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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I am looking at finally getting off the endless treadmill of both of us working full time. It's stressing us all out way too much and I feel like we'll eventually self destruct if it keeps going like this.
Right now, I bring in about half the take home pay (I bring home $2400/month) and I carry the health insurance. We are looking at paying off our one vehicle loan which will save us about $600 a month, but reduce our $10,000 savings to about $3,000. We would save about $520 a month on childcare if I didn't need to pay to have my 5 month old cared for, and I reduced my 4 yr old from 3 day/week preschool to 2 days. We really feel like preschool is important for him, it brings him so much joy and he learns so much :)
Right now I work three 12 hr shift a week as a nurse. I don't get home until almost 8 pm on those nights. I work every 3rd weekend, 12 hrs both days which puts a huge strain on my hubby home with the kids and no break from his long workweek (12 hrs away from the house including commute 5 days/week). He struggles with depression/anxiety so that's an added factor in the stress.
I am looking at working as needed/perdiem a couple shifts a week, 8 hour shifts or bringing in some income in other ways. I also know that I can use the skills I've learned here at FV to stretch our budget.
I am really scared to "pull the plug" on my full time job, it feel like such a leap of faith...and with the economy in the crapper I don't want to put us in a financial hole we can't come back from. But I also don't want to put our family through this stress anymore, it's not fair to my kids or my marriage.
I just need some words of wisdom please :)
 

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my only advice to you is to sit down with a pad pencil and calculator and do the math.

I would really suggest you have more cash available in an emergency fund if you quit your job. And you may save money on child care but would you have to buy an insurance policy?

If you quit your job now without having much money in savings and your dh looses his job or some major unexpected expense comes up that you don't have the money for....what then?...you think you have stress now!

the only way you will really know if you can do this is if you sit down and do the math.

personally, I would have all debt paid off except morgage AND have a one year fully funded emergency fund.
 

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Could you go to part time work? Then you will still be bringing in some money to pay off any debt and your child care costs would be lower. Then once debt is gone and you have a FFEF then you could become a SAHM.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I absolutely am willing to do part time work, I might actually make more per hour that way since employers are usually willing to pay a premium to have a per diem nurse fill a staffing hole. I am looking at high deductible insurance plans, and I actually found one for a reasonable price that covers preventative care 100% and would keep us from going bankrupt if we were to have a major illness in the family.
At this point, I don't know that we can get a FFEF in place in a reasonable amount of time... I'm going to work on the numbers and see if we could keep the 10K in savings and afford to keep making the truck payment instead of paying it off.
I feel like I am in crisis prevention mode here, I don't want to be irresponsible, but I feel like this can't wait...
 

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i'm sorry but I'm going to give you a smack in the head. you work three days a week. you have 4 days a week off. how hard can it be? geez.

i do mean this in all kindness. teachers work 5 12 hour days a week and weekends. i do work 12 hour days so i know what that feels like.

i think you are just trying to justify being a stay at home mom.

argue back. :)
 

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Can you try living on the less pay for a bit to see if it works? I stayed at home and gave up things and had to pay our own health ins, but would not have given it up for anything.
 

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Oh boy! I can't wait to see what happens next lol :monke:

Well it looks like you might be able to swing the car payment because you will no longer have the childcare costs; so they *almost* cancel each other out, but not quite. But is the preschool included in that number? I'm assuming, from what you said, you'd be keeping him in preschool, right? It would make me nervous to only have $3,000 in savings, so I'm all for keeping the car payment if you're dead set on doing this. Is it possible for you to do after-school babysitting for a friend's child? If you'll be a SAHM for your child, it would be a good way to bring in some extra cash pretty easily. Plus, if they are paying a company for after-school care, it would probably save them some money, too.
 

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Just a question....
If you make half the income working 36 hours to your husbands 60 hour work week, and you have the insurance, why doesn't he leave his job for a part-time or stay at home dad situation? You also said he is stressed and anxiety filled, maybe a career change would help....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I appreciate everyone being honest here. I really do. I am trying to justify being a SAHM, I don't deny that at all. I am willing to give up luxuries. I know from an outside perspective it seems like I am whining about having to work "only: three days a week. Yesterday when my husband and I got home after 8 pm, I was breaking down in tears because I had been away from my infant since 5:30 am. (DH takes the baby to him mom's on his way to work.) I am so drained on my days off, and so busy playing "catch up: on house work and errands that my kids don't get what they need from me. I just need a few weeks to figure out how to put our home and lives back together and then I can pick up hours to make up for the lost income. Not sure if I am making any sense?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Just a question....
If you make half the income working 36 hours to your husbands 60 hour work week, and you have the insurance, why doesn't he leave his job for a part-time or stay at home dad situation? You also said he is stressed and anxiety filled, maybe a career change would help....
Thanks for the input... we have looked at this too. Still examining from all angles.
 

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2400 minus 520 day care = 1880 a month / 36 hours a week / 4 weeks a month comes out to roughly 13 dollars an hour, left over actually comes home.

the healthcare you are paying for the "family plan" must be a chunk of your paycheck.

i don't know where i am going with this ( and i think my logic is faulty) but can you become the super ninja frugal housewife earning the equivalent savings of 13 an hour?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not sure that I can save that much money, that's a huge challenge lol. I've been doing so much thinking, and I keep going through all the options/issues in my mind. Did some more talking with DH today on his lunch break, he's understandably scared to give up income right now. He understands where I am coming from, but perhaps he is trying to be more pragmatic. He's definitely more of a pessamist than I.
I think I am just so frustrated with myself for doing a poor job of balancing everything, that I am willing to throw in the towel and say "the heck with the money, life's too short." But income is a necessary evil...
Whatever we decide to do, we know we need to optimize our financial position debt wise, because my DH has the eventual goal of using his GI bill to go to school. Being in a good place financially is never a bad thing, no matter what the future holds.
Maybe I need to find a thread on how to balance work and Mommyhood? :)
 

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I understand what you are saying. It's hard to balance it all. You feel like you have to give 100% everywhere!

Would you be able to pick up a housekeeper or some help to keep you from feeling so overwhelmed? Is there anyway to cut back to 2 days per week? Or shorter shifts?
 

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I really don't have any advice for you, I just wanted to say that I'm right there with you! I've been working 50 hours a week (10 hours/day, 5 days/week) for 10 years. I have a 5 year old, a 3 year old, and a baby on the way. I would absolutely love to be a SAHM, but like you, am worried about finances. I also carry the health insurance for the family, and that is where most of our worry lies. I have a hard time balancing everything, too. I also put in 20+ hours of overtime per week in the fall. My dd is starting Kindergarten this year, and my ds is starting preschool. I have negotiated a deal with my boss to let me off work at 3 pm, reducing my days to 8 hours, so I'm able to pick up my kids after school and spend a little more time with them. My ultimate goal is to SAH, but right now I have no idea if/when that will happen. I also have days where I break down in tears because of all the time I have to spend away from my kids. It's happened a couple of times this week! I also know the feeling of wanting to give up on finances and just do what is in your heart. Good luck, I hope you're able to come up with a solution that works for your family!
 
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hey, did he ever go to AA and you to AlAnon? how's the problems at home.

at this point if the alcoholosm is still present i would not quit my job, for any reason. you may need to support yourself at the drop of a hat.
 

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just as a teachers job isn't just the school hours a nurses 12 hrs is not usually just 12 hours at least not if you are in the profession for the right reasons.

i use to do 12 hour night shifts and had to quit after a year or so - i had 2 young kids and it was just too much stress on my body and mind .

you are expected to show up at least 15 min before your shift and stay at least 15 min afterward . this i can stretch to an hour if a pt is having issues at report time .
starts so now you have at least 12.5 hours. if you get out on time ....( which was a rarity when i worked)

if you are lucky you get a break for dinner/ some sort of meal if not you are lucky to get a pee break .

you usually have to prep yourself mentally to go in and de prep yourself when you get home and on the days you are home the pts you took care of are often still in your thoughts as are their families etc when its a especially sad case.

you often cant just walk in the door and say here i am family.... sometimes depending on what the patients you took care of had wrong ... you dint even want to go near your family until you have showered and got out of your clothes .

and while i have all the respect in the world for teachers molding the minds and impact on the lives of our children and the stressors in that field, the stresses nurses deal with are immediate action live and death situations -.


i did what the OP is talking about - went per deim paid into insurance and my dh changed his career a bit and got a insured position.

then i was able to work per deim with less worries and more attention to my family .

even with the shortage at the time though i started to get canceled alot and had to look for another position .

OP by the time you pay insurance you may be working close to FT anyway and dint forget per deim has no guarantee time- you get no paid time off and no paid sick time .
 

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I think I am just so frustrated with myself for doing a poor job of balancing everything, that I am willing to throw in the towel and say "the heck with the money, life's too short." But income is a necessary evil...
I know this is tempting but PLEASE PLEASE don't do this!! My EX boyfriend did this, literally, just got so fed up and stop paying everything! and it was not pretty! Three years later and it still isn't pretty and hence he is my EX boyfriend.

Its more than giving up luxuries, its about surviving and paying your bills on time and being able to support your family and pay for your basic needs.

how about selling the car and downsizing? What else can you sell? Not sure if you mentioned your living conditions but really, if you want to do this as badly as you seem, downsize, get a cheaper mortgage, get a cheaper rent.

I would really really put some kind of a plan in place before you do this.
 

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I want to second the comments to do the math and make a plan. You'll find that having a plan in place that you are making progress on will help reduce your stress level. You've made a good start by looking at high-deductible insurance policy costs and other income possiblilities. Good luck to you and your family.
 

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Well, honestly, I would (and have) done almost anything to be able to be a SAHM. It was important to both my husband and I that I be home with our kids so we have made a lot of sacrifices to do so, so I totally understand what you are coming from. That being said, cutting your income can also be stressful so if I were you, I'd look at a way to cut hours down, but still have some income- the best of both worlds. Can you work like one weekend a month or something? Enough to keep your toes in- it'll help you later if you want to jump back into the job market later. Another thing, and this is something I NEVER thought would be true when I had LITTLE kids....I swear- your kids need you home almost MORE when they are older than when they are little. I know that sounds so backwards, but as a parent of kids ages 6-15 I am finding that my older kids need me home so much more- and their friends who have dual income parents are struggling a little more. Between sports, school, friends, etc it has become apparent that they NEED me home now more than ever. Just something to think about.
 

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Well, honestly, I would (and have) done almost anything to be able to be a SAHM. It was important to both my husband and I that I be home with our kids so we have made a lot of sacrifices to do so, so I totally understand what you are coming from. That being said, cutting your income can also be stressful so if I were you, I'd look at a way to cut hours down, but still have some income- the best of both worlds. Can you work like one weekend a month or something? Enough to keep your toes in- it'll help you later if you want to jump back into the job market later. Another thing, and this is something I NEVER thought would be true when I had LITTLE kids....I swear- your kids need you home almost MORE when they are older than when they are little. I know that sounds so backwards, but as a parent of kids ages 6-15 I am finding that my older kids need me home so much more- and their friends who have dual income parents are struggling a little more. Between sports, school, friends, etc it has become apparent that they NEED me home now more than ever. Just something to think about.
Also, When my sons were teens, I read somewhere that the most teen pregnancies happen between the hours of 3pm and 6pm---after school, but before the parents are home.

Knowing that reinforced my feelings that home was right where I needed to be when they were older kids. I think (even if they look like you're the LAST person they want to see, and scowl at you most of the time) they really do like having someone home to say "Hi, kiddo, how was your day?"
 
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