GI Jane Finances

October 13, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — gijanefinances @ 8:35 pm

Boy, I am being prolific lately.  I just received my Social Security Earnings Record.  I love to reminisce where I was and what I was doing in the years listed:

1986 earned $195 (lol).  I was 15 years old!  I did not even know any income was reported then.  It must have been my short-lived job working at the school library.  I didn’t last long.  I kept coming in late to work.

1987 earned $2118: do not know doing what?  I started babysitting, but remember it as under-the-table money.

1988 earned $3078

1989 earned $1187.  I used to work as a telemarketer and at a hobby shop, so  I am surprised 1988-89 earnings are so low.  I also graduated from high school in 89.

1990 earned $5501.  Started college and subsequently enlisted in the Army Reserves then National Guard as a combat medic.  Money was tight–couldn’t get any aid because my parents made too much.  I didn’t get the $2500 bonus that the Army was paying medics since I joined the Reserves initially.  Paid off my $200 Marshall Field’s card and $500 Citibank credit card.  lol.

1991 earned $1926.  I had to take a year off in order to qualify for the National Guard scholarship.  It was a year from hell and a terrible recession at the time. I could hardly get employed…realize that I need to return to school.

1992 earned $1169.  Back at school and drilling in the National Guard (5 hours away from school monthly…it sucked).  My little drill check paid for the freaking round-trip Amtrak ride.  Therefore, I earned nothing for the weekend.  Loving being back at school, though.

1993 earned $2859.

1994 earned $2011. Boy living hand to mouth.  Discover AFROTC on a lark.  Ask my Sgt. for a conditional release from the Army into the AFROTC 2-year program.  He successfully won my release from my company commander.  Thank you Sgt. Curtis.

1995 earned $3148.  Went to field training. Started graduate classes…finished my undergraduate degree but couldn’t register to graduate because of AFROTC.  I also worked part-time at the School of Social Work.

1996 earned $334.  Weird amount?  Was I that destitute?  Received my commission from the AF as a 2 Lt…butter bars!  Woo hoo! 

1997 earned $24,543.  I am in the money–in an expensive apartment.  It was like $695 a month.  I now have a car payment of about $300 for a car I hate (Nissan Sentra that my parents made me buy since my sister had one.)   I’m guessing that I had about $10k in student loans.  I decided to defer them for about 5 years (big mistake).

1998 earned $26,580.  I am feeling kind of broke in my expensive apartment with hardly no furniture.  Lieutenants do not receive a relocation allowance.  Housing allowances back then sucked big time.

1999 earned $35, 284.  Moved out of expensive apartment.  Traded in the Nissan (upside down) for a shiny new VW cabrio with a $500 car payment (much have been brain-damaged).  Took out student loans for my Masters at a private school.

2000 earned $36, 853.  Finished Masters. Moved to Turkey…loved that assignment!  I pin on Captain.

2001 earned $48,028. Moved back to the states and bought my first house. A three bedroom/2 bath with 1500 square feet.

2002 earned $50,788.  The finance office is jacking up my pay because of my move from overseas.  It made me realize that I need to get a handle on my finances.  Decided to actually open my deferred statements on my student loans and nearly collasped…$41,000!  I start to read Suze Orman (no such thing as a podcast to my knowledge).

2003 earned $55,465.  Cashed in $8000 in savings bonds and paid off my credit cards.  My dear brother moved in for about 9 months.  I help him enroll in community college.  I hadn’t seen him for about seven years..barely recognized him.

2004 earned $57,531.  Move into my AFROTC instructor job.  Buy the second house since the first one worked out so well.  Big mistake.

2005 earned $60,990.  I am in a job from hell.  Hate my boss…but loved the adorable cadets.  Very encouraged by the next generation of officers.  My girlfriend of now 21 years (godson’s mother) gets married.

2006 earned $66,411. I pin-on major. Get new boss, who I love!

2007 earned $74,242. I move to Japan! Put second house on the market.  Move into the dorm to save money. Buy a 1993 Toyota Camry.

2008 earned $76,849.  I finally sell the second house at a loss.  I lost about at least $20,000. Begin to listen to Dave Ramsey.

2009 earned $80,674. I pay off all of my debts to include student loans.  Go to China, Kyoto, Hawaii and Chicago. I move into my current assignment in Korea. Sell my Toyota.  I buy a 1996 Kia.

Whew—that is everything.  The earnings record from 1997 to present only shows the basic pay.  Military personnel’s housing, COLA and subsistence allowances are not taxed.

 GI Jane


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