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Why I Live In Maine

So Kristy at Master Your Card commented on my business post about my bed and desk being really close together. Truth is, I couldn’t put them any further away unless I’d be working on my porch. Girl plus dog in 220 square feet is not much, but in Bar Harbor, this is what affordable looks like.

It is reasons like this tiny apartment that I sometimes ask myself why I live here.

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The Eve Of My Retirement

Tomorrow is my last day of work at the newspaper. I am throwing myself a small "retirement" party at a local bar/restaurant and invited anyone in the company who wanted to come by and send me off.

I've been getting lots of encouraging words and emails all this week, wishing me luck and asking me how I've been feeling.

Full disclosure: I'm terrified. And I'm really excited.

As a fairly even keeled person who is able to sleep most nights, it's been odd to be a bundle of nerves, tossing and turning in bed for the last week. Here are some sample thoughts:

Will I have enough clients? Will they like my work? How will Sadie adjust to me being home a lot more? Is there more I could be doing to make things easier next week? Do I know enough to do this? Is ten paces from my desk (work area) to my bed (nonwork area) far enough?

Ok you get the idea.

So I've been waking up and writing things down. One night it was a list of clients. The other it was a paragraph about the things I thought were going really well in my life. Another night it was a preoccupation remembering people's birthdays. (OK that's a weird one but I think when your brain runs out of problems, it creates new ones.)

In general I'm feeling good but nervous that the time has finally come when things are finishing while new things are beginning. And I'm having a hard time thinking (and writing really) about anything else.

As of 5:01 pm tomorrow, I will be self employed. And that is pretty cool… 

Insurance Decision Made…Almost

I do not know how I'd make my major decisions were it not for commenters on this blog. You guys are fantastic!

Summary: I am in the process of leaving my full time job to strike it out on my own. A big deal in this process is, of course, insurance. I talked to insurance agents, researched COBRA, and stuck it all on this blog.

Christine, a fellow personal finance blogger whose blog is called Northern Cheapskate, weighed in:

"Don't skimp on the insurance! I would do the COBRA option until you have your own health coverage. All it takes is one appendicitis attack to set you back years! Yes, spending the money for the insurance is a bit of gamble, but to me, the peace of mind is worth it."

Carl, a business blogger whose blog is called The Takeaway, also had the great idea of using some local resources:

"Check into the local chamber of commerce. Maybe you can get a better deal through there. And aren't you the type of person that Dirigo is supposed to benefit?"

The Dirigo Health program in Maine is exactly for people like me. Problem is they've frozen enrollments, indefinitely.

It was Jeremy, a food blogger that happens to be a doctor, who sealed the deal for me:

"Probably the most important reason to sign up for COBRA (painful as the costs might be) is to avoid the pre-existing condition clause of most commercial insurances. If you are without insurance for >90 days, your new insurance can and will deny, well, pretty much anything. The COBRA counts as continuing insurance, so you will avoid this."

My meeting with HR is Friday and, barring anything unexpected at this meeting, I will probably enroll in COBRA, at least for the moment. Thanks to everyone for commenting and those who also wrote me emails or talked to me about what they thought in person. Because of you, I'm healthier and for that, I'm grateful!

Tomorrow's Post: How To Get Me To Do You A Favor (this was spawned by a "Dear Sir" email, stay tuned!)

Mission Moped Accomplished!

So remember how I recently accepted a part-time position as  a desk clerk at an inn a couple miles away from my house? When the change is made from my current job to this new job, I will be saving roughly 8 hours a week commuting and about $30 in gas a week.

Bimmersmoped I've also recently (and somewhat irrationally) paid $300 to fix up moped that my father gave me before he passed away.

I was trying to decide whether it would be a viable option for me to use my car much less the summer and use the moped to get around between my job and local clients.

Here's how the cost breakdown:

Repairs $297

Transport of the moped to my house (lunch for my pickup driver Chris and myself, which was totally a bargain) $30

Insurance (even though I can only use the moped four months of the year in my fair state, I have to pay for a whole year…ugh) $180

Registration $20

Inspection $20

Moped cover (to keep it out of the rain) $40

Total cost = $587 / four months = $147/ month

Yes I could get around without the moped (and probably for about the same price as what I put into it!) but something about this connection to my dad and the start of this new life, I think it'll be really fun to use. Plus I can look at it as an investment for the coming summers, you know, now that it's working.

So if you see me tooling around Bar Harbor this summer, do wave and I'll beep at you!

Off To New York City!

It's official, I am off to New York City!

I have scheduled a series of posts for my time away, some which are going to be surprising.

I will be checking my email and moderating comments but please give me until Monday or Tuesday to get back to you if you are expecting a reply.

Have a great rest of the week and keep reading! :^)

I Bought Myself Flowers… Just Because

There are times that I realize that I'm not really that hard core of a personal finance blogger. I do watch my spending pretty closely and tend not to buy things when it comes down to a decision. But if my mind keeps coming back to a purchase, I tend to rethink it.

I have been wanting flowers for about a month now. I waited until after the Easter rush and then went to my local florist and asked them what they had as far as deals going on.

I walked out with some gorgeous (and local!) lilies and a carafe/vase for about $13. The owner tried to sell me $15 vase but after she realized I wasn't buying, she departed briefly and came back with a five dollar option. (I think she actually physically went in the basement to get it.)

When asked about what discounts were being offered, I found out that customers automatically get 25% off for picking up their own flowers at the store. Interesting, and good to know for future reference!

So my apartment smells fantastic right now and it was a small price to pay for it. Because I deserve a little treat once in awhile, right?

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