<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
Home > Big money changes at our house

Big money changes at our house

January 15th, 2007 at 09:46 am

My wife left her job in Dec. 1994 just before becoming pregnant with our daughter. She remained a SAHM for 10 years. We managed just fine on my income alone, even counting a short period of unemployment and a job change along the way (with a paycut).

Two years ago this month, she went back to work. It wasn't planned. She wasn't looking for a job, but an opportunity presented itself that she didn't want to pass up. She has never been entirely sure she wanted to work, so we tried our best not to become dependent on her income. I've put about 80% of her gross into savings each paycheck. She currently brings home $78 twice a month after the 403b contribution and taxes. We have increased spending a bit thanks to her income, and retirement planning sure got a big boost with an extra 15K/year going in, but overall we've been really good about managing that extra money.

She's finally gotten to the point where she just isn't happy at the job. When she first considered working, we agreed that if she wasn't happy, I didn't want her to feel she had to keep at it just for the money. So we talked over the weekend and she will probably be quitting in the near future.

We've talked about how we are going to have to tighten the belt a bit and go back to some more frugal habits that we have gotten away from the past couple of years. We've been eating out more, buying more convenience foods, food shopping with little regard to sales and coupons, taking nicer vacations, etc. We agree that her being happy is more important than having the extra money, so we're willing to work together to cut costs. Besides, a lot of the less frugal behavior has happened because she is working and we don't have time to do the frugal stuff, so I don't think it will be that tough to trim our spending. I'll definitely be rereading "The Tightwad Gazette" and paying closer attention to the weekly circulars and the threads onine about money-saving tips, so keep them coming.

14 Responses to “Big money changes at our house”

  1. living_in_oz Says:

    What a good hubby!Smile Your right, her happiness is more important. It'll make for a happier marriage too.

  2. nance Says:

    Since she will have a lot more time to cook from scratch, shop for loss leaders, etc. you probably won't miss her income. If she is happier, she will be willing to contribute "financially" by saving the money that you earn.
    She should be the one to read the success stories in the back of "The Complete Tightwad Gazette" for motivation.

  3. veronak Says:

    I agree with Living

  4. boomeyers Says:

    Will you talk to my husband? :-) This is our bone of contention and I'm sure its the same in many households. Let her enjoy doing the "mom" job, because it lasts for just a short time. And in an emergency, I'm sure she could pick something else up PT to get you guys through any rough patches you may have.
    But with her being home, it is easy to get in the savings groove again. Just don't expect it to be overnight, because it takes a while to get used to not eating out anymore and stuff! You get used to it!

  5. monkeymama Says:

    Oh Good Luck!!!!

    You don't know how many times I Read your comments and think - oh that was us when we both worked (I am sure I Said it too - hehe). Those were the days.

    The great thing is you have built up an awesome start, you will be just fine I am sure.

    Having a spouse home I often feel is better than any amount money can buy. We always looked at it as temporary and only recenlty have been looking at this as a long-term thing. SO we give up some of our significant savings (used to save 50% of our income) and give up some toys and vacations, but it is well worth it. I know your family will do great - may even be happier. Wish you luck.

  6. Ima saver Says:

    My husband wanted me to quit so I could be with him in the evenings. It has really worked out. I think I save more now that I ever "made" You just have more time to think about saving and how to cut costs.

  7. disneysteve Says:

    nance - I agree. We know we can make up the share of her income we were actually spending by cooking more from scratch, eating out less and shopping more carefully. Also, we will spend less on gas and wear and tear on her car. She also won't be spending as much on clothing, as she can go back to more casual dress. The one new expense we might have is a gym membership. When she was a SAHM before, she went to Curves 3x a week. She will probably want to resume that, which I'm all in favor of.

    What we just simply can't replace is what she has been contributing to our retirement savings - $15,000/year. At least we have the little boost we got from her working the past 2 years. And she isn't opposed to working part-time if something convenient comes along.

  8. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hehe, something tells me this isn't going to be a problem. Happy wife = happy husband. Big Grin

  9. livingalmostlarge Says:

    I'm still a student who earns peanuts compared to DH. And I think he likes it that I do everything around the house and run errands. Much easier than before when we both doing it.

  10. scfr Says:

    Yes - changes are ahead for your family, but it sounds like they will definitely be positive changes overall. From reading your posts it sounds like you are a very level-headed guy, and it sounds like you and your wife are well-prepared to make the changes.

    I don't know if your wife would be interested in going the self-employed route, but it is possible to work from home, control the number of hours you work (work only part-time), while continuing to add generously to the retirement savings through a self-employed retirement plan.

    As far as tightening the belt, sounds like you are looking at the grocery budget, and that's always a good place to look when you are already pretty frugal overall.

  11. vsjhoc Says:

    Steve - It's nice to see a couple that works together well as a team!

  12. disneysteve Says:

    One thing that I hadn't mentioned - when my wife went back to work 2 years ago, I upped our monthly contribution to our daughter's 529 plan from $200 to $400. I need to rethink that decision now. It might make sense to reduce it again.

  13. jodi_m Says:

    Best of luck! I became a SAHM after my first son was born, but took a PT job four months later when an unexpected opportunity came up. It worked out great, as DH lost his job and went back to school. However, the plan is for me to stay home again when he finds a permanent position. I'm looking forward to it...and I can understand how your wife feels! Perhaps something will come up again in the future that piques her interest, or perhaps not. I think you will both be happier with this decision Smile

  14. jodi_m Says:

    P.S. I enjoy your comments in the forums and just now realized you had a blog - I'm looking forward to checking in!

Leave a Reply

(Note: If you were logged in, we could automatically fill in these fields for you.)
Will not be published.

* Please spell out the number 4.  [ Why? ]

vB Code: You can use these tags: [b] [i] [u] [url] [email]