Over the last couple of months, I’ve been running a sort of experiment. My job is designed such that I end up working a fair amount of overtime. To go into the details, I work a 37.5 hour week, salaried. If I work an extra 2.5 hours in one week, I get paid my equivalent hourly rate for those hours. Any time over 40 hours I work brings me my salary times one and a half.
When I get paid every two weeks, I have been transferring out the amount over what my net income would be for a pay period without overtime. This “extra” money has been going into an Emigrant Direct account (where it earns a decent amount of interest for a savings account). The “experiment” is to see how much I rely on overtime for my regular expenses.
The experiment has shown me that I’m relying on my overtime pay too much. I’ve dipped into my savings at ING Direct (with a less favorable interest rate) in order to cover all expenses for the month, even though there hasn’t been anything out of the ordinary.
I’ve learned I have to be more diligent about cutting expenses and saving money. I’ll be keeping myself on a strict budget during the vacation next month. I haven’t been good about bringing in my lunch to the office. That should change.
My goal is for my overtime pay to be “extra” so I can put it aside for something special. I may not always have the opportunity to work overtime, so I don’t want to be required to rely on that income.
Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published July 29, 2005. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.