Author Topic: Saving money vs. more time with child  (Read 3193 times)

Rain

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Saving money vs. more time with child
« on: June 18, 2015, 08:40:38 AM »
Hi everyone,

I wanted to get opinions about my current dilemma.  I'm married and have a one year old.  Ever since she was born, I've wanted to work less and spend more time with her.  Currently my mom and mother-in-law watch her while I'm at work.

Circumstances in my job have changed recently, and I find myself in a position that I could ask to cut my hours in half (if the boss would agree).  I would not save any money on childcare because we don't pay any.  I would be losing $30K/year in take home pay (due in part to increased healthcare costs with going part-time).  Obviously this is a great deal of money that could set us on the road to financial freedom.  But I know I can't get these years back with my daughter.  A part-time work situation seems ideal.

Did anyone else delay the road to FIRE for reasons like this?

little_brown_dog

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2015, 09:46:14 AM »
I did - I was working in a very stressful full time job and commuting which meant I was working 12 hour days/5 days a week. I was sick all of the time with migraines and was naturally pretty depressed. After a year of this, we bit the bullet and decided enough was enough and that family was worth more than money. Mind you - we were already quite financially stable which made it possible to do this without risking ourselves too much. We had no credit card debt, no car debt, limited/reasonable living expenses, and had cut my student loans down by almost 40% before making this switch.

We cut my income in half which essentially doubled our goal time frame for paying off my remaining student loans and means that we don't save as much for retirement as we once were. I am pregnant now and so happy I made the switch because there is no way I would be able to be the mom I want to be while living my old life. I wouldn't change a thing...good health and time with family are not the type of things you should put off for extra money. 
« Last Edit: June 18, 2015, 09:47:52 AM by little_brown_dog »

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2015, 01:42:09 PM »
One of the things that living frugally is about is not being totally dependent on your job, so that you can do things like this.

madamwitty

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2015, 03:16:34 PM »
Sure, the financial aspect of your decision is exaggerated because you would not be saving daycare money by staying home, but on the flipside, you already don't have daycare costs for the 1/2 time you would be working! Lucky you!

Since my first daughter was born 6.5 years ago, I've done a variety of permutations of reduced work schedules. I think it helps that I like my job so I don't feel like I just want to "get it out of the way" and get to FI as quickly as possible. DH has always been supportive of me doing "whatever I want" in this respect since he knows I also have the children's best interests in mind (and he doesn't hate his job either.)

  • Me: 20 hrs/wk and DH: 20 hrs/wk - DD1 always at home with one parent.
  • Me: 30 hrs/wk and DH: 30 hrs/wk - DD1 in daycare in the mornings and home with one parent or the other in the afternoon.
  • Me: 0 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 at home with me full time.
  • Me: 20 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 in daycare in the mornings and home with me in the afternoon.
  • Me: 40 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 in daycare 4 full days a week and home with me on Fridays. (This was brutal! I had to fill in 10 hrs/wk on evenings & weekends.)
  • Me: 32 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 in daycare 4 full days a week

and finally, we settled on:
  • Me: 20 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 & DD3 in daycare (or school) in the mornings and home with me in the afternoon.

They all have their pros and cons. Being a SAHM wasn't for me. I feel like it's valuable for us all to have time away from each other. But on the other end of the spectrum, working full time made the time I had at home so much more stressful and I wasn't my "best self" with the kids. I guess spending time together daily as family is my way of teaching my kids the importance of family. The kids drive me crazy most afternoons (and I am frequently not my "best self"), but I think it is worth it. Honestly, if I could stay home with the kids in the afternoon but still have occasional help from the grandparents in the afternoon, I would jump on that in a heartbeat!

StockBeard

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2015, 04:07:14 PM »
I've decided to do the opposite: work harder now to ensure FI within 5 years instead of 15, and I'll be the best dad around when they're in elementary school/junior high.
I know it's a risky proposal, and I'm missing a lot of their early years, but I still have weekends, + I'm bad at multitasking: I can't seem to be able to do both work + family, so a part time would mean my mind would not be really "here" for either my job or my family.

I'd say it depends how long this delays your FI/RE

Vwjedi76

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2015, 04:42:33 PM »
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone.  I will always vote for time over money, which I know makes me somewhat of an anomaly here.

okits

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2015, 09:27:15 PM »
Sure, the financial aspect of your decision is exaggerated because you would not be saving daycare money by staying home, but on the flipside, you already don't have daycare costs for the 1/2 time you would be working! Lucky you!

Since my first daughter was born 6.5 years ago, I've done a variety of permutations of reduced work schedules. I think it helps that I like my job so I don't feel like I just want to "get it out of the way" and get to FI as quickly as possible. DH has always been supportive of me doing "whatever I want" in this respect since he knows I also have the children's best interests in mind (and he doesn't hate his job either.)

  • Me: 20 hrs/wk and DH: 20 hrs/wk - DD1 always at home with one parent.
  • Me: 30 hrs/wk and DH: 30 hrs/wk - DD1 in daycare in the mornings and home with one parent or the other in the afternoon.
  • Me: 0 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 at home with me full time.
  • Me: 20 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 in daycare in the mornings and home with me in the afternoon.
  • Me: 40 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 in daycare 4 full days a week and home with me on Fridays. (This was brutal! I had to fill in 10 hrs/wk on evenings & weekends.)
  • Me: 32 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 in daycare 4 full days a week

and finally, we settled on:
  • Me: 20 hrs/wk and DH: 40 hrs/wk - DD1 & DS2 & DD3 in daycare (or school) in the mornings and home with me in the afternoon.

They all have their pros and cons. Being a SAHM wasn't for me. I feel like it's valuable for us all to have time away from each other. But on the other end of the spectrum, working full time made the time I had at home so much more stressful and I wasn't my "best self" with the kids. I guess spending time together daily as family is my way of teaching my kids the importance of family. The kids drive me crazy most afternoons (and I am frequently not my "best self"), but I think it is worth it. Honestly, if I could stay home with the kids in the afternoon but still have occasional help from the grandparents in the afternoon, I would jump on that in a heartbeat!

I have a medal for you.  Just reading all the different combos you did was exhausting.

OP, how big is your family's stash?  Will you still save a ton even if you give up $30k/year?  Will it be easy to go full time again, when you are ready?  Do you plan for more children?  If this will be your only child it lends more weight to going half-time now.  If there will be more kids you could stick it out a bit longer so you can work less later, when more than one child will have the benefit of your increased presence.

MDM

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2015, 09:35:03 PM »
Did anyone else delay the road to FIRE for reasons like this?

Yes, for reasons exactly like this.  No regrets.  YMMV.

grundomatic

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Re: Saving money vs. more time with child
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2015, 11:39:23 PM »
I just traded in a 50 hr/wk restaurant job for a lower paying one in education with fewer hours. I don't have kids, but I do have a GF that I love and want to spend time with. Once ERE/MMM helped me get my financial house in order, I was happy to make that trade. I will not miss five 10-hr days/wk. At all.