Recent Divine Discussions

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

First day at the new job

Yesterday was my first day at the new job. First three hours were spent at HR going through a benefits presentations and creating my employee file.

Benefits Summary:

Great medical, dental, and vision plan. Only $120 a month for me and my daughter. Even though I have been used to paying zilch on the medical coverage front, the $120/month is a lot better than I thought. Hit the nail on the head here or way off?

The company is only offering 2% towards my 401K and there is no additional match. I think I am going to elect to have 0% of my salary applied to my 401K. There is 2.5 months left on the contract which equates to about 5 paychecks. The company's retirement plan only allows roll overs if the account is more than $1000. Any account below that will be required to cash out. Even if I do the same percentage of contribution I did with my old employer (4%) and plus the 2% from the current employer, $840 max would be contributed to my 401K by the time the contract ends. So I see no reason to contribute if I will have to take a 30% penalty on my money when I can take it home and only deal with a 16% tax. I have 31 days to make a final decision on this but I don't think I will need it.

I also get $25K in life insurance and $25K in ADD.


I have only been working with them 2 days and I have already been to 3 meetings. The position is going to be more challenging than my last job but I am excited and can't wait to really dig myself into it. Sounds scary I know. LOL! But I do love a challenge. I was given a schedule with 3 tasks to complete and I have already completed the first one this morning. I started the second assignment on my list and it is going to be a doozy. :-D

I went ahead and calculated how much each of my pay checks will be. Based on those calculations I should have around $9068 total saved to my emergency fund come October 17th. I am going to work on bringing in some extra income of the side also.

I updated my resume on a few job sites and also applied to the company taking over the contract in October. I have already gotten 2 job offers from the online job sites but I had to turn both down. They both wanted me to start right away and it wouldn't be professional of me to quit a job I just started. I want to maintain a good rapport with all past employers. It is still good to know that my resume is getting such good feedback.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Food prices and a challenge

Ok, is it just me or is food not lasting as long as it used to? It is the 14th and I have already gone grocery shopping twice and it looks like I may need to go again. Are you serious!?! Are they altering the food to make it not last longer so that we HAVE to go buy more?!!??

No.

Even though I may be spending around the same amount dollar wise each shop, I am not getting the same amount of food. Hence having to go grocery shopping for the third time and I'm half way through the month. Needless my grocery budget looks to be a bust this month. I may need to increase it to $125 in August. I also haven't been using my crockpot like I used to. Closing out on my old job and getting prepared for my new job, swimming lessons, and dealing with the death of my grandmother, I haven't had the time to even prepare a decent homemade meal. My funds are definitely feeling this.

I gotta get back on my budget hustle. I start my new job on Monday and will have to adapt to the new work schedule. No more working from home or extreme flexibility. My new work hours are from 7:30 to 3:30. I have 30 minutes for lunch and don't really want to hit up the cafeteria so I will be packing up my lunch regularly. I'll stick to simple things like PB&J sandwiches or salads with water or Gatorade and a lil side.

As for dinner, I am going back on my crockpot routine. That way I won't be tempted to buy dinner if I know I have some waiting at home. I purchased a mini crockpot (2.5 quart) for $10 from Biglots a couple of weeks back. Now that I have two, I can widen my variety of dinner options.

Starting on Monday, I am going to challenge myself to cook all my meals for the rest of the month (weekends excluded). Monday through Friday I will make my own breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I know to some this may be an everyday thing but I kind of struggle with it from time to time and more often than usual the last couple of months.

I gotta get a schedule and routine down in regards to all aspects of my life. I gotta have structure.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Current job, new job, and such...oh yeah... Not cashing out

I gave my two week notice on Monday.

Supervisor wasn't to cool with me leaving but he said he was extremely happy for me. I spoke to the folks in accounting at my current employer and I do anything with my 401K until annual distribution packages are sent out and that isn't until February 2009. Needless to say that cashing out my 401K is no longer an option. The only reason I entertained the idea was to ensure I was in a good financial state come October 1. I will either roll the money into my the 401K account I will have with my employer at that time or I will roll it into a traditional IRA. I have some time to think about it.

Thanks to all who were concerned about my initial decision to cash out my 401K. Please realize that I would only entertain this thought in the case of an emergency. '

The folks at the new job can't wait until I start. Seems like news of me coming on board has spread like wild fire and I had a director stop me in the hallway on my way to lunch to tell me how much he has heard about me and that he wanted to sit down with me to see if I could lend assistance on a couple of his projects. I mean this guy is like upper upper management and wants ME of all people to work on some things with him. Just based on what he has heard of my capabilities. WOW!

Oh and let me explain to yall just how good He is........

Some of my coworkers have been throwing in little jokes here and there about how I am not loyal and how I ran to the dark side and yadda yadda yadda. Of course I just brush it off with a laugh and tell them something about themselves. Majority of the time they shut up and continue with their business. Well how about the president of the company I currently work for sent out an email to all the employees (excluding me) this afternoon stating that they weren't able to pick up a contract and at that time the company would not be able to sustain the current staffing. He wants the employees to meet with him sometime next week to talk about their personal situation with the company.

You can't imagine how quiet the office went when folks started reading that email. About half my coworkers left for the day to work on their resumes. Craziness!


In other news.......

I really am not looking forward to calculating my June monthly report. I have not been keeping track of my expenses. I need to create a July budget also. *sigh*


Sunday, July 6, 2008

HIM





No words can describe how I felt watching this. I couldn't even think of a title for this post. LOL! But I think I managed to sum it all up.

I hope you all enjoy!

Letting Go and Letting God - My plan to financial freedom

Well not 100% financially free but close to it.

Read my last post, The Job Offer??? If you haven't then do so now if you want to understand the following madness that is about to ensue.

Here we go:


I officially received a job offer on Thursday which I have accepted. My start date is the 21st (I wanted to give my current employer the standard two weeks). Here is the catch: The company whom I will be working for is the same company who's contract ends on Doom's Day.

Crazy huh?!

Yeah I know but I have my reasons for taking such a risk. My position with my current employer is foggy after Doom's Day . There is a big chance that I would be laid off due to lack of work, especially since I primarily worked the NASA contract. My position with the new company after Doom's Day is also foggy, but not as much. There is a high probability that the department will get picked up onto the new contract. Very high probability. And on top of that, I am making $25K more than I would sticking it out with my current employer.

Here is my plan:


I have accrued 15 paid-time-off-days (PTODs) which equates to 3 weeks of pay. I get to cash those in once I leave the company. This will be included with my last check. I plan on putting 2 weeks worth into my savings account bringing the total to about $5200. The remaining 1 week will be used to help out during the lapse between my last paycheck and the first one with the new company.

My 401K account total should be around $13100 by the time I terminate. I have the option to roll it over into another 401K account, keep it where it is, roll it over into an IRA account, or cash it out. I am going to cash it out. Yeah I said it. You'll understand why by the end of my post. I will be hit with a 20% tax, leaving me with about $10,500 (Yes I know I will be hit with another 10% during tax time. I will deal with it). I am going to put ALL of that into my emergency fund. That brings my total to about $15700.

Based on my calculations, over the remaining time left on the contract I will be able to save at least $6000. This is of course based on my new monthly income and my current monthly expenses. I do not plan on increasing the latter any time soon. I actually hope to bring it down some.

Anyways, adding the $6000 to my emergency fund brings it's total to $21,700 by Doom's Day. This is more than enough to sustain my daughter and I if for any reason I am left job-less after September 30.

The "Climax" of my plan:

If Doom's Day comes and I have that job security, then I will take $20,000 of the money in my emergency fund and pay off all of my credit card debt and my personal loan. With my new salary I will be able to build my emergency fund fairly quickly. But I will deal with that once I get there. I gotta get over this hurdle first.

In the meanwhile, I will start sending out my resume and applying for the numerous positions that will be opening up due to the new contract. I am extremely confident that I will have a job lined up by the time 9/30 comes. I have numerous contacts and a lot of people who love and appreciate the work I have done and are confident in my abilities.

This may seem like a huge risk to take, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I have always stuck with the safe zone, sometimes regretting not taking that risk. Especially when that step can be taken out on faith. I am a whole-hearted believer in God and the things that he does for us. I believe that there is a reason this opportunity was set before me. And I know he has my back the whole way through.

I have been contemplating leaving my current employer for a while now. With such a small company there isn't much room for advancement and not much salary wise either. I knew I had to leave but I was so comfortable where I was. So I needed a little shove in the right direction and I believe this is it. I can only go up from here.

All that I want to do, all my goals, they are in arms reach now. If everything goes as planned, then once I pay off my cc debt there will be a dominoes effect. I My cc debt and personal loan will be gone. My
credit score will increase. This will also free up around $700 a month allowing me to save even more money. I could have my home by next year. I don't want to get ahead of myself but it is a possibility.


Hope you guys had a great weekend.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Job Offer

Here is a little insight into what has been going on at my job. Hopefully it won't be too hard to follow:

I work for a consulting engineering company that relies on contract work. We currently work a number of different contracts. Our biggest client is a major company out at NASA. That company's contract with NASA ends on September 30 (we will call this day Dooms Day) on this year and so does our contract with them. My employer joined some different companies on 3 major contracts that were being bid on. None of the companies we joined with won. So at the present moment we are in shits creek. My employer is trying desperately to pull some work from the winning companies but no bites as of yet. If Dooms Day comes (and even before then) and they haven't managed to secure any additional work, they will not have enough work and money to go around. Layoffs will then be inevitable. In the past two staff meeting the president basically told us to get our resumes ready.

For the past month or so, one of our clients has, on a number of occasions, mentioned to me that they had an opening in their department and that I should apply for it. He and his manager were very impressed with the work that I had been doing for them for the past 2 years and felt that I would be a tremendous asset to there department. I never really paid him any mind because I sincerely believed that my job was secure with the company that I am presently with. Well I wizened up and the next time he mentioned the opening I hopped on it and let him know that I would entertain a possible position with them. Two days later the director of that particular department contacted me. I asked for information on the position like salary, responsibilities, benefits, etc. The position was for a Reliability Engineer. Salary range was between $62K-$82K. Benefits are niicceee. Works hours are 7-3 and has some flexibility.

They accepted my salary request of $73,000. My coworker/friend says that I should have went higher but I didn't want to be greedy. I should receive an official offer tomorrow. I plan on speaking with my present employer on Monday to give my two week notice.

WOW!!!!! You don't even understand how I feel at the present moment. I am just thankful and blessed. This ain't nothing but God. I have been praying about my job situation for a while and this is what he does. WOW!!

I am both scared and excited at the same time. This is a huge career move for me and a huge salary increase. It is nothing but upward movement from here on. No turning back.

You would think the blessings stop there but they don't. If I work this the way I have it laid out there is a possibility that I could have all my credit debt and personal loan paid off by mid-October.

I'll go into more detail after I receive and officially accept the job offer.

Stay tuned..........

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Update

A lot of things have been taking place Dimples' world. I am going to try and sum up some of the what's been going on in this post.


Finances were looking a little fuzzy for a moment but I do believe that I see a light shining at the end of my debt tunnel. I'll go into a little more detail on the shining light on another post. I was hoping that the summer would be real chill and inexpensive but that turned out to be big fat negative. Here is what I have had to spend in the past month:

  • -$40 for swimming lessons (went through the my city's park and rec department)
  • -$140 for summer camp registration
  • -$77 for before and after care registration for school starting in the fall
  • -$100 and counting for school uniform
  • -$50 for school supplies
  • -$75 for summer clothing (bathing suits, shorts, tanks.....Florida is hot as hell)
  • -$300 for items for brother's dorm
  • TOTAL = $782 and counting
And on top of all this, my electric bill is starting to rise. Jumped about $30 in one month. Water is inching up just a bit. Ehhh well...

I traveled to Shreveport, LA on business and was there for three days. I flew for the first time in 13 years.......and I almost passed from the fright. Luckily I had some wonderful seat mates who I conversed with me the each flight. I was there for 3 days and got some Louisiana cooking from a restaurant down the street from my hotel. Shrimp ducky was off the chain!

Work has been crazy. So much politics going on. The contract we are on is ending this September. My employer does not know if he will have enough work to sustain all his employees. We have had two meeting were he basically told us to get our resumes ready. So I did.........and received a job offer this afternoon.

Ya girl just increased her salary by $25,000!! Yeah..........I am so not kidding. This topic deserves a post of it's own. To be continued..............