The Plan: Phase Two

Howdy!  I am happy to be checking in and finally being able to update “The Plan” with a new phase.  Things are going as anticipated and I couldn’t be happier.  If you remember a while ago, I was laid off and looking for work.  My dreams of financial freedom were stopped in their tracks.  I was able to overcome, and find a new job within limited time and get back on track.  It was seasonal, not guaranteed for long, but was Phase One of The Plan.

I have been able to achieve Phase Two of The Plan.

My days of seasonal employment were coming to an end, and the majority of the seasonal workers were being booted out and put on the waiting list for re-hire.  I was able to make a great impression, along with a few other workers, and the management decided they couldn’t even let us go, or face the risk of us not coming back.  So our 90 days of seasonal work expired, and the next day they hired us on as permanent employees!

*Massive cheer and applause from the arena spectators*

With the new job comes a new department and new responsibilites, perks, people and of course: benefits!  Working in a distribution center, my seasonal job was being in the middle: moving product from the recieving wing to the shipping wing.  It was tedious and rather unenjoyable due to the fact that as a seasonal, I was only trained in one of about six job functions.  My new job is in the recieving wing, and being permanent and having a go-getter attitude, I will be able to train in nearly all job functions within the department with time and practice.

My job remains on the same shift, which is also lucky for me!  I work three days a week, 12 hour shifts, with four days off.  I do lose a few hours of work, but am boosted a dollar an hour compared to the 40 hour/week people, so it comes out to be about 38 hours vs 40 hours, but with a whole extra day off.

Now into the good stuff!  With this new job comes lots of great benefits.  I will list them below.
1.  A pay raise from 15.90 to 17.60
2.  Two raises per year, up to an approximate 20.10 cap, plus annual cost of living raises.
3.  100% 401k match up to 5%!  WOW.
4.  80 hours paid vacation a year.
5.  24 hours paid personal days a year.
6.  Access to a tax free health savings account.
7.  Access to health insurance, single premium of $11/week and family premium of $55/week (won’t need this for 3 more years).
8.  $225,000 Life Insurance for 50 cents per week.
9.  15% discount at my employer’s major retail stores!
10.  Four days off a week.
11.  The ultimate goal: possibility for promotion up the ranks and having a job where I can truly be put to the best use, with a great salary to boot.
12.  Short and long term disablity coverage (inside and outside of work) for only cents a week.
13.  6 paid holidays per year, regardless of if you’re scheduled during it or not.

So really, holy cow.  I hit the jackpot here.  For 23 years old, I am happy to be where I am at in this situation.  I am getting decent pay, have all sorts of solid benefits, and work for a great company, with great people, and the possibiltiy for advancement is very real.  Throughout my seasonal period, I worked closely with management and got to know several of them.  They helped me get a position with a good shift and inside this distribution center (there is another one nearby) where I still know people and I feel comfortable.  I will continue to work with these people that are genuinely interested in bringing me onboard as a supervisor.  I am so blessed to have these folks looking after me and working with me on my advancement!  I am looking forward to giving them my all and proving that I can be a valuable asset to their company.  But for now, I am in a good position and good place to start building.

With these new numbers, my situation will look a bit better than it has been the previous few months:

Working 36 hours per week:
17.60/Hr / 26.40/Hr OT
633/Wk Gross / 475/Wk Net* (after benefits)
2532/4Wk / 1900
32916/52Wk / 24700
* – Note that my 5% 401k is not deducted from this total.

My monthly expenses look about like this:
400 – Rent
300 – Student Loan
90 – Utilities
80 – Insurances/Cell
120 – Roth IRA
50 – Gas
200 – Food
60 – Misc
= 1300 / 325 per week

This allows me to save about $150 per week, about a 30% cash savings rate.  However, consider that $420 of that $1300 is going towards net worth, making my true savings rate $255 per week or about 53%!  AWESOME.  50% is the goal, and while I may spend extra with entertainment like going out to eat, having fun with my friends, etc., at this point in my life I am happy to be hitting that number, or a bit lower if it means enjoying life.  The plan is to get in a groove, and steadily increase my Roth contributions to about 50/week, maybe boost up my Student Loan payment to 350 from 300, save the rest and every two months make a high-dividend yield stock purchase to add  to my portfolio.  I choose every two months to eliminate the frequency of the $5.50 commission as much as possible.

Things were looking up during Phase One, and now things are looking up even more during Phase Two.  My ultimate goal in this process is to reach Phase Three, the promotion phase.  This would allow me to have a job where my skills and abilities can truly shine, as well as getting a job with terrific benefits and pay.  Phase Three will be a LONG way down the road.  I am not expecting it to happen for another 8-12 months, but anything is possible.  In the meantime, mini-Phases will be happening such as pay raises, possible part-time jobs, tax returns, etc.!  I am really enjoying this ride, and continue to look forward to my progress.

For those that have read, thanks for reading the long post, and I hope you are doing well in your endeavors.  Feel free to comment with any similar situations, words of advice, or anything else.  Take care!

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January Net Worth

Assets

Lil’ Sizzlers Portfolio:
F: 79.98+1.88 Div = 81.86 (+1.86)
T: 244.28+3.30 Div = (+247.58)

Cash:
1,882 (+164)

Roth IRA Basis:
2,947.20 (+100.02)

Roth IRA Cap Gains/Divs:
-21.39 Gains (+13.86)
+46.21 2014 DRIP
Total: +24.82

CC Cash Back:
8.00 (+.30)

Motorcycle:
3,500

Car:
1,700

Personal Assets:
4800

Total Assets:
15,191.46 (+573.83)

Liquid Assets (cash, stock and retirement):
5158 (+513)

Liabilities

Chase Freedom:
800 Payment Bal (Zero % APR) (+15)

Bank CC:
21 (+21)

Student Loan:
26,715 (-176)

Total Liablities:
27,536 (-140)

Net Worth:
-12,345 (+714… Woot!)

Net Worth w/o Student Loan & Last Pmt:
14,670 (+535)

Well, January was a decent month for me!  I increased my overall net worth by over 700 dollars.  While I find it sad that I put 300 a month into my student loan and only knock off 175 of that from the overall total, at least I’m moving in the right direction.  This student loan is just a killer and really dampens the mood.  However, I’m doing it smart and taking it all out of one of the highest interest loans.  My stock purchase earlier this month caused a lack of cash increase but it was not reflected as a loss in assets.  My CC balance continues to float around 7-800 for that good utilization rate the credit keepers like to see.  I missed 12 hours of work this month as well due to two half-days off of work to catch the Packers games (a loss of $145). I will continue to remain vigilant and keep doing what I can do!  I have scored a permanent job (before I was seasonal) which allows me a small pay raise as well as a 100% match up to 5% on my 401k, after 60 days.  That will be huge!  I can’t wait to get that started.

Monthly Income: 1,607
Monthly Assets Change: 573
Monthly Liabilities Change: -140
Monthly Net Worth Change: +714
Monthly Savings Rate (ret/inv/cash/loan): 54% ($873)