A little over week ago we drove up to LAX to drop off my ex-wife at the airport. The drive ws surreal a) due to the Covid-19 lockdown situation and b) due to my ex-wife leaving for good. We were together for 27 years, and so this is new territory for all of us. After dropping her off at the airport my son and I went to Dunkin’ Donuts to get some coffee and donuts to sooth our souls.
I have to admit, he is such a trooper, a real man with his 15 years of age. I am keeping close to him to make sure he is in a good mental space and not becoming depressive or so. I also keep him in the loop about everything – be it financials, my work, and whatever else. I also lead by example with everything and I hope he sees that and knows that I am there for him. In that regards, the Covid-19 situation is helping us as I am home all day and we are able to do stuff together. We go for walks with the dog, we go shopping together, and we are making some changes inside the house as well. I want him to help with putting his stamp on a few things.
As an example, he asked if he can have my desk as his computer workstation. We looked at his game room and all the furniture and I agreed. I will get his desk in return + the couch that is in his game room. I will turn my office room into a small entertainment or media room in return. We have a TV downstairs that we do not use and once I have his desk and couch, I will move the TV upstairs into my office and wall-mount it. We will also move some furniture around downstairs to give the living room a different look. I am not sure yet how our “new” downstairs “experience” will look like and how much we are going to use the space at all, but that is not important just yet. It is important to do certain things together as a team, as father and son – the rest we will figure out later on as we go.
More changes are happening. I ran into an advertisement for an MBA-like training. While I technically have a bachelors degree due to my education from Germany, I never went and had it officially recognized here in the United States. I want to advance my career and an MBA sounds appealing but is a) expensive and b) without having an official bachelors degree not achievable for me. And with my age (52) I am not sure if an MBA would generate an ROI in my case before I would retire. So, what if I would only learn certain portions of an MBA program at a) a fraction of the cost, b) with less time needed to complete the training, and c) compliment my resume with a certification instead?! I see value in that approach and so I decided to sign up for it. The program will start in June and can be completed in a matter of a few months. This will not only help me improve my skillset, but also keep my mind occupied, which I think is essential at this point.
At work another learning opportunity seems to be opening up and I can become a certified Scrum master. The company pays for training and the training is all remote over 4 days. That will make it easier for me to study for the Scrum certification exam and adds another credential to my resume. I am not planning to leave my current employer anytime soon, but I hope to use my new skills to hopefully advance at work and ideally score a promotion + keep my work mre interesting. So, if this materializes I am all for it. So, the MBA-like training and the Scrum Master training and certification are definitely something I am looking forward this spring and summer.
In addition, I am finally getting back to one of my personal projects – a small Youtube channel that I have been building up. It is a fun project and I have plans to expand my Youtube work, too. The existing channel is in German language and has limited potential. It was started as a fun project when my son and I decided to compete on Youtube to see who can get more subscribers. Well, I won and kept on going to reach the monetization level with Youtube – which is 1,000+ subscribers. I am close to 2,000 subscribers at this point and so I will keep on going for a bit longer to generate some income. I want to use the learnings from that channel to build up a second channel here for this website. Something to look forward to for you as well.
So, finances. The last two weeks have been pretty expensive. Helping my son to re-do his game room costs me about $350 (furniture, paint, other materials). I also invested into the training program mentioned above which came in at $750. On top of that I finally broke down and bought a SlumberCloud pad and comforter to help with me being a hot sleeper and not having very good sleep. The technology in the mattress pad and the comforter is supposed to lead warmth away from the body. I have high hopes, however the products come with a 60 day return policy in case it does not work. The cost here is $407.00. Going forward from here we should be able to find a good balance and I will start keeping track of our expenses using Mint. April is also the month where the homeowners insurance is due as well as the auto-insurance. The homeowners insurance will be paid from our private escrow account, the auto insurance will come from my personal savings. I bought my ex-wife’s car for my son who will turn 16 next year and so now I am paying for two vehicles, but only one driver. Still, that is super-expensive here in California and there is $1,515.00 going out the door – I pear yearly in advance.
There you have it, a quick rundown of my current situation and first dip into the finances.
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