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Just Looking Back

April 22nd, 2008 at 06:48 am

I was thinking about my journey on my way to work. Basically, where I was last year and where I am this year and where I am going. About every 6 months, I look back over the past year and I look forward for the next year.

About 7 years ago, I had a job where I would be vested in 5 years. The company would put away 15% of my salary allocated the same as my 401k every year and it would be vested after 5 years.

Jokingly, I told my boss at the time “looks like you got me for the next 5 years.” His reply was “If you look at it that way, this job will kill you.” And he went on to give me probably the best corporate advice I ever got. He said that after every six months look at where you are, where you came from and where you are going. The philosophy is that during that six months, it is a short enough time that you can stay in a job or situation you hate with enough time to rectify the situation.

After 5.5 years at that company. I left that job. It baffled more then a few people. I was leaving at the top of my game, but I could see my opportunities a year out not being there. I need to retool. So I took a job as a consultant. I told by wife that I’ll do this for a year and then we could reevaluate. Will we did and ten months ago, I took a different consulting job that had no travel (I had 80% travel before).

Yes, I do talk to my wife about career moves. A new job directly affects her whether a move or hours I’ll be home to money we have to spend. I know men who just concentrate on their careers and could care less about their wife’s input. Sad.

Well in August my second son was born and started having medical issues (seizures). He’s ok now but my health insurance was less then spectacular and I owed about $25k.

Well that was the cause that forced me to reevaluate where we were with my wife. We decided that for the next six months we would put together a budget and really stick to it. We would go in fully committed and see where it took us.

It’s been about six months since we made that decision, so time to reevaluate.

First, if you can have an honest conversation about money you can have an honest conversation about anything. The communication between my wife and me continues to improve. Six months ago, we had money fights (she spent to much, I spent to much, grocery cost too much). Now the conversation centers around our goals and budget. If we buy that then we have to reduce our debt snowball this month.

My wife also asked advice about parenting our 3 year old. I would have never envision this 3 weeks ago never mind 6 months ago. I feel that we are getting on the same page and acting more like a team instead of individuals.

I also feel less financial stress, especially this month. I see the snowball really taking hold and see my cash flow freeing up a little bit. My wife is about a month behind me in where we are on our path, but we are on the same path.

I also feel a lot of hope lately. Probably because I am moving in the right direction faster then I thought I could.

I have already planned my last half of 2008 and it looks like all my goals will be met, plus I might add a few in Q4. I have started roughing out my goals for 2009, which are really sub goals that bring me closer to my real goals.

My real goals are to work because I want not because I have to and spend more time with my family. In other words, I am looking at passive income (whether real estate or investments) to support my monthly expenses.

So when I look at setting up my goals, I ask myself do they support or get me a step closer to my big goals. I review everything every 6 months just to make any course corrections or evaluate new paths.

By the way, my two big goals also align with my wife’s.

7 Responses to “Just Looking Back”

  1. KellyB Says:

    Great post! Working with your spouse will not only help you reach your goals quicker, it will make the journey more enjoyable, and as you can already see you will improve your relationship in many ways. Good for you!

  2. Aleta Says:

    An enjoyable post to read. I truly believe that if the two can come together on the budget and to give and take on the amounts, that it does much to help you accomplish whatever your need is at that time.

    There's a certain amount of peace when you have a budget, because you're not fighting with the spouse over the numbers. If someone is fighting, the problem is more about them than the budget.

    A budget gives you guidelines and direction and can be tweaked at any time according to your needs.

  3. Broken Arrow Says:

    A good, thoughful post. Thanks for sharing!

    And in case you're curious... Wachovia's annual meeting is today.

  4. merch Says:

    Thanks, BA. I saw that.

  5. ceejay74 Says:

    So great to hear! I could never imagine not talking about career moves with loved ones, but I suppose it does happen. It sounds like you and your wife's bond is getting stronger every day.

  6. Maismom Says:

    That's a good advice! (after every six months look at where you are, where you came from and where you are going....) Thank you sharing. I will start doing the same.

  7. Petunia Says:

    Thanks for sharing. It's a good reminder to revisit goals periodically - I'm not too methodical about that. Maybe someday DH and I will be on the same page too. . .

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