The Plan: Phase One

Well, I made it happen.  My unemployment stint was only active for one week before I was able to land another job, and this one even pays pretty well.  It’s a warehouse job with a major retailer.  I’ll start in their shipping department loading boxes into trailers.  It’s a seasonal position and will most likely be over around January 1st.  I’ll be working Sat-Mon, 6 AM to 6 PM.  They hire about 90% of their people back for permanent positions.  It’s tough work, but there are some definite pros.

One: The Seasonal pay starts out at 15.90/hour on the weekend shift.
Two: I will be working three 12 hour shifts, with four days off.  Possible mandatory OT one day/week.
Three: I receive a 15% discount at the major retailer with a combination of 10% employee discount + 5% retailer debit card.
Four: The possibility for promotion to supervisor position is very real with having a 4-year degree –  these start at ~65,000.
Five: The permanent pay is higher.  Weekend shift permanent pay would be starting at 17.60/hour, or 16.60 non-weekend.
Six: Yearly cost of living raises, plus ~1.00 raise/year for 3 years.
Seven: Tons of time off, and an active job which helps keep me in shape.
Eight: 100% match on 401k up to 5% – Bingo! (This is if I were to get hired permanently)
Nine: If I get hired permanently, tons of training is available.  I wouldn’t be stuck throwing boxes every single shift!

Of course, with a bunch of pros, there are some cons as well:

One: Very tough work; could possibly hinder weight training and add wear/tear on back/joints.
Two: I miss the majority of my weekends, which means less family time and less fun with friends.
Three: Exposed to a hot and cold warehouse – although protected I will be protected from wind/rain, etc.

As far as I can tell, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.  Even if I don’t get a promotion (which I hope I do of course!), this is still a good company to work for, with great benefits, an active job, at lots of time off.  The pay is fair.  My ideal range would be upwards of $19 like I was making at Deere, but I am pretty close, and if I get hired permanently the potential for ~$20.50  an hour after a few years is definitely real.  So far, I am able to provide a breakdown of what my expenses and savings should look like with three different spending brackets.

Working 36 hours per week:
15.90/Hr / 23.85/Hr OT
572/Wk Gross / 435/Wk Net
2288/4Wk / 1740
29744/52Wk / 22620

1: Spending 955/month with minimum SL payment: +11160/Yr / 930/Mo
2: Spending 1245/month with 350 SL payment: +7680 / 640
3: Spending 1555/month with 660 SL payment: +3960 / 330

So, looks pretty good, yeah?  Of course it does!  660/month has me on track for a four year payoff, saving me a total of almost 6,000 in interest.  Not to mention if I stay tight with spending, I should be able to take that ~330 at the end of each month and either put some into Roth/Personal portfolio, or continue to slam out the student loan, which is more likely.  Of course, my savings only goes up from here.  If I were to get hired permanently, I would get boosted up another dollar or so, plus raises from there!

Things are looking up.  While it may take me several weeks to get adjusted to busting my azz again, and probably even harder than before, and during longer periods, that’ll be the most difficult challenge to overcome.  Everything else after that will be smooth sailing.  The potential for promotion, as well as another second job during my 4 days off, is definitely keeping me thirsty.  Not to mention the accelerated payoff plan I will be getting on once I get the paychecks rolling in!  I’m happy to say that “Phase One” of “The Plan” is now operational!

Have any of you readers faced a similar situation before?  How did you structure your student loan (or other debt) payoff schedule?  What helped you overcome the adversity of losing your job and finding a new one?  Has anyone had to sacrifice weekends or significant family/friend time for a job?  Feel free to share in the comments.

Take care!

The Plan

Well, I am officially involuntarily unemployed (due to layoff) for the first time in my life since I was 12 years old.  It’s kind of a scary feeling, but I know I will get a job soon and get back on track.  My savings over the past five months have skyrocketed.  I was at about $500 cash when I went into my new job, and now I will be at approximately 5,200 after my last paycheck/next weeks expenses.  A nearly 1,000/month savings isn’t too bad.  I was pretty dumb the first month or so of my new job and spent a lot of money going out to eat and out to bars, etc., plus a big month taking a trip to Green Bay for Packers training camp.  With all that in the past, I was able to crack down as soon as I heard news of my layoff and save as much as I could while still having a good time.

While I’m pretty bummed I lost out on a job that had me on track for a nearly 45,000 gross first year, I’ll get over it.  I have an interview tomorrow with a company I’ve worked with before, doing seasonal warehouse work.  I would be at 14.90/hr for the first four months, and then if I were hired on for good it would boost up to 16.60 plus raises up until about 19.50.  The main goal with this company is to get on full-time, and then utilize my 4-year degree to get in with a management position.  All they require are 4-year degrees, and they start at roughly 65,000/year.  This would be fantastic, and allow me to work for about 10 years and make my dreams come true.

After crunching some numbers, I decided that if I were offered the job, I will accept it.  As long as it doesn’t break my back (loading semi trailers with merchandise) I will remain there and hope to get on full-time.  I did this job for them before for over 3 months and I survived, so all should be well.  I would then apply for every management opportunity I can manage, and eventually it should work out.  My plan is to get this job, or an even better paying one, and live comfortably but on an “Extras” budget like I’ve been doing the past 2 months.  I will pour excess money into my student loan debt and get it paid off within four years.

Here’s what I’ve got for some of my numbers and outlooks:

Monthly expenses
Student loan – 60
Food – 160
Gas – 70
Phone – 55
Ins/AAA – 35
Rent – 400
Utilities  – 75
Misc – 100

1 Total Current – 955 MO / 11,460 YR
2 Total Current w/ 350 SL – 1245 / 14,940
3 Total Current w/ 660 SL – 1555 / 18,660
4 Total Current w/ 660 SL, 160 Misc, 200 Roth, 100 Invest – 1915 / 22,980
5 Total Current w/ 860 SL, 160 Misc, 450 Roth, 100 Invest – 2365 / 28,380

New Job Salaries

Seasonal 40 Hr Weeks
14.90 HR / 22.35 OT
600 Gross / 450 Net
2400 Month G / 1800 Month N
31000 YR G / 23400 YR N

1 Available after expense categories: 11940 YR
2: 8460
3: 4740
4: 420

FT 40 Hr Weeks
16.56 / 24.84
662 / 500
2650 / 2000
34400 / 26000

1: Available after expense categories: 14540
2: 11060
3: 7340
4: 3020

FT 40 Hr Weeks w/ Max Pay
19.50 / 29.25
780 / 581
3120 / 2324
40560 / 30212

1 Available after expense categories: 18752
2: 15272
3: 11552
4: 7232
5: 1832

I get pretty obsessive about this stuff just for the intrigue.  I love to visualize my potential financial future and how well or crappy it’s gonna look with a certain job.  In this case, this is most likely the job I’m going to have for the next one or two years unless something else that pays a lot more, or is a lot more enjoyable for the same pay, comes along, which is doubtful.  With expense categories 1-4, it’s just a scale that increases with student loan payments, and then adds in extras, roth, and portfolio investments.  The last category includes the student loan payment that would allow me to payoff in 3 years instead of 4.  I wouldn’t be at that pay level for another two years anyways, but it’s just there for an idea.  So by the looks of these numbers, this job looks pretty damn good!  Even at the lowest grade, I would be able to afford to throw out my 660/month payment, and have over 8,000 left at the end of the year to add to it.  The job isn’t guaranteed yet, but with my past experience and their need for extra people to cover the seasonal demand, I should definitely get an offer.

So for now, that’s my plan.  Get a job that pays similar to this; most likely this job, of course, and blast out my student loan debt.  I have put together a simple payment vs. money saved chart as well that I will post below.  I have already thrown an extra 400 on the other day to pay off my smallest loan with a 4.5% interest rate, and saved $85 over the 10-year period.  Right on!  After my SL is paid off, I will consider purchasing a home, but only after a 20+% down payment is saved to eliminate the Mortgage Insurance cost.  Other than that, I will start maximizing my Roth contributions, match my employers 401k match (which should be 5%) and dump the rest into my own portfolio.  Things are looking up, potentially, if I get this job and am able to continue my savings without a significant stalemate of loss or money due to unemployment!

Here is the student loan table: (note that #’s are a bit off due to my new balance, and will continue to be, but they are close)

Balance – 28,181- 6% Interest
Default 10 Year Base: 312 / Mo (3,744/yr) – 120 Mo Length – 9,362 Interest
9 Yr – 338 (4,056) – 108 Mo (-12) – 8,360 – Save 1,002 (+312/yr pmt/ +1,002 total int saved vs. prev.
8 Yr – 370 (4,440) – 96 Mo (-24) – 7,371 – Save 1,991 (384 / 989)
7 Yr – 411 (4,932) – 84 Mo (-36) – 6,400 – Save 2,962 (492 / 971)
6 Yr – 467 (5,604) – 72 Mo (-48) – 5,445 – Save 3,917 (672 / 955)
5 Yr – 544 (6,528) – 60 Mo (-60) – 4,508 – Save 4,854 (924 / 937)
4 Yr – 661 (7,932) – 48 Mo (-72) – 3,586 – Save 5,776 (1,404 / 922)
3 Yr – 857 (10,284) – 36 Mo (-84) – 2,682 – Save 6,680 (2,352 / 904)
2 Yr – 1,249 (14,988) – 24 Mo (-96) – 1,794 – Save 7,596 (4,704 / 916)
1.5 Yr – 1,641 (19,692) – 18 Mo (-102) – 1,357 – Save 8,005 (4,704 / 409)
1 Yr – 2,425 (29,100) – 12 Mo (-108) – 924 – Save 8,438 (9,408 / 433)

Current Payoffs:
365.54 on Direct Loan Sub @ 4.5% Interest – Total 10 yr savings: 89.02

Cheers everyone, and thanks for viewing.  Feel free to comment if you’ve had any situations like this, or any other relevant helps or info on paying off student loans!