@Ester Bloom Ahh, so true!
Ahh, this was so relatable and so well-written! I constantly have to fight my desire to hide all my money under a mattress and insulate it from all risk (except, you know, theft and inflation and...). Now I only look at my retirement funds, investments, etc., once every three months, which is course correction in completely the opposite direction. How do people stay so sanguine about losses in the market?!
This may not help you, Mike, since it sounds a bit different than your symptoms, but I'm hoping there's at least some other poor insomniac who might see themselves in this! I also used to wake up at 3 every morning, always. I was also often very thirsty. I eventually went to an ENT for an unrelated reason and found out that I had severe acid reflux (I'm young, female, and thin, so I would have never considerd it before) that was keeping me up and disrupting my sleep cycle. (My ENT said that acid reflux is really underdiagnosed outside of certain populations, for what it's worth.) I stopped eating about 3 hours before I planned to lie down, and stopped drinking anything about an hour before that. It helped SO MUCH. My life is totally different now. Certainly stress was impacting the acid reflux (and I'm sure the insomnia in its own way) but this was an easy change that totally turned things around. Hope this helps someone, and that you get yours figured out soon!
Ah! I had always wondered how these got produced - this was very interesting! The version of this in my office elevator is called “Captivate” which I don’t know whether to be laugh or be afraid of. Were they like, “okay, we want to refer both to people being engaged with our programming, AND being trapped watching it? OKAY GOT IT.”
@Aconite Right? Sallie Mae doesn't accept second-hand chocolate and hand-written letters, as far as I know.
@angry little raincloud We have unlimited vacation, and you don't get paid for 'unused' days. It used to be that you could roll over X amount of vacation days and get paid out at Y rate for however many of them; now you don't get paid for anything. People are definitely taking less vacation than before, because it has to be approved by a supervisor, and there's not much you can do if it isn't (and you have to be brave enough to ask for it in the first place). Before we had a generous vacation policy and you could at least make the arugment, "I've only used 5 days, I have 20 left!" I guess it's not as compelling to say, "I've only used 5 days, I have infinity left!"
@peutetre I ran out of time to edit the stupid edit to my comment. I don't mean that I'm not repaying what I promised them - I actually pay more than the agreed-upon repayment per month. I could pay still more than that, but then they'd basically be making less of a return on their investment than they were in the first place (before they paid off my loan, that money was in an account that made X% interest). I realize this is more emotion-logic than fiscal-logic, but that is family + money in a nutshell.
@Allison So what I do is: I time my retirement payments so they also max out in August (like I calculate in advance how much per paycheck they would have to take out from Jan through Aug to hit $17500), so that all around the same time, my takehome pay increases by a lot. There's no real reason to do this from a cash-flow standpoint, so I guess I don't know why I chose to do it this way. I then put 1-2 to 3/4 of the "extra" takehome towards savings and loan repayment, and the rest is for goofing off. Edit: the reason I don't pay off my entire loan balance with the extra money is kind of a weird one - a family member owns the balance of my loan, and the faster I pay it off, the less interest they'll make. I'm so grateful that they did this that I want them to get a good return on their investment, hence paying it off slowly. I'm sure if they knew that I was deliberately slowing down my loan repayment, they'd be mad, but what can you do?
@ECW Yep! It happens to me around August. On a side note, to warn you about it, our paycheck company puts a notice on your paycheck that says something weirdly robotic in caps. It's like SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTION REACHED or YOU HAVE PAID THE MAXIMUM SOCIAL SECURITY FOR 2014 or something. Beep boop boop whatever you say robot overlord.
Who paid off the debt after you were married? Was it just your burden, or was it part of the marital budget? It sounds like the former from you sending in the check and the marriage counselor's words, but it would be interesting to see a follow-up of how this debt was integrated into your marriage, given your fiance's reaction at the outset.