Ask your investment, budget, and other money related questions here
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http://voiceofsandiego.org/2013/08/16/c ... -expenses/
Our City Comptroller deserves a parade....
Whitfield said he did not have any problem denying the mayor’s office’s requests. He said the best advice he’s received came from his boss from his first job: Always put some money away so that you have the independence to say no, even to people above you.
“I’ve got a lot of fucking money in the bank,” Whitfield said. “It allows me to sleep at night. It allows me to do my job with a whole lot integrity and not worry about losing it.”
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Yeah, about that mayor of yours...
A friend of DH's from work went into a weekly status meeting last year and announced to everyone that he had written the last college tuition check for his son and had plenty of money in the bank to last him the rest of his life, so he was now a dangerous man. He suggested that people keep that in mind before making any stupid requests or dumping work on him that wasn't his.
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This has impacted my freelancing. Every once in a while I'll have a potential client want to do a call or face-to-face interview. I do calls but ask about money before doing face-to-faces (and only go to the interview if it's a job that really interests me). When doing calls, if the pay is too low, I say this: "I know we're in a high unemployment environment and employers are taking advantage of this, but I frankly don't really need the work and I'm not going to work for this amount of money." In some cases (this happened two days ago actually), the job will sound very interesting and I'll offer to do it anyway despite the small pay--but I also stipulate that I must do all work remotely, and I ask a lot of questions about the work before saying yes. Like Jacob said in another thread, "in a job interview, I'm interviewing them."
I don't have F-You money (maybe more like "you can go to heck" money at this point), but it's enough to make me feel good. And, boy, is it empowering--I have never felt better than I do now talking to prospective clients.
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I couldn't help myself and emailed the Comptroller of San Diego thanking him for his candid response. It made me very happy when I read his piece of advice.
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It's one reason I like the term financial integrity so much. Having money and not being dependent on that next paycheck does wonders in terms of leveling the playing field. Suddenly you are on eye-level with your employer of even above (when they need you more than you need them). You do not need to take any job-related abuse and can stand your ground without fear of losing your livelihood. Usually this is a game where you have no power and they have you by the balls. It helps in negotiations to make it clear that you are not in the usual pushover-position. It changes the nature of the game. If you depend on that paycheck, you are very much a wage-slave, highly dependent on your employer's benevolence with little power. Having your livelihood threatened helps make you obedient and manipulable. It is one of the main insights in the field of brainwashing.
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My favorite scene from, "Thank You For Smoking":
Nick, why do you do this? What motivates you?
You really want to know?
(whispers): Population control.
(chuckles) You're bad.
Everyone's got a mortgage to pay.
The yuppie Nuremberg defense.
I love that phrase. It describes so well the pressure to bargain away integrity to pay the credit card bill and how we freely offer one another passes for ethical transgressions while on the job.
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Being FI can help make employees act more in line with their ethics. But there's another ethical dimension to it too.
Part of paying someone for their labor is the understanding that the laborer will put in his best effort for his employer. So the employer wants the most output for the cheapest pay, while the employee (if he is rational) seeks to get the highest pay for the least effort. If you're paid for your time either through an hourly rate or a salary, then this creates a moral hazard where the employer has to constantly police his employees to make sure he's getting the greatest effort out of them. This is usually done by random supervision, spot checks, popping in to see how things are going.
Because losing a job is so devastating for the vast majority of people, employers can then rely on an employee's extreme fear of being fired to keep them from taking advantage of an employer with only minimal supervision. The chances of getting caught may be low, since the supervision is so lax, but the consequences for getting caught are so high, that it works enough to motivate employees.
But if being fired isn't really that big of a deal for you, then the threat of getting caught minimizing your output as an employee isn't really anything to be feared. So that laid back supervision that works well on people who have a high fear of being terminated can be used to the advantage of an employee who has a low fear of being terminated.
So you could do things like go out to lunch and not come back to the office for the afternoon and just gamble that no one is going to notice or make a big deal out of it. Or spend an afternoon playing video games instead of pretending to look busy and if someone walks in on you and happens to see what you're up to, no big deal.
I remember hearing one story of a guy at a company I worked at who got another job, but instead of quitting his first job he would respond to a couple of emails and drop by the office for a couple of hours a week and say hello to people to make it seem like he was still there. The company was so poorly managed he didn't actually get terminated until over a year later.