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Finances Frugality

Financial Surprise

It is amazing. One day you decide to quit your job. You’re concerned about your expenses even though you know you’ve got it covered.

But then you pay your bills and you realize:

Your bills have plummeted.

This frugalista has just realized that she was spending over $100 a week just on food and other things while she was away from the house.

That’s a bit embarrassing.

Categories
Finances

Do We Need a Job?

Everyone knows that we need money in order to live. That’s a given. We need to buy food and clothing. We need a place to live. In certain nations (like my own) we need money in order to afford healthcare even.

But do we really need a job?

We’ve been taught that we need to go to school, get a good job, start a family, and so forth. But what if that teaching is wrong?

What if we’re looking at the problem from the wrong angle?

We need money to live, but do we really need to get a job in order to acquire the money?

In 2011 I quit my day job in order to be a stay at home single mother for my daughter. If one needs a job in order to make the money to survive, why was it that I managed without one for several years?

During those lovely years of freedom, I didn’t have to look at a time clock. I didn’t have to worry about what hourly wage I was receiving. Instead, I did what I enjoyed (writing books and blog posts while enjoying my daughter’s fleeting childhood). Despite the fact that I worked for neither wage nor salary, money flowed into my bank account like clockwork.

It still does to this very day.

While the amount of money isn’t enough for me to be comfortable living on currently, the fact remains that money comes to me each and every month regardless of how I spend my time.

I am currently using that money to bring even more money into my life through my investments.

Considering this, perhaps we are looking at the problem from the wrong angle. Perhaps instead of thinking “I need money so I want to find a job,” we need to think “I need money so I want to find a way to provide it” instead.

One could write books as I do. One could share affiliate links as others do. Some create websites to sell items that they never even see in a method known as drop-shipping. Henri from Wake Up Cloud started out by creating poker websites to create a passive income flow.

There are as many different ways to generate passive income as there are stars in the sky but we don’t see them. When we think of money, we automatically think of getting a job in order to acquire it.

But do we need one?

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Categories
Business Productivity

Headless Chicken

Life has kept me super-busy these past few weeks. I’ve been slowly spring-cleaning my house by doing little things on top of helping Katie adjust to her current situation.

At work, my official management training is underway so I stay busier than ever. In order to keep labor costs low, the end of the night has me paired with my trainer. She generally runs the register while I race through the store like a headless chicken to get things done.

I’m having a blast!

My daily duties have been extended to include both the Produce and the Meat departments, so I’ve got to keep the store looking pretty, stock the meats when they get low (keeping them tidy in the meantime), check the dates to put items on clearance when needed, plus keep Produce and Action Alley stocked.

That’s in addition to helping out on the registers when needed and doing the paperwork side of things.

I stay so busy that my evenings fly by as a result. One moment I’m clocking in, the next it’s time for break, then BOOM! It’s time to close the store and do the last of the paperwork.

Even with my beginner’s mistakes, I’m finishing up at a decent time.

I’m quite proud of myself for that achievement.

The only challenge I face is doing some of the managerial register work. We’ve not had hardly any voids or other things for me to fix yet. Once they become confident that I’ve had my trial by fire, they will turn me loose to close the store on my own.

I’m both excited and nervous about that. It’s been at least 15 years since I’ve been a closing manager so I’m more than a bit rusty. My experience was with a restaurant so the specific duties are a bit different as well. The paperwork side has been fairly easy to learn but being on my own, being the one in charge of not only the store, but the employees as well?

That makes me a bit nervous. I want to do right by them.

My neighbor, who happens to be one of the main managers at the store next door, advised me not to stress so much over the responsibility. He says I will do just fine based on what he’s seen so far.

While I probably will, I will probably be more than a bit worried until I prove it to myself. That is just how I am.

Have a nice night!

Categories
Business Investments Personal

Three Jobs?

Since yesterday was a maudlin day (as you could tell from my post), I called up my beloved Auntie early this morning for some much-needed encouragement.

“Well, it’s no wonder you’re exhausted and feeling emotional!” Auntie declared once I’d shared, “You’re working three jobs, taking care of your house, and studying like you were in an actual college class besides! I don’t know where you get your energy, but if you ever figure it out you need to bottle it cause I want some!”

“Three jobs?” Huh? How on earth did she figure I was working three jobs? I wondered.

“Three jobs, Missy. You’re working at that grocery store, you’re running your writing business, and you’re busting your butt to get your investment business going. Then on top of that, you study every night before you go to bed. You’re doing a lot!”

Hokay….

A bit flabbergasted, I concluded the call so I could sit and think. Was I really doing the equivalent of working three jobs?

I am. I really am.

I didn’t realize it, but the majority of my time is spent working. When I’m not writing, I’m researching companies, reading gigantic SEC filings as I brainstorm ways to come up with more money to invest and work out the best ways to invest given my limited funding.

When I’m not doing that I’m either working at my public job, studying nonfiction books related to business, investments, or my writing.

And somehow in the midst of all of that I manage to clean my house, take care of other personal business, and sleep.

How on Earth did I stumble into this?

More importantly…wow.

I hadn’t shared it with you, but I’ve got plans to incorporate my investments at some point. I’m not there yet but Annienygma Investments is a thing. It’s what I call it in my head, and it will eventually encompass not only stock market investments but real estate as well when I can manage it.

OMG. I’ve got a writing business that’s around a decade old (bit older, if I recall correctly). I’ve got my public job. And I’m in the very early stages of forming an investment company.

I had no idea.

It’s no damn wonder I’m so tired and moody.

What surprises have you encountered lately? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Business Finances

Surprise Promotion

While puttering around at work the other day I received a page to the office.

“What’s up?” I asked as I stuck my head in.

“Have a seat,” the main managers gestured to a chair positioned between them.

When I got up from that chair, I had been promoted to management. I started my training the next day.

I must confess that I was a bit surprised to be offered the position. Based on what I’d observed, I thought they had the management situation well in hand. I’m honored and delighted that I was wrong.

This new pay raise will make it that much easier to survive on my own. Not only that, I may actually end up with a bit of money left over each month to invest along with my book royalties, especially now that I’m taking additional steps to save money.

Even better, the extra money in my paycheck will put me one step closer to achieving my goals.

Life is truly good.

What good news do you have to share? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Business Happiness Success

Paid Vacation

Yesterday I received a treat that I’ve not had for many years:

My vacation slip.

In my years of focusing upon my children, I would stay at home during summer vacations, taking so much time off from jobs that I rarely ever saw one of these.

In fact, I do believe I worked through the last paid vacation I earned. I needed the extra income in order to survive.

I squeed when I held that paper in my hands. It’s such a little thing to many but it represents something I’ve not experienced for far too long:

Freedom.

I am free from the burdens of child care, of worrying about anyone else but me. I am free from financial struggles and fears for the first time in longer than I care to remember. I may not be rich, but I’m doing rather well on my tiny little income.

This might be the very first paid vacation in my entire life where I’ve not had to worry about money.

I am going to enjoy every single minute of it.

I requested off the week of my 49th birthday. I didn’t even ask for specific dates; just asked for any time during that week, a small stretch of time in a row. That week I intend to totally, completely, take some time off from my life.

I am going to rest. I am going to read. I will hang out in the local coffee shop, visit the library, and explore the new businesses popping up in my little town.

I am going to spend that entire week giving thanks for the incredible life I’ve been given. While I’m sure I’ll end up piddling around the house and writing a bit, my primary goal is going to be the simple act of appreciation.I intend to give myself one physical birthday present to mark this year, to show that I’ve survived and triumphed. To celebrate the fact that it will be the first anniversary of becoming an investor I intend to acquire another small piece of precious metal for my collection. It may be a piece of jewelry. It may be some bullion. It may simply be a jewel. I don’t know what it will be yet; something will call to me around that time and I will buy it. I want something else to hold in my hand, wear on my person, or carry in my pocket for continued inspiration as I move forward.

What do you have to look forward to with the coming year? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances

Called on the Carpet

The other day I was scanning a customer’s items at work when one of my managers approached me.

“You’re due for your break now, aren’t you?” she asked.

“Whenever!” I chirped.

“Would you mind coming to the office before you clock out for it? We have something to discuss with you,” my manager asked.

“Um, sure.” I watched her block off my line, intrigued. The last time I had been called into the office had been to share that we did indeed have contactless payment options on our registers. My register had spit out an unusual slip so I had showed it to them and asked questions about that being a possible reason.

The faces of my two main managers were serious when I knocked on the door. “Have a seat.” They positioned a chair in the “hot spot” –an area directly between their two desks.

I frowned at the unexpected gesture. We aren’t normally invited to sit down in the office; we’re usually too busy. Had they discovered that I was looking for another job? I wondered. Glancing at the looks on their faces I reasoned that the conversation was not going to be a pleasant one as I waited for my managers to explain what was going on.

“First off, we want to thank you for all of the hard work you put in,” my manager began. “We really appreciate everything that you do.” She paused to give the other manager a look.

I began making a list of jobs I could apply for fast and quick in my head. Conversations that begin like that usually don’t end well. Something very not good had happened, I was certain. I didn’t know what it was, but the odds of me getting the axe were growing stronger the more my managers talked. Serious talk, on payday no less? I was fired. I didn’t know what I’d done, but I was definitely fired I realized.

I nodded politely, compiling my lists in my head, berating myself for allowing myself the luxury of running my bank account lower than normal while calculating the financial changes I’d have to make until I scored another job. The gears in my head were spinning so fast I’m surprised that I didn’t create a breeze.

Finally my boss dropped the bombshell. “…as a result, we’ve been discussing your performance with the owners for several weeks, and we’ve finally gotten permission to give you a fifty-cent raise. I’ll turn in the paperwork for it on Monday.”

I blinked. I had to replay her words in my head three times for the information to click. I looked between the two managers in surprise, certain I’d misheard.

They were both smiling.

I tossed my mental lists aside and smiled. “Thank you,” I responded quietly. “I hadn’t been expecting that.”

I was bemused as we finished up the conversation. I shook both of their hands formally in gratitude at the unexpected windfall and left to take my break.

That fifty cents doesn’t seem like much but it’s an extra $12.50 on a normal week before taxes. I can do a lot with $12.50. If I pick up extra shifts when people call in and hustle on this blog, I can make it when the kid moves out. It might be tighter than I like, but I can make it.

I’ll even be able to invest a little.

Let this be a lesson, folks. When times seem rough, when you don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, something positive is invariably around the bend. With this pay increase I no longer need to worry about actively searching for a full-time position. I can use the time instead to focus on this website and my studies.

Life is good.

Have you received any positive news lately? Please share your stories in the comments below.

 

Categories
Finances

The Art of Definite Action

As I mentioned in a previous post I am concerned about my finances for the upcoming winter. Rather than allow the fear to eat at me I decided to take some definite action and meet the concern head-on.

Up the street from my home is a gas station that happens to be hiring, not only for cashiers but for management as well. The work is full-time. Cashiers start out at $9 an hour so while I’ve no idea how much management earns it is safe to say they make even more.

I turned in my resume the other day. Should I receive just the cashier’s position at their starting wage I will have increased my weekly income by close to $100 a week. It will go up even more should I net a management position.

I will have to make some adjustments if this comes to pass. I’ll be working at least 15 more hours a week at a public job than I do currently so I will have to reduce my posting frequency. That said, based on my monthly expenses here I should be able to invest close to a week’s wage every month towards my goal of financial freedom even during the winter months in addition to investing my book royalties. That will cut down the amount of time needed to save up $60,000 by over half.

If other jobs come available within walking distance to my home I will apply for them as well. Something will come up. While I’m not thrilled at the thought of going back to full-time, the thought of gaining my freedom is driving me forward. I am going to do whatever it takes to achieve financial freedom again. I want the option of not having to work, whether I choose to exercise it or not.

What steps are you taking to work towards your future? Please share your stories in the comments below.

Categories
Finances

Paying the Bills

Bills. It really should be a four-letter word. Those evil little slips of paper that land in your mailbox are just foul. Because of them we have to do another four-letter word: work. Nasty words, both of them!

Anyhow, to simplify my life I have been taking steps to work at home and spend more time with my daughter. I have published on Associated Content for most of a year now, and tonight have taken another step toward freedom: I have applied at Demand Studios for a position either writing or copyediting.

I am terribly nervous, and hopeful at the same time. They pay on average about $15 an article and would be a great way to not only build my readership but pay those four-letter words off, you know? I could write whenever, wherever – however!

Please send a wish out that I get a position with this company, and can continue my dream of freedom!

Thanks!

Categories
Food Personal

Daily Mumblings

I spent a portion of last night relaxing and listening to music, and woke up to an email that my old company is hiring more people.

So I have reapplied.

I enjoyed that position.

Also fixed homemade biscuits and gravy for breakfast, watched my daughter play with her beads (she actually made a skirt from beading today), worked a tad on the house and enjoyed life.

I am working on another painting. When it is finished I will post a photo here…

Peace to all,
Annie