Indispensability & Salary

February 16, 2010 I read Seth Godin’s book Linchpin. At the time I worked in banking netting less than 50% my current pay. I knew that if I wanted to get my earnings up I’d have to switch companies and possibly switch careers entirely. I became increasingly more frustrated with where my future looked there. The next step up was assistant manager and even he didn’t make a whole lot more than I did.

Currently I enjoy my job, enjoy my team but I also feel like I’m not pushing myself hard enough to get promoted. So I need to become a Linchpin and use my skills to make me more valuable. Each week I need to set a smart goal like an hour a week. I’ll inevitably get hooked and want to do more but like the gym showing up is half the battle.

If I want to retire early or on time with a lot of cash I need to accelerate my annual earnings. If I don’t get promoted this year, I will be in the market to start looking for another company to work for. This is not something I want to do, but staying where I am for a long period will almost ensure I never get close to the the $100k gross target I want to hit by the time I’m 40. Then again I have almost 9 years until that happens. I just don’t want to screw things up for myself by getting comfortable.

At the same time…

  • I have good work / life balance now. We have busy moments of course and I have to put out fires but I don’t have someone yelling at me each day to do something. Been there before and it wasn’t a good arrangement.
  • My friends who make a lot more money than I do are way stressed out.
  • Once I get Navient paid off I can accelerate the process of putting money aside for retirement. Like minimally $6k in the Roth and $8k
  • It’s not all about money
  • It doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach, I could dabble or multiple things with minimal risk. Keep trying at it until something has a pay off.
  • There’s always the possibility of being downsized. Doesn’t look likely, but life and business is fluid and you just never know sometimes….

A Story About Money & Dating

Recently had a bad experience in the dating scene. Well a couple recent, but this i the most extreme / recent one. A couple of issues…

  1. Driving around with a suspended license, the result of an accident when he was 19. That was about 8 years ago and he still hasn’t gotten it taken care of. First sign of irresponsibility. My concern is he would be pulled over at some point and arrested on the spot. He needs to pay about $1k to make it right.
  2. Driving around with no insurance on his car. Yet again another sign of irresponsibility.
  3. No bank account. Said his identity was stolen at some point. He opened one up after I called him out on not having one at 27. I’ve had a bank account for about 15 years…
  4. Didn’t finish college. Has a high school diploma, but still owes money for a few college classes he took but dropped out of. This means he is stuck at the one place he works for and little chance of growing future potential earnings elsewhere. When I first decided to see him I thought his act was more together that is was.
  5. Tattoos – has a bunch and one in a very pronounced location that isn’t easy to cover up. He also wears a lot of makeup. So much three of my friends who saw our picture together commented on it.
  6. Horrible credit. He wasn’t paying his student loan at one point and I wrecked his credit. So if it led to marriage and we wanted to lease an apartment together or buy a house with both of our names on it that would be be a huge burden.
  7. Not even thinking about retirement. I brought up the idea of putting  $10 a week and his answer was basically that he didn’t have it to put aside…

After only a week we would get into heated discussions about dumb things. He thought  I needed to humble myself more when I consider myself very humble as it is. Just because I like to be in a safe neighborhood and buy nice things doesn’t mean I’m what I would consider uppity or bougie. His brother was in a gang and did jail time, he had to spend a night in jail once for some infraction. Talked about inviting me to a street car show where out of shape, scantily-clad women would prance around with cigarette burns. Really not my thing.

The moral of the story. Don’t date someone who isn’t on the same page about money as you are. Especially someone who is radically the opposite. I want an equal or someone I can aspire to be. Or at the very least, a guy I can see potential in.

Month 34 Update: Navient – $22,313.50, NMAC – 15,085.99 Total: 37,399.49

February 4, 2015 - Student Loan balance update.
February 4, 2015 – Student Loan balance update.

So like I said I was going to get aggressive about paying the loans off this month. My tax return was about $2300. I made a $1000 payment on 1/15, $1447 on 1/30 and $452.76 on 2/4. So that’s 2899.76 in student loan payments and $279.37. So $3179.13 total. It was painful to spend that much on loans when there are other things I could be doing with that money. It was a necessary though if I ever expect to pay off these debts.

My total loan balance was in the 40s last month and now it’s the mid 30s. 25,137.39 to 22,313.50 so $2,823.89 down. I might not have a shiny iPad, 42″ television in my living room that will depreciate, expensive clothes or a fancy trip to say I went on but an 11% drop in my balance is nothing to scoff at. 🙂 Just gotta keep up this momentum now.