Two of this week’s questions
Dear Pay Dirt,
I worked in an industry with a strict hierarchy and power dynamics that foster abuse. Everyone who sticks it out trauma bonds. You stick it out long enough to make enough money to make all the sacrifices feel “worth it.”
After time away, I am returning to a more equitable position. Before I left, I was deep in the “do whatever it takes” mindset that fuels the industry and widespread abuse within the industry. I was working on an obnoxiously stressful project. During this project, I personally paid for several invoices for my boss as well as other personal charges (I could not use their credit card for in-person transactions). The total is roughly $1,400. This is a lot of money to me, but not a lot of money to them. I don’t want to use the money for anything. I’m a saver and miss having that number beef up my now pitiful savings account, which took a BIG hit after being out of work from the health-related mishaps incurred while on the aforementioned catastrophe project.
My former boss and I are on decent terms now, after being on rocky terms. The rocky terms started, of course, when I left the project for my physical and mental health when they “needed me” the most. They still hold a grudge that I left and hope that I will one day come back. The wildness of this industry is that I often have to make ambitious personal choices that poop on my mental health. This means keeping a doggy door open to bad bosses and abusers who can actually put in the one call/email to help me get what I want long-term.
In my ex-boss’s slight defense, they were NOT aware I made these purchases directly from my account on their behalf. All of this said, do I send my ex-boss a nice email and an invoice for the personal nonsense I purchased on their behalf? Or, do I just let it go and let the $1,400 hole in my savings account fester?
Dear Pay Dirt,
I’m in my late 30s, rent a stupidly affordable place in a town where rents are skyrocketing. A close family member died today and I’m likely going to inherit his house in my town. I’m one of those people who needs to focus on planning and the next steps to get through tragedy, so I hope I don’t sound callous by asking these questions.
I’m getting the house because I promised to take care of his beloved pets. I’d hoped that would be an idle promise for a long time to come, but here we are. The pets have wrecked the house. Our city condemned it after the body was removed. It was a fairly nice, middle-class home in a decent, but not fantastic part of town, probably worth around $150,000, but who knows with the current housing market. I’ll need to remove urine and feces, replace sheetrock that has been damaged by the same, replace a section of the ceiling, remove a bee hive (!), and who knows what else before the place is habitable. I have some companies coming out to do free estimates on what that would take, but I’m guessing it will be around $30,000 at a minimum.
I’m lucky to have four digits in my savings account at any given time. The mortgage would be less than my rent, and I did grow up with parents who are landlords, so I have experience renting places and the work that goes into that. My family would probably be able to help me with upfront costs, though that’s not ideal. I have so many questions: What is the equity in the home? Would home insurance cover the cost of some of the repairs? Would it be wise to ask for a personal loan from my credit union? Is this worth taking on? It seems like walking away from a property over a fraction of the value in repairs would be silly. Obviously, I’m going to take care of the critters, but I can’t bring them into my home.
As an old millennial, I’m not going to have another chance at home ownership until my parents pass away, and I’m hoping that will be a very long time from now. Should I take this on? If not, what should I do? I’m at a total loss. I’d like to get this figured out so I can mourn.
—Please Don’t Judge Me
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