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Archive for May, 2009

BB news

May 30th, 2009 at 05:50 pm

I have decided to stop thinking about the whole job situation. The university sent me a personality quiz to fill out, they want me to interview with the dean of the program...this is all a little bigger and more important than I was expecting. I might not even get this job.

BB is in the midst of a trade. His TX team from last year traded him right before the season started and forced him to swallow a $400 a month pay cut (it was accept the trade or be released) and we were bitter. Very bitter. But now his original TX team just traded back for him, and he will be driving to the TX team tomorrow. He talked to the manager of the TX team and explained that he cannot play for such a low salary and the new manager said "Don't worry, I'll take care of you." That's enough for BB to trust that he will be restored to his original contract amount, but I don't trust it. The new/original team does not need to provide the original contract amount, they are only required to match his current contract. BB wont see his new contract until he is in TX and then he will sign it. So they will have him in a tough spot to try and negotiate.

BUT, I refuse to worry. I'm just not going to. It's BB's last season- he's not there to make money, he's there to play. Back home, we are getting the bills paid.

I just feel like BB gets used and taken advantage. That's what upsets me about the contracts and salaries. He's worth more but always accepts low salaries because he is a bad negotiator and deep down he is afraid that he wont get to play if he does not take whats on the table.

The other night BB was throwing himself a pity party and tried to use the old line on me "This is my last year playing because YOU Gamecock are making me retire." I told him that if that's how he wants to view it then fine. But the reality is that he is in a financial mess because he is almost 30 and has no retirement, no savings, and only $100 in his account at any given time. It's not that he spends- it's that he makes enough from his season to live and save maybe $1000 for the off season. That $1000 goes quick. If he wants to retire someday, if he wants a house to live in, if he wants to eat food- it's time for him to accept responsibility for achieving it. I guess I am ranting. But I feel like, though he doesn't COST much- it's still several hundred dollars a month to pay for his half of the bills and provide him $ for gas and what not. He shouldn't expect people around him to just pay for his bills because they love him and he's a nice guy. And it's not that I support him often, just since we moved in Feb because there was not enough time for him to find work before the season started- usually he works during the off season making just enough $ to cover his half of the bills. But I guess it's the whole leaving me the burden of an emergency fund, and savings, and retirement that I am tired of. I'm just at a stopping point. Mentally I am just-done.

If he wants to believe I am making him quit and get a job- then he can say that. But in reality- life is making him quit. As we get older, life costs more. And every year that he puts off contributing to retirement or savings is a year he needs to catch up on when he does begin. And I am tired of trying to save enough for the both of us.

Wow- I guess that was quite a rant. Really- I emotionally swing back and forth regarding this whole baseball thing. I know he does too. I guess today I am in the mood to be tired of baseball.

Anyways, that's whats going on here.

Need help

May 26th, 2009 at 06:17 pm

I hate bugging people about my job. But I have been working at job A for 8 days. I have it about 80% down. My boss has put in a fair amount of time showing me software, procedures and stuff. It is mildly stressful, likely to be not at all stressful when I have the hang of it. I like it. I don't love it. Nothing too exciting, but it's pleasant. It pays $10 hr and maybe $50 week commission (depends). No benefits/no vacation (though I can take a day off here and there- the boss is cool.)/no raise till December.

Job B at the University has called again. They want to set up a job interview for 1.5 weeks from now. They want to fill the position by early July. It's a sales job, meeting quotas (I think I will be good at it), and don't know much else about it. I asked for $15 hr and was told it would not be a problem. Don't know about benefits/vacation/raises/commission.

I am kind of 'invested' in job A, and feel they are 'invested' in me.

I kind of want to approach job A and explain the situation. That job B might be available, and will pay $15 hr and I don't want to leave Job A, I like it, but cannot pass up the extra $5 hr. Then ask if Job A can match it.

I feel that Job A will then think "well- she is worth that pay, but what if she comes back to us in 1 month and asks for another raise? Whoever heard of an employee threatening for a raise after 1 week? When will it stop?"

So- suggestions?

I know everyone is going to come at me that I should interview first then worry about this. But if I interview for Job B, I need to take time off work at Job A- and would rather not go through the guilt of lying- or living in this "what do I do?" mindset.

My monthly budget over the next 7 months

May 22nd, 2009 at 06:51 pm

I am working on a budget to use for the rest of 2009, now that I am working, and can predict my future paychecks. I am trying to include as many of my 2009 savings goals as I can. I am worried I made the budget too tight. I am not including any income my husband makes because he needs the money for his own expenses.

(My CA & GA incomes are rental incomes I net after monthly associated fees are paid. )

2009 Year Budget Allotment
starting June 1
7 months left in the calendar year

*CA Income: $1250 /month
Save 100% for future CA renovation
$1250 x 7 = $8750.00

*GA Income:$1050/month
100% for GA Mortgage Payment

*Work Income:$1300/month = Bills

Monthly Bills = $605 House Bills +$360 Savings +$335 Spending

$65 Brinks Home Alarm Security
$170 medical Insurance
$100 electric
$40 water
$120 Car(s)& Umbrella insurance
$110 cable/phone/internet
$300 Emergency Fund
$60 vacation/wedding travel
$335 spending

Emergency Savings /Goal $4,000
Start with $1900.00
$300 month EF
$300 x 7=2100.00 + $1900 start =$4,000

Wedding-Vacation-Travel/Goal= $420
$15 Week/$60 Month x 7=$420

Spending
$335.00 spending/4= $83 a week to spend

Home Improvement Savings
(commission checks only)
$300-600 monthly Commission
$2100.00-$4200.00 a year

(Fun Mortgage Fact: Paying $1050.00 every month (extra $108)
Total interest paid over the life of the loan (no pre-payment): $126,850.90
Total interest paid over the life of the loan (with pre-payment): $88,420.74
Saving:
Total interest saved: $38,430.17
30 yr loan will become a 22 yr loan)

So is this a do-able budget or am I setting myself up for failure?

work thoughts

May 22nd, 2009 at 04:16 pm

Well, I guess I have a full time permanent job. My boss was not in the office today, but I am on the schedule for Monday, and the HR staff sent me paperwork to fill out.

Looking through the papers, I learned: That I am being paid $10 hr, I do not get benefits, I get 5 vacation days after 1 yr work, I do not get a raise/evaluation until December.

I am disappointed. I certainly expected a full time position that I ended up in would pay a good amount more, and provide benefits. Emotionally I swing from anger and feeling used to happy to be employed. I am angry at myself for naming such a low pay and believing I would be happy at that level of pay. I was just so tired of not getting the other jobs, that I thought pay might be a tipping factor in favor of hiring me- so I undercut myself by a lot. Now I have negative thoughts about this job. It's my own fault, but I am bitter.

I know most jobs only provide at the most 5% raises, and at that rate it would take me 5 or more years to make the money I earned at my last job- so I guess I worked my way into a situation where I have to leave this job. Just a matter of figuring out the timing. How long to stay and have them be a great reference? Whats the shortest I can stay and use them as a great reference?

I am not sure what I am going to do as far as looking for other employment, but if that University job I talked about earlier comes calling, I should have no guilt leaving this job behind.

Anyways, today work was easier than it's been. I am getting better at the job. Or- I am getting better at figuring things out. There is still much to learn, but since I now know the basics- the rest is getting easier.

Hey- at least I accomplished one of my 2009 goals! (getting a full time job).

And at least I will have a positive cash flow rather than the negative cash flow of the last 3 1/2 months. Now I can get started accomplishing those other 2009 goals!

(See?? Bitterness to optimism, I don't know how I feel about this job.)



new job

May 21st, 2009 at 07:35 am

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed right now. It's the new job. I have been there a few days, and I'm not sure how I fit into it.

I am in the transition phase adjusting to my new job and it is stressful. I thought this was a temp job walking in, with an option to become permanent- but everything might be different now.

As a new employee, I am not sure whats going on, but the company seems understaffed. My boss is taking over the work of 2 additional offices while they find replacements for the empty offices- and I am trying to keep up with the secretary work that comes with those new offices- until they find office managers for those locations- as well as handle the regular, local office. It was proposed that I was going to be traveling between 2 offices- but would work in the local office while the local manager is on vacation.

My local stint is finished and now I have been told the permanant local manager might be getting promoted and will not be returning back. So they need me to fill in during this adjustment time.

I now don't know if I might be in consideration for the local job, if I am still in the plans for the traveling job, or if they even want to keep me at all.

I dont have an email, I dont know about benefits/vacation time/commission/pay schedule, and I am actually not on the payroll yet. I have contacted HR twice to fax me paperwork, but the HR person was sick one day, and I have a suspicion our fax machine is broken. My boss hasn't looked at it- it's not a priority for him right now, but none of my faxes to clients have gone through, and we have never received a fax. (Though I don't know if anyone has tried to send us one- being an office I would assume faxes are coming in as often as I try to send them out.) -Anyways, the fax machine is not very important to this story.

I am a bit confused about the whole thing. I am confused about where I fit into the company, and how I am performing at the company. I don't know if I am doing well. I have not created any problems, but I kill myself at work to teach myself how the software runs, how the business is organized, and to figure out solutions to client complaints without bothering my boss.

Sometimes I spend 20 min trying to figure out something I either- have been shown how to do before, but have forgotten, or I have not been shown, but inherently know it is easy to figure out and I should know it. I finally give up and ask my boss about it. I get a hesitant blank "your kidding me right?" look and then I am shown how to do it, or I get the "I'll just do it later" response. (and then I STILL don't know how to do it!) So in those times, I am certain they will not keep me at the job, they will question their judgment in hiring me, and decide they are better off hiring someone else. But then occasionally, my boss will show me how to do something new. Completely new- not something I was doing wrong before. An added responcibility. In these cases I am relieved I am being prepared for the future, but I just don't feel secure.

I guess they are testing out me, I am testing out them, and that's why this is stressful.

When is it over? When do I get my self confidence back? When do I start getting a better idea of what I am expected to do? I thought this job would be easy as cake. And I think it will be easy in the future. But filling in for someone who already does it so well- I feel like I am just totally incompetent.

My ramblings about my life

May 15th, 2009 at 04:00 pm

Well I appreciate all the career advice. Seems I just need to do what is right for me and not worry about how it disrupts the employer. I hate being the cause of problems, but I cant look out for others when it conflicts with looking out for me.

On to other ramblings...

BB has changed a bit in the last few months. Matured...not really the right word. Changed his outlook, or his sense of identity.

Since purchasing the house, BB has been a bit different. He loves owning the house. He loves the house, as do I. He loves making improvements, he loves talking about future improvements.(And he has a lot of big expensive dreams for this house.)

BB has been less focused on baseball. This was the first time he went off for the season without putting in a million hours to prepare for the season. Dare I say he was unprepared for the season.
He just wasn't focused on baseball. Baseball wasn't a priority. The house was a priority.

It seems BB has a new sense of accomplishment besides baseball. I think BB believed 'baseball' was his thing. People made more money, people had boats and cars, but no one was a pro baller and that was what set BB apart. That was what BB accomplished in life.

But owning the house has given BB a new focus. His family is so proud of him, he is so proud of himself. He really feels independent from his parents, the house has grown him up some.

And now BB is faced with a bit of a conflict. He sees how much money it takes to carry the house, he has dreams of major improvements...and he cant do any of it on his baseball salary. Even when I find a full time job, we cannot spread the money to go to all the areas we need to be saving (EF/retirement/savings for a baby/improvements). He finally sees the cost of continueing to chase the baseball dream.

And so yesterday one of his friends who is a pro scout called BB and asked when he will be retiring. He says he can get BB a job as a pro scout starting off at $35k a year, with a company car, a cell phone and a computer. And BB accepted.

Well, nothing is final. Everyone has to wait till October when the season ends before new scouts are hired on. But BB told him that he does want a scouting job.

I cant help but imagine our life when BB is making a real paycheck. I am already spending the money in my head! (not on clothes, but on mortgage paydown, and savings accounts.)

BB seems ok that this is his last year. For the first time he feels aggravated and used for the money he is (not) making. He feels more valuable than the money he is making. This coming from a man who last year said he would play for free if he had too...this is quite a change.

I truly think it was finding a sense of pride outside of baseball. It was finding 'something' that was worth sacrificing the baseball dream, or finding a new step in life that made him feel he has lived out this dream, and there is a new dream he wants to get started on.

For me, I am cautious. Once BB gets into the swing of the season, starts winning some games- this could all change. Winning and yelling fans have a strong pull on him.

If he changes his mind, I will be disapointed. I cant pay everything on my own, and I will resent him. Sometimes I resent him already. But those days a few and far between, but hard when they come. It helps me NOT resent him knowing that this is the last season.

Baseball players careers always end badly. They rarely retire on top. For a player to retire, they are either injured beyond rehabilitation, or they are released because they are not good enough. One is a source of bitterness and lifelong pain, the other is humiliating and also causes bitterness. If BB retired because he found another interest (our house, or a job), then he has a chance to go out on his terms. He has a chance to make the decision, rather than having it made for him. But he needs to really mentally be prepared to retire. He needs to be excited to retire. He needs to feel like baseball is holding him back from something, rather than providing him with something.

I think he is close to there. He looks at the game differently than he did. He talks more like a coach or a scout than a player. He assess other players abilities and thinks about the team as a dynamic whole, rather than how he alone is contributing. He is concerned with helping other players, rather than looking at them as competition. He's just talking and thinking a little differently than last year.

And if he does decide to retire after the season- I will feel a sense of accomplishment in myself. That I didn't force him to retire and give up his dream. That I stood by him and supported him. I will feel proud that I do have a husband who dreams big and tries. (It's easier to be proud that your spouse dreams when they are done dreaming and have given up).

I hope that if he does retire- that he felt he went as far as he could. That he played till the end, and he is excited for a new chapter in life. I do get excited about a bigger paycheck coming in, but know that the paycheck wont be big enough if he ends up regretting the decision and complains for the rest of his (our) life.

And this is all very far into the future. We still have to get me a regular employment job, and finish out this season before we can see what options are available for him. But it keeps me looking ahead.

A few more job complications

May 15th, 2009 at 08:29 am

Its raining cats & dogs outside, a good day to get into a blog and organize whats on my mind.

I recently posted my concern for a job offer paying below my worth. Well-the plot thickens.

I decided to have a discussion at the end of the week and explain my value and ask for more money. I decided to walk away if I don't get $13.00 hr.

Then yesterday morning I got a phone call. The call is from a local university about a job I reaaallllyyy want and would be perfect for. I had applied for the job weeks ago, but university bureaucracy- everything takes forever.

The university is starting up a masters in business program in the fall and will need an enrollment counselor to talk with students, sell the program and handle the paperwork. The woman asked me my pay rate and I boldly told her I need $15 per hour and she said that was no problem. We talked further and she said she will be in town conducting interviews in June, and hopes to have the position filled in early July.

I REALLY want this job. It's right in line with previous work I have done, continuing education is an industry I like, and I would be getting in at the ground floor of a huge University program. And it pays well! And BB plans to start finishing his college degree in the fall and I wonder if I might get a discount for him...or maybe a free education for him.

So now the question is what to do. I start the office job tomorrow. The university will not be interviewing for 2 weeks, or fill the position for 6 weeks.

Do I continue with my plan to raise my pay at the office even though I am hoping I will be providing my 2 weeks notice in 4 weeks? Do I work at the office for $10 hr for the next few weeks, then negotiate a higher pay in 4 weeks if I do not receive the University position?

I do want to work for the next few weeks while waiting on the University thing to pan out. But I also know I might not get the University job no matter how much I think I am perfect for it. I don't want to screw over this new/current employer, but do want to take the University job if it is offered. What should I do?

need advice

May 12th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I think I need help. I feel a bit overwhelmed and disappointed right now.

I interviewed for a job a few days ago. An office job that is not terribly exciting but I know I can do it easily.

Early in the interview the man explained to me it was a temp job; to work for 1 week while his regular staff manager was on vacation. I knew it was for 1 week, it was in the job ad. 1 weeks pay is 1 weeks pay for the unemployed right now.

So, he asks me what salary I want to be paid. I said $10.00 per hour. I said this because I have no idea of this jobs pay grade, and $10 hr is my rock bottom salary. I have not been hired for several other jobs that I interviewed for, and I'm a bit desperate. I want this week long job and $400 minus taxes is better than $0.

So the interview continues and I know I can do the job. It's not difficult.

Well the interviewer starts to like me and says he might be able to hire me on as a 'floating manager' between 2 of his other offices that are each located an hour away. Neither of those 2 offices has a manager, though this local office does have a manager.

I agree to this idea and say I am fine with it. And I am fine with it. I don't mind the idea of driving and spending 2-3 days at each office a week.

So a few days later he calls to offer me the job(s). He asks me to work at the local office for the week the manager is on vacation, and to then work permanently as a floating manager between the other 2 offices each located an hour away.

He tells me the pay is $10 hr (surprise surprise) and I am going to start this week for training.

Now onto my dilemma-
$10 hr is fine for a week long temp job that is 10 min from where I live.

I have a problem driving 2 hrs a day unpaid, to work for $10 an hour. And not get benefits.

I currently pay $200 a month for my own benefits and was looking forward to dropping that bill once I started working full time. Or at least getting paid enough that the $200 a month wasn't a large chunk of change.

I figure, that after paying out of pocket for gas/milage, my own benefits, PLUS 10 hours of unpaid driving a week- I am clearing around $5 an hour.

I need to renegotiate with this employer. I figure I will do the 1 week in the local office for $10 hr, and ask for a time to meet with him at the end of the week to try to renegotiate my pay rate.

But is this a satisfactory argument? I am a horrible horrible negotiator.I am so uncomfortable doing it. I don't know what is reasonable to ask for. I am not familiar with the industry or this companies profit margin to know what might be a standard pay grade. I do believe the local office manager might be getting paid MORE- because this man does not want her training me, I will have no contact with her though I will be doing her job for the week she is on vacation. I would guess he doesn't want us talking about our salaries.

I don't care if I make more or less than this woman. I care about making the money I am worth. I care about not having this sick feeling in my stomach thinking about what happens if gas prices rise, or the mileage that will be added on my car, or my unpaid commute everyday.

He doesn't have to hire two employees, I am doing the job of 2 people, saving him one salary.

I just want a pay that doesn't make me feel insulted or angry. Am I being reasonable...What can I say to effectively get a raise?

House projects on mothers day

May 10th, 2009 at 06:55 pm

First, I hope every mother had a wonderful mothers day today.

I spent the day doing odds and ends around the house. It was great getting so much little stuff done in between TV breaks.

I have spent the last few weeks very enthusiastically planting to get a full cottage garden effect all around the house. Over the last week or so- the enthusiasm puttered out as the days got hotter. I gave myself props that my gardening was finished before it got too hot to plant...but today I learned how much water it takes to keep the garden looking healthy. I found so many wilted plants that I now think I might have to water everyday to keep my plantings alive this summer.

I also touch up painted the back door. BB painted it a nice bright red, but the white trim needed to be touched up. I got that done today.

I polished the hardwood floors. I use orange glow, and like the sheen it leaves behind. I hope it is healthy for my 90 yr old floors..I know todays hard wood is not the same as old hardwood was, and new wood products might damage old wood.

And the piece de resistance...I started on the pocket doors. BB and I got them working months ago- but a previous owner had slapped a coat of paint over them, also covering up the brass door locking mechanism with paint. I spent 2 hours today scraping the paint off the brass locks and am so proud of how they turned out. The 2 hours wasnt too bad. The doors divide the living room and dining room- so I listened to a few "House" episodes while I scraped.
Before:


After:


Overall a low spend day. Just picked up some tools at home depot that I thought I would need for the doors- and didn't even use them! A razor blade ended up being the best tool of all!

Oh, BBs mothers day gift was a bit spendy. Used 1-800-flowers to deliver a basket of sunflowers to BB's mom- $85.00!! And it wasn't a same day delivery! I booked this 3 days before delivery! I feel bad that BB's mom probably thinks we spent $30 based on the quality/quantity of the flowers- but that company is expensive and we spent way more than I really was prepared to spend. Oh well.

metal roof completed

May 9th, 2009 at 11:30 am

Our metal roof is finished! I love it. It's beautiful. But I especially love knowing its totally paid for, and I will not have to think about the roof for at least 20 years. Peace of mind is priceless.

Without further ado- here it is!











Aprils excessive spending

May 5th, 2009 at 05:44 am

Not much to report here. Did my monthly spending chart for April and of course we are in the red again, living a lot off savings while I am still looking for a job.

What kills me is we WHY we went over our income.

Everything was too much. We spent in one month what you would think would take 3 or 4 months to spend.

I think the problem is neither of us had jobs. In FL BB was spending about 25 hrs a week providing pitching lessons, and I was spending about the same on eBay.

Now in GA we have TONS of free time.

I look over last months spending and see a lot of "free time."

We had 4 different groups of friends visit us in one month. Our "eating out" bill was outrageous. About $500 more than normal. So for every group of friends that came to visit, we spent about $100 on eating out. Sounds about right. After you pay for their meal, the bill is generally about $50.00. Add in a night of drinking, and a few pizzas for each visit...then BB and I also said 'goodbye' in April. He left for the season and we had numerous dinners together before he left.

Our home improvement category is high. I didnt realize we spent $350 on paint/paint tools last month. We painted the kitchen (and kitchen ceiling), deck, stairs,foundation,front/back door and front trim...yeah, maybe that adds up to $350.00. Wow. Adds up fast.

Another big expense was Gym and Gun range. $250 for me to get a 4 month membership. I only got the membership to last till BB is home from the season then we might want to join a new gym together. I'm not in love with this gym. Certainly don't love the price!

Gun range expenses have hopefully stopped. BB wants me to have a gun on me at all times now that I live alone in a city. So we took 2 trips out to the range for me to learn how to shoot my gun. I bought the gun 2 months ago- but wanted some more practice sessions so I don't kill anything I didn't intend to kill.

Actually, looking over the past month (and blogging about it), I can see where the money went, and what it accomplished. It was a lot spent. More than we had to spend. But it was extracurricular expenses that were so high, not the monthly bills. So in May I can cut back. Be more aware, and we will make it within our means.