Author Topic: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)  (Read 6772 times)

RumbleKittie

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Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« on: December 29, 2014, 12:43:38 PM »
Hello again!

About a year ago, the MMM community gave me a lot of great advice in my last case study thread: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/reader-case-study-beginner-mustachian-dealing-with-the-un-converted/msg164454/#msg164454

Since then, our circumstances have changed quite a bit, so I felt it warranted a brand new thread rather than an update to the old one. Most notably, I am 5 months pregnant, which we are incredibly excited about. Also, my husband was a casualty of mass layoffs at his company a few months ago. In fact, we found out he was laid-off only a couple days after we found out I was pregnant. Talk about an emotional week!

With only one income and a kid on the way, retiring by 40 doesn't seem nearly as possible. However, I think I'm mainly looking for reassurance that everything will be ok. It might be the pregnancy hormones, but I feel particularly vulnerable lately especially since I work in the oil & gas industry. I don't think my chances for being laid off are particularly high, but I think the crash in oil prices would rattle me a bit less if my husband was working. On the bright side, I feel that preparing for FIRE in the past year has put us in a much better position to deal with these major life events with a cool head and a manageable amount of stress.

So without further ado, here's where we stand right now:

Members of the Household
Our household includes myself (30 yrs old), my husband (38 yrs old), 2 kitties, 2 large dogs, and a baby on the way.

Income
My Income: ~$8,250/month take home
  • This is an average of the last 12 months. I get a large bonus in January every year that was averaged into the monthly number above. I don't think my maternity leave will impact my income for the next year much.
  • This includes deductions for medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, tax withholding, 401(k), and participation in the employee's stock purchase plan.
  • For the 401(k), my company matches 100% for the first 6%. I'm participating at 10%.
  • For the employee stock purchase plan, we can contribute 10% of our salary to buy company stock. The company matches the employee contributions at a rate of 75%. Contributions are after tax, and I'm participating at 10%.

Assets
  • Cash: $23,862
  • Company Stock: $13,072
  • My 401(k): $120,407
  • Hubby's 401(k): $89,210
  • My Roth IRA: $39,414
  • Hubby's Trad IRA: $11,000
  • Brokerage Account: $190,103

Total Non-Property Assets: ~$487,068

The asset allocation of the portfolio as a whole is currently about 56% U.S. Stocks, 23% International Stocks, 12% U.S. Bonds, 2% International Bonds, 2% Alternatives, & 5% Cash.

The money in Hubby's Trad IRA is in a monkey market fund, because it was intentionally intended as a backdoor Roth contribution. However, I started second-guessing myself and let it sit there. I wasn't sure that there was an advantage in doing the backdoor Roth if we were planning to be in a lower tax-bracket after retirement. Thoughts on what I should do with it?

I have been regularly divesting as much of the company stock as possible to diversify, so the company stock I have now (listed above) is just the amount that still needs to vest.

Liabilities
Mortgage: $106,878 (15 yr mortgage at 3%)

Expenses
The following is a 12 month average:

Mortgage/Escrow: $1,338
House Maintenance/Improvements: $857 (needed to replace upstairs AC unit)
HOA: $16
Furniture: $289
Household Goods: $23
Gas: $359 (hubby had a large commute to his last job)
Tolls: $90
Car Maintenance: $266
Car Registration/Inspection/Taxes: $29
Car Insurance: $265
Groceries: $226
Restaurants: $221
Electricity: $138
Natural Gas: $42
City Utilities: $81
Phone: $115
Internet: $61
Netflix: $9
Miscellaneous Fees: $258 (includes taxes)
Medical: $82
Clothing: $61
Toiletries: $17
College: $106 (will likely increase substantially as hubby takes a bigger course load while looking for a job)
Pet Supplies & Vet: $356
Personal Spending Money: $341 (for both of us)
Entertainment: $95
Vacation/Travel: $207

Total Average Monthly Expenses: $5,948

It is definitely apparent that we could improve in many of these categories. My concern is that costs will increase dramatically in the next few years as my husband finishes his degree along with having a child.

Summary & Questions
  • I know I should roll over my husband's 401(k) from his prior company to an IRA. However, I wanted to figure out whether or not I should proceed with the backdoor Roth contribution I intended to do earlier this year. What would be the advantage of us contributing to a Roth as opposed to a Trad IRA if we're planning to be in a lower tax bracket after retirement?
  • How should we budget for the baby? What's the best way to approach a college fund? Use a 529? We're fortunate that we're getting a lot of hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law.
  • This past year was my first attempt at doing our taxes since we've been married. Obviously, I didn't do a very good job, because we paid a lot more in taxes than in previous years. How do you suggest we look for a tax professional?
  • My company recently started providing a high-deductible HSA plan as an alternative to traditional medical insurance. Is this something I should consider?
  • It may take a while for my husband to find a job. Are we in a sustainable position if we remain on one income while he finishes his degree (or maybe even longer)? (By sustainable, I mean able to provide our child with an enriching life while maybe even still shooting for FIRE.)
  • What are some other ways we can optimize our budget/finances that I'm not thinking about? I'm sure there's a ton I'm missing!

Again, thank you again for your assistance in getting our financial house in order last year. We would be much less equipped to deal with life's recent surprises (both good and bad) if we had not started preparing for financial independence. I know that there are a lot of people in worse circumstances than we are. It's just a psychological blow to deal with unexpected change.

Future Lazy

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 01:54:33 PM »
Your spending seems pretty off the hook to me. Assuming I'm understanding, these are monthly averages based on yearly totals?

Furniture: $289
That's $3468 in the last 12 months? What did you spend this on, and why couldn't you have gotten the same from freecycle/craigslist?

Gas: $359
Tolls: $90
Car Maintenance: $266
Car Registration/Inspection/Taxes: $29
Car Insurance: $265
Total Commuting Monthly: $1009
Total Commuting Yearly: $12,108

Just for perspective, that's over twice my rent cost, monthly. You could house my DH and I twiceover for a year.

It's also almost 50% of my yearly income. You could FIRE me in 17 years.

I would take the opportunity of DH finding a new job to seriously slash this, even if it means taking less pay closer to home. Remember, the IRS says it's $0.51/mi to drive.

Invested over 10 years, this would be: $190,274
Invested over 25 years, by the time your current resident is graduating college, it would be: $750,246
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/roi-calculator.aspx


Groceries: $226
Good job here!

Restaurants: $221
Questionable here.
From my perspective, this is five fancy $50 Outback Steakhouse dinners for two each month, including glass of wine.
It's up to 20 $10.50 Chic-Fil-A/Taco Bell splurges for two, per month.

Phone: $115
This seems pretty expensive. Have you read the guide?
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/

Clothing: $61
That's one new shirt from a fancy place like Dress Barn, every month. Twelve new shirts per year.
That's three new pairs of pants from the clearance rack at Eddie Bauer, every month. 36 new pairs of pants per year.
That's 6-25 pieces of clothing from a thrift store, per month. 72-300 pieces of clothing per year, perhaps almost enough to never do laundry (huge savings!!).
If a package of Dickey's brand men's socks is $12, and comes with 6 pairs, that's 366 new pairs of socks per year. You wouldn't even have to wash them.
If a package of white women's underwear is $14, and comes with 10 pairs, that's 522 new pairs of women's underwear per year.

And, apparently all this excess underwear isn't included in your personal spending...

Personal Spending Money: $341
Entertainment: $95
Vacation/Travel: $207
Total Frivolities per Month: $643
Total Frivolities per Year: $7716

Once again, this could house DH and I for a year. Famously, this is about what Jacob of ERE spends in his entire year of living expenses. Considering the variety of all the other categories you've listed, it's a little beyond me what "spending money" even entails.

Not Very Hardcore Monthly Suggested Cutbacks/Savings:
Car by 50%: $504.50
Restaurants by 100%: $221.00
Phone by 50%: $57.50
Clothing by 100%: $61.00
"Spending" by 66%: $214.333 $428.666 (Edit: Oops!!! Messed up some math in here... )

Total Monthly Savings: $1058.33 1272.66
Total Yearly Savings: $12,699.96 $15,272

If invested instead...
Over 10 years: $239,995
Over 25 years: $946,296
Over 35 years: $1,899,470
http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/retirement/roi-calculator.aspx


About Retirement:
Your current yearly expenses/spending times 25 is $1,784,400
Suggested spending with cutbacks, yearly times 25 is $1,466,901  $1,402,602

In other words, you would need $381,798.00 less to retire on, just by making small changes in luxury spending/commuting only.


About Job Security:
If you lost your O&G job tomorrow, and DH was unable to find work, your current non-property assets would last you 81.88 months, or 6.8 years. That's pretty good.

If you made the small suggested changes to monthly spending, your current non-property assets would last you 99.61 months, or 8.3 years.

Job security wouldn't really be my concern here. If you can't find a job in 6-8 years, something is wrong-o.



Seriously, though, I think you could easily cut back by $18,816 per year and still lead happy, healthy, eventful, fancy and luxurious lives, and you wouldn't even have to sell your house to do it.
http://affordanything.com/2014/12/17/take-the-one-percent-challenge/

Hopefully this helps provide some perspective on your spending. Happy new year, by the way! :)


P.S. How big is your house that it has a separate upstairs A/C unit? When is the downstairs A/C unit going to blow?  Expensiiiive.
Do you live in a mansion?  How many bedrooms does it have? Can you rent them out? Opportunity costs!
http://affordanything.com/2014/09/02/how-i-earned-an-extra-40800-in-two-years/
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 02:20:25 PM by KaylaEM »

Aphalite

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 01:56:43 PM »
I know I should roll over my husband's 401(k) from his prior company to an IRA. However, I wanted to figure out whether or not I should proceed with the backdoor Roth contribution I intended to do earlier this year. What would be the advantage of us contributing to a Roth as opposed to a Trad IRA if we're planning to be in a lower tax bracket after retirement?
If you can contribute to traditional and get the deduction (under 98K total for 2014) then go for it, but I don't know that you meet that criteria with your husband's income for 2014 (your income alone already exceeds the 98k limit for MFJ). Definitely contribute to traditional next year if your husband doesn't earn any income. Otherwise it's normally always worth it to backdoor Roth because you still avoid capital gains tax on the earnings.

How should we budget for the baby? What's the best way to approach a college fund? Use a 529? We're fortunate that we're getting a lot of hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law.
There's some controversy surrounding this topic, as while your gains are (capital) tax free, there's a 10% penalty for any amount not applied to eligible education expenses, so what's your tolerance for the chance that your child might not want to attend college or might not use all of the 529 contributions (especially if he/she gets a full ride to college)? I would say if you live in Texas, no need to 529 - you don't get any state tax benefits. Just liquidate from brokerage if the time comes and your kid wants to go to college, this works especially well if you expect to be at 10% or lower capital tax when it comes time for college (although the trend will likely be an increase in capital gain tax in the future, imo). If you must contribute to one, don't over contribute

This past year was my first attempt at doing our taxes since we've been married. Obviously, I didn't do a very good job, because we paid a lot more in taxes than in previous years. How do you suggest we look for a tax professional?
This is slightly confusing. Are you saying you paid more total taxes than last year (Perhaps because of the huge bonus you talked about and you winded up earning more? Or perhaps you sold some taxable holdings from your brokerage and triggered capital gains tax?) Or are you saying that your tax refund was higher because you paid too much in withholdings? If it's the first one, then up your 401k withholding to max allowed and contribute to an HSA to lower your taxable income, and as your husband is no longer working you'll be paying less taxes next year. If it's the second one, withhold less taxes from your paycheck. I'm afraid no tax professional will help you pay less total taxes outside of the strategies we list here. Also see http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Category:Tax_considerations

My company recently started providing a high-deductible HSA plan as an alternative to traditional medical insurance. Is this something I should consider?
Yes and no. Yes for the most part, but no because you are pregnant and might incur heavy medical expenses next year. I would wait a year unless if your deductible on your current plan is already high (I'd say over 2k), in which case make the switch to HSA eligible, that will save you some money on taxes as well

It may take a while for my husband to find a job. Are we in a sustainable position if we remain on one income while he finishes his degree (or maybe even longer)? (By sustainable, I mean able to provide our child with an enriching life while maybe even still shooting for FIRE.)
You're taking in 8k and spending 6k, financially you're fine. If you keep spending less than you earn, you will eventually become financially independent. Expenses won't jump that much more once the baby comes, especially since your husband can provide childcare. As far as enriching life - that doesn't have anything to do with money.

What are some other ways we can optimize our budget/finances that I'm not thinking about? I'm sure there's a ton I'm missing!
The normal suggestions you'll get will probably be along the lines of reduce car use, switch phone plans, eat our less, buy less new clothing, cut personal spending money, etc. I'd say that the best advice MMM gave on this is to make an effort to consciously decouple money from happiness, that usually results in less spending of money and more spending of time with each other.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2014, 02:00:58 PM by aphalite »

catccc

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2014, 01:59:05 PM »

Summary & Questions
  • How should we budget for the baby? What's the best way to approach a college fund? Use a 529? We're fortunate that we're getting a lot of hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law.
  • This past year was my first attempt at doing our taxes since we've been married. Obviously, I didn't do a very good job, because we paid a lot more in taxes than in previous years. How do you suggest we look for a tax professional?
  • My company recently started providing a high-deductible HSA plan as an alternative to traditional medical insurance. Is this something I should consider?
  • It may take a while for my husband to find a job. Are we in a sustainable position if we remain on one income while he finishes his degree (or maybe even longer)? (By sustainable, I mean able to provide our child with an enriching life while maybe even still shooting for FIRE.)

Budgeting for baby:  they don't really cost that much.  I suggest seeking support for breastfeeding (check for la leche league groups in the area, research what your insurance covers in terms of lactation consultants, etc.  Consider cloth diapering.  There are lots of excuses not to do this, but most of them aren't any "good."  We did it with a "portable" washing machine and an indoor line dry system in our 399 sqft apartment.  The washing machine had to hook up to the kitchen sink and I had to make sure all the dishes were done (no dishwasher) before doing any laundry.  I'm sure it was a pain in the ass back then, but I diapered 2 kids for around $200, plus they potty trained early.  That's all babies really need, to eat and poo.  And smile and coo, and you can get them to do that just  by holding them and talking to them, both of which are free activities.

Taxes:  It is likely you did a fine job of doing your taxes.  They pretty much are what they are, unless you missed something big, like taking a standard deduction when you were able to itemize a good bit more, or something like that.  A "better" tax professional doesn't mean a lower tax bill.  We all play by the same rules.  It's likely that your change in your tax situation was due to something else- underwithholding, increased income, a myriad of things can cause the taxes you are required to pay at filing to change.

I don't know much about them, but HSAs are supposed to be a great early retirement tool.  I would definitely look into this.

I am working on FIRE in a one income family of four situation.  My children have wonderfully enriching lives, and we live on about half of what we earn (45K of 90K gross income.)  It's totally possible.  Heck, in our first kid's first year, we lived what I felt was very well on my husband's 27K.  Tiny apartment helped.  We got a bigger place once DH and I switched jobs (he became the SAHP and I returned to my career in accounting.)

Good luck with everything!

LadyStache

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2014, 02:03:41 PM »
The money in Hubby's Trad IRA is in a monkey market fund, because it was intentionally intended as a backdoor Roth contribution.

Ooh monkey markets. I want one! j/k

LadyStache

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2014, 02:14:07 PM »
Shop around for auto insurance. Yours is pretty high. If your husband is still in school, you might qualify for a good student discount. You can usually get a discount if each of you completes a defensive driving course as well.

$266 is a lot to spend on car maintenance per month. It might be worth purchasing a more reliable vehicle if you think that trend will continue. Look around for something that also gets better gas mileage since you're spending a lot in that area as well.

Also, try eating in more often. Your restaurant expenses could be lower.

Hugerat

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2014, 02:21:18 PM »
Ah case studies! When the OP bears her life and finances for all Mustachianism to see. I always find it funny how a lifestyle that, at least on the surface, doesn't look full of luxuries, nevertheless ends up producing some pretty outlandish spending numbers. I think you already know where you can cut fat out of your budget, but since you posted, here goes.

1. Surely you won't average $857 on home repairs every month. This must be one large repair that will not be repeated any time soon. I would also generally not consider central A/C a "need," but even if you do a couple of window units would have set you back a tiny fraction of this number.

2. Furniture spending of $289? Every month? How much furniture could you possibly need?

3. Do you know that you are spending $1,000 a month on your cars? And how on earth are your insurance and maintenance costs so high? Are you totaling a car every 3 years or so?

4. You're spending about 50% more to feed an entertain your pets than you are to feed yourselves. I'm reminded of a friend who once purchased $60 per pound treats for her designer kitty. That's about 3 times as much as I would pay for filet mignon for myself.

I guess there's really no need to continue. Just bring the 4 items above back down to something reasonable and you've made a 25% reduction in total spending. There's so much low-hanging fruit here that you could go through your budget and cut at least 50% from virtually every line. It's sort of funny how the most frugal part of your budget by far is food for yourselves. I wouldn't both with hiring an accountant. Taxes are really not the voodoo that many people make them out to be, and there just aren't that many deductions available to two wage slaves with no kids. With your assets and generally low housing costs you could be at FI in just a few short years, but not if you keep spending the way you do now.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2014, 02:22:31 PM »
Congratulations on the pregnancy and being able to survive a job loss pretty easily.

Until your hubby finds a job:

Take minimal maternity leave and get right back to work.

Cut ALL expenses to the bone.  Do not spend any money you do not need to spend (only be in a restaurant if you're working there...LOL!).

As for Roth, take last year's taxes, then plug this year's income and determine your marginal tax rate.  Unless it's 15% or below, I would not do any converting.

As for HSA, dissect the plan and run the numbers, cannot make a blanket statement.  Generally, those are higher risk, money saving plans.

You are in a "Sustainable Position", which is something you should be very happy about.  As for your definition of "enriching life", pa-leeeease!  There's more to life than money, one step at a time.  It's much better than having terminal cancer!  Thank God you have been smart with money and can absorb this event with minimal pain!!

RumbleKittie

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2014, 03:51:47 PM »
* Taxes:
   - To clarify, I think I must've done something wrong because our income situation didn't change that much from 2013 to 2014 but I paid around $2,000 more in taxes this year. I didn't change anything in our withholding, and we didn't sell any taxable holdings. Even if I don't use a professional every year, I'd like to consult a tax professional to examine what happened and how we can better shield ourselves from taxes in the future. I'm not even sure what kind of professional that would require ... a CPA? We maxed both our 401(k)'s in 2014, but that's about as much as I know to do.

It was really comforting to see that we have a lot of room for improvement. I feel better when I'm taking action on something that's worrying me. Thanks for pointing out the problem areas! The big problem hotspots in our budget isn't exactly a surprise to me, but I have been struggling in ways to reasonably cut down costs in those areas:

* Car costs
   - My husband and I are constantly talking about the car situation. I think we just come from two different places/cultures/mindsets regarding cars. We have 3 cars, which might be why insurance/registration/etc. seems high. I definitely know we don't need 3 cars, but my husband is having attachment issues with the car we don't drive 90% of the time, which he bought before we even started dating. After he lost his job, he talked about selling it, but once I found an interested buyer, he changed his mind.
   - The gas has come down, since hubby lost his job. It's now down to $150/month. We're really hoping he finds a job closer to home.
   - We shop around for car insurance about once a year and use USAA right now. Great suggestion about looking into student discounts! We hadn't thought of that angle yet.
   - We also had a couple fender benders in the past year. This was a bit of an anomaly, because neither of us has had accidents in our entire driving history before.

* Phone costs
   - The cost of a new phone when I switched to Republic wireless was averaged into the monthly phone cost. I currently have $30/month with Republic, and my husband pays $50/month for Virgin. I've been happy with my experience with Republic, but we don't want to buy another phone at the moment for him to switch.

* Restaurants
   - That's an easy one. We have no excuse not to eat more home cooked meals now that one of us is at home.

* Pets
   - I'm not really sure how to forecast this category. We are definitely spending a ridiculous amount on straight-up just feeding our animals, though we've recently changed to a cheaper food a couple weeks ago. Reviewing the YNAB history for this category, it looks like what inflated the monthly average were routine vet visits, which may be reduced by using low cost clinics. We also built them a dog house, which cost way more than I was expecting. So frustrating, since they don't even use the dog house! :-(

* Furniture & House Maintenance
   - The furniture costs were mainly due to the purchase of a mattress and media room couches, and the house maintenance costs were due to replacing the upstairs AC. (Living in TX, AC is a big deal!) It would be easy for me to dismiss these as rare expenses, but the truth is that I'm anticipating a lot of expenses in the future in these categories (especially the latter). We bought the house as a foreclosure and have been slowly making repairs as necessary. Already in the upcoming year, we're looking at possible mold remediation and foundation repairs. A couple of the windows are cracked, and we'd like to replace them with energy efficient windows at some point. We have yet to even get curtains for the house and one of the rooms isn't furnished. These two categories stress me out. :-( I wouldn't say we live in a very large house (2,610 sq ft). Though all the space isn't used all the time, we have stretches of months at a time where we have family staying with us for one reason or another. At one point earlier this year, we had both my in-laws AND my father/step-mother staying with us for a few months at the same time. That was definitely a sitcom in the making.
   
I'm going to think about the Roth IRA and HSA feedback a little more before coming back with an action plan to review.

Thanks again, everyone! I really appreciate the feedback from a variety of perspectives!

Aphalite

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2014, 06:15:22 PM »
No, the extra $2k in taxes is in line with your pay increase - you said in the other thread that your pay was ~7300, this year it's ~8300. $2K tax on an extra $12K is about 17%, which is lower than your marginal rate. Additionally, you probably received more dividend income this year from your brokerage holdings since they've grown over the past year in size. I would say it sounds about right on the surface.

RumbleKittie

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2014, 06:18:06 PM »
No, the extra $2k in taxes is in line with your pay increase - you said in the other thread that your pay was ~7300, this year it's ~8300. $2K tax on an extra $12K is about 17%, which is lower than your marginal rate. Additionally, you probably received more dividend income this year from your brokerage holdings since they've grown over the past year in size. I would say it sounds about right on the surface.

That's reassuring! I wasn't very confident in my abilities, but I had thought I was pretty careful in filing!

fidgiegirl

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2014, 07:46:16 PM »
I guess home size is a relative matter - your "not very large" IS my "very large."  Bear in mind that it is not your job to house your in-laws/parents.  Sounds like that is behind you but you are almost preparing for it to happen again?  You don't have to use that as a reason to justify having your house is what I'm trying to say.  Uff, that house sounds like a money pit - much like my own. :( No face punching, because I've been there, but it sounds like on the house front there could be some opportunity for savings.

And the car?  The treasured one?  If I were you, I'd stay about a 1000 miles away from being the one finding the interested buyers.  His mechanical baby, his job to sell it.  Otherwise you'll be resented.  At least that's how it would work in my house - YMMV.  Perhaps it could be switched over to just storage insurance or some such if he can't pull the trigger yet.

Oh, pets . . . our pet spending was really high until our elderly dog departed this earth.  It's gone way down now.  Tough one.

marty998

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #12 on: December 29, 2014, 09:42:38 PM »
Top post Kayla - wow proof smalls things add up to massive.

Future Lazy

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2014, 10:02:05 PM »
Top post Kayla - wow proof smalls things add up to massive.

Aww thanks! :)

Seeing case studies with so much low hanging fruit gives me the warm fuzzies.

RumbleKittie

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2014, 08:44:49 AM »
I guess home size is a relative matter - your "not very large" IS my "very large."  Bear in mind that it is not your job to house your in-laws/parents.  Sounds like that is behind you but you are almost preparing for it to happen again?  You don't have to use that as a reason to justify having your house is what I'm trying to say.  Uff, that house sounds like a money pit - much like my own. :( No face punching, because I've been there, but it sounds like on the house front there could be some opportunity for savings.

And the car?  The treasured one?  If I were you, I'd stay about a 1000 miles away from being the one finding the interested buyers.  His mechanical baby, his job to sell it.  Otherwise you'll be resented.  At least that's how it would work in my house - YMMV.  Perhaps it could be switched over to just storage insurance or some such if he can't pull the trigger yet.

Oh, pets . . . our pet spending was really high until our elderly dog departed this earth.  It's gone way down now.  Tough one.

As far as the houseguests, I think I suffer from "stray puppy syndrome" that's not isolated to parents/family members. Intern housing fell through? Oh! Why don't you stay with us until the internship ends! Fight with the fiancee? Oh! We have an extra room for you to stay while things blow over! Etc. My husband has been incredibly patient with this part of my nature, though I think he is understandably encountering his limits as he values his privacy very much. I think the reason I am this way is that I remember struggling (financially & emotionally) in my early 20's and felt that I would know when I would be in a place of success if I was in a position to help out other people. As much as I'd like to pass it off as noble, I think it is vanity and is my personal status symbol like my husband's car is his status symbol. I think this will be happening with less frequency now that one of the guest rooms will be a nursery and the other guest room is the home office/computer/craft room. You are totally right in that the house is a money pit. This was our first house, and it seemed like such a great deal. In hindsight, I think we should've spent more money initially on a house in better condition. *sigh* But overall we love the house and the area, so we still feel blessed despite the problems.

I totally agree with you on the car. I do worry that it would be a source of resentment if I push the issue too much. My husband isn't 100% on the same page as I am as far as FIRE and budgeting, but he's getting there on his own the more I talk about the things I learn. I think I might've gotten a bit over-excited when he talked about selling the car. Finding the interested buyer was a bad move on my part and probably pushed him back a couple steps.

JLee

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2014, 09:27:27 AM »
I guess home size is a relative matter - your "not very large" IS my "very large."  Bear in mind that it is not your job to house your in-laws/parents.  Sounds like that is behind you but you are almost preparing for it to happen again?  You don't have to use that as a reason to justify having your house is what I'm trying to say.  Uff, that house sounds like a money pit - much like my own. :( No face punching, because I've been there, but it sounds like on the house front there could be some opportunity for savings.

And the car?  The treasured one?  If I were you, I'd stay about a 1000 miles away from being the one finding the interested buyers.  His mechanical baby, his job to sell it.  Otherwise you'll be resented.  At least that's how it would work in my house - YMMV.  Perhaps it could be switched over to just storage insurance or some such if he can't pull the trigger yet.

Oh, pets . . . our pet spending was really high until our elderly dog departed this earth.  It's gone way down now.  Tough one.

As far as the houseguests, I think I suffer from "stray puppy syndrome" that's not isolated to parents/family members. Intern housing fell through? Oh! Why don't you stay with us until the internship ends! Fight with the fiancee? Oh! We have an extra room for you to stay while things blow over! Etc. My husband has been incredibly patient with this part of my nature, though I think he is understandably encountering his limits as he values his privacy very much. I think the reason I am this way is that I remember struggling (financially & emotionally) in my early 20's and felt that I would know when I would be in a place of success if I was in a position to help out other people. As much as I'd like to pass it off as noble, I think it is vanity and is my personal status symbol like my husband's car is his status symbol. I think this will be happening with less frequency now that one of the guest rooms will be a nursery and the other guest room is the home office/computer/craft room. You are totally right in that the house is a money pit. This was our first house, and it seemed like such a great deal. In hindsight, I think we should've spent more money initially on a house in better condition. *sigh* But overall we love the house and the area, so we still feel blessed despite the problems.

I totally agree with you on the car. I do worry that it would be a source of resentment if I push the issue too much. My husband isn't 100% on the same page as I am as far as FIRE and budgeting, but he's getting there on his own the more I talk about the things I learn. I think I might've gotten a bit over-excited when he talked about selling the car. Finding the interested buyer was a bad move on my part and probably pushed him back a couple steps.

If this car is garaged and is rarely used, try a collectible insurance policy.  I dropped the insurance on my MR2 by 1/3 and got far better coverage.

Phil_Moore

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #16 on: December 30, 2014, 10:47:36 AM »
I wouldn't say we live in a very large house (2,610 sq ft).

That's 4.5 times the size of our 2bdr, sounds massive for 2(+1:congrats!) people.

I was going to suggest renting out a room, or the large doghouse*, to help pay for all these repairs, but it doesn't sound like your other-half is up for it.



*I've only seen these in cartoons so it may not be what I'm imagining.


fidgiegirl

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2014, 01:31:38 PM »

I was going to suggest renting out a room, or the large doghouse*,

LOL - actually, you said the dog doesn't use the doghouse . . . sell it?

Future Lazy

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2014, 01:37:39 PM »

I was going to suggest renting out a room, or the large doghouse*,

LOL - actually, you said the dog doesn't use the doghouse . . . sell it?

If it's Texas Sized and has windows, is it a detached conforming bedroom? :0 I'd rent it.

RumbleKittie

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Re: Case Study: Pregnant (Yay!) and Husband Laid-off (Boo!)
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2014, 02:00:09 PM »

I was going to suggest renting out a room, or the large doghouse*,

LOL - actually, you said the dog doesn't use the doghouse . . . sell it?

If it's Texas Sized and has windows, is it a detached conforming bedroom? :0 I'd rent it.

Lol, no windows but we did create a ghetto cooling system for it. I'm hoping the dogs will be smart enough to use it during the summer. They definitely haven't figured out how to use it when it rains, though they might actually like the rain. Who knows.

We're proud of our construction, but I don't think many people would be interested in paying money for our first little building effort. :-P