Confessions of a Beancounter

I have bad luck.  What an understatement.  Two years ago I found what I thought was going to be the last job of my career.   I had a great boss, super co-workers and a laid back work environment.  I also increased my income substantially from my previous position.

I’ve always been good with money, given I’m an accountant, one would assume so. I’ve also learned to live very well, but not on a lot of money. I didn’t get my degree until 12 years ago, and prior to that always made enough to get by.

I worked in construction.  Our boss took us out to lunch regularly and for cocktails on a Friday afternoon.  I could wear jeans, my boss never micromanaged me.  At the job I had prior to this one, I had the boss from hell.  So this new position was the dream job I had been waiting for all my life.

I was finally being paid for what I was worth, and then some.  The first thing I did was start buying a lot of stuff. Not expensive things, but it was adding up quickly.  I increased my income by 35% in my new position.  I actually enjoyed coming to work.

Everything was great, until it wasn’t.  While I was starting to plan for my retirement, my hours got cut.  I knew things were slow, but I had hoped sales would turn around.  When this didn’t happen I found another job.  It was sad to leave, but I needed to work full time.

Here are a few things I learned from this job experience.

  1. Never assume a job is forever. Most people don’t, but I truly thought this was it for me.
  2. Pay off everything you can, as soon as you can.
  3. Don’t feel like you can’t have a life because you are trying to pay everything off. Life is too short.
  4. Reevaluate your spending habits. The majority of my clothes are from Goodwill, and let me tell you I have an amazing wardrobe.
  5. Start saving money when you are young. I so wish I had done this.  I teach financial literacy to high school students, and really impress upon them how important this is. If your job has a 401k with a match, it’s free money.   Even if you only put in a minimal amount, it’s better than nothing.
  6. Learn everything you can from your current job, you never know when that may help you in your next position.
  7. I’ve had a lot of job over the years. I keep in contact with former bosses and co-workers.  You never know when they might know of a job or can give you a good reference.
  8. Finally, don’t burn bridges when you leave a position, no matter how bad it was. Trust me; it won’t do you any good.


21 thoughts on “Confessions of a Beancounter

  1. Great practical solid financial advice. With all that work experience, a positive mental attitude and a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, self employment is also an option. Be your own boss!

  2. Great advice, especially about not burning bridges. It’s amazing how small the world is and people have very good memories when you do them wrong.

  3. I no longer have faith that any job is the “last job”… I just ride the pony into the ground and grab the next mount…This is survival at the bottom. And so many more of us are down here that we’d better start brainstorming on how we can help each other and ourselves instead of waiting for some fool in Washington to “save” us. CYA. You only have one A.

  4. I agree with you 100% concerning saving when you are young. I’m lucky to have a union job but because of various health conditions I will probably take an early retirement. I wish I had saved more money when I was younger and healthier. You never know what will befall you as you get older and once I do retire life will be difficult trying to keep up with doctors and treatments. Money gives you options and choices. It is a means for survival in America. Without it you’re done.

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  6. Pingback: Confessions of a Bean Counter: | By the Mighty Mumford

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