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ocnblu

belt tightening

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Today it was announced by the owner of our dealership... a mandatory 10% pay cut for all employees, in a belt-tightening move. Morale has taken a nosedive. I figure I will lose income very near the amount of my truck payment per month. Our sales are down 30% from last year. It ain't looking good. I am considering dropping my gym membership (only $15/mo) and my land line telephone... along with selling my truck, for real, among other things, just to keep going. If this pay reduction doesn't save enough money for the company, what happens next scares me. I hope Wall Street speculators are happy, driving fuel prices through the roof this summer. The ripple effect of high fuel prices has chilled every aspect of our economy, and now it has hit home for me, hard.
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I'm sorry 'blu, that really sucks.

We're really liking only having one car payment. Our insurance is significantly less, our combined fuel use hasn't changed a whole lot because I drive the Prius at times when I would have driven the Fusion in the past.

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sorry to hear. don't make scapegoats out of people that can make money in ways you can't. i'm betting a lot of that money made has gone back into the stock market, somehow, and is what is helping keep us "up"...

but again, anything more than that 10% does sound scary. hopefully things have...nearly bottomed out, only cause of the signs of life.

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that is horrible blu. making adjustments like that is going to be really hard.

you might have to start selling your self on the corner to get some cash or start a marijuana farm...

all joking aside, im hoping for the best for you.

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That sucks blu. :(

Trust me, I know how you feel. I'm struggling myself at the moment. It's not easy, that is for sure.

I hope things get better for you.....

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I remember a few years ago when the company that at the time owned us decided to give us a 5% pay cut. Me and a bunch of others quickly became 5% dumber and slower. Best thing to ever happen to us is that they decided they didnt want us any more and a bunch of our own people bought it back. We are a LOT better off and we right now are doing pretty well despite the poor economy. Time for a few changes in November. Thats all I am going to say about the political part of this matter. Good luck to you and your family.

Edited by 2005 EquinoxLS
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I hate hearing things like this.

The tough times hit me a few years ago, and the challenges are still huge. But, I am finally seeing the faint glimmer of light from the end of the tunnel. Don't worry too much, the only constant is change - so it won't be forever that things are this way.

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Landlines are pretty much useless, unless you have to use dial-up. Cell phones are far more useful, and if you already have one, a landline is just a useless expense.

Gym membership is also an unnecessary expense. Think about what you do at the gym, and there are probably free alternatives everywhere you look. Instead of running on a treadmill, jog around the neighborhood. If you're lifting weights, just clean the garage, its been my experience that most things in the garage are really freaking heavy.

Cut out fast food (assuming you eat fast food) because its expensive and probably one of the reasons for the gym membership.

Also, cheat on your taxes and write bad checks.

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Ditto on the 5-10% dumber and slower thing, although when the company I worked for a few years ago cut everyones pay they got 30% dumber and slower at the very least.

Cut everything you can now, like Oldsmoboi said. In one sense it doesn't matter who is elected in Novemeber, either one will have a full 8 years work even starting to undo the major wreck Bush has gotten us into.

Chris

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Thanks, folks. I do like the gym because the weather in there is always the same, ya know? Yesterday, I dropped some disability insurance I was carrying at work, only $4.15/wk, but every little adjustment helps I guess. Packing my lunch should save a good bit, and instead of expensive, sodium-packed lunch meat, I can make chicken salad, tuna salad, PBJ, or meatloaf sandwiches. Spending about $8/day at the local deli adds up (I started walking there when gas prices spiked). Yeah, a landline phone is getting to be old-fashioned, I guess. My basic Verizon cellphone plan costs $47/mo, with the landline at about $31/mo.

The vehicle question is another story. I love my Sierra, but I must face facts. As a daily driver, it is somewhat wasteful, especially apparent now, suddenly. I've got to figure out what I should do with it. Sell it, trade it, or keep it. Trading it seems the worst option, keeping it next worst, with selling it coming out on top. My next issue is replacement transportation. I am scared of used vehicles. Maybe that is irrational to some of you, especially since I am in the car business, but that's just the way I am. I have seen some bad stuff come through. Anyway, I looked at a fairly basic '09 Cobalt coupe yesterday, MSRP $16,200. With discounts, I should be able to lessen my debt load (I owe about $15,500 on the truck yet), have a vehicle that saves a lot on gas, and has a warranty. I would expect a monthly payment about $100/mo less than the truck with minimal downpayment, while saving about $100/mo in gasoline and a bit on insurance.

Ugh, seems like I'll be "laboring" all Labor Day Weekend, thinking of ways to get my finances in order. I hope you guys have a less worrisome weekend than I'll have.

Edited by ocnblu
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I've been facing the reality that I may not have my teaching job when this new school year ends. With cuts at Fort Dix & McGuire Air Force bases, less aid from the state of NJ to my school district, and enrollment dropping, word last May was that next summer won't be that great for many of the newer teachers at my school (less than 10 years of employment; this is #7 for me) and especially those that teach electives, like I do, and not core academic classes. My wonderful ( :rolleyes: ) supervisor and building principal let me know in early June that my program could be consolidated with the other two exisiting programs and my job eliminated to save money - how nice is that to hear? All this after I finally sign my '08/'09 contract making the most I've ever made, and as an 11-month employee too (means I get paid year-round too). So I pretty much told the wife that April or May 2009 may bring bad news, which has come back to haunt me all sumer long from her. Even though I love teaching, I'm thinking of leaving this field for good if I lose my job again (I was part of a massive cut from another high school I worked at for two years; I don't like not knowing if I'll have a job or not every year).

Blu, I feel for you and know what it's like trying to make cut-backs. The wife and I began making changes & cuts this time last summer, and we still need to find more ways to cut spending and reduce our debt. God only knows what will happen if I lose my job next summer.

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You're in good company, 'bu. Changing dealerships and being in the wrong brand in the wrong area (who buys Chevies in an area of $1million dollar homes?) has hurt my bottom line. I knew '08 would be tough, but.....

I'm thinking of investing in some real estate, though:

CARBOARD_BOS.bmp

I figure if things get tough enough, I can move into one of these.

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Thanks, folks. I do like the gym because the weather in there is always the same, ya know? Yesterday, I dropped some disability insurance I was carrying at work, only $4.15/wk, but every little adjustment helps I guess. Packing my lunch should save a good bit, and instead of expensive, sodium-packed lunch meat, I can make chicken salad, tuna salad, PBJ, or meatloaf sandwiches. Spending about $8/day at the local deli adds up (I started walking there when gas prices spiked). Yeah, a landline phone is getting to be old-fashioned, I guess. My basic Verizon cellphone plan costs $47/mo, with the landline at about $31/mo.

The vehicle question is another story. I love my Sierra, but I must face facts. As a daily driver, it is somewhat wasteful, especially apparent now, suddenly. I've got to figure out what I should do with it. Sell it, trade it, or keep it. Trading it seems the worst option, keeping it next worst, with selling it coming out on top. My next issue is replacement transportation. I am scared of used vehicles. Maybe that is irrational to some of you, especially since I am in the car business, but that's just the way I am. I have seen some bad stuff come through. Anyway, I looked at a fairly basic '09 Cobalt coupe yesterday, MSRP $16,200. With discounts, I should be able to lessen my debt load (I owe about $15,500 on the truck yet), have a vehicle that saves a lot on gas, and has a warranty. I would expect a monthly payment about $100/mo less than the truck with minimal downpayment, while saving about $100/mo in gasoline and a bit on insurance.

Ugh, seems like I'll be "laboring" all Labor Day Weekend, thinking of ways to get my finances in order. I hope you guys have a less worrisome weekend than I'll have.

Things to look into cutting:

1. Cable? Do you really need the plan you're on? Are there lesser plans available? Would Dish be cheaper?

2. Credit cards? Do you carry any balances? Is your credit good where you can balance transfer to lower interest? DO NOT CANCEL ANY CARDS!!!!

3. Look at your heating and A/C usage? Would installing a timer thermostat help costs?

4. Do you eat out often?

5. Clothing/household goods? When you're at the store, ask yourself "Can I go another week without needing this item?" If the answer is yes, don't buy it. Clip coupons... it's like cutting out money.

6. Vehicle? Instead of going used, go really used. Enjoy the hobby of fixing up the car.

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I've been facing the reality that I may not have my teaching job when this new school year ends. With cuts at Fort Dix & McGuire Air Force bases, less aid from the state of NJ to my school district, and enrollment dropping, word last May was that next summer won't be that great for many of the newer teachers at my school (less than 10 years of employment; this is #7 for me) and especially those that teach electives, like I do, and not core academic classes. My wonderful ( :rolleyes: ) supervisor and building principal let me know in early June that my program could be consolidated with the other two exisiting programs and my job eliminated to save money - how nice is that to hear? All this after I finally sign my '08/'09 contract making the most I've ever made, and as an 11-month employee too (means I get paid year-round too). So I pretty much told the wife that April or May 2009 may bring bad news, which has come back to haunt me all sumer long from her. Even though I love teaching, I'm thinking of leaving this field for good if I lose my job again (I was part of a massive cut from another high school I worked at for two years; I don't like not knowing if I'll have a job or not every year).

Blu, I feel for you and know what it's like trying to make cut-backs. The wife and I began making changes & cuts this time last summer, and we still need to find more ways to cut spending and reduce our debt. God only knows what will happen if I lose my job next summer.

I have a teaching degree and am working as an electrician. When you add everything up (coaching+grading+school activities+other duties) it just isn't worth it in my personal situation to teach.

My father in law was an excellent teacher, but spent 30 years of Sunday afternoons and evenings doing lesson plans and grading papaers. He's retired now and much more relaxed. He still tutors students though, as he loves teenagers.

Chris

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You're in good company, 'bu. Changing dealerships and being in the wrong brand in the wrong area (who buys Chevies in an area of $1million dollar homes?) has hurt my bottom line. I knew '08 would be tough, but.....

I'm thinking of investing in some real estate, though:

CARBOARD_BOS.bmp

I figure if things get tough enough, I can move into one of these.

I'll wire it for light and power,and your sister can inspect my work....

Chris

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Things to look into cutting:

I'll second this. There are also great used cars out there for $2500-$4500 if you go a little older.

Keep us posted, blu.

Chris

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Something else I suggest if your bank has online banking is signing up your checking account and all your credit cards at Mint.com. It's free and it will analyze your spending, giving you a better view of where your money is going. Once you see the charts and start to drill down, you find all sorts of places to save.

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There is another option. Get a job flipping burgers at night, if you can do 5hrs a day, 5 days a week, at $6.50/hr, thats about $160/week before taxes. Then you really dont need the gym membership, or cable, or any of that other stuff, because you'll never have time to use it.

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There is another option. Get a job flipping burgers at night, if you can do 5hrs a day, 5 days a week, at $6.50/hr, thats about $160/week before taxes. Then you really dont need the gym membership, or cable, or any of that other stuff, because you'll never have time to use it.

I would at some point like to find a creative second job, but I can't see flipping burgers.

Chris

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My first year of college, I made pretty good money detailing peoples cars. I already had all the supplies to clean my car with, so I just took a few bucks here and there to do other peoples. A couple hours on a Saturday morning could net a few hundred bucks.

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A second job will happen..I'll just go part time where I am now, after I find a better job (one that is not cutting :rolleyes: )

A new car is not an option for a while, unless one of the cars dies off...and the Balt and Cav are in good shape anyways...hopefully I can hold out until 2010 (If I can resist buying another car, that is. :smilewide: )

No cable for me, don't miss it either...

Still cutting back..... :(

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