Author Topic: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?  (Read 12692 times)

lifejoy

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In two months I will be married (yay!). My partner in crime has income projections that are 2-5 times higher than mine. Which is a convoluted way of saying, his salary is enough for us, even with FI dreams.

TL; DR: He's on the mustachian gravy train of goodness, and he is encouraging me to do the work I am LOVING (jewellery store, pays ok) as opposed to the work that makes me miserable (data entry in a library, pays a little better than ok and could lead to a great-paying librarian job ). Is it ok to quit the job I hate, using my spouse as a safety net? (Like he wants.)

Update: thanks to all of the fantastic advice here, I have decided to maximize my happiness by working at the jewellery store, and quitting the sub-par library job. At the same time, I will volunteer at libraries and youth centres, while looking for a part-time reference librarian gig (more people time, less data entry!!). Keeps doors open :) I move in a year, so I will re-assess the situation after that :)

So here's my situation:

I have a full-time seasonal permanent job as a library assistant at a university library. Pay is ok, but not as good as I could be making if the right job (librarian) came up. I like the people I work with, but oh man - the work makes me fantasize about suicide in a non-literal way, and I come home every day feeling like a depressed slug. Not good. I stuck it out last year because I was determined to pay off my student loans (I have two degrees: BA in English Lit and a MLS in library science). Mission accomplished. Do I go back to this job in the fall? Oh - and the hours have changed to 12pm-8pm, Tuesday - Saturday. I get vacation days, but they HATE when I take Saturdays off. I pretty much have to twist arms and ask for favours in order to use my own earned vacation day on a Saturday. So the hours suck, the work sucks, but the people are great, the job comes with benefits and paid vacation. It's also in a field relevant to my education.

For the summer I wanted to find work I might enjoy, and I found some! I'm working at a high-end, family-owned, independent jewellery store. I LOVE IT. I feel like I'm made for this kind of work. I get to talk to people all day long, help them pick gifts for themselves or others, help them celebrate milestones, get engaged or married, and clean their jewellery... I love it so much! The people I work with are great, the hours are ok and they let me take tons of time off to visit my family, go get married, visit my fiance's sick dad every second month... They're great. From doing my own research I know a LOT about different metals and stones, I can usually eyeball someone's ring size, and there are courses I can take to further my knowledge that sounds so appealing to me. Two days ago I helped a mother and a daughter look at engagement rings for the daughter. At one point I offered to clean the mom's (very mustachian) wedding rings. She was surprised and said, sure! I cleaned them in the ultrasonic cleaner and then steamed them. WOW, those little diamonds had probably not looked that sparkly in YEARS. Decades, maybe. The mom had tears in her eyes when she saw them all good-as-new. I freakin' love my job there, and it's helping my self esteem and relationships and everything. Although I have loved customer service and sales jobs in the past, I've only been at the jewellery store for two months, so maybe the novelty will wear off. But my manager has been there 20+ years and clearly loves what he does... So maybe it's not all novelty! The pay is ok, once I get commission it will probably be comparable to the library assistant job and less than a librarian. Probably.

So... Can I quit the university library job, and work at the jewellery store instead? There is a half-decent chance I could pick up some evening librarian shifts ($$$) for 3-9 hours a week at the university library. And/or I could volunteer at this one youth centre, something I've really been wanting to do. I think it would be wise to keep my foot in the library door, and develop both of these career paths concurrently. But I have to admit, if it wasn't for my fiance's career, I probably would be doing the "short term pain for long term gain" thing, and suffering at these crap library jobs in hopes of getting a nice librarian gig some day. I've experienced one librarian job, it was a 3 month term position . Academic gig. It was ok, not joy every day. The jewellery job makes me feel happy all day, and I'm great to be around when I get home. Volunteering at a youth centre would help me be more appealing for a public librarian job (which I haven't tried, and might like better).

Wow this is long. I guess I just want an opinion that is not my parents' or my fiance's. What would you do? I feel like I'm too young to let myself enjoy life so much ;) I'm supposed to work and not like it, right? ;)
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 09:48:35 AM by libraryjoy »

geekette

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 09:55:15 PM »
I see absolutely no reason not to leave a boring job for something that gives you joy! 

lifejoy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2014, 09:58:07 PM »
I see absolutely no reason not to leave a boring job for something that gives you joy!

It seems obvious, right? I guess I'm just not used to the idea that it's ok to pursue the easier, happier route...

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 10:03:25 PM »
Things to think about:

How does HE feel about being the main earner? Does he really like his high-paying job? Would you feel guilty if you liked your crappy-paying job better than he liked his high-paying one? Will he even subconsciously expect you to take on more of the burden at home because he's the main breadwinner? Will he expect you to quit your job and stay home if you have kids--since you won't be making much anyway? Would you want that? TALK TALK TALK about it!

Would you enjoy library work more if you were working with people more--at the reference or circ desk? Do you see a way to get into that?

How much opportunity for advancement is there in the jewelry field? Do you want opportunity to advance? Are there people in your life who will make you feel uncomfortable if you're not advancing? (I mean, screw them, but it's worth thinking through the issue.)

Hope that helps! Let us know what you decide! And congrats on your engagement to a fellow Mustachian!

ch12

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2014, 10:03:39 PM »
TL; DR: He's on the mustachian gravy train of goodness, and he is encouraging me to do the work I am LOVING (jewellery store, pays ok) as opposed to the work that makes me miserable (data entry in a library, pays a little better than ok and could lead to a great-paying librarian job ). Is it ok to quit the job I hate, using my spouse as a safety net? (Like he wants.)

the work makes me fantasize about suicide in a non-literal way, and I come home every day feeling like a depressed slug. Not good. I stuck it out last year because I was determined to pay off my student loans (I have two degrees: BA in English Lit and a MLS in library science). Mission accomplished.

For the summer I wanted to find work I might enjoy, and I found some! I'm working at a high-end, family-owned, independent jewellery store. I LOVE IT. I feel like I'm made for this kind of work. I get to talk to people all day long, help them pick gifts for themselves or others, help them celebrate milestones, get engaged or married, and clean their jewellery... I love it so much!
I see absolutely no reason not to leave a boring job for something that gives you joy!

It seems obvious, right? I guess I'm just not used to the idea that it's ok to pursue the easier, happier route...
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/02/09/brave-new-life/

Peak money is not your end game. Peak happiness is. Give yourself permission to be happy.

horsepoor

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2014, 10:05:27 PM »
I'm not hearing any longing to become a librarian in your post, and lots and lots of enthusiasm for the jewelry store job.  Have you crunched the numbers on how many years difference this would be in your FI/RE date, if that's the ultimate goal?  Maybe it's worth working 15 years in a job you love, vs. spending 3 years in a job you loathe, to get the privilege of spending another 7 years in a job you tolerate/like OK/might possibly hate so that you can FIRE 5 years earlier (just using random numbers here).

Emilyngh

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2014, 10:08:34 PM »
So, we have kind of the flipped version of this.

I have a career that I love with higher earning potential than DH.   DH has moved from job to job, all decently paying but really hating them all and just keeping them to be responsible.    When we had our DD, we decided for him to quit and SAH.   In some ways it felt quite risky (would we have enough $, can one person really just leave the working world if they don't like it, etc).   

Best decision of our lives   We're all so much happier and it in retrospect it would've been stupid not to (although friends and family still seem confused/in disbelief that it can work like this).   Once DD goes to school, DH may or may not work again (ever), but if he does it will be PT doing something he enjoys that doesn't interfere with our lives too much.   Now that we've had a taste of the good life (neither having to continue to work at a job we don't like), we never want to go back.

Do it!

ETA: oh, and even with DH deciding to stop selling his soul, we're on track for FI.   It's amazing how much a stache can grow even with only one main earner and low expenses.   I was concerned that we'd barely be able to get by on just my salary, and three years in we have far more than plenty enough to spend and save. 
« Last Edit: June 26, 2014, 10:12:20 PM by Emilyngh »

desk_jockey

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2014, 10:13:45 PM »
Allow me to let you in on a little secret… It makes a man feel good to know the woman he is with is content.
 
If you are coming home like “a depressed slug” and he knows that he can do something to change the situation and make you more content, it will make him happy to be able to give you the opportunity to make the change.   

He’s earning a good living.  I’ve seen some of your other posts, so know you’re both on the right path.  His encouragement for you to make less money doing the work that you love is not a sacrifice.  It’s a gift.  And it’s one that will pay him back many times over as he sees you “great to be around when I get home”.   

Wait the two months until after you are married and make the switch.  Then occasionally remind him of how much happier you are.


lifejoy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2014, 10:14:41 PM »
Things to think about:

How does HE feel about being the main earner? Does he really like his high-paying job? Would you feel guilty if you liked your crappy-paying job better than he liked his high-paying one? Will he even subconsciously expect you to take on more of the burden at home because he's the main breadwinner? Will he expect you to quit your job and stay home if you have kids--since you won't be making much anyway? Would you want that? TALK TALK TALK about it!

Would you enjoy library work more if you were working with people more--at the reference or circ desk? Do you see a way to get into that?

How much opportunity for advancement is there in the jewelry field? Do you want opportunity to advance? Are there people in your life who will make you feel uncomfortable if you're not advancing? (I mean, screw them, but it's worth thinking through the issue.)

Hope that helps! Let us know what you decide! And congrats on your engagement to a fellow Mustachian!

These are REALLY really good questions to ask! I feel like they might have been in my subconscious but that they hadn't come to the surface yet. Thank you!!! I don't have answers yet, but I'm thrilled to have a new angle to discuss with my fiancé :) He does love his job, and with or without me he can retire in 5-15 years.

The advancement stuff you mentioned... I have already been noticing a shift in my identity. I don't think people necessarily view you as a genius if you work at a jewellery store. Sure, I can be knowledgeable and have social smarts, but it's a different brand of "intelligence ". I need to find out if I'm comfortable enough with myself that I don't need a career to signify to people that I know a lot of stuff about stuff ;)

Ch12: you are so right. Why does it feel so counter-culture to pursue happiness instead of money, just for the sake of mooooore money?

I'm not hearing any longing to become a librarian in your post, and lots and lots of enthusiasm for the jewelry store job.  Have you crunched the numbers on how many years difference this would be in your FI/RE date, if that's the ultimate goal?  Maybe it's worth working 15 years in a job you love, vs. spending 3 years in a job you loathe, to get the privilege of spending another 7 years in a job you tolerate/like OK/might possibly hate so that you can FIRE 5 years earlier (just using random numbers here).

We have not crunched the numbers. That is a good idea. I'll get back to you guys on that :)
I am so burned out on libraries, and I did not enjoy library school. I love signing out books to myself, but aside from that... I'm just not sure. I'm open to finding out, but I don't want it to suck inherent mean time.

lifejoy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2014, 10:18:51 PM »
So, we have kind of the flipped version of this.

I have a career that I love with higher earning potential than DH.   DH has moved from job to job, all decently paying but really hating them all and just keeping them to be responsible.    When we had our DD, we decided for him to quit and SAH.   In some ways it felt quite risky (would we have enough $, can one person really just leave the working world if they don't like it, etc).   

Best decision of our lives   We're all so much happier and it in retrospect it would've been stupid not to (although friends and family still seem confused/in disbelief that it can work like this).   Once DD goes to school, DH may or may not work again (ever), but if he does it will be PT doing something he enjoys that doesn't interfere with our lives too much.   Now that we've had a taste of the good life (neither having to continue to work at a job we don't like), we never want to go back.

Do it!

ETA: oh, and even with DH deciding to stop selling his soul, we're on track for FI.   It's amazing how much a stache can grow even with only one main earner and low expenses.   I was concerned that we'd barely be able to get by on just my salary, and three years in we have far more than plenty enough to spend and save.

Thanks so much for commenting! It's nice to see that it can be done, and EVERYONE is happier for it. I cook more, smile more, and sleep better now. I guess present happiness might be better than future potential happiness... Ha!

lifejoy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2014, 10:26:24 PM »
Allow me to let you in on a little secret… It makes a man feel good to know the woman he is with is content.
 
If you are coming home like “a depressed slug” and he knows that he can do something to change the situation and make you more content, it will make him happy to be able to give you the opportunity to make the change.   

He’s earning a good living.  I’ve seen some of your other posts, so know you’re both on the right path.  His encouragement for you to make less money doing the work that you love is not a sacrifice.  It’s a gift.  And it’s one that will pay him back many times over as he sees you “great to be around when I get home”.   

Wait the two months until after you are married and make the switch.  Then occasionally remind him of how much happier you are.

Good tip! That makes me feel really good, actually. And trust me - he is definitely noticing a difference in me. As much as I am grateful for his support during my down days, we both prefer this arrangement :D
Now that I think about it, if the roles were reversed, I would want him to quit the soul-sucking job...

iris lily

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2014, 10:49:08 PM »
hmmm, working with sparkly pretty things and making them shine and chatting up people all day? Or slugging around with dusty old books and MARC data in a fusty old library, ugh. I know which one I'd pick.  :)


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2014, 10:53:45 PM »
Is there any reason that divorce / a break up would make you regret choosing the jewellery store joy over library slugdom?

I find that question really powerful whenever I'm worried that my choices might be skewed due to the BF being a high income earner / my plans to have kids etc. Usually the right choice WITH him in my life is also the right choice WITHOUT him, but the question helps to clarify that I'm not making some weird mistake whereby I become permanently dependent or anything.

(And I know that you and your fiancé will be very happy together and divorce isn't an issue - the question just helps anyway).

If the answer is that the jewellery store is how you want to live REGARDLESS of other circumstances - then it's how you want to live! Go forth and enjoy!

bikebum

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2014, 11:12:00 PM »
Is it possible that the jewelry job is fun because it's new, and after a while it might be like the library job? Most jobs I've had are fun and exciting at first, then when the novelty wears off they are just jobs.

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2014, 11:25:32 PM »

Is there any reason that divorce / a break up would make you regret choosing the jewellery store joy over library slugdom?

I find that question really powerful whenever I'm worried that my choices might be skewed due to the BF being a high income earner / my plans to have kids etc. Usually the right choice WITH him in my life is also the right choice WITHOUT him, but the question helps to clarify that I'm not making some weird mistake whereby I become permanently dependent or anything.

(And I know that you and your fiancé will be very happy together and divorce isn't an issue - the question just helps anyway).

If the answer is that the jewellery store is how you want to live REGARDLESS of other circumstances - then it's how you want to live! Go forth and enjoy!

+ 1 on this.

I think it is safest to make personal economic choices in a vacuum.

If you fiancées job is what makes you feel comfortable making the switch, that's kind of a danger sign. But if this is a choice you would make regardless of your fiancées income, then it's a no brainer. Follow your bliss.



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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2014, 03:50:44 AM »
hmmm, working with sparkly pretty things and making them shine and chatting up people all day? Or slugging around with dusty old books and MARC data in a fusty old library, ugh. I know which one I'd pick.  :)

Me, too--library all the way! Comes down to personal preference, I guess. (I've worked in various library environments and they've been some of my best jobs.) Happierathome and Bikebum makes points worth considering.

ETA: What about the option of continuing library work to stay in the game and remain competitive for librarian positions that might open up and working part-time (evenings/weekends) at the jewelry store? Might be worth considering, at  least until your library school debt is paid.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2014, 05:24:55 AM by Janie »

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2014, 04:46:40 AM »
Allow me to let you in on a little secret… It makes a man feel good to know the woman he is with is content.
 
If you are coming home like “a depressed slug” and he knows that he can do something to change the situation and make you more content, it will make him happy to be able to give you the opportunity to make the change.   

He’s earning a good living.  I’ve seen some of your other posts, so know you’re both on the right path.  His encouragement for you to make less money doing the work that you love is not a sacrifice.  It’s a gift.  And it’s one that will pay him back many times over as he sees you “great to be around when I get home”.   

Wait the two months until after you are married and make the switch.  Then occasionally remind him of how much happier you are.

This post and the one on peak happiness are my thoughts exactly. This one is more couple specific, while the other is more philosophical but just as accurate.

little_owl

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2014, 04:59:17 AM »
I really hope you follow your passion.  If you enjoy the store, go for it.

However, please ensure that you continue to build skills, and create a stable economic situation that does not make you dependant on your soon to be H.

I have a family member who became a SAHM, and just found out her H has been cheating on her and now they are divorcing.  They appeared to be the absolutely perfect family, and I would have NEVER thought divorce was in the cards for them, EVER.

My recommendation is to move to the happier job, and in parallel have a discussion with your FI about finances, etc, using the book "Smart Couples Finish Rich" as a guide.  While it is slightly outdated, the first section is about aligning your money to your values and it is an excellent exercise.

Good luck, and please get the hell out of the job that makes you sluglike!!

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2014, 05:25:32 AM »
How hard is it to get another job as a librarian? If you quit your current job, would it mean you'd never get another similar one?
Why not do the jewellery job as a trial? Decide to take 12 months off being a librarian and try out jewellery. If you don't like it, go back.


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2014, 05:51:00 AM »
So, we have kind of the flipped version of this.

I have a career that I love with higher earning potential than DH.   DH has moved from job to job, all decently paying but really hating them all and just keeping them to be responsible.    When we had our DD, we decided for him to quit and SAH.   In some ways it felt quite risky (would we have enough $, can one person really just leave the working world if they don't like it, etc).   

Best decision of our lives   We're all so much happier and it in retrospect it would've been stupid not to (although friends and family still seem confused/in disbelief that it can work like this).   Once DD goes to school, DH may or may not work again (ever), but if he does it will be PT doing something he enjoys that doesn't interfere with our lives too much.   Now that we've had a taste of the good life (neither having to continue to work at a job we don't like), we never want to go back.

Do it!

ETA: oh, and even with DH deciding to stop selling his soul, we're on track for FI.   It's amazing how much a stache can grow even with only one main earner and low expenses.   I was concerned that we'd barely be able to get by on just my salary, and three years in we have far more than plenty enough to spend and save.

I am a bit like Emily's DH.  My wife makes all the money and I stay at home.  I do house remodeling, cooking, construction of our custom RV, and the finances.   Best decision ever because when she comes home I am never grouchy from work (before when we were both working there were times we both had a bad day and it made for a depressing evening).  The money saving is pretty intense too.  I don't pay SS but will get half of her SS.  I have no commuting expenses.  Her tax bracket is so high that my income could be considered taxed at max rate plus Obamacare add on if I were working.

My parents at first (from the deep south) were a bit shocked that a woman could be the sole provider (what can I say?  They are old and from the south).    At one time when they were visiting my Dad asked us if we could afford to take them out when I paid for dinner.   The next day I accidentally left a ATM receipt on the counter near my keys which had our balance on it ($48,500 at the time).   Never heard a peep from my parents after that.

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2014, 06:11:42 AM »
I don't think your position in life has anything to do with it. If your bored or miserable at your Job be it the the Jewelry shop or something else you should look for something that makes you happy.

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2014, 07:07:20 AM »
Quite an active thread you've got going here, libraryjoy.  Something that jumped out at me was that you chose the name "libraryjoy" and yet your post is detailing how your job at a library isn't giving you very much joy.

First, I agree with previous posters that I would first try to determine whether I'd make the same decision regardless of your fiance.  My personal preference is to do work that you love, even if it sacrifices income and increases the time to FI.  Heck, that's why my income has gone DOWN since my first job out of college a decade ago. 

A few points i'd consider carefully though;
I don't consider two months a very long time period to really know how great a job will be long-term. Since weddings are all the rage, call this your honeymoon period with the jewellery job - everything seems perfect.  Personally, I'd get to at least the 6 month point and then carefully evaluate if you still love the job as much as you do right now. Also, do you consider the jewellery business a career-type path?  FI/FIRE aside, do you have visions of working there for 5 or 10 years?

Regarding the library-gig; it sounds to me like you are in this job in order to have a chance to have a full librarian position.  Since you have an MLS I'm guessing you've had this desire/goal for a while.  Do you still have a deep desire to become a librarian?  If yes, how long do you realistically think it will be before such an opportunity opens up?  2 years?  10 years? If you no longer have the dream of becoming a librarian then your decision should be easier.  I realize you spent a lot of time and money getting your masters degree, but to put it in economic terms, it is a 'sunk cost'. 
OTOH, if getting a full librarian gig is something that still interests you I'd consider sticking it out for at least another 6m to a year and see how it develops.

One thought that I had while reading your post is that, with your growing mustachianism, your new jewellery job and your SO's income you've already reached a certain degree of "FU security".  Try leveraging that.  You no longer have to be afraid of loosing that job, and in my experience that shifts the balance of power to you.  Make it clear that you need more flexibility and the ability to use your own vacation days on saturdays.  I would bet once they realize you don't have to stay there they will suddenly become more flexible.

Finally - you haven't mentioned what your FI/FIRE end-game is.  I think you mentioned your husband could be FI in as little as 5 years, even without help from you.  Even if it takes a bit longer - say 8 or 10 years - what do you envision doing when you are 35?  Would you still plan on working full or part time?  would either the librarian or the jewellery job fit into your plans better?

A lot of questions to think over, but ultimately this a great problem to have.

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2014, 07:29:42 AM »
Quite an active thread you've got going here, libraryjoy.  Something that jumped out at me was that you chose the name "libraryjoy" and yet your post is detailing how your job at a library isn't giving you very much joy.

I assumed the OP's first name was Joy.

And OP - I'd SOOOO trade you!  I'm trying to get OUT of a high end family owned jewelry store, library sounds wonderful :D

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2014, 07:46:40 AM »
Allow me to let you in on a little secret… It makes a man feel good to know the woman he is with is content.
 
If you are coming home like “a depressed slug” and he knows that he can do something to change the situation and make you more content, it will make him happy to be able to give you the opportunity to make the change.   

He’s earning a good living.  I’ve seen some of your other posts, so know you’re both on the right path.  His encouragement for you to make less money doing the work that you love is not a sacrifice.  It’s a gift.  And it’s one that will pay him back many times over as he sees you “great to be around when I get home”.   

Wait the two months until after you are married and make the switch.  Then occasionally remind him of how much happier you are.

Good tip! That makes me feel really good, actually. And trust me - he is definitely noticing a difference in me. As much as I am grateful for his support during my down days, we both prefer this arrangement :D
Now that I think about it, if the roles were reversed, I would want him to quit the soul-sucking job...

i totally agree too.  while i'm not a man, i love coming home to a happy home.  i make enough for my boyfriend not to work or to do the work he wants to do.  sometimes its vitamin shoppe assistant sometimes its personal trainer, sometimes he just works out for 3 hours a day etc and so on.  my life is so much better now that he isn't miserable all the time. 
there are somethings that  money can't buy.  go for the job that makes you happy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2014, 08:05:02 AM »

My parents at first (from the deep south) were a bit shocked that a woman could be the sole provider (what can I say?  They are old and from the south).    At one time when they were visiting my Dad asked us if we could afford to take them out when I paid for dinner.   The next day I accidentally left a ATM receipt on the counter near my keys which had our balance on it ($48,500 at the time).   Never heard a peep from my parents after that.
ok... i'm sorry for jacking the thread, but I just have to ask - what are you doing with $48k+ in an ATM account?  Couldn't most of those employees be put to work?

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2014, 08:08:38 AM »

My parents at first (from the deep south) were a bit shocked that a woman could be the sole provider (what can I say?  They are old and from the south).    At one time when they were visiting my Dad asked us if we could afford to take them out when I paid for dinner.   The next day I accidentally left a ATM receipt on the counter near my keys which had our balance on it ($48,500 at the time).   Never heard a peep from my parents after that.
ok... i'm sorry for jacking the thread, but I just have to ask - what are you doing with $48k+ in an ATM account?  Couldn't most of those employees be put to work?

Hey!  It was an interest checking account.  I think 0.02% or something.

I was transferring some cash from one brokerage house to another and went through my bank because it was easier since I had ACH relationships with both places through my checking.

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #26 on: June 27, 2014, 09:19:49 AM »

hmmm, working with sparkly pretty things and making them shine and chatting up people all day? Or slugging around with dusty old books and MARC data in a fusty old library, ugh. I know which one I'd pick.  :)

Lol! You make me laugh :)

Part of what I like about the jewellery store scene is the clientele. I like helping rich well-to-do people. At other jobs, serving the full spectrum of society, you get the odd weirdo. (Cough public library cough)


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #27 on: June 27, 2014, 09:22:56 AM »

Is there any reason that divorce / a break up would make you regret choosing the jewellery store joy over library slugdom?

I find that question really powerful whenever I'm worried that my choices might be skewed due to the BF being a high income earner / my plans to have kids etc. Usually the right choice WITH him in my life is also the right choice WITHOUT him, but the question helps to clarify that I'm not making some weird mistake whereby I become permanently dependent or anything.

(And I know that you and your fiancé will be very happy together and divorce isn't an issue - the question just helps anyway).

If the answer is that the jewellery store is how you want to live REGARDLESS of other circumstances - then it's how you want to live! Go forth and enjoy!

Good way of looking at it! Thanks for the little thought experiment :)


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #28 on: June 27, 2014, 09:24:18 AM »

Is it possible that the jewelry job is fun because it's new, and after a while it might be like the library job? Most jobs I've had are fun and exciting at first, then when the novelty wears off they are just jobs.

This is possible. Only time will tell. But I did dislike the library assistant position straight from day 2... And I've enjoyed sales jobs and family businesses in the past. Here's hoping the fun lasts!


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lifejoy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #29 on: June 27, 2014, 09:25:57 AM »

hmmm, working with sparkly pretty things and making them shine and chatting up people all day? Or slugging around with dusty old books and MARC data in a fusty old library, ugh. I know which one I'd pick.  :)

Me, too--library all the way! Comes down to personal preference, I guess. (I've worked in various library environments and they've been some of my best jobs.) Happierathome and Bikebum makes points worth considering.

ETA: What about the option of continuing library work to stay in the game and remain competitive for librarian positions that might open up and working part-time (evenings/weekends) at the jewelry store? Might be worth considering, at  least until your library school debt is paid.

This is the smart option, financially speaking. But I think I would have to find a NEW library job, because this library assistant gig is sucking out any library joy I may have once felt.


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lifejoy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #30 on: June 27, 2014, 09:28:08 AM »

I really hope you follow your passion.  If you enjoy the store, go for it.

However, please ensure that you continue to build skills, and create a stable economic situation that does not make you dependant on your soon to be H.

I have a family member who became a SAHM, and just found out her H has been cheating on her and now they are divorcing.  They appeared to be the absolutely perfect family, and I would have NEVER thought divorce was in the cards for them, EVER.

My recommendation is to move to the happier job, and in parallel have a discussion with your FI about finances, etc, using the book "Smart Couples Finish Rich" as a guide.  While it is slightly outdated, the first section is about aligning your money to your values and it is an excellent exercise.

Good luck, and please get the hell out of the job that makes you sluglike!!

This is the advice I needed. As others have said, I need to make financial decisions as though I were single. Cuz... Ya never know!!


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2014, 09:29:34 AM »

How hard is it to get another job as a librarian? If you quit your current job, would it mean you'd never get another similar one?
Why not do the jewellery job as a trial? Decide to take 12 months off being a librarian and try out jewellery. If you don't like it, go back.

I'm living in a small city which makes librarian jobs few and far between. Very scarce. But a year from now, we're moving! So maybe it's ok to be happy for the year before we move :)


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #32 on: June 27, 2014, 09:30:22 AM »
I would try to hone in on what specific aspects of the jewelry job you like better.  I'm wondering if it's the social interaction?  The fact that you work with happy people?  Try to replicate that in your main gig.

I would definitely find a way to keep your foot in the library science door through either part time work, or working as a research assistant or curator.

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #33 on: June 27, 2014, 09:37:07 AM »

Quite an active thread you've got going here, libraryjoy.  Something that jumped out at me was that you chose the name "libraryjoy" and yet your post is detailing how your job at a library isn't giving you very much joy.

First, I agree with previous posters that I would first try to determine whether I'd make the same decision regardless of your fiance.  My personal preference is to do work that you love, even if it sacrifices income and increases the time to FI.  Heck, that's why my income has gone DOWN since my first job out of college a decade ago. 

A few points i'd consider carefully though;
I don't consider two months a very long time period to really know how great a job will be long-term. Since weddings are all the rage, call this your honeymoon period with the jewellery job - everything seems perfect.  Personally, I'd get to at least the 6 month point and then carefully evaluate if you still love the job as much as you do right now. Also, do you consider the jewellery business a career-type path?  FI/FIRE aside, do you have visions of working there for 5 or 10 years?

Regarding the library-gig; it sounds to me like you are in this job in order to have a chance to have a full librarian position.  Since you have an MLS I'm guessing you've had this desire/goal for a while.  Do you still have a deep desire to become a librarian?  If yes, how long do you realistically think it will be before such an opportunity opens up?  2 years?  10 years? If you no longer have the dream of becoming a librarian then your decision should be easier.  I realize you spent a lot of time and money getting your masters degree, but to put it in economic terms, it is a 'sunk cost'. 
OTOH, if getting a full librarian gig is something that still interests you I'd consider sticking it out for at least another 6m to a year and see how it develops.

One thought that I had while reading your post is that, with your growing mustachianism, your new jewellery job and your SO's income you've already reached a certain degree of "FU security".  Try leveraging that.  You no longer have to be afraid of loosing that job, and in my experience that shifts the balance of power to you.  Make it clear that you need more flexibility and the ability to use your own vacation days on saturdays.  I would bet once they realize you don't have to stay there they will suddenly become more flexible.

Finally - you haven't mentioned what your FI/FIRE end-game is.  I think you mentioned your husband could be FI in as little as 5 years, even without help from you.  Even if it takes a bit longer - say 8 or 10 years - what do you envision doing when you are 35?  Would you still plan on working full or part time?  would either the librarian or the jewellery job fit into your plans better?

A lot of questions to think over, but ultimately this a great problem to have.

You're right - a good problem to have! Right now, my FIRE dream lifestyle would be working at the jewellery store, volunteering with the community, and playing with my future children :D

I really wanted to be a librarian. My library assistant job is killing the library joy. It would be like studying to be a doctor, and working as a nurse. Eventually it grates on you, even if you're in the right field.

We're moving in a year, so I don't feel that the networking I do here is crazy valuable. It might be ok to shift my focus for a trial year.

One of my fave things ever was learning about sunk costs! What a good concept :)


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lifejoy

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2014, 09:39:51 AM »
Bwahahaha! That IS interesting! One man's heaven is another man's hell, I guess. May I ask what is making you try to get out?


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2014, 09:40:34 AM »

Is there any reason that divorce / a break up would make you regret choosing the jewellery store joy over library slugdom?

I find that question really powerful whenever I'm worried that my choices might be skewed due to the BF being a high income earner / my plans to have kids etc. Usually the right choice WITH him in my life is also the right choice WITHOUT him, but the question helps to clarify that I'm not making some weird mistake whereby I become permanently dependent or anything.

(And I know that you and your fiancé will be very happy together and divorce isn't an issue - the question just helps anyway).

If the answer is that the jewellery store is how you want to live REGARDLESS of other circumstances - then it's how you want to live! Go forth and enjoy!

+ 1 on this.

I think it is safest to make personal economic choices in a vacuum.

If you fiancées job is what makes you feel comfortable making the switch, that's kind of a danger sign. But if this is a choice you would make regardless of your fiancées income, then it's a no brainer. Follow your bliss.

+2

Please go read the entire thread on Divorce as a Weapon of Mass Destruction .  It's pretty scary reading, as it turns out a lot of people would be ok promising to take care of a partner if they make a major change such as staying home with kids for a large number of years, but then vehemently fight against paying any support to help that former partner get back on their feet in the job market after a divorce, after losing out on
substantial experience and starting back at lower rungs.  If after reading that you are ok with the possibility of getting divorced and needing to start over again getting a job that can support you, with the skills you'd have from the jewelry job (which may or may not be transferable and easy to get another job), then go ahead with your plans.  If you are not ok with it, either get a prenup which creates an outcome you and your fiance would both find acceptable, or don't give up your job for this one.

That all said, a year or two in this new job isn't going to hurt your career really, if you decide you want to go back to the library.

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #36 on: June 27, 2014, 09:42:38 AM »
Ok. Here is my plan:

Quit the job I hate. Work at the jewellery store, but make sure to volunteer at the youth centre and the public library. This keeps me desirable in the library world, keeps that door open. Try to get some part-time reference desk hours (people helping! No data entry!). This mix should maximize my happiness, and keep doors open.

Thanks, Mustachians! Your input, as usual, has been invaluable :D


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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #37 on: June 27, 2014, 09:43:45 AM »
Sounds like a good plan!

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Re: What if your spouse could make you FIRE? Would you live differently?
« Reply #38 on: June 27, 2014, 08:14:05 PM »
So, we have kind of the flipped version of this.

I have a career that I love with higher earning potential than DH.   DH has moved from job to job, all decently paying but really hating them all and just keeping them to be responsible.    When we had our DD, we decided for him to quit and SAH.   In some ways it felt quite risky (would we have enough $, can one person really just leave the working world if they don't like it, etc).   

Best decision of our lives   We're all so much happier and it in retrospect it would've been stupid not to (although friends and family still seem confused/in disbelief that it can work like this).   Once DD goes to school, DH may or may not work again (ever), but if he does it will be PT doing something he enjoys that doesn't interfere with our lives too much.   Now that we've had a taste of the good life (neither having to continue to work at a job we don't like), we never want to go back.

Do it!

ETA: oh, and even with DH deciding to stop selling his soul, we're on track for FI.   It's amazing how much a stache can grow even with only one main earner and low expenses.   I was concerned that we'd barely be able to get by on just my salary, and three years in we have far more than plenty enough to spend and save.

I am a bit like Emily's DH.  My wife makes all the money and I stay at home.  I do house remodeling, cooking, construction of our custom RV, and the finances.   Best decision ever because when she comes home I am never grouchy from work (before when we were both working there were times we both had a bad day and it made for a depressing evening).  The money saving is pretty intense too.  I don't pay SS but will get half of her SS.  I have no commuting expenses.  Her tax bracket is so high that my income could be considered taxed at max rate plus Obamacare add on if I were working.

My parents at first (from the deep south) were a bit shocked that a woman could be the sole provider (what can I say?  They are old and from the south).    At one time when they were visiting my Dad asked us if we could afford to take them out when I paid for dinner.   The next day I accidentally left a ATM receipt on the counter near my keys which had our balance on it ($48,500 at the time).   Never heard a peep from my parents after that.

"Accidentally"