Tuesday, July 05, 2016

damn—where'd Monday go?

I'm teaching a three-day class at KMA. Well, two-and-a-half days, really: eight hours Monday, eight hours Tuesday, and four hours Wednesday. At W70,000 per hour, this is a good chunk of change for yours truly, and it partially rights the listing ship of my budget. I've got four teaching days at Seoul National University coming up as well, with similarly decent pay. I've also got one more KMA gig this month: a Saturday gig that goes for seven hours. In all, I'll be making close to 3 million won on top of my normal salary, which will be a nice one-time boost.

My contract with the Golden Goose is up at the end of August, and I plan to renew. That means two things on the horizon: a raise (hopefully up to the level I had originally been promised) and a contract-end bonus equaling a month's pay, i.e., another few million won.

All this is to the good: it means that my financial strength is snowballing upward, gaining momentum and eventually allowing me to face down my remaining major debts. I'll be resolving my second major debt in August, after which I won't worry about my two final debts—both of which are huge—until 2017 and 2018.

So far, and thanks to a bit of luck, everything is going according to plan.



TheBigHenry said...

How did you acquire such huge debts, Kev? I assume I'm not out of line in asking since you are willing to discuss them on your blog?

Kevin Kim said...


"How did you acquire such huge debts?"

Stupidity, mostly.

I received a full scholarship when I went to grad school at Catholic University. It paid for everything. However, like all grad students, I also received a financial-aid loan package. Had I been smart, I'd have turned that package down, gotten a job, and worked while studying. Instead, I reasoned ("reasoned" really ought to be in scare quotes) that it'd be better for me to commit fully to studying, so I ended up making the biggest financial mistake of my life: I accepted the loan package and used it to pay my rent and living expenses over my grad-school career. This put me tens of thousands of dollars in debt.

I have literally been paying for that mistake ever since. Lately, I've been climbing out of that hole, and I'll be completely debt-free before I turn 50 in 2019. Better late than never, I guess, right? And being debt-free will put me ahead of most of the US populace, most of whom have never learned how to manage their money. For me, this has been a costly lesson, in more ways than one.

TheBigHenry said...


If I may, I offer some advice (as a friend) that I learned in the school of hard knocks: Do not relax once you become debt free. If that happens by age 50, you will barely have enough time to provide for your retirement as a senior citizen (past the age of 65). Just do it.

Kevin Kim said...

I hear you, Henry. Good advice.

John Mac said...

All good things come to those who wait. Glad it is all coming together. Better late than never...