2018 was a good year for me at work. I took on big problems. I stepped up and volunteered for new projects. And at the end of it all, I was promoted several times, got recognized for my accomplishments, and got a substantial raise that pushed me into an entirely new tax bracket.
And yet, it’s still not sitting right with me for some reason. What’s that about?
Don’t get me wrong — I don’t feel bad about the fact that I make more money. I work hard as fuck. I put in long hours and I get results. And I’m doing things which are helping make my employer money and increase our profile in the marketplace. So there’s no guilt around that. I deserve this, for sure. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I don’t really know if I’m managing it right.
Look…I can manage being broke. $20 to stretch throughout the week? I’m a gold champ in that shit. But now, $20 is just a cheap lunch on Tuesday. That’s a big leap, y’all. Usually when you’re broke, you just do what you have to do to solve certain problems, like getting rid of junk and old furniture because you decided to KonMari your apartment over the weekend and you’re tired of stepping over the heavy trash bags. Now I can throw money at the problem and hire a junk delivery service. And a regular house cleaner. And new furniture to fill my apartment now that I junked most of old furniture. Like, I just bought a new couch on my lunch break on a whim! I’ve been looking for a couch and sitting on couches in stores for months now, and *poof* — I snapped one up randomly that fell within my price range and measurements with zero research about it. WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Furniture purchases aside, I haven’t been balling out of control with the new salary. I’ve set up my bills on autopay, added more onto my student loan payments, and soon I’ll start putting more into my 401k. One of my friends even wants me to start looking for a house to buy. (I do not want a house, but that’s a whole other story.) I haven’t even told my mom about the raise yet because I already know what’s going to happen when I do. She’ll start throwing it in my face, trying to use it as a reason for why I don’t come home more or call more or stuff like that. She already holds resentment against her older brother because he made a ton more money than her and never visited or anything. He would help her out with money when she needed it, but she’d always say something like “your money doesn’t make you better than me” before begrudgingly taking it to get her out of a financial bind.
Right now, I make three times more than my mom made at the peak of her career, and I haven’t told her about the raise because I don’t need that to be another reason that she doesn’t treat me with any respect. Maybe I’m repealing the black tax by withholding that information, but I don’t see any outcome where she would respond positively. She already turned her nose up at me when she knew my starting salary at this job.
Now I make double that.
My birthday is coming up in a few days, and initially I thought about flying out to Puerto Rico for a week and spending it at a beach resort. But work crept up on me, so I just got a suite at a nice hotel here in town. I’ll treat myself to all the stuff I’ve wanted to do in Atlanta, enjoy a nice view of the city, and unwind and relax.
I see it, I like it, I want, I got it.