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Archive for August, 2018

Back to School

August 13th, 2018 at 05:36 am

Final vacation tally ended up being right about $2,000. I've already paid off all the charges. I usually enjoy the float a wee bit more, but paid everything off while trying to figure out next job steps. The extra $2,000 balance would have just stressed me out, and I wanted a clearer idea of where our cash stood. I needed to pay off the (travel) reward credit card anyway.

Our road trip was 2300 miles. 8 days, 7 nights.



After that, kids went back to school. I would say we have done about nothing for that. Last night I frantically signed forms very late. I passed everything else off to MH. Absolutely nothing has been purchased. It sounds like the kids don't really need anything. DL is Year #3 at his school and MM is year #2. School before that provided all supplies in exchange for $25 every year. So we did buy a lot of supplies the last two years as they transitioned to new schools. No one needs new PE clothes or anything like that, this year.

DL has two music classes and a free period this year. I think the break will be good for him.

MM attends the polar opposite school and has to take an extra class in to get in his one elective/art class (needs an art class for college prep?) We were relieved to find out the first day of school that he got the art class. So that we don't have to figure it out later or scramble for summer school one year. Phew! He is taking a 0 period class so that he can squeeze in the extra class. The timing is good for me. As I am considering a longer than 10-minute commute, or an employer who may not be super flexible, etc. I told him I thought the timing worked out pretty well, even when discussing this many months ago. It really frees me up. He starts school at 7am every single day. Next year he will be driving himself.

This is all well and good unless I end up in a job situation where I can't take him to school. In that case, MH will murder me. Big Grin (He is a night owl and I am an early bird). MM(15) is an early bird so this is no big deal to him.

Exit Plan - Part II

August 12th, 2018 at 08:35 am

So, I decided to quit my job. But I know I am stalling. I have never been unemployed, since the age of 15. I could be guilty of "one more week" syndrome. I don't know.

{I've taken time off. But never without another job lined up}.

Then the Universe screamed at me the last two days to quit. I can take a hint. Wink

#1 - I woke up stressed out like crazy around 3am Friday and it hit me that I could take unemployment if I quit.

I would mostly roll my eyes at the idea of taking unemployment in this situation. (I saw some conversation recently about never quitting a job, waiting to get laid off, for unemployment. Stuff like that). Yeah, we aren't that broke and unemployment is pennies in our state. Staying at a crappy high-stress job in the hopes of maybe getting unemployment if I wait around long enough? Sounds like a terrible plan to me.

I doubt I will end up in a position where I have -no income-. I am sure I could pick up some part-time or consulting work which would be more profitable than claiming unemployment.

Just to explain why unemployment was not on my radar whatsoever. But, on the flip side, the safety net is nice. For sure. So I woke up thinking how I've seen my client's employees over the years take advantage and rarely been denied unemployment claims. Surely this situation is one really worthy of unemployment. So I did look it up and I have a case. It may be that our state is more lenient than others.

It's not a 100% thing, and I doubt I will bother appealing if I get denied. But I think it's a feasible option and will help me to sleep better at night if it takes longer than anticipated to find a new job.

{To be clear, I would absolutely claim unemployment if I was laid off. It just hadn't crossed my mind, because I knew I would be voluntarily quitting}.

#2 - My parents offered to pay me $15,000 (Friday night) if I quit my job.

I am completely dumbfounded.

The thing about them is they have more money than they know what to do with. The flip side of that (why they have so much) is they don't give away their money. Just to say, I never in a million years expected this!

I am totally in shock and relieved. My stress level really dropped after getting this news. I know job searching is stressful and I will still face a lot of stress, but I am relieved to get my stress level down to a more manageable level.

I told my parents we have never had such a rough year and I hope they know how much we appreciate it.

What I realize the more I think about it is I really need this to just walk away and not look back. It's still going to be *really* hard to just walk away and say, "I didn't make this mess and I don't want to/have to clean it up." But I do think without this check I would have been more, "I don't have another job lined up and maybe I can help you out in the interim."

I have no idea how on earth this is going to work out. But I do know it will be a lot easier to cut the cord with this check. Maybe I "need" this to move on in the healthiest way possible. I'd otherwise be a little more desperate for income in the short term.

This gift means I can be unemployed through the end of the year and not touch our own reserves. It's an amazing amount of peace of mind that I wasn't expecting.

#3 - I haven't discussed MH looking for work because DL(13) is a complete wreck these days and he really needs his father. It's also not fair to MH if he finds the first full-time job he's had in the last 16 years and then I ask him to quit because DL needs him and I find a job that pays 3 times as much. We just aren't there yet. If we get more desperate, for sure, he will be looking for work.

That said, about 1 minute before my mom called me with this gift news, I saw a job ad that sounded pretty perfect for MH. For whatever reason, I kind of blew it off. I don't think the job itself is perfect, but the location, hours and industry were right up his alley. & I am sure it is much better than his current job. But for some reason I wrote it off, didn't say anything, and then took this call with my mom.

After the call I told MH about the gift. We discussed things a bit. As we were wrapping up I picked up my phone and said, "By the way, I just saw a job ad." I don't know why I felt compelled to say that. He was SO excited about it and applied then and there. So... What the hell do I know?!

I don't know if anything will come of that. But it would help a LOT because the work would be year-round. & we've both been so slammed with everything. I think it was kind of a "duh" moment that he should be looking for better part-time work. I think that will be the plan if this one job doesn't pan out. (We would have figured this out eventually. But just so knee deep in CRAZY that we hadn't gotten that far yet).

So... DEEP BREATHS. Bracing myself for another work week from hell. But counting down the days...

The Well Timed Vacation

August 4th, 2018 at 05:41 am



I don't know if I have ever been happier to get the heck out of dodge. Big Grin

Just checking in. Will be driving home today.

I questioned our sanity doing a road trip in a small car because DL(13) has had a rough time on the mental health front. Which translates into super moody and not talking a lot of the time. Anyway, it hasn't been all sunshine and roses, but he has enjoyed our road trip 1,000 times more than I would have imagined. So maybe this is just what he needed.

I think I was envisioning a more frugal road trip. We probably squeaked by ($1,500 budget) with $500 in hotel expenses, $200 in gas, and about $800 in food spending. But we did do a few expensive museums (or, adds up with 4 people, even if not expensive). & it will be about $250 to board our cat so long (dropped him off a day early and will pick him up tomorrow, just to allow for extra time and also their hours).

The hotels were only so expensive because our last two nights were on the coast. We had to scramble to even find a room. What was left was beautiful but more than I'd spend otherwise.

One funny thing about this trip. Well, two. The first entire day was cancelled due to wildfires. Not funny funny. But our last attempted road trip was mostly cancelled due to government shutdown. So it was a little deja vu on day #1. & given the year it's been I thought this might just be a total disaster. I was really wary like what the hell are we doing?! We should stay home... #2 funny funny is on average once per day our food orders have been wrong so we keep getting tons of free food (keeping the food we didn't order and also being given more food to compensate). It's kind of hilarious. It keeps the teen boys happy and is probably why we've barely touched our road trip snacks.

As to canceled day #1, we had to cut out a couple of things due to time regardless, and so we may just make a day trip of it at some point in the future.

Highlights of our trip: Crater Lake (actually could see it on Day #2, but was hazy). AMAZING. I put it as #3 in the most amazing views I have ever seen, even with the haze. MH wants to go back and do it right on a clear day. Mt. St. Helens (which really awed my moody DL). Olympic National Forest. Except for Seattle we mostly stuck to the great outdoors.