At work right now, the big talk is the federal pay freeze. As a federal employee, this affects me, and I have to admit, my reaction is “Well, it sucks, but it’s only fair.” I honestly can’t complain. I know that I’m lucky to have a job and to not be worried about layoffs (though there is always a chance of a reduction in force). Some in Congress are pushing for a 10% pay cut for federal employees. That would be much harder to swallow. But a freeze? Okay.
Sure, our health insurance is going up 10%. So my paychecks will ultimately be smaller next year. I’ll make it work. But for some of my coworkers, it does put them in a bit of a pinch. Some are quite angry. Others share my opinion.
This is likely going to be the driving force needed to get people eligible for retirement to decide to leave. That’s good and bad. Good because it frees up some great work opportunities. Bad because if we’re on a hiring freeze, we won’t be able to replace them, and everyone will be doing a lot more work. But hey. I’m employed. I have a good job. I get a paycheck and I have good benefits. I have no room to complain.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.