Monday, January 5, 2009

A quick lesson in panic

So what if one day you were relaxing with a glass of wine about to enjoy a few days off with your family to celebrate the New Year and you decided just to "peek" at your work email since you were officially off the clock and it was 6:30 in the evening - and in your inbox you find an email with the subject: payroll issues. What would you do? Multiple choice:

A) Would you gulp down the wine praying "please let it be a typo and it meant to say payroll 'increases', not 'issues'"?

B) Would you have a total panic attack because a) there is a handwritten check for your daughter's after school program sitting in someones hand ready to be cashed and not enough in your account to cover it and b) the mortgage you pay is due in two days and you NEEDED that direct deposit that night?

C) Poop your pants.

Actually, if you guessed C) poop your pants, you'd almost be spot on! I haven't had a paycheck since Dec 15th (and that wasn't the full amount due) so I am essentially working for free due to "cash flow issues" - Happy freaking new year!

I thought I was one of the lucky ones who had a nice, secure job with a company that just got a nice cash infusion because of our new UK merger. But I was wrong - really wrong. I am still employed, just not paid. No one is paying their bills so until we get their money, we don't get our money. They say most of it is coming in on Friday of this week. Yeah, right.

Thankfully money transfers between savings and checking easily in this day and age, thanks to online banking, but regardless it made me sit up and take notice of what would happen if I lost my job. I'm a huge contributor to our household economy and without my paycheck there would be significant changes to our lives.

This little wake-up call made me rethink some things I am going to change immediately - and they are not resolutions - they are lifestyle changes:

For example, I looked at how many Diet Cokes I purchase in a week from the local gas station just to fulfill some odd addiction to CO2 and syrup that I have - it's a lot. Diet Coke tastes like Diet Coke if you drink it from a can - for less than $1.50 a cup!! Before you judge, it's my coffee, and I KNOW coffee is more than $1.50 at the local donut shop.

I have stopped ordering things online just because the email told me "Last Chance To Save - Hurry!"

You really can spend less than $100 every time you go food shopping - which is like every other day - if you just plan ahead.

I do know how to cook. I had just gotten used to that guy at the restaurant(s) doing it for me.

Marshall's and TJMaxx really do sell good quality items for a lot less - I'm now shopportunistic!

And if you ask me to join you out for dinner and drinks, can we make it at your house and I'll bring the wine if you provide an appetizer. I don't want to gain back all that weight I lost in '08 anyway, so let's just skip the meal!


Jeff Herz - My View of the World said...

Can you have the same discussion with my wife?

C Sierra said...

Sure, Jeff - but only if you pay me cuz I'm friggin broke and won't dole out this wise advice for free ;) See you in May!!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

Oy, Christine, that is scary! I often think that if J lost his job, we'd be screwed since I'm not earning enough to cover our mortgage!

And, you are welcome to come here anytime, wine or no wine!