- 13th May
- 13th May
- 11th May
“Knowledge is POWER!.” <——TRUTH!
My job had a compensation workshop for its employees last week and it was a huge eye-opener for me. I learned how salary grades worked, how to find my salary range (minimum, midpoint, maximum), the correct definition of compa-ratio and basically how I am getting paid. I wish this was a workshop I went to at orientation six years ago.
I pride myself on being a personal finance “guru,” but I was really disappointed in myself on how little I knew about the money that was being deposited in my bank account every two weeks. I may have been shocked at the information I received, but I was glad I went to the workshop. I am now armed with this information and feel I will have an upper hand discussing the salary I believe I deserve at my next review, promotion or new job.
Women who work full time make 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid, on average. Why is this? One reason is we aren’t negotiating our salaries. I have had three jobs out of college at the same company, and I have not once tried to negotiate my salary. I was just happy to get a job or a promotion at 21/22 years old. So young, so dumb, but now I know better and will do better. If you don’t negotiate your salary, you are most likely leaving money on the table. So, let’s not be afraid to ask for more money! Keep in mind though don’t ask for too much and talk yourself out of a job. DO YOUR RESEARCH before asking for a higher salary.
To dig up corporate pay information for a job, visit such websites as Payscale.com and Salary.com, as well as the Economic Research Institute site, which can show you what a particular position pays where you live.
Some helpful articles on this topic:
How to Get a Raise, Even When You Forget the Rules
How To Negotiate A Higher Salary
- 2nd May
- 1st May
It’s been a while since I wrote a blog. I know I need to do better. I think I haven’t written a post because I have gotten off track financially, but the whole point of my debt free journey is to document the good, the bad and the ugly!
I wrote out this beautiful, well-thought out plan for getting out of debt in January, but I didn’t account for the unexpected expenses along the way. I was doing so well with my finances until March and April hit. In March, I attended a bachelorette party and bridal shower which cost me about $100. I put the gift in my budget, but not the cost of the dinner and the $30 VIP section. Although I went way over budget, I loved spending time with my friends and felt it was well worth it to make my friend’s party a success.
That same night of the party I had a “situation” where I had to take out $400 in my emergency fund. This is why emergency funds are essential! You never know when you will run into a “situation.” I’m a huge fan of Suze Orman and she thinks you should have 6 months to 1 year of savings in your emergency fund. Once I get out of debt, the next step in my plan is to build my emergency fund to 6months. I’m about half way there. I should achieve this goal by 2016. Welp!
In April, my boyfriend and I didn’t go grocery shopping every week like we were suppose to so I was eating out more than what my budget had allotted for. THEN my air conditioner broke. Apparently, homeowners are suppose to get their air conditioners checked once a year. A fact I just learned. HA! I have been living in my condo for about 3 years and never got my AC checked. Soooo, $300 later…I still don’t think its fixed. I paid for the maintenance of my AC with my credit card. Back in credit card debt I go :(
So that was about $800 of unexpected expenses in March and April.
2,000 left to pay on my student loan…woop woop!
- 31st March
- 12th March
- 4th March
In December, I was in $1,360.55 worth of credit card debt. I wrote out a game plan for getting out of debt by March. I knew I was going to receive an extra paycheck in January, a tax return and a bonus from work in February. I factored in all my extra money into my plan.
January 17 paid $500 towards my credit card (-860)
January 31 paid $100 towards my credit card (-760)
February 5 bought $235 plane ticket (-995)
February 14 paid $200 towards my credit card (-$795)
February 20 paid $232 towards my credit card (-$563)
February 22 paid $497 towards my credit card (-$66)
February 27 paid $66 towards my credit card (ZERO)
I paid over $1,500 towards my credit card in 2 months. It feels so good to be debt free…sorta. I still have $2,800 to pay to my dad for the student loans. I was able to put money in my emergency fund…thanks to my very nice tax return and my part-time job. Also, I put money towards my travel fund :-)
- 6th February
When I said NO to going to Beyonce’s World Tour in Chicago this summer to my friends, I knew I was committed to my goal of getting out of debt and also knew I had to stay focused. But just because I’m on a budget, doesn’t mean my friends share this goal with me. It’s very challenging to maintain your friendships on a budget, but there are some budget-friendly ideas for spending time with our friends.
1. Girl’s Night at home. Invite some friends over to your place. Either make them dinner or ask them to bring their favorite bottle of wine or favorite dish. Watch movies, play games and gossip. It’s a nice bonding experience among friends. Cost: Less than $10
2. Yes to Appetizers & Happy Hour, No to Dinner. You can still go out on a budget. Instead of ordering a full-course meal, dessert and drinks, find a place with happy hour specials. Example: $5 martini’s and $5 chicken wings. Also, always check the menu and choose what you want before you go to the restaurant. You will know exactly how much money you are spending before you even walk in. Cost: about $15
3. Plan a weekend getaway. You can still travel without hopping on a plane and spending 5 days on a beach. Plan a weekend trip to a cabin in the mountains with five of your friends. You can split the cost of the cabin and cook together. Or plan a weekend getaway to Savannah and Tybee Island. Drive 4 hours away, spend one day touring the beautiful city and spend another day on the beach. Cost: $200 - $400
4. Use Groupon, LivingSocial, ScoutMob deals. But don’t go overboard! Spend time with your friends while doing something different. Fun deals I have seen: Sip and Paint, Rock-climbing, Ziplining, Cooking Classes, Pole Dancing classes. Cost: $10-$25
Just be honest with yourself and with your friends. Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’. Tell them your situation. If they are truly your friend, they will understand and will help you toward your goal. Maintaining your friendships and a budget can coexist.
- 5th February
My friend Monique came up with this wonderful quote at one of our monthly dinners with friends. Now, it’s our mantra for 2013.
“Do More, Regret Less” means to LIVE your life with no regrets. Do something different, travel, have fun, make mistakes and learn from those experiences.
It’s definitely hard to live this way on a budget, but there are definitely ways to fit in fun on a budget without going overboard. If you are looking to do different activites, a great place to check is Groupon, Living Social and other deal websites. They offer discounts for activities would never think to try. I have gone rock climbing for $12 with one of these deals.
This month I have already tried out Jiggle It Jam Pole class at Polelateaz which only cost me $15. I loved it. It was a booty shaking pole dancing class. We learned (well, TRIED to learn) how to booty clap, isolate our butts, pole dance and other sexy dance moves. I am not as coordinated as I thought I was. I highly recommend going to Polelateaz for classes. The classes are beginner friendly and fun. For my budget living friends, they offer free classes so check out their schedule at their site.
I also went to Hot Core Power yoga with Joe at Decatur Yoga and Pilates this past Monday. This class was free for me since I now work the front desk at the studio. It normally would have been $17 for an Adult Drop-in class. The last time I went to a hot yoga class I hated it. The class was way too hot for me and it just wasn’t beginner friendly. So, I was very hesitate to go back to hot yoga, but Joe’s class was recommended to me because he doesn’t crank up the heat that much. And they were right! I loved his class. It wasn’t that hot and it was definitely beginner friendly. I am going to now make this a Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon ritual. Decatur Yoga and Pilates has an introductory month unlimited promotion for $35 when you buy online. You can go as many times as you want for the price of two classes. Pretty good deal!
In about two weeks, I will be going zip-lining with two of my friends. We bought the deal on Living Social for $24 each. I am definitely looking forward to this. I will make sure to post photos.