I finally got my first paycheck, and wonder of wonders, it is NOT less than the paycheck I was bringing home before as a contractor. For those who do not understand the significance of this, contractors typically earn 30% more than full-time employees, because of the benefits they don’t get. A full-time employee (FTE) has insurance coverage of several kinds, retirement savings, flexible savings plans for extra health expenses, and a number of other perks that usually skim off the top of the paycheck, making a sizeable dent in one’s take-home pay.
With this full-time job, that is not happening. Even with a percentage of my checks taken for the pre-tax flex savings plan, as well as my retirement savings (which my employer is matching).
I was nervous… with good reason. But wonder of wonders, I am bringing home the same amount of money I was before — AND there is quarterly performance pay for another little boost.
What an enormous relief this is. I can breathe again. I wasn’t sure how I was going to explain to my spouse that I bring home less money. They count on me “making bank” — and so do I.
I can rest tonight. I’m having some supper, then it’s off to bed.
The numbers are in, and it’s looking pretty good. So far. Based on all the work I’ve done over the past year or so, I can actually afford to buy a decent used car outright. I found one yesterday that looks promising. Granted, it’s not top of the line, but it’s looking solid, and I’ll be going to look at it later today. Here’s hoping it will check out okay, so I can just buy it and get on with my life.
I’m also hoping the salesman I talked to yesterday can cut me a break on the price, if I write him a check. It will save us all time and money, instead of dragging us through all the paperwork and hassle of financing. It works out for him in a way – maybe he’ll sweeten the price a bit for the equivalent of cash.
Heck, I could even give him cash, if he liked. Run to the bank. Get some large bills. Hand him a sack full of Franklins.
That could work.
If I buy the car outright, then I won’t have to carry comprehensive coverage for it — I can get what I need, without insuring it for the financing company’s sake. What they don’t tell you about financing and leasing new cars, is that you have to carry pretty robust coverage for the vehicle, until it’s paid for. Then you can adjust the coverage you have and save yourself some money.
By paying for the car in full, it saves us from a monthly payment, which is good. It’s also nice to own the car outright — which is why I don’t think I’ll ever buy a new car — unless I’m independently wealthy. Heck, even then I don’t think I could justify it. I don’t need a new car smell. I just need reliable wheels to get me to and from.
So, there goes my safety net — my three months of living expenses. On the one hand, it might make more sense to finance just a little bit of the car, so we still have a bit of a safety net. On the other hand, it will be nice to not have to hassle with yet more complexity.
Then again, I expect to be getting a tax refund, and the insurance company will be cutting me a check for the totaled vehicle (not sure how much that will be yet, but I’m hoping it’s more than a fistfull of dollars). So, there will be more money coming in. And I’m working a lot of hours, which means overtime. Time and a half is pretty sweet.
Well, anyway, it’s time to get ready for work. Get myself in gear. Go out and take care of business. And be done with this crap, so I can get back to my regular life.