What I Spend

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JollyScot
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:44 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by JollyScot »

It is a tough on the figuring out what to do, as basically everything around us revolves around doing something for money. Gradually I have shifted towards things I have found interesting or things that are at the fore front of fields. However they haven't paid anything, just been interesting. It is hard to break the link form doing stuff for money to doing stuff because you want to do stuff. Probably why I have been dragged into work so often over the years.

Eventually it gets easier to not compare yourself to everyone else, as you really aren't doing the same game as them any more. Just need to find a different game I guess. Not sure I have found one yet, but getting there and I am certainly a more rounded person relative to the initial plug pull.

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

@ertyu - Fortunatley, the limescale in my toilets was nowhere close to your new place. They did take quite a few vinegar soaks, but no more than ten minutes attention at a time.

I indeed went deep into the yoga rabbit hole. At least 1000 hours of practice with teachers, many of them 1 or 2 steps removed from the most senior gurus. Coupled with thousands of hours of personal practice, I don't think I'm getting any closer to enlightenment, at this point. Now that my external motivators are removed, I am surprised how underwhelming "chop wood, carry water" is. Twelve weeks ago, I would have confidently claimed 100% intrinsic motivation.


@classical_liberal - I think you are on to something with purposefully generating some external motivators. I am reading a book on successful aging. The author repeatedly emphasizes the importance of being needed and valued - relationships. With the removal of work, I have very few. I've taken to calling this month my "November apathy." It makes me a little nervous.

@JollyScot - It feels like I found an exploit in "their" game and have cheated my way to victory conditions. I am going to focus on finding new ways to play, in hopes of discovering a tenable long term solution. My expectations are low, but I will make a genuine effort before seeking a new game. I worry about finding motivation to seek that game.


With 2 days until I return to work, the looming constraint has kick started my productivity. I've been going non-stop all day. I feel eager to do more tomorrow. It's hard to differentiate between enthusiasm and fear, but stuff is getting done.

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

November 2020 Total (Couple) - $2863
Groceries - $1,230.55
Entertainment - $785.36
Home Maintenance - $260.00
Insurance - $235.82
Automotive - $154.40
Utilities - $141.75
Pets/Pet Care - $29.88
Healthcare/Medical - $25.00

Obvious from the grocery number - food inventory is high right now. Due to the election, we stocked up. Then, instacart introduced a 2.5% per order fee to the express membership - we stocked up instead of renewing. Meijer is going to be the new online grocer - the website sucks, but they offer in store prices and $10 flat delivery.

There are also some treats hidden in the $1230. With this being the last month of my leave, I indulged any and all whims. But, I can only eat so many dollars worth of food. The pantry is currently full. I expect December to be substantially lower.

Entertainment spending was bolstered by a barbell rack, video games and a small piece of furniture. My biggest concern is the recurring memberships. Between netflix, disney plus, pandora and napster - we are now pushing $30 a month. Being stuck at home, I am tolerating it, but there is no way we need all 4 long term.

Those two categories did push us $1000 over estimated spend. I think December will run closer to $2000.


Rant - I am appealing blood test charges from my physical. Insurance declined a vitamin D test, despite my past insufficiency and current vitamin D supplementation. This caused the hospital to charge retail prices, instead of an insurer negotiated rate - $109! Yet, somehow the insurer's combined price for all my other annual blood work was under $100. It isn't worth my time, but just bending over and taking it pisses me off. At the very least, I am going burn $109 of their time in appeals. I don't even know who to be mad at.

Looking at our other explanations of benefits - the hospital billed rates over the past year are more than double than the insurance paid rates. I hate being stuck in their games.


Rolling 12 Month Spend (Couple) - $38,591 - Trending up!

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

3 days back at work. It's not my favorite. The factors that caused me to take leave have escalated.

Examples:
1. I was told about a new report during my leave, but I was not told he accepted a counter from his prior employer
2. Another report I was promised last September, now is promised to a different team
3. So I've come back as manager of 2 open positions, on a team with almost a dozen open IT positions
4. The two big late projects are even later, but my boss is refusing to acknowledge it

The list goes on and on. Utterly predictable. My optimism for positive change was unfounded.


I've started negotiating what I take back, instead of agreeing and figuring it out (at the expense of my personal life). I'm not playing the old game anymore.

JollyScot
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:44 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by JollyScot »

That doesn't sound like a good place to return to. Permanent understaffing relative to demands starts to eat away to everyone.

Long term can only last if people get paid more to accept it or if you make a lot of progress.

Still hopefully the time off helped. Have a different perspective and probably willingness to negotiate harder than you did prior to the break.

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

Yeah, they are doing the money thing, along with work from home. The upside of fast growth, is it generates cash and promotions. One of the new directors was a developer 3 years ago.

I can handle dysfunction, but the refusal to acknowledge it is tougher. Having been removed for 12 weeks, it is far more glaring.

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

I met with my boss today and made very direct, specific requests for help. We are following up with my peers tomorrow. I am making every reasonable effort to sort the problems.

We also discussed my annual goals, for the first time since January. The communication gap is laughably large. Asked 3 months ago, I would have said my self-promotion and complaining is beyond obnoxious. He, meanwhile, apparently barely even noticed. Having an exit strategy means it is merely bemusing. Without it, I would be beyond frustrated. There really was no benefit in solving team issues at my own personal expense.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 2128
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by classical_Liberal »

Not that anyone wants to miserable with work, but obviously the time off has shown you a few things. Sometimes you have to take a step back to see things clearly. God knows I did.

I wish you the best of luck in sorting these things out. Hopefully you'll get some concessions from your employer, and a better job for yourself where you're at. That'd be ideal.

Even if you are the type who needs external motivation, it doesn't have take place in an unhealthy (for you) environment. In hindsight, I wish I would have thought more about a middle ground with my career. Everyone here (ERE) was kind-of pushing me towards that direction. Yet I stubbornly refused to think of cutting my wage to take a less miserable job, like a PRN job at a hospital on a unit I somewhat liked, or maybe try part time clinic work. Instead, I opted for the half-time, but keep highest wage option. This had less flexibility, and was equally miserable for me, just for half of the time. All that did was make me dread going back when I was off. The problem was I couldn't get out of optimized wage for time spent working mindset back then. Now I have a clearer head and may try something like that next year.

Anyway, point being, don't take potentially less paying, but more overall optimized for Scott 2's life options off the table if this thing doesn't work out where you're at.

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

My wife says she can see the change in my posture, demeanor, energy, etc. I am doing the thing where I bury myself on the computer, to avoid going to bed, to avoid getting up to work. It is bad.

The unfolding drama is a perverse form of excitement. My unhappiness manifests in an almost gleeful interest, of which I'm not particularly proud. It is hard to reconcile with my own self image. Or, for that matter, the image of my boss. I've worked for him over 10 years. We've worked together for 15 years. I've been to his house. He's taken my wife and I out on his boat. Etc.

Yet, I just reviewed the list of why I was so upset upon starting my leave. Objectively - it looks unbelievable, like a malicious attack from a disgruntled employee. Today (in response to learning of someone's approved vacation, the week of Christmas), he implied we shouldn't let people on late projects use time off. He also threw out a "what will you even have to do" in response to my requests for help. My answer included "not work evenings and weekends." That got some backpedaling, but yikes.

Commiserating with a coworker, I was offered the advice it doesn't matter who is at fault. If a workplace is making you miserable, that's enough to act. Smart. It's looking more and more like I am going to fail at salvaging things. I am still trying.


@classical_liberal - wise words. Ten years ago, this was my low stress, life optimized job. Success is double edged.

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by ertyu »

Scott 2 wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:38 am
the thing where I bury myself on the computer, to avoid going to bed, to avoid getting up to work.
I know this thing, and have done it also. Commiserations.
it doesn't matter who is at fault. If a workplace is making you miserable, that's enough to act.
Applies to all sorts of situations. Relationships, too. In the end, digging one's heels and trying to find out whose fault it is, who is right, and who is wrong - and getting worked up about it - is unproductive. The only relevant piece of information is that there is irreconcilable mismatch.

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

I completed my second full week back at work:

1. The end result of my annual goal review was fair, even if getting there felt bad. Money has never been the problem.
2. My requests for help have almost entirely been ignored or denied. Keep in mind - I literally said - "I burned out my home life by trying to do too much, these are my requests for help, to stop it from happening again"
3. I forcefully declined a request to take on even more work. Yet, I am sure the conversation isn't over. This is especially hard, because the work itself looks particularly interesting. And I like the people who want help.
4. I took an ownership of and resolved a failing thing, because I couldn't bear to watch it continue dragging on
5. It's been interesting to watch the consultant hired for my leave, retread the same arguments I lost months ago
6. The late projects have new, even later date projections. They are both shockingly delayed and yet, optimistic.
7. I am back to adding value, not at 10-20 hours of weekly overtime levels, but plenty


Home life is settling down, but I am aware of the opportunity cost. Nothing is getting cleaned. Time with my wife is way down. Meals are lame. Drinking is up. I'm getting less sleep. Work troubles constantly fill my head. All the same crap as pre-leave. Net worth even hit a high score.

In other words - "same soup, reheated".

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by ertyu »

If you have to be meat-to-the-bone honest, what's keeping you from quitting this job?

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

Why am I fighting it? Basic one more year stuff:

- Each month working adds 0.8% to net worth, more at year end
- Most of my adult relationships are at work
- Dinging the "I quit" bell probably closes my career
- Employer insurance makes navigating healthcare easy

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by ertyu »

1, 3, and 4 are legit. Similar situation before corona here - if it wasn't for that, i probably wouldn't have quit. 2 though could be something to work on now so you'd have it sorted out for when you do pull the plug -- unless you'll be moving geographically, i guess.

Scott 2
Posts: 1684
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Scott 2 »

I have tried to maintain non-work relationships previously. I am extremely introverted. There is nothing left socially, after a day of work. With the proliferation of zoom calls, I often don't even have attention left for my wife.

The best I can sustain while working, is activities around people - gym, yoga studio, eating out, grocery shopping, bookstore, etc. Covid rules those out - we are locked down pretty hard. Previously, those activities were my social plan for FIRE.

Fortunately, during the 12 weeks of leave, this was one of my smallest problems. Since my wife is locked down too, and she is the more social person, I still had enough attention. It's not good to count entirely on one person, but it worked for me. I was more troubled by missing the activities, than the people who are there.

User avatar
Stahlmann
Posts: 907
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:05 pm

Re: What I Spend

Post by Stahlmann »

Scott 2 wrote:
Fri Dec 11, 2020 12:38 am
My wife says she can see the change in my posture, demeanor, energy, etc. I am doing the thing where I bury myself on the computer, to avoid going to bed, to avoid getting up to work. It is bad.
Learned a very relatable term today: “報復性熬夜” (revenge bedtime procrastination), a phenomenon in which people who don't have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early in order to regain some sense of freedom during late night hours.

For most working adults, including myself, we don’t have the luxury to plan our workday. After sacrificing at least 8 hours of each day to “earn a living,” going to sleep early just feels even more wasteful of our time.
https://greatist.com/discover/revenge-b ... lf-revenge?

ertyu
Posts: 1506
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by ertyu »

Scott 2 wrote:
Sat Dec 19, 2020 3:00 pm
I am extremely introverted. There is nothing left socially, after a day of work.
I empathize with this, too. Wishing you strength to last it for as long as you've decided to.

Alphaville
Posts: 2416
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: What I Spend

Post by Alphaville »

proposition: if employment must be had for health insurance purposes, what about a more independent situation somewhere?

my problem with social settings is not introversion per se, which i can navigate, but power and control, which is a constant struggle.

it's very hard to operate in peace among others. either they try to control you or you have to control them so that they don't control you. this is what hierarchies are all about: power and control.

and extroverts are very good at this: their extroversion controls their surroundings.

as a kid i was brainy and shy but i learned to overcome my shyness by extroverting as a way to control my environment, which is to say: as a way to not be swallowed by someone else's bubble ("i will not play your disagreeable game or fit into your disagreeable narrative").

so i can handle others, but it's exhausting. i do not "get along" easily because i like playing by my own rules. when i play with others, i have to consciously agree to common rules (e.g. "no memes"). but there are also a lot of unspoken rules in live/hot social settings. that's perhaps what we call "culture."

the real underlying issue therefore is power and control. that's the real principle in any hierarchical organization.

the mainstream solution is "acquire more power", but the outsider solution is "acquire more independence."

since you're in between, is see that as the tension. maybe i'm projecting my own biases into your narrative, but maybe i'm also rebelling against myers briggs monomania :D. but yea, perhaps a different mental model.

eta: what about working independently but only to pay for difference between employee benefit and obamacare premiums?
Last edited by Alphaville on Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

7Wannabe5
Posts: 6811
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: What I Spend

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I am pretty balanced E/I, so this power dynamic actually effects me more in personal 1 on 1 relationships than in group situations like workplaces. 1on 1, I can feel either like I am being silenced into introversion OR compelled to take on the boring social tasks of extroversion. For instance, all I can do is read because my control/freak extroverted bf supervises any other activity OR I always had to attend family events with the kids because my extremely introverted ex wouldn’t. Policies bother me more than people in group or work situations.

Alphaville
Posts: 2416
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:50 am
Location: Quarantined

Re: What I Spend

Post by Alphaville »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Dec 20, 2020 11:48 am
Policies bother me more than people in group or work situations.
because maybe as an extrovert you can control people more easily than you change policies :lol:

with me it's the opposite, i can stick voluntarily to rules, but games piss me off.

anyway, i think the reason my marriage works is that we enjoy being alone next to each other. then we meet periodically for shared fun.

also negotiating agreements and sticking to them is important for us, and when they don't work we renegotiate. this is not being a stickler to rules, because we make new rules all the time as we need, but it's more this than "personal power and influence" that keeps things democratic."because i'm charming" or "because i said so" breeds resentment in the unwilling.

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