Posted by: saveafewbucks | November 9, 2010

Lucky

Every once in a while I’m reminded of how lucky I am. Today would be one of those days.

I started a new job on Monday and I think it’s going to be pretty great. Decent pay, good benefits, room for growth and a relaxed but professional work environment. After five months of unemployment, I embrace the opportunity for a great future. But at the same time, I realize that not everyone has it as good and it makes me appreciate what I have even more. After I had blathered on and on at dinner tonight about the new job to the bf, I finally got around to asking how his day went. He responded indicating it wasn’t so good with a somber look. Immediately I kinda freaked out and asked if he was let go. It’s been a running “joke”/sore point for the last few months since I lost my job. As always, relief washes over me when he says “no” because I know we can still pay the bills. But then he followed up his “no” by saying that his co-worker/subordinate was fired. Ugh. That sucks. I feel bad for the bf and for the co-worker as they were friends and worked well together. The company was cutting costs and after five years the powers from above decided they no longer needed him. Strangely enough, this is the third of his co-workers to be let go within 6 months. I say strangely enough as the store he works at HAD three employees (now only the bf) and the other co-worker was from his former store before he moved to my city.

So I’m feeling lucky for a few reasons. One, I found a job. Based on the 8% unemployment rate I’m lucky to have something. Two, I’m confident that I can find a decent paying job if need be (again) with my education, certification, work experience and hard work. I don’t think the bf’s former co-workers are as lucky. Based on what he’s told me, they lack the education and work ethic to obtain another decent paying job which means they may have to start again from the beginning. One of his coworkers joked that the only place which will hire him will be McDonald’s. Not to bash McD’s employees, but I assume they don’t get paid enough to be the main breadwinner of the family. Which brings me to my third area of thankfulness. I’m glad I don’t have a mortgage. Yes I have a large student loan. But the good thing there is I was able to put the OSAP payments on hold while I was unemployed. His coworkers all had families, mortgages and fancy car payments that can’t be halted. The bf even said that the member of upper management that broke the news to the co-worker had the nerve to ask whether his wife made enough to cover the mortgage and what size “nest egg” he had. The answer being “no” and “$10,000”. Wow. First off, I can’t believe the guy would ask that. The bf said he seemed to ask it out of genuine empathy for the guy… But that seems like a wound kicker right there. As for the answers. Sad face. I seriously feel bad for the guy. He must be so stressed out. At least I know that if the bf were to lose his job right now we could scrape by. Also, a nest egg of $10,000 could last me at least 6 months as I rent. However, I assume it doesn’t go too far if you have a mortgage and property taxes to pay. So as much as a hate my apartment most days, I am often slapped back to reality when I entertain the idea of renting a nicer place or purchasing a condo in the next few years.

My main goals for the next two years will be to reduce my student loan debt and build up savings (RSP, RRSP, TFSA, investments and emergency fund) as a cushion. That way if I’m faced with a less than ideal financial situation again I will be prepared the next time around.

Anyone else feeling lucky?

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