Author Topic: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money  (Read 5330 times)

cbr shadow

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My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« on: January 16, 2014, 09:15:17 AM »
I’m in a situation I’d like some advice on..  I’ll start with info about my wife and I, and then on to my questions..

Age: 30, wife 30.
Occupations: Design Engineer / Wife: Sales Engineer
Income: $50k / Wife: $125k , Combined: $175k
Networth: ~200k 
Savings Rate: ~60% (only became mustachians about 14 months ago, plus wife’s income went way up around that time as well)
Debt: None except mortgage.  Home is worth ~$215k, we owe $193k @ 3.75% in a 15-yr loan
Kids: None right now, maybe none ever.

On to my questions..
My current job pays less than I think I’m worth.  I get ~3.5% raises annually, and I don’t see a position that I could get promoted to anytime soon (strange company structure, I guess).  I’ve been applying for new positions and recently found a very interesting one.  I think the pay would start at roughly the same, but it looks like there’s lots of room to grow in that company.  There’s a steep learning curve to be able to contribute, so they send you to a 6 MONTH “bootcamp” training in a city that is about 6 hours drive away from my home.  They’d pay room/board and salary, and I’d have weekends off if I wanted to come home.

Here’s my issue.. For my wife’s job she travels a fair amount (30%?) and my new position would require the same amount of travel.  There would inevitably be some overlap where we’re both traveling, so there are new concerns that we don’t have currently like paying someone to come to our house to take care of our dogs a few times per day.  This would be a common issue especially when I’m at the 6 month training program.

I guess the decision to take the job or not depends on the starting salary.  The 6 months away would be rough, since my wife and I really value our time together, but we could get through it. 

Another thing to factor in:  My job is “comfortable”.  I work 8:30-5:00 with very little expectation of overtime.  I think it’s easier for my wife to be ambitious in her job (taking big travel projects, 4 months in Dubai, etc) with me not traveling or working crazy hours.  I’d like to progress my career but not at the expense of our relationship suffering.  We already make enough money that we live comfortably on 40% of what we make.

Any ideas on what to do about the dogs?  What would you do in my situation as far as the job situation goes?



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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2014, 09:30:32 AM »
I'm not a pet guy, but I love my kids. Most pet owners I know treat it as a similar relationship in many ways. If your job is OK, you're making enough money & comfortable with home life with your wife and dogs, a little extra money may not be worth upsetting your balance. You guys are doing pretty well, but for a 2 person home I could see how cutting expenses may more than make up for not making more money. If you manage the spending & can cut it by $10K/year, there's your raise, without giving up any of the stuff you love about your current arrangement.


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2014, 09:44:20 AM »
My husband and I have had to make some of the same choices. I had to decide between a job with a lot of travel (at least 50% of the time) at twice the pay, or a local job that paid less with a schedule that was more similar to my husband's. We have heavy student loan debt, so I initially assumed that I had to take the higher paying job. However, after considering the cost in outsourcing some of the things I do at home, I pursued the lower paying job with minimal travel obligations. We also have no kids, and one dog. The time I would miss out with my husband and dog were definitely a factor for me. Even though the job that required more travel would accelerate our savings, we would have needed to, as you brought up, outsource a lot of things that we otherwise wouldn't have to pay someone for. For me, taking a higher paying job that required an increase in our expenditures was a treadmill very like the consumerism treadmill and seemed at odds with living a mindful, frugal life. While it might make sense to outsource some things in order to make money/ specialize at a job, I can accept that type of logic for things like childcare. I didn't want to live the type of life where I had to pay someone else to take care of almost everything in my home. I also considered that I wouldn't be as likely to stay in a job with heavy travel demands long-term, so there is a potential financial benefit to a sustainable work-life balance.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 10:20:43 AM by HappyHoya »

Cheddar Stacker

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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2014, 09:45:40 AM »
Can the dogs make the trip with you? It sounds like you'd have a fairly stable place to live. I'm thinking a corporate apartment rental would be cheaper for your new employer than hotels. Maybe one allows pets? If not, the bump in expenses (dogsitters, road-trips) would surely be offset by higher wages, either now or later.

Based on the numbers you provided, you will have >$1M Net Worth in 6-8 years, even if you don't take the job. If your intention is to not have kids and retire early, it might not be worth upsetting the status quo for a potential promotion/raise. You will be reaching your goals soon enough without the change, and it sounds like it's a major change.

Another thought - can you use this opportunity to demand a higher raise at the current employer? Do they value your work enough to keep you happy. Particularly in a few more years, you will have a large enough stache that even if they say no and it becomes a hostile relationship for some reason, you'll have plenty of flexibility to find another more lucrative position.


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2014, 09:46:39 AM »
Will either of the companies allow you to expense dog sitting for the times you need it? That would at least alleviate some of the financial burden.

If you find a good dog boarding place,  your dogs may actually like it better than home. When we had a dog, she'd go to a small dog boarding/dog daycare business that was run out of the owner's home on 5 acres. She absolutely loved it.


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2014, 09:47:57 AM »
I would stick with the current job, personally. You'll be FI in no time at that income level.


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2014, 10:24:29 AM »
Starting pay would be a big answer, but it sounds like a company that would send you to a six month 'boot camp' would be making a big investment in you. You haven't really provided a ton of details about the work or potential income down the road so hard to decide that part of it. And I totally get wanting to make more money so it's certainly worth consideration.

Also worth passing up if it doesn't feel right too! It has enough drawbacks that it's not a no brainer. Is the job market in your field/are of living good enough that you can just keep looking. It doesn't sound like anything is pushing you to have to take the job. And I second the 'bring it up with your current employer' advice.

As far as the home stuff, any chance of getting a temporary roommate? Any colleges nearby that you could rent a room cheap to a student who would then watch the dog, etc.?


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2014, 10:31:30 AM »
Six months away from home plus lots of travel for work?  I couldn't do it.

How's the job market where you're at?  Is this really the job you want?  I know that looking for a new job kind of sucks, so it's easy to jump at the first offer, but make sure that this is going to be worth the hassle. 

cbr shadow

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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2014, 10:55:54 AM »
I appreciate the feedback so far.
I live in a suburb near Chicago, so there are lots of job opportunities.  I have an Industrial Technology degree which is a branch of the engineering department at the school I went to.  Mainly I have very good skills in AutoCAD, Solidworks and Revit (BIM).
The new job would be a "Applications Engineer" for one of the biggest CNC machine manufacturers in the world.  Mainly I would need to learn about CNC machines and how to program them.  There are over 150 different machines available, so there's a lot to learn.  After training, the job would be to troubleshoot problems for customers, help decide which machine would best fit their manufacturing needs, and travel to customer sites to show them how to use the machine after their purchase, and also teach "classes" once or twice a month to potential customers.  This would be an hourly job, not salary and no commission (I wouldn't be "selling").
I do have experience with CNC programming, but only with older 3-axis machines.  There are 5-axis, multi-tasking machines that are far more complicated.

I've been looking for a new position for about 5 weeks just by sending out my resume on careerbuilder.  I turned down one offer that paid about $5k better than my current job but had less vacation and wouldn't negotiate on that.  I ended up turning it down.

Lastly: During the interview with the potential new job, I was asked what my salary expectation was.  I told him $65k, and he told me they wont pay that high to start, but that with a bit of overtime I could get there.  Time past 40 hrs is time and a half, sundays is 2x time, holidays is 3x time. 


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2014, 06:55:23 AM »
Sounds like you are doing pretty well in terms of planning it out.  If moving to another job will make you happier and will increase your chances of ER, then do it.  Just have to weigh out the potential salary increase/benefits/job satisfaction in a year compared to what you have now.

As far as the dogs, dog "day care"/boarding is an option that we have used in the past and our dog loves going, it's constant play time for her. The cost for the daycare was roughly as much as it would have cost for a half hour of care from a dog walker, so it was worth it to us when we needed it.  Not sure the size or # of dogs you have, but we have been able to rely on family in the past when we have both been on vacation and what not.  My parents have two dogs and a yard, and they are more than willing to take care of ours when we are gone.  And when they travel, we take care of theirs.  Not sure if you have that option with family or friends.

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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2014, 07:43:42 AM »
Forget the money, you are young and I would think over your career you would want to advance a little bit, grow, do something different.  I would go for it.  You don't have kids, so getting through the 6 months sounds doable. 


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2014, 08:27:00 AM »
I'd keep looking for a job that will allow you both more money AND the lifestyle you want with your wife. The pay increase isn't that great, and once you get tired of all the travel involved, it might not be the easiest job to move out of and into something else.   


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Re: My Sitch, Wife, Job(s), Dogs and Money
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2014, 02:40:38 PM »
Can you turn what you are doing into an independent contractor job? I bet you could fetch $100/hr with your skills and you can use some of the excess money to teach yourself about other machines.


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