<%3Fxml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"%3F> Viagra canada no prescription » Buy viagra online. Approved canadian pharmacy. No prescription! and this is the highest unemployment rate on record for our area.  From a survey of my friends and family it seems that everyone is a bit unsettled about their jobs right now.  Here is what I found.

Many of the large tech companies around here already went through rounds of publicized and internally announced layoffs and a good majority has had pay freezes or paycuts starting as early as late last year.  These are all public companies that you probably have heard of.  Basically noone I know in a large company has had a raise this year with the exception of people at Lockheed Martin.  Lockheed is doing fine since is a defense contractor and we are in the midst of war.  The government cut some of their contracts and added others.    The largest organization in California is the state of California itself, and we all know how terrible the state coffers are right now.  Pretty much all public employees I know are  getting paycuts in the form of furloughs and some are being laid off.  Banking is another industry that got hit extremely hard for obvious reasons.  For example, we have a Downey Savings, WaMu, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America all on the same block.  Two of those banks are technically dead.

On the flip side the friends I know that work for smaller corporations still managed to get raises and bonuses this year.  This is not to say that smaller companies are doing better than larger corporations as a whole, but I think that in general smaller companies have less fat to trim than large corporations.  Most startups tend to pay less than large companies, and have a leaner team to operate everything.    For the most part raises are rare this year, and they are also much smaller than previous years.   Many small companies depend on the spending of large corporations so there is really a trickle down effect.   Personally I have no idea if my company is giving out raises, but I am not expecting anything.  I would seriously be happy with a 1% raise just to cover .  The hubby got a small 3.75% raise and I am pretty happy about that even though it is smaller than any previous raise.

Anyway, the greater economy is really out of our control, and I am pretty grateful that we still have jobs.  However, I think everyone should try to give themselves a bonus or raise through saving or earning more money.  I have done several things to essentially give ourselves a raise this year such as, , and continuing to blog.  Reducing our mortgage and rent is basically saving us 3300 after tax money every year, and that is significant.  My blogging income is also much higher than last year as my articles age and I have a bigger collection of articles.  These changes make me a little less uneasy about the general doom and gloom atmosphere we are in, and I am hopeful that the American economy will recover eventually.

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]]> http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2009/06/20/raise-paycut-pay-freeze-or-layoff-dealing-with-unease-in-the-silicon-valley/feed/ 3 Viagra canada no prescription » Buy viagra online. Approved canadian pharmacy. No prescription! http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/07/25/trying-to-look-on-the-bright-side/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/07/25/trying-to-look-on-the-bright-side/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2008 23:24:42 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/07/25/trying-to-look-on-the-bright-side/ Well, as you all know now. The #$@#$! is set to pass very soon. I am so annoyed by this, but I can’t really do anything about it. I wrote about the bill in different articles at Wise Bread so I’d love your comments there.

Anyway, some good things did happen this week to me personally. A couple days ago I got a surprise email from one of my previous employers informing that I am receiving a dividend on the company stocks I bought. The dividend is quite significant and it’s equivalent to about 20% of my purchase price. I don’t have that many shares but the dividend is still worth over $1200. It’s like receiving another economic stimulus check! It is a private stock I can’t sell it, but if it gives dividends like these every year I wouldn’t mind keeping it forever for the free money.

Another news item is that the hubby received a small raise. It was around 5% and it is a bit smaller than he expected, but a raise is a raise and that’s great! He left a large soul sucking megacorp a couple years ago and took a large paycut to join this small game studio, and now his pay is finally a tiny bit above his pay at the megacorp. Right now his company is trying to pump out a couple games so I guess they’re not exactly rolling in dough. The gaming business is sort of risky in that if one game fails then the entire studio could die out because they have to invest a lot of resources in the development of a single game. That actually happened to the studio my cousin worked for. So I am hoping that the hubby’s game set to release next spring is a huge success because the hubby has been working on it for 2 years already. He wants his name in the credits! If he has shipped one great game then his chances of finding another job in the game industry greatly increases and we might move somewhere else. Right now their games are looking pretty promising and they are gathering quite a bit of a fanbase.

Besides that, one of my friends from college is getting married tomorrow! My mom bought me a couple dresses for my birthday so I can wear one of them and show up not looking like a baglady. We also planned a kayaking weekend in Half Moon Bay for our anniversary next month. The dividend money came just in time for our trip. We could have covered it easily ourselves, but it’s pretty cool to receive some surprise money.

So despite the government passing another bill that we will pay for until we die, I try to look on the bright side and see that my life is actually quite excellent.

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Viagra canada no prescription » Buy viagra online. Approved canadian pharmacy. No prescription! http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/06/23/the-importance-and-benefits-non-profit-and-public-service-jobs/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/06/23/the-importance-and-benefits-non-profit-and-public-service-jobs/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2008 23:58:43 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/06/23/the-importance-and-benefits-non-profit-and-public-service-jobs/ Today I read an  article on the New York Times titled ““.  The basic gist of it is that top colleges are trying to encourage students to enter non-profit sectors and take jobs in public service, but many students are burdened with huge loans that they have to pay off so a secure job with a fat paycheck is the path they end up taking.  I am not surprised at this at all, but here are some of my thoughts in working in public service.

Most people are idealistic when they are young and then get disillusioned later, but I think I am the opposite.  In highschool I knew people that were truly believed that they could change the world for the better, but I wasn’t one of them.  I knew that after college I wanted a high paying job, and I wanted to be financially secure. I know that sounds selfish, but I figured that I am just practical. I also said to my friends that I would never work as a teacher or work for the government.  Now after graduating and working for three years at fairly well-paying corporate jobs, I think my thoughts on public service has changed quite a bit.

First of all, I think America really has a shortage of great teachers.  Most of my immediate family members have been teachers and professors in China at one time or another, and I think my dad enjoyed it more than most people. So I know that it can be a very personally fulfilling job. Anyway, I think one of the main problems with finding quality teachers is definitely financial.  The starting salary for highschool teachers in the Bay Area is around $30000 to $50000 depending on the school district and credentials, but the new teacher might have a buttload of student debt to pay off.  Couple that with the extremely high cost of living here in the Bay Area, I don’t see how we could get good public school teachers.  Good science and math teachers are especially hard to find because people who study science and math could get much more lucrative jobs. I went to Albany High School and I had a bunch of excellent science and math teachers who graduated from UC Berkeley.  They are mostly retired now, but any one of them could have taken up a more lucrative job as an engineer. I had a physics teacher that almost completed his electrical engineering PhD at UC Berkeley, but decided to be a high school teacher, and he was a great teacher.  If we don’t have more public school teachers like them, then the next generation of children will suffer as a whole.  Anyway, I know of one classmate who gave up her lucrative job at a large web retailer to apply for Teach for America, and I hope she is still teaching.

Next, I think many young people do not realize how much of their souls they have to give up for that big paycheck at that corporate job.  There are plenty of high profit businesses that have less than ethical practices.  Additionally, many highpaying jobs require you to work to your bone.  There is also corruption in public service, but for the most part I don’t believe it is encouraged.  Granted, there are plenty of great jobs in the private industry, too, but in the article I read a lot of these Harvard students are going to hedge funds, which I think are mostly shady businesses because they have very little regulation or disclosure. Of course, a public service job might also be terribly boring, but if it’s a job that helps people and fulfills you, then it might not be as bad.

Finally, there are lots of perks in public service and non-profit jobs, too.  For example, I think government employees still get pension for the most part, and my mom will get her healthcare covered after she retires.  Sure, the pay might be  lower, but a perpetual pension is worth quite a bit. Additionally, non-profit organizations  usually give more time off than for-profit corporations so that is worth something.  Also, I feel that there is a bit more job security in non-profit and public corporations.  Someone told me once that the government never fires anyone.  There is quite a bit of bureaucracy involved, and so people stay in a job forever.

Right now both of my parents work for non-profits.  My dad really thinks he is changing the world through his work, and I think that’s pretty cool.  My mom just started at a state university after working in a for profit company for all of her career in America.  She is trying to adjust to all the bureaucracy and a huge pay cut, but I think in the end she will reap the rewards of paid health care and a small pension. Now with that said, lately I have thought about getting a non-profit job sometime in the future because now I do want to change the world  for the better somehow.  However, I think I would be happier to do the job for free when I am financially independent.  As much as I have warmed up to the concept of public service, I am still practical and selfish by nature.  So I guess I will just have to spend a few more years as a well compensated corporate cube dweller.

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Viagra canada no prescription » Buy viagra online. Approved canadian pharmacy. No prescription! http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/20/my-real-savings-and-expenses-inventory-how-we-manage-to-save-nearly-50-of-our-income-every-month/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/20/my-real-savings-and-expenses-inventory-how-we-manage-to-save-nearly-50-of-our-income-every-month/#comments Tue, 20 May 2008 08:03:00 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/05/20/my-real-savings-and-expenses-inventory-how-we-manage-to-save-nearly-50-of-our-income-every-month/ I don’t write very detailed numbers concerning my personal finances on this blog even though it is a personal finance blog. I always write some estimates and approximations and also things that have happened in the past. That seems a bit weird since I sort of advocated and being transparent about personal finance. I am actually really open with my close friends about my personal finances, but I do feel weird about revealing exact numerical details to the world. I also don’t keep a networth graph here like many other PF bloggers because I feel that is akin to . The hubby also doesn’t like to give out too much information. Anyway, today I decided to satisfy some personal finance voyeurs by posting our savings and expenses in terms of their percentages of our gross income. I took most of the numbers from our current paychecks, and some numbers are averages of bigger expenses.

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viagra canada no prescription- This includes Federal and California State Income taxes, Social Security and Medicare Taxes, and the CA SDI Tax. The total may seem a bit low because the income taxes are only taxed off our income after our fairly significant 401k deduction. The income taxes are also tiered, so only a portion of our money is taxed at the highest brackets. Though I am pretty sure we may owe some more taxes this year because I exercised some at the beginning of the year and we may trigger the AMT.

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Rent: 12.26% – We have been living here for less than a year, and when our lease is up in July the rent might go up, but we don’t think it would be too egregious because our landlord is not some huge corporation and we’re taking care of his apartment. We really do enjoy living here.

Car Insurance :1.71% – The hubby just recently got a rate reduction for being a good driver. It took about three phone calls to the insurance company but those phone calls saved us $400 per 6 months term so I am pretty happy about that.

Car maintenance : 1.08% – This is an monthly average of the amount of money we spent on maintaining our cars in the past 9 months or so. We actually spend big chunks of money at once. For example, my , but this happens rarely so I averaged it out.

Utilities: 1.1% – The main utilities we pay include cable internet, the hubby’s cellphone, and electricity.

Food: 4.69% – I feel that we spend quite a bit on food every month, but actually sometimes eating out is cheaper than cooking. For example, making a couple sandwiches at home actually costs a lot because deli meats and bread are getting expensive. A lot of the times the hubby and I just buy one dish and split it because restaurants give too much food anyway. There is a really good Thai place nearby so one time we just bought one curry dish for $10 and then cooked rice at home and stuffed ourselves.

Gas: 2.52% – We have been doing good at saving gas lately by driving slower.

Entertainment: 1.1% – As it was laid out in , we have a 2% ceiling on entertainment, but actually we never spend that much. On average we have spent about 1.1% per month, and that’s why the hubby is running a surplus that he wants to use on a computer in a few months.

Donations: around 6.5 to 8% – We upped our donations a bit this year and we’re donating more than before. The percentage seems a bit small when it is based off our gross income. In light of the recent disasters in Burma and China we also added a few special donations this and last month.

Other: 0.7% – This category includes things like gifts. It seems that there is always a birthday or wedding around the corner. The hubby has a gift account for such expenses.

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401k: 17% – We both contribute 17% of our paychecks into our company 401k plans. The hubby was pleasantly surprised when he bumped his contributions this year from 10% and 17% and barely noticed a dip in his take home pay. The reason is that his taxes were reduced accordingly.

529 plan: 0.72% – I have a 529 plan open with Fidelity for our future child(ren). Right now we are putting very little into it every month.

The rest: 31.21% – The rest of the savings currently is going into money market funds in our Vanguard joint account. I also funded our Roth IRAs for last year with our savings. I’m not sure if we’ll qualify for Roth IRA again this year since the hubby may be getting a raise soon, but we’ll see. This money is also our emergency fund and house down payment savings. It is growing quite a bit and I may buy some more mutual funds with it once it gets past 25% of our entire portfolio.

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I hope we can still save this much when we have kids, but I think we can afford to spend 15% of our income on a kid and still manage to save a good amount for the future. It is also good that we are able to essentially live on one income because this means we don’t have to worry if one of us loses employment. Anyway, it was fun to lay this out so I could see the flow of my money clearly, and I hope someone’s curiosity has been satisfied.

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Viagra canada no prescription » Buy viagra online. Approved canadian pharmacy. No prescription! http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/04/22/do-nice-bosses-make-you-work-harder/ http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/04/22/do-nice-bosses-make-you-work-harder/#comments Tue, 22 Apr 2008 18:38:11 +0000 admin http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2008/04/22/do-nice-bosses-make-you-work-harder/ Some time ago I wrote and how they could drive you crazy. I haven’t had any super crazy boss, but I have had some nice bosses. Today I want to discuss the phenomenon when nice bosses actually encourage me to work harder voluntarily.

My current boss is really nice. He is really easy going and trusts people to work on their own. He wants us to get things done, but he never pushes extremely hard. He always allows people to take care of their personal hardships first and seems to truly care about his team. This week I asked for a day off for Friday because of the . So I asked if he would sign my vacation form, and he said don’t worry about it and just go. Then he told our entire team that we could take the whole week off because we just finished our release. This is actually the second time he negotiated with upper management to give us a week off. When our team is on a deadline we do work pretty hard and put in time late at night or on weekends so the days off are like a release bonus for all of us. Now the hubby says that I can use the time to clean the house and lose some weight. I’m not sure if that will really happen, but I could try.

I think nice bosses actually encourage me to work harder. When I am left alone and not prodded constantly I tend to finish my tasks faster. The key takeaway here is that if a boss leaves you alone to do your tasks it shows that he or she trusts you. Having that trust allows me to do the best I can do. I think if I had a crazy boss that looked over my shoulders constantly while I worked I would be pretty annoyed and just try to get him or her off my back as soon as possible.

Another thing is that by being nice, a boss actually instills loyalty in his or her reports. I know that in a previous article about I wrote that there isn’t much loyalty between employees and companies these days, but there I believe loyalty still exists between people. For example, my team at work all share the same goal when we are working, and we all want our product to be the best so that everyone on the team can look good in the company. Having a nice leader makes me want success for the entire team because in a way I don’t want to disappoint them.

Finally, I believe that having a competent and nice boss is really better than having a higher salary because to me a friendly working environment is more important than money. What do you think? Do nice bosses naturally encourage you to work harder?

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