Trying to improve my situation

Discussion in 'Lounge' started by tallbump, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    SO, many of you know that things are always tight for me. We live within our means. We do splurge a little at tax time, and maybe eat a pizza more often than we should. But I did go to school, get a degree, and have years of experience in my field. Not to sound entitled, but I think it's okay to enjoy the fruits of my labor on occasion.

    Anyways, instead of always saying woe is me, I'm ready to do something about it.

    I applied for a few jobs today. Left work early due to the toaster incident so figured I'd make use of my time.

    The two I applied for today didn't say what the wages would be, but if they aren't better I wouldn't take them.

    One was actually almost a step down from what I do, a more simplified version. It would be working for a hospital helping the patients apply for state medical assistance benefits. Like I said, that is a way simpler version of what I do. But I am hoping my experience could lead me into better position. It is listed as an entry level position, so I think it probably has better levels. Plus, it's for a hospital so there has to at least be room to move around.

    My job is where to go at all. I did get a raise last pay period that works out to about an extra $50 per month bring home. But that doesn't even really keep up with inflation.

    So, wish me luck. We'll see what happens.

    Biggest thing for me is that I REALLY like what I do. I mean, I love it. I really don't want to leave.

    But I really don't want my wife to have to work. And frankly, I should be making more.

    Right now my house is on a reduced tax program. We only pay property tax on the land but not the structure. When that expires in 2 years, what we will be taxed on will go up drastically. heck, I'm not embarrassed. Our land is assessed at $15K, the building is about $45K. So yeah, the taxes aren't going to be too nice. And I'm in the city, so the school district stinks, and the neighborhood is only so-so. Added to what we pay for our daughter's tuition, things are going to get too tight. Like, undoable. And our youngest will start Kindergarten the same year our taxes go up. So, now double tuition....

    So, figure I might as well start looking now. Biggest thing for me is I only have an Associate's Degree, and most decent jobs want a Bachelor's. And I went to one of those "business schools" so very few real colleges will take my credits.

    We did just get a community college type program here where I could get another Associate's degree in a similar field, like Social Work, which may help. But I already have $20K in student loans I can't afford to pay back.

    I am not giving up, something will work out.

    Just not really sure what to do. We haven't completely ruled out relocating, but we are hesitant.
  2. planosteve

    planosteve Lifetime Supporter

    Don't get any more loans. Even if they want a Bachelor's degree apply as you have experience. That to me is more important than the degree.

  3. Think1st

    Think1st Supporting Member


    Absolutely. Additional debt, beyond what already is unaffordable, is never a good thing. You mentioned that one of the kids will be starting kindergarten, soon. While you don't like the idea of your wife having to work, with the kids in school, it may become a more feasible option.

    If paying down your debt, while incurring no more, as well as being able to afford more education and your property tax hike are the critical considerations for your plan, then perhaps the extra money that your wife could bring in would allow you to address those matters. At this point, it sounds like you are doing everything possible to stretch what you bring in.

    Finally, if a better paying job, or one that has upward mobility comes available, jump on it. During the research process, just make sure that you won't take a cut in the beginning and that upward mobility is realistic. You don't want to go into another position that is just like your current one.

    However it works, I hope that you have news, soon.
  4. MaryB

    MaryB Supporting Member

    Find something to do as a small business from home to add an extra $100 or so a month. Doesn't sound like much but I am speaking from experience. It can really help!
  5. Grant

    Grant Member

    Good luck in the journey.
  6. tallbump

    tallbump Supporting Member

    I am going to look into things I can do, odd jobs, whatever.

    I did make a real cool shelf for my wife out of a pallet, I bet I could sell those.

    But I have no workspace or storage space, so I could only do a few at a time.
  7. EvilE424

    EvilE424 Death to Dishonor Lifetime Supporter

    Good luck Tall. I'm sure you get a great job. Move to ND, lots of jobs here
  8. lklawson

    lklawson Staff Member

    The best time to look for job is while you have one.

    "Network" with your friends at Church. Get on some of the professional networking websites for your profession (what is it, again?).

    Also, look around online and locally for any freebie no-cost "training" and "certifications" which may be available. There are often a one-day or weekend seminar that can be had which will net you a "training certificate" for whatever. 10 years or so ago the certification website Brainbench was offering a free online certification test for Linux Admin so I took it. It rode on my Resume until it expired a couple of years back. Last month my wife took a freebie one-day seminar on Counseling for military families going into Deployment. Looks good in her online credentials and makes her more valuable/marketable to the Agency she works for.

    You mentioned that your wife is considering the Car Seat Installation inspector training. Is that something that she can earn a little bit of money on? If so, you still have that spam-can of ammo that you could use to fund it as an investment which would pay itself back.

    Any of your hobbies which can potentially be turned into a few bucks on the side can be darned helpful too. Back when the wife and I were still living hand-to-mouth in college, I made a few bucks doing GeekSquad type work troubleshooting people's PC's, installing hardware for 'em. That kinda stuff. So if you're good at woodworking or installing cabinets or fixing toilets or whatever... :)

    Here's a freebee which could make you a respectable bit of money over time, even if it won't make you a millionaire. Write a SHTF "Survival" book and publish it on Lulu as a hardcopy and ePub. But, here's the thing, just make it a basic Wilderness Survival book but market it to TEOTWAWKIers and Preppers. Write it from their perspective but, when you think about it, it's still the same information. Have a chapter on fire-building, one on edible plants, one on improvised wilderness structures, another one on wilderness first aid, a chapter on orienteering and navigation. Have chapters for dressing for different seasons and a chapter on self defense, maybe including what "tools" to have such as a tomahawk, fixed blade knife, lashing, etc. Have a chapter on basic deadfalls and traps, and one on simple .22LR hunting. Have a chapter on how to skin a rabbit or a squirrel. Then sell it for $2 as an ePub on Lulu and, quite literally, watch the money tick up every month. I kid you not, you could potentially earn a good $40 extra every month just letting that book sit there and do nothing but let Preppers stumble across it. $2 isn't that much and many people would be willing to take that chance. Now, you may be thinking, "but this is all stuff that they can already get online or from Boy Scouts merit badge books." Yes, you're absolutely right. They can. And they already know that. They'd be paying for the service you provided of collecting it all in one handy booklet. That's value enhancement. Prepping is BIG right now. They're now having Prepper Shows, like gunshows. Preppers are willing to spend $2 on this information but there's no telling how long the Prepper phenomenon will continue so strike while the iron is hot.

    You want another tip? Take the same book and re-write it, tweaking it for a ZOMPOC. You'll probably get fewer residuals but it will be a few bucks here and there for basically very little work.

    I've thought about doing this myself but, frankly, I kinda don't want to. It just doesn't trip my trigger so I have no passion for it.

    Here's another million-dollar-idea (well, maybe a few hundred, anyway). Wait for the next Social Division Outrage and then make T-Shirts and Hats. No, I'm serious. Next Travon Martin, open an etsy store or a SmugMug store and sell hoodies with a "I am not a Hood" slogan on it. Next Ferguson open a SmugMug store with T-Shirts and Hats with a "Hands up, Don't shoot!" slogan on it. No, I'm not kidding. People are apparently dumb and will buy this idiotic stuff. And you know for darn sure there will be another "incident." The Presidential Election is coming. <sigh>

    Peace favor your sword,
  9. rippinryno

    rippinryno Well-Known Member

    lklawson hit the nail on the head. Best time to look is while you have one. Never settle. I too love what I do, but that doesn't mean i'm not on the prowl for new opportunities. Living within your means is easier said than done especially that you have a family. I was tight for money right out of college and have only had my head above water for a few years now. The main thing that kept me afloat were the side jobs. I was only able to afford my lifestyle by spending my side money and trying to use the day job paycheck for all the bills. Even if I only made $100 a week on the side, it was enough for me to live on while i covered the rest with the day job. I am a firm believer in doing what you love. Money doesn't make you rich, family and enjoying life is what makes you rich. That being said, winning the lottery would make you rich lol.
  10. bscar

    bscar Supporting Member

    If you could afford the extra gas, I could offer some storage space at my place. Looks like it's just under 4 hours from Erie to Marion. Build a few of your projects and store them for like a county/state fair booth or something