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What Ifs About the Job

July 31st, 2011 at 12:31 am

I've been thinking about what kinds of changes, if any, I would make if I were to get that job I interviewed for. I'm trying not to get too overly focused on this, because I may not get it.

But I think there's a decent chance I will. Why?

1. They didn't advertise it online, only in 2 local weekly papers, as far as I can tell.

2. Because for most people with my level of experience, they will walk away because of the low salary. They may have some younger people willing to grab the job, but they would have less experience and expertise.

3. So of the smaller pool of experienced people who, like me, would consider it due to extended unemployment, I think only those who lived nearby would be willing to go for it. Because if you're going to take a low-paying job, I think most people would say, low-paying jobs are more plentiful than high-paying jobs and thus should be easier to find, so if I'm going to take one, I might as well take one closer to home with less commute. Only better paying jobs make the longer commute worthwhile. So I'm hoping both the low salary and the commute factor will eliminate a lot of other otherwise experienced job candidates.

But anyway, if I were to get the job, I've already been thinking of little changes I'd be making to both my lifestyle and my finances. For instance, should I reintroduce Netflix or cable TV back into my life? It would be tempting, but since I've managed thus far, I might want to just keep going without. I absolutely hate the thought of reintroducing regularly recurring bills back into my life. It has a way of just creeping up on you. So I don't know about those those. I might still cave when the cold weather comes.

Then there's the question about how much, if anything, I would be able to save. For me, savings is really about 2 things, mainly. Saving for retirement and prepaying the mortgage. Also, I will need a new car in a few years, prefer to buy new and pay in cash and would rather not take the whole amount out of savings, which is really retirement savings, altho some of that is in taxable accounts.

I suppose that paying off that mortgage must come first. It's my only debt. When I was working in town here and making $50K, I did manage to prepay the mortgage with an extra $425 a month and max out my 401k. But with $10,000 less, I would likely have to scale that back. Cus there wasn't much left over. I've been tentatively thinking I could continue prepayments, but to the tune of $200 or $250 a month, not $425. And I would still aim to max out the 401k. They do have an employer match.

Beyond that, I have no particular plans. I'm really glad I'm getting the vinyl siding done on the house. I will be forever rid of the too frequent chore of painting every few years. The roof and the driveway are 2 other big ticket items coming down the pike at some point.

But just having a regular income coming in would be reassuring I wouldn't have to dig into principal for day to day living.

I just have to steel myself for the tiny little paycheck I'd be getting. Worst case scenario would be $40K, which comes out to $769 gross per week! God! Nothing! Best case scenario would be $44K a year, coming out to $846K gross.

I'll have to be super careful, because take a look at my total annual expenses the last 5 years (see, tracking my expenses does come in handy for references like this):

2010: $34,712 (This is low only becus I was unemployed and forced to cut way back)

2009: $40,500

2008: $44,100

2007: $43,000

2006: $44,100

2005: $44,900

Granted, these totals included lots of mortgage prepayments, which is not ESSENTIAL, plus usually 1 or 2 home improvements. The vinyl siding this year, 2 years ago it was my sun room conversion, sometimes it was house painting, a new refrigerator, etc.

While I don't plan to make any more major home improvements along the lines of the sun room conversion ($5,000) or vinyl ($12,000) there will ALWAYS be other things coming up. My hot water heater probably doesn't have much life in it. Maybe a well pump would go, or the garage door opener. Etc. Etc.

Just thinking of these things reminds me that taking such a low-paying job would really only be wise for someone like me who has fairly substantial personal savings, because I know I could still cover myself in the event of some unexpected expense. So living on a low salary doesn't seem like quite the risk it could be for someone already living close to the edge, financially.

That's enough for my 3:31 a.m. ramblings. I guess I won't be able to indulge my insomnia if I get that job. There will be consequences.

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