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Updates Abound!

July 7th, 2018 at 06:00 am

I have finished 3 weeks at the new job and am liking it very much. I lucked out a lot with this and am very grateful!

During the time, I have been training & exhausted in the evenings after physical therapy for my hand. So I am just now getting around to updates (in no particular order)

- My severance from my previous employer hit my bank account today and went straight to the emergency fund! Just a little over $9.2k

- My new employer pays up to date, so I got paid one week on my first Friday with them and paid 2 weeks per normal pay schedule yesterday

-We have a lot of savings goals - one being a new to us car for my husband. We plan on putting $7k down and then 0% financing the rest. We prefer to keep savings up for the moment given so many issues this year (job loss/change, major medical bills, etc).

-Medical Fund needs to be replenished. We finally hit the out of pocket max and have about $900 left to pay in medical bills. I payment planned it out just to cashflow it instead of stealing from any other savings. Our HSA accounts have been depleted.

- Our 6 month car insurance bill is coming up. We pay it in full by cashflowing. We already have the funds ready to go and are starting to save monthly for the next one.

- CC debt is at 0% still so we are saving cash and paying down. My husbands card will be paid off by the end of the year. My card might be a month or two behind that.

- I set up a daycare FSA from my new employer. I am sad to say that they do not supplement the funding, but its still tax-free, so we are utilizing it!

- Been back on Weight Watchers and packing lunches and its been good for my waist and my wallet!

- I am part of a professional organization where I received an accreditation. To keep my certification, I need to be a member of good standing. My previous employer paid for the certification, recertification and the yearly fee. My new employer is still getting 'authorization. The organization gives a little leeway, but in case my new employer doesn't come through, I have the funds saved from overtime at my previous job.

-Spent a bit more on new clothes - needed more tops than I realized. My closet was very bare of work appropriate clothing! All cashflowed though!

-Now that I have a full paycheck, I am able to rework the budget. That will be the goal for this weekend!

Current Balances:

Debt:
Spouse Card: 8k
My Card $6.8k

Savings and Sinking Funds:
EF (after severance) $16,797.16
EF2 (different place) $21,000.00
Slush Fund (yearly expenses) $252.13
Home Upkeep Sinking $219.62
New AC Fund (we know this will be happening in the next 1-2 years) $167.47
Medical Sinking $280.62
Professional Fee Sinking $295
Memberships Sinking $13.31
Clothes Sinking $10.26
2018 Gifts Sinking $1285.89
Vacation $800
New Car Fund $6100.20
Daughter Fund (for long term savings outside of 529) $502.86

8 days off & on in the hospital = daily emails from my insurance about claims

June 13th, 2018 at 08:21 am

Oh the joys of being in & out of the hospital - INSURANCE

I am so glad to have some insurance or this could have been a much more financial hit. However, the amount of claims that have been coming through have been insane.

I had an ER visit the day of the dog bite - this includes a doctor billing me as well as the ER.

2 days later, I was back in the ER where TWO doctors and the ER bill me AND I am admitted into the hospital for 4 days/3 nights.

I go home for ONE night.

And I ended up in the ER again where multiple doctors visited me and argued over what to do, so I get their bills plus an ER bill AND I was admitted for another 4 days/3 nights.

During that time, I had hand surgery - so surgery is billed plus the surgeon plus the doctors that visit me again.

The claims are just ROLLING in.

Our insurance has a $2400 family deductible. WE already hit that (with a minor surgery I had earlier this year and this situation). However, we also have a $7000 out of pocket maximum. When all is said & done, we will be hitting that as well.

UGH - but we can use up our HSA and Medical savings and hopefully cashflow the rest.

Sad that essentially the amount of my severance will be used for this though instead of saving it.

Family Heirloom found its way back to me!

June 11th, 2018 at 06:13 am

3 years ago, I was clearing out the basement and decluttered a gossip bench that I inherited from my Aunt Edna. It was in rough shape - the wood was separating, it needed reupholstering and I didn't have the energy, expertise or time to do it.

The lady that took it flips furniture and sent me a picture of the finished product. It looked so nice, but we had nowhere to put it, so I didn't try to buy it back.

There were so many memories attached that I always regretted letting it go.

Fast forward to today. I was heading to Wawa and saw a yard sale in my neighborhood. I decided to stop by and there in the middle of the yard sale was Aunt Edna's Gossip Bench. The EXACT one I had sold. (The seller even named the lady I sold it to).

I hopped on out of the car and bought it back! That is fate for you!


Payday from Old Job!

June 8th, 2018 at 11:43 am

Today was my 'last payday' from my old job. The check included 4 days of work and my unused TOP payoff. No insurance/401k was taken out, so I wasn't sure how much I'd net.

Luckily, the next is 2x what a normal base check from them was. So that would cover our budget for today 6/8 and 6/24! I start the new job 6/18 and its paid every other Friday, but I don't which Friday is a payday yet.

We hope not to use any savings to cover income while transitioning between the jobs, especially since being in the hospital lost my first job and now I am unemployed for 3 weeks.

Then mid-June, I will get my severance, which we are hoping to bank!

Work Clothes Shopping/Spending

June 8th, 2018 at 11:36 am

2 Weeks ago, I went shopping for work clothes. My previous employer’s dress code was jeans daily, so I need several new outfits that I can mix & match without spending an arm & a leg.

I am in between sizes, which makes shopping at goodwill/outlets harder. So, I went around to a few places, brought some stuff home and was planning to keep the best and take the rest back.

Of what I am keeping (already returned the non-keep items) – I hit up Target, Gabes, Kmart & Kohls and got 5 pairs of work pants in varying colors (including 2 lightweight pairs for summer), 3 business dresses, 3 work shirts and 1 blazer for a total of $157.34. Not the lowest prices that I have ever paid, but all the items are high quality and versatile. I might return a pair of pants or 2… haven’t decided yet. It’s a lot of money given I am trying to save, not spend…but I have the funds in my clothing fund. I am good on shoes, mix & match tops, accessories. I will be able to present a very professional look for a long time without buying new clothes.

Rough Couple of weeks - emotionally and money wise

June 5th, 2018 at 10:04 am

My last day at my job was 5/24, a Thursday. I had a half day (paid for full) and then we off Friday. My husband took off with me and we had some time together- lunch out and a movie and had a really awesome time.

Saturday morning, my dog (of 3 years) bit me. He has been having behavior issues, but he was hurt and I reached to help his paw, and he bit me hard. An emergency room visit resulted in my hand getting 14 stiches. $$$ large bill coming

Because of his bite history and the severity of my bite, we worked with the rescue we originally adopted the dog from to address this issue. Unfortunately, after the 10 day quarantine, he had to be put down. We are so upset, but medically/mentally, something was wrong with him. The rescue & vets office agreed. He was sick.

By Memorial Day (Monday), it was infected and I was back at the ER. I was admitted right away and they started me on IV antibiotics. There was concern about possibly doing a surgery, but after 3 days, I was released to go home on Thursday.

Friday morning, I woke up with infection symptoms returning and I was right back in the ER and being admitted. Saturday, I had hand surgery. I was released to come home yesterday (Monday).

So of the last 8 days, I spent 6 in the hospital. That bill will be ridiculous. Our family health insurance deductible is $2400. We used up some of it already, but the actual out of pocket cap amount is $7000.

I am doing better. However, because I could not start my new job on the 29th as I was supposed to, I had to tell them to release and open the position up. LUCKILY though - the company that I really wanted to work for called Tuesday and offered me a position at a salary higher than the original new job offer. I have a start date of the 18th.

I have mobility issues of the hand and hope that my dexterity is better by then. Trying to take it easy is hard!

So because of all this craziness, we have unknown medical bill coming, $361.45 vet bill, and incidentals from eating out, etc. that my husband had to do while traipsing back & forth between home, babysitters and hospital for the last week.

I am very lucky though - my hand will be ok, my family is ok and I have a new job starting. I just have to hold onto that.

Got a new job! Mixed feelings, but at least not unemployed!!

May 16th, 2018 at 05:58 am

I have been on a few interviews in the last month. The one that I really liked the job and location of was 2 weeks ago. Still no response, but this is typical for the industry/company. At times, you won’t hear back for 2 months.

Last Thursday, I interviewed at another position with a company that is in a less desirable location. The company is a bit in flux in changeover – they are moving sites from other cities to my state to put all the talent in one area. I was offered the job on Monday. I took it, but am still continuing to look for the right job for me.

Pay is good, Time off is low – 18 TOP days (Sick & Vacation combined). The commute is rough and long.

My last day at my current position is 5/24. I start the new job 5/29. So I will get to bank my severance. That makes me happy.

I am a little sad about taking this position. However, I plan on making the most of it! It’s a job and it pays me and I will not be unemployed! I say that’s good news. Who knows, maybe I will go in and love the job after all.

That being said, I am still looking!!!

26 Days Left at Current Position

April 28th, 2018 at 01:14 pm

Down to the last bit of my current position. I took a break from job searching, but was back at it. I ended up interviewing on Wednesday at a local company 5 minutes from my current employer last week. I had to ask them to make accommodations for me as they wanted to do the interviews (with 2 different managers) on Thursday the 26th, but I already had a medical procedure scheduled for that day.

I really feel the interviews went well, but they had more on Thursday. I hope to hear back in a week or two.

I applied for 2 other jobs, but the business locations are further away. One of the girls on my team had an in with the one company and already interviewed for a different position there and got it. Its a newer company where they don't do remote, strict schedule, etc. I have had it so easy at my current job, its going to be a stretch if I have no flexibility for appointments, etc.

Since I had my procedure on Thursday and took my first vacation day of 2018, I took the Friday off too. It was my birthday.

The procedure went really well and I was able to see a movie (Super Troopers 2) and have lunch on the Chesapeake Bay with my husband on my Birthday.

Its been wonderful to de-stress. And to not work OT this week has been a blessing as unrelated, I have a sinus infection & ended up on antibiotics yesterday.

Good things:
Saving all OT, job interviews, back up plan if not finding a job right away, the little cc debt we have is 0% and when I find I job, will be paid off asap with savings. All of these things are good!

I am just trying to look at the positive as much as I can!

Doing Math and preparing for my job to end

March 27th, 2018 at 06:07 am

My last day of work is 5/24, which gives me 4 days into the paycheck period. Each pay period is 2 weeks, which is how I budget the household. This last check will also include 6 days of TOP time that I rolled over from 2017 and 12.5 TOP days there will have been earned & unused in 2018. This will come in the 6/8 pay period and is enough to replace my normal base pay income from the 6/8 and 6/29 pay periods.

My severance should hopefully arrive before 7/6 (if not, we will pull from savings). Then the severance (after estimated taxes) should cover the pay periods of 7/6, 7/20, 8/3 and 8/17.

If we get uber-frugal, we can definitely make that last a LOT longer!

My goal though – is to NOT use up that severance money and hopefully be able to put some if not all of it away. I have the ability to get a contract job within a few weeks of my last day at my current position and have that as my last resort plan, if I do not find a permanent position.

I was way over stressed, but running the numbers and knowing how much we have in savings plus how long the severance will last us makes me feel SO much less anxious.

I really want to BANK that severance, but if I dont, at least I shouldn't have to touch the savings!!

3/16 Payday and Savings

March 16th, 2018 at 06:36 am


Working in the right direction.

In the last week or so since I posted last, I have attended another professional networking event and informal job fair. I have talked to recruiting companies, beefed up the resume more, etc.

Our industry has gotten weird where right now, most of them do contract to hire jobs. They take on a group of temps for a project, then keep the best of them to go full time. So you’re faced with no benefits for up to 6 months during a contract.

I am in the lucky position of being under my husband’s insurance, but others in my office are single parents, etc. It’s a devastating idea they face.

As for me – I am working OT, but trying to still take care of myself. This paycheck (3/16), I received 37 hours of OT, plus my bonus and this is what I budget as my extra paycheck of the month since March has 3 pay dates for me.

Because of this – taxes were high, but my net was nice as well. I was able to pay some normal bills and put away a lot of savings.

· We put $230.32 to the vacation fund – meeting our family goal of $800.
· We put $1064.68 towards the $2k goal of ‘new to us car fund’
· We put $2600 (the bonus after taxes) to the EFund
· We put $600 (extra paycheck money) to the EFund
· I paid the new windshield bill of $188.33 and $30 Local Professional Group Membership
· We also paid the $581 vet bill for the dog (annual visit plus sedation for a procedure)


New Savings Balances:
Total Emergency Fund: $30,126.79 (Cap One 360 Efund: $6415.79 +MTB Efund $19,703.xx+4008 Cash in Safe)
Vacation Fund $800
Slush Fund (Vet, EZ Pass, Sewer, etc) $116.21
Home Repairs $213.12
Medical $136.57
Auto $39.33
Membership $143.88
Clothing $105.68
2018 Gifts Fund $1067.87 (most of it comes from alternative income – surveys, rewards, etc)
Nephew Car Fund $981.91
Daughter Savings $471.67
Savings attached to checking $500.79

Job Search - resume, interviewing and using transition benefits!

March 2nd, 2018 at 06:06 am

May 24th is coming up soon. That will be my last work date. I will get a paycheck on Friday 6/8 that includes 4 working days (5/21-5/24) and any unpaid time off earned (I have 6 rolled over days and by 5/24, I will have another 12.5).

The severance will be 10 weeks of pay, minus a higher tax rate at both federal and state levels. This will come on a regular pay period date at least 30 days from when I get some paperwork back to them after 5/24. so I might get the check on MAYBE 7/6 or 7/20.

In the mean time, I have had my resume out there. The job market in my state is very much a microcosm. There are many employers, but they all are in some state of transition. There are hundreds of people looking for jobs in my particular industry right now.

So any job gets a TON of applicants. I have had 1 interview (via a reference from a friend) but the position and I were not right for each other. Still - it was a good learning experience and great practice.

My employer gave us access to a career transition company with options. I chose a 3 month option that lets me call & talk to people, take classes, get my resume gone over, etc. I also have access to a much stronger job posting group. At the end of the 3 months, I still get lifetime access to that group and its a really good deal!

I know I have to be proactive. I am looking outside the box for jobs, been networking, etc. My husband was saying I have made this my 3rd job. In some ways, he's right!

2 weeks ago, I sent them my resume, got feedback, revised & submitted again. Once I revised a 2nd time and uploaded to job search sites, I started seeing MUCH better matches.

I attended a Personal Branding seminar (webinar) last week that was very informative.

This week alone, I have spent HOURs working on the job search/prep. Many of the hours have been paid time as well, which is a benefit in itself. This is the only week where they will hold on site seminars in our building, but it is awesome they did it for us.

Monday - I went to a 3.5 hour local Chapter event of a professional group I belong to. I know many people on the board and I networked my behind off. I would say this was the largest event they had and at least 65% of the room were people looking for jobs. However, it doesn't hurt to keep your face out there, which is what I did. The event also came with free dinner (and they encouraged taking leftovers home).

I also started an online webinar (on my own time) for Six Sigma training - this would be good for my resume. I'm going to keep going on that one this weekend.

Tuesday - My office hosted the Career Transition Company hosted a 2 hour Resume Writing Class (during paid time). I also did a Webinar regarding Networking with LinkedIn (1 hour and per company policy, on their time)

Wednesday - I had the 2nd of 3 in office Trainings - Interview Skills and did a 1 hour Webinar for online networking

Thursday - the 3rd of the 3 in office trainings was - Networking and did a 1 hour Webinar for connecting to jobs via their site.

Today I am going to work on a few action items from the classes, but no more trainings, etc. today. I need a mental break.

I also have a pre-interview call set up with a potential employer on Monday, so this weekend, my goal is to research the company and gather any info on the position as well as put together some info about myself to really align why I and my skills are a good fit.

We know we can't plan when we get job offers, but it would always be ideal to be able to work until 5/24, get severance, and start a new job a week or 2 later. The chances of it happening like that are not as likely.

That being said, at this point, because the salaries in our industry were inflated for a while and because I will go back to a salary position without OT eligibility (I had a special circumstance at my employer), we will be taking an income hit. I hope to not just take a job with a low salary just to take it. I hope to use the time I have left in my current position and my severance (if I have to) to find something in the salary range that we are comfortable with.