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Posts tagged with: part time job

Just have to Ask

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I mentioned my new perspective specifically in regards to my job search in yesterday’s book club post. I have really been struggling mentally and emotionally. We are year three of constant stress and upheaval in regards to housing and finances. It just hasn’t stopped.

Better Off without Me

For the first time in a long time, I can say that I have very clear moments of despair with no view of positive things in my life. And that is just not like me, I’ve always been a “glass half full” kind of girl. My beliefs that:

  • God has His hand on my life;
  • Everything happens for a reason;
  • It will turn around and so on.

These beliefs continue to hold strong, but boy, there are definitely moments, sometimes hours or whole nights where I think “the kids would be way better off without me.” I mean that’s what life insurance is for right?!? Before anyone calls the suicide hotline on me, I’m not suicidal. The thought of leaving my kids is not something I could ever act on. But I wanted to share because I KNOW there are a lot of others out there that have been through similar experiences and similar thought processes.

Taking a Different Approach

For the last couple of years, I have been so focused on getting back into the corporate world, making the amount of money I should earn with my education and experience and just generally following the expected course when one loses their job. And I’ve been miserable. I hated leaving kids every day. I hated never having a moment to just be. I hated working literally around the clock.

But this time, now, after reading Your Money or Your Life AND dealing with the last year and my last employer, I’m choosing a completely different path. I’m creating my own opportunities. I’m asking for what I want, how I want it and when I want it.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of what all I’ve been doing, but I will share a couple of examples.

First, I’ve approached the local Boys & Girls Club about doing some programming with middle school kids for them. This was triggered after some really tough experiences Gymnast has had at the school.  This area is so poor, so racially divided and extremely limited in opportunities.

I feel like I could help turn that around.  They have said YES to the programming and are now working on finding ways to pay me to do it.  We are looking at grants, their current budget or maybe bringing me on with a dual role: programming and administration.

Right now, I am volunteering a few hours a week, getting my foot in the door. And they’ve given me a space to call my own.  I’m very hopeful that this could turn into steady part time income. And more than that, really fill the need in me to help and work with kids.

Second, I applied for a local job in the news paper. Office manager, several hundred a week and while it’s not great money, I thought, I could pay most of the bills with it. Well, it’s not so local, it’s an hour away. I cried on the way to the interview.

I knew that 10 more hours in the car a week, $100 more dollars for gas, the job just wasn’t feasible. But  I went to the interview and I put it in God’s hands. It turned out to be a really small creative operation and I would have LOVED to work there.

I explained the logistics and financial challenges to the owner before leaving. He offered me the job on the spot. I told him I would put some thought into and see if there was any way I could make it work. I cried on the way home too.

Saturday afternoon I get an email from him…”Will you work 20 hours a week remotely, 1/2 the pay and we will revisit more hours and incentive pay in 4 weeks?”  Guess what, I cried again. The money isn’t great, it’s $325 per week. But the benefits of staying home, creating my own schedule and getting to work for a company I will enjoy…priceless.

I accepted and will be spending the day at their shop on Thursday to get start.

Current Status

Essentially, I have one part time remote job and one volunteer position that has a very high probability of becoming a part time position. The income, well, it’s not enough to pay the bills yet, but it’s a giant step forward on all accounts. The most important one being, I’m getting my “groove” back, my joy, my purpose.


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.


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