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An update post today, in classic blog form.
On the work front
This last month has been pretty draining. I think I’ve alluded to that on more than one occasion. One employee leaving at work and some increased corporate demands have led to a the unsurprising cascade of employees leaving.
Changes like these are cyclical. But with even some local management changes going on, it’s a bit more of a shake up than usual… and I expect things to get even worse before they get better.
Though, I do hope this is for the better for a lot of reasons that I can’t really get into, even if I’m basically anonymous.
Suffice it to say, no one really likes change. I think I am someone who is pretty good at taking it, but it does make people uncomfortable. I’ve been advocating for and implementing my own changes in my department for a while. With my changes since taking over as manager some time ago, I think my employees have finally gotten used to “dealing” with change from me, but add new people into the mix and their anxieties are running high. Especially when our working conditions are less than ideal at the moment.
My team are a group who was HIGHLY resistant to ANY changes and enjoyed stability unheard of if the pharmacy world for a long time. Just about the time I became manager is also when the business seemed to catch up with the rest of the pharmacy world. I had a really rough go of it getting them to adapt to a change in manager as well as starting up company programs that had never been demanded in the past. All changes were seen as coming solely from me, when in fact, a good portion of it was also demands from our company and a lot of changes structurally in how business is done on a daily basis.
Add that to continuing cuts in staffing as profit margins shrink, and, again, adapting to changes and increased demands has been difficult for some.
Now, we’re faced with additional shortages created by staff leaving on little to no notice (in our department and others), and even more pending involvement from corporate. Stress levels are running high. I’m having to put in more hours just to barely keep up.
Again, I’m optimistic that this will all be for the better once things settle out, but, in the meantime, I’m not exactly enjoying my days.
So that’s work.
On the home front
These stressful times at work coincided with some vacation coming up. Maybe not the best time for me to be gone, but, I’m sure happy to be out of there for a while.
With a toddler, we don’t really go anywhere, so, I’ll be keeping the toddler occupied (as usual) so my husband can work on projects around the house. Hopefully we’ll finish getting the electrical setup for my attic ceramics studio.
The garden is about to start popping. That should keep us busy for a while. My son and dog had a great time foraging for the tiny (green pea sized) wild strawberries that actually grew off the plants out in the lawn this year. In five years I’ve only found two or three, but yesterday, they found over 30 of them!
I’ve got tasks of shopping for car insurance (expect more in another post!) and maybe redoing home insurance too to bundle it. Updating my resume. Maybe even looking into some cell phones plans since my husbands “dumb phone” sits in his car for the once a week trip off property in case of emergencies. I don’t want to be paying $30 a month for that, but it’s bundled with my smartphone plan.
And we finally figured out what these weird white bumps my son was getting on his ears were. “Juvenile spring eruptions” kind of like a sunburn, but really a light reaction some young men and boys get. I’d been wondering what it was for months and it seemed to get worse after we’d cut his hair. It didn’t really seem to be bothering him, so in typical laid back parenting style I didn’t really worry about it.
(from the internet, not my kid)
On the financial front
This was the second month for tracking our networth in spreadsheet form. I was a few day late (see above for reason why) so it’s a little skewed. I made sure to get it done before payday though. I’m currently using the spreadsheets from Budgets Are Sexy. I wanted to do my own spreadsheet, but I’m a little rusty on my Excel formulas (ok, a lot a bit rusty). I’m not using all the features on the provided spreadsheet, and have actually added a few things (and a kids networth column).
It’s been fun to see those numbers grow in a static form. There’s something to be said for being able to compare it concretely month to month vs. watching a chart tick up. It’s more motivating I think. Last month (plus a few days) our networth, accounting only for cash assets, and none of the accounts targeted towards our son, went up 3.7% !
I’ve been using the free Personal Capital software too, as the program (and graphing) is sophisticated and much nicer than anything I would ever make on my own. I ran some new retirement simulations and I’m still thinking I’m pretty well on track to be partially retired in 5 or so years.
I expect June to be neutral or take a hit as I have to pay out the second half of the fee for a new roof on an outbuilding. Between our house, and said outbuilding, we’ll have spent 20k on new roofing. Ouch. Maybe a post on that later too regarding why it was one of the few home maintenance tasks my husband wouldn’t tackle on his own. And the house roof was starting to leak, so, we couldn’t ignore it.
On the blog front
I’m pecking away at learning this whole thing. I consider every ounce of effort I put in to this both personal and professional development and enjoy all the learning (even if frustrating at times) that is going in to it.
I’m not sure I could count myself as a good FIRE planner if I wasn’t at least aiming to find some income streams that don’t involve being a regular employee. So, I’ve set about learning how to make some money off the blog.
That doesn’t mean I will! And I fully intend to keep the content “real” but if I can make a few bucks, all the better. You may be seeing some affiliate links in the future.
It’s part of why I haven’t had much blog content going on (coupled with the work situation). I’ve been devoting blogging time to some of the background stuff.
Here’s what I’ve accomplished:
- Applied for one affiliate network (which forced me to…)
- Create a logo (see above)
- Learn how to add a meta-tag to my website header
- Applied to a specific affiliate program (which forced me to…)
- Apply for a sole proprietor business EIN from the IRS
- Fill out a W-9 for said business
- Download an app that lets me add my signature to pdfs electronically
Now I have to figure out the legalities and setting up the website with proper disclaimers etc.