As a planner I absolutely, completely, utterly hate unknowns. Unfortunately, we all know there isn't much we can do about that.
For me, this week, it's the employment unknowns that are slowly eating away at me.
I work for a small, privately-owned pharmacy. We have maybe 20 employees when everyone is there? Due to the economy and the fact that people are gravitating toward larger corporations as opposed to mom-and-pop places these days, our business has started to decline. The reality of it is that we're going to have to cut our expenses to continue to function at the level we're used to. And, cutting expenses (because we don't want to let anyone go at this point even though we WILL have to let some part-time people go most likely) means cutting everyone's hours. We're looking at potentially a 25% decrease in hours per week to reduce the payroll.
So, my issue (since I'm the only income in our family) is whether or not this is going to be a crisis or just a nuisance. Honestly, I've been thinking for almost a year now about how I'd love to cut back on hours and spend more time getting things done at home and spending more time with the kids. Of course, the part about it being a dramatic reduction in income was WAY in the back of my head. *laugh* I need to figure out at what point I will have to abandon ship because I simply cannot afford it.
There are currently too many unknowns to make a good decision. This job has been PERFECT for me professionally. I do NOT want to look elsewhere until I am given absolutely no choice. I will not find these hours (no early mornings, no late nights, no weekends at this point) anywhere else currently. The stress level here is considerably less than in the retail jobs I've held in the past. I do not think I can physically return to that sort of job. My health concerns over the past few years have made me very reluctant to look back into those high-pressure environments.
There are too many unknowns. While there are to be reductions overall, I may not have my time reduced. Also, we may find some other work-arounds to continue working the way we're working. OR, they could decide to sell out, in which case there is a whole OTHER set of unknowns. They've even mentioned sparingly over the last few years the possibility of me buying it out. (Which, I wouldn't even know how to go about doing and I honestly have serious doubts about my desire to own a business after watching other family members do the same - they were successful, but I don't want my job to become my life).
It's a good thing that we decided to refinance the house when we did. That should be wrapping up in less than a month. All the paperwork is in and signed and we're just waiting on closing unless something very strange happens between now and April. The payment will be less, so now I have the pleasant decision of whether to pay extra or save the "excess" for stormcloud savings.
I've finally jumped feet first into completing my set-up for BS4 by setting up Roth's for both of us and I have officially started BS5 by opening 529s for all three kids. I feel good about making that progress. There was nothing but procrastination and opening fees keeping me from doing that earlier. Now, I have to keep from worrying that my set-up will just be gathering dust while I'm waiting for these employment stormclouds to clear!
I've been working through the budget again too. We've had one for years, but we've been pretty lax with things. Most notably the grocery and eating out categories. I can't even describe to you how much we spend monthly on food. Even with 3 sons, I don't feel like it's reasonable. So, we're going to try it a different way. I broached the subject with DH last night and he just sort of looked at me. *laugh* That could be good or bad. I'll work up a new plan with details and we'll see how he responds. It's harder because he's the stay at home parent and the food/cooking/preparation tends to fall into his camp. Maybe THAT'S why our eating out expenditures are what they are? *laugh*