overwhelming amount of grace and friends who come into your office to pray over you when you're having a rough morning and a ridiculous amount of homemade desserts brought in by people from the congregation.)
The other thing I've known from the beginning is that my time at this job would be limited. My mom has been able to work as the church bookkeeper for 15+ years because she is married to my dad, who has been bringing in the real bacon at his job for 30+ years. I don't have a Mr. Skirts, so if I'm going to get out of the house and start pursuing my goals as an independent adult, I need a job that pays in bacon, not bacon grease.
Pursuing the Bacon Job
I had tentatively set in my mind that I would start pursuing a Bacon Job in mid-2012, which is just around the corner. I'd also penciled in a move to San Francisco for the fun of it.1
In order to make those dreams a reality, there are two really big hurdles I need to jump over.
Hurdle #1: Online Portfolio
After years of fighting it, I've decided that I'd like to pursue web design as a full-time career. If I could do that as a freelancer, awesome, but if I end up working in an office, that's cool, too. I actually think cubicles are adorable.
But I haven't had an online portfolio of my design work (which is mostly print publications now) in a really long time. This hasn't stopped hundreds of people from stopping me and asking me to build them a website or design business cards for them, which just goes to show the power of word-of-mouth testimonials.2 Still, I eventually want to be able to have all or most of my work online — as proof that I can sometimes make pretty things, as evidence that I am obsessed with pretty ampersands, and as a means of getting constructive feedback from the design community.
I have a system in place to host and organize all of the content. I simply need to collect that content from all of my various computers, sift through it to find the crème de la crème, upload it, and write up accompanying descriptions for each project.
Deadline for collecting the content: January 10, 2012
Deadline for sifting through the content: January 20, 2012
Deadline for uploading the content: January 31, 2012
Deadline for writing up the accompanying descriptions: February 28, 2012
Deadline for launching online portfolio: February 29, 2012
Hurdle #2: Personal Finances
I am writing this blog post on a $2,000 MacBook Pro, one of the three computers in my possession.
I work for pennies.
. . .
If you haven't already guessed, my personal finances aren't in the best of shape. Things really got out of hand this month as student loans came back to haunt me. I can't realistically expect to knock out $80,000 in student loans before I move out of my parents' house, but I can make those repayments (and payments on a future home) a lot easier by eliminating credit card debt.
This is something a lot of my peers are dealing with right now. I'm so proud to know so many young people who are either in control of their finances or on a really solid path toward getting there. It's not easy with shiny new temptations being released every day, being talked about on Twitter, etc. I found myself looking at iPads and other tablets online before I even knew what I would do with one. What is wrong with me?
"Get out of debt" has been a resolution for too many years in a row, and I'm realizing it's something I can't do on my own. I'm joining forces with Shannyn of frugalbeautiful.com and several other amazing ladies who are committed to being Debt-Free Divas with her. I met Shannyn at the 20SB Summit in August 2011 because I was wearing a TARDIS sweatshirt. At the time, I thought it was entirely unfair that someone so stunningly beautiful could also be a Doctor Who fan and a beauty blogger who had her finances in order. Since then, nothing has changed. It's still entirely unfair.
I'm going to stick with using mint.com to set up my goals and my budgets, since they do a beautiful job of tracking that sort of thing. But first, I need to actually know what I'm going to be spending in 2012, and that's something that Mint can't tell me. I will need to sift through paperwork and emails to make sure I know the full amount due on all of my credit cards and student loans, along with minimum payments and interest rates. I'd like to look into either consolidating my loans or requesting lower payments from the individual lenders (at least until I can afford to pay more). I also need to round up receipts for annual and monthly membership fees and weed out the things I don't need to be paying for right now. (Sorry, Hulu+. It's not you. It's me.)
Deadline for collecting loan and credit card information: January 31, 2012
Deadline for minimizing student loan payments: March 10, 2012
Deadline for collecting recurring fee information: February 13, 2012
Deadline for cancelling unnecessary recurring fees: March 31, 2012
Deadline for getting out of debt entirely: ?
Deadline for setting a deadline for getting out of debt entirely: March 31, 2012
So to Wrap Up (with Bacon)
This is probably the longest thing I've posted to rachelskirts.com in years. But one of my favorite things about blogging, the thing that has kept me writing for a decade now, is that it's a tool for building communities. Shannyn is building a community for people who insist on being fabulous and debt-free. Hannah is building a community for people who want to Stop Being Crap. Pham sees potential communities that don't yet exist on YouTube, and he makes them happen. I don't know what my community is, but I know that I so deeply cherish the friendships I've made here. You've encouraged me to meet so many goals already, and I hope I can do the same for you.
If you've made it this far, I owe you a piece of bacon. If I still owe you a signed piece of bacon from the days of the Bacon Famous podcast, I guess I owe you two pieces of bacon now.
Deadline for giving bacon to everyone who reads this blog post: the day after I get my own TARDIS.
* * * * *
1 And because I've seen every episode of Full House at least fifty times. ↑ 2 Or there is a time bubble surrounding my county and keeping it in the Dark Ages, before computers and Photoshop and the internet came into existence. My family is immune to the effects because my dad is a child of the computer gods. ↑