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Archive for March, 2009

losing myself

March 20th, 2009 at 02:13 pm

So, I'm not sure whats going on with me- if this is a transitional phase for me or maybe I am different now. I have lost my interest in money!!!

It's true. I don't care anymore. I barely keep track of my expenses (but I do...but not meticulously). I just spend money when I feel like it. I don't watch MSNBC anymore, and I don't care about the dollar figures in my bank accounts.

Being as involved with my money as I was when I was saving for a house took up a lot of my time. I no longer want to devote that time to my money.

I don't know if it's guilt because I am eating out with friends several times a week, I am still buying things for the house, or if I no longer care because I am no longer saving up for a big ticket item.

BUT there is some hope yet. Finally! Things have slowed down around the house where I no longer "need" anything for it. So the purchases have stopped. And! I have a few "big" projects I want to do now that I previously didn't plan for (move a palm tree to close to the house, repour concrete front steps)and maybe that will inspire me to start getting financially minded again.

I am very motivated to get a job, so hopefully actually working for money will cause me to take an interest in where it goes.

I don't want to be in debt. I don't want to be irresponsible! I don't want to wake up one day and be years away from financial freedom! I am going to try and be a smidge more responsible and hope that kicks me into gear.

Gardening

March 18th, 2009 at 01:07 am

Anybody here like to garden?

If you do, even if you do it a little bit; you probably know more than me.

Lately I have been really into gardening. I created a flower bed and have slowly been adding plants.

The trouble is, when you go to the nursery and read the little tag attached to the plant in the store...you still have no idea if this plant will work in your flower bed! You don't get an idea how tall it grows, if it gets bushy, if the leaves fall off in the winter (I hate it when the plants look dead all winter).

So I am starting to experiment. I am very nervous. I don't know about my soil yet. I don't know how acidic it is. Nor do I care to figure it out at this point. From what I read that is pretty important though.

Anyways, I just bought two gardenia bushes but they are very little! I'm impatient!

And so I wonder...is the garden I plant "now" (this season) going to be the garden I like for a few years...or will it grow in looking awful? Do beginner gardeners generally "get it right" on their first try? Are there any ways to mess up a garden? What mistakes should I avoid?

This is frustrating because all the plants are tiny and so I don't know how it will look in a year or two. I don't know how it will pull together.

I am trying to only plant periannuals so that there is not a lot of ripping out and redoing...but its tough trying to find plants just based on that little tiny tag. It seems if left to grow, that all bushes eventually get too big, all garden edgers get out of control, and all ground cover eventually takes over everything. Ugh.
Anyways, here is what I am trying to achieve:

you see, that "wild, kind of not really organized, extra full" type of look.

And this is what I have (don't laugh!):

It's super organized looking! I am afraid to plant wildly and impulsively! I am afraid I will screw this up!

But this is what I started with:


So yeah- gardening is on my mind.

Not going to sell insurance

March 11th, 2009 at 06:51 pm

I have decided NOT to become an insurance saleswoman. For now. I will revisit the opportunity in a few weeks if I cannot find another job.

I applied for 5 more jobs today. Insurance data entry, dental hygienist(OK! I know I don't know how to do that, but the ad never mentioned going to school or being licensed...and it pays $30/hr), Human resources/payroll, dating coordinator (part time, I think the pay is bad...but I am setting people up on dates! How FUN!) and a marketing rep.

So we will see.

Should I sell Insurance?

March 10th, 2009 at 07:39 pm

I had another interview today. Another sales job. This time selling life/medical insurance. I got the whole dog & pony show presentation and left confused.

The company will fly me to a training center for a week where I am paid $30 a day for meals (they comp hotel/airfare). Then I come back and 'shadow' a rep for 4 weeks where I am paid the commissions they earn. Then I go into the field. I make phone calls 3 days a week trying to set appointments then go to the persons home the other 2 days a week to do a presentation at the appointments.

I wouldn't mind trying it out, but...there are a few drawbacks.

I have to pay $300 to get licensed.
It's a lot of time spent on training before you even find out if you are good at it.
It's a lot of wear on my new 2008 vehicle.
No part time work allowed.

It's the 'no part time work' that concerns me. I have worked in call centers, I have worked retail and it takes about a year before I am burned out. I am very good at sales but sometimes if I have the wrong attitude I just suck at my job. And when I feel "trapped" in a job- my attitude goes waaay down. I am really looking for a stress free job right now where it's not a lot of "taking your work home with you". Right now I am willing to sacrifice $$ for the less stress.

The presenter kept emphasizing that most insurance agents make $50k a year their first year, and I just wonder how many hours it takes for that 50k. I am really just looking for 30k a year in exchange for flexibility/freedom/and a secure job.

I feel very selfish. I have been in sales my whole life. I know I am a good seller. And I have been on 2 job interviews for sales...but I feel like I already "invested" in my future by spending 3 yrs getting a masters degree and I don't want to "invest" in a job that may make me large sums of money down the road, but also may not.

These commission only jobs require a lot of risk and upfront investment. Granted the commissions here are larger than the last interview job...but I need to pony up $300 for a license and spend so much time in training to possibly turn around and decide halfway through that this is not for me.

I have seen insurance salesmen and know it's a stressful, time consuming job. Does the reward merit the invested time calling to set appointments, driving around, and getting licensed? Or is this an industry for suckers or extremely motivated/ambitious people? Am I awful that I already know I am not ambitious or incredibly motivated?

still looking for a job

March 9th, 2009 at 02:19 pm

Well I did not take the "marketing" job selling for commission pay. I think I could have done it, but a year from now I think I would have been burned out, and I didn't like how they would reveal bits and pieces of their programs to me every time I went in for an interview, 2nd interview, orientation. I started to wonder if a big bombshell of "now you must pay US/buy equipment for this job" was around the corner.

So today is designated job hunting day.

In other news the house is fantastic. BB hung cabinet doors on our built in bookcases, and I created a flower bed out front.


Nothing else to really report other than I will be looking for a job and our spending has slowed down considerably. Thankful the money floodgates are almost closed again.

A play on words

March 5th, 2009 at 11:42 pm

Well, it's been a while since I have been in the mainstream workforce. Seems things have changed a bit.

"Marketing" means: selling. "Generating leads" means: hard selling. "Management training" means: Good enough to be on your own (managing yourself?). "Pay is negotiable, $25k-$45k a year" means: Commission.

So today I had my second interview. More like an orientation. The job is standing around in department stores selling products.

I already told you the end of the story, but this is the ad I responded to:

"Looking for marketing representatives to work as aggressive lead generators in an on going campaign. Work for one of the top companies in Georgia. We aim to provide customers with the everyday value and uncompromising customer service that has made us so successful. We are now accepting applications for Marketing Consultants in our business development unit. Previous experience in sales, financial sales or self-employment a plus but not required."

My interview asked about my schooling and interests, and vaguely explained the job as "creating marketing campaigns to sell XX product. You will be traveling to work with clients. Hours are long and some days end at 8pm. Is that something you might be interested in?"

In my ignorant brain I thought the job was actual marketing. Like developing campaigns to sell the product. Not standing around asking people to sign up for a service for only commission pay.

So today (on the second interview)I got the full jist of the job. Standing around. Harassing people. Working on commission only. 40 hrs a week. Working full weekends. High school education preferred.

But here's the thing. I think I am going to try it out.

BECAUSE: the company just expanded into this city a few weeks ago and has 2 high up employees that have been sent here to get the business running up here. The job of these two men is to hire, hire, hire and create a full, well running office. Right now they are in full time hire mode to get the office off the ground, but they need people to take over the more complex "managerial" jobs that the best employees will get promoted to. Right now, from whom I have seen hired- my education outranks everyone by far. I have the advantage to be promoted very quickly. AND the head exec pulled me aside and said he wants to go back to FL (where they expanded from) ASAP and as soon as the office is self-sufficient he wants to go back to FL and wanted to see if I was interested in replacing him down the line. I ran around with him for 5 hrs today as my orientation and I can definitely do his job.

Beyond that, the man who hired me has been with the company 9 months and has already been promoted to head exec or whatever his title is.

So I just need to prove I am reliable, dependable, and I can effectively do the job I will be asking everyone else to do if promoted.

Beyond that, I make $140 per sale so I figure why not give it a shot and if I am no good then that will be a quick discovery. If I turn out to be good at it but hate it, maybe I can negotiate working part time and get a less insane job elsewhere.

New hubby thinks I will suck at the job and wants me to not show up tomorrow. He wants me to have a 9-5 "showy" job that utilizes my masters degree and pays benefits. I am more realistic and know those jobs are hard to find. I am willing to give this a shot but he is very pessimistic about my success.

On the positive side

March 5th, 2009 at 02:56 pm

Second job interview today. Rather than focus on all the things I will be losing as a result of taking this job; I will focus on the positives.

*I can get my eyebrows waxed regularly as opposed to only before big events.
*I can get haircuts regularly as opposed to once every three months.
*I will feel better about our retirement situation.
*I will feel more self worth and better valued.
*I will have money to travel to see my friends (though I will have less time to visit them).
*Big house renovations can start sooner.
*I will have more money to put into the emergency fund and therefore be better prepared in the future.
*I can pay down my mortgage faster and be less in debt.
*I can purchase more things on my credit card and earn more cash back bonus points Smile Joke!

that's about it. Does not seem like much but that will have to do.

job offer

March 4th, 2009 at 06:30 pm

I think I have a job. I applied to a couple places on Sunday and was called in for an interview yesterday and they want to do a second interview tomorrow.

In this economy and job market I am grateful. I really am. But I'm not excited.

I don't like working for other people or big corporations. I dont like answering to people and making them money. I cant think of a single job that gets me excited unless it's some work-from-home or self-employment business.

But in this economy and this stage in life the smart thing to do is get a job. So it looks like I have one. As long as tomorrow goes well I might be on the payroll starting next week.

I don't know what the pay is. They start me on a probation trial for 2-3 months then will place me into a management training program.

I am lucky that I don't NEED any certain amount to live so I am flexible on the pay.

I am looking for a job that allows me to punch in, get the work done during my shift, then punch out and not have to worry about it. I hate "taking my work home with me". Since I prefer to "work to live" rather than "live to work", this trial period seems up my ally but if I move into management I might be getting into a situation that means more stress and more hours with that more pay option. So we'll see.

The good things are:
*I will meet people my own age or a bit younger.
*I have the opportunity to move up.
*It's about 10 min drive from my house.
*I am a little overqualified for it so I think I will get moved up quickly if I want to be moved up.

I'll play it by ear and see how it goes.

Getting umbrella insurance

March 3rd, 2009 at 01:50 pm

I felt like a grown up yesterday. I called our home insurance company to add our cars onto the list and also get an umbrella policy.

I'm not completely positive what an Umbrella policy is and covers, but I do know that I have been told to get one.

I think in the event of a lawsuit of any kind the policy covers everything I own and protects my assets.

The woman asked if I wanted a million dollar policy or a two million dollar policy and I quickly tried to mentally figure my net worth and asked her for a "half million dollar policy".

No go. They don't have those. Just as well. Some day the economy will swing back to good and real estate will rise, I will be frugal and not increase the policy and that's the day I'll be whacked with a lawsuit for something. It was only $140 a year which seems very fair to me!

On another note; the appraisal we had purchased for our new home came in today-it appraised for $43k above what we paid for it! Before we put in the $10k of work! Exciting stuff, but I do love this property and hope to never leave.

February numbers are a bit big

March 2nd, 2009 at 01:20 pm

New month- New habit forming time. No more blogging 3x in one month. Must. Blog. Regularly.

I did my monthly spending calculations for Feb and we fell off the wagon big time.

Income $3589
CA Rent $1150
Ebay $134
Baseball school $430
GA Rent prorated $1875
Store Rebates $239

Bills Total: $1679.00
HOA $500
Groceries $149
Gas $140
Electricity $0
Health Ins $0
Water $0
Internet/phone $100
Pest $650
Car Ins $76
Security alarm $64
Total $1679.00

Moving company Total: $1680.00

Home Improvement Total: $9497.00
Home depot/Lowes $1442
Home decor $1267
Wood Floors $938 (312 sq ft)
Plantation Shutters $1800 (8 windows)
Contractor labor $4050 (1 window, floors, pocket doors, spackling)



Fun Total: $850.00
dining out $217
Fast food $151
Video games & movies $57
Hair $41
Gym $30
Shipping $21
Fax $19
Gun $230
Clothes $84

We finished off the month spending $13,706.00. We incomeded $3589.00= $10,117.00 in DEBT.

Lucky for us we had the money in savings because we did not have to put down as large a down payment as we had been expecting, and our unit of the house is DONE! We took care of all the big projects for our unit (except the kitchen). So although we spent so much now, we can get back on the savings train and work on building the savings back up.