Hi guys. Not sure if this is the place to post this so please delete if necessary.
I am a 21 year old rural carrier with the USPS, just got promoted to regular career earlier this year and finally receiving benefits and retirement but I don’t know how financially secure of a job this is, though I don’t know of any alternative that would pay equally at my age.
This month I recently received a pretty substantial wage cut due to a complete company overhaul cutting salaries for over 66% of rural carriers. This put me from making $54,000/yr to $42,000/yr just like that. Still expected to work the same hours, 6 days a week, but now for $1,000/mo less in pretax income. However, on top of this my check deductions have increased significantly as well too. Now that I converted statuses to career, my deductions have nearly doubled to roughly $700/pay period. This is because of mandatory FERS deductions, union dues, and my election to invest 5% of my checks into TSP (basically federal 401k) as employer matches 5%, I haven’t even selected a health insurance yet which at minimum is $180/mo for an actual good one with no crazy deductibles. Still not sure whether to elect for BCBS or put that much into an HSA instead.
Alright, so normally I make roughly $4,200/mo after deductions. This is because of vehicle reimbursement I’m given to maintain my vehicle as I am required to provide my own and it must be right hand drive. I have been trying to save every penny I can in case of emergencies, enough to cover rent/bills/food for 6 months and/or a catastrophic vehicle repair.
My rough breakdown of my monthly expenses is as follows:
Car Insurance $122/mo
Car Payment $400/mo
Credit Cards $200~/mo (Had to pay to convert new vehicle to RHD, total cost was around $5,000)
Some months are more or less but on average out of my monthly income of $4.2k I try to set aside at least $1,000/mo in savings. I only have about $11,000 saved up as of today. I’m tempted to pay my credit cards with it but I also realize that with my wage cut saving will be even more difficult for me and I hate the idea of having less than 6 months expenses saved.
I’ve not yet received my new paycheck reflecting the lower salary but I’m going on the estimate of making $12,000/yr less as just cut and dry assuming I’ll go from $4.2k/mo to $3.2-3.4k/mo. Assuming my expenses remain the same (which for the most part is true) that leaves me with SIGNIFICANTLY less headroom to save. After all necessary expenses I may have only $500/mo that I could comfortably set aside. Obviously at that rate of saving only $6,000/yr assuming no big life events it will be very slow going.
The thing for me is, I’m getting extremely burnt out. Mentally, emotionally, and to a lesser extent physically. I have been working 6 days a week for about 2 years straight now, but I’m very efficient and fast at what I do so I usually only end up working 30 hours a week. I know that’s not a lot of hours, it’s not the hours that affect me. It’s only getting Sunday off every week to actually relax and recuperate, and the only day I can sleep in past 7am. Aside from that, I can see the post office slowly crumbling around me, and I don’t know how much job security I really have anymore. If it wasn’t for the reimbursement I receive for my vehicle maintenance I really only make the same as a pizza delivery driver in my area minus tips. I’m trying to get ahead, but I live on the west coast where cost of living is astronomical. I’m very lucky with my rent as everywhere around me is $1500+/mo for a 1 bedroom apartment.
Is there anything more I can do to improve my financial stability and save more money? I’m trying to save enough to pay off my car loan in it’s entirety because I had no one who could co-sign me and the interest rate I was given was 9% because of my age and lack of credit history. The loan is still roughly $20,000. I also have dental work that needs done in the realm of $9000-$16000. But if I’m only able to barely save a little bit after having my wages cut, without getting a second job it would take me forever to save for these things. Not to mention a house or moving out of where I am currently. I just don’t know what to do.
It is time to start looking for and applying to other jobs.
I would recommend looking for a transfer to a better salary area or looking for a new job.
I’m amazed they were able to do this.
Do not pay crazy high credit card interest while you have money sitting in the bank. If there is an absolute emergency then use the credit card for that. But don’t get pulled into the quicksand of credit card debt!
>Is there anything more I can do to improve my financial stability and save more money?
Obviously, you need to find a new job.
What are you qualified to do? What other job can you realistically land? And what kind of salary could you command?
You use your own personal vehicle to do your job but they’re not reimbursing you for usage of your vehicle?
Go to work for UPS instead. Seriously. Do this. You will not regret it.
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