Money

In a recent post over at the other blog I shared a video that illustrates some steps you can take to get into control of your finances. It’s something I’ve begun to take more seriously now. My deal has been saving, however, my goal is to take control of my student loans which is the massive amount of my debt.

I’ve told you over time of my dealings with the Hustler. He knows I have student loans, and don’t really recall telling him how much. He knows my mother isn’t in the best shape healthwise and lost her longtime job and the last time he still came around looking for a small sum of cash.

The worst part is the man is in his 50s and he still has to resort to begging. And the history he has of it for whatever excuses he has – which included buying a hot dog from concessions one time – just let’s me know this is a recurring pattern he knew who to chase down for his needs. He knew how to adapt so that he can pull his target in.

Meanwhile what were my considerations?

Well I had one real setback which was the Calamity of 2017/Reign of Error. That was a setback, I had saved more money from the time I was at The Show to my time at the Hole that surpassed the money I had back when I was 18-19-20 years old due to having survivors benefits from my dad. It was an accomplishment though just a small fraction of the debt I hold. My optimism, allowed me to think it’s possible to whether the difficulty of holding such a large debt.

I made my goal of making $20K a year perhaps about 5 or 6 years after leaving the theater where I made nothing more than $12K/yr. I used that to put more money away and certainly to put a dent in my debts. Then here comes the set back and it was necessary to put a dent into my savings. In this case it was more to eat, and yes certainly it was to pay some of those debts though at this point I had an income issue which was for a brief period of time none were coming in at all.

The real income issue is making more which is why my long-term goal is six figures. There was someone at work who said be more realistic and in their mind – not the hustler thankfully – they were miserable where they were and saw no opportunities there. However that is an ongoing financial goal that I do have it will enable me to finally finish my debt once and for all and do other things I would like to do.

However, I can’t do that if there are people coming around looking for a small cash infusion. I definitely can’t do it only working $20K/yr and yes there were some good opportunities to get ahead. Unfortunately those opportunities lead to the idea that I just needed to slow down. Yours truly was forced to slow down ad realize that it’s not yours truly’s job to take care of those who come around looking for something. Will there be anything left for yours truly if anyone comes around looking for a handout and expects any without question.

So on this Easter as it closes, that’s where I’m at now. That’s why it’s time to follow Ramsey’s seven baby steps. And my income, my financial resources belong to me and only me. I should be allowed to do with it as I please. There is no obligation to anyone else, and especially outside of any family relationships.

Milestone

bank banking business cards

Remember a few years ago I spoke of fixing my teeth. I spent some time getting some cleanings and then eventually had some teeth pulled with at first a dental flipper installed. Then later got my canines grinded down to eventually be fitted with a permanent dental bridge. And I’m close to reaching a milestone with that, my credit card bill is finally below $1K.

I can’t believe it took me over 4 yrs to finally get to this point. And it took me a moment because I continued to use that card only helping to increase the balance. However I used some discipline to finally focus and get the balance down to were I can be close to zero $ as far as a balance. I had intended to pay this balance off when I was off work for 6 mos, but didn’t maintain my plan for that.

I’m glad to have had some insurance before leaving The Show although I had purchased it since the company didn’t provide it for employees below senior mgmt level. I used the insurance to pay for the cleanings and ultimately the flipper, though what really cost the most money was the dental bridge. This is what I’m still working to pay off to this day.

I think it was worth it. For the last two or so years at The Show my smile was horrible. And suffered a few jokes as a result and it helped me decide to do something about it. Now people can joke about my new fake teeth. It makes a difference to be able to truly smile and not have this weird overhang even when my mouth is closed. So the work I needed done to begin with even before it started to get worse was long in coming.

As far as timeline I started working on this during the last month or so of the Streak Era. Before getting the dental flipper I had two more interviews and thus had bad teeth when I went in. When I reported to my new job at the bank I had new teeth and when I interviewed at least three more times before the end of that year I had new teeth. Who knows if it made a difference, but I know that it was possible to present much better at that point.

At this point it’s still a hard process but I should never allow some issues to get so bad that it requires major work like that. I could live without it, but the bottom line is that when something needs to be done just get started on it. And hopefully I won’t have to charge for it either.

benefits

benefitslast year i wrote about getting some benefits. benefits had been one of the reasons i left “the show” i.e beyond free movies i got jack. other than that i found two jobs that offered the benefits i had been looking for primarily health i never thought beyond that.

this past summer the associated of my company had a benefits vote to choose various options in addition to some new offerings. something i took advantage of even if what i would like didn’t go forward such as for example identity theft protection.

either way one evening i just decided to explain to my coworker the compensation/promotion structure with my former employers at “the show”. i told him matter of factly that if i got promoted to manager – well actually supervisor level – i’d get no benefits. to which he retorted that if one gets 40+ of work they should get benefits.

i had to explain to him that the company itself could find a way to skirt the law so that they wouldn’t have to provide benefits. for example, they can just turn around and say supervisors can’t work more than 40 hours they can only work 35 hours a week. boom don’t want to provide benefits that’s a way out. i’d get paid slightly better but that’s all.

now, having left “the show” over two years ago i know my worth. i spend most of my working life hovering around the minimum wage and then suddenly with a job at the bank and then moving onto a job in the grocery business my income went up. i say this to say i wanted to get to management/supervisor level at the show.

to get up to full-management – that is for “the show” senior management – i’d have to go through the supervisory level. as time went on i was no longer interested even if deep down i never got there for reasons semi-unknown. and when leaving that company and figuring out what other companies offered whether i had standing over other employees or not it turns out perhaps there was no boat to miss.

if i understood correct senior management is a salaried position and they get the benefits. not sure the extent of the benefits but they got them. and as with supervisors there seems to be a subjective process in who gets promoted, that is they choose you. you don’t get an opportunity to apply for such positions.

either way i learned of one of the senior managers through a coworker. she had quit suddenly and unexpectedly apparently she had been unhappy for a long time. that coworker claimed she was working a part-time job as a bank teller for better benefits and was forced to quit when her bosses found out. and my worker mentioned this tome as it was time for me to interview with the same bank that this manager briefly worked for.

well what does this mean, well even the hotshot senior managers who should’ve had it made still weren’t getting what they’re due with their positions with the company. perhaps on that level there was no boat to miss either. just as with getting to the supervisor level.

now i had to explain to my friend getting to the senior manager level is like getting into what we call store leadership. the store managers are considered salaried however department managers are still considered hourly. now supervisors are considered as shift managers and they’re the level of the supervisors under the various department managers.

so basically we both agreed that this was a shitty deal. this year we do it all over again and decide which benefits we want to take advantage of for the coming year.