I don't read these introductions and I don't expect anyone to read this, but providing a bit of background just in case anyone reads something else I wrote and wonders "Who does she think she is?"
I learned about MMM through YNAB and through a friend (the director of the Missouri Bicycle & Pedestrian Federation is a fan).
We just became a 2-income family (combined income $129k) but mine will go away in a few months. We own one car (paid cash) and we rent our house. My husband has student loan debt and our daughter is quickly incurring student loan debt. :(
We're on average 40 yrs old (as of Dec 2013), and I'm overeducated with a PhD in Biology. I'm a research professor in a private osteopathic medical college-- research only, no teaching. My research area is a collaboration with an orthopaedic surgeon and we are studying posttraumatic osteoarthritis. This is not the field I was trained in, and sorry, we haven't discovered anything useful yet. In fact we won't discover anything, as we didn't get a grant this summer and therefore my contract is not going to be renewed.
Far from being devastated when I got this news, I was excited. I've been dissatisfied with this career for 13 years-- far too many-- and I welcomed the opportunity to change. I haven't been able to before, because I've been supporting the family. On a postdoc salary. But 3 years ago, my husband went back to school and got a degree in Computer Science. While I was a research prof, he wasn't able to get a job since we lived in a small town. But when we got the news about my contract, he put in 2 applications to a slightly bigger town and immediately got 2 offers.
That student debt of his is looking a little less of a stupid decision now that he has a job which enables me to finally break free of a career I dislike.
We became a 1-car family in 2004 and I started biking, just until we could afford a car payment for a 2nd car. Ha! Not on a postdoc salary, and I discovered that I loved bicycling and I loved not having a car payment. Wow, that opened my eyes. Not have a 2nd car! Not have a car payment! These amazing concepts fly in the face of everything I thought I knew.
What I don't like is traffic, and bike/ped advocacy is the one thing that makes me feel empowered to handle the inevitable honks, yells, buzzes, and the worst kinds of harassment on the road.
You know what else I like? Bike touring!
As I look ahead to switching careers when my contract expires, and saving up during these few months that we have a hefty double income, I'm considering urban planning, traffic engineering, or bike/ped advocacy.
Our daughter is a freshman at an engineering school. She's considering civil engineering. I'm jealous. Also worried, as she will end up with a lot of student debt and she has been very unhappy during her first semester. But I have to let her make her own financial mistakes, and who knows, maybe the student loans won't be a mistake for her.
That random collection of facts will explain quite a lot if you're stalking me. If you're curious, I'm happy to share more. :)