Author Topic: Balance between confidence and money  (Read 736 times)

Usaviator

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Balance between confidence and money
« on: April 14, 2018, 11:33:22 PM »
I have been reading on MMM for a few months now and have read some really inspiring things that resonate strong with me.  Recently I read the blog post on the balance between money and confidence. I believe most of my life has been not exactly a steady balance, but a wavering balance nonetheless between the two and tending not to get stuck on either extreme side of the graph that you see here:
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2018/03/09/money-and-confidence-are-interchangeable/

Me and my wife have lived very frugal lives in our married years.  We rent cheap apartments, take breaks with internet once in a while to save money and refocus our brains on the non-digital life around us, have the most inexpensive cell phone plans (I still use a flip phone), and generally try to not buy things we can't afford, or even buy things that we can afford but will end up being a waste in the long run.  One exception to this is a vehicle we purchased last year.  We had been living in San Diego for 4 years away from everything we knew-our family and friends, and had so many car issues that we could barely keep up with them.  So we decided to move back to the Northeast and we bought a 2012 rav4 limited with very low miles, something we could depend on for a while without giving us any trouble and powerful enough to tow a trailer behind to pull all of our belongings cross country.   Unfortunately, it put us in debt for a max of 6 years.  We are hoping to pay off sooner, but its hard to know how soon.   Now we are living back in NE and things have been pretty good for the most part, but still feeling I could use some direction from some of the MMM community. 

We have maintained a pretty decent work schedule compared to most people. I work 24 hours a week and my wife works about the same amount.  The only way we're able to make a living is because I drive an insane amount of miles per day to work to make a wage that I would consider quite above average for my field of work (which is an optician).  So I decided to take a job that provided us enough to live as if I were working full time, with the task of driving 90 miles round trip a day.  I know MMM would be shaking his head at me for it, but I really value my time with my family and this situation seemed like the best I had right now considering I'm making an average weeks wage with only working 3 days a week.  My wife on the other hand, needs to work the days I don't and since her job is more variable (don't confuse this with flexible) with its hours, she usually has to split her 24+ hours between all 4 days that I have off, so we rarely get a day off together.  I have been thinking of finding a job much closer to home, even though it will not pay nearly as much as I make now since I work in Massachusetts but live in New Hampshire and jobs in my field don't pay as much in New Hampshire. So between me and my wife's alternating schedules, we get to see our son a lot, but not eachother.  We are strongly considering finding childcare since it seems like the only option to merge some of our workdays together to give us more time, but childcare is so expensive, that sometimes it seems like you might as well just take the day off and spend it with your child, than to work for it to spend it.  Tricky things come into play as well like my wife's job has excellent health benefits for the whole family just for working over 20 hours a week.  So it's not like she can decrease her hours much more without losing those benefits.  It's hard for me to think of how we could live cheaper, except for selling our nice vehicle and buying something cheaper (and of course we are dreading that because of all the money and time we spent on repairs for our old cars.) 

So you could say right now that we're swinging more on the side of money and less on confidence right now.  Situations seem tight and lately, me and my wife have been experiencing "stuck" kind of feelings about our work situations.  We have not always felt this way and we have, for the most part, had no problem living a very frugal life.  But on the other hand, I can see how some people slip into the deadly cycle of the rat race and the daily grind of 8 hours and selling your life to a job for the security it provides.  The stakes go up when you have a little one and we're struggling right now to be confident and see through these situations to know which direction to move in.  It's like we're very close to making a good decision that could help alleviate stress and provide more freedom to spend time with my family, but it's equally as close to making a bad decision that's going to further enslave us by fear to slowly give over more of our freedoms and lives over to those looking to make us feel more secure.

So that's my situation, my question is, does anyone know what it's like being in my situation?  How do you approach something like childcare, which is so expensive, but will seemingly give you more freedom and time, especially with someone like me in my situation with my wife and child?  Do you think it's worth it, or try to keep plugging away like we're doing without getting childcare? 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 11:40:25 PM by Usaviator »

slappy

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Re: Balance between confidence and money
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 06:55:02 AM »
Maybe consider part time childcare? That way your wife could work a couple of overlapping days with you and then you could have the days off as a family. Would getting a date night babysitter work, so you could go out and spend time together on a regular basis.

Honestly, I live in southern NH and you couldn't pay me enough to work in Mass.