Mrs. Zen and I have long been battling the decision of a dual income, or having her be a stay at home mom. As much as I’d love to be a stay at home dad, I’m the main bread winner – her income is basically pure profit, free to spend as we desire (and mind you, it’s going towards debt reduction). We recently traded in my 1996 Honda Civic for a 2005 Honda CRV – mainly because we had the extra income to do a large down payment, and trips to Grandma and Grandpa’s with packed bags, stroller, and dog in tow. Once in the Civic was enough – and with a dual income we could more than afford a new(er) car.
As was pointed out – the after tax and childcare income is about 13k. But let’s make some adjustments:
Our childcare is about $2,340 due to our baby-sitter service. We only use them for one day a week – for now. If Mrs. Zen becomes full-time salaried, that will change, but no matter how you look at it – her additional income is after all bills are paid.
Let’s tackle their considerations:
- Career Advancement Goals – There is *always* more to a career than money! What about happiness? Mrs. Zen desires a career in paramedicine – she enjoys staying at home, but she also loves her work (as do I!)
- How to Return To Work? – I can’t really argue this one – leaving for eyars ad coming back in – that’s potentially ‘resetting’ your career unless you continue your work part-time.
- Extra Expenses – I’ve got to agree – working has expenses, just as staying at home. If no one is home, the heater/AC is off, less electricity, and at work you may have “job functions’ – happy hours, lunches and the like (I *DO* consider these essential – I owe my current job due to lunch-time networking! And pizza.)
- Breadwinner May Become Workaholic Career Freak – C’mon, really? This is a personal thing, and if you can’t balance your career and life, you need to reassess your values.
- Coupon Clipping – I’ve got mixed feelings here. My brother-in-law works from home (ebay business) and is an excellent father and cooks, while also shopping at night. He’s thrifty and is business than some other people I know. Coupon clip, regardless, I say.
- Schools – This is something I’m still looking into. I moved into a certain area for its reknowned public schools – you can send your kids to a private school so that by the age of six they know three languages and a head start on other students. Do you really want to make your kid go through that? You’ve got to focus on your kids being kids and not being “intellectual geniuses” or “young athletes” – they’re not here to live out your dreams. Do what you can to provide, but don’t force your kids to be something other than children.
Now the stay-at-home parent conundrum is an interesting one – I’ve talked to work-at-home, stay-at-home and day-care parents, with plenty of pros and cons. Your children need you to be their parent, but htey also need to develop social skills and learn to go out on their own – not developing an attachment on you, needing you for everything. I’m a parent, and the wife and I are working on him not developing separation anxiety, but I’m still reading on the psychology of it all (which is a never ending quest!)
posted in baby, budget, education, employment, frugality, life, wealth, work, zen |
This makes sense, doesn’t it? I think people are starting to realize that MONEY is NOT WORTH IT. Family time, friends time, play time are more important than work. Low stress, good pay – versus high stress and pay? Every is inticed at first by the “big bucks.” They can buy a benz or beamer, they can buy a bigger house, they can spend more money on meaningless crap and never enjoy it!
Honestly, this is why I miss working an hourly job – you got paid based on your output vs. a set amount no matter what. Salary means your performance is imperative to keep up so as not to be cut/down sized/let go/laid off. Hourly means you bust your ass and your work has a lot more meaning to it. You put in forty hours and do great work – or you put in 80 hours and do exceptional work, either way your pay is going to double. You may not always be able to, but those overtime opportunities will come up, though not always. There are always many pros and cons. This could almost be leveraged on a case by case basis, which would take us years to go through – the point is to leverage your current job, responsibilities, and pay vs. a different job with less pay and responsibilities.
small town sleeper is totally different.
Of course, then comes in the education – it’s assumed you need to justify your degree. I know art majors that manage warehouses, and art majors that design websites. Doctorates that do lowly teaching positions, and liberal arts majors that start companies. It’s a mix of education, desire, and determination. Some people succeed with a GED. And of course, some people want to attribute it to luck, family, or faith. Often it’s who you know not what you know. Not always, but sometimes – and sometimes it works against you.
What do you attribute your success to?
posted in career, education, employment |
(Note: My Personal Finances is calculated using my salary – not my wife’s income, so we’ve got a good idea what will happen after the baby’s born)
Our personal finances for the month of April – we went over by $146.11! – mainly because of our inattentiveness to our fast food fix! I’ve noticed my weight slowly declining since we noticed the unhealthy fast food trend. Our goal for this month is to keep our dining out to <$40 (I promised The Wife Sonic if we can manage our budget this month). We had a slight increase in clothing expenses - namely a couple prego clothing items (we buy mainly used - but we found a couple cheap garments we'd prefer new). We also bought sunglasses! Stylish and $10 from a mall kiosk (I love to haggle). A large chunk was dedicated to paying off bills (and knocking out some student loan).
Also increased! Medical bills! Who knew kids were so expensive? He's note even born yet and The Baby Logan is looking at a $2500 bill (possibly less).
Our gas intake is under control some - we're averaging about a tank a week (it's a long drive to the office - thank God we car pool!) My car should be back from our Friend the Mechanic this week - for a lot less then my first estimate (it was between $800-$1100). Thank God for Mechanic friends.
I’m moving to a new office closer to our home, but that could change in the coming month (I’m weighing a few job options – one is a lot closer, the other is right next door to my current location). This should effectively increase my budget – it depends on the location and pay.
Lastly – I’ve got a chart with the No Credit Needed Network! I’m anxious to update my progress – all in good time, I suppose! I’ve got a lot going on (hence my less than stellar posting) but I will not neglect writing! I’ve got a stash on incomplete writings I’ll try to have ready (and relevant) so I can hopefully keep this up every morning.
posted in apartment, auto, budget, debt, employment, goal, save money, zen |
Queercents has a great two parter on Jobs, Careers, and Money (Part I, Part II) it made me think of my current state of affairs with my “career” cum “job.”
I entered the company with no degree doing something I had done for a hobby (Web Design) for years – now I was getting paid salary to take part in a Fortune 500 company’s web site(s) (one of many people, I should say). I knew a couple guys here who don’t have degrees and are making decent money – they’ve got a condo, a car, and a dog. I was dating my wife at the time, and it seemed like a good gig, and tho-and-behold! A position opened up! I applied, and after being introduced to my future boss, I was told to put in my resume (and send my boss a copy, directly).
I got the job. (Obviously ;)
This of course lead me to the first professional, dedicated position of my life. Salary, 401k, benefits. Retirement. Career path. Or so I thought. As time went on, I learned new skills, learned new technologies, but was finding myself less and less impressed by my career – I enjoy designing, I enjoy making flyers for friends, making web sites – in my free time. Doing it professionally really took the joy out of it – you’re restricted, and even when you’re given free reign, it’s still not as exciting as I thought it’d be. Implement new code and technologies, find new ways of doing old things. But it’s just not that exciting – it’s my job, it’s what I do. I know the answers, I can tell them code when they ask, I know what’s causing that display error – but it’s not allowing me to grow as a person.
I’ll hold off for now until part II (which I didn’t intend, but this is something insightful for me).
posted in employment, goal |
The College Journal has a great snippet about those job fairs on college campuses:
WHAT TO DO:
- Dress for success – wear that suit and tie. Dress like it *is* an interview – you’re putting in factime and you want to be remembered to be known as “the kids that was dressed up” and not “the idiot in flip-flops.” You are one of hundreds (or thousands) that is applying for a chance at a job – they’re sizing you up.
- DO RESEARCH. Don’t approach a company and know nothing about it – and ask questions to the recruiter – do not try to fake it!
So as this article from Graduating Engineer says (emphasis mine):
Take your suit out of the closet and make sure it’s wrinkle free. Buff up your comfortable, suitable shoes. (No athletic shoes, please). Go to the event dressed as though you were going to an interview. In fact, that’s what you’re doing—going to preliminary interviews. Companies send their human resources and management staff to these events, so they are screening prospective hires.
Make sure your resume is up-to-date and free of grammar and spelling errors. – and don’t bring your backpack.
Plan your time at the event beforehand by getting a list of the companies that will be present. – HAVE A PLAN!
You should also write and rehearse a short speech about yourself. Be prepared to talk about yourself – you are selling yourself to these people.
There is a lot of preparation you can be doing to prepare for your future career – you want to put the best foot forward (and if you’re a freshman, you may even land yourself an internship, or at least get face time with people you *want* to remember you).
Why should you do this?
Do you really think you have a chance of landing a good job “just because?”
I’ve met people who are convinced they will land a six-figure salary when they graduate with _insert_major_here_ because they read an article, or some web site says people in their career make xyz, etc. It’s even worse when you meet someone that has no job experience – yet they think they’re prime material for the next CEO position because they’re fraternity is associated with Robert Redford (Notorious frats and what’s associated with them are not always a great thing to try and name drop).
Prepare. Intern. Study – it’ll pay off in the future.
posted in employment |