September 1st, 2010

color cycle (slow)

A comforting incompetence

I've just discovered that I'm really bad with money. Perhaps surprisingly, this has me very, very cheerful.

For obvious reasons, I've been revisiting my finances: seeing how far that unemployment check will really go, and what kind of cuts I'll have to make to get by while I don't have a job. Well, unemployment here is fairly generous, and while I'll have to drop my luxury budget to a much lower level, that's fair, seeing as how I don't have a job. If I can hit $100/wk on groceries- which I think we can do just by dropping the VitaminWater and getting more efficient with using everything we purchase- unemployment covers almost all of my ongoing expenses, and actually does cover all of them when I consider the amount of the cell phone bill my father pays for (only fair, given that he and my mother have two of its lines).

This is more than short-term cuts, though. I suspect my next job will be at a lower pay rate than what Microsoft offered me, despite the three years of experience, both since my experience isn't very valuable and the market is rather bad right now. So I'm now seeing what I get if my after-tax take-home pay is about $3000/mo instead of what it is presently.

What I'm discovering is that it doesn't change in any obvious way. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, given the rate I've been accumulating savings. I just wasn't paying enough attention. Thing is, by budgeting and planning quite a lot more aggressively, I'm pretty sure I can do even better, and that's with the reduced salary rate. My previous (well, technically, current, for a few more days) pay grade let me be quite a lot more lax about his sort of thing, but at the same time, my own frivolous and inefficient spending lets me feel much less impact from a pay cut, just by reining it in a bit.

Have I mentioned enough that getting forced to resign from my job may well be one of the most beneficial things to happen to me for a while? A post comes later about how I've been feeling my stress levels plummet, and what the last three years actually have taught me.

I've migrated to DreamWidth. The original post is at View comment count unavailable comments at; go ahead and use OpenID to post your own.
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