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4 Years...

November 26th, 2006 at 08:36 am

It just hit me that it has been 4 years since dh has not worked. He has probably made $3k or so the last 4 years, he has done a few little projects. & believe me, every little bit helps. But it just occured to me that it's been 4 years - wow!!!! I have been nervous this month because I got pregnant around halloween - twice - hehe. So this year I told dh not to come near me please, I know apprently October is a fertile month and I know neither of us wants another BABY right now. Haha, but it just hit me to he got laid off right when I got pregnant with my first - and well it has been 4 years!

Dh and I had wanted to wait a few more years to have kids, but after moving to a cheaper area, just a few months later, I think we were just AMAZED how much easier we had made things for ourselves financially. So we decided we were financially ready. The only mistake we made I would say is he was working and we figured we could save another years' salary before we had a baby. Another $30-$40k, which I would probably have in my e-fund right now. Taking that into account we felt ready. Then I got pregnant and he promptly got LAID OFF. So much for our grand plan. He did get unemployment for 6 months or so, so it wasn't so bad. Who knows where that money went - new baby stuff? Hehe. Probably retirement and savings, and supplementing my maternity leave. But still we were pretty stressed out going into this without everything going to plan.

I always looked at this 1-income thing as very temporary. IF we could make it a few years, well that would be great. Didn't think we could do it forever. So it is nice to look back the last few years and say, well we made it as long as we planned to at the bare minimum. We did it!!! & hopefully a few more years left.

When I first became pregnant I was making $50k/year and we had plenty of money in the bank to help us through - maybe $30k. This last year my salary was $70k, I didn't foresee it going up so fast and that has made all the difference. We have drained most of our cash, but most of it went to 2 cars, and our retirement fund which we often funded to get a bigger tax refund - which helped as well. & since we just did the ROTH conversion I really look at that $20k as a backup emergency fund in the meantime. IT is tax-free, penalty-free accessible cash. Makes everything feel less dire to me - hehe - though I probably wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole...

I am sure we spent a lot of that money on toys we did not need - probably $5k or so. But sometimes you just feel like you got to live a little.

I go back and forth with myself if I feel proud of our accomplishments or not. We could have invested our cash much better and had thousands more in just interest. We could have done better with our retirement. Sometimes I feel like we should have been saving money too, even if we had just squeezed out $20/month - we could have done that. I Am still not positive our last car purchase was the best either.

At the same time not only have we lived on 1-income, but there were months that we lived on NO income - maternity leave. I get so tired of people walking around making six figures saying they couldn't possibly have a spouse stay home, driving brand new cars, going shopping every week, with just so much excess. It's a choice and I respect people's choices. BUT It gets under my skin when they are constantly whining to me how lucky I am and how bad off they are. You just want to shake them sometimes. I know many people who assume we must be independently wealthy, not only because dh stays home, but because I took a lot of time off work as well with both kids. & throw in the super nice house (with a mortgage less than most people around here pay rent - ahem - that's what people don't get). But then you get back to the whole thing where people will completely turn up their nose at our frugal lifestyle, mostly that we drive old cars and don't value brand names, and then be very openly jealous of the fruits of our frugalness. Well most people can't have both, you have to pick what it is you value in life and work for that. I value my family and have taken great financial sacrifice for us to be home with our kids. Come on. I can totally respect people not wanting to give up some of that financial security. For me it has been hard, because I like to have all my ducks in a row and plan far ahead for the future. HAving only $5k in the bank and owing about that much drives me MAD. But to be home with the kids, it is worth the stress.

Looking forward, dh doesn't plan to get full-time work for at least 4 more years. When both kids are in school... In the meantime, baby turns 2 next year and we love our daycare situation with big monkey so I wouldn't be surprised if he takes on a 10-20 hour/week job. But something that doesn't take a lot of time away from the baby. We'll see. If he could bring in some money I know we could save it all, build up the e-fund, and I can relax a little. I am not even sure if full-time employment is in his future ever again. But for now our goal is 4 more years of just 1-income and maybe a little supplemental. Overall I can not feel that proud with our accomplishments. BEcause if he was working it would pretty much ALL go to income tax and daycare. ???? So are we that great with our money or just smart enough to step back and say, um, it's just not worth it. LOL. I don't know. It seems much more logical at this point to pick up a little extra here and there, where we can, than to work full-time just to squeeze out that little extra.

But today I look at it as 4 years down, 4 years to go I guess. Only 2 more years really where daycare is cost prohibitive. Then one will be in school and I am already paying for one today - I know little monkey will have an awesome place to go to when he is 3 if dh wants to bring in more money. So we are really over the hump. I look forward to more income in the future - that is for sure. I want dh to get a PT job where he can put his entire paycheck to 401k or something and we can start really saving money. With just me working, it is not going to happen in the near future... But it is getting closer...

I guess we had some good fortune. Dh never found a job here when we moved, his layoff was inevitable - he told them he would be leaving when he found a job. So it is best we got pregnant when we did - he had commuted for a year - who knows when he would have found a job and when we would have felt ready for kids otherwise.

We wanted our kids 2-3 years apart and we lucked out with 2 years exactly. If it had been 3, or 4 or 5, it would be a lot more diffucult. Luck has played a big part in our financial choices. Heck, if we had waited a year to move we would not have been able to purchase such a nice house. We had no idea the real estate market would go so crazy up here when we moved, we made it in the knick of time. But you know, looking back, maybe the layoff was good, part of a greater plan. & we couldn't have times the kids better financially. Having them 3 years apart would just mean 1 more year where working would not be as lucrative for dh. What if it took years. I am not sure if we would have felt like we could afford a second child - who knows...

3 Responses to “4 Years...”

  1. Broken Arrow Says:

    Wow. Not working for 4 years. That would be such an alien concept to me. Not that I wouldn't work hard to adapt to such a challenging environment! Wink Still, I can't imagine doing something like that myself.

    In a stereotypically more traditional environment (as in, the guy pulling in the money), the woman can just stay home when she gets pregnant, but since you're the bread winner, I suppose that complicates things? Wink

    Speaking only for myself, I enjoy making money too much to ever stay home, but... I'm glad your hubby can do it though. I'm sure things will work out just fine. You're certainly doing good so far... much better than my ex and I when we had our kids.

  2. Ima saver Says:

    You are doing great!

  3. monkeymama Says:

    I should add the caveat that for the last year hubby has been working for no pay - hehe. I think he has gained back much sanity though - he didn't particularly like the last few years when he had no projects. Just crossing my fiungers all these movies and contacts lead to more paid gigs in the future so he can keep pursuing his dream.

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