Layoffs At Your Company? More Work For Same Pay, But It’s Not Necessarily A Bad Thing.

After all, it means you still have a job. Many people have been looking for work for month and even years, so knowing you still have a desk to sit at for your company is just about worth the price you might pay. My brother spent almost 5 months unemployed for the second time in 2 years, and I am sure he would have preferred a little more work for the same pay in this economy. However, CNN/Money is phrasing it as “Layoff survivors are now stuck with more responsibilities and additional stress – for the same old salary“, turning what might be seen as a positive into a negative.

Cool Blog Sociale - 10 July 2008 - Creative hire Resume T-shirt by BlackBirdTees A
Creative Commons License photo credit: SOCIALisBETTER

They are writing about the extra workload, the negative attitude it may cause on the job, and the stagnant pay…while completely ignoring the fact that in the worst economy in 70 years, these people still have a job at all. If it really is that bad, I suggest they quit and try to find another gig; it’s not that easy out there to find good jobs, but more power to you if you think you can make the jump. While the article briefly mentions one positive of this trend, that you can learn new skills because you are taking on more work while at work, there really are a few while we all struggle through these times:

1. You still have a job at all.
2. You get to keep your health care if your company offers it.
3. You can learn more skills, as they mentioned.
4. Your resume stays current and will not have long lapses of unemployment.
5. Your entire life doesn’t get disrupted by a lack of income.

Yes, companies need to do their best to take care of their employees in both good and bad times, as otherwise you will have miserable (or no) employees to do the work necessary. But I do think that in these times, taking on a little extra work for the same pay you made before is a much better alternative to losing your job altogether – and I think this article misses that point entirely.

What do you guys think? What are your thoughts on this? Agree? Disagree? Let’s discuss!


Sunday Money Roundup – Soccer Season Begins Edition.

This year, I am playing adult co-ed soccer, and I fully expect to end up in the hospital. It has been years since I have played, and although I played varsity in high school, it was a long, long time ago. So wish me luck this week as I have 2 games 2 nights in a row, and I hope to survive them. On to the roundup…

Man Vs. Debt talks about 27 Last Minute Considerations Before Moving Across The World as they prepare to move to Australia from Indiana. Good luck!

Five Cent Nickel advises you on how to pay off your mortgage early.

Gather Little By Little talks about Saving Pennies by the Pound: My Weight Watchers-Inspired Money Diet.

Cash Money Life starts a discussion about whether or not you need long term care insurance.

The Sun’s Financial Diary asks a very important question – Is the Fed Going to Determine Savings Account Interest Rates? So, are they?

Money Ning wants you to Be as Frugal but Less Wasteful than Our Parents. Amen to that!

Simple. Organized. Life. talks about how Evernote can declutter and organize your life.

Moolanomy wants you to get out of debt…for good!

Lazy Man & Money answers a reader’s question: Which Loan Should I Pay First? Great advice, and exactly what I would suggest as well.

Remodeling This Life helps you redecorate your entryway for only $15. Go check out what Emily did!


Money Quote Friday – Benefits Not Essentials Edition.

You cry over spilled champagne! Your complaints are not over the lack of necessities, but the abundance of benefits. You bellyache over the frills, not the basics. Over benefits not essentials. The source of your problem is your blessing.” ““Unknown

I want to take a moment to thank The Wisdom Journal, Debt Kid, and Bible Money Matters for their guest posts this week. This has been a difficult time around here, and I sincerely appreciate them helping me out this week – you guys are the best.

Have a great weekend everyone.


Tracking Your Spending For A Month Can Help Open Your Eyes To Unnecessary Expense.

Due to some pressing issues here on the homefront, I will be running a few guest posts this week. This is a post from Peter who writes for Bible Money Matters, a blog about personal finance and faith. You can subscribe to his RSS feed here or via email here.

I’ve been writing about personal finance for just over a year now, and in that time I’ve come to a lot of realizations about our finances, how to do a budget, and how to improve our financial situation. When I look back, however, I think there was one crucial point that really turned things around for us. That was when we decided to actually track our monthly spending. It was truly an eye opener. Up until that point we hadn’t been doing too bad, but there were months where we paid all our bills, and then didn’t have anything left over to save, invest or give. It was frustrating to be working so hard, yet feel like we were just treading water.

When I started blogging about personal finance, I decided that we should be paying closer attention to our finances. What was our income, and what were our fixed expenses? Figuring out our income side of the equation was easy, but our expenses were a bit more hazy.

Tracking Our Spending

That next month we tracked our monthly spending down to the penny. We decided to use a budgeting software to track every expenditure, which would also allow us to print out some nice reports so that we could visualize exactly were the money was going. At that time we used Microsoft Money almost exclusively. It was easy to use, and allowed us to update our accounts via online connections with our banks. We didn’t rely on just the online updating, however, we double checked everything so that nothing slipped through the cracks. When we finally sat down at the end of the month and looked at our spending, we had already broken all of our spending down into categories in Microsoft Money. There were two kinds of expenses in our budget:

  • Fixed Expenses: This includes things like housing, transportation, utilities and insurance (health/auto/life). These expenses are pretty much the same every month, and have to be paid.
  • Variable Expenses: This category was for expenses that varied from month to month. Things in this category included food expenses (groceries, dining out, snacks), miscellaneous spending money, gifts, leisure expenses.

The fixed expenses were pretty much set, and there wasn’t really anything we could do about reducing those bills. We just have to pay them. The variable expenses, however, are a bit more flexible. We found there were a LOT of areas that we could cut. We were overspending by huge amounts several categories.

Cutting The Fat

After all the number had been crunched, and expenses tallied we found that there were two main categories we were overspending in. The first category that we had gone overboard in was in the “dining out” category. Neither my wife or I really enjoy cooking very much, and because of that we end up eating out a lot. Too much in fact. We found that simply by cutting the number of times we were eating out every week we could cut our monthly expenses by $400-500. That’s a lot of money!

We also found that we were probably spending too much on gifts for friends and family. We have pretty large families, and a good amount of friends, and it seems like most months we are buying gifts for someone’s birthday, anniversary or other occasion. We decided that we needed to cut down in that area too, and instead of buying expensive gifts, we would buy more inexpensive gifts, and possibly make some of our own gifts to give.

Continuous Tracking

After that first month of tracking our spending, we were able to change our spending habits dramatically, save a ton of money simply by cooking more meals at home. We’ve also started being more creative about our gift giving. The result is that we are saving hundreds of dollars every month. We haven’t completely stopped going out to eat, or giving gifts, but we’ve reined it in, and made our spending more in line with our financial plan, and the goals that we’d like to achieve.

Tracking our spending isn’t something that we did just once. We continue tracking our spending every month, making sure that we aren’t getting back to our old spending habits. It happens, trust me. You start making a bit more money, and things start drifting back to the old ways. Having that once a month family budget meeting is helping us to keep our financial lives centered, and to keep each other accountable.

Have you tried tracking your monthly spending, and did you find some things that surprised you? What process did you use to track your finances? Tell us about it in the comments!


AIG Wants To Use A Charity Endowment To Pay Bonuses.

Seriously, I don’t know how much more of this I can take before my head falls off. I am so done hearing about these “poor” executives and their million dollar bonuses. Why would any company, who was actually interested in doing well, need to retain people (with our money too, mind you) who drove it into the ground in the first place? Really?

Insurance giant AIG is trying to seize a $490 million charitable endowment — and claw back $27 million it already awarded to New York charities — to pay executive bonuses. The endowment, called Starr International Foundation, is run by former AIG chairman Hank Greenberg, and has given millions to the Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum, Citymeals and other local groups.

If you have AIG insurance, either directly through them or through any of their subsidiaries, I would strongly recommend you take your business elsewhere. These people have no respect at all for the fact that A. we bailed them out and B. taking money from a charity to give to the same execs who killed the company might not be viewed as favorable by the entire populace. They just don’t care anymore because they have been able to do what they want (and gotten away with it, no thanks to Bush and/or Geithner) when they want.

Tired. Just plain tired.