Performance Review Time

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. My annual performance review has come and gone this year. I always seem to be harder on myself than my boss.  This is a good thing, as he thought I performed well over the past year.  There were a couple of areas he thought I should work on and I don’t disagree with his assessment.  Overall he liked my contributions to the team and hoped for more of the same in the coming year.  In conjunction with the performance review is the compensation review.  The money is tied to performance, so the better you perform, in theory the more money you can earn.  This is all subject to the company’s overall performance.  The money is broken into 2 pieces, salary and bonus.  Naturally, I’m going to give you a peak into how much I received and what I am planning on doing with it. The Salary In my opinion, I would almost always rather have … Read more

Marketers

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. Marketers have become really good at their jobs.  They have convinced people that they can no longer live without certain things, that life is not complete unless they have certain material things.  The marketers have made ‘Keeping up with the Jones’ a way of life for some people.  I have come across a couple of instances recently that illustrate this point quite well.  You’ll have to excuse me if I come across as judgmental.  I don’t begrudge anyone’s choices.  People are free to do as they wish, but I don’t want to hear any complaints when circumstances change and people feel like they don’t have any money.  The first anecdote I’ll talk about is my wife’s college roommate (I’ll call her CR) and the second is a conversation I had with someone at work. I not sure how exactly how we came to be talking about CR, as my wife’s college reunion was a couple … Read more

Buy the Biggest House on the Block

Home

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. It happened again.  I fell for click-bait.  The title on the link was ‘Buy the biggest house on the block’.  My first reaction was “What idiot thought this up?”  Buying too much house is one of the biggest problems people have in managing their finances and here is someone saying buy the biggest.  The link was to a brief video interview with an economist.  As it turns out, she is preaching the same principles as most do when it comes to personal finance. The interview starts out with her saying the best piece of financial advice she every received was from an older colleague when she was starting out.  She had asked for advice on whether she should buy a car or not.  Her colleague informed her that there are two sides to the interest equation, the paying side and the receiving side.  Her colleague said you always want to be on the receiving side.  … Read more

Retirement Analysis Revisited

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. With the recent 2016 benefit announcement by my company, I needed to do some modeling. Specifically, I needed to model out the impact of the 401k change. The company was going to be moving from a pay period match to an annual lump sum match.  After some fierce employee backlash, the company changed its mind, but not before I had gotten to run through some numbers in Excel. My Retirement Analysis I knew that changing the timing of the 401k matching contributions from a pay period match to an annual match wouldn’t be good for me. The question was, how severe would the impact be? I kept my first pass at the impact pretty simple. I kept my salary constant and just wanted to see the lost interest over the next 25-30 years. I kept the investment return constant at 9%. The impact in the first year was about $400. By the end of the 25 … Read more

Woohoo!! Another Raise!!

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. Recently, I let you peek in on what I did with my performance bonus for this year.  Now, I am going to let you in on what I did with my salary increase for this year.  I find out both numbers at the same time, but the bonus is paid in March and the salary increase does not begin until the first April paycheck.  This year, I received a 2% increase on my base salary.  This translated in $1,900 more per year or just over $155 a month.  The next question is what did I do with the extra money? Dividing the Extra Over the last few years, raises generally have been used to help stabilize the budget and plug any deficits there may have been.  This year was different though.  I have been actively minimizing our expenses whenever possible.  The most notable one recently was my mortgage refinancing that I wrote about.  That freed … Read more

I Gave Myself a Raise

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. I recently gave myself a raise, not my salary at work, though that would be nice, but my allowance.  As I have mentioned before, my wife and I each receive monthly allowances.  This helps us to stay on budget, as wants are paid for via allowance money for the most part and needs come from the household budget.  I have been finding recently that my allowance is too small.  In the past, I have managed to get by with a much smaller allowance than my wife.  That ability to get by has been under pressure for the last year or so as my wants have started to increase. Increasing Wants The biggest expense that has come up, is I am trying to surprise why wife with a second-honeymoon in a few years.  Don’t worry; she won’t see this post, so I haven’t spoiled the surprise.  It will be our 15-year wedding anniversary, as well as, … Read more

My Parents versus Me

The following is a staff writer post from MikeS.  He is a married father of 2.  So, with the cat, he ranks number 5 in the house.  He loves numbers and helping people. Please leave any questions or comments below for either Mike or Crystal. I have come to realize, as I was wrapping up my mother’s estate, that my parents probably were not the best money managers.  I mean, they took care of me, but who will take care of them?  That is not to say they I went without as a kid growing up; at least I don’t think I did.  It’s just that in comparing my finances to theirs, I realize what a precarious position they were in.  The remarkable thing is they managed to raise 3 kids on such a small income. Income Variation I do not know truly what my parents’ salaries were growing up, as personal finance was never really discussed.  I learned most of my current personal finance knowledge on my own.  I do have a pretty good guess on their income and it was probably in the $50K range.  When I think about this, I think that I should feel flush with … Read more