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Archive for December, 2015

Small update

December 22nd, 2015 at 04:29 am

Things keep chugging along. So far I am at $455.62 of my $1000 budget with 13 days to go. Most of the christmas spending is done- just need to get the kid some pjs and maybe something else that is fun from Target annnnd...that's it! We have enough food to last us until January 3 except for fresh fruit and some milk probably. We haven't done any of the traveling so we'll see what happens with that.

We're not going down to N's mom's until Thursday morning so we won't have to eat out Wednesday night like I thought. We have plenty of options for our Christmas day meals after we drive back home.

I had a meltdown again this weekend about the public library. I am not doing myself any favors. Half the time I tell myself to suck it up and that every paycheck is that much more financial security. But it really is coming at a price I don't think my health can afford for much longer. There is a new librarian position posted, this time in technical services. I am going to apply even though I have no hope that I'll get it. I will wait to hear back about that position before I quit. I have been there 6.5 years and don't want to have an unnecessary interruption in service and then have to reset my time served. We get recognized at every 5th year milestone (5, 10, 15, 20, 25+ years-yes, there have been people who have been there for 40!!!! years. No wonder it's so freaking hard to get a position.) It's a silly concern, but it doesn't take me much past a February quitting date.

Spending plan

December 14th, 2015 at 09:45 am

Thanks everyone for all the kind words on my last post Smile

I know I complain about the public library a lot but I have a lot to be grateful for. I have a full time job elsewhere (though at about 50 cents an hour less- soon to be more because we're getting an across the board 75 cent an hour cost of living adjustment). I contribute to 3 retirement plans at the university but only one of them has matching funds. If worse comes to worse I can temporarily suspend contributions to the two that don't have matching. I am unhappy career wise but that doesn't mean I need to be unhappy life wise.

As far as visiting family this summer- Intellectually it makes sense to make the sacrifice and not go for a year. But my family is just my aunt and uncle and me. We are all we have left. Everyone else has passed away. So not only am I the one making the sacrifice, but I have to ask them to go a year without seeing their only family. That doesn't sit well with me.

Possible solution: I will have enough Southwest rewards miles to pay for one of our flights. And I will be able to save enough for the other two flights by mid-April (hopefully). I won't have much in way of savings this way, but right now it is the best option.

I am still scheming and looking for ways to cut back and to sock away money. And maybe there will be a great deal on tickets!

As for the December 5-12 spending plan. I was under by 64.73. I didn't pay the water bill because it is not due until the end of the month and I didn't buy a bag for myself or an xmas present for the kid.

December 12-January 4th Spending plan
Groceries $350 (already have spent 110.33)
New car battery $125 (Cost $114.73)
Cell $75 (hopefully last month of this high bill!)
Christmas gift's for the kid and partner's family $150
Gas- $150 (this is over inflated, but I am hoping to get away with 3-4 fill ups during all the holiday driving)
Eating out $150
Donations $200
Other $100
Total: 1300. I think this is doable. But traveling is going to be a huge wildcard.

The end might be sooner than I thought

December 10th, 2015 at 09:39 am

I have been vague about my job because I have been talking a lot of shit about it and don't want it to get back to my bosses. I think it's unlikely that it will, but still. However, this newest event is impossible to explain without more information so here goes. I might delete this later.

I work in a public library. It used to be my full time job but now it is my part time. I have a MLS but I am not a librarian. I used to be a paraprofessional, but as a result of the restructuring we did earlier this year I am now considered in a clerical position.

I did not feel great about that but I went with it because I thought I would become a librarian soon enough and it wouldn't matter. Then I didn't become a librarian. I probably wasn't even considered-but that's another story.

The main reason I decided to stay on part time and continue to work 60 hours a week is because I was still getting to do some skilled work. Most of the time I work at the public desks were 80% of what I do is circulation-checking people out and renewing their books. I didn't spend two years a tens of thousands of dollars to do that. BUT, one day a week I get to drive the bookmobile AND I LOVE IT.

I get to select books that rotate into the bookmobile collection; I develop personal relationships with customers and personally select books for them to read; I rotate books off the truck when it is appropriate and I get to feel really great about what I am doing. It makes up for the other 3 days when I am not being challenged professionally.

Last night my supervisor told me that I was going to start splitting my route with a new driver. Once he is trained I will go every other Saturday. She needs a backup driver (reasonable) and the person nominally in charge of the vehicle itself doesn't want this person to only drive once a month (also reasonable) and the person they chose can only do Saturday route (same as me). All of it is reasonable but when I got off work I burst into tears. I am so disappointed.

I have been an outspoken supporter of the restructuring; I mentor my colleagues, offer positive, constructive criticism about the new policies and try not to complain about my schedule. I have shown leadership during the transition. I have been one of the biggest cheerleaders.

But, since my previous position was the first of it's kind and is what the transition is based off of, I initially was trained in more places than anyone else. that meant it didn't matter what my preferences were, I was placed where they needed a body while the rest of the library got caught up in training. And I was fine with that because, again, I thought it would help me move to a higher position. But it hasn't. And won't. And now I get to do the thing I enjoy the most only half the time-which won't allow me to build any relationships with my patrons-who aren't even mine now.

It looks like instead of quitting in 22 weeks, I will be quitting in about 11. So, at least that is something to look forward to. I don't know how it will work out financially, but I am quitting once the new driver is trained. The new driver that doesn't have a MLS and doesn't have as much experience as me. (It's not his fault. I am excited for him that he gets to learn this too because I know he is jazzed for it.)

This main thing this will change is going to visit my family this summer. Plane tickets alone will be about $1000 for the 3 of us and I just don't know how we'll do it.

So, there's that. This library is like a bad ex-boyfriend that I keep running back to no matter how many times he break my heart.

Set backs

December 8th, 2015 at 06:15 am

Last night after getting off work at 9pm, my partner and I walked to my car. We got in my car. He tried to start my car and the battery was dead. I didn't leave my lights on or the door open so it looks like it is time for a new battery. It will probably cost about $110 + tax which is fine, I can cover it, but it's just a bummer.

I have from December 26-January 3 off from my PT job. We are going south to visit with N's dad. We usually only stay for 3 days but I took more time off this year because N & A don't get to go in the summer like they used to (we go west to visit my family in the summer.)

I will have accrued only 12 hours of PL by then. And the university is closed Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, but they aren't paid holidays. So I have to take PL for that. We decided that we would leave Tuesday after I get off work at 5. It's a 5ish hour drive. I will take 10.5 hours unpaid, which is about $145. Which is better than if we left Tuesday morning- it would be more like $260 less on the paycheck.

I am glad we've been cutting back and trying to reduce expenses as much as possible. It makes things like this easier to absorb. These expenses aren't going to break us, but it is a little discouraging in terms of when I can quit the PT job. I am very glad and thankful that I have the PT job, though. I will be happy to get my free time back.

22 weeks and this week

December 5th, 2015 at 04:21 am

This week was an easy one. I am only working 46.5 hours (picked up some extra hours at my PT job). Monday starts my new 60 hour week but I will only do that for 2 weeks before the holidays start and that will give me a little extra time off Smile

I ended up over budget by $41.45 and I will take it! This was my first month of drastically cutting spending. Even with the holiday I was able to cut back!

December 5-12 spending plan:
Water bill- $45
groceries- $75
new bag- $10
dinner out- $60
New PJs for kid (Christmas present)- $20
Total: $210

I need a new bag but I am going to try to buy it used. If I don't get it this week then I will just add it to the next spending plan. Eating out probably won't cost that much, but I don't know if we're going with the kid or not.

My partner wanted to go out to eat on Thursday. It was my turn to pay and I was already over budget. He offered to pay but I was concerned that he wouldn't have enough left over at the end of the month because airbnb is slowing down and he'd be responsible for a lot more of the mortgage than last month. I said "I want to quit my second job more than I want to eat out" and he said "well, I can't argue with that." We went to Kroger and got a frozen pizza instead. Not at all healthy, but a lot cheaper!

I am a little worried about sticking with $1000 for December 12- January 5. We will be traveling out of town twice for the holidays which will mean eating out at least twice and filling up the tank extra times. Luckily gas prices are low. Then there is presents for the partner's large family. The past two years we have given them mason jars containing the ingredients for a meal plus a homemade sweet treat. I think that is the route we are going this year as well. It is inexpensive and I hope appreciated.

I got very creative using all the leftover thanksgiving food (except for the desserts-we had to throw them out. We just don't eat sweets enough.) I am hoping to continue my creativity this month to keep the grocery costs down. That and eating out are just about the only things in my control right now.

$26.29

December 1st, 2015 at 12:04 pm

...That is how much I am over budget right now. As long as I don't spend anything until Saturday. I will take it. The only reason I am over is because I found a fantastic deal on groupon for a playstation 4 and impulsively decided to go with it. The partner has wanted one for almost as long as we've been together and at $299 ($321 with tax) I felt that was as low as we'd ever find it (at least until a new one came out) So, there is my contribution to Christmas. I told him I want at least 3 pairs of fun socks wrapped for me to open in exchange Wink

My Net worth has decreased $1806.09 since last month. That is kind of a bummer. Good news: debt decreased by $2882.07. Bad news was assets decreased by $4688.16. Other bummer news is that I am ending the year $967.6 "poorer" than I began it even though my assets increased by $80,620.40. Thanks, mortgage Wink

I will hopefully do better next year. I think I have set myself up to be in a much better position come tax time than I did last year. This is also the first year I maxed out my IRA so I am proud of that. The job at the university offers a better retirement plan so I am contributing way more a month than I was previously. Just enough to "feel" it. Plus, I am getting a match up to 4%.

I am getting more and more excited about the new job and more and more ready to leave the current job behind completely. My previous dream job (from age 12-26) was to join the Foreign Service. I was on track but when my mom passed away I no longer had the safety net I thought I needed, then I met my partner and he wasn't able to move with me so I adjusted my dream. I made it work and I would still be super happy if I could find that kind of position but it's not in the cards for right now. The foreign service, however, is looking more likely.

I can use the job at the university as a stepping stone to State. I can take a new language, brush up on "my" languages or take other classes while I "study" for the exam. Or maybe none of that will pan out and I will have a new direction in a year. Who knows? But I am excited now about my opportunities and am going to use the university job to somehow get me a job overseas Smile