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Monday, August 3, 2020

I Hate My Job!

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Copper Cotton
Copper Cotton
Copper2Cotton is a money blog following one person's journey to reach $1 million net worth. This blog will not only show the author's progress, but also give financial tips and insight for anyone who wants to be wealthy.

It was December, right around bonus time when I realized I wouldn’t be sailing off into the sunset at this job, so I began preparing to leave. When I first started two years ago, a lot of things were promised. I was excited about the new opportunity. There was so much to learn and I was eager to expand my knowledge in a field I loved. I saw myself growing with the company and the possibilities seemed endless.

It didn’t take long for my rose-colored glasses to get kicked off my face. As the inner workings of the company were peeled back the true nature of this corporate beast were revealed, it was a horrific sight. Things would never be fair as they pertained to me, at this— tightly-held family-run business. And it has made working here an emotional hellhole.

I knew that the power this job had over me was purely financial and I needed to take that power back. I was allowing the misery of the place to seep into other areas of my life. I stopped going to the gym and I was shopping cathartically. And when Sunday nights roll around, I was getting a knot in my stomach dreading Monday morning. I needed to do something.

Not knowing exactly where to start I took to reading everything I could on personal finances. I developed a plan and used every spare minute to put my plan into action.

Here is my 5-Step Freedom Action Plan:

  1. Chop Up My Debt

I had been procrastinating with paying off my debt. I was in the habit of nibbling at my credit card debt, throwing the bare minimum on my cards because I could afford to do that. I am making decent money and I get paid every single week, so I’m never behind. But I realized that I was just being complacent (and irresponsible). The uncertainty at my job has created a sense of urgency. Since December, my goal was to eliminate all of my debt. Today, three of my four credit cards have a zero balance. My one card left has a balance of $11,900 and an interest rate of 8.74%. I plan to have this one completely paid off by the end of the year.

  1. Make My Credit Cards Work for Me

After paying off three in full, I now have access to that balance. While I don’t plan to open any new credit card accounts (because it would negatively impact my credit), I am making sure the credit cards I have are the best for me. I called each to see if they could increase my credit limit without incurring an inquiry. Two of them did. That gives me a better income-to-debt profile and it actually boosted my credit score. The credit card companies were also offering 0% interest for 18 months, which could come in handy as I make my next move.

  1. Dramatically Increase Savings and Investments Automatically

I decided that I didn’t need to have $400 just sitting in my checking account to play with every week. I decided to make things a little uncomfortable. I wanted to create an environment of scarcity. I wanted to train myself to get by on less—much less. I raised all automatic deductions across the board. This would allow me to not only meet but exceed all saving and investing goals. I left myself $50 a week to cover gas and lunch until my next weekly pay check. I’ve become so obsessed, that I find myself trying to save some of the $50 I have budgeted.

  1. Have An Emergency Fund

In addition to the emergency fund that is growing nicely because of the forced hardship I placed on myself, I decided that I wanted to have one month of salary in my Bank of America savings account. So, I rolled back the amount I was applying to my final credit card bill and decided to apply the extra to my savings account instead. You must always pay yourself first. I know that with one month of my salary in my BOA savings account I won’t need to touch my emergency fund if something unexpected were to happen.

  1. Streamline My Banking

I had about three different bank accounts for different things. Some even had fees. I decided to close the accounts that weren’t working. Keep my foundational bank (I’ve been with BOA for 15 years and I have a pretty good relationship with them). I decided to open an SEP IRA with Betterment. So now I have two accounts—one to handle my income and savings and one to handle my investments and retirement. I realized that if I were going to increase my independent contractor income and eventually leave my corporate job, I would still need to save for retirement and simultaneously lower my tax bill.


It is now April, and I can’t believe how far I’ve come financially. Things still suck at my job but I hardly notice now. I’m too busy tweaking my action plan these days. I have managed to fully implement four steps of my five-step plan. The only step that I’m working to finish is one month of my salary in my BOA savings account. I’m about $500 short of that goal but gaining every week.

Implementing this plan was hard at first because I lacked discipline and focus. I didn’t really turn the corner until I raised the amount of my automatic deductions. Eventually, the progress was enough to motivate me.

I now have an insatiable appetite for all books and blogs on personal finance. I no longer search for great restaurants to eat lunch, I now look for a quiet free place to read about money and finance.

Even more important than my fatter wallet was the epiphany that I had taken my power back without even realizing it. The threat of a financial tailspin because of uncertainty at my job no longer looms over me. I have the energy to work on my side hustle when get home from my job and I’m even motivated to get back into the gym.

Are you at a job because you feel financially insecure? What are you doing to get back your power?

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