When It’s Time To Move On From Your Job

When It’s Time To
Move On From Your Job

 

quit job Sometimes we wait too long to quit that job. We let it eat us alive, and suffer silently. Sometimes it's time to let go, and here's my story. #job #quit

 

I quit my job.

The Friday before FinCon, I quit my job. I was working as an assistant to a professional in the real estate field. I loved the work I did, as I could consume anything related to real estate.

What I didn’t love was how the job made me feel.

I’ll be honest – it wasn’t necessarily that employer, or any employer. It was the nature of the field, and the nature of the business. Real estate had concrete deadlines, which I enjoyed, but what I didn’t enjoy was the pressure. Much like many jobs and careers, there was a list as long as I was tall that had to be done within a certain amount of time. True to the times we live in, the problem was that the support staffing got smaller, and the list got longer.

I found myself being angry at the end of the day because I didn’t accomplish as much as I thought I should have. Then I would get anxious about the next day, and often I would stay late to play catch up. I would be anxious all morning on my way into work, thinking about what needed to be done, and it was common to wake up in the middle of the night with the thought that something had been forgotten.

The anxiety followed me into my job, and caused moments of panic. I suffered through times where I had to leave my desk and just get some air. There was never enough air, it seemed, though no one else seemed to notice the lack of oxygen.

Lack of oxygen also caused me… wait no, the anxiety also caused me to be emotional. Small words would just tip the tower and then I would break into tears. Too many times I sat at my desk or in the washroom trying not to sob uncontrollably. Five minutes later, I couldn’t tell you what was so horrible that I felt like I was losing control, but I knew in the moment it felt like the world was closing in.

I would resort to sugar. Sugar always lifted my spirits, right? I ate my concerns and tried to concentrate on my work. It would help for a bit, but like any sugar rush, it would also come crashing down.

This roller coaster of anxiety, lack of sleep, sugar thrills, and emotions would leave me drained, as I still felt like I was behind. Now, keep in mind I had more than a decade of experience, and knew exactly what I was doing, and I was very good at my job. I’d been told by others the same, so it wasn’t a self-created performance review. I just never felt like I got enough done.

Finally, I would get home from work, exhausted from the emotions, and climb into my bed, the couch or anywhere else I could hide from the world. I needed sleep, time off, vacation. I tried that. Vacation was wonderful! We made it out to Cuba and enjoyed a week in the sun.

The return was hard. I managed to contract the flu, which kept me home for another four days.

I returned to work, and it was like I had purposely left my coworkers in the lurch, if you asked them. It was horrible. It was a month before the holidays, and I worked weekends to play catch up. There’s nothing like sucking the relaxation out of you by working weekends and all week!

An opportunity came up to change scenery, but the work loads were the same. I worked with a great boss who reminded me to do what I could, but others were still pressuring me to get more done. The anxiety tripled, as this time it felt as though I was working alone, and had the whole system to carry.

Some would say anxiety is a narcissistic quality, and perhaps it is. However, it doesn’t stop the anxiety from eating you alive.

I realized I was also suffering from depression. I lost my spunk, and everyone around me noticed I was not laughing or smiling anymore. I would think about reasons why I couldn’t go to work – I was in an accident, or the car broke down, or the dog ran away, or the refrigerator stopped working… anything to dream about having a break. But I knew the work would be there, waiting for me to return.

I needed help. After a day of running to the restroom six times in 4 hours to hold back tears of depression, anxiety and loss of self-esteem, I knew I needed help.

My doctor agreed with the diagnosis of depression and anxiety. I’ve dealt with chronic depression and anxiety for most of my life, but I’d never fallen this hard. It was like my medication had stopped working, and life was awful.

The doctor gave me two options: immediately take time off work, or be admitted for observation to the hospital.

I took the time off work.

I had three months of doctor visits, specialist visits, and was sent to a cardiologist to assess the chest pain I had at work. The doctors wanted to ensure that the pain was stress-related, not a heart condition. I had stress tests, bloodwork and more appointments than time off, it seemed. I saw a counsellor, a psychiatrist, a new family doctor, and a few others I have probably forgotten.

Also, I took time for self-care. I had my nails done, I spent time in the sun, and I visited with family.

I was starting to feel like a person again. Someone with hopes and dreams and goals and ideas. Someone with positivity, and could laugh. Someone worth being around.

It was then that I made a decision. I would not return to my beloved job in real estate. It was too much pressure, and I’ll be damned if I am going to give myself a heart attack before the age of forty. It’s worth betting that the job has done enough damage to me already.

I quit my job.

Thankfully, I’d been working as a virtual assistant for some time, and was able to keep working at that partially, and I had some side hustles going on, so I decided to find work that was less demanding, more flexible and would offer me the opportunity to build my client base for freelancing.

I am sharing this very personal story for a few reasons:

  1. You need self-care.

I would not take the time for myself that I needed. I didn’t take all my vacation time, and I didn’t feel comfortable using it because I felt it would put me behind. Wrong answer, folks! Take the time to relax, get cared for by someone else, and revel in all the goodness in your life. There’s always goodness in your life. Like Chris Hogan *** says, if you’re grateful, you can’t be hateful.

  1. You need a support system.

Someone has your back. If it’s a friend, sibling, spouse or family member, someone cares. Reach out. Tell them you need something. Let them care about you. You are never alone.

  1. You need to listen to yourself.

If something feels off, pay attention. Panic attacks, depression, chest pains, weight gain, weight loss, migraines, headaches, etc., can all be signs of a bigger issue. Pay attention and take note.

  1. Sometimes the higher paying job isn’t worth the stress.

I will admit, that job paid better than some. I gave up the salary for less, but I also gave up the stress. I am working now for less money, more time flexibility, more time to do the things I love, and at the end of the shift, I know my job is done until the next day. No more stressing out about not finishing things – I did the best I could that day, and tomorrow is another day. I will need to work harder on some of the things I love doing, and I might need to let go of a few wants vs. needs in order to afford this new lifestyle, but I am okay with it. I sleep at night, and don’t have chest pain during the day. It’s a better fit for me at this time.

  1. You need to find something you love to do, so that you feel like you’ve accomplished something in your week.

I love blogging and writing, and I love what I do for my freelancing clients.  (PS I have more time for clients who need virtual assistant services, let me know if you need help!) I control the time I spend on my freelancing business, and adjust my work schedule accordingly. At the end of the week, I see blogs with beautiful designs, edited posts, and all kinds of other things I had a hand in during the week.  I feel good about the work I am doing.

  1. Knowing you need help getting through something does not make you weak. It makes you strong for recognizing it and getting through it.

Don’t think for a moment that I didn’t feel like a failure for not achieving MY ideal at my job… and for feeling like I failed when I needed time off. I got over it, because I had to. It’s okay to feel your emotions, but be realistic. If I had stayed in that position, it would have continued to suck the life out of me, and I could not be my most authentic self. I could not be a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother to pets, or anything else. I would not be able to be me. You need to be you, and sometimes taking a step back is what’s required to see the big picture.

One Wish

I hope my experience and these 6 points resonate with you if you are feeling overwhelmed at your job. It doesn’t mean you necessarily need to leave your job, but if you acknowledge where you are and how you are feeling, you might be able to make accommodations long before you get to the point where I was.

 

New to Investing? Check out my e-Book on Amazon:

investing in RRSP & TFSA

 

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to Amazon.ca and affiliated sites.

When Every Dollar Counts: Quick Shopping Tips and SCOP

When every dollar counts, you need to make the most of it! #groceries #money #saving #wealth #credit #scop

When Every Dollar Counts:
Quick Shopping Tips and SCOP

 

We live in a world where every dollar matters and time is money. This is why I want to talk about shopping habits and how I get the most for my money and time.

 

Like many of you, I shop for items at the best price, and that often means shopping at big box stores, like Walmart or Target (when they were in Canada, or when I am in the States). Throughout this debt-free journey, I have made a very serious attempt at going into the stores, purchasing what I need and came for, and leaving.

 

It doesn’t always work in my favour, as I am as prone to impulse buys as the next person. However, there are times that I can take advantage of my wandering eye when shopping at big box stores and grocery stores alike:

 

End-of-Aisle Products

 

Did you know that end of aisle products are often the products on sale, and are considered “loss leaders”? If you watch the end of aisles for the sales items, the store will place the most “on sale” items at the ends to lure customers into making an impulse buy. This isn’t always a bad thing, as these are usually highly discounted items.

 

If they are items I buy on a regular basis, I try to stock up and buy two or three or more, depending on the expiration date. While it may not be an item on my list, it’s something that I use regularly, and by buying in a bulk amount, it saves me from paying full price the next time I need it and it’s not on sale.

 

Great examples of this are toilet paper, cereal, paper towels, and canned goods.

 

So, there I am, with a small list of items to purchase, and suddenly my cart gets just a little bit fuller. I enjoy walking most of the store (it’s a bad habit of mine as I suffer from OCD, and therefore I walk the store in the same way each time – it’s a point of contention at a grocery store with the husband, as he wants to go in, get what he wants, and leave.). It’s true that it leaves me susceptible to more purchases, but that’s where willpower comes in. At the same time, I have scored some great deals on clearance or on sale that otherwise would have been missed! Plus, I am getting my exercise (so I tell myself).

 

Look above and below eye-level

 

Stores often place their convenience items in the aisles, so that you have to see aisles of products while searching for an item on your list. Eye-level products are usually the most popular and most expensive, so be sure to scan the bottom and top shelves for other items that may be cheaper. Some people are supporters of no name products – for me, it depends on what it is. If you can find a no name, or store brand of what you are purchasing, it’s often 25-50% cheaper than the brand name.

 

Don’t sacrifice value for $0.50, though. It’s not worth it if it’s something you really like. For me, that’s ketchup… or toilet paper… or feminine products. No name and store brands do not always equal the same value. But some items, like facial cleanser, pharmacy products like pain killers, or certain canned goods are made at the same factory, have the same or less ingredients as the brand name, and are exactly the same quality. It pays to be a smart shopper and look at labels to compare.

 

Coupons

 

Since I live in Ontario, it’s difficult to find coupons on items other than cleaning supplies and…well, cleaning supplies. Sometimes the stores will have small dispensers or pads of coupons on new products, or products that the manufacturer is looking to promote. Keep your eye out for coupons only on the items you regularly use, and remember to take two or three.

 

It’s frowned upon to take a whole pad of coupons, as most people cannot use thirty by the due date. Read the fine print – usually it’s one coupon per purchase, and sometimes per day. The store may not let you have 30 separate transactions. If they do, and you can use or donate the items before the expiration date, have at it. Just don’t be greedy and let items go to waste – that’s money going down the drain.

 

We may not have double coupon days here, but fliers are a great way to price match. Some stores will allow price matching from fliers of retail stores (not online stores, however). I recommend browsing the Flipp app to compare prices before heading out. This also saves you from going to three different stores across the city to hit each sale. (Trust me, I have tried to do that, and I seem to expend more gas than what I save.)

 

Price Book

 

It’s hard to remember what the prices are for every item, especially at their sale price, so some people recommend creating a price book. You can find these on Amazon, if you want a template, or you can create your own using a small notebook.

 

You will want to record the items you regularly purchase, and what you paid for them. Remember to write the per pound or per litre price if applicable. For example, you may purchase stewing beef for $7.99, but what’s the per pound price? That’s the price you need to know.

 

Beware of the Dollar Store

 

By having a price guide, you will be able to tell if a sale is really a sale. Many people will recommend going to the dollar store to purchase garbage bags, laundry soap, or other essential items sold in smaller quantities. However, that’s where the price changes! When sold in smaller quantities, the price will be lower… but compared to a larger item, your per unit price is higher at dollar stores.

 

What I mean is, if you only need cupcake liners for a class project, then the dollar store is perfect for providing a small container of cupcake liners for a dollar or two. But once you start purchasing cat food, laundry soap or garbage bags – things you are likely to use a decent quantity of over a period of time, you will find yourself purchasing those items more often (because they are in smaller quantities) and paying more. You might be able to get a box of ten garbage bags for $2, but a box of 40 might be $5 at the grocery store, and that’s a savings of $3 over time.

 

Checking out

 

Now that I’ve managed to find the items I went shopping for, plus a few items on sale that I can stash away in my pantry, I head to the checkout.

 

Here’s one of the biggest secrets of shopping: The Scanning Code of Practice.

 

Have you heard of SCOP?

 

The Scanning Code of Practice is a voluntary policy that many stores do subscribe to. Do you know what it is? Click To Tweet

 

The Scanning Code of Practice is a voluntary policy that many stores do subscribe to. Canadian Tire and Walmart, for example, has it posted at the cash registers, but most people are trying to bag their items, or watch the register or keep track of the kids, and don’t take the time to read it.

 

If an item scanned for higher than the posted price on the shelf OR in the flier, you are entitled to invoke SCOP. If the store subscribes to SCOP, that means you get the first item discounted by $10, or free if under $10. Each separate and unique UPC (the scanned barcode) on an item that scans in at an incorrect price above the posted price is eligible for SCOP.

 

Let me give you an example so you know how to use it. I have purchased laundry soap at Walmart, and before choosing the item, I figured out the per unit price to ensure I was getting the best deal. The sticker on the shelf, which matched the UPC, said the item was $9.97.

 

When I was at the cash register, the item scanned in at $16.97. I told the cashier that the sticker price on the shelf said $9.97, not $16.97. She called for someone in the department to check it out, and yes, I was correct. Someone had “labelled them wrong” but this time, it was to my benefit. Because the item was $16.97, I was entitled to $10 off the product because the price was entered wrong. This means I paid $6.97 for my laundry soap.

 

It will take a few extra minutes, and some patience, and sometimes you will have to ask for a manager to get the SCOP applied (because staff are only trained for so much), but it is worth it when I have saved money!

 

Always, always check your receipt before you leave the store, because you are still entitled to the SCOP even after you’ve checked out. Customer service can assist you with that as well.

 

Paying for my Purchases

 

Because of my shopping habits, I pay the least per item when I can, I buy in multiple if it’s a good deal and stash it in my pantry, and I watch to make sure I am not overcharged (or double charged) for an item.

 

Finally, I pay with a credit card.

 

This may come with some difference of opinions as some people think paying with a credit card is an easy way to overspend. It’s all about using it as a tool, and getting the most out of your money.

 

New with credit or not so great credit? Here are a few of the easier cards to obtain and still earn rewards with no annual fees or membership fees:

 

Walmart Mastercard earn Walmart rewards – money you can redeem either while you earn, or save it up for when funds or short, or for Christmas shopping.

 

PC Financial Mastercard has a program to earn PC dollars, which gives me free groceries. With moderate use, and always paying it in full, I earned over $80 in groceries in less than a year. That’s $80 extra dollars towards debt or other expenses.

 

RBC Rewards Visa can be transferred into gift cards. Want an evening out or a gift for someone? Free.

 

Canadian Tire Mastercard or the Triangle Mastercard earns Canadian Tire money on the card, no matter where you shop. I used mine for a vacation, and when I had to purchase tires for my car, I was able to save 25% on sale, pay for one tire with rewards, and the cost to me was only half of what it could have been.

 

This is a small list of reward cards, but don’t get stuck with one that you don’t receive any benefit for. Make your purchases count.

 

My Quick Guide Tips

 

That’s my quick guide to getting the most out of shopping for your everyday essentials. I never pay with something that I am not earning rewards on, and I pay off that purchase in full. I try to avoid ever paying full price for an item, and I keep track of per item cost so that I am not caught in a “special” that isn’t a special. And sometimes, I will splurge on a few things, just so you know I am as human as the next person!

 

What are your shopping habits? Do you have any to add? Where do you get the best deals, or what do you want to know about?

 

Recommended Reading:

How To Make Money with Passive Income and Virtual Services

7 Changes That Have Saved Us Over $1,000

How Much Would You Pay For Tomorrow?

 

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to Amazon.ca and affiliated sites.

 

 

Does Money Breed Insensitivity?

Does Money Make You Insensitive?

 

Many of you may have listened to Paula Pant’s Afford Anything podcast with Suze Orman where Orman completely destroys the idea of FIRE (Financial Independent Retire Early). I was utterly speechless at the comments that she made.

 

Orman’s Perspectives

 

Orman speaks of the money she has, her private island, her prior 5 houses and 5 cars, and the tens of millions (or more) that she has made over her lifetime. She thinks retirement requires millions of dollars, and that $80 thousand a year is not enough to live on.

 

She goes so far as to talk about extremes, like what if a pole goes through the front of your windshield and you are disabled? She also thinks parents should pay for private school and post-secondary education for children.

 

When did people with money forget what it’s like to not have money?

 

What Orman did not realize was that she was so opinionated, she made listeners like me absolutely sick. From the idea that lower income earners can never dream of FIRE, and that FIRE will break our economy, it was demoralizing.

 

Orman is not the only one who forgets what it’s like to not have a 6-figure income. My background of working for professionals reminds me of the differences between the haves and the have nots.

 

Does Privilege Breed Insensitivity?

 

Some people find it encouraging to see others who have amassed a large income, but there are others who simply did not have the means to attend a post-secondary education institution for the extra years it takes to become a doctor, lawyer, or other professional designation. What bothers me the most is when the assistant/employee/lower-wage earner is clearly an important and necessary part of the foundation of a high wage earner’s enterprise, and yet they are treated as unnecessary, and paid either under a living wage or just at a living wage.

 

I want to ask them, was there a time when you did not know how you were going to pay rent? Did you ever have to decide between going on a vacation or investing in your retirement? Did you ever stop to think that your employees do not have the same options as you in life? And yet, without them, you would not be as successful as you are today.

 

I spoke about the inequalities in my minimum wage post, and still wonder what it will take for people like Orman to realize that the options for her and the options for the rest of us will never be the same.

 

Some of us will be fortunate, and may have a successful career, minimal health issues, and be able to plan for retirement. Some of us will always be playing catch up; hoping we can work long enough to save for retirement.  But for those who are extremely wealthy, why do you forget the struggles? Why do you discount the privilege?

 

While I am not saying that those who are wealthy beyond their needs should give handouts to others, I am really hoping that they consider paving the way for some others to find opportunities. Many wealthy people use charitable donations to minimize taxes, but when was the last time they stepped out of their private island comfort zone and gave a hand up? Got their hands dirty, and blessed people who work hard and may never have enough to travel their continent, never mind the world?

 

Callout to the Wealthy

 

This is a callout to all those who have had tremendous success. Please reach out to someone and help them on their way. People like Orman need to stop putting others down for not having as much as she was blessed with, and she is not a matriarch or model for the rest of us. She is someone who has been fortunate and forgets that our life doesn’t need to be 45 years of steady work in the event of a tragic accident or dire straits.

 

The FIRE movement will still pay taxes, and will open up other jobs that may not otherwise be available. It’s all about options, and when people like Orman tell you that it’s stupid to desire the freedom of options, and that her words are “truths”, she forgets that there may be other paths, and other roads which can lead to the same place.

 

Are you pro FIRE or do you think Orman is right that it’s a slippery slide to the end? Do you think privileged folk forget the rest of us? I’d like to hear from you.

 

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you choose to purchase through these links. Please see my disclosure for more information. Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by providing links to Amazon.ca and affiliated sites.