There I said it. You know you were all thinking it anyway! 😉
With that being said, I am SO ready for Superman to sew on SrA. It’s not even about the pay (mostly), it’s about getting the damn letter A1C off the house. I swear to you, the neighbors look at us like we’re lepers. I’m sure they’re all judgy-judgy about the fact that we both drive newer cars (they existed before we ever took this foray into the land of military). Hell, everyone around here is kinda judgy-judgy… especially the neighbor who’s husband is deployed and I almost backed into her car coming out of my driveway (whoops). But the reason I’m so excited is that I am OVER being lumped into the land of 21 year olds. We are NOT 21, hell, I’m closer to 30 than even I prefer and I usually don’t care how old I am.
Anyway, besides the joy of having to have all the uniforms re-sewn (luckily we’ve been shorted a few pairs of ABU’s so I’m not redoing 4 sets!), we do get a little bump in pay. We get by just fine. I’m just jealous we aren’t independently wealthy. I am super excited that this year we WILL/SHOULD-barring a calamity be out of credit card debt (stupidest thing we’ve ever done, no joke). It also doesn’t help that I’m stressing about the future.
You know what I realized though, it’s really only the first 2 years that suck, lol. Superman came in as a full-fledged A1C, so we only say those tiny annual raises up until this year. It was frustrating, he felt like we weren’t making any progress and I was just fed up. Well, he got a second job and his paychecks from his part time job are almost more than mine (they have been more than mine a few times — seriously, retail?!). We developed our little “get the hell out of debt” plan. I shared it with him… repeatedly until he drank the kool-aid. Now, he’s super excited about the light at the end of the tunnel since we’ve been failing wildly for a long time now at this game. Living on one income has to be incredibly difficult given what most of the paychecks look like. I have no idea how people do it. I’m thankful that I work, I mostly enjoy working. But, let’s be serious.. at some point I might not want to work anymore. At some point we may end up overseas where I can’t find a decent paying job or even a new base where the unemployment rate is astronomical and no one is hiring. I’m glad that I used MyCAA funding to progress towards a career that allows me to work in other states, especially now that they’ve changed federal requirements for my job. Hopefully my program, accreditation and all, transfer with me with ease and I have the ability to find a flippin’ job when we leave the booming state of North Dakota and it’s plethora of jobs and opportunities.
It’s not the pay that sucks, it’s the fact that so many people don’t know how to budget their money appropriately. So if you’re like me and you’ve been facing credit card debt from your past lives or you just don’t know how to budget your money, I recommend (insist) learning. If you don’t know how, check out the family readiness center, they have people who can help and maybe explain to you some things you don’t already know. We all have to learn it eventually and what better than having a certified financial counselor guide you through the ropes? We weren’t born with this knowledge… just like learning to grocery shop.
I look at the paychecks now and say, “ooo, how much more do I get to put in a savings account this month?!” I plan ahead for leave and car repairs and hopefully next year we can start our buffer account. I’d like it to be this year, but it’s not going to happen. One day, we’ll be able to buy something that we need (like the dryer I need to replace or the new tires I need for my car) without freaking out, because we’ll have money saved up for those instances. Until then, I’ll hoard extra appliances in my garage for when my dryer offs itself so I don’t run into the same problem I did with the washer and didn’t get to wash clothes for 2 weeks and now I’m facing a $400 setback. And hell, maybe one day I’ll get a decent paycheck, lol.
That last part is up to me and how quickly I can get my program & certification done. Sounds about time to get moving, eh? I want an AWESOME paycheck sooner than later.