Author Topic: How did you decide to become a single income family?  (Read 2985 times)

AliInKY

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How did you decide to become a single income family?
« on: November 03, 2014, 11:26:09 AM »
My husband had the opportunity to take a voluntary layoff at his manufacturing job for October-December.  It was an easy decision.  Our number crunching involved comparing the unemployment income to his regular income + costs associated to working:
- fuel
- vehicle wear and tear
- 70 minutes round trip commute
- working 12 hour shifts weekdays AND every other weekend (lots of lost time)

In less than a month we've completed several home projects.  We've enjoyed not having to cram "life" into four days out of the month.  We've had opportunity to relax on the weekends and do our want-to's, not must-do's.  Yesterday we actually went for a long walk in the local university arboretum, then napped for two hours, then went to bed for the night just two hours after our naps.  How refreshing to not have a project plan for the weekend!

He's actively looking for a day job in the our residential city but has not had much luck so far (no college degree, no DIY/consulting skills to tap into).  I am the primary breadwinner and work in our residential city.  We have no children.  We have a mortgage but are debt free otherwise.  The mortgage will be gone in 10 years (with such a low interest rate, we will invest our money and build our stash while paying it off).  We have significant safety net savings, an investment account, 401Ks and IRAs.  However, we are not ready to retire.

So I'm starting to wonder...  What if he quit his job and we lived on my income alone, at least until he found another job locally?  (Note: He's also considering some educational options.)   We could certainly live on my income as well as pay for school, although it would obviously cut in to our retirement planning.  The benefit is that we get to live our simple life together, he completes home projects, etc.  However, obtaining a job offer is arguably easier when one is currently employed.  And I do have some mixed emotions about being the only one working.

How have your families approached this decision?  Any insight or advice would be much appreciated.



BreakingtheCycle

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Re: How did you decide to become a single income family?
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2014, 11:33:59 AM »
I became a stay-at-home mom 6 years ago, and we wouldn't have it any other way!  I fully intend to continue staying home even after all the kids are in school full time and when they are grown/moved out of the house.  I might pursue more craft-selling on Etsy, or pursue writing or homesteading, in other words I won't be a bump on a log, but I still have no intention of returning to the corporate marketing career I left behind.

We're trying to figure out the retirement stuff since I have no retirement of my own, but we're committed to making it work.  There is just so much more balance in our lives, even more once the kids are grown and I have more time for the domestic responsibilities.

I loved the book Radical Homemakers as it talks about men and women who stay home and how families used to be constructed prior to the Industrial Revolution.  Very inspiring if you're looking for inspiration!

expatartist

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Re: How did you decide to become a single income family?
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2014, 07:48:24 PM »
Our scenario has been back-and-forth over the years, sometimes with just one income, or one and a half. Like you we are child-free. DH is planning to quit his job in mid-January, after extreme dissatisfaction with his current job, recent family troubles, and the job market in this country (he believes all companies in his field here are unethical so won't work for them).

We keep separate accounts, and he'll have some freelance income which should cover his daily expenses; the rest will go for his debt repayment and, afterwards, investments. My job pays for our housing, and COL here is quite low. He's unhappy with life and his work options here, while I love my job and enjoy life in this city, so having more time to relax will keep him from stressing out as he has with his current job.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2014, 07:51:12 PM by expatartist »

yoga mama

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Re: How did you decide to become a single income family?
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 08:38:22 AM »
For us, it was having kids.  The cost of child care was not worth it, since my husband's earning potential (as he sees it) was not high.  I have a job with long hours and lots of weekends so the flexibility of having a stay at home parent was valuable.  It sounds like it would be a good solution for you guys!

OR

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Re: How did you decide to become a single income family?
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2014, 01:23:02 PM »
We decided to go double part time.  Unique situation where we both make good money on a part time schedule in relatively rewarding areas (teaching and public interest law).  We do tag team parenting to make it work.  It at least doubles out FIRE date, but life is pretty good in the short term.  Lots of kid time.

It is easy to get obsessed with a savings sprint (I struggle with it myself) , but the spring shouldn't get in the way of having a nice life.  Sounds like you are enjoying the extra time.  Maybe slow your sprint to a fast jog and enjoy the ride.  If you catch your breath, you can pick up the pace (ie have hubby go back to work).

OR

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Re: How did you decide to become a single income family?
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2014, 01:26:05 PM »
We decided to go double part time.  Unique situation where we both make good money on a part time schedule in relatively rewarding areas (teaching and public interest law).  We do tag team parenting to make it work.  It at least doubles out FIRE date, but life is pretty good in the short term.  Lots of kid time.

It is easy to get obsessed with a savings sprint (I struggle with it myself) , but the spring shouldn't get in the way of having a nice life.  Sounds like you are enjoying the extra time.  Maybe slow your sprint to a fast jog and enjoy the ride.  If you catch your breath, you can pick up the pace (ie have hubby go back to work).

Oh and when I say "nice life".  I'm talking about time with loved ones, mental health, etc.  Not "stuff".  You seem focused on the right things, so it might make sense.

bdoubleu

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Re: How did you decide to become a single income family?
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2014, 01:58:16 PM »
We had relatively opposite work schedules (him M-F 9-5, me 1 week on/1 week off night shifts).  We paid off all non-mortgage debt, and had our "Aha!" moment and realized that I made more than 4x what he made, and we were easily living off just his paychecks alone.  That, combined with the whole "never seeing each other" thing, factored in to him quitting and not looking back.  Also helps that I am in a phase where I love what I do (and someone pays me a shit-ton to do it!), and he never really found his "calling" at a j.o.b.

And no, we don't have kids (yet), and it's been 2 years since he quit (at age 27).  He is incredibly productive at home (DIY, cleaning, etc), and has no desire to "work for pay" again.  We are both much more relaxed, as we feel we've each found our niche in our relationship. Ironically, my salary has increased to more than cover what we "lost" from him not working anymore - not that we need it, but it will help with my FI(some day I may want to RE?) date. :)

You can always try it out for awhile, and if it's a horrible experience, go back to dual-income.  Nothing is permanent.