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Posts tagged with: part time job

Facing The Harsh Reality (Re-Do!)

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Edited: HUGE thanks to those of you who reached out after my last post completely disappeared! It seems silly because its such a trivial thing compared to real-world issues, but I was SO BUMMED when I thought the post was gone! I really appreciate those of you who took screen shots, typed up word docs, and provided links so I could re-access this content! I’m sorry I can’t re-publish the previous comments, but at least the content was saved! THANK YOU! <3

This was a tough one for me to write and to post. I’m about to let you take a peep into our current financial situation. It’s not pretty. I appreciate constructive feedback, but go easy on me!

I’ve already talked about a dozen times about how our finances got out-of-control over the summer months. Everything was fine through April-ish. But then a perfect storm hit that we did not weather very well. First, my final paycheck from my part-time job was in April (even though I worked into May, my contract was written with 4 lump sum payments and the final one was paid out in April). Just like that, we were down $3,000/month (that’s how much my part-time job paid. Note – I had to leave my part-time job because I got a big raise at my full-time job and had to sign a non-compete).

Hubs’ income from his company had been dwindling for months as he was back in school full-time and only had one crew working for him. He continued to pay for all his business (and personal) expenses, but when his licenses and insurances all came up for renewal the best option for us was to call it quits. By mid-June, he was out of money and all his expenses (that he’d previously budgeted and paid for separately out of his business income) needed to be included in the regular household budget. We lost his income and added a few line-items to the “expenses” portion of our budget (specifics in a future blog post).

Our income had plummeted overnight.

We’d grown accustomed to an income of over $10,000/month! And then, just like that, we were down to an income of only about $3,000/month (my take-home pay from my full-time job). We basically kept on spending like it was business as usual. My raise would go into effect mid-August. I thought that if we could just hold out until September (my first full month at my new rate of pay), that we’d be golden! I was expecting to have a huge bump in my take-home pay. I was hired at $55k and when my raise went into effect I’d be at a $95k salary (in 2 years’ time!). I thought my take-home would be over $5,000/month – somewhere in the $5-6k range (note: I have a lot of automatic payroll deductions – see more here).

What I did NOT expect was that my first paycheck with my raise (for 2 weeks of work) would only be $2269. We’re talking under $4500/month. Nearly a thousand per month under what I’d been anticipating, and less than half of what we’d grown accustomed to bringing home.

I spent a lot of time in August (after that first paycheck) looking at our budget trying to make sense of it and see how I could make it work. From an objective perspective, I know $4500/month is a lot of money. Many families get by with half that amount! When I first started blogging, our household income was only $4,000/month so we’d done it before! And that was when our babies were in diapers still! Surely we could do it again!

But the numbers just didn’t work. Our lifestyle had become inflated. Our budget was bloated. We’d picked up a lot of monthly payments that didn’t used to exist (more on that in a future post). And no matter how I tried to look at it, our expenses exceeded our income.

 

And so, we continued to live on credit cards.

The blog was just purchased by its new owner at that time. I didn’t know if I’d even be blogging anymore. So, I gave up. Without the public accountability and with our financial situation seeming so bleak, I didn’t think it could be done. I didn’t see a way to win.

Fast forward to today. Last month (September) was the first month that we were able to balance our budget since April. For four months (May – August), we were in the negative every month and supplementing our lack of income by relying on credit.

We’re still not in a good place.

Although we didn’t go into the red last month, it was just barely by the skin of our teeth! I had to implement that surprise No Spend Week the last week of the month. And, oh yeah, September was a 3-paycheck month!!! How will we do it with a normal (2-paycheck) month? How can we get by on our current income?

I did change my payroll deductions so I have a slightly higher take-home pay. Instead of $2269, my paychecks are now $2440. Among other things, we also have a huge tax debt we owe. I could adjust my withholdings to get a little more back per check but am purposely not doing so until the tax debt has been paid in full. It’s going to be awhile.

Bottom line, we need to get a budget in which we are somehow living on $4880/month. At this point, our expenses exceed that amount. Heck, our debt obligations alone are over a third of that! It’s kind of scary stuff still.

We’re committed to cutting back in many places. Hubs finishes his personal training course this month and will hopefully be able to land a part-time job. And we’ll supplement in the mean-time by selling everything we can to try to earn some side-cash and STOP increasing our debt by living on credit. Gulp!

More concrete budget details to come.


Peeking in to say Hello!

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After a whirlwind trip to Utah (one full day up; one full day back; only 2 days there), I’m back in Tucson and back at work.

I am eternally grateful that all of these issues are popping up during summer when I have a pretty flexible schedule. Even so, it’s been tough to keep up with work, as I missed 3 days the first week of June (for my grandmother’s funeral), had one solid week back at work, then missed another 3 days last week for my Dad’s house clear out. This week is also a short week, as my Mom flies in on Thursday to help celebrate the girls’ 4th birthday with us this weekend. I’m still treading water, but just barely.

Also, hubs just received word this morning that his grandfather has passed away (if you read this post, you know that this was expected as his grandfather has been on hospice and not doing well). Fortunately (if you can even call these things “fortunate”???), his grandfather specifically requested to be cremated and have no funeral. His only wish was to have his ashes spread on his family land out in Luling, Texas. My husband plans to go back to Texas to be with his mom at that time, but it will be awhile. Basically, my mother-in-law is in the process of buying a home right now (her closing date is set on July 15), and she wants to wait until she’s closed on the house to spread the ashes because she wants my husband to do some flooring work in her new house (remember, hubs is a flooring contractor), and it just makes his life easier to make one trip (for the ashes AND floors at same time) rather than having to make multiple/separate trips. It’s a bit unconventional, but mom-in-law was an only child so there’s no one opposing the plan and it’s what works best for her so I guess that will be happening in about a month. We haven’t decided yet for sure, but I believe the girls and I will stay in Tucson at that time (of course, the family makes a plea for us to go back any chance we get, but – well, work. Like, that thing that pays our bills and keeps a roof over our heads. So, yeah.)

The passing of hubs’ grandfather does have a (very) small monetary benefit to us. He wrote in his will that each of the grandchildren should receive $1,000 from his estate. Hey, every little bit helps, right?

For those who asked about the estate sale, let me give a super quick update.

Basically, it went “okay.” I was so terrified of a potentially huge turnout that I didn’t advertise widely. I only put it on a single Facebook yard sale site (with 3500 members) and advertised it as being Thursday night and Friday morning. I was able to have a friend babysit the girls on Thursday night, but it was for naught, as only 4 people came that evening. On Friday I was able to convince a cousin to come help us in exchange for some free goods (being that EVERYTHING that didn’t sell was literally going to be thrown away or donated anyway). All day Friday was pretty steady (from 7am-9pm), but it was never crazy. As the day wore on I kept posting reductions in prices on items, etc. By the end of the day we’d barely made $600. To be fair, a lot of the big/pricey items had been moved when my Dad moved, but this low number also reflects the fact that we were practically giving items away (again – we didn’t have the luxury of time on our side, so we couldn’t be choosy or hold out for better offers).

That being said, by 4pm on Friday we were still overwhelmed with the amount of items still laying around. We ended up calling a local company (Everything Goez) and paid them $500 to clear all the remaining property items. So in the end we had made just a teeny tiny profit of about $100. Next-to-nothing.

That being said, the #1 objective of our trip to Utah was to clear out the property. When I got there and realized how much remained, I was worried about what would happen. My sister and I were on the phone a lot and talking about additional trips, etc. I didn’t feel good about that (plus don’t have time for extra trips and more time off work), so in the end I thought this was the best possible solution. My siblings aren’t thrilled with the lack of money made at the estate sale, but I think we all realize that the alternative would have been even more costly (again, given the time off work, additional travel expenses, and longer time that this house is sitting vacant and costing us money). So in the end, paying to have the place cleared was the right move for us. I went with one goal (= clear out property), and I accomplished that goal (albeit, only by paying people to help us).

The house, garage, and yard are all now completely empty and ready for a professional cleaning and to be placed on the market. I met with a property management company while in town and got some pretty bad news about rental prices. I’ve since then called to get another quote (actually 3 in total), and it looks like we might not be able to make as much from renting as we’d originally thought. That means (fingers crossed), I may be able to talk the siblings into just selling the property, as I’ve wanted from the beginning. There’s not a lot of equity in the property, but enough that we wouldn’t lose any money. Plus, I literally had 3 separate groups of people offer to buy the house while they were going through and looking at items to purchase. One family (across-the-street neighbors) offered to pay cash with a quick close. We have a sibling conference call planned this week so we’ll see what happens (for newer readers, my brother & sister are both proponents of keeping it as a rental. I’m the only one in favor of selling, but I respect the majority vote so there are no hard feelings one way or another. I just don’t want to deal with this out-of-state property anymore).

So that’s about it. I have to apologize for my lack of numbers posts lately. I’ve still had it in the back of my mind that I need to do a budget update from last month (May), but by the time I have a chance to write it we’ll likely be ready for a June budget update. With all the balls I’m juggling I just have to do what I can and that may mean a missed numbers post here or there.

That being said, June should be a good month for us. My full-time job paycheck is higher because I have fewer deductions (I work at a university where most are on 9-month contracts, so during the Spring semester the deductions are higher to account for summer months. But since I’m actually working over the summer, too, I get my full without those deductions since they were essentially “pre-paid”). My part-time job paycheck is higher, too (since I only get paid in 2 lump sums:  June and July. Though that means I get no paycheck at all in May or August).

I’ve really got to get our emergency fund back up after raiding it last month (which I mention here), coupled with the fact that we were hoping to buy a house soon! For those wondering, we haven’t even started looking yet! With all the health crises and emergencies we’ve been experiencing, we’ve talked about the possibility of pushing our house hunt back into the Fall (we’d always planned to start hunting this summer). We could start in late summer, though, so that’s a possibility too. We’ve got to save more for our downpayment and need to get a bit beefier safety net (in terms of the EF). So that’s what’s going on with that. I’m still searching Zillow all the time and grabbing flyers from desirable areas whenever I see them – just for reference (and for fun). But no official looking yet. I’ll keep you posted on that.

I hope you all have a great week! Talk to you soon!

 


A Little Good News on the Job Front

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I’ve been offered and accepted a part time job.  It’s contract work, so no benefits, but it is what I have been doing and the pay rate mediocre at best.  But it is skilled labor and on the outskirts of my field and for a company that is VERY HIGHLY respected in my field.

So beginning in January, I will get between 15-25 hours a week which I can work from home at my leisure.  I figured that it’s great to know I will have some money coming beginning in January and it’s something I can do in conjunction with another job until I get back on my feet…firmly back on my feet!

So yeah!  The job hunt is still on…looking for full time, corporate work with benefits and maybe Relocation Expenses or a Signing Bonus!


And the Job Search is On

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First week without a job…it’s a very new feeling after 10 years of working 70+ hour work weeks.  I have really been focusing this week of keeping things low key and not going into panic mode.  It’s a very different routine, and I’m not taking it for granted, trying to enjoy it while it lasts.

Over the last few weeks, I have been knee deep in the job search primarily focusing on returning to the corporate world and with the possibility of moving.  I’ve had four first interviews and received one rejection email.  Things have certainly changed since the last time I looked for a corporate job!

I have been very blessed by a particular reader on this blog and I wanted to take a moment to publicly acknowledge that and thank her…

Faye from LeapofFaye.com reached out to me and offered to take a look at my resume and give me some feedback.  And I’ve got to say, WOW!  She completely re-did my resume and gave me some awesome advice on marketing myself…it was SO needed and I attribute her guidance to the interviews I’ve landed thus far.  And frankly, after 10 years out of the job market…things have certainly changed.  So I really want to thank her for reaching out and giving me a great push in the right direction as I tackle this transition in my life!  Here’s a little bit about her…

Faye is an almost-40-something mother of two (with a third on the way!) who has recently left her high powered 20+ year career in the financial services industry to pursue her passion of writing and spend more time with family – you can follow her experiences in making the leap to self-employment, adventures in parenting, and all her other favorite topics. Check out her site at LeapofFaye.com

So this afternoon, I have a second interview for a part time job that I’m pretty excited about. It will allow me to continue to work from home, have flexible hours and seems like a pretty cool gig. It won’t pay the bills, but would be money coming in, and I’m sure you know, every bit helps!

I continue to look at jobs and have expanded my search area to pretty much Anywhere, USA. I would love to go overseas, but not sure the kids would handle that well at this point.


Bummer Realization

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First, I want to thank everyone for the kind and thoughtful comments on this post. This trip proved to be not nearly as stressful as my previous one. Not that it was a walk in the park or anything, but I think it helped to have both siblings with me and to already have a good idea of what we’d be walking into with the doctor (and our “hunch” of a diagnosis has now officially been confirmed). I’m going to set this topic aside for a bit, though I’m sure we’ll be revisiting it in the future, at least in regard to how these issues have impacted financial decisions. Thanks again for all the support and understanding!

I’ve already said that I love August. But one of the reasons why I’m excited about this month, specifically, is that it will be my first month earning a full month of pay from my new full-time job! Wahoo!!!!

So I guess I’d had it in my head that I’d be getting double-paid this month (from full-time job AND part-time job) and that next month we’d have some KILLER debt payments to make!

Only…..no.

I did the same thing last year, too. My part-time job has an odd interval of paychecks. For my summer teaching (which lasts 3 months), the pay was split into two lump sums paid out in June and July. So although the semester isn’t over yet and I continue working this month, I won’t get paid this month because of the schedule of payments (technically I was already paid in-full, and it just happens that I got paid before the semester ended).

I still don’t know if I’ll be able to continue working part-time in the Fall. I have a meeting with the department head this week where I’ll ask(!!!). I’ve got my fingers crossed for good news but, even so, I won’t be expecting a paycheck from the part-time job until September. And, worst case scenario if I’m forced to leave the part-time job, I won’t have any months at all with double-pay because I’ll have to leave my part-time job before any double-paychecks would occur.

So, yeah. That sucks.

On the bright side of things (a BIG bright side, too), at least I get paid this month! Last year I didn’t get any pay in August at all since my part-time job doesn’t pay during the month. This year I won’t get double-pay, but at least I’ll be getting a full month’s worth of pay from the new full-time job! YAY for that!

I’ll definitely keep you updated on the status of the part-time job. I’ve had a couple commenters ask what the deal is and it’s still up in the air right now. I’m just trying to be positive and hoping for the best, but I’ll let you know once I have my official meeting with the new department head!


Leveraging Your Love: 8 Real Hobby Jobs to Help You Get Debt-Free Like Me

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Leveraging your love pic 1

When I was struggling to pay off my debt, I felt as though I had no time for the things I loved. Devoting one’s effort to making money to pay lenders usually doesn’t leave much time and energy for pleasant pursuits, and whenever I took a weekend, a day, or even a few hours off to indulge my hobby, I felt guilty about slacking off.

As luck would have it, I was able to adapt my love into a side job. Harnessing the power of the Internet — and the fervor of craft fairs — I could easily and inexpensively find customers eager to pay me to do my favorite activity.

Plenty of interests can be adapted into part-time or even full-time jobs that pay well enough to help you become debt-free fast. Here are a few popular hobbies I’ve seen my friends transform into profitable enterprises — including the one that helped me overcome my debt.

Writing

If there is anything Hope, Ashley, Matt, and everyone else on BloggingAwayDebt have taught me, it is that writing is an excellent way to let off steam and keep yourself accountable to your goals. Writing can also be a source of income. Good writers are hard to come by, and nearly any publication (blogs, magazines, newspapers) will pay for a good piece.

Playing an Instrument

Most children practice an instrument, but few adults maintain the diligence and creativity to continue playing for a lifetime. Even if you aren’t an orchestra-level performer, you can use your skill to bring in some extra cash. That’s exactly what one of my friends did. Parents are always looking for experienced players to help their children learn the art, and she tutors for $50 per hour, although she started out at $25. If I had any musical talent, I would definitely be gigging with my instrument, playing weddings, parties, and bars.

Photography

There’s taking pictures, and then there’s being a photographer. Anyone can snap a pic with her smartphone, but only a few understand lighting, color and focus well enough to capture a beautiful scene. There are dozens of occasions throughout life that call for a professional photographer, from graduations to births to weddings. Alternatively, you can sell your better images to stock photo sites like Shutterstock for a hefty chunk of change.

Filmmaking

In many ways, moving pictures are even more difficult to get right than photographs. So, if you have a knack for making videos, you could stand to profit wildly. For example, popular YouTubers earn millions of dollars every year from advertising. However, if you prefer to stay behind the camera, you can shoot and edit videos for a significant fee.

Leveraging your love pic 2

Crafting

For years, this was my guilty pleasure of choice. I would spend hours (and a large portion of my budget) on beads, yarn, and cloth, producing all sorts of crafts that cluttered my house. When I finally recognized the detriment of my debt, I was able to use my skill (and vast inventory) to generate extra income. By managing a couple online stores and working craft fairs with my mobile credit card reader, I was able to scrounge enough cash every month to pay off my debt in two years. My words of wisdom are this: If you can make something, you can sell it.

Fitness

Fitness is currently one of the biggest fads, which is a boon for all those lifelong fitness freaks out there. With an unprecedented number of new members, gyms around the country are desperate for knowledgeable personal trainers. Though becoming a trainer does require a mild amount of certification in most states, the payoff is worth it; personal trainers can earn as much as $30 per hour whipping people into shape.

Socializing

Many people are so addicted to social media that they have a hard time getting anything done. Fortunately, Facebook addicts can turn their infatuation into a full-time job by devoting their social media talents to companies who need them. Social media marketing is a new and powerful way to build a loyal following, and companies are searching left and right for individuals who understand the ever-changing tides of social networks.

Shopping

Surprisingly, there are dozens of ways avid shoppers can get paid for their expensive habits. Mystery shoppers are paid by consumer interest groups or corporations to spend time in a store, make a purchase, and rate their levels of satisfaction. Additionally, shoppers can lend their talent and tastes to wardrobe websites, helping subscribers build better style.


Ooh, ooh, ooh, I got a new job!

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Ok, no, I’m not switching careers and I’m not losing any of my current work. But I thought it was really cool how the part time job I had this past summer has come back again.  As you will recall from April through October of last year, I worked part time, outside the home at a local office doing general admin work.  I eventually resigned as it was just too much with everything else.

Well, needless to say I left on really good terms and really liked my boss.  I wrote about my resignation here.  Well, about a month ago, she contacted me about doing some work on their website…I went in met with her and did a couple of hours of work on the site.  Well, yesterday I went back in for a second meeting with her and her boss…and now I’m on a small monthly retainer with them to maintain and support their website and social media.  Woot, woot!

It’s not a lot of money, but it is regular income I can count on, more than replaces the part time income I was getting last summer and I can do it from home.  A giant win all around!  And I truly do enjoy working for this boss, I really admire her!


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