I also have a tech-type job, and get approached a LOT, usually for jobs too junior for me, or jobs that the recruiter doesn't realize I'm a bad fit for because they don't understand the industry enough.
@keynesiancutie Yes! She could also use a middle name if that's more mainstream (or change her middle name, if that would upset her folks less) and be L. Marie Smith. I have several male coworkers past and present who go by their middle names.
I pay about 50% post-tax for my mortgage/maintenance, but that's after socking away 10% pre-tax for my retirement fund. When I finally deal with the refinancing, that number will drop. I honestly don't mind paying that much, because I don't live at all extravagantly and I work in a moderately well-paid field, so the 50% that's left is plenty to live on even with a rainy-day fund. It bothered me more when I wasn't getting at least some of that "back" as equity, though.
I worked at a startup that had killer healthcare benefits, because one of the cofounders was the parent of a preemie and understood viscerally how important good benefits are. Led to better retention rates in the staff too.
I have worked two very informal jobs that had staff-led "Fancy Fridays."
I worried too much about this in the past, and ended up missing out on opportunities I regret. In my current job, I have to jump through some paperwork hoops to do outside work, but I am really glad to have both the outlet and the extra cash.
@It's too early Depending on where you are and what you do, that non-compete may not be a big issue. I worried about a really stringent one at my last job, to the point where I spoke to an employment attorney before I signed the thing, and he told me that unless I got a job doing exactly what I had been doing for a competitor, I was fine. (And, PS, someone at my company did do just that, and we didn't sue, because it was a hassle that would have created bad blood in a small industry.)
If the interest on your student loans is also being deferred, this decision seems simple to me. Defer those loans. If you are in a long-term grad program (Ph.D. or M.D.) there's also some chance that inflation will return, making the loan less costly, but it's been a long time since inflation was a factor. Even if the interest is not being deferred, I would also pay down the credit card first for the reasons @sony_b listed above.
@Worker Parasite Sometimes corporations get very strict about your travel choices based on contracts with the travel agency and/or airlines, though.
The thing is, everyone defines their relative affluence by the people around them, and no one wants to think of themselves as rich. So they end up defining "middle class" up. "Oh, it's middle class to send your kids to private school without a scholarship!" "Oh, it's middle class to have a summer house!" Which, no. If you're bringing in $235K, you are affluent, and so are your friends. I make a good living, if well below 235K, and it's an effort to remind myself that actual median income for my neighborhood is something like 60% of what I earn.