It’s been over 18 months since I quit my day job. Here’s a little background on how and why our family made this decision. I’ll publish another post about how it’s been working out for Palais Rohal and it’s inhabitants.
Having kids can be costly, as most people know this. It’s not just feeding them or sheltering them or saving for their bail, it’s daycare. Daycare is a necessary evil, especially if you are an awesome, modern woman like me who was eager and motivated to be a career-woman.
After Baby #2 – herein referred to as Addison – I went back to work. It’s what you do. You work. I liked my job more than most people like their jobs, my work peeps were fab and I didn’t think anything else of it. It’s what people do. And then little things started creeping up. Husband has a series of promotions, which was fantastic, but with more responsibility came more traveling. That meant there were weeks of mom-only-parenting for me, having to work shorter hours at the office so I could drop the kids off and pick them up, just to come home and work after the kids were asleep to stay on top of things. Then, the bills started to creep up. Things we never really thought of, like the 407 bill that was $300+ dollars a month, which was needed to rush into work in the morning, and rush home after work. The 2-3 times a week we were eating out because we were too tired to cook. The almost daily lunches that were being bought. Add these new expenses to the $1800+ we paid for daycare each month, and I was working for next to no financial benefit.
In an effort to save some cash, we initially thought about going the live-in nanny route. It is less expensive than daycare, more personalized, and it has perks like not having to worry about calling in sick to work because you kid is sick. This is huge for parents. And most nannies will do light housework. Sold right? I thought so, too. We even went as far as buying a new bed and bedding for our future nanny and planned out how everything would work. But then, something happened. When I thought of all of the things a nanny would do, like walk Elizabeth to and from school, play with Addison all day, keep the house tidy, makes the meals, I thought one thing… Why would I pay someone to do all the things I think parents should do? Just so I can work? That was the opposite of what I wanted.
Matt and I sat down and ran the numbers. Many times. We knew that losing my income would be hard, but we would be saving other money as well. Now, I usually fill my vehicle with gas every 2 weeks instead of every 5 days. We cut back on eating out, unless it’s a planned outing. The 407 is a luxury and used only if necessary. Now I can hit a few different grocery stores to catch all of the sales, and we eat much healthier because there’s time to cook. Matt even takes his lunch to work when I make it! I allow him the grace to splurge on chicken finger Wednesdays 🙂
Sounds perfect right? It wasn’t easy, and it’s still not perfect.
In an effort to plan for this financial upheaval, we took the 2 months before I gave my resignation to live on what our “new” income would be. It was tight, and It was a big change in lifestyle, but we did it. I may have even lost weight – ha! And we really needed to be honest with where our money was going and where it should be going. Who knew we shopped so much? And I had to come to grips with my craft addiction – quickly!
My advice to any family who is thinking about going this same route, would be to be realistic and completely honest with your current spending. I definitely wasn’t the breadwinner in my family, but I did have expendable income. And we never really thought too much about swiping the ol’ debit card. Taking a microscopic review of our finances was imperative. Then, living for a few months on what our “new” income would be made me feel much better about this huge decision. I knew we could do it, as long as we tried hard at it.
So that was it. I was going to quit my job. And on October 26th, 2012, I did.
Stay tuned for an update on how we’re doing with our new dynamic. And as always, thanks for checking in!