At the bottom of this post is a screenshot from the spreadsheet I was using in 2016 when I became serious about tracking my income, spending, and my investing.
In hindsight I wish I had made these posts in real-time, as my situation was unfolding. I had intentions to do so, but, I was focused on graduating at the top of my college class and landing a job that would triple my income.
This is for the month of August, 2016.
Let’s see what we’ve got!
Total Income: $2949.41
Total Spending: $3745.33
Total Invested: $772.99
% of Income Invested: 26.21%
Total Net Worth: $30,306.47
The final month of my school work term.
I’ll miss these paychecks and I’ll miss the opportunity they provided. I was able to boost my investments and net worth nicely over the Summer. A lucky, but hard won, opportunity.
I can remember the feeling of getting ready for year two of school. The competitiveness of the program was high, even though my classmates and I were all friendly. Everyone knew it was a competition…and technically I was already one of the winners, having landed one of the eight full time, “full wage” work terms. Many classmates had unpaid ones.
You’ll notice my expenses and investments combined dwarf my income. That’s because I paid half of the years tuition right away. That explains the $1937.51 amount under the School expense category.
It’s always painful seeing the net worth go in the opposite direction (a reaction that needs to be managed because the inevitable crash and bear market is coming, so I’ll need to be mentally prepared) but this wasn’t so bad. A decline of roughly $600 in a month with a $2000 atypical expense, not too shabby.
I also remember the HR department asking me to interview for a full time position before my work term ended. This was incredibly exciting. The thought of locking down a full time job that would be waiting for me upon graduation was like a dream come true. I was so happy…but it wouldn’t last. I bumbled the opportunity (not completely my fault) and did not take advantage of the opportunity.
I tend to prepare for things well. I’m able to visualize and predict most scenarios I’ll have to face regardless of what it is. I’m a strong interviewer and tend to make a good impression. This interview though – arguably one of the most important I’d had up until then – was not one of those situations.
The interview was for a position at a different mill but within the same company. Because I was a student on a work term I assumed the interview would be taking this into consideration. I assumed the information would have been relayed to this other mill’s HR department. I was mistaken.
The interview was full on.
They were obviously expecting someone who had experience and someone who could start in the near future. I didn’t completely bomb the interview, but it started out on the wrong foot. First, by me explaining my student situation in the “tell us about yourself” question, and then by me bumbling through a question about refining and changing processes to make them more efficient (not exactly a fair question to a student on a work term who is basically a fly-on-the-wall, just watching and learning). The rest of the interview actually went well, but the damage had been done. The good first impression moment was gone and, in retrospect, the rest of the interview was likely just a formality.
“Not a big deal” you might say. “One bad interview isn’t the end of the world” you may continue. Usually you’d be right, but my irrationality and fear took over. I still had a full year of school, and I needed to land a full time job. My entire FI plan depended on it. There was no room for error, I told myself. This company owns most of the high paying, mill/manufacturing facilities in which I was targeting for a post-school job. They’re also notoriously bureaucratic, and “judge-y.” There’s always rumours of people making a mistake, or saying the wrong thing, and getting “blacklisted” from being hired by them. In my chosen industry that would not be a good outcome! This didn’t happen, of course, as I’m now employed by them, but this fear followed me the entire way through the second year. It wasn’t until I actually got the job offer the following June that I was able to let go.
Well, that sums up August 2016.