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Goodbye 10% of My Salary!

by J. Money on Wednesday, June 16, 2010

cubicle prank - newspapers
And so it begins. The reign of our new CEO. I may have qualified to keep my position here at our beloved start up, but the horizon is full of some awful scary changes. And salaries are just one piece of the saving-money-puzzle.  We’ve still got healthcare to consider, vacation/sick days, profit sharing, a whole mess of benefits that can hit the chopping block.

The truth of the matter is, though, I love my job. I may have grandiose visions of becoming a blogger extraordinaire one day, but I’m not gonna lie – the double income is sweet.  How else can I stay so chipper when my pockets are getting robbed right in front of me?!

In fact, you could cut my salary by 20% and I’ll probably STILL be sitting right there blogging working away! ;)  If you follow me on Twitter you’ll know a few of the reasons why too (although that was under Boss Man #1, so the fun department could certainly dry up at any time. And my job can go to crap and I can hate it and then bitch and whine until I do something about it. Haha…but for now, it’s awesome).

And if I’m being totally honest here, which let’s face it I am, I’d venture to say I’m way overpaid.  Or WAS overpaid, now (*tear*). How many customer service managers do you know bringing home $75k? With a mohawk? ;) Granted I do helluva lot MORE than just CS stuff (I seriously do like 5 different jobs there), but the reality of it is that I’d be hard pressed to find an equally suitable job in this type of industry.  Or even in this economy, really.

So the question to ask myself is if this 10% cut changes anything? And the answer to that is no.  But what it DOES do is open my eyes more and helps me to understand how LUCKY I am to begin with! There’s not many people who can say they enjoy what they do when they wake up AND get paid handsomely for it.  So just like when we lost our bonuses and some of the other stuff of recent memory, I’ll take it like a man and suck it up.  I may not like it, but it is what it is and I accept it. Now if you go touching my 401(k), it’s ON brotha!!

(Nah, that’s a lie.  I’d be stupid to think a company cutting costs would keep a 100% match.  But until that day comes, I’m gonna keep on keepin’ on and pray for that miracle!)

Would a pay cut change anything for you?

(photo & killer prank by Kyle and Kelly Adams)

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Financial Samurai June 16, 2010 at 8:51 am

Hey J – Great attitude man! Your firm is lucky to have you. 10% cut is better than no job for sure!

Good thing they haven’t taken away the awesome 100% match too.

Fight on!




2 Stephan June 16, 2010 at 9:19 am

You are definitely taking the right attitude towards your pay cut, in todays economy many would be happy to jsut have a job and its good to see that people understand this and will take a paycut without ruining their work. In tough times everyone has to sacrifice a little, including you and me!


3 David June 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

A pay cut would probably be enough to cause me to start biking to work rather than drive to save on gas and wear and tear. I would also be willing to give up my beloved iphone even though I’m still on my parents’ family plan so my monthly bill is $46-50 as opposed to the 80-100 most are paying. Other than that, I’ve already gotten rid of most of the “latte factor” expenses. The other biggie would be if I could get rid of cable but having several roommates limits that.


4 Everyday Tips June 16, 2010 at 10:23 am

You have a fantastic attitude toward the pay cut! Where I worked, they made sweeping changes like that too. However, it was more difficult to take because they were earning money hand-over-fist. It appeared much more like they were taking advantage of the economy and just taking the opportunity to cut costs.

Keep up the good work!!


5 Dustin | Engaged Marriage June 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

Way to keep your mohawk-covered head up, my friend. I have actually been working under a (temporary) 10% pay cut for the last year, and our base salaries have been frozen for two years. It sucks for sure, but I love my job and I know the rewards will be great as we pull out of the downturn (and we’re starting).


6 Kim at MMI June 16, 2010 at 11:42 am

Love your glass-half-full, rose-colored-glasses, bright-side-of-life attitude!


7 DD June 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

Love the positive attitude. I’d be on the side that is just grateful to at least still have my job. While a 10% pay cut would hurt, it would hurt a helluva lot more to be drawing unemployment. What I took away most from your post is that you actually LOVE your job! That’s awesome! Not many can say that.


8 myfinancialobjectives June 16, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Indeed you have an awesome mentality in this situation. Considering the current economic climate, I’d be happy to receive a 10% pay cut as opposed to losing your job. Thank God for blogging eh?!


9 J. Money June 16, 2010 at 4:14 pm

Thanks guys! I failed to mention too that there’s always the possibility of this 10% coming back at a later point – or even getting bonuses of some sort in return. To me though, at this point in the game, I’m not counting on anything as who knows what the future will bring. It’s still very possible we shut down or sell one of these days. So I guess that’s why I didn’t mention it ;)

Some comments:
@Financial Samurai – Well, not yet ;) I haven’t had the balls to ask about 401(k) yet. It won’t affect me until next year as I’m already maxed out for this one (Woohoo!) but still – it’ll be an important factor… not that I’d leave because of it though.
@Stephan – For sure. Can’t always be me-me-me all the time no matter what’s going on out there in the economy/work place ;)
@David – Wow, you’d give up the iPhone?! haha…good for you man. I’d like to say I could do that but I’d be kidding myself…i’d bring in pb&js every day over that ;)
@Everyday Tips – Oh $hit, yeah way different scenario. We need to cut back to stay afloat. Sorry you had to experience that man, not fun :(
@Dustin | Engaged Marriage – Oh man had no idea bro! Good for you in keeping your head up and sticking with it :) Just goes to show if you’re at the “right” place you can still be happy!
@Kim at MMI – Hehe thanks :) I certainly have my down moments though, just trying to quit putting lots of negative stuff out there unless I can find a moral to it somewhere.
@DD – Thanks! For sure, if I hated my job it would be a totally different story. I’d probably still stick around a bit, but I’d be much more aggressively looking for newer opportunies out there. And I’d be a lot crankier, haha…
@myfinancialobjectives – Thank God for blogging, indeed! It’s one of the best places to get your voice heard and be involved :) Even if it’s a bit nerdy.


10 StackingCash June 16, 2010 at 5:21 pm

It’s all relative. If you consider yourself overpaid, a pay cut is tolerable. If you consider yourself underpaid, then a pay cut will feel like you are being taken advantage of. When you take a pay cut and you see the CEO of your company earning million dollar bonuses, then what? Sorry to hear about your pay cut, but don’t sell yourself too short. Keep an eye out for better opportunities.


11 June 16, 2010 at 5:39 pm

That fact that you love your job should make any salary (okay, within reason) tolerable.

Hopefully with this new manager you will still love your job. Hang in there.


12 Evan June 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm


I’d love to know if your attitude would have been the same like 3 or 4 years ago before you got your stuff together?


13 J. Money June 16, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Oh man, well my attitude would have been the same (I’ve always been pretty happy-go-lucky which I’m VERY thankful for), but financially I would have noticed it more for sure. Although back in the day I was never into debt or anything either – I was just hovering around in la la land spending money when i had it and adjusting my lifestyle accordingly. So 10% would have made a much bigger impact back then, but my attitude w/ it all is built into my personality ;) I believe that any of us can find a better job out there if we really put in the effort and looked long enough, so if at any point it’s time to move on then I’d still feel pretty positive about it all. Change is usually good!


14 Aury (Thunderdrake) June 16, 2010 at 10:06 pm

Well played. I can certainly say it must be a pleasure to be able to do what you love and get paid perplexingly well for it. Actually, having a lot of dosh is usually the icing on the cake to those particular regards. The only exception I can think of are to corrupt corporate execs, but that’s a completely different manner.

We’re on opposite ends. The amount of income I made from the things I do at this current moment are a little bit on the abysmal side. It’s paltry. But I still feel confident on becoming wealthy enough to achieve strong financial goals in spite of it, strictly because I’ve what I’ve learned in finance.

That’s not to say a healthy salary isn’t a powerful advantage anyway. That’s more to invest with!


15 Donna Freedman June 17, 2010 at 1:53 am

I’m glad you still have your job, J., but sorry to hear about the pay cut even so.
At my former workplace here in Anchorage they just announced the second furlough of the year — and the last time they had the furlough it was followed up with layoffs. Morale is in the toilet. When I dropped by to visit, a few people made bitter jokes about my getting out of print journalism just in time.
A friend who works for another print journalism company has had THREE furloughs in a year and a half. Yowza.
Stay positive, and here’s hoping your wife doesn’t wind up supporting you in the style to which you would like to become accustomed. ;-)


16 ctreit June 17, 2010 at 5:42 am

Maybe it is this go-lucky attitude that puts you in a position to get this suitable job for which you get paid so well, too. Best of all, you show that this attitude is not just one big show but it is the real you. I think it is one of the best things in life if you can be yourself whether you are at the job or with your wife or with your friends. As for my own income, I have never worked in a field where I got a steady income. Some years were ok, some very great, some were not so good – relatively speaking, but overall things were terrific.


17 Panda Mike June 17, 2010 at 8:28 am

You definitely have the great attitude! I’m sure that your opinion is not shared by all your coworkers ;-) But this will probably help you to shine compared to your colleagues.

I love my job but I would be pretty upset to see my salary cut by 10%. If it ever happens, I think I’ll go back here and read this post again ;-)

On the other side, a 10% cut could be enough for me to quit the job and start working full time on my sites ;-)


18 Neil June 17, 2010 at 9:05 am

Losing 10% sucks, not not as much as having no job. With your positive attitude I’m sure you will get your 10% back soon.


19 J. Money June 17, 2010 at 3:28 pm

@Aury (Thunderdrake) – Yup! And don’t think for a second that all those people making more than us are actually investing and saving it too – It’s pretty sad the # of high paying execs that just keep upping and upping their lifestyle until they HAVE to keep earning more and more just to stay above water! Which reminds me of how much I love those stories of parking lot attendants, or
@Donna Freedman – Haha, well no chance in that until she’s outta Grad School ;) Sucks about your old place though – man, I can only imagine. The sad part is that most people in print journalism (and even at my job and others getting cuts all over) don’t make the effort to find something better until it’s too late. But ofcourse if you LIKE your job a lot then we just roll w/ the punches ;)
@ctreit – Very cool!! I love when people are terrific :) Esp people who read this blog! Haha… And I agree, being yourself is much easier to maintain and get ahead in life with. Unless you’re a serial killer.
@Panda Mike – Haha, I know the feeling dude. You better believe that’ll be the first thing I do too when I get kicked out of this place one day ;)
@Neil – I’m surely hoping for it. In the grand scheme of things things will be fine either way. Which is one of the advantages to getting out of the living-paycheck-to-paycheck race. More freedom!


20 Squirrelers June 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm

You seem to be approach this sensibly, in my opinion. In this environment, a job you like with a 10% paycut is better than no job – or even a job with a 10% higher salary that you don’t like. Just my 2 cents.

As for me – I would try to take it the way you do. Better to look for the positives than take a different approach. All the while, I would spend time strategizing my next career move too.


21 Kellen December 21, 2010 at 10:12 am

I just read your post on your job coming to an end just a few days ago, but getting a paycut for a few months rather than being fired right away – great! And even better that you could roll with it.

A few years ago, I decided that if I’m ever making a huge salary like $250,000, I should make sure to be able to afford life without it. With the recession, all the CEO’s were getting their paychecks cut, and they couldn’t pay their mortgages! When you earn millions a year, you should probably build in a bit of a safety buffer between your salary and your bills ;)

My roommates each make about half of what I make. And we all have the same rent and utilities to pay, gas to buy for our cars, and student loans to pay off. So I try to keep it in perspective by telling myself that there is no reason I should need to spend more than they do! And that way I save at least 50% of my salary each year :) (Well, not quite, since a bigger chunk goes to taxes… but still)


22 J. Money December 21, 2010 at 3:00 pm

YES! Exactly… you rock. that is very VERY smart. Luckily I’ve cut out most of my expenses in life, with the only exception of my mortgage. Which sucks because it’s the biggest part, but it’ll get worked out over the next few years… even if we have to sell and take a loss. I’m all about living on WAY less! Good job :)


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