The Initial Cash Infusion

by Chris McGinty of

I’ve known since the beginning of
2019 that I only had about a year-and-a-half left before all of my back child
support was paid. Being so close to the end of 2019, I figured it was about
time that I call to find out where I was. My estimate at this point is May or
sooner in 2020 depending on how much is getting pulled out of each of my
paychecks. Either way, I’ve been discussing with people about how my life is
going to change when that happens. A lot of it is sort of abstract and will
require me to write blog posts later about different thoughts. The easiest one
to explain to people is that I can now take the $700 a month that I was paying in
child support and pay $500 a month into a Roth IRA. Even if I gained only 6%
interest on the Roth IRA by the time 2032 rolls around, I’ll have $116,000.
Saving for retirement is a clear life change.

What’s not so clear is when I
talk about the fact that I’ll have more time, or at least more control over my
time. I’ve been asked that if I’m basically putting my child support money into
a retirement account then how does that change the amount of hours that I have
to work? This is where it gets a little more abstract. The clearer part is that
the extra $200 is roughly 20 fewer hours a month that I have to work to reach
the same results. The less clear part has to do with the fact that if I get a
little bit behind on my retirement contributions, I don’t fear that the state
of Texas will threaten to throw me in jail. This means that if I have enough
money set aside and need to take a couple of months off from work do something
important, I don’t have to worry the whole time that I’m going to get a letter
explaining that I need to pay a certain amount by a certain time or face the
When I initially tried out Uber
Eats as a full-time thing, which didn’t work out since Uber doesn’t pay
correctly for people using personal vehicles; I was receiving text messages
asking why I wasn’t paying child support consistently, in spite of the fact
that I barely owed anything even then. The problem was that I never had money
left over after fixing my cars.
The two simple changes of being
able to fund a retirement account and having slightly more control over my time
are actually quite huge changes. The rest has to do with how I plan to use my
time and money going forward.
The end of the year tends to be a
little crazy. Nathan would unlikely be available Halloween, Thanksgiving, or
Christmas weeks, and so it seemed like a good time to go ahead start doing Uber
Eats part-time again. The important part being that I’m adding money on top of
my real income, not relying on whatever Uber passes off as income. I would
still actually be better off with a better paying part time job. I’m utilizing
the flexibility though.
Much the way that a startup
company might need a cash infusion, I’m treating the upcoming change in my
lifestyle with much the same idea. I figure that having cash ready for
emergencies will allow me to also have flexibility with my schedule when I need
it. As a possible example, Nathan and I have been working on a game; and while
it may be a while before we’re ready to commit it to a release, it would be nice
to be able to take time off when we reach that point. For the last few months
that I actually owe child support and still need to put in a full 40 plus hours
a week to get by, I figure that I’ll put in as many hours possible in addition
to my normal job to have money above my fixed expenses. This way the moment
that I’ve paid off last cent of child support, I’m ready to do whatever it is
that needs to be done.
There’s more to my plans over the
next few years than just what I’ve talked about here. As I implement those
things, I will write about them, so readers can know what worked for me, what
didn’t work for me, and what I learned along the way. My basic operating
principle is similar to something Seth Godin often says which is to never risk
so much that you end up out of the game. I plan to take risks, but never so big
that I have to go back to work full-time unless I choose to do so.
Chris McGinty is a blogger who is
almost over the finish line.

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