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Random Ramblings

March 14th, 2015 at 09:52 am

Ok so maybe my progress train has derailed a bit or maybe I am over thinking it. Here is the rundown of what has been going on.

1) Day job... It is terrible. The work itself is boring, not challenging, and despite what I was told in the interview process I am not actually using any of the skills I developed in my graduate program although they are paying me for those skills. My boss hates me and has made it clear she is not impressed with me or my work. I am doing exactly what my colleagues are doing and yet they get raves from her. There just do not seem to be any great options to try to make the situation better without winding up in a her versus me situation and her longevity winning. I am still in my probationary period and cannot afford to just walk away so I am trying to tough it out, but am also keeping my eyes peeled for other options just in case.

2) 2nd job... In February there were more hours available and we lost some team members so I expanded my schedule a bit. The extra money is good, but this on top of my day job and everything else is just tiring and made me realize that I do not want to work like this until I retire. I think for the longest time I just assumed I would have no choice but to work like this, but with my career change it will not be necessary since my earning potential has increased. March has slowed down which is nicer.

3) Spending... I have not gotten out of control here likely because I have been working so much. I am still eating out more than I would like due to the long hours, but my new cookware has arrived so hopefully I can change things soon. I have also treated myself to tickets to a few upcoming performances and arts related events, but had no problem saying no to shows that I thought were just way too expensive.

4) Expense Tracking... This I have totally slacked on. I have pretty much all of February’s receipts to enter and those from the beginning of this month. I know I did not go over budget because there is still plenty of money in my checking account, but I miss the organization of seeing everything on the spreadsheet. LOL! There is something I never thought I would say.

5) Debt Repayment... Ummm I have not done anything here since paying off that payday loan. I did call to take care of the second one, but their system was down so they could not process it. Then I just got too busy to call back during their business hours. I just feel kind of directionless in this area, but maybe I am just tired. I keep having the strangest thoughts..... What will I do when all the debts are paid? Of course I could use that money for other things. But what other things? What if I run out of other things? Maybe that sounds stupid.

6) Savings... I have slacked off on the 52 Weeks Savings Challenge and adding to my EF. There are plenty of funds sitting in my checking account, but I have to move them and I just do not feel like it or that could be me being tired again. Sometimes I feel as if I cannot remember why I wanted to save in the first place. This could be because I did not outline a purpose for the 52 Week money and because the things that would normally be emergencies that would create debt I am now able to comfortably afford.

7) Surprise!... A minor legal matter has popped up and no it is not debt related. It is something I expected to have to deal with at some point and apparently that time has come now. Thankfully I can handle the matter myself and will not need to hire an attorney. It will just be a pain to have to go down to the courthouse to get everything squared away. The fees are a bit more than I expected so I am considering pausing my debt repayment to take care of this. Or maybe I should pause my saving? I do not know.

6 Responses to “Random Ramblings”

  1. doingitallwrong Says:

    It sounds like you need to get a little more specific with your goals. Plus, is there stuff you can cross off your sidebar now? Are you set up to automatically contribute to a 401(k) at work? Isn't your old car all settled now? Have you gotten any of the insurances you wanted to get? It's easy to underestimate the motivational power of crossing something off of a list. There's nothing wrong with the goals you have, but most of them are phrased more as habits you want to develop, rather than goals you want to reach. Does that make sense?

    You know what they say about SMART goals, right? They should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (i.e., they have a deadline).

    For example, 'continue to track all income, expenses, and debt avalanche/snowball'. OK, so when do you reach that goal? Since it's a constant, you never do -- you have nothing to cross off your list, and you feel like you're not making any progress. So instead break it down, and make it a little harder every so often: 'track all income etc. in March', then 'track all income etc. in April', then 'track all income etc. in May and June', then July-September, then October-December.

    (As far as that goes, have you tried something like Mint.com? It's a free tracking software. I know you don't use a credit card, but do you have a debit/check card for your checking account? Mint will pull all those transactions so you don't have to enter them manually. Even if you're mostly cash, Mint has an app for your phone so you can enter transactions on the fly, instead of trying to remember to get receipts and sit down and do the data entry later. Just a thought!)

    I don't have much advice about the job except the usual platitudes -- do your best, don't let the boss get to you, etc. If you're feeling brave you might sit down with your boss and ask her what you need to do to win her approval -- or phrase it more along the lines of what she would like you to do differently, since she doesn't like what you're doing now.

    What do you do when the debts are paid? What do you want to do? Save up for a vacation? Buy a house? Buy a vacation home? Retire early? Start a charity? Take up an expensive (or inexpensive, for that matter) hobby? There are an almost limitless number of things you can do with the money you're currently (not?) using to pay off your debts -- very few people have said, on their death beds, "I wish I'd had less disposable income".

    You may be able to comfortably afford small emergencies, but what if a big one happens? What if you lose your job tomorrow? How long will you be able to survive without going back into (more) debt? What if there's a fire and you have nowhere to live? (Especially if you haven't gotten renter's insurance yet!) I don't wish any of these things on you but that's the kind of thing you need to think about when you're working on an emergency fund -- not "what if my car breaks down" but "what if my car is completely totalled and I need to buy a new one and the insurance doesn't cover it"?

    Lastly, don't stop paying your debts to cover your legal expenses. If you must, stop your savings. Interest wise the debts are costing you a lot more than the savings is earning. (And that might be another motivating factor for you -- keep track of how much you're paying in interest every month. Then visualize that money flying out the window -- which is basically what you're doing when you pay interest, just throwing money away. I speak not from criticism, here, but experience!)

  2. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Sometimes when things suck and it is not changeable, you get tired. Or other times, when you are tired, things seem to suck more than they do. Maybe you can't change the day job right this second but you can be kind to yourself (because there are always people in this world who have no problem with being unkind! I'm talking generally here) and aim to get more rest so you can have a better perspective of life. As for your thoughts "what will I do when the debt is repaid?" My answer is- whatever you damn well want. That's the point of being in control of your money and financial freedom. You've been in a not so wonderful situation already, so why not take some time to paint yourself a wonderful lifestyle? Maybe a nice start would be aiming to have only one job by a certain date. Maybe if your day job is terrible start to have an idea of what you would want to do in your next job and possibly aim to set a concrete date to move into the next better-suited-to-you job. But first, take care of yourself and get some rest Smile

  3. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    Thank you both for your thoughts.

    It is amazing what 2 nights of really good sleep will do to ones energy levels. I have slept in all weekend and started thinking about how tired I have been. Yes I have been working very long hours with the 2 jobs, but my day job also requires me to get up an hour earlier than I am used to and we had the time change. I also missed my evening workouts because while working those long hours the gym closed by the time I got off work. This week I can resume my workouts since my hours at the 2nd job have reduced and I think I am on track with the time change.

    Also my day job being awful does not exactly motivate me to be there and my frustration makes me tired and cranky. I am attempting to direct my energy and attention to things I can control (like where I want to work next) and do enjoy (like volunteering, taking classes, performing arts) so hopefully that will work. My boss and I are having a meeting this week, but considering her past behavior I am keeping my expectations low. We will see what happens.

    It probably could not hurt to make some of my goals a bit clearer and see if there is anything that can be crossed off the list now. It also would not hurt to retrain my thinking to consider different types of emergencies and how I might need to prepare for them. In my family more dire situations (like a fire or something) are always handled by moving in with a relative. It does not matter if they have the means to support you or not, someone takes you in and everyone pitches in to help. I too have had to take in relatives whether I liked it or not, it is the way things are done. I do not think I really pondered the possibility of not having to do that because I established my own safety net. No one does that in my family and I doubt anyone really thinks of that as a possibility.

    Regardless I am going to have to refocus my attention to that legal matter first. I think I can cover it if I divert money from eating out, entertainment, and only a small reduction in saving. It does make sense to continue debt repayment while working on that.

    As for when my debt is all paid off what will I do? Having debt to pay has given me a purpose for so long it is odd to no longer have that be so pressing. Sure having a wonderful lifestyle sounds nice and there are many things I would like to do. I do not think I realized I would be at that point in my life alone or so soon, so maybe in some way I am mentally stalling. I do not have family or friends that could afford to join me in my wonderful lifestyle. I am not married and have no kids. I do not feel excited to do any of those wonderful things alone, but that still leaves plenty of time and resources for something.

  4. MonkeyMama Says:

    "What will I do when all the debts are paid? Of course I could use that money for other things. But what other things? What if I run out of other things?"

    I think it's just going to be a mindshift. Those are natural reactions to such a big change.

    It's one of those things that has always struck me, being a lifelong saver. Questions as to worrying about over-saving. Trust me, it has never been an issue! Savings just buys you options down the road. You don't always know what you are saving for and sometimes it sits there until other opportunities or wants arise. & that's okay. You will probably never run out of things to spend money on, and if you do, congrats, you are then financially independent and can help others. But for now, you just need to ease into it and get used to the change. It will take you time to formulate and become comfortable with new goals.

  5. PatientSaver Says:

    Why do you think your boss hates you? Is there something you can do to alleviate that situation, seeing as how important this job is right now? It's possible that your negative feelings about the job are apparent to her. Maybe try to find something in the job that you like, or at least don't hate, and do it with a better attitude so your sour feelings aren't too obvious. There are things I dislike about my job, but I've come to the conclusion that no job is perfect and this one, when looked at from a broader perspective, meets most of my needs with less than average aggravation or stress. (And my exit plan is already in place.) I am SUPER careful and very aware of what my attitudes, emotions and words say about me from my boss's perspective.

  6. LittleMissSplendid Says:

    Ahhh things with my boss. I am certain she hates me because she blatantly told me she feels I'm incapable of doing my job. She had no justification for such a bold statement however and hasn't offered any type of support in areas she feels I'm not doing well in. I also suspect I wasn't her choice of hire in the first place (no big deal, that happens), but perhaps her boss or the other managers overrode her decision.

    Really this all started a few months ago with an administrative screw up that was 100% her fault. It was not me who pointed it out to her either. Her screw up cost the company a ton of money and kept me from doing what I was originally hired to do. This lead to her boss ripping her a new one and she has been taking her frustration out on me ever since by being rude, "forgetting" to give me important information, ignoring me completely for stretches of time, not including me on group emails, etc. My colleagues have been amazing by keeping me in the loop. Anyway, it took awhile to straighten out the whole mess, but I was professional, flexible, available.... otherwise a model employee by doing whatever was asked of me. I also made no indication that I knew she screwed up, I just played dumb and did what she asked me to.

    Now I'm doing what I was originally hired to do and am meeting the same high standards as all of my colleagues (my colleagues have confirmed this), yet she isn't satisfied and I don't think she ever will be. Her boss doesn't like to deal with us lowly employees so if I go to him he'll just tell me to work it out with her. Then he'll tell her I called to complain and that will just add fuel to the fire. There are a few other managers (same level as my boss) but I don't know them well enough to feel I could seek their advice and keep things confidential. HR rarely responds to anyone and when they do they are only interested in dealing with benefits or payroll issues, everything else gets directed to your boss. At this point I'm focusing on keeping my options open because my probationary period is up soon and she decides if I get to stay or not.

    People keep telling me government jobs are better, but I'm not seeing it. Combined with the soul crushing boredom this is worse than all the crappy nonprofits where I got slave wages.

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