Friday, May 26, 2017

Making a HUGE Decision

I got a job.  A real job.  A real working from home job.  And I am not sure if I really want it.  You see, I have a dilemma.  I thought I found that perfect job that I had been looking for.  It was a writing job, which I could not be more happy about.  It was writing for a blog! How perfect, right?  Unfortunately, after the initial first call, I have not heard any news.  No interview.  No details.  Nothing.  So I had to move on.

Since I was not finding the jobs I wanted (or should I say, the jobs I wanted weren't calling me back), I decided to try my luck with regular jobs.  I tried Amazon, which didn't work out.  Then yesterday, a job I was not really expecting to hear from called me.  They want to hire me as a customer service rep and requested a few items.  Items that I need to have if I want to legally work in Costa Rica.  Now, I've never worked in Costa Rica before, so this will be a first for me.  It's a work from home job of course, which is nice,  but it's 10 freaking hours a day!  Ten hours a day, 5 days a week.  They require me to work on Saturdays, which is not ideal, but it only involves answering the phones.  Not sure what the calls will be about yet, but I'll make it a point to ask at the interview.

I'm not sure I want a full time job with such a rigid schedule.  It was actually one of the things I did not want while I was searching for a work from home position.  However, the pay is good (not great, but enough to make a difference).  And it is at home, so that's a bonus.  So, I'll give the job a go. It won't hurt to just try and see if it might work out.  I might be able to start off full time and go part time if the work load proves too much.  I might even be able to ask for a more flexible schedule once I get my foot in the door and prove my worth.

 I can't believe it has proven this difficult to find the perfect work from home job. They either all want full time hours with a rigid schedule (and a full work load) or don't offer enough money for me to waste my time.  And the ones that seem perfect just seem too good to be true as they never respond to my emails.  It's quite the dilemma.  I feel stuck.  And yet, I feel good knowing that all it takes is for me to try a few jobs out to see which one will work for me.  The search continues.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Date Night With My Baby

Technically, my 17 year old son is not a baby anymore, he's practically a grown man.  But to me, he will always be my baby and last night we had one of the best mother son date nights ever.

With 4 kids, it's not easy finding quality time that I can spend with each kid individually.  Especially since my oldest is getting ready to one day soon leave the nest, it's important I spend that time with him so we can have that lasting bond.  I have to say, I'm pretty lucky that at 17 years old, he doesn't mind being seen out in public with his mommy.

So as a treat to show him how much he means to me and how important our relationship is, I took him out on a spur of the moment date night, just the two of us.  We headed to Lincoln Plaza where we had dinner at Smash Burger, a restaurant we'd never tried before (the food was pretty satisfying).

After browsing the shops and strolling about the mall for a bit, we went to the movie theater where we watched Alien Covenant (which was pretty entertaining).  And of course, we had to get popcorn.

Then to top of the night, I treated my big boy to a drink at Starbucks (cookies and cream), while I had a mint cappuccino at Pops and a huge cinnamon roll from Cinnabon (which I took home and shared with my other kids).

It was truly a night to remember.  A night filled with food and fun, laughter and meaningful conversation.  That is what I would call a successful date night with my son.  I hope I can implement some sort of outing with each of my kids at least once a month.  After all, in a world filled with strife, it's always good to come back to the simple things, like spending quality time with the people you love most.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Budgeting For Life

We all know that having a budget to simplify your financial life is just a smart way to live. But finding a budget that works for you and knowing HOW to budget can be tricky.

I have to admit, I have gotten very very lax on budgeting.  I use to be the penny pinching, budget every penny to make it count kind of person.  Now I just spend every dime willy nilly without thinking twice.  How did I become such a spendthrift?

It took me years to get here, but my mindset has recently been: live everyday as if it's your last. Enjoy life! So instead of depriving myself so much like I use to, I figure, why not treat myself.  But I have been treating myself a little too much and a little too frequently of late.  And right now, we cannot afford for me to be so carefree with money.

I need to implement a budget and one that actually works.  Last year, as simple as my budget was, it quite simply failed.  I hated having to account for every single dime that I spent.  Yes, it's good to know where your money goes, but budgeting for things like gum is crazy.

I think I finally figured out a way I can still treat myself and stick to a budget.  I have to lay out all our must pay bills, the really important stuff that we cannot afford NOT to pay.   The light, the car, the kids' school fees, etc.  Those are all set in stone and need to be paid every single month.

I will need to set up some kind of system where I have all my bills planned out for each month and how much each bill will be (and an estimate for those bills that tend to fluctuate each month like electricity).  Then I need to set aside an amount for spending money, a set amount each month that is just mine to spend however I choose, without having to account for every single nickel and dime. Then I'll set aside an amount for savings and miscellaneous.

As soon as I can figure a system out and have that in place, I think I can get a handle on our finances. Some people might  think that having to budget sucks.  But even if you make a ton of money, I think its just smart to have a budget in place.  Keeping track of your money and making sure you can account for where your dough is going makes life a little easier.  Keeping on top of your bills and your spending makes for a stress free life.  The budget savvy person is also a happy person in real life because they have their financial life under control.  I need to start budgeting for life.

Friday, May 5, 2017

This Work Situation

I love being a stay at home.  I have no complaints in that area of my life.  I love being available for my kids, for whatever they need whenever they need me.  I am there for school activities and just day to day life in general.  I am home to get household duties accomplished on my time, while also having free time to run errands.  I just love the stay at home mom life.  But if it is one thing about that life that I have to complain about, it's the lack of having my own money.  I don't get paid to stay home, sadly.  I do it because I want to and because I feel the need to.  But I also realize that to live the life we want and to have extra funds we need, we cannot keep living on one income (at least for now, until hubby gets a raise).

I need extra money but I want to still have the ability to stay at home with my kids, so what do I do? I get a work from home job.  If you think about it, working from home gives you the best of both worlds, almost.  You are working, so you are making money while still being able to be at home when your family needs you.  And if you are lucky to find a work from home job with flexible hours, you still get to control some of your time during the day to fit in school activities and running errands.

For me, it is always a struggle to keep a work from home job.  While I love the extra money, losing some control over my time can be a bit bothersome.  And it can be tricky finding the right work from home job.  I want a job that is super flexible where I can set my own hours.  I don't want to be stuck at my computer from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.  I need a job that has minimal responsibilities and not a lot of work.  I am a full time mom which means I don't need the added stress.  Something simple and straight forward works best for me.

The other issue with working from home is payment,  While the extra money is nice, it's hard to earn a really good salary working from home.  Most jobs want to pay the bare minimum, especially if you don't have to commute.  So you have to decide if the job is worth it for what you get paid.  In a lot of cases, it is.  But it would be nice to get paid just a little bit more.

My work situation I have going on right now is getting a bit complicated as I have not yet started working in the position I applied for.  I have been 'reassigned' 3 times and this third time is testing my willingness to stick with this job.  Last week we had a bit of an issue with payment being delayed, to the point of me almost quitting.  This week, since my position is not ready, I have been assigned a task I am dead set against doing.  But if I want to keep this job and make money, I will have to do it.

Yes, working from home is most likely the best alternative to working outside the home if you are a mom and prefer to be home with your family.  It offers the chance to earn extra money while still being available for your kids, so it can be a win win situation.  But you have to have patience and stick with the process because finding the perfect work from home job can prove to be a challenge.