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Old 05-02-2006, 12:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
New job - new routines

I've been wanting to make this post for awhile now, just haven't woprked up the courage till now.

As the title says, I have been lucky enough to aquire a new job that pays better and has better benifits.

The kicker is that I'm going from working retail inside, to labor outside (In the same field)

Currently I work in a pool store, sales of a specialty. Tomorrow is my last day in that job, and Thursday I have to be at my new job by 8am.

Now my problem is this: I absolutely abhor waking up early in the morning. This is something necessary, as it's required for my new job. I've worked outside doing the same thing before, but I had problems. I used to get massive (so bad I couldn't keep my eyes open) headaches. Early in the morning I could barely stay awake enough to drive properly. This cannot happen anymore. I belive that the headaches were caused by malnutrition and my eye-glasses of the time. Now I've got a O.K pair of polarized sunglasses and contacts, so that cuts that out of the problem.

Since I'll be in the sun all day, sunscreen is and will be a must; but I'm un-aware as to what to do for food. I know that eating a lot of fruit will help, especially in the morning with something like wheaties. Then comes to lunch and dinner. I have to eat alot, and I have horrid eating habits. I'm young and skinny, and I would like to stay that way. What woud be recommended for lunch that i would have to prepare the night(s) before hand.

Next complication: I work two jobs, and the second is 4 nights a week (mon, wend. thur. sat) from 7pm to about 1am. This leaves me only three free nights a week. Severly limiting my time to do anything else. The only actual day off I will have will be sunday (irnoic because I hate sunday).

So this kinda puts me in a predicament. I do not want to quit the second job because I'm using the moeny I'm making is it (400-600$/mo) to save for a new car. At the job I start thursday, it's a salaried position that pays 450/wk during training and 500/wk(anywhere from 40-55hrs) after that. This coming from the 340/wk(8.50@40hr) that I'm making currently.

I have just recieved my first credit card, and I'm only using it for gas for my car. This keeps it below the 50% mark(300$ credit limit) and allows me to use it responsibly to establish credit.

My major expeses are this:
  • Rent: 350(500 or so after utilities)
  • Insurance for car: 110
  • Cell: 80
  • Gas: ?
  • Food: ?

I've been wearing the same clothes for 3 years now, and I'd really like some new ones. The holes are starting to become too large.

Food is my biggest expense every month, what's recommended to get that down? I'd like <350$ a month or so. This is just for me. I don't eat at home; much groceries are more expensive than fast food now >.<. Not having time to cook doesn't help much either.

My little beater gets horrid gas milage, It's in such dissaray I'm just waiting for it to die on me. Gas I suppose will be 80-100$ a month.

I'm 19 now. I've bee living on my own since the day I graduated with no fiscal help what-so-ever. I've quite aware of taxes and the "real world". I would really like to stop having to live paycheck to paycheck, and still be able to enjoy some things. (Like new clothes and maybe a new CD now and then).

As soon as I got that credit card I went to staples and purchased a two colum ledger to help me get a grasp on my monthly expenses so I could establish a realistic budget. Plan to do this as soon as may ends.

Any advice, tips or anything would be greatly appreciated. I love this community, I spend alot of my free time at my night job reading through this forum, don't post much as of yet. I feel I've got too much to learn to join into the discussions sometimes.

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Old 05-02-2006, 01:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago

First, I think you need to actually sit down and create your budget. Here's another thread where someone created a fairly good one:


By my calculation, you should be making $46,800 at a minimum before taxes. That's assuming that neither job is seasonal and based on the post-training period of your new job (congrats on that, by the way). You need to figure out what your outstanding debts are (credit cards, student loans, etc.) and make sure you're paying those down. When you're thinking about a new car, consider buying used and remember to factor in insurance (both liability and physical damage) and other potential expenses. If you don't know, use your best guess.

As far as food goes, I always found that burritos were an easy lunch to pack, especially if you wrap them in foil. They can be prepared several days in advance, and you can either eat them cold or warm them up on the engine block of a running truck (any experienced crew guy can show you where). If burritos aren't your thing, then sandwiches and even ramen-in-a-cup are pretty cheap and easy. If you're smart about it, fruit can be fairly cheap if you use your local market's "club" card (basically tells them who you are and lets them track your purchases). There are almost always sales in the produce department.
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Old 05-02-2006, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Location: North side
So... you're going to be working until 1am four nights a week, then turning around and having to be at your new job by 8am the next morning? So, you'd get maximum 6 hours of sleep a night? I think that will have a LOT more to do with how you eat and how you feel than anything else. You're going to be dedicating your entire week to working, but for what? If you buy a new car, when are you going to drive it- except to and from work? When are you going to be able to eat food that isn't from a paper bag? You say you want to remain skinny- trust me, eating a diet of fast food on the go all the time ISN'T the way to do it. Plus, eating fast food practally gaurentees you're going to be malnurioushed (I don't say this against fast food, just against most food that you can eat in your car). Not getting the nutrition you need is going to make you more tired, more prone to being sick, and harder for you to continue working from 8am until 1am four days a week.

If you sit down and really look at where you spend your money, it's entirely possible for you to live on $2000/month (from the job you start Thursday) AND save for a car AND not have to work yourself into the ground. Hell, Martel and I would be estatic if we made that much every month- and it's two people we have to clothe and feed and buy gas for.

Realisticaly, can you handle two jobs at a time? If you get burned out it'll be harder to go to either job, much less keep doing both.
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Old 05-02-2006, 02:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: DC/Coastal VA
Quit the night job and buy the car on payments. That'll do more for your credit rating than keeping a card at below 50%. Anybody can get a car loan, and keep in mind, the loan rate is negotiable just like the car price. If they tell you that their "system" only allows them to do a 12% loan for somebody who is just establishing a credit rating, tell them sorry, you guess you'll have to wait to buy a car. They'll come back and say, "oh! we found a lender who'll do 8%!"

And groceries are NOT as expensive as fast food. Maybe things like brand name home replacement meals (the new TV dinners), but two pounds of beef can be had for $3-$4, cheese for $2, and generic white bread from $.99. That's eight quarter pound hamburgers for $6. Most fast food quarter pounders cost $3.

Potatoes are dirt cheap, filling, and can spend the day in your lunch box even after it's been cooked. It takes about 5 minutes to nuke one. Frozen vegetables are cheap and easy to fix. Like Jazz said, if you get a shopper's card, you can always bargain shop the meats and produce. They always seem to have a meat special that works out to about a dollar a pound.
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Old 05-02-2006, 04:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Chicago
$46,000 is more than enough to live on for one person. I'm currently living very comfortably on about $19,000 a year. About the car. For now you may want to consider a used "new" car, that being one that has been traded in after a year or two. It's going to be a heck of a lot less expensive and likely less expensive to insure as well. Mine was purchased for about $7000 (around 1999) and runs great even for an almost 10 year old car.

Food! Probably the best place to save money. Of course pack a lunch. Hopefully everybody at work packs lunch too so it's a socializing environment during lunch. Find the local farmer's market in your area. In St. Louis my roommates and I (3 of us) can get enough fruits and veggies for a week for only $5. Coupons for the local supermarket will certainly save a bit too. Besides being cheaper, this food is much better for you. My roommates and I have been living on less than $500 total in groceries for three of us. This is including shopping at Whole Foods and Trader Joe's a bunch.

For utilities, just try to conserve in general. You'll save a lot of money that way.

All that being said, good luck on your new job!
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:26 AM   #6 (permalink)
The Jazz:
Thanks for the congrats . I've earned it so It makes me feel really good!

I think that you did you math wrong. Day job: 500 x 52 = 26,000; Night Job: 400 x 12 = 4800, Grand total before taxes 30,800, after taxes: 24ish.

The only outstanding debt that I carry right now is what I've charged on the card that I carry. And that's going to be payed off next week after I get my paycheck.

When I say new car, I mean newer than my current 88' Honda CRX. In actuality I'd be perfectly happy with my current set of wheels if:

I didn't lose a qt of oil every 300 miles.
I got the gas milage that I'm supposed to for a 60hp motor, it's competing with some much larger SUVs on horrid gas milage.
It leaks break fluid.
Has no A/C. I live in central florida. It's nice right now, but soon it won't be so cool(74ish weather).
My car is just to get me from point A to point B. as of now.


My boss at my night job is aware that I may have to cut back hours if I cannot handle it. I'll be running my own route, have my own truck, and be responsible for my own actions. It will be nice because I won't have to drive me current vehicle to work after training, I'll be driving theirs .

I'll be dedicating my week to work to save money, not for the new car. Thats months down the line when I have cash so I won't have to worry about it if I suddenly lose my job for some reason. I figure that I'll be working so much that I won't have time to spend the money that I'm making. Time willt ell if I can handle it though!

It's 2000$ gross, only about 1600 net. I'll have about 800 in bills, before paying for food, gas, minor entertainment, and hopefully some new clothes(!).

Oddly enough, I actually operate better on less sleep, about 6.5 hours or so, than I do 9. If i get more than 7 I feel groggy and tired all day. I'm more worried about burning myself out than not getting enough sleep. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to finish my day job around 3-4ish on an average so I'll be able to take a power nap before work.


I can't quit the night job right now for a couple of reasons. I would leave a very short staff one more short, and wouldn't feel right just quiting completely. If nessecary I will, but I'll figure that out in a couple of weeks of working both.

I don't think you aware how difficult it is for someone who's 19 and has no credit, nor co-signers or anything of that nature to get any type of credit. I had to wait 8 months of payment history for my cell phone before I even got considered for the 300$ limit I have on the card right now. Keeping it below the 50% mark is a way to teach myself discipline and responibility with credit.

I do see your point with the groceries though . I LOVE patato's, so that will be awesome. I forgot about them *smacks self in forehead*. I don't eat much beef, mostly chicken. But I have a friend that hooks me up even though chicken prices can sometimes be 5$ a pound. Tonight I am definatly getting some fruits and a mild cereal to eat with them in the morning. I've got a shoppers card with albertsons, so I take advantage of the deals the offer often.


Math was done wrong with Jazz. It'll only be around 24,000 if I keep both jobs, and closer to 20-22K$ if I quit the night job. This is alot better than the 13k$ I was making after taxes in my current job.

Concerning the vechicle, I actually want the same make and model of the car I have now, just in much better condition. That will go for around 2-3k. Unless I can find someone who'll finance me over such a small amount without raping me with intrest. So I have to wait to get the cash saved for a neer older car

I have to stick with an older car now. More than anything I was a 2nd gen CRX Si in decent condition, or a 3rd gen Integra. Insurance for me on my current CRX is 110.86/mo. If I was to get the Integra that I wanted it would sky-rocket to about 220$ a month. Damn being 19 >.<

500$ total for all three of you? Wow. I need to learn how to cook better.

I wish I was making 46K$ a year, it would bring me even closer to my short and long term goals. Heh. I'll hope to making such within 3 years!

Last edited by Invalid Comfort; 05-03-2006 at 09:38 AM..
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Old 05-03-2006, 09:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Where in C. Fl. do you live?
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Old 05-03-2006, 10:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Location: Chicago
IC - I went back and looked at the numbers and realized that I misread the amount for your second job. I assumed that you were quoting a weekly salary like the other and didn't check. Sorry for any confusion.

Some here will probably disagree with me, but a moderate amount of debt is not necessarily a bad thing. Used correctly, debt allows us to buy things that we can't afford as a lump payment like cars or houses. Taking on a car loan shouldn't be too much of a burden if you're being smart about your other expenses and savings.
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - B. Franklin
"There ought to be limits to freedom." - George W. Bush
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Old 05-03-2006, 11:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
Originally Posted by Carno
Where in C. Fl. do you live?

Orlando. Winter springs to be specific


I first read your reply, and I'm like damn... some numbers were off. I figured as much . If I was getting that much from both, I would be working no problem. For a year I could put a pretty penny into savings towards my real estate goals.

I agree with the debt. I've been trying to get someone to give me some, but they're hellishly picky about those who have no history what-so-ever. Hence my dinky little CC and why I'm so happy about it . I'm going to need credit to help me achieve what I have in mind unless; I happen upon an extremely lucrative job. I'm going to wait with the car, as this is my next and only big purchase. I'm going to try to have enough for a very decent down payment, and get the loan to further prove my payment history. Establising credit is a pain in the buttocks, I tell you that.
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