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My Social Life

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I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

On my last post, a few of you have asked how my social life has been effected by my debt payoff. This is a harder question to answer than I originally thought it would be considering I’ve spent most of (if not all) my adult life either worrying about making ends meet or in a super form of debt payoff, but I’ll do my best to answer it.

Dating: It’s been 2.5 years since the last time I dated. I met my girlfriend in the summer of 2012. We  met on OK Cupid (a dating website) that made dating on a budget really easy. OF the hand full of dates I went on, I think we ended up going to Starbucks, or some other coffee place every time. So I was probably spending $5 at the most per date- pretty cheap. The only exception to this was when I met my girlfriend. Our “dates” consisted of hanging out at her place, having a beer or two and watching Netflix, so really, besides the beers, we didn’t spend anything on our dates. This is one of the reasons we work well together- neither of us like spending money going to a restaurants or to the movies to the bar and prefer to stay in instead. Our date nights these days consist of making dinner and doing a Redbox, or we like going for drives or walking the dogs on the nice days. We also love doing puzzles in the winter or having backyard fires in the summer. The most important thing to us is just spending time together.

Going out with friends: I miss how much I was going out with friends and such, but don’t get me wrong here- before I decided to hit my debt hard, I wasn’t going out every night or even every weekend. I’m very much an introvert and not at all a socialite. So before my big debt push, I was spending $50 a week, tops, meeting friends. A lot of times we ended up just hanging out at one of their homes. These days, it probably takes me a couple months to spend $50 going out with friends. Most of my friends these days are married and have kids, so even if I weren’t on a debt payoff, they’re not focused on the bar scene either. When we do go out, it’s usually to a low key dive bar that we like that has cheap beers, but it fits our purpose just fine.

The Not-An-Interview Trip

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My not-an-interview trip is coming up and I realized I’ve been referencing it multiple times but haven’t dedicated a post to it, so any new readers must surely be confused and I wanted to clear things up a little.

I’ve been applying for full-time academic positions and landed two in-person interviews this year….or so I thought.

The first interview was local, back in January, and I was recently notified that I was not selected for the position (darn it!)

The second position is not local and although I totally thought it was an interview initially, I was later notified that there is not currently a position available. They cannot legally call this an interview, but I’m doing many of the things that would occur in a “real” interview. For instance, I’m meeting with the search committee, discussing potential collaborative projects with faculty, giving a research presentation, and even a guest lecture (not just a teaching presentation – a real lecture in an actual classroom of undergrads).

Although, yes, this is not technically an interview, I’m still very much viewing it as an interview type situation (albeit lower pressure, given that there’s not an immediate opening). Essentially, this is like a pre-interview situation where the faculty is determining how I would fit within the department. If the fit is good and things go well…..I could easily see this leading to a position when one opens sometime in the future.

What are the financial implications?

I’ve been lucky that the university is funding the majority of my trip to visit them. They have booked my flight, a rental car, and my hotel accommodations (so it’s not a situation where I have to pay and they reimburse me….they are covering the expenses up front). And although I haven’t received my official itinerary yet, I’ve been told I’ll be having breakfast, lunch, and dinner with various faculty and/or graduate students while on-campus for my interview not-an-interview.

However, I fly in the day before  and leave the day after my campus visit. This means I’m assuming I’ll end up eating out for lunch and dinner the day before the visit and breakfast the day after my visit.

To minimize costs, I’m thinking I’ll try to bring some foods with me. Note, however, that I’m going to only bring a carry-on bag (no checked bag), so I won’t have a ton of extra space. But I plan to bring at minimum: a water bottle (it’ll be empty initially to get through security, but then I can refill it instead of buying bottled waters), maybe a couple snacky-type foods, and possibly even stuff for breakfast the day after my not-an-interview. Maybe a thing of just-add-water oatmeal that can be microwaved in a hotel room and an apple or other hearty fruit that won’t easily bruise?? Any ideas on this?

Since starting to blog here at BAD, this will be my very first trip that has required flying. I’d love to minimize the eating-out burden to my budget this month but I’m not sure about hotel specifics (e.g., is there a fridge? microwave?) so I’m unsure how that will all work out. If any of you have tips for how to eat CHEAPLY while traveling, then let me hear them!

The only other financial implication is that hubs is going to have to take off work for one day while I’m gone so he can be with the girls. It’s not a huge deal, but does equate to one day of missed work (his schedule will also be affected on two additional days to accommodate taking the girls to and from preschool, but that’s not nearly as disruptive as missing work entirely).

All in all, though, I feel like it will hopefully be a very inexpensive trip. I know many universities require applicants to pay for all of their expenses up front and wait for reimbursement (which can take a month!), so I’m glad and feel fortunate that I won’t have to incur any large up-front costs.

So there’s the background on the not-an-interview job. I remain cautiously optimistic about the situation. Part of me would love to land an offer from them, while the other part of me is so comfortable in our Tucson living situation that I am fearful of uprooting us again for another cross-country move (particularly knowing that this would mean hubs’ has to start all over again with his business). I try not to stress over details about “what ifs” until something happens. It’s like one of my favorite Van Wilder quotes, “Worrying is like a rocking chair….It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” Write that down. ; )

Have you or your spouse/partner ever had a job opportunity that has moved you cross-country? How did you make the decision (to accept or decline the position)? What factors did you weigh in your consideration?

How do you eat on the cheap when traveling? What tips do you have to share?