Talk about great timing. I start a blog talking about massive debt and the journey towards financial independence, and my wife goes out and lands herself a paying job. We have increased our income, out of the blue! I’m ecstatic (that’s my SAT word of the day)!
My wife has been a stay-at-home mom since we started having kids, over 12 years ago. Granted, I was in the Navy and we were moving around frequently, making stable employment a tough deal for my wife. We have always had discussions about her going back to work. It just seemed like a matter of time, like when we were done having kids and they were old enough to be in school.
It’s not like my wife never did anything while being a stay-at-home mom. Like most moms in that role, she was very active in other ways. She volunteers for more organizations than I can count. For example, my wife has held every position in the PTA, from president on down. She is a Girl Scout leader. She does various things at church. That’s why she knows so many people around the community.
Anyway, we jumped the gun because of our debt situation and my wife took a job. Our youngest kid is not school age yet. She goes to preschool, but that’s only 3 days a week for half-days. But we couldn’t wait any longer with this debt piled up around us.
Landing a Job
We recently discussed jobs and other potential opportunities. I have always pushed my wife towards starting her own small business, where she can build and control her own gig. Her skills are well suited for it. She has tried her hand at a few things over the years, never really finding that one thing she enjoys and could push forward.
We kept coming back to jobs. Finally, my wife saw a job opening at the local elementary school. She spends so much time at the schools with PTA that she was one of the first to know about the opening. She also knew everyone involved in the hiring decision. That’s a great leg up when it comes to job hunting, knowing everyone.
After a confidence pep talk from me, my wife walked into her first interview in over 10 years and nailed it! She didn’t need my push. She already had the thing sewn up with all of her previous networking. They knew exactly who she was, her work ethic, her abilities, and they liked her. Done deal.
We have a 3 year old daughter who is in preschool, but it’s only three days a week and only half a day. My wife went and landed herself a job, but now we needed to figure out some kind of day care…and fast.
We went right back to my wife’s network of friends in the area and found a great solution. Another mom who has kids in elementary school (no more little ones) and knows our 3 year old. My wife approached her and they agreed on the time commitment and the pay.
Things fell into place better than we could have hoped. This whole situation of being in massive debt, landing a new job, finding a friend to babysit, and having the stars align has been exciting. I never thought I would smile and be excited by paying off debt.
I had no idea there is joy and excitement involved in paying down debt. Maybe because I’m obsessing over numbers, but it’s fun. #debt
— Brian (@PBJBusiness) November 4, 2015
The Upside to Two Incomes
The upside is obvious, to me anyway. Here is a quick bullet list:
• We have just increased our income by over 20%. That’s huge!
• We can put more towards paying down our debt, getting the snowball rolling faster.
• My wife was out of the house so often for volunteer efforts, but now she is getting paid for her efforts. I’m not saying volunteering is bad, in fact it’s great, but we needed income.
• The pressure has eased on me mentally. I can stop ranting about how my job is critical because it’s the only thing keeping us afloat. I’m okay with losing that argument power.
The Downside to Two Incomes
Yes, there is actually a downside here. It’s not all roses. Here is the bullet list:
• We are now paying for day care costs, something we have avoided for all 4 of our kids until now. This is a first in 12 years and it kind of hurts to do it.
• Time commitments have changed. With my wife out of the house for 40 hours a week, we are scrambling to figure out meals, getting kids off buses, and other fun logistics of running a house full of kids.
• I am watching our 3 year old while working from home on two days a week. That helps us cut back on day care for a while, but it’s hell on my work. I have to schedule around the little one, or just expect the house to be a mess when I turn around.
To quickly sum up the situation, I’m ecstatic that my wife landed a job! We increased our income by over 20%. Even with the day care costs for our little one, the income is a huge benefit, an unexpected benefit.
I expect to be able to put more money towards paying down our debt going forward. I’m still in mental debt consolidation mode and don’t have a plan for paying debt 20% faster, but this new income will get us to a zero debt balance much faster.
I never thought I would be smiling and actually excited about paying off debt. But there is a smile on my face and I’m excited to open up my budget spreadsheet now for more tinkering. Who knew it could be this fun? Ah, the nerd inside me knew…that’s who.