It’s time again for a 10% rate hike for commuters on NJ Transit bus and rail lines. I used to be a mass transit commuter, taking the train to Newark every day to work, but at some point when my work schedule was unpredictable, I started driving for more flexibility.
I haven’t been working in Newark for over a year, and my current job is also located a few blocks from a train station. I still drive, however. This rate hike won’t affect me, but I’m already affected through the price of gasoline. I pay twice as much to fill up my tank as I did when I purchased this car — a car with excellent gas-mileage — several years ago.
The rate hike on NJ Transit takes effect tomorrow, so it might not hurt to stock up on those tickets which do not expire.
Recently, Mapgirl’s 401(k) balance surpassed the $20,000 balance milestone. That’s not small accomplishment for less than two years on the job. For comparison, I’ve been investing in my 401(k) for more than five years now, and my balance is only approaching $40,000 including company match. I started investing only 4% of my salary and have recently increased to 25%, which I can only do thanks to other income.
It’s interesting to see how companies use future payoffs with the intent of retaining employees. For example, when I became fully vested in my company match, after working at the company for three years, I felt better about the possibility leaving the company. If I had quit at two years and 350 days, I would have missed out on thousands of dollars in company match. It wouldn’t make much sense unless I could negotiate a new job offer for a higher salary to take that into account.
Following this thought process further, if I could negotiate a higher salary or other benefit for that reason, I should be able to do so for any reason, making it again a loss to leave before fully vested.
Within a year after becoming fully vested, the company presented a new carrot for its employees: an associates stock grant. A good amount of stock was given to employees but the shares wouldn’t vest until 2009. At the time, it was pretty far in the future, so it’s a part of compensation that would be easily to forget about while negotiating a salary at a new job.
Are you less likely to look for new work if leaving your current company would mean leaving money on the table?
The Carnival of Personal Finance was posted yesterday over at Money Smart Life. The 102nd weekly edition of the Carnival was given a musical “theme” with help from Alice Cooper, The Beatles, and Pink Floyd. Here are some possibly Grammy-worthy submissions in addition to the articles Ben chose as Editor’s Picks:
* Lazy Man wonders if we are living larger or living differently than the generations that have come before. He has some explanations for those in my generation not being as well off as their dads.
* Should you accept money from your parents? In theory, Plonkee Money believes she shouldn’t, but in practice, that might not be the case.
* The Happy Rock has a few suggestions for what to look for in a personal finance system.
* FiveCentNickel writes about the difference between net worth and net investable assets, which I touched on how to calculate your net worth.
* Here’s an example from Grad Money Matters of expenditures while renting an apartment vs. owning a house.
* Ben also included my post on making money from John Adams dollar coins in the Carnival.
Next week’s Carnival of Personal Finance will be hosted at Clever Dude.
A few weeks ago I put myself on the waiting list for John Adams coins at my local Wachovia branch. I happened to be in the bank this past weekend, so I asked if they had any available, despite not having heard from them. The tellers were able to come up with three rolls.
I opened one roll to look for Mint errors, but each coin was properly struck. There were also no black-toned coins like the one in this recent auction that sold for $45.
I didn’t find any strange forehead error coins. This one sold for over $70.
It’s still the double strike error that is going on eBay for almost $400. I didn’t find one of these, either.