Tag Archives: Countdown to Teaching

21 months and counting and OH I GOT FIRED

This article accidentally published yesterday when it shouldn’t have… I started writing it and scheduled it but never went back and edited it to be accurate.

So my dear friends I am 100% doing that today and yes this is going to be a somewhat negative post about life circumstances.

In short this past month absolutely sucked and there is nothing I can do about it… I got fired from my job because I wasn’t a “good fit” which honestly is a load of shit.

I overheard my boss talking about what a worthless human I was… seriously not exaggerating and I said I was going to HR the next day to another manager… and then I was fired (can’t trust ANYONE seriously).  I got my verbal (for dress code, I wore a hoodie one day when it was freezing mind you this was over a month before I got fired and believe me I never wore it again I just froze while they made me chase down maintenance because it was too “cold” ) got my written warning for being unprofessional (I mean I said I was going to HR I guess that isn’t very professional… but  so is screaming at another person about how worthless you are because you didn’t have enough “cups for a meeting” and being loud enough that I over hear it) and terminated all within 30 minutes of each other.  I mean go big or go home am I right?

I was fired because I wasn’t liked and you know what I am 100% ok with that because I gave 100% to that job even though they changed my job title within 2 days of me starting that job… because they had to move another person (due to her lack of professionalism… co-worker words not mine, she was actually the only one ever willing to help me understand HOW to do the job) to another position so they put me in her position.   So while I was hesitant to take that job because I knew I didn’t exactly meet the qualifications I truly tried to learn it as fast as I could and I guess at the end of the day I fell short.

I mean shit is what it is and at the end of the day I truly did my best and I was planning on leaving in two years anyway to teach abroad so the only thing I am missing is the paycheck.   I do not want to work with horrible humans and at the end of the day that is what that person is seriously EVERYONE talks about how horrible, petty, superficial she is… I should have listened to them from day one… but I was being objective and gave her the benefit of the doubt.  Hell an ENTIRE team has gone to HR on her and yet she is still employed.  Seriously I get mad just thinking about the entire situation. Then I realize it was just a job and seriously do you want to work for a person that bitches about you not wearing heels but feels it is appropriate to walk through an office barefoot??? So much happened in my short time there that I am reminded yet again corporate America is simply NOT for me.

So what does this mean for my plans…

well I am still going to China ( I mean it is 100% paid for and non refundable so yeah there is that) and I am going to have a great time.

When I come back I will have to find a new job to at least pay the bills but again it is going to make me cut my expenses even further which isn’t really a bad thing the less I spend the more I can save for when I get a new job.

I am hoping that I find something within 2 weeks of me getting back from China so I don’t have to dip into savings.  I think I am still ok and on track to leave by my date… this is just a speed bump and God know I have encountered plenty of those in my life time.

So that is the real month countdown and we will see where I am come March 1st and seriously friends if you ever encounter a speed bump in your dreams just pick up the pieces and keep moving forward and don’t ever let a person stand in your way.



22 months and counting!


Happy New Year Everyone! 

I hope you have a rock star 2018. 

Oh my! Now that the holiday’s are over I can get my life together and focus on budgeting and saving more money.    I am going to China in one month but thankfully I have been saving cash slowly and will not be dipping into savings as I have actually budgeted and allocated money to spend while in China.   I feel very adult like, I budgeted 🙂  Plus I really focused on things I can get in China… like do I really need that caffeine shot that is a bowl of noodles in Chengdu!  Or I don’t need that purse I can buy three pairs of silk PJ bottoms with that money.

Seriously thinking like that will save you a LOT of money.  I promise.

Let me go ahead and jump into the savings numbers for the month.

I have saved a total of $900.78: Remaining Reach Saving Goal: $35,099.22 approx. 2.57% of  my reach goal.  It is 17.67% of my I am willing to leave at anytime goal. 

When I set an initial “baby” goal of 2k and I really did not realize how fast I could get to that number.   While I am excited to be half way to the “baby” goal I have to admit I am sad that I have blown so much money prior to now because if I am able to save this much money in such a short time that is strong indication I BLEW way too much money.  Oh my god.

Debts– I handled two small collections accounts that were on my credit.  I am going to be honest I am not too worried about my credit score right now because I just went through a MAJOR debt over haul to get my life back on track.   That being said any debts I can get taken care of right now I am doing it.  I rather save a little less money and have less debts than the other way around.

Also I think it is fair to note, I am not planning on financing a car or house any time soon so I can be a little “whatever” about my credit score.   I have time on my side to not only get out of debt and save money but let my credit take a hit to get my money and finances back on track.   This is not for every one but based on my personal situation it was the right decision for me.

Truthfully I do not have much of an update for this month as it is not really different from my 23rd month countdown.  I suspect most will be like this until I get within a year of leaving. So I will just jump into my 3 baby goals for the month.

  1. Get to $2,000.   I am still working on this goal, which if everything goes to plan I should hit it by time I do my next countdown post.
  2. Start my TEFL course.   I plan on writing a full post on this because oh my god y’all finding a TEFL course that meets all requirements and helping you be competitive is overwhelming.
  3. Handle my toll road debt– UGH! Guys I have truly been putting this off far too long.   When I was unemployed I ran way too many tolls… and now I owe way too much money.  Sadly while I can’t mitigate this debt it is a debt that must be handled prior to departure.  They do set up payment plans and the plan lasts 11 months, so given my current time frame and I know in 11 months time I will be in my window of departure I have to take care of this now.

So those are my three goals for January.   The first week of February I will be in Chengdu but I have budgeted and allocated money for that trip.  I will not be touching my Teach Abroad Fund.   I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal but once upon a time I would have spent the extra money per check and charged my trip or dipped into my measly savings.   So this is a big thing for me.

Things I learned:

I literally can teach English anywhere and every time I look into a new country “I just have to go there” While I truly think I will end up in China, I may not.  It will be interesting to see where I do end up though.

There are so many options out there for TEFL take your time to research and find the perfect program for you!

When ever I transfer money to savings I am disappointed I spent money haha it is fun to come up with ways to make the fund grow anyway possible.

Once you really decided to do this it is so amazing and you realize just how true all those blogs are your life does start to change the minute you decide to start doing this.

I have enough miles to buy one way pretty much anywhere in the world.  I have one credit card now that is my miles card.  I use it for all my bills and expenses and pay it every pay period.    I am racking miles because I figure the more miles I have prior to leaving the better.   It also has no foreign transaction fees and I can use it almost anywhere so it is the one card I kept when I decided to mitigate all my debt.

It is time to plan for some car maintenance 🙁 While I am in China I am putting my car in the shop to take care of an issue.  Totally sucks but considering this car HAS to last me until I leave I don’t have much of a choice.  It is also time to budget for new tires.  Seriously having to deal with a car sucks, I will be so glad when I can let that go.   If you are somewhere where you don’t have to own a car you are so lucky!

I am also making travel plans (yes I know that is not how you save but I realized I could be a little more lenient since I am planning on teaching abroad) I am only going to take a trip if I can save for it.  I am treating my teach abroad fund like a black hole once it goes in it is gone forever until I find my first job!





23 months and counting…

So I have really set a date this time… no really, I am serious.  I know this is the umpteenth time I have “set a date” but odds are in my favor now and it is time.  Everything is finally falling into place.

I know I have toyed with this for a very long time and I know I have thrown many dates out there in the past but for the first time in my life things are falling into place and I have a very official date.

I know there are countless blogs out there about RTW travel and planning to travel abroad long term etc… so I am not sure if over the next 23 months I will be useful but I am going to share what I learn along the way, hopefully it helps someone. Plus let’s be honest I love to hear myself talk.

So what is different this time? Why have I “really” set a date?

For starters, I have decided to cut my costs while abroad and Teach English.  

Before, I always thought that I would get on a plane, land on a beach and just chill with a fruity drink, but I think part of the reason I have always been hesitant to really take that leap is A: Debt (which will be gone soon) and B: Money.

I am not rich, I am not from a wealthy family and in fact until a month ago I had $1.71 in my savings account, because all my money went to either bills/debt or junk I did not need.    (Did you know 60% of American’s don’t have a $500 emergency fund?) The concept of long term travel has always been in the back of my head but I  always very valid reasons/concerns as to why I didn’t take the leap.   Debt and barely able to save anything was one of the biggest issues. Mostly my lack of savings capabilities were to blame if we are going to be 100% honest with each other.

Now, things are in place and with my plan I can take the leap as early as next August, but I gave myself one additional year and a couple of months to save and make sure everything is done prior to departure.  I have set an initial goal of 36k and I really think if I live a very boring life and work my butt off and make as much money as possible it is very feasible especially in 2 years.

So me being me, I decided to start with a few to dos, three to be exact  (I also recently learned the human brain is more efficient when you break a large to do list into 3s.)

I have decided my first 3 to do’s are going to be simple. 

  1. Find a TEFL course that is appropriate for teaching abroad.   I am degreed already so the TEFL is one of the last things I need to be competitive.  As of today, I am leaning towards teaching in China, I am 99.98% positive this is where I want to start off. It appears to be the easiest to gain valuable experience so ultimately I can be competitive to end up somewhere in Europe.   Based on what I have read it isn’t really hard to get a job in China but the better paying jobs prefer degrees & TEFL/TESOL.   Most countries this is a requirement so I rather just get this handled now, and then who knows maybe I will teach a few classes online to gain experience prior to my departure.
  2. Save $2000.00.  As I have set a very large goal of 36k prior to my departure I know in order to stay motivated I am going to have to set mini goals.  Now I know I can leave for a lot less (People have left to teach abroad with 2k in their account hence this number) but I figured since I have a two year time line I can save as much as possible, enough to be VERY comfortable especially with the amount of money I can potentially save once abroad.
  3. Maintain my created budget until the end of the year.  The day November 1, 2019  was decided as the departure date I created a budget through the end of 2018, I separated it by 4 month increments to account for any changes that might occur (raises, emergencies… etc.)     I made sure it included pay downs on my debts (I should be debt free by August 2018 with the exception of debt mitigation which will be gone shortly after. I have also created a spreadsheet to track my savings account and how much I deposit… etc.  I am using my online savings account because it yields 1.25% interest right now which is not much but every penny matters and I have been reading a lot about passive income and since I don’t really have to do anything but deposit money to earn that interest it is a win in my book.  Plus I get charged for excessive transactions so I am inclined to not get charged 10 bucks for excessively spending money.

Things I have already looked into:

I will also to continue to research teaching abroad as I don’t think I can read enough on the topic right now.   I have Kindle Unlimited so anytime I am able to find a new book I am reading it.

I have downsized all my stuff quite a bit already and I am going to continue to downsize as I am ready to part with stuff, I figure since I have 2 years I can do it slowly and really get what I want for each item.   No reason to rush, plus I really just don’t want to leave my junk with my parents (except my designer purses haha my mom would be upset if I sold them).  Not to mention this will give me something to do since I am going to be so boring over the next 23 months, even though I have downsized drastically I still have excess that I don’t really need.   Not to mention,  I am just not into “stuff” anymore.  It is weird and quite the change in my personality the past couple of years.

I researched  my jobs PTO policy, so I can bank every hour I earn up to 500 hours.  If I leave they pay me for it.  After my trip to China in February my goal is to start banking the hours and really trying to not travel or take time off (this is going to be hard… like so very hard)  I am hoping that I will get about 3-4k cashed out when I leave.  I will only take days if I really need to plus lets be honest I don’t see myself not taking a day or two or a trip or two.  I mean I am all about honesty here.

I am accounting for basic maintenance on my car, because truth be told I hate my car.  When I leave I am selling it, hopefully I get something for it, that will be a last minute boost.  Currently my rate is about 3500-7500 that I can get, given I am leaving in two years I am pretty sure that means I will get 1k haha, but either way if I keep it clean and well maintained I might be able to sell it to a private buyer for a bit more.

I am still going to try and not buy stuff, I tell myself that every day I save a penny is a penny I can spend in Mongolia or whatever.    It has been hard because I love fashion but I am really trying.  If I buy something now it is going to be investment, sturdy pieces ONLY and stuff that I can take with me.   So I will still share fun clothing items that I buy or find with you but as of right now I don’t really “need” anything, so no buying for now 🙂 I will likely post my favorite finds, or things to take with me etc.

I have also reviewed my expenses and I have truly cut my expenses drastically, I mitigated my debt, and paid off all the other cards.  I have a few things I will likely try and trim at the beginning of the year but for now I am ok with what I am paying, but I am going to try and reduce my bills by another $100 in January, I am pretty positive I can get a much lower car insurance rate and I have a few things I can let go of, so be looking for an update there.

Thanks to debt mitigation all my debts are one payment, I have two bills and a car payment.  If I move before my date, I literally will only have the debt mitigation payment which if I am teaching I can afford while abroad.  I can’t believe that everything has fallen into place and it is mostly because I have gotten my life together and started making better decisions.    I have to be honest when I save my willing to leave at any moment amount (6k) it will be interesting to see how my mindset changes, especially since “technically” I have enough miles to book a one way to China.   I am going to try and follow my plan though and wait the two years.

Based on my current budget, I think realistically I can save 20-30k over the next 23 months while paying off my debt.  This is going to be a huge sacrifice as  there is not going to be much, if any  “fun” money.   I am hoping that selling my car and cashing out my PTO will give me the needed boost to hit my “reach” goal of 36k.   That being said I am planning on teaching abroad and making money so therefore I won’t have to touch my savings that often.  That is my current plan as of right now.    Knowing me though, I might will change my goal number, or move my time line up or who knows but one thing I can assure you is I will be gone by November 1, 2019.

I will also be constantly updating my spreadsheet.   If I have ANY money left over the day before payday it will be added to the fund.  Meet Jen’s new obsession saving and budgeting.  Let’s see how it goes.

Note:  Yes I am planning on traveling over the next two years, but only if my budget allows, I do not plan on dipping into my savings I will also probably plan more North American & Caribbean travel  as it is more financially feasible from Texas.