Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Post 200! New Tale Of The Tape!

Here, with post number 200, I post my new Tale of the Tape.

Not much to say about the weight numbers. They have continued to stay consistent--half an inch of my waist again, quarter inch on my biceps again, two pounds down, which is the average I've lost each week so far, yadda yadda yadda. Good progress, and I'm pleased.

I'm going to focus on the finances, since I haven't said much about that this year.

Last year, I started that turnaround with just shy of $20,000 in debt. It was $19,689.22. By the end of the year, I paid off about a third of it--32.78%. I started off this year with $13,235.64 in debt. That consists of what's left of my car, a student loan, and the debt consolidation with the four credit cards I blogged about at the start of last year. At the start of the year, over $10,000 of my debt was still wrapped up in those four little cards.

Unfortunately, we had to pay the minimums on everything this month. However, the circumstances surrounding it are something I'm proud of.

My work decided to do one of those crazy things that employers sometimes do--mess with your pay schedule. I've never understood that--we work the entire month for an employer in exchange for those handful of magical days we call paydays. When an employer messes with those, it makes us question everything we're doing for them the other days.

In this case, not only did they move us from a twice-a-month schedule to a every-two-weeks schedule, which really messes with my ability to budget for the month, but they also took the opportunity to move us from being paid in "real time"--meaning the paycheck I get today represents the work I did up to yesterday--to having a one week delay in our pay--meaning the check I get today represents the work I did up to one week ago.

In other words, one two-week paycheck was only half the size of a normal paycheck. Which means a 25% drop in income for one month. Which isn't counting the additional drop in salary that comes from having your annual income divided up into 26 paychecks instead of 24.

But we got through it. Paying minimums on all our cards and using that ever-important emergency fund, an event that would have broke us a year ago was a minor event, a bump on the way to financial freedom, but not a complete financial crisis. When I think of what that would have done to me a year ago, it makes me glad I've been doing what I've been doing.


theFrog said...

I was a human resources director for a company that changed the payroll around and I STILL don't know what the hell the boss was thinking when he ordered it. BUT - the swap was the other way around (from twice a month to every 2 weeks).

As someone who's gotten paid on the "every 2 weeks" schedule, I can say that once you get used to it, those months where you get 3 paychecks instead of two (generally August and October) feel like extra "fun money" (even though, in the long run, you're getting paid the exact same amount per year).

Great work reducing the belt and the debt!

theFrog said...

I meant "from every 2 weeks to twice a month" when I typed that. I really shouldn't be commenting on things after midnight ;)

Rebecca said...

They did something similar at Bank of America in 1998 I believe. If I recall correctly, we still got paid twice a month, but the pay dates changed from being paid up to yesterday like you mentioned to being paid up to one week prior. So for us, we had to go approximately three weeks without a paycheck, when it would have been approximately two weeks otherwise. I think we went from the 31st to the 20th without a paycheck. There was a big uproar in my department because many of us were living paycheck to paycheck at the time, but the company wouldn't budge.