Okay, I promise I won’t write about this again until Wednesday when I have the actual, real number on the actual, real check. I just need to put out there that when your primary household breadwinner gets a raise but you haven’t been able to figure out the “check math” that you pretty much obsess over what the magic number could be while trying to be patient and wait to find out what the number actually is.

I’m cycling through anxiety, fear, joy, and a desire to just do math all day with different percentages.

The reason I can’t figure it out (even though I’m really quite awesome at math) is because here are the things that come out of the check. Not the Federal taxes, state taxes, FICA, and medicare. Those are well within my wheelhouse and there are even websites that help you calculate those things. No problem, right?

It’s the overtime that gets me. Well, the overtime and the union dues. I can’t seem to figure out the formula for those.

So even though he just got a $4/hr. raise I have no idea how different his check will look because part of it will be normal hours and then there will be 18 overtime hours on top of it.

Which means I can only speculate and wait. I think I already mentioned his check last week was about $740 and that was the last check before eh check with the raise on it.

But you know what, let’s do some math and we can all check back on Wednesday to see how close I got. Feel free – if you’re bored – to try and solve the problem with me. We can sit around a campfire and drink wine and mock me for finally being so excited to have a different kind of money problem!

I found a cool website article called How to Calculate The Taxes on Overtime. Sounds perfect! If only I could figure out how to calculate union dues! I’m pretty sure there’s some easy calculation I just haven’t found.

After some searching online it looks like the union dues are a flat per-hour rate. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say what they are but it doesn’t seem like I would be breaking the rules since you don’t know his local or whatever. I checked two checks with different hours and it looks like he pays a flat $2.20/hr. in dues. (If that seems high please remember he pays to the local and International funds and there are multiple pensions he’s paying into along with other fringe benefits. Two pensions. Be still my heart, right?)

So let’s figure this out.

58 hours.

40 at his new rate of $21.29 = $851.60 ($604.14 after deductions)
18 hours at OT rate of $31.935 (Yes it goes out three decimal places, I checked a previous check.) = $574.83 (No idea after taxes I just cut it in half. So $287.45)

I have to go with my best guess because that link to the overtime pay kind of broke my brain because the layout on the IRS circularĀ E did not allow me to understand what I was supposed to choose in terms of the rate scale for income tax. For real. It was confusing, feel free to click the link and check it out. I think it’s going to be right around $891.59 but if you look at my math I didn’t do a good job.

I only added in the union dues for the first 40 hours but after taking out 50% from the overtime it’s not going to be that extreme. Even now he makes $250 a week in overtime above and beyond his base and I can’t imagine only getting $37 more. I should probably just delete all this stuff because it’s just admitting my calculations are awful and I’m not smart enough or patient enough to figure something very important out.

Because we’ll find out on Wednesday, anyway, so I should just post about being patient and waiting with the calmness of someone totally into Zen and cleanses and green smothies and yoga. You know, pretend I’m the person I want to be instead of being all honest and showing you what a hot mess I actually am.


Also, I’m not sure if union dues are a pre-tax or post-tax deduction. I think they’re post tax because you can claim a credit for them on taxes. I think.

I’m done talking about money for the day. I’m going to move on to chickens and then make a sidebar graphic showing credit card debt so I can show it getting crossed off as time goes by. I hope.

Chicken Update

Gertie’s feet aren’t messed up. It just looks that way in the picture.

Another one bites the dust. Except this time in a good way. Well a far better way than when Penelope passed away after those horrible seizures. We realized a few weeks ago that our beautiful longhorn Gertie was not a hen but a rooster. My detective skills, as well as the crowing very early every morning which I would only wish upon my worst enemy, led me to this conclusion. I’m a genius, right? I mean, look at her (him) you’d never guess that was a rooster, would you? (Laugh. It’s okay. I did.) Besides wanting to sleep in the morning we realized we had to get rid of him because roosters are illegal in my town.

The last thing I want is a ticket for harboring a rooster. No matter how funny the story would be.

Mr. Brickie turned to craigslist I said, “No way.” because my deepest fear is that this sweet, loving animal that had never hurt any of us would end up being used in cockfighting. I will always remember the chicken I saw on the side of the road ten years ago that was so beat up and his legs were so messed up and later I found out that he had probably been used in cockfighting based on his injuries. So, knowing I’m in/near an area where that happens, I insisted on not using Craigslist.

I’m really happy a friend of mine recently took her kid horseback riding and there was a petting zoo there and she talked to the lady who said she takes in animals and Mr. Brickie called and she said she would be happy to take Gertie and make her (him) part of the family. The relief I felt at getting our mornings back as well as a safe home for Gertie was incredible.

We will miss Gertie but can go visit him at the petting zoo we gave him to. I’m really pleased because he’s used to being around people and being touched and held. He’s a great animal and deserves a good life.

Plus I’m super happy we can tell the kids, “He went to a farm.” then take the kids TO THE FARM so they know I’m not a liar that killed the rooster.

Three chickens. Was it an omen all along?