November Mortgage Update

Last month (October):
Balance: $73,085.37
Years left: 5.75
P =$920.78, I = $293.62, Escrow = 613.58

This month (November):
Balance: $71,988.26
Years left: 5.67
P =$925.11, I = $289.30, Escrow = 613.58

One month’s prepayment savings: $0.68

I should be talking a bit about our housing prices (thus property taxes) going up, so pre-payment will be going down (though that hasn’t been reflected in the escrow yet), but here’s an update on DH instead and some wonderings…

DH has been unemployed for a few months now.  He’s been diligently networking and taking care of things and has thankfully been there during the great daycare scramble of 2013.

He had one “client” a month or two back for a small thing who never did get around to signing his contract and thus got some work from DH for nothing (we know we know) and then the deadline passed without having DH complete the work because the project manager put everything off to the last minute and then did it all hirself because it was too late for anyone else to do anything.  So that was a bust, but it was only 1-3 days of work that he missed out on doing and only 3 hours that he wasted without pay.  UPDATE:  They just emailed– the project manager’s attempt was a failure.  Sounds like it is too late to fix.  But they want him to invoice for the time he worked on the project.

Right now he’s got 3 promising leads, all of them from people he has worked with in the past.  One of them is talking about offering him a full-time job.  He’d actually done an informational interview with them back this summer, but they wanted someone local instead of someone telecommuting.  They haven’t been able to fill the position so they gave him a call.  He’s got a second round interview next week that includes a programming test.  They seem to think this will happen.

One of the questions was whether DH wanted to work as a contractor or full-time.  DH said it would depend on the packages offered.  (He didn’t say DUH of course there’s a $ value that would push him towards one or the other; most people don’t think like economists.)

He knows his consulting rate/range.  But he doesn’t know what sort of salary to ask for as his bottom-line.  I don’t know either.

We looked up the salaries on Glassdoor for this company and they’re kind of on the low end, between 75K and 100K, mostly in the 85K range, but there are only 8 salaries listed so who knows how representative they are.   It also doesn’t say much about what the benefits are, though the health insurance package will be a lot nicer than the one I get because the company’s in a blue state.

The company would allow him to work mostly from home, but it would also require him to fly in once a month or once every two months.   The work would be fulfilling and meaningful and he’d be able to work directly with someone he works with very well.  He also fits exactly what they want and can do things that the company needs but didn’t advertise for in this position.  But full-time work is less flexible than contract work and it’s harder to change the terms of a contract when you’re not constantly rewriting it.

So assuming he passes their second-round interview and they give him an offer, he’d like to have an idea of what kind of salary should be his walk-away point for a full-time position.  We don’t need his income (or rather, we don’t need more than 20K), and I have to say that flexibility is really nice to have.  85K seems kind of low to me (though truthfully that’s more than his previous 9-month salary), but is it low enough to walk away from?  I dunno.

Oh, as for the other leads, one of them is sort of iffy– it’s a remote half-time SBIR kind of thing that he’s about 2/3 qualified for (he’d be picking up a new skill that’s not his core competency).   The other is a standard SF/Bay area start-up with funding, similarly offering either full-time or consulting, and DH knows more about some of the technology behind the project than his friend who founded the company, though it isn’t exactly a perfect match for his skill-set.  It’s a new company so no info on glassdoor, just that they offer “a competitive start-up package for the bay area,” whatever that means.  We don’t know as much about this option yet, and he’s set to talk about it more in a week or two.

So anyway, that’s our update.  I’m hopeful that we’ll get a little more income so I can stop worrying about things like losing 4.5K on a daycare prepayment and so on.  But we’ll be ok.  It’s hard to complain when you’re in a situation that 85K sounds like a small salary.

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25 Responses to “November Mortgage Update”

  1. Jacq Says:

    He’s IT right? Have you checked out Robert Half’s salary guide?

  2. Holly@ClubThrifty Says:

    I hope that he gets the job if he wants it. 85Kish doesn’t sound so bad at all! Good luck!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Confidential– Haven’t been commenting on your blog a lot lately because the new captcha thing doesn’t get along with DH’s IPAD and I get time-out errors (but can’t easily reload to get the new math problem)

  3. Leigh Says:

    If it was me looking a startup in California, I would probably expect about 120k base + equity. 85k also seems low for a salary, considering that’s about where I was 4 years ago with just a BS. Then again, it also depends on cost of living and demand where you are. If he has a PhD, I would expect his salary to be in the higher end of the range you found.

  4. plantingourpennies Says:

    On the plus side, since the level of cash need is pretty low, hopefully DH can use that to make sure he gets a position that fits best with the type of lifestyle he wants. Esp as start-up life would be very different than mature company life most likely…

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That’s close to what he said on the phone interview– that he’s got the ability to find work that he finds meaningful and a good match for his skills.

      I have to admit I like him having flexibility, and I don’t know how much of that he’d lose by working for a company… probably depends on the company.

  5. rented life Says:

    There’s a voice in my head chanting “in the wrong field, in the wrong field” as 85k is so out of my or husband’s reach. I have wondered though how you decided a salary verses contract rate. My current boss set my contract rate, which feels very reasonable to me and would equal 66k if I were full time, something I’ve never come close to in my life. However, because I telecommute, that contract rate seems reasonable for the city our work is coming from, but not for the city I live in. At some point in the next year or two, I want to set up my own side business, and have been wondering what I can charge for each level of service I’d provide. My contract rate would be awesome, but really high for this area, especially if people wanted the lower tiers of service I’m developing.

    Is flexibility more important than fulfilling/meaningful work for DH? Everyone’s different. Right now, for our needs, flexibility trumps liking my work, but that means I need to make efforts for meaningfulness/fulfillment elsewhere. Is that a concern?

  6. chacha1 Says:

    I think both options sound good. If it were me – given that both jobs are telecommuting situations, or am I reading that wrong? – I would probably come down on the side of personal chemistry with the people I would be working most directly with. The first option seems to have that.

    Not sure exactly what you mean by flexibility here. Since you are tenured, you aren’t planning to leave your own job soon, right? What kind of flexibility do you want/need? Is it code for “not full-time”?

    Since you don’t “need” the income, salary is kind of the least-important consideration. But, fwiw, start-ups are risky by definition so if he isn’t sure he wants to be tied into a full-time job AND is interested in honing a new skill set, the SF job is the way to go. If the company goes belly-up the founders will get any blame, not him; and I’ve never seen a situation where knowing how to do more is a *bad* thing.

  7. Astra Says:

    When my husband was a contractor he had to file quarterly. At that point, we went with an accountant, especially as we lived in a different state from the company he was working for. If your husbands ends up contracting, it might be worth budgeting for an accountant. And of course, there are a lot of deductables you can take for a home office.

  8. scantee Says:

    I have a coworker whose husband has had various IT contract and full-time jobs for companies in the Bay Area. We live in the Midwest and it has been his experience that he can’t get paid what other people at his level who live in the Bay Area get paid because of the cost of living difference. He still does better than he could working here (which is still one of of the highest paying areas in the Midwest) so it is worth it to him but it’s something to keep in mind if they’re not willing to go as high as you’d like.

  9. First Gen American Says:

    We hired a phd chem eng about 10 years ago from MIT with about 5 years experience and his starting salary was $84k. Seems low given my single point of data, but at this point in life, I’d give up salary in exchange for flexibility and reduced workload. That’s he whole point of putting the time in and saving early so that you have options later. I wouldn’t take that salary for the run of the mil job.

    My husband took a pretty big pay cut for a job that had better quality of life. He could’ve gotten a higher salary off the bat but held off until he found something that would have him home more. The adjustment to the lower household income hasn’t been too bad and well worth the quality of life boost.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, the nice thing about contracting is if you made a mistake, the contract will run out! But there are nice things about the first company job including working on an interesting project with someone he has worked with before on interesting projects.

  10. Cloud Says:

    Email me the details if you want my opinion on an appropriate salary. We hire a lot of specialized software engineers, and $85k would be a rather junior one (i.e., straight out of grad school). I may or may not be able to give better guidance if I know the details, but I’d be happy to try! I could ask my husband, too, who hires less specialized software engineers.

  11. ND Chic Says:

    Good luck with the negotiation. Do all companies in blue states offer better health insurance packages? I’ve never heard this before. My company has been voted one of the 20 best places to work in MN, a solid blue state. My husband works in ND, a solid red state, and has way better health insurance. Our pensions and other retirement are similar.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Blue states tend to have more mandates (not always, but generally). Self-insured firms are exempt from mandates but they tend to offer better coverage anyway, because they are big firms that offer good jobs. Plus the blue states generally have better jobs (again, not always). I don’t know about MN vs ND. If they pull from the same labor pool, the company in the red state may offer more in order to be competitive, or if the company is across multiple states they will often offer just one hi package.(that may be required, I don’t know)

  12. Leigh Says:

    I haven’t gotten my property tax statement for 2014 yet (it comes early in the year), but you can see the next year’s assessed value on the county’s website and that shows an increase of almost 20%, which makes me think that my property taxes will go up about that much. Thankfully, property taxes going up 20% works out to an ~$50/month increase, which isn’t that bad. Still slightly crazy considering that they went down last year!


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