Author Topic: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?  (Read 3769 times)

missmadhatter

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Hey guys, I'm just looking for some thoughts on our situation if you have a moment.

Income
Me: Monthly take home pay $1310 ($300 already subtracted for health insurance, $100 for 401k, $50 for PA529, $20 for FSA)
Husband: Monthly take home pay $3080 ($150 already subtracted for 401k)
Total: $4390

I work 16 miles from home for $13.89/hr (social work)
My husband works 19 miles from home at his main job for $15/hr (retail asst mgr) and 43 miles away one day a week for a church gig. The church gig pays $13,500/year for 5 hours of his time a week (that includes the travel time) so it would be a huge hit to lose it. He could try to find work at a closer church but if you know churches, they do NOT pay that well. He really lucked out with this gig.

Expenses:
Rent $1145
Electric $100
House Gas $50
Water/Sewer $45
Trash $25
Cell Phones $140
Internet $50
Netflix $8
Student Loans $350
Car Loan $285
Car Insurance $146
Food $350
Car Gas $250
Day Care $700
Total: $3644

Leftover: $746

Some notes
Our plan is to put the leftover every month toward our student loans. But often there is not $746 left over. That money goes to miscellaneous or unexpected purchases like diapers, medical (we're just now opening the FSA in 2015,) clothes, the type of things that add up and you don't realize it. Usually about $3-400 leftover. Our loans just came down under $30,000.

I guess my question is what is the best course of action? I know we have some hair on fire stuff going on. And I know we need to get closer to work, but we currently work in opposite directions. Should I quit and stay home with the baby? My husband may soon be offered a job as a store manager 65 miles from home salaried at $55,000/year. Should I quit my job, he quit the church, and we move? I'm having trouble distinguishing if that will be any different from where we're at now, money wise. It would be a step up the ladder for him. Also, we only have a babysitter 3 days a week. The other 2 days my grandparents babysit for free, and if we moved away we would lose that, but I guess I wouldn't be working.

I'm not going to ask you to go easy on us because, like I said, I know we have some hair on fire stuff! But I am just going to ask if you could not be rude about it! Thanks.

ETA I am driving a 2011 Mazda2 and my husband is driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla. Both manual transmission. We generally get anywhere between 35-40 mpg. His car is paid off, mine has the loan. It's 0% interest but I still have 2 years to pay on it.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 10:42:52 AM by missmadhatter »

LadyStache

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2014, 10:18:12 AM »
Is the location for the possible new job in the same direction as the current church gig or opposite directions?

Does the promotion come with benefits? You're currently paying for health insurance, FSA, etc. through your job, so if quitting your job would result in additional health care costs, that would be something to consider.

Would you want to return to work once your baby gets a bit older? Quitting now could slow down your career growth in the future.

missmadhatter

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2014, 10:31:11 AM »
Thanks for your response. The possible new job is in the wrong direction from church :-( It would be great if he could get something over the same direction as church and we could move that way.

We WOULD be able to get on insurance and all that through his job, and we've looked at their plans before, it's comparable to what we have now.

I don't KNOW what I want to do about work. I've always thought I would work, I've never liked the idea of the woman staying at home and keeping everything nice for the man. But I keep thinking that even once our kid is in school, if I can be taking care of the cleaning/shopping/cooking, that means more time for family stuff when we are all home together. Less chore time! (I remember Saturdays were always family chore time from my childhood. Good and bad, heh.) I know there can be benefits to one spouse staying at home. I just don't think we're in an income position to do that unfortunately. So we are both stuck (for right now) with relatively low pay, a moderate length commute, and the pains of child care costs!

DSKla

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2014, 10:36:24 AM »
What kind of cars do you two drive?

missmadhatter

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2014, 10:42:03 AM »
I am driving a 2011 Mazda2 and my husband is driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla. Both manual transmission. We generally get anywhere between 35-40 mpg. His car is paid off, mine has the loan. It's 0% interest but I still have 2 years to pay on it.

mm1970

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2014, 10:55:14 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm doing some math here:

You make $1310 a month
Your expenses related to working:
Cell Phones $70 (I am assuming you could get a MUCH reduced plan with home wi-fi)
Car Gas $125 (assuming you weren't working and could move closer, cut this at least in half if you aren't driving)
Day Care $700

Left: $415
Are you actually working full time for $415 a month?

The one thing I'm not sure about is the health care.  If you are providing it, then your "real" income is higher.  Your husband could provide it maybe? 

I have a friend with 3 kids.  When they were all in childcare she was taking home $100 a month.  32 hours a week.  But she provided health care for the 3 kids, and that was worth a lot.  Still, seemed like a lot of work.


missmadhatter

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2014, 11:01:35 AM »
Yes, I'm providing the health insurance, which is $300/month. So I guess you are saying that I'm effectively making $715/mo? We could switch to get health insurance through my husband's job though, if we needed to.

DSKla

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2014, 11:31:26 AM »
I am driving a 2011 Mazda2 and my husband is driving a 2010 Toyota Corolla. Both manual transmission. We generally get anywhere between 35-40 mpg. His car is paid off, mine has the loan. It's 0% interest but I still have 2 years to pay on it.

Sounds pretty good. If you found a used vehicle with the same mpg, but less expensive, you could trade yours in and save $285/month, though. Try Kelley Blue Book to see what kind of trade-in value you can get, if you're willing to go that route.

missmadhatter

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2014, 11:48:13 AM »
I know, you're right.

I had a few bad experiences with used cars being total money pits. I swore that I would one day buy a brand new car and then I could KNOW that nothing was secretly wrong with it, and I would take good care of it. So when I was finally able to buy my own I thought 0% interest was really great (I mean it is, but not as good as a GOOD used car.)

DSKla

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2014, 12:06:10 PM »
Yeah I would worry about that too. However, if you get a reliable model with plenty of miles left, and get a carfax, that gives you reasonable assurance. Even if you had to dump $500 into repairs, that's less than two months of your current car payment.

I would avoid anything that will hit 100k miles very soon, as that's usually the most repair-intensive time. But if you could look around 60-70k, or find a model that has ~120k but is in great shape and is known to last upwards of 200k, you will have gotten it after all the standard 100k repairs have been done by the previous owner.

Spondulix

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Re: Reader Case Study - To move or not to move? To quit or not to quit?
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2014, 02:11:09 PM »
I wouldn't necessarily risk it on the car if it's working, you're getting good mileage and a 0% loan. Figure out a plan first, then decide if keeping/selling fits in better.

What I would do is put together a budget like you see on iheartbudgets.com. Make a column for your existing income and expenses, one if you quit your job, another if your husband takes the new job. When you see these side by side, it'll be much easier to see the financial benefits (and caveats) of each. In your case, trying to trim fat from your budget is sort of like talking about apples and oranges when you might have a whole fruit grove in your backyard! What if your husband got the new job and you found a job in the new area? You could be talking about a $20k+ a year increase, which would mean a totally different budget.