Blessing In Disguise?

This whole apartment rent fiasco has been just that – an epic fiasco.

But now that I’m stepping back from my initial emotion of “OH CRAP, WHAT HAVE THEY DONE?!!” I’m starting to see that there may be some benefit to it.

The complex cut me a check for $710, $695 for my rent and $15 for my overdraft fee. I left them with a $695 check for July’s rent. I only had a check for Chase, so I need to remember to change my direct deposit for July and then switch it back for August.

I deposited their check, and two other checks that I had, for a total of $913.98 into my Chase account. I transferred out $695 of the Chase account (knowing I’d get it back in check form) to my BofA account, so that I can pay my credit card back after the overdraft protection got put on it.

It is very complicated, and will take until the 8th for everything to go through, but it will eventually work itself out.

While this has been a HUGE HASSLE for me, I can see how it may be beneficial. When the $695 finally gets put back on to my credit card, it will be processed as a payment for NEXT month. Which means, I’ll have made the “minimum” payment on the card. What this also means is that, if I so chose, I could take the $300/month that I put on my credit card and use it for the vacation. This has no potential downfall – with the exception that I’ll push my freedom from debt back a month and end up paying a little bit more in interest – okay, so a little downfall. 😉

I’ve budgeted for this trip assuming that the $300 wouldn’t be around, because I’d have to pay my credit card bill. But knowing that I could possibly have it available is so very tempting.

I’m not switching over my direct deposit assignments yet, but I’m going to have to weigh the options and figure out if the extra $300 is worth it. I’d rather just not pay it on the credit card than have to CHARGE the credit card while I’m in Europe.

I could be really clever and say that whatever I have left over from the trip I’ll put on the credit card, but lets be honest – I know that whatever money I allocate to this vacation I’m spending on this vacation. Let’s not fool ourselves here.

In other news, I’ve been doing a little investigation on my fellowship and trying to compare what I have now to what I’ll get with the fellowship. So far here is the break down:

**Yearly I make $39,500 (gross) which comes out to $30,000 (net) after I take out all of my taxes and withholdings, ect, ect. My University also pays $9,000/year for my health insurance, life insurance, dental insurance and retirement.

**With my new fellowship I’m be making $39,360 (so a slight pay decrease). I won’t have my taxes automatically withheld. I’ll have to make estimated payments for both federal and state taxes. (The good news on this, is that I can earn interest on this money before I have to pay it, the bad news is that I could end up owing a whole lot of money if I don’t do a good job of saving this)

I won’t have to pay social security and the like anyway (at least I don’t THINK I’ll have to since I didn’t before when I was paid on fellowship, but then I was also considered a student then), so I’ll actually see a little bit more money per month in this regard (+$300 for me!).

I’ll also get $7,850 for other expenses. This will pay for my health care and I’m assuming reimbursement to go to conferences (like the one I’m going to in August and another one in January). The only thing from my benefits now that I won’t receive is my retirement benefits. Currently I get an additional $3,950/year in retirement. The only way for me to recoup this is to pay for my own retirement benefits from my salary, or to ask my boss to pay me this amount ON TOP of my fellowship salary, to effectively make my salary $4,000 more a year. If I’m not paying social security and all, that $300 can go into a retirement account (perhaps I’ll finally open myself up an IRA). If I do have to pay this, then I guess that means to retirement savings for me for the next 2 years until I get my debt straightened out.

In the end, it looks like I’ll be coming out even, if not a little behind. But the prestige of the fellowship is such that any loses that I incur by accepting this fellowship will be mitigated in my future career. Oh yeah, that and I won’t have a job come January if I DON’T accept this fellowship. So there is some more incentive. I also will have a set pay raise schedule, so in the second year of the fellowship I’ll be making $42,204. That’s pretty hot.

(I like money)


2 Responses to Blessing In Disguise?

  1. Okturn DelMoniq says:

    The key with the NIH fellowship is being sure to keep track of your taxes and make the estimated payments. I started off behind, because I had no idea this was coming, so I missed the first one, and never had enough money on hand for future payments. Thus, every April, I owed Fed and CT thousands of dollars! Preparing and planning ahead will be a life-saver here. Also, I don't think you have to pay anything other than the actual tax (soc. sec. etc. = no). So, that's potentially more money that you'll be able to have in flux for your use. So, coupled with owing thousands of dollars, the fact that I never had enough saved up by April 15 to pay it all meant that I accumulated hundreds of dollars in fees and penalties on top of the actual tax I owed. Every year, I was able to scrape up what I needed by the Dec 31 deadline by putting that tax money that wasn't taken out in a savings account. Now, it's a bit more confusing.

    I guess that my main point is, you know what to do, just keep up with it, and be sure to look up the deadlines for the estimate payments. I think that for Fed at least it's July, October, January, and April 15th. But double check. I was never able to make the estimated payments, so I can't be 100% on this.

  2. SS4BC says:

    Yeah, I had to do estimated payments with my GAANN fellowship, so I'm pretty familiar with the process. I'm wondering how it will work with me working 6 months on salary and having taxes taken out and then having 6 months without being taxed. I'm not sure if I should still make estimated payments since half of my taxes will be paid. I'm not sure if I'll need to make estimated payments for 2009 since half of my taxes will be paid just fine. I'm not sure how that all works since with the GAANN I started on January 1st.

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