Monday, July 18, 2005

The Incredible Shrinking Paycheck

First there was the sudden "bump" to my state taxes...seemingly caused by nothing...which left me with about $32 less a month. Not a big problem, and I was working on getting to the bottom of that one....

When my company announced a 7% paycut and that employees would now need to contribute 50% of health and dental benefits (they had been paying 100%) Now...this is all probably a very sound business move to assist with (what seem like) temporary cash flow issues and I certainly know I have it better than a very large percentage of our nation's workers. But...um...

OUCH!

The net effect for me is a 15% reduction in my monthly take home. And I will now be bringing home what I earned "way back" in 2000 (at another job). While this doesn't *have* to impact my current spending budget, it smashes so hard into my year end goal that it makes me want to drown my sorrows in a nice fancy bottle of tequila. It basically cuts in half what I had intended to stash away monthly between now and the EOY.

My company announced this change about 6 weeks ago, but the first affected paycheck was on Friday and it still stung. I have been noodling, but I need to seriously re-visit my savings plan. Also, without a clear sense of my "freedom account" type expenses, I feel pretty spendy and not so savey lately...even though I have been spending on planned expenses and coming in under budget mostly (ie summer vacation)

Stay tuned for Savings Plan Redux....

2 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to hear that. Are you sure this is a company that you want to be with long term? If not, looking for another job may not be a bad idea. I understand it's not easy, but there are always options. In the meantime, use this as a savings challenge and try to keep up with your original goals.

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  2. Thanks for the kind words...this isn't really "long term" for me, and in fact, the company was crafted as more of a short term "gig" for everyone (we consult on a very specific piece of software...and that market is shrinking)

    It has other things going for it like: I get to work from home most of the time, cell and broadband are paid for and the kicker...six weeks of vacation in addition to the usual 10 holidays.

    Profit sharing can more than make up for the loss in monthly net...but it's an admitted crapshoot. The cashflow problems are partly due to something that was out of our control...let's just say we have to pay some lawyers ;)

    So I don't mean to sound like I have it hard, I feel there are many reasons why this job feels like a good place to "hang" for a while (while I figure out what I really want to do! LOL) but the paycheck changes cut my non 401k savings by 50% so I really cannot honestly stick with my original goal per se (which was already a bit of a stretch)...just in spirit.

    I'll be refining some of that and posting about it this weekend.

    Thanks again for the encouragement!

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