I do count myself as lucky, however, as there are many people today without a job at all. Many of those same people do not have the prospect of a job, either, and that saddens me. In fact there are days I sit at my desk and ponder if there is anything I can do to help those without jobs that want jobs. I half joke with my friends that “if I could get out of the technology business (20 years is a long time to be in any business) that I might…” But that is where it stops. I really do not know what I would do. But if there were a way to connect people, and help create jobs for the jobless that would be cool. I’m not thinking like a “headhunter” or anything like that. But I think there is a unique opportunity somewhere to help others to get back to some sense of normalcy, or their version of normalcy, mind you.
I have helped several friends identify new companies to possibly go to work for this year, some of them were hired. It seems that since 2008, I have been connecting people periodically to potential employers, and when they get hired, it feels good to know that I helped someone better their situation. I don’t want props for it, as I mentioned, I think there is a unique opportunity in this economic situation somewhere.
Okay, I have drifted off the point, as I usually do. I have read blogs on being financially more stable in the event the SHTF. In fact I have read books on personal finance, etc. Admittedly, I have many friends that are financial advisors, and don’t really take advantage of them the way I should… I am not comfortable giving friends money to manage… I would rather it be someone I do not know on a personal level but a business level. I have to get on top of this. I have to get the two credit cards I no longer use paid off as well… That will come. I just paid another one off, giving me a little more liquidity to drop into the other debt I have to get it paid off…
All of this said, I have a theory after reading, watching, and listening. This theory applies to me, and me only because I only know my situation. Based on my experience, to be solvent (in the black), out of debt, money in the bank for roughly a year, and to purchase some backup currency (silver/gold, not sure which yet, probably silver or junk silver to start), I need to generate an additional 30,000 in 2011 to feel comfortable in 2012. This doesn’t count a little fight I am having with the state currently because of an IRS Audit I had for my taxes a couple years ago. That is my first priority going into Dec. 2010, and into 2011…
I may be posting more financially focused posts in the next couple of days, but since 2011 is right around the corner, if you (we) have not focused on finances and improving our financial situations in the coming year, now is the time to talk about it.
Feel free to comment.
You’re not alone. Money is tight for MILLIONS of Americans. They are hanging on by their finger nails, and in some cases not even that (i.e. losing ground every day). Meanwhile CNBC etc spout how the economy is in a recovery, the recession ended June 2009, etc etc. Can’t prove it by me.
My parents were from the WW2/Depression era. I remember the stories they told me about scraping by, being luck to get meat, taking odd jobs here and there etc.
But they didn’t have to deal with the taxes and other impositions as we do.
For example, I’ve considered getting a second part-time job. Maybe some warehouse work at night. If I could do just 20 hrs/week at $9/hr that would help. BUT — that combined with my regular salary and my wife’s (we file jointly) would send us into a higher bracket. Maybe even AMT (I’ve paid AMT, it’s NOT a treat!). So here I am wanting to work for extra $$$ and it just isn’t worth it tax wise.
And if the predictions about inflation/hyper inflation in 2011–2012 are even half correct it’s going to get very ugly out there.
Wish I had more pleasent views but I don’t.
ps — I heard today some Congressman is pushing for a 6.5% national sales tax (not VAT)! Yea, just add another 6.5% on everything I buy(*). That will do wonders for my bottom line.
(* In the report I heard even food was subject to this tax!)
Great post. I’m pushing 12 years in tech myself and I’d love to switch careers, pursue my dreams (if I knew)and all that. But, I can’t. Maybe I’m chicken, but its freaking tough out there in the job market so I’m staying put for now.
(I really wish I had the brains and nads to start a business of some kind — that’s the only way to really get ahead I think.)
I’m looking forward to your financial posts. Like Master Po, I have a similarly grim outlook of the next few years. Seems now, even if you have some $$$ set aside, its not going to be worth a heck of a lot pretty soon.
Well, I have thought about changing careers 100 times at least. The issue is that if I switch careers, essentially, I might as well assume my employer outside of tech would provide me with me with an entry level salary, and after 20 years in this business, I am not sure I could afford that. Although, it would force a more minimalistic lifestyle, which may not be a bad thing. That said, unless it is brought upon a person not by their own doing, I do not believe it is easy for a human being to take a logical step backward. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Freud’s , id, ego, and superego theories, if I remember correctly… If I could just get past the intellectual barrier, I may move back to the country, I may change my lifestyle, and I may live a simpler life, and I may be happier. 😉
I don’t think switching careers is the answer. Unless you hate what you are doing. I believe making a serious effort to “reduce you bottom line” will make more of a difference. Making do with the car you have for another year or clipping coupons. Making an real effort to be frugal. Will put more in you pocket than a part time job. As a General Contractor for more than 30 years, I have found that reviewing you budget numbers and comparing everything you have to pay out will put more in your pocket than anything else. Once doing a review and comparison shopping I save $4,000 on accounting and another $12,000 on insurance. The same goes with our household budgets.
Conceptually, I totally agree.
But practically it’s far harder than it sounds. When ALL prices are going up-Up-UP there is just so much cutting back you can do.
You still need food, shelter, energy, clothing, medicine, insurance etc.
Cutting back on any of those past a certain point starts to cause more harm then good. For example, you can cut back your food but is hunger a solution?! Of you can drop some of your insurance coverages but if something happens your screwed. And I don’t think you want to live in the dark like on that Domino’s commerical.
Switching careers is nowhere near as easy as a lot of pundits make it sound. Starting at the bottom no matter how old you are and experienced isn’t easy or fun.
Which is why I laugh then get mad when I hear about the government ‘stimulus’ funded infrastructure jobs that are — I mean, were supposed to — save the economy. Does anyone *really* THINK a 45–50 y/o CPA is going to get a job laying bricks or shoveling asphalt?!
(pardon the political rant)