Tutoring: Day 3 and the Financial Plan

Yesterday was the third day of tutoring. I must say, I didn’t have a single session that went well. Either the students were obviously just looking for the answers or I was making stupid mistakes. I was off my game completely. While I did manage to get about 150 minutes of tutoring time, I didn’t go a good job of it. And I think the problem was burn out. I can’t do 3 straight days of tutoring the entire evening. I CAN tutor every day, but if I do I need to limit the time that I do it. Or I can tutor large blocks, but just not do it every day. Logging on and floating has become a near obsession in the matter of 3 days and THAT is a problem. So I’m taking tonight off and possibly tomorrow as well. I will probably float a little during the weekend, but not too much.

The schedule for next week went up yesterday. The order that we can sign up for time slots is based on what level of tutor we are. Probationary, Tutor 1, Tutor 2 & 3. This week Probationary tutors went Wednesday, then Tutor 1s on Thursday, and then Tutor 2 & 3 on Friday. As a probationary I can only sign up in advance for 10 hours. So I signed up for 10. Four of those are in the morning before I come to work and 6 are in the later evening when the floating slows down, but there are still students. On Saturday everyone can start to fill up the rest of the schedule for the week, and I can sign up for a maximum of 30 hours per week. I like floating a lot, and actually this that per hour I make more with less stress, I’ll probably not sign up for anymore time.

Since the amount of money that I’ll get paid is still under a bit of debate (what they tell me in email vs what my billing information says I’m making) I’m going to just assume that the lower value is correct. By doing this I’m assured that I’ll have enough money, and then be pleasantly surprised when I have more! Also, I realized that since I didn’t get to tutor the first week of the month, I’ll have to average about $133/week to get $400 for the month. Which means, more tutoring for me!

After discussing the overall theory of my financial situation with my best friend, Contact Solution, I started thinking about the Emergency Fund. When you go through and do the actual math of putting $100/month into the Emergency Fund vs the extra $100/month on the credit card. And using the credit card for emergency purposes instead of the emergency fund, it mathematically comes out to be that it is better just to use the credit card for emergencies and not have the emergency fund until after the credit card is paid off. We went through the math of all of this, and I’ll post the results of this in a separate post.

HOWEVER, while using the credit card for emergencies instead of having an emergency fund may mathematically make sense, it relies on the premise that as soon as you make that purchase on the credit card that is an emergency you’ll not use it anymore. It also assumes that what you’ll consider an emergency will be the same. From my own personal habits, I can safely say that once I pull that credit card out from hiding for an “emergency” purpose — it rarely goes back into hiding until I have accumulated another $2-3K worth of debt. ALSO, when I have access to the credit card regularly I am also more apt to believe that things that aren’t emergencies are. For example, I may not be able to afford a tank of gas for the rest of the month, even though it is the 20th. Well, that is OBVIOUSLY an emergency if I have my credit card on hand and will use it to pay for the gas. However, if I have to transfer money from my savings account into a checking out, that will give me time to think about whether this is an actual emergency or if I can bike it to and from work for the rest of the month. Thus, the mathematics don’t factor in the personal choices and tendencies of an individual. If I have only $50 on the 20th of the month, I would “normally” rely on my credit card — but if I don’t have that option I would make changes to my personal spending habits for the remaining 10 days that would result in my not using the credit card or the emergency fund. BUT would feel comfortable knowing that if I had to go to the hospital on the 25th of the month I would have the funds to pay that bill.

So these are my thoughts, but I do think that my plan is not entirely perfect. It may need some refining over the next couple of weeks as well as me taking the time to LOOK at where I have spent my money over the last two years to see how OFTEN an emergency expense comes up and how much these expenses are.

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