I've moved from KS to Los Angeles and back a few times and worked in the film/tv industry. For most people, being an independent filmmaker is not lucrative. The same holds true for me. Not lucrative at all. The only thing lucrative I found were the jobs that I didn't really care for, (PA, locations, art dept, and producing movies that I thought were terrible). I didn't get into film to work on someone else's vision for a project I don't believe in. I want to work on projects that I'm passionate about.
At any rate, at this point I no longer care whether I "make it" or not. I have a better chance of winning the lottery or being struck by lightning. I hate the film industry, and everything it stands for. Even at the independent level it's all about politics and who you know. Contrary to the whole spirit of inde film. Living in LA I came to realize that nobody I met knew anything about film... just "Hollywood" and "networking". Bull**** terms for bull**** people. I didn't meet a single person in my years spent in the industry who had seen Bicycle Thieves
, or could tell me who Francois Truffaut was. All they could do was name drop and talk about who they know, what they've done and where they've been. Not what I'm after. Want no part of it.
I took the Police Officer written exam and out of 25 candidates was one of only 4 who passed (with and 87%). At the next level I was turned away due to debt in collections and bad credit and my film work over the last few years was not considered "solid work history". This was the last straw. Being frustrated back back in KS (for many different reasons) and not knowing what to do for the rest of my life for me and my family, I searched the internet in desperation for an answer. I was angry, sad, and disappointed in myself. How could I have let this happen? I finally came across an article that I think will end up saving my life:
http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/2007/12/1 ... -you-love/
I have just recently set in motion the plan for the rest of my life. I have finally gotten fed up. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. Putting all my eggs in one basket, just to see the basket drop. Relying on chance to come and save me. Waiting for my ticket to make things all better. It's not chance, it's not the job market, it's not the economy... it's choice and personal responsibility and accountability. My problems aren't someone else's fault. I'm tired of not making the right choices. Tired of chasing my tail. Tired of not knowing what I'm going to do for a career now that I've given up on film. I'm tired of worrying about the rent. Tired of trying to keep our cell phones from getting shut off. Tired of never having the money to make ends meet let alone put any toward my hobby, and if I do manage to find a spare nickel here and there, feeling guilty about buying anything for myself.
I got married October 4th (Oh hey, I got married, guys!), I have a step-son that is 3 1/2, and my daughter is due in March. I made the choice to dedicate my life to a woman in KS and a boy who cannot be legally moved out of state. What is important to me now is finding a way to make life enjoyable for all of us. My family is what's important. I'm done with the struggling.
My wife and I have decided to do a "Total Money Makeover".
Neither of us have our college degrees (although she has several credits). She's got a good job, but only makes about $10/hr. I've been working the night shift in a factory making about the same. I've applied at a few other jobs for an additional full-time job. My wife can go back to school any time as she has an educational trust fund.
With this dynamic, in 18 to 24 months we will have paid off about $28K in debt, and saved about $15K in an emergency fund. We won't owe a soul a single dime. We will never again have credit cards or finance something we can't afford. I'll never be broke again. I refuse to be. For me, my wife, and for the future of our children. After we're debt free I'm quitting both full-time jobs and going to work at FedEx between 4am and 7am as a package handler five days a week. At the same time we'll pull the kids out of daycare to eliminate that expense and they can stay home with me during the day. At that time I will also be continuing my education online and paying cash for it. No student loans. We will also have enough flexibility in our budget to live comfortably, take care of the necessities, and put 15% of our income toward retirement investments (401K and Roth IRAs).
Then all I have to do is complete my degree, Bob's your uncle, there you go! Young family just starting out with college degree's, a solid emergency fund, and no debt whatsoever... I think that will set us up nice for the future. Which is good because kids are expensive! (And so is DCUC!)
Has anybody here ever done the Total Money Makeover or Financial Peace University?
I feel that at this point there is no financial problem in my life that I couldn't find a solution for. Even if I didn't like it. I don't really want to work 80-90hrs/wk for 18 months, but with our limited income, it's about the only option. Or we could live paycheck to paycheck for the rest of our lives like normal people. I don't think so. I'd rather bust my butt for a year or two than for the rest of my life.
I can't believe that all the answers I've been desperately seeking to help get my life on track were found in two books with a combined cost of less than $20:
http://www.amazon.com/Brazen-Careerist- ... 706&sr=1-1
http://www.amazon.com/Total-Money-Makeo ... 716&sr=1-1
I hope my story inspires anyone who is having particularly difficult times financially or planning for the future.
What are your thoughts on this?