{Moving into Civilian Life}

Erik is now officially a working civilian. I'm going to be honest, finding a decent job was hard. We had a couple months where I was worried (really worried), but everything has worked out. And although he's not really loving his job, it's something.

There were a few things that completely caught me off guard with his new job:

The paperwork! Oh my goodness! I thought the military had a lot of paperwork. Yikes. There was all kinds - health insurance, vision, dental, HSA - all on forms that didn't look anything like forms I was used to filling out! Talk about things I had to ask about (and made me feel stupid) - there were a lot of them. First, the above mentioned HSA (maybe it was a FSA? Either way "WTHeck is this?") Long term and short term disability. I honestly didn't know this was something that had to be paid for. Sad, huh? I guess that's what happens when you grow up military and then spend the next 20+ years still in (or around) the military. Thankfully I have a great friend who has been civilian her whole life (imagine that!) who was patient and didn't call me stupid as I asked the questions.

Then came the whole new way of getting paid - weekly. WTHell again? Really, people get paid every week? Not only on the 15th and 30th? Well, what am I supposed to do with that? Look, I'm a two week budgeter - once a month before we had to use our buffer while Erik looked for work. So with the help of another friend (her husband gets paid weekly!) I learned the system she uses for knowing which bills to pay out of which check. Old school spiral notebook is now in use! ;)

Tools. As in we had to buy them before he got his first check. Not all of them (he has a lot here) but when you're stretching for every dollar it was a hard bullet to bite. At least I think those can be a work related tax deduction next year.  Oh, and let's not forget vacation. He has to work a year before he can even get one week! Yeah, the military did have some great benefits, I'm not going to lie. 30 days a year was one of them.

Overall, I think we're adjusting well into our new skin. He does have a long commute (over an hour each way) so we may have to pull up stakes and move up the road a little bit. We are tossing that idea around right now, but will not make any rash decisions. Although there is a homeschool science center in that town that I would love to live by! :)


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