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 Post subject: I've Had Enough of "Tough Times"
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:01 am 
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5th Horseman
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Location: Salina, Kansas
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".

http://www.daveramsey.com/

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?

-J

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"...To rejoice at the sight of my superhero action figures is to live in a shrine of fictive meaning festooned with idols and icons of the gods of imagination." -Dr. Robert M. Price


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 3:09 pm 
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Daniel Pickett
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I haven't done the full Dave Ramsey program, but I can tell you his "debt snowball" sure works.

There's nothing wrong or bad about steping up for your family. It will be tought at times, no doubt, but just looking at your family on your MySpace page, you can see you are doing the right thing. they are crazy about you.

Getting out of debt will be the BEST thing you will do for yourself and your family. If you ever start feeling down and wondering if it's worth it, watch the documentary "Maxed Out"

Best of luck with it all and keep us posted on how it's going.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:13 pm 
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wears suits so fine they make Sinatra look like a hobo
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Very inspiring. You can do this, and it will be totally worth it. Stay strong, and keep us updated. :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:38 am 
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Super Amigo Fantastico!
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An inspiring read. I duplicated & added a few of the paragraphs with the word 'relationship' put in because that's also something I need, but it's all something I need to read and re-read every day.

Good for you to take this HUGE step...it takes a type of courage that is not found in the common man these days.

Peace,

Chip

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:54 am 
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Shudders at the Thought of Swamp-Crotch Chafing
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Good for you man!

I have also worked with debt "snowball" and am currently looking into the full program.

Like you I am fed up at being overqualified for jobs that are beneath me and under-connected for the jobs that I am passionate about only to end up hating what I am doing and who I am doing it for.

You and I definately need to find a way to get in better touch with each other (I know that the ball has been dropped on my end and I apologize).

Let me know if you need and support or just want to vent on someone to "get it all out"

Peace

And ... Congratulations on the wedding and impending daughter!

Ben

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:04 am 
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wears suits so fine they make Sinatra look like a hobo
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bnjmnrlyr wrote:
And ... Congratulations on the wedding and impending daughter!

YES!! I neglected to mention this - congrats on this awesome news! :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 8:52 pm 
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5th Horseman
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Location: Salina, Kansas
Thanks for the encouragement guys! I means a lot, and I appreciate it!

I'll keep everyone updated and hopefully I'll be able to help somebody out in this same situation some day!

Cheers!
-J

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"...To rejoice at the sight of my superhero action figures is to live in a shrine of fictive meaning festooned with idols and icons of the gods of imagination." -Dr. Robert M. Price


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:03 am 
Grickle Grass Grower
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I need to do something too. My wife and I make ok money, but we always seem to be one or two paychecks away from calamity. Let us know how it goes and what the POTAS (Pain in the Ass) factor is on this saving money business.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:17 am 
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Shudders at the Thought of Swamp-Crotch Chafing
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I would think regardless of the "POTAS" factor, the benefits of financial stability far outweigh the costs.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:24 am 
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Former King of Posts
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Wow. I had not read this before. Just followed the link from the other thread. Quite an inspiring story. Thanks for the links. I may have to read those.

The only thing I make sure to do is pay off those credit cards every month so as not to pay the finance charges. I figure it saves me something.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:54 pm 
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5th Horseman
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Location: Salina, Kansas
Yeah... so instead of all that working out the way I planned, I lost my job two days ago. The part-time job didn't work out the way I wanted either. My wife isn't working. My daughter is due about the same time rent is... in a week or two. We have no income, no savings, and my final paycheck will be about $75. :roll:

So much for getting down to business, let alone the Gotham villains 4-pack! :cry:

Who did I wrong, and in what life?

-J

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"...To rejoice at the sight of my superhero action figures is to live in a shrine of fictive meaning festooned with idols and icons of the gods of imagination." -Dr. Robert M. Price


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:07 pm 
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5" Scale
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HJA, I'm real sorry to hear about this and hope things works out for you. While I know things look pretty bleak, remember things could be worse. It sounds like you have a great family and that's what matters. Good luck man, we're all in this craziness together.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:36 pm 
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Daniel Pickett
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So sorry to hear that HJ. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

Don't give up. Things will turn around. and the birth of your child will be the most unbelievable experience ever.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Feb 22, 2009 12:10 pm 
Prototype
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I can definitely relate, Hal. I'm hoping to get a new job soon. I'm searching desperately but not sure I can find one with the way the economy is now. I'm working as a plumber's helper (working for my uncle) and am tired of crawling under houses, being outside in the cold all winter and getting extremely dirty and tired for hardly no pay. I'm also sick and tired of struggling to make the ends meet and not being able to buy hardley anything for myself. I'm trying to put as much as I can away each week. Saving up to buy my first home. I want to get out of my parent's house and get my own place ASAP. I feel trapped! I'm taking online college courses right now and have several places I'm going to apply for work.
I'm still struggling with my depression and I'm hoping maybe a better, easier job with more pay will help. I'm trying to find a girlfriend also. Really want to have a wife and kids someday. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:16 am 
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Shifts It Into Overdrive
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Riddler, I've gone through most everything you just mentioned myself and greatly emphasize with your ordeal. It took me years of juggling college courses and odd jobs to finally get my degree, and now I'm up to my neck in student loan debt. But keep cracking those books, 'cause it's well worth it and you'll feel better about yourself once that diploma is hanging on your wall.

I'm applying for overseas work in the foreign service right now. Took the test a couple of weeks back and am crossing my fingers while I await the results. Good luck to all of you who posted here and thanks for sharing your stories.

Here's to better times soon, guys. :wink:


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