It’s finally payday at Lowe’s and my first official payday as a Lowe’s employee. But, unlike most people, I’m NOT just spending my money on anything. In fact, the only reason I am working at Lowe’s is to catch up with my retirement. So, I wanted to share how I am spending my first Lowe’s paycheck.
I spent my first entire paycheck to invest in my Roth and bought one share of Verizon. Although unfortunately, I won’t be able to invest 100% of all my future paychecks, I do plan on investing 15 – 20% of my Lowe’s paycheck. However, the main reason I got the Lowe’s job is so I could cut down on the amount I pay myself from my blog business. My goal is to live off my Lowe’s paycheck and save 100% (minus my business expenses) throughout the year. I’ll explain why below, so keep reading.
After doing my taxes this year, I learned I could’ve invested up to $38,000 into my Solo 401k if I had saved the money. But unfortunately, I was only able to invest $28,063.66 into the 401k for 2022.
Now, this may sound good if I was younger. However, since I’m 50 and that’s all I currently have saved in my 401k, it’s not that great. That’s why I started this blog and am working a part-time job to increase my income and share my journey to my first 100K in my Solo 401k.
If you’re looking for ways to catch up with your retirement, follow along as I share my progress to the first 100k in my 401k. I plan to retire as a millionaire. But unfortunately, I must increase my income to shovel money into my retirement accounts. I plan on sharing everything with you, so let’s begin with how I plan on using my Lowe’s paychecks, but first, let me share why I got a part-time job.
Why I Got A Part-Time Job At Lowes?
I wrote a blog post on why I got a job at Lowes, click here to read it. If you missed it or don’t feel like reading it, the short version is that I am 50 years old and don’t have enough saved for retirement.
I’ve found myself scrambling and looking for ways to save more money, and the easiest way is to get a part-time job at Lowes.
Unfortunately, I don’t earn much at Lowes, but I also have a blog business that netted me over $65,000 last year. So I know what you’re thinking, you make good money with your blogging business, why work a part-time job?
Well, my blog business grossed over 100k last year. Still, unfortunately, I had to pay myself a salary, and this caused my earned income to drop. However, I’ve since learned from my CPA that the more money I keep from my business, the more I can invest into my 401k.
That’s why I decided to get a part-time job at Lowes.
My goal is to keep more of my blogging income throughout the year and live off the Lowes paychecks. Then, hopefully, at the end of the year, I can max out my Solo 401k.
According to the IRS, I can contribute a maximum of $66,000 for 2023. Even if I can’t put in the entire $66,000, If I can at least max out the employee contribution of $30,000 (with the catch-up contribution) and at least $10,000 of the employer contribution, that’s a total of a $40,000 contribution per year.
If I can continue doing this every year for at least 10 years, I’ll be able to retire a millionaire, allowing us to live off $40k per year.
That may not sound like a lot, but if I was to continue down the path of NOT shoveling money into my retirement, I would only have my Roth (currently $26,100) and my social security.
I don’t know about you, but relying on social security is NOT how I want to live in my golden years.
How I Plan On Spending My Lowes Paychecks?
I’m not sure how much I’ll bring home from Lowes after all the taxes, FICA, 401k, health benefits, etc. I’m hoping I’ll make enough to pay the bills, but after getting my first paycheck, I’m sure I’ll still have to pay myself a small salary from my blog business.
My bills total $1200 per month, which includes funding my emergency fund, Ally savings buckets, and Roth investment. When the Covid-19 emergency relief pause ends, I’ll also have to resume paying on the 17k plus debt on school loans.
That said, even if the Lowes paycheck can’t pay everything, it will cover some of the bills.
Even if I have to pay myself a small salary, I won’t have to pay myself $3,000 like I did last year. Hopefully, I won’t have to pay myself more than $500 monthly from my blog business. I’m going
Paying Down Debt With Lowes Paycheck
This year, my goal is to get out of debt using my Lowes paycheck. I don’t have a ton of debt, but I do have school loans and some medical debt.
I’ve been paying the minimum on school loans and medical bills because they don’t charge much interest.
I currently owe $500 (down from $5,000), and as long as I pay the minimum of $50 per month, I don’t get charged any interest. However, if I miss a payment, that’s when I get into trouble.
With the school loans, I’ve been making minimum payments since we graduated from school 5-6 years ago. However, it seems like it’s taking forever to get them paid off, so this year, I plan to use the snowball method to pay off the smallest loan first.
We use our credit cards every month because they earn us cash back with everything we buy. However, I always make sure that the balance is paid every month. We don’t use the cards if we don’t have the money in the bank to pay the balance.
I don’t want to carry a credit card balance because the interest will quickly add up, and I’m not interested in paying more than I owe.
There’s nothing worth buying if I can’t pay it off at the end of the month.
Investing With Lowes Paychecks
I love investing and plan on using my Lowes paycheck to fund my Roth and buy dividend stocks through M1. Luckily, I’ve almost maxed out my Roth for 2023, and as soon as I do, I’ll funnel at least $400 a month into the emergency fund at Goldman Sachs’s high-yield savings account.
We currently have $9,300 in our emergency fund. I had $10,300, but I pulled out a $1000 and invested in the Roth when the stocks dropped during the SVB fiasco.
I know you’re not supposed to use your emergency fund to invest in stocks, but it was a great way to get some stocks on sale.
I won’t pull any more money out of my emergency fund because I want the balance to grow. They say you should have 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses saved that will cover any unexpected expenses.
Once I get the emergency fund to $15,000, I’ll feel much better knowing I can cover any unexpected financial expenses.
How Long Do I Plan On Staying With Lowes?
I can’t say how long I plan on staying employed at Lowes. My goal is to stay as long as possible or until I can reach my goal of at least 100k plus in my 401k. I’ve NEVER enjoyed being an employee, which is why I left the post office several years ago.
However, I’ve found it much easier going to work at Lowes because I know that I don’t have to work. I’m only working because I have huge goals, and Lowes is the vehicle that will help me reach my goals.
I’ve been employed for two weeks at the time of this writing, so not very long. As long as I enjoy the job, I’ll stick with it.
However, once I’m not happy and have at least reached my goals, then I will walk away.
How Many Hours Am I Working At Lowes?
As a part-time employee, I’m working 25 hours a week. I’m working Monday-Friday from 6:00 AM – 11:00 AM. I chose those hours because it gives me time to come home and work on my blog business.
They’ve been pretty good about not messing with my hours, but it’s still early. I know a lot of people who got part-time jobs with different companies and the company scheduled with with hours they didn’t want, so they ended up quitting.
I’ve told my manager and lead that I could only work the early morning hours, I can’t be scheduled later during the day, because I have to work on my business. While it’s true that I can blog anytime during the day, I’m a morning person and like to be done with my day by 2 or 3 in the afternoon.
So, hopefully Lowes keeps my schedule the same and doesn’t try to mess with my hours. I’m okay if they give me a 20 hours, but I don’t want to work more than 25 hours per week. I’ll keep you updated if Lowes starts messing with my hours.
Is It Hard Working At Lowes And Continuing to Blog?
Right now, it’s not because I outsourced some of the blog writing during the Black Friday event that Passion Posts had. However, I’m getting close to publishing all the outsourced content. When that happens, I’ll find out how hard it is to write articles while working a part-time job.
It won’t be as easy as it used to be when I worked on my blog business full-time. However, I should be okay if I can write one article daily. I currently have 6 blogs and may have to sell some of them.
It’s too early to tell what I will do with all those blogs, but I’ll keep you updated on whether I sell some.
Benefits of Having A Part-Time Job
There’s not much to be excited about regarding the hourly pay, but Lowe’s benefits are amazing. I bought my health insurance from the HealthCare.gov site as a self-employed person. If you don’t have any other option, it’s better than not having any insurance.
However, don’t expect great coverage. The plan I had cost $615 per month (the government credited me the entire amount), and I had a $7900 deductible.
While it sounds great that the government paid the entire credit, I had to repay the entire thing every year when tax season came.
Last year was the first time I didn’t have to pay back the entire balance. This is because I opened my pretax Solo 401k, which helped me lower my taxable income.
Lowes offers their part-time employees health, vision, and dental insurance, which is impressive!
The coverage doesn’t take effect until after 30 days of employment. So at the time of this writing, my coverage starts on April 1, 2023.
I’m not the type of person who goes to the doctor very often, but it’s nice knowing that I have good health insurance if I do need to go. When I had a Health Care Marketplace insurance plan, I never wanted to go because I knew they wouldn’t pay for anything except preventative.
When my Lowes insurance kicks in, I will go get my allergy shot, and I’ll only have to pay a $20 copay. Not to mention the insurance will pay for two dental cleanings per month. Before the Lowes insurance, I always paid for my own dental cleanings.
So, I’m NOT just working at Lowes for the pay. I love it because of the benefits. I’m not sure what I’ll do for the benefits when I decide to walk away from Lowes, but I’ll deal with that when the time comes.
Oh, did I mention that Lowes offers part-time employees a 401k?
Lowes matches a max 4.25% when you contribute 6%. So I set up my 401k and will invest 6% because I can’t turn down free money.
I won’t be increasing my annual contributions because I’ll be investing as much as I can into my Solo 401k.
Also, they offer an ESPP (Employee Stock Purchase Plan) for part-time employees. When purchased every six months, you get a 15% discount on Lowes stock.
I haven’t signed up for this plan yet, because you can only sign up during certain times of the year.
I’m not sure when I can sign up, but as I learn more about the program, I’ll decide if I want to enroll. You buy the discounted Lowes stock through E-Trade. So that’s all I know about it right now.
I’m using my Lowes paycheck to pay my bills, invest, and increase my emergency fund. While I’m not making much as an hourly employee, the benefits are worth it. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep the job, but I plan to work for 3-5 years at the company.
That said, if I get to the point where I hate going to work, I will walk away, no matter how much I’m getting paid. It’s important that I enjoy what I’m doing, and if Lowes stops being that for me, then it’s time for a change.
I’m excited about my future and the goals that I have set for myself.
I’m using Lowes and my blog income to reach millionaire status in the next 10-12 years. Hopefully, it won’t take that long, and I’ll reach the goal quicker.
I’ll post updates on how everything is going, so you can keep up with my progress. Until next time, stay positive and keep grinding! 🙂