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Work Stuff

February 19th, 2019 at 06:06 pm

The reimbursement check for DH's jaunt to the other office finally came through today. It was supposed to only take one week. It took over two. The bill is due in two days. I have not been happy with this and told him in no uncertain terms that if they send him off like that again, there is no way he is using our credit card for it.

They have company credit cards for exactly this sort of thing. I don't care how much easier it was to use ours, if they want him to go again, they give him one of theirs. They would have if it hadn't been so last minute and they still could have, it would have just been more effort on their part. DH has agreed.

DH's raise has been approved as of his last text message to me, but he is still waiting on the paperwork to sign. I told him to double check before he signs anything that it is the amount it is supposed to be and not some lesser amount. While this job has given us no reason to doubt them, there have been other companies that have pulled fast ones and said one thing but the paperwork did not match. Not on wages, but on length of contract. I trust no one in these situations until it is in writing.

I hope it gets signed soon. I don't want this to remain unsettled. He does need to give the other place a decent amount of time to try to find someone else, being as the job was supposed to start in 4 weeks. We don't want him to burn bridges by waiting until the last minute. Even if the way he was initially treated by that company was very sketchy, it was one employee, and they turned out to be a decent employer for the short time he was with them.

Taxes, Work, Goals, and Dreams

February 18th, 2019 at 04:05 pm

DH got the taxes done and submitted and we will be getting back a little over $1300. I don't know the exact amount since Dh did the final bit. We did do deductions because it meant a slightly higher return, but this will probably be the last year we have such major medical expenses as to put us high enough to do that with the new taxing structure. If DH gets the raise to stay here, we will be upping our 401K percentage to 7% so that our higher tax bracket will not mess things up for next year. I don't want to end up paying ever. I'd rather just a small refund.

I do have my total out of pocket medical expenses for last year and it is $28,248.75. I believe that is more than in 2017. If things go the way they are looking our medical spending should be greatly reduced this year. Our charitable giving (tithing) was only $5800, but we didn't start doing that until about mid-year, when DH got hired on permanently instead of through the temp company.

So DH's work is just waiting on a signature or two to get him that raise if they want to keep him here. If they do get it, it will be a raise in net income of $15,700 a year. It is not as much as up there is offering, but after air fare and having to pay Cobra for two months, the difference would only be $3000 to $4000, because a lot more would be lost to taxes from being in a higher tax bracket. That is an awfully big change in our lives for only $3 to $4K. Without the raise it is worth it. With it? Not so much. The second year it would be $6K extra because it would be without the Cobra.

Current job has better insurance and better 401K matching, which makes the trade off for up there less appealing. I am hoping they come through for him. They need to do it soon though as DH would need to make the decision and let them know up there if he's not coming so they can get someone else in place.

Current job implied they are planning to move him up into a better position when someone retires in December, also. So...there is potential for advancement, which there never was up there. And with that movement would come another raise, it is assumed, since there would be more responsibilities and a change in title.

With the raise it would take us 13 months to pay off the loan and we could still get our gym membership back. Then it would take us 8 months after that to get our 3 months expenses emergency fund. After that I want to take a small break and go on a vacation with my husband, no kids. We would take one month's worth of what we would have been putting into the EF and go on a short cruise, 3 to 4 days, booking last minute for a deal. We can plan our time for when work is at a lull. We don't care to where as long as it is on the west coast out of Seattle. We likely won't even leave the ship. It has been 8 years since we have been on a vacation and we've never been on a cruise.

Then we would start saving towards the 6 months emergency fund and a down payment on a house at the same time, with an uptick in our 401K percentage.

But until there is signed paperwork in his hands, there is no decision to be made and all of the above is simple dreaming. Except the taxes part.

The Plot Thickens

February 14th, 2019 at 01:56 pm

DH's current job has offered him more money and a more secure position to stay. He'll have to run the numbers tonight when he gets home from work. It isn't as much pay as what the other job is offering, but current job matches 5% in the 401K, not just 3%, has a Christmas cash bonus, a Christmas 401K bonus contribution, company stock, and the insurance is better. Plus he'd be home. This just got interesting.

Life Changing News

February 9th, 2019 at 06:21 pm

DH took a new job today. It's back on the slope. After taxes and after airfare, we'd be bringing home $30K more a year. Yes, that's net. The 401K is not as good a match (but we'll contribute 7% instead of 5% to make up for it) and the insurance costs more (but pretax), but the difference in income more than makes up for that.

DH and I talked it over for several hours yesterday. His current job is getting iffy, because after the election last year one of the refineries pulled out of a couple of jobs and that means less work for his company. We feared this was going to happen because it does every time democrats get control of either the Senate or the House, and it is even worse when they also have the presidency, which they may again in two years.

I think it is a little ridiculous though, because they don't have control of both, so they'll never pass anything in the next two years, but the oil companies always seem to get fearful when the dems start getting any control. Usually because they raise taxes on the industry, already the highest taxed industry in America AND all developing nations, and try to shut down new exploration the second they get full control and put in all sorts of punitive regulations. They don't want to invest only for it to be shelved in a couple of years and have it taxed so much the project is no longer tenable.

But anyway, because the current job is getting iffy on work, and because this job pays so much more, we decided he would take it. It is a two year contract. We'll be out of debt in a year and have our six month emergency fund in place by the end of the second year and maybe some saved for a down payment.

He starts on March 18th. I told him to at least wait until March before he lets his current work know and I hope he listens to me. I'd really like him to wait until two weeks before to give notice as I don't want to try to go without pay for more than 2 weeks if they decide to let him go early. My hope is he can work right on up to the 15th. We only have $3000 in the EF, so it would be very tight. I am going to go down to a bare bones budget between now and when the new job starts and save as much as I can. We will have to pay for a Cobra for the month of April, but I believe the new insurance should start in May.

The first pay cycle will be larger because he will have 3 days of training on it before he starts his 3 and 3 hitch. I hate 3 and 3 so much as compared to 2 and 2, but it means less airline tickets a year.

It will be hard to go back to this again, but it puts our future back on track. It will be annoying to have to do a 6 week budget cycle instead of a 4 week budget cycle, but I managed before and I can manage again. And it is worth it for the amount we'll be able to speed ahead on our goals.

I just hope that after the two years are over there will be work that is easy to find, hopefully slope work. If not, I guess we'll have the fully funded EF and unemployment again (which is enough to cover insurance premiums, but that's it).

DH is Off

January 27th, 2019 at 07:06 pm

Here's something I never thought I'd see myself write again. DH is off to Alaska. He'll be back Tuesday morning, though, and this isn't a permanent thing. They just needed someone with up there experience to check something out in Kenai, take a bunch of photographs, and come back with the info. It was all very last minute. They asked him to go on Thursday.

I'm not particularly thrilled about it. I thought my days of worrying while DH flew were over. It was weird to go back to the airport again. I haven't been out there in two years. Things have changed quite a bit.

There is so much going on here with DD's health and my own that I would never want to have him going up there permanently. I have gotten used to us being together every evening. I went through twenty years of us being apart so much and we were used to it and it didn't bother me very much, but now it is feeling like a whole other ball game. Maybe because I'm not steeled against it anymore.

I don't even know if he is going to get paid extra for it. They didn't discuss it. AK is usually hazard pay, but who knows? He doesn't even know if he is going to get paid for travel time, which annoys me, because if he doesn't, it means he'll lose a day's pay. They are paying for the hotel and airplane tickets outright, but he'll have to be reimbursed for food, taxi, etc. It's not a per diem, they just said be reasonable about it and submit receipts.

If it hadn't been so last minute, they would have given him a company credit card and there wouldn't have been any of this use your own card and get reimbursed later nonsense that I dislike so. DH says they are fast about reimbursing though, like a week. Some of the companies he has worked for took six weeks, which is what turned me off on the whole thing. Plus DH has a tendency to lose receipts.

Today has been pretty laid back, otherwise. I am a little tired from all the cleaning so I am taking it a little easier today. DS still needs to do the kitchen floor and we have two drawers left to wipe out and to organize and if that is all that gets done I am happy with that.

Found Out About the Bonus

December 11th, 2018 at 04:34 pm

So DH's end of year bonus will be $1600 in cash, but that is before taxes, so not sure what it will be afterwards. Bonuses get taxed weirdly, I believe at 25%, so we'll only see $1200 of that, though some of it will come back in our tax refund. He will also get 1 percent of all wages earned put into his 401K with 100% matching, since we haven't hit 5% of income on our own yet. That will only be based on his earned wages since becoming a permanent employee, and he became one in July, I think.

His last paycheck says he has earned $37,192.50 since becoming a permanent employee, and it is probably going to be calculated after Friday's paycheck. So we should end up with something over $800 extra into the 401K. Nice little chunk of change. It's been a few years since DH has worked with a company that did bonuses. If it is calculated after the last paycheck of the month than it will be closer to $1000.

My cold seems to have moved up into my head now. After driving yesterday I decided I don't want to drive today in the storm we are having. I thought I was ready to drive yesterday, but I had trouble focusing and ended up running a red light. Thankfully it was at an empty intersection and no cops were around. That is the first time in my life I have run a red light. So clearly I am not clear-headed enough to drive yet. I will wait until Thursday before I try again assuming the cold continues to vacate the premises and I am not a dizzy-headed mess.

Tonight for dinner I am making beef pot roast in the Instant Pot, steamed potatoes in the Power Cooker XL, and broccoli in the microwave. No baby-sitting, no fuss, very little mess. It is nice having two electric pressure cookers when I don't have a stove. It makes things much easier for me.

I hope I am with it enough by Friday to do the banking and the grocery shopping. We are getting low on some items and with DH heading out to MIL's after work to work on cleaning out her attic and garage, he isn't able to do the shopping either. I'm making due, but it would be nice to have fresh greens again. I have enough potatoes, carrots, and plenty of onions to last the rest of the week, and I have canned green beans, and there are oranges and apples, so we won't go without. But it isn't salad. I might have cabbage, though. I could do cole slaw instead if I do.

I have a ton of canned, frozen, and freeze dried foods, but sometimes you just want that fresh produce factor in the middle of winter. We are getting low on bread and milk, though I think it will just make it to Friday. I am meal planning carefully, but I think we will pull it off okay.

Turned the Corner

December 10th, 2018 at 03:39 pm

This is one of the worst winter colds I have ever had, but I think I have finally turned the corner. I got up and got dressed for the first time since December 2nd. My cough is up in my throat now instead of my lungs or bronchials. I still definitely have a lot of mucus and am pretty tired, but I think I could drive today without being a risk to others. I haven't even been in a car since the 1st, let alone driven.

I even started a load of laundry, there is a huge backlog, though DH did his work clothes, but I have to take it slow. I am still a little dizzy when I bend over, so I reckon DS will have to take the clothes out of the dryer and bring them to my bed so I can fold them. But I am not dizzy when I am upright. It was so bad there for a while that being upright was too much.

There is talk of a Christmas or year end bonus at DH's work. I know when he filled out paperwork to become a permanent employee there was a sheet about a company bonus that goes into the 401K. I don't know if it all goes in or if some can be gotten as cash. We could use cash for medical bills. I don't even know if he will qualify, because while he has worked for them for a year, it has only been 6 months direct, so I'm not counting any chickens. It would be nice, though.

Considering the job he is doing, he should get one, but I don't know how these things work. They are pretty eager to hang on to him. His boss has put in for a raise for him, so keep your fingers crossed that he gets one.

He has been getting rumblings about slope work. One company even asked if they could put him in on their bid. DH said no for now because he really doesn't want to go back to Alaska. He likes where he is at. But it would be a possibility. I don't really want him to go away again. We spent the first twenty years of our marriage with him gone so much for work, now that he is home I have gotten used to it.

I know I could get used to him leaving again, but there is so much I can't keep up on anymore. That's why we don't have chickens, or turkeys, or ducks anymore. And why we've cut back significantly on the number of rabbits. I am even debating on whether or not I want to plant a garden this year. If I do, I will probably only plant a few beds.

Mom and DS want to put up Christmas lights, so DH went and dug out some of our standees (stand alone lights). We have our polar bears, our train, our seal with a present on his nose, our Season's Greetings, two presents, and our giant snowflake. We need to get a cable to secure the seal to the porch. Everything else will be zip-tied to the deck rail or up to high for someone to get without a ladder, but I am not losing that seal to theft. It was too expensive.

I have no idea why Mom wants to put up lights this year, except that there are tons of houses on our block who have put them up and our house looks pretty dark and naked without them. One of our next door neighbors doesn't have anything either, but that is pretty much it. She isn't the type to keep up with the Jones's normally.

I don't know when they will actually get put up though. DH and DS have been helping MIL to clean out her attic and garage to get ready for the exterminator to come, new insulation to be laid, a new breaker box put in, and a new furnace and AC to be installed. She's getting $40K of work done. FIL was a pack rat and there is a lot to get rid of. So far they have hauled away 1013 pounds of garbage. DH is finding tax files and paperwork from the 70's. We have a roving shredder business that you can get to come by and shred all your old paperwork and MIL is thinking of hiring them.

I haven't been able to help at all, although considering how much dust and rat droppings and loose insulation there is, that is a good thing. With my asthma it is just not a good idea, even with a mask on.

They are going out again tonight after DH gets off work and hopefully that will be the end of it until the weekend. DH didn't get any rest this weekend at all because he was out there. I am worried he is going to come down with my cold, because he has started coughing, but that might just be in reaction to all the dust. I don't like it when he burns the candle at both ends. He is getting some help from his sister and her boyfriend, so it isn't just my guys.

I just don't want him to get sick and have to stay home from work. And I need him to be well to drive us down to Virginia Mason on the 19th. I hate driving in Seattle traffic. I've done it a couple of times because in the past DH was in Alaska, but it is something that scares me because they drive worse in Seattle than they do in Orange County. In Seattle, no one knows what a blinker is, people zip back and forth between lanes even when there is no space to do so safely, assuming the lanes aren't at a standstill. Pedestrians jaywalk constantly despite having plenty of cross walks. And don't get me started on the bicyclists, who apparently don't like to use bike lanes, but would rather take their lives and yours into their hands and act like they are immortal. Even the bus drivers are a little nuts.

Almost all the streets are one way and half the time you can't go around the block for several blocks. People block intersections so badly that I've sat through five or six light cycles before it has been clear to go. The drivers are so aggressive, too. So yeah, DH needs to be well for that, because I am currently not up to that challenge.