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A little story about self worth

September 24th, 2005 at 06:21 am

I skipped the bubble tea for lunch and to reward myself for my frugality, I put in 5$ into my tip box. My total in the tip box came to $48, so I deposited my squeezings in my savings account. And then I turned around and took out $40 from the lobby ATM. On paper it looks like I only saved $8, but since I don't apparently like to spend my emergency funds, it feels like shielded 40$ from spending. Smile I guess that's what saving feels like to me...protecting slices of my money from my nefarious spending purposes.

I submitted my 6 month job evaluation to the COO, who is my substitute boss. He'll be the one to evaluate me.

I have to tell you this story. 7 months ago I applied for this job (which was a promotion) as an interior applicant, was interviewed, and got the job. I set a price for myself, which was on the high end but in the salary range on the application. However during the salary negotiation (which was done in my cubicle over the phone, sheesh), the VP of HR basically low-balled me, citing that I was going up 2 pay grades, and that the only "fair" thing was the low end, which as a bone to throw, they bumped up to the lower third. Since they put their cards on the table, I put mine down and told them what I wanted. The VP of HR said, "no way you're getting that." We're talking a difference of about $1,500.

I talked with my would-be boss about this, who talked to his boss, the COO. They agreed that they had the budget for my price and both went to bat for me. HR and the CEO wouldn't budge, so I politely declined the offer. (The VP of HR said to me, "you're very calm about this.") The office atmosphere was pretty odd for awhile. Eventually a deal emerged; I would get the salary I wanted if my evaluation (this particular one) was above a certain level. I asked for it in writing and I got that, so I accepted this job.

The reason I'm telling this tale in this journal is that I had a secret weapon while I was negotiating. At the time, I had savings of about $10,000 (the kiss my a** fund, savings bonds, some stock). No wonder I was calm! And right now its over $14,000...that'll only make me calmer during my evaluation.

I mention this now because I came across an article on how you might not need an emergency fund, but that you really need "financial flexibility" in the form of credit cards and a HELOC.

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In the narrowest sense, "they" are right - you have a pile of money that has to be kept liquid, earning lowish interest and away from the consumer-industrial complex. And you are losing that opportunity cost! But after I got done wiping my eyes from laughing so hard from reading that article, I can personally attest that the safety of my emergency fund gave me my calmness. A HELOC would not have worked.

Opportunity cost be dammed.

2 Responses to “A little story about self worth”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    You rock! Thank you for sharing this story, it made me picture you sitting in that office and grinning back at them almost in an evil, unnerving way. Smile That IS what financial independence is all about.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    That emergency fund equals peace of mind. Good for you!

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