Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Year of Work More, Earn More

(not me)

Several bloggers I follow have started a Spend-Less Year this month. Maybe Sharon started it? I’ve been so scattered, I really can’t remember. But I know Mrs. 444, jpkittie, and Maureen have all joined in. I might even be forgetting someone.

Discretionary spending is really not my issue. Honestly, I hate spending money. Let's face it -- I'm a tightwad! It makes me physically sick when expenses are running abnormally out of control. It’s just that our (mostly) fixed expenses are so high there's no wiggle room to make much headway on long-term goals. I start feeling guilty when I fast-forward 10 months and dream of not making a payment to the preschool every month! And yes….I do feel guilty. My little guy just turned five, and I know that this age is precious. I sincerely would love for him to stay five forever. Let’s just say it'll be easier to wipe away that tear in my eye when he goes off to kindergarten once I remember I don't have to write a $600+ check every month. LOL

In fact, I’ve chosen “life” over “income” more often than not for almost 9 years. When my oldest was born, I switched to a flexible schedule and started being paid my hourly rate instead of straight salary. In my firm, that means I work to get the job done. I do have to work a minimum of 30 hours per week to keep health insurance and other benefits. I also work a handful of 60+ hour weeks a year when the deadlines are closing in. But for the most part I’ve averaged around 34 or 35 hours a week for almost nine years now.

Getting paid for 34 hours when you could get paid for 40 is like voluntarily taking a 15% pay cut. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret having those extra hours to spend with my children, attempt to keep things running at home, and as a result keep me a little more sane.

But now that my kids are older and a little more self-sufficient, I’ve decided to step up the pace a bit. And I’m posting it here to keep me accountable. Many of my budget issues would be solved by working those extra six hours each and every week. Of course, it will mean I have to sacrifice somewhere else. For a year, I can limit my Facebook time and give up a few minutes of sleep each night if it brings more peace to our budget.

And if you’re wondering how it’s gone so far? It’s the 11th. We’ve had 7 working days, and I’ve already logged 65 hours. This is a big deadline crunch, so that has helped. I just need to keep the momentum going when things calm down in November and early December. And now that I’ve put it out there, I’m accountable to all of you!

Other goals I have for my Work More, Earn More year are to:
  • Be more diligent completing online surveys with the companies that I’ve found to pay fairly and promptly.
  • Use Swagbucks search engine more. So far, I have $30 in gift cards at Amazon to spend toward Christmas, 2010. By this time next year, I’d like to have at least twice that amount saved up for Christmas, 2011.
  • And lastly, go through my old jewelry and sell the scrap gold. I have no idea what this will bring, but it certainly isn’t doing me any good sitting in a drawer


  1. Oh what I wouldn't do to go back to the time when my kids were 5 and younger. I spent way too much time working and worrying. I find myself often regretting the time we lost to just be a family. The guilt I feel is huge. I so envy the decision you made and the rewards that your children reaped from it. Hindsight is 20/20 and I wish I knew that the debt should have always taken a back seat. I missed so much.

  2. Hey, thanks for mentioning me! You're right that I've started I guess what I should call "Consciously spending." (I stole that phrase from someone else.) I'm off to update my spending right now.

  3. HA! You did the thing I do, the "not me" by the photo. I guess you did have to do that. Subconsciously, I thought... "Is that her?" LOL!

  4. Good for you! looks like you have a great plan. Our debt goes much slower because I do stay home, but being honest, I wouldn't change it for the world.... You always have to do what is best for you and your family :)

    And it looks like you are!!!