Author Topic: Young Mom Case Study  (Read 7674 times)

melluvia

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Young Mom Case Study
« on: June 24, 2015, 07:54:32 AM »
I'm looking for advice on if I should quit being a stay at home mom and get a job.
A little background- I'm 26, have a B.A. in art but have always worked with kids which usually pays minimum wage or just above. I'm currently running an in home daycare but making less than minimum wage at it. I have a 2 year old daughter and love staying home with her though. As you can see, my husband is a consumer sucka spendypants (I'm slowly working on mustachianizing him but to little avail as of yet) who is an e4 in the army. I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my wrists and ankles get really swollen and achey, so that is also a factor for jobs (can't do most manual work and walk with a limp).

Financial:
Liabilities-
$117k mortgage
$11k car payment (a ridiculous car he refuses to part with).
No other loans or debt

Assets-
House worth $130k
Child's College Fund- $4k
Savings- $2k

Take Home Income-
$1200/mo from Me
$3098/mo from Husband

Spending-
Mortgage+tax- $920
Phones- $17
Internet- $45
Water+trash- $75
Insurance- $130
Groceries- $300
Gas- $120
Gifts- $20
Babysitter- $60
Husband's Cigarettes- $200
Husband's Work Lunches- $150
Husband's Pizza- $60
Husband's Car- $272
Husband's Entertainment- $30
Husband's Clothes- $30
Husband's Haircuts- $40

Total Spending- $2989

Saving- $1436

Savings rate: 32%

I am now saving all my income, to either invest or buy a good mpg hatchback afer recently paying down 10k of credit card debt with it. I've made a few small victories with my husband such as no longer using credit and getting republic phone plans, but he currently insists on the other spending categories. He says he wants to work his entire life and get to spend his hard earned $. But as you can see I'm very serious for myself about FI, it just seems like a long way off at the rate Im going (and going it alone). I'm not sure i could find a great paying job with my limited experience. Plus there's the other factor of I really don't want to put my kid in daycare (even public school in a few years is not a great option to me).

Any advice of what you think I should do is welcome.

Thank you!

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 08:07:13 AM »
It sounds like the much more lucrative path is working with your husband to reduce expenses. He at least smokes the cigarettes outside, right?

waffle

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 08:07:38 AM »
I wouldn't focus too much on changing your husband. Lead by example and all, but be careful of the fine line between pushing and leading. You are saving about 1/3 of your income which isn't bad. You could look at substitutes for your husbands spending that he might go for. Could you cut his hair for him? Could you shop for nice clothes for him from thrift shops (He might not go himself, but if you know what he likes and can find good deals he might not complain about it)? Obviously smoking is the biggest waste of money in that budget and would be great if he quits, but that will probably be the hardest change for him to make...

melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 08:21:35 AM »
He does smoke in the garage thankfully! Unfortunately he won't let me cut his hair (he likes it shaven on the sides tapering to long on top and won't stand a plain ol' buzz). He has tried to quit smoking a dozen times. I hope one day he does! And as for thrift stores, I love them but he won't go in one. I bought a bread machine at one and he insisted it not come in the house as he was afraid it had roaches inside the motor. Well I came up with a compromise to but it in the freezer first! Great ideas though, I'll take any and all ideas!

expectopatronum

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2015, 08:29:57 AM »
Depends. What would your childcare expenses be if you were to be gone 5 days a week? (Assuming you work same days/shifts as your husband) This could easily swallow up a meager salary.

What kind of job would you apply for? Check Indeed and Glassdoor for median salaries in your area for a job you think might be realistic.

Compared a take-home of $14400 a year, there is a lot of room to improve salary, but you have to account for the fact that you're offering a benefit for your family in the form of caring for your child. Is there any daycare that lets you work there AND enroll your child? (Kind of like a reduced rate on childcare..?) Maybe that would be a thought?

He says he wants to work his entire life and get to spend his hard earned $. But as you can see I'm very serious for myself about FI

FWIW, my typical base argument against this is that you DO get to spend the money you earn...eventually. It sits around and makes more of itself, then later you can spend some of it - and NEVER have to worry about making more, since it'll "refill" itself. (That's the basis of 4% SW rate, for instance.) Why would I want to kill the money that I've worked hard for by spending most of it right away? It's maximizing the utility of your money and work.

I can understand why you want DH on board - I really do. But if he is as young as you, it may take him some time to come around. You can lead horse to water....

In the meantime, make sure you aren't taking a "morally superior" path or nagging. To those who aren't savers yet, it can feel like a real character judgement (especially if you think he's a "sucka"). To me, pursuing FI is a no-brainer, but it took me awhile to see the bigger picture. I wasn't "ready" for it yet and it was a gradual change, then a lightbulb moment. And also - there are some people who could 100% understand the logic, but still have no desire to pursue FI, and that's fine. But in marriage you're going to have to find a way to work as a team towards the same goals and/or compromise.

Lastly, I just question why you're saving up money for a car since you are a SAHM. Do you really need one?

It seems like your income is $4298 and spending is $2469. Not sure where your discrepancy is...

cripzychiken

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 08:42:18 AM »

Husband's Cigarettes- $200
Husband's Work Lunches- $150
Husband's Pizza- $60
Husband's Car- $272
Husband's Entertainment- $30
Husband's Clothes- $30
Husband's Haircuts- $40

Thank you!

since the main problems seems to be his spending - what the hell is $60 for pizza on top of work lunches? $40/month for haircuts? Seriously, my wife doesn't even spend that much! Does he get his haircut every other week?

So ranting aside - look at why he spends some of these and what YOU can do to drop his costs. 

Lunch: Does he go out to lunch everyday?  what if you packed him a good lunch twice a week - small improvement and then he'll slowly get better at it. 
Pizza: I love to make my own pizza.  Make your own once a week (all guys like putting on their own toppings).  You can buy the ingredients from a store and see if that can lower his pizza budget (I seriously want a pizza budget now).
Clothes: You said he won't go in a thrift store, but can you go in them for him?  Get him 2-3 shirts, wash them and put them away.  Chances are he won't care where they came from if they are in good shape.  I'd start with shirts before moving on to more items.
Cigs: This just sucks and is impossible to break without him caring/wanting to quit.  Even trying to cut him back a bit would make things better, but it is an addiction and needs help to be overcome. If he's tried in the past, see what got him to even start - then try to recreate those situations. 


MsPeacock

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 08:57:26 AM »
What are your goals for savings (e.g. FIRE? Pay for college for your kids?) and what are your husband's goals? He isn't going to work his "whole life." He will have, at best, 30 years in the military (and w/ downsizing and all - I wouldn't count on it.) Is he in an MOS that is employable "outside?" Is he in an MOS with a high burnout or injury rate (combat arms)? Are you investing in the TSP? He will also, like pretty much everyone else, reach an age where continued work isn't physically possible - possibly sooner than others if he keeps up the pizza/eating out/smoking. I think you are both likely fairly young and he may not fully grasp what the next 30 years or so of working would actually be like.

I am assuming he does a weekly $10 haircut on base to keep his hair "just so." - It is a military thing. Are there things he would rather do with the $2400 per year he is spending on cigarettes, the $1800 per year on lunches, the $720 per year on pizza? I mean, if nothing else that equals an awesome vacation per year that would benefit everyone in the family instead of just him (questionable if he 'benefits' from his cigarettes and such).

StockBeard

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 09:59:32 AM »
You're bringing $1200 a month as a stay at home mom? I'd say you're in a very good position and finding a job that offsets that + the costs of daycare might be tough? + the heavy price of seeing your baby much less.

I'd find it sad if the financial benefit of getting a job for you would just offset some of your husbands spending habits (vs discussing with him to reduce some of those...)

I was a spendypants not so long ago, with expenses similar to your husband's (except the smoking). One day I started hating my job and that was the pivot point for me. Finding this site was the next step. I'd send a selection of MMM's articles for your husband to read... inspirational ones. As others have said, tread carefully, the change needs to come from him, not you.

melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2015, 10:04:49 AM »
I handle all the financials so its really a thing of him spending and me trying to reign him in. This is kind of our "compromise" budget for now. I love the home made pizza idea and do make homemade pizza often. I think it's mostly when he has his buddies over that it's a order in thing (I won't handle meat (vegan) and they order meaty pizzas). Yes the haircut 2x a month and he pays $20 its outrageous but he insists on being a 100% tipper most of the time. He won't wear clothes from thrift stores unfortunately. I'm not sure where the discrepancy is in my budget- I did the sum function in an excel spreadsheet so I'll have to go back and take a closer look. I was considering saving up for a car in case I did get a job, plus hubbys car is a souped up hotrod that gets  HORRENDOUS gas mileage. It would also be hard to commute together because he leaves the house at 4:30 am to get to work for PT. Thank you for the ideas guys, I especially appreciate the per year comment on the cigarettes and such. I will try to show him that. He is very resentful of the Mr. Money Mustache blog changing my perspective on money and is annoyed by me showing him articles and things so I do have to be careful as not to be too "preachy". Unfortunately where I am in Texas I'd make minimum wage at a daycare and even with free childcare there, I wouldn't be able to be with my daughter so its not really a great trade off from working from home. Finding a more professional type career might be a good option for me.

lemonlime

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 10:16:32 AM »
Tell him you need his help and ask him to go over the financials (by himself) and review your spending and make what he thinks the budget should be. Gently getting him to face reality and acknowledge where you are just might motivate him to think harder about what he's doing.

cripzychiken

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2015, 10:53:44 AM »
I handle all the financials so its really a thing of him spending and me trying to reign him in. This is kind of our "compromise" budget for now.

If he doesn't see the true cost of stuff, nothing will change.  When trying to change spending habits, it needs to be in hard print that he can see.  Something like mint/personal capital is good for this sort of thing.  If everything is on a credit card (which is paid off every month when the bill comes) it doesn't take that long to pull all the info together and show him that his habits are the some of the most expensive things on the list.

Tell him you need his help and ask him to go over the financials (by himself) and review your spending and make what he thinks the budget should be. Gently getting him to face reality and acknowledge where you are just might motivate him to think harder about what he's doing.

Or just ask him what he thinks a reasonable budget will be.  Write down what he says for each category (I mean everything from rent and electricity to dining out and cigarettes).  Once he gives all of his numbers - sum them up and see how high it is.  Then start looking at individual line items.  If he only thinks he spends $100 on cigs, then ask if he can drop is spending down to $100, since that's all he valued it at.   Chances are he won't overvalue anything, my wife didn't.  But, if he does - well it shows you what he'd rather be spending money on and you know something that you can use as a goal for the future.

MayDay

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2015, 10:59:14 AM »
I don't know that having him help you go over the budget in general will help.  You are already saving 32% of your combined income.  He will likely see that and go OMG we have so much money, lets spend it!  woohoo!

I would consider several things.

1.  Control the things you can control, ie grocery costs, keeping utility use low during the day, planning fun family activities that also happen to be cheap, etc.  Can you plan a grill out night for the buddies?  Can you plan a park picnic if any of them have families, too?  etc.  Divert him gently from the more expensive pizza/etc by planning something better!

2.  The other thing you can control is your income.  Keep an eye out for another child you could watch, or keep an eye on childcare rates and slowly raise your rates. 

3.  Discuss ahead of time, at a time when everyone is calm, what you will do with his next raise/promotion/COLA.  Maybe you can agree that half of it will go to savings, and half will go to increasing some of the budget categories.  Or 2/3 to savings, but he gets to keep the remaining 1/3 all for his own budget categories.  Or maybe he wants to save up for new ________.  If he will put 2/3 to the family savings, he can save the other 1/3 for his new toy!  The point is to agree ahead of time to save a chunk of it. 

Spudd

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 11:02:00 AM »
It looks to me like you're actually doing pretty well - saving 30% of take-home is great! And since he's in the military, he'll get a pension assuming he stays in long enough.

I would think as long as you keep this up, by the time he's eligible for his pension you should be good to go. Have you run any simulations to see how that would work out?

ABC123

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 11:03:39 AM »
Would he be willing to get a cash "allowance"?  Discuss with him what he thinks would be a reasonable amount to spend on his personal expenses - cigs, pizza, lunch, hair, etc.  Maybe just having that amount to work with would make him think through it a little more.

charis

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2015, 11:06:34 AM »
I think being able to stay home with your child and bring in money at the same time is great!  Can you up your fee a little bit, like $5/day?  How long do you have until she's in full day PreK or kindergarten? 

Does he want to quit smoking?   Aside from his own health and the cost, children of smokers are WAY more likely to end up as smokers themselves and he can only hide his habit for so long.  If he continues to smoking until she graduates high school, he's giving $40K to cigarette corporations to slowly (or not so slowly) kill him, costing his daughter a healthy father, money that could go to her education, etc, and maybe ending up with an expensive and dangerously unhealthy habit of her own.  Because this is the reality of it.  I sympathize with you because I've been there (still am).

kathrynd

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2015, 11:14:44 AM »
Your husband is spending $782 a month on himself (including the car)

Take that amount from your earnings, and invest it in something..which is yours ONLY.

Anything leftover...is family income.

I did the same as you. When the kids were small I had a private daycare in my home.
Going back to work, and putting my kids in daycare was not going to happen.
Best decision I ever made :)


melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2015, 11:37:11 AM »

Your husband is spending $782 a month on himself (including the car)

Take that amount from your earnings, and invest it in something..which is yours ONLY.

Anything leftover...is family income.

Yes that's why I'm saving all my income to invest or by a car for myself if need be! I count my 'contribution' to the family income as caring for our daughter full time (and the 24/7 when he's deployed as well) and doing the shopping, bills and housework.

melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2015, 11:40:39 AM »
I think being able to stay home with your child and bring in money at the same time is great!  Can you up your fee a little bit, like $5/day?  How long do you have until she's in full day PreK or kindergarten? 
I plan on raising my rates Jan. 1st but its always a risk doing that as you can lose families that way. Also it depends where were living in the next few years, some places pre-k starts at 3, others 4

melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2015, 11:44:09 AM »
And since he's in the military, he'll get a pension assuming he stays in long enough.
Scary thing is, he wants to get out of the army. He is Infantry so not really very translatable to professional work. He doesn't know what he wants to do.

charis

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2015, 11:49:20 AM »
I think being able to stay home with your child and bring in money at the same time is great!  Can you up your fee a little bit, like $5/day?  How long do you have until she's in full day PreK or kindergarten? 
I plan on raising my rates Jan. 1st but its always a risk doing that as you can lose families that way. Also it depends where were living in the next few years, some places pre-k starts at 3, others 4

You do risk losing families, but if it is a modest increase of your daily or weekly rate and it is still competitive with other home daycares in your area, you wouldn't have to worry too much about that.  As long as having a home daycare business is something you enjoy and you want to continue staying home, I would put off getting a professional job until your daughter is in school.  I am sure you have already considered the drawbacks to staying out of the workforce for the time being.

GardenFun

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2015, 11:53:22 AM »
Start an IRA in your name.  At $458/mo ($5500/yr), that still leaves you over $800/month for other goals (car, emergency fund, etc.).  After a few years, you have $15,000 and your husband gets to see the benefit of saving. 

Don't try to change him too quickly, too fast.  If he's not on board with your new ideas and you try to take away all his fun, he will rebel by increasing his spending.  Maybe see if he can reduce cigarettes from $200 to $150, then to $100 a year later.  If course quitting would be best, but even reduction helps him get closer to his goal of quitting.     

Also understand his environment.  I doubt many of his co-workers are embracing the savings spirit.  Is there anyone else in the area (older army personnel whom he respects) who would be a good resource in explaining the benefits of saving?
   

melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2015, 11:54:23 AM »
Yes for sure. I know I could make a lot more working outside the home but I'm afraid to sacrifice being there for her young years. I know they don't last long.

melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2015, 11:58:21 AM »
Good idea Gardenfun. I like the IRA idea and the finding an older mentor idea. I'm trying to find some Mustachian in my area but no luck so far. I will keep trying. My area is pretty much a gushing geyser of pure wastefulness!

catccc

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2015, 12:10:01 PM »
You show quite a surplus every month, but where are your savings to show for it?  Are you forgetting to include any retirement accounts?


melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2015, 12:17:48 PM »
I just finished up paying of CC debt, so that's just the wee savings since

cripzychiken

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2015, 12:21:01 PM »
Good idea Gardenfun. I like the IRA idea and the finding an older mentor idea. I'm trying to find some Mustachian in my area but no luck so far. I will keep trying. My area is pretty much a gushing geyser of pure wastefulness!

Look in the parking lot, find the car from 2002 that is in good shape.  Talk to that person.  Honestly, people with older cars in good shape (so not just driving around old junkers until they die) are probably a good place to start.  They might not be MMM-types, but they tend to be savers who can help show what years of savings actually gets you.

mm1970

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2015, 12:34:28 PM »
I handle all the financials so its really a thing of him spending and me trying to reign him in. This is kind of our "compromise" budget for now.

If he doesn't see the true cost of stuff, nothing will change.  When trying to change spending habits, it needs to be in hard print that he can see.  Something like mint/personal capital is good for this sort of thing.  If everything is on a credit card (which is paid off every month when the bill comes) it doesn't take that long to pull all the info together and show him that his habits are the some of the most expensive things on the list.

Tell him you need his help and ask him to go over the financials (by himself) and review your spending and make what he thinks the budget should be. Gently getting him to face reality and acknowledge where you are just might motivate him to think harder about what he's doing.

Or just ask him what he thinks a reasonable budget will be.  Write down what he says for each category (I mean everything from rent and electricity to dining out and cigarettes).  Once he gives all of his numbers - sum them up and see how high it is.  Then start looking at individual line items.  If he only thinks he spends $100 on cigs, then ask if he can drop is spending down to $100, since that's all he valued it at.   Chances are he won't overvalue anything, my wife didn't.  But, if he does - well it shows you what he'd rather be spending money on and you know something that you can use as a goal for the future.
I agree with the asking for his help too look at the financials.

He cannot know it if he doesn't see the totals.  May backfire, he may say "see we have money left over!!"


catccc

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2015, 12:52:07 PM »
I just finished up paying of CC debt, so that's just the wee savings since

Well, congrats on that.  I might try sharing DH's spending with him, maybe not necessarily what's leftover.  The numbers may or may not alarm him.  Or maybe ask him what he thinks he spends, and if your figures are higher, share that.

We have mostly had a SAHP and I think it is invaluable.  So I vote for continuing to stay at home.

melluvia

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Re: Young Mom Case Study
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2015, 06:07:22 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone. Looks like I'll be staying home for now and will continue to work with my husband to get his spending down. I'll let you know if I make any progress!