It’s Saturday afternoon and I am back in Ventura. The commute between Southern and Northern California is really not that bad and I am sure I will figure out the most time-efficient way in the next few weeks, but I am playing catch-up with the emotional side right now. It’s kind of weird to be in Sacto one day and in Ventura the next and vice versa, but I am sure I’ll get used to that as well ;)
I had a really good week, got a lot done [even though I have been working on the same “problem” for quite a few days] and I already got my first paycheck! Yay! We get paid twice a month and so I got my first paycheck for the first 3 days [August 13th – 15th] this week. Oh it feels so good to finally earn my own money again :)
I am also trying to figure out if I am paying enough taxes. I still have a hard time to accept the fact that I myself have to tell my employer how much taxes they should withhold. You see, in Germany this is decided FOR YOU and you don’t have to worry about it. Therefore, filling out the W-4 was a little adventure for me. Since my annual income this year will be on the low side [since I just started working two weeks ago], they withheld a really small amount percentage-wise from my last paycheck. Not that I mind, but of course I want to make sure that I don’t owe any money to the IRS next spring. I’ll just wait and see what my next paycheck will look like since it’s actually going to cover a whole half month instead of just three days.
By the way, I calculated that the per diem rate that I will be paid for one week per month will actually cover two more round-trips from LA to Sacramento, if I book in advance and get the cheaper fares. What I really like about Southwest Airlines is that I will be able to change flights online if I happen to have to reschedule my work hours and that I’ll be able to put the full amount towards a new flight. I’ll also collect “Credits” for every flight and rental car reservation that will eventually result in free flights to ANY Southwest Airlines destination :) I think that will really pay off for someone who’ll be traveling as much as I do.
I am also really excited that I’ll be moving in with Kari tomorrow night when I get back to Sacramento. We probably won’t see each other, because I’ll be getting in really late and we both will have to get up around 5:30 a.m. on Monday, but it feels good to go to an apartment and not to a hotel.
I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends :)