Staying At A Job For Less Than A Year

I’ve been at my job a little more than six months. I tried something new, somewhere new. I worked really hard, putting in 50-60 hour weeks on the regular. I got a nice raise for my performance. I did my best.

And now I’m looking for something new.

There are a lot of reasons for me not to quit. In the abstract, this position is my dream job. I get to work on interesting problems with smart, motivated people. A lot of what I do I really really love. And based on my not-so-expert opinion of the company’s trajectory, I would be well-positioned financially if I stayed, even just long enough to hit my one year cliff. Let alone the three-month paid maternity leave.

But I just can’t do it anymore.

There were things that I was uncertain about when I started this position, that I now see as clear as day. Yes, that coworker that I have to interact with as part of my role does think I’m incompetent, is mansplaining and negging me on the regular, and generally being a jerk. Yes, when the founder said “I have no tolerance for politics” I should have seen it as a red flag that there are a lot of politics because the higher ups have failed to create any sort of process. Yes, the enterprise has been severely understaffed and there’s a lot of fun technical debt nobody has been dealing with. Yes, they are penny wise and pound foolish when it comes to hiring.

I have been a really bad partner lately and a really bad friend. I haven’t been making time for the people and things that are most important to me. Every night all I think about is work. When I dream all I dream about is work. Today I got home and all I could do was squat on a half empty shoebox, rest my weary face in my palms, and stare blankly at the lines on my hand. Because I’ve given all my energy, patience, and care into something that’s never going to give anything back.

I feel a blinding rage on the daily. I have started burning bridges out of anger and burnout. Not to most, but to some (really just the aforementioned coworker). The people I like and would want to work with in the future would understand if I left why I left. On an emotional level, it’d be nothing but wins.

I’ve brushed up my resume, putting in some stuff that I’ve worked on in this role. (I also helped a lot with hiring the past few months. True fact: resumes are terrible and useless indicators of applicant quality.) Writing it down I realized I was doing the jobs of three people. I am partly proud, partly anxious at being that person who quits at the drop of a hat, but mostly very exhausted.

I’m reaching out again into my network. I’ve gotten a few recruiter emails, but the roles haven’t been a good fit. I need to move somewhere I can stick with for a long while.

Wish me luck.

Have you ever quit a job you’ve worked at for less than a year? How do you deal when you have to work with someone who is constantly disrespectful towards you?

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Financial Update – December 2018

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our current goal is to reach “Financial Freedom.” By the time we reach this goal we will have:

  • A retirement account that can support us when my husband hits 65
  • Two college savings funds funded for four years of in-state public university tuition, room, and board
  • An emergency fund for six or more months of living expenses
  • Sufficient liquidity for my husband and/or I to make a career change with one to two years’ runway
  • A mortgage less than two times our combined gross salaries without bonuses or equity.

Once “Financial Freedom” is achieved, the focus will then working be towards “Financial Equilibrium”, where the income from investments covers all our ongoing expenses.

december

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

december joint.png

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month. I try to spend $600 or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

spend ind

Monthly Summary

Big net worth drop this month due to the market. Not terribly concerned (wake me once we get back to pre-election levels), but I am keeping money coming in a bit more liquid for now, in part because I know we’ll be front-loading retirement plan investments in the beginning of the year anyway, so might as well stock up a little cash-wise while we can.

Husband bought some more work clothes, but otherwise joint expenses are what we expected for the month (including the delayed $$$ therapy bill dropped on us in November). Individual spending was just under target, almost compensating for the overage last month.

Personal life-wise, I’ve just been working a lot. But I’m hitting flow (I think) so that’s maybe good? I am trying to push hard and build all the systems I need to put in place so things will be easier to handle before pregnancy, babies, etc.

Notable things that happened in December include:

  • Nothing. 😦

How were your finances in December?

My Goals For 2019

In many ways, 2018 was a preparatory year for me. Putting the little bits of my life into place so that I’d be ready to transition into a new sort of life, a family sort of life (*silent scream of terror echoes in my head*). And I certainly feel more at ease with myself than I was even a year ago. So here are my goals for 2019:

  1. Get pregnant. AAAAAAaaaaaahhhhHHHHHHhhhh. Sorry, this one scares me a little. A lot. Bodies and pregnancies are weird. But also they’re totally normal? And I really want a family, but also knowing that I’ll be so much free time and sleep is, *gulp*, kind of daunting.
  2. Achieve “financial equilibrium”. Once we’ve hit this net worth milestone (roughly equivalent to CruiseFI), then we’ll start working our way toward upgrading our home and reaching semi-FIRE levels of investments.
  3. Take two international trips. My friend is getting married in Copenhagen this summer and my husband and I are talking about going to Japan. Want to sneak in a couple of international jaunts before kids.
  4. Finish at least two “courses” worth of learning materials. I feel like my brain has been atrophying over the past however many years since college. Therefore, I’d like to make it through a couple of “courses” worth of learning material over the next year. I think this will be brushing up on my Japanese before our trip using Pimsleur and taking some Coursera classes on DB engineering / playing around with AWS for work.
  5. Get my internet addiction under control. This will be starting with a no-internet January. (Note I wrote all my January posts in advance.) So if you don’t see me around for a while, that’s why.
  6. Finish writing my podcast. I’m in the middle of writing a fictional podcast. And by middle I mean very beginnings of. I have an arc though and decent outlines. By the end of the year I want to have finished scripts for the season and be ready to start staffing/recording a pilot.

Then there’s my “keep on keeping on” list:

  1. Maintain regular diet and exercise. Last year “body weight” was on the list, but, um, goal #1 from the first list. Instead, I want to make a commitment to maintain regular exercise that is appropriate for where my body is at throughout my pregnancy and thereafter.
  2. Continue volunteering and donating 10% of our income. Instead of just my income, I want my husband and I to donate 10% of our combined net (which he’s a-okay with).
  3. Read at least two books a month. I think I set the goal too low last year. I’m hoping, if I manage to get my internet addiction under control, I should be able to free up a lot more time for reading.

What are your goals for 2019?

How Did I Do On My 2018 Goals?

Here were my goals for 2018:

  1. Marry and combine finances with my partner. PASS. To be fair, this is not completely finished by I did manage to get married and we’re like 80% of the way there with the finances. So I’ll give myself this one.
  2. Increase net worth 3 units FAIL. I started off the year 5.28 units from my financial freedom goal. Haven’t finalized the numbers for this month yet, but it looks like I’ll be somewhere between 0.25-0.5 units shy of my goal. But I’m okay with that. Husband was unemployed for half the year, I took a month off between jobs, and of course there was that big salary drop with my career change. There are more important things than money. And, honestly, we did fine.
  3. Generate another stream of income, separate from my job. FAILI didn’t really focus on this at all.
  4. Chisel my way to six-pack abs. OKAY. I don’t have a six-pack or anything close. BUT I did keep up with my ab workouts all year long and have core strength like woah. So that’s cool.
  5. Visit Ireland and Amsterdam. OKAYWe did go to Ireland for our honeymoon, however I’ve come to realize that (1) my friend lives in Copenhagen, not Amsterdam and (2) we’re going to visit her next year for her wedding.
  6. Get involved in 2018 governor’s race. FAILBasically anything that required time this year I simply did not do. Other than my new job. That’s taken up… a lot.
  7. Do one “interesting” thing per month. FAIL. This was a cool idea in theory and if I really thought about it I probably averaged one interesting moment per month but didn’t really document this well and twelve months later this feels more kitschy than important.

Then there’s my “keep on keeping on” list:

  1. Maintain body weight, regular diet and exercise. PASS. Consistent exercise and good (enough) eating.
  2. Continue volunteering and donating 10% of my income. PASS. Summary here.
  3. Read at least one book a month. PASS. I technically passed this but I feel pretty silly for setting the goal so low and also still kind of ashamed for how little I read. I started plenty of books but got bored midway for a number of them (which never used to happen to me before). Yes, I’m super basic and read like a high school student. What of it? If y’all have book recommendations, I’d be happy to take them. Anyway, here’s what I finished:
    1. Tar Baby by Toni Morrison (5/5)
    2. Jazz by Toni Morrison (4/5)
    3. God Help the Child by Toni Morrison (3/5)
    4. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (3/5)
    5. Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver (3/5)
    6. Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders (2/5)
    7. Men Explain Things To Me by Rebecca Solnit (5/5)
    8. The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov (3/5)
    9. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin (4/5)
    10. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee (5/5)
    11. All the Names by Jose Saramago (4/5)
    12. Daisy Miller by Henry James (4/5)
    13. Cymbeline by William Shakespeare (3/5)
    14. Laughter In the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov (3/5)

Overall I did pretty terribly with my goals this year. Oh well. But at the same time, I still had such a big year between marriage, changing careers, and going through really hard personal stuff with family and friends. Looking back, I was so unfocused on what I wanted my life to look like. But I am pretty proud of myself of powering (muddling?) through some really hard times. I feel more mature, like I am starting to get an understanding of me as a fully formed being with experiences, not just a little bundle of potential. It’s a scary feeling, like I’m finally accepting closing certain doors on my life. But I’m moving forward. And that’s… good?

How did you fare with your 2018 goals?

‘Tis The Season For Charitable Tax Deductions 2018

Since 2016, I’ve made the commitment to donate 10% of my net income each year. I do 10% because I grew up around very religious folk and felt like, though I’m not religious myself, I wanted to have something akin to a secular tithe. An amount that felt “moral” but not like I was giving away the farm. Something that was just the right amount of painful. Here is a link to my 2017 post.

In 2018 we continued to donate 10% of my net income, but not our joint income (though we will be contributing based on joint in 2019). We donated much more in 2017 than in 2018 because I “prepaid” my balance for tax optimization purposes due to the Republican’s new law. However, we did get our wedding guests to donate a few thousand dollars to our favorite charities rather than buy us expensive presents, which is not reflected in the below numbers.

Here are the areas we donated to in 2017 and 2018:

donations.png

We don’t plan at the beginning of the year how much we’ll donate to each area, but we think this is more or less a decent reflection of my values. Note that we donated much more in 2017 than in 2018 because I “prepaid” my balance for tax optimization purposes due to the Republican’s new law.

Here are the organizations represented in each bucket:

  • Food Security. This is for the small, local food rescue organization that donates fruits and vegetables to seniors, people with disabilities, and other food programs in our area. This is money I feel “proudest” to donate to each year (see: my deep emotional connection with food).
  • Immigration. Lots of money to RAICES because we as a country continue to jail and torture migrants in droves. Honestly, I don’t understand why the press continues to fuck around about the internal politics of the administration when children are literally dying under ICE custody. I am deeply ashamed for how impotent I feel on this issue. Money doesn’t feel like enough.
  • Environment. I used to divvy this bucket up amongst a lot of different environmental advocacy groups, but nowadays I just dump it all to the National Resource Defense Council.
  • Criminal Justice. Local (state) bail fund.
  • Civil Rights. Local LGBTQ+ advocacy organization.

What we didn’t donate to this year:

  • Brother’s education. He graduated and while I gave him a little money to celebrate that, there are no more tuition/room/board etc payments going forward. Woohoo!
  • Political organizations. I feel somewhat guilty about this but, honestly, every time I thought about donating for the 2018 cycle I kept thinking (1) Dems already had landslide levels of funding and (2) the money would be better put to use targeting migrant issues. So that’s what happened there.

What is your charitable giving philosophy? How much did you donate in 2018 and to what organizations? 

What’s Your Personal Discretionary Spending?

The past couple months, my husband and I have been easing into a his-hers-ours version of joint finances. As part of that system, we each get $600 of discretionary “allowance” money, no questions asked, shielded off from each other in our own personal accounts.

Spoiler alert: I’m having a hard time with it.

I knew I had inflated my lifestyle since I started working six years ago. What I didn’t realize is just how much. You can see in my previous budget update that I like to eat out a lot, though I guess I’ve documented that pretty well over the months. In addition I go to a fancy climbing gym near our home — it’s so convenient, I love the exercise classes, I guest in friends all the time. And then there are my material wants: nice clothes, noise canceling headphones so I can actually focus in my open office. My wants are overwhelming. I am, very clearly, not frugal.

The other thing we’ve been trying to calibrate as a couple is what actually counts as discretionary spending, like:

  • Clothes: I’ve been putting clothes on my personal account while he needs business casual clothes for work and has been putting on the joint.
  • Haircuts: He has more expensive hair maintenance than I do (dying and more frequent cuts)– is that a him thing or an us thing? We’d previously discussed this as being individual, but lately he’s gone to a cheaper place and wants to put on joint.
  • Gym: I could go to a cheaper gym but I like the nicer gym more, so I’ve defaulted to eating the expense in personal. On the other hand, I go frequently and it is an important facet of my health maintenance– physical, mental, and social. His therapy is a joint expense because it’s important for his self-care, so shouldn’t my gym membership be too for the same reason?

Writing it out, I realize part of the angst I am feeling is that in a lot of these cases we’re defaulting to his self-care as being a joint expense and mine as being an individual expense. There’s a lot there, including how we approach self-care and a lot of differences in our self-image (particularly our own body images) wrapped all up in there. So yeah, some “fun” (read: difficult but probably necessary) conversations to be had there. Whee.

Obviously, I / we don’t have answers to all of them, but we’re sorting through it. But I’d love to hear feedback from y’all:

Do you have a budget for your discretionary spending? If so, how much do you spend?

Is self-care an individual or a joint expense? What type of self-care is a “want” versus a “need”?

Financial Update – November 2018

Each month I will post an update on my finances to both give you, the reader, some insight into my situation and to give me markers of my progress on my financial journey. My updates consist of two parts:

  • Financial Progress Table – Tracks joint net worth progress.
  • Spending Table – Compares monthly spending to an average (for us) budget, keeping us accountable for additional expenses. I will also include my personal discretionary budget as well; I will not include my spouse’s discretionary spending, which I do not see.

Financial Progress

Each net worth goal in the Financial Progress table is broken down into undisclosed units of money. Our current goal is to reach “Financial Freedom.” By the time we reach this goal we will have:

  • A retirement account that can support us when my husband hits 65
  • Two college savings funds funded for four years of in-state public university tuition, room, and board
  • An emergency fund for six or more months of living expenses
  • Sufficient liquidity for my husband and/or I to make a career change with one to two years’ runway
  • A mortgage less than two times our combined gross salaries without bonuses or equity.

Once “Financial Freedom” is achieved, the focus will then working be towards “Financial Equilibrium”, where the income from investments covers all our ongoing expenses.

november

Spending

We’ve created a joint budget which represents the average amount we can expect to spend each month. This is average amount we need to comfortably live in case of a job loss, emergency, etc. I expect to frequently mostly keep in line with our budget when amortized over the year, even though amounts may vary from month to month.

For privacy reasons, there are two things I do not include in our joint spending updates: our monthly mortgage and charitable donations (pegged at 10% of our net income).

joint nov 18.png

Here is my own personal discretionary spending for the month of November. I try to spend $600 or less each month for my “fun money” since that’s the allowance that’s apportioned to me and my husband.

ind spend nov 17

Monthly Summary

Some of these numbers are still in flux since we’re not quite done combining everything. But we’re getting close. I can feel it.

October and November I really took a good at our joint finances (in part because we started putting an estate plan together) and boy howdy we spend a lot for the two of us. Yikes. Like, I knew this, but I didn’t really internalize it until I went through my husband’s auto insurance statements. Auto premiums in this city are bonkers.

The other big annoying thing for us is health care. Apparently, contrary to what I thought, my husband’s open enrollment period is exactly six months from my company’s open enrollment period. But we want him on our insurance long-term because of his recurring specialist sessions, which are covered on my insurance but not his. I’m super afraid that him being on two insurance is going to lead to a coordination of benefits nightmare in the meantime where we pay out the nose covering both deductibles before getting anything covered. Had we known his insurance would leave such a gap for his specialist sessions before or right after we had gotten married, we could have switched him over then. But we didn’t find out until two months after our nupitals. So. Whatever.

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate health insurance in the US? It’s a really dumb and unintuitive system.

In any case, that means we’re going to be paying on the order of $500/month just for his medical care for six months, then that should go down to $300/month for him when his insurance switches over. Assuming all goes well, which, who knows! Medical billing is an endless nightmare!

Edit: adding my husband to my insurance maybcount as a qualifying event? Which is good is true, because then we won’t have to have him double-covered. Stay tuned as I continue to be flabbergasted by the rigamaroles of insurance. Wheeee.

Anyway, here are the minor steps we have taken / will take to hopefully chip away at these recurring numbers in the long term:

  1. Switch husband to my insurance (saving $200/month)
  2. Find cheaper auto insurance (unknown savings)
  3. Trade in my Google Fi for Mint Mobile (saving ~$40/month)
  4. Cancel Amazon Prime which I mostly used to watch Tokyo Girl (saving ~$13/month)
  5. Set up system to enforce submitting work reimbursements (~75/month, though won’t reduce line item in monthly reporting)

Things that will probably increase our spending:

  1. Putting an estate plan into place
  2. Getting life, disability, and umbrella insurance

We’re also not going to do any more clothes shopping on the joint account (husband really needed more basics for work so we got him a couple things at Uniqlo, but going forward we’ll both be using our discretionary account for those items).

As for my personal spending this month: food. What else is new?

Notable things that happened in October and November include:

  • Got married!
  • Surprise $10k raise at work
  • Went to my first cooking class with Little Sis

How were your finances in November?