Author Topic: My Wife works FT, I work PT  (Read 4276 times)

tsmith321

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My Wife works FT, I work PT
« on: December 13, 2016, 07:41:44 AM »
So here is the scenario:

My wife owns a business with two other partners.  She absolutely loves what she does and is not the type to sit around doing nothing.  We have finally paid off all of the student loans which totaled around (230k).  We have two paid cars, and a modest mortgage balance of 170k on a 215k townhouse.  Combined we are bringing home around 285k; overwhelming majority is her salary.  We contribute around 80k per year to Max Roth, 401k, and a profit sharing pension program through her work. I plan on making a 3 fund portfolio and will contribute $1500 per month, while we also pay off the mortgage. (estimated 5 years) We also have no kids, and do not plan on any.

I am a PT teacher.  I enjoy working part time because it really gives me time to enjoy the craft, while not feeling burned out like many teachers do.  My wife enjoys me working PT because I do the majority of the cooking or errands that need to be done on my days off.  It has worked out well for us thus far, however I have only been working PT for 6 months.

I feel awkward having conversations with friends and family about the fact that I am working part time.  Most people that I know are living paycheck to paycheck and have tons of debt.  We are really proud of what we have accomplished so far. (I am 35, she is 32) Should I feel guilty about my current situation?

I am new to the concept of FIRE.  How should I approach this situation going forward?  Remember my wife and I are 100% good with this situation, and I would think that most of you would agree as long as thats the scenario, then who cares what anyone thinks.

I'll be curious to read your responses.

Thanks!

**On a side note, I am not adversed to working, I just want to do work i find meaningful.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 03:38:29 PM by tsmith321 »

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2016, 08:04:15 AM »
Don't worry about what family or friends think about. If your sexes were changed, there would be no comments. Think of this as  a partnership driving the ship towards FIRE.

Who takes care of the finances? I would think that this is as important since you need to invest your money wisely. A lot of my family are in the medical field and I see how financial advisers take them for a ride. Do not use a financial adviser, since most of them are interested in lining their own pockets.
So, go ahead and learn, invest.

Take charge of your expenses and the budget. Make sure your burn-rate is so low that you can accelerate towards FIRE.
At  your income level, you should have a 50-70%+ savings rate. If not I suggest you find out what your money is going towards (free account at mint.com). If you have any issues, put together a case study (http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-write-a-'case-study'-topic/)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2016, 08:09:24 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

Guesl982374

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2016, 09:50:11 AM »
You shouldn't care what others think. With that being said, you don't need to advertise that you are working PT:

-Hey tsmith, what are you up to these days?
-I've been teaching 8th grade at xyz school and absolutely love it. <-- notice no mention of PT vs. FT

We are really proud of what we have accomplished so far. (I am 35, she is 32) Should I feel guilty about my current situation?

You should be, but unfortunately most people can't disclose that they've built $700K NW. My wife and I have the same issue, we are super proud that we've increased our NW by $170K+ over the past 12 months but can't tell anyone. It's one of the (many) reasons why this forum is so popular, we can share our financial accomplishments here that we can't do in real life without offending someone or without getting asked for a loan.

pbkmaine

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2016, 09:56:22 AM »
I would just say I'm a teacher and leave it at that.

Lagom

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 10:53:46 AM »
As a man who within the next 3-5 years may transition to full-time house husband (with a couple side hustles planned, but nothing I could claim was full time work), I totally get the awkwardness you feel when explaining your situation to others. But like most things in life, the more you own it, the less others will judge, and many will even express admiration/envy. No need to add caveats and addendums when asked about your work. I would also probably just say "I am a teacher," but I would not hesitate to go into detail if asked, and with confidence.

That said, I wouldn't bother to explain all of the reasons that you and your wife have decided this is best for your family. There is no way to do this without sounding defensive. Just speak as if the reasons should be obvious. Makes it easy to diffuse even the more explicitly judgmental types:

"Hi tsmith, Bob told me you teach part time over at the middle school?"

"Yup! Love my work!"

"Wow, so your DW is OK with you only working part time while she works full time?"

"Of course! We couldn't be happier! What do you do for work?"

etc.

tsmith321

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 11:23:59 AM »
You guys are awesome! Thanks for the advice.

Truly appreciated!

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 09:27:56 AM »
You could mention you're a teacher and share a short story about it.  They'll either want you to stop (no more questions about your job!) or you'll open the door to talking about that next time you see them.  They're trying to figure out what's interesting - no shame in showing them what you like to talk about.

BuffaloStache

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2016, 03:20:22 PM »
You should be, but unfortunately most people can't disclose that they've built $700K NW. My wife and I have the same issue, we are super proud that we've increased our NW by $170K+ over the past 12 months but can't tell anyone. It's one of the (many) reasons why this forum is so popular, we can share our financial accomplishments here that we can't do in real life without offending someone or without getting asked for a loan.

Totally agreed- that is one of the major things I love about this place!

Playing with Fire UK

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2016, 03:40:41 PM »
... Remember my wife and I are 100% good with this situation
...

This is what matters.

Some people you meet (the paycheck-to-paycheck sort) won't get it or will judge it or will assume that you can't do this without someone getting screwed. You have no obligations to respond to this.

If/when you get questions or comments about you working PT and your wife working full time, you can always ask questions back until the other person has to shut up or say something hugely sexist/homophobic/archaic.

You are welcome here, people will delight in your success and suggest new things you can try. We celebrate when people find a work-life balance that works for them and we sure as shit don't form our judgments based on outdated ideas of genitals defining who works more hours outside the house.

spokey doke

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2017, 08:40:45 AM »
There are tons of threads expressing some version of what you are getting at: that most people don't get the mustachian life and it's hard to talk about (the frugality, the financial independence, the valuing of time, going against norms of work and spending).  Not only do they often not get it, but they can be hostile or resentful or think you are not to be trusted when you try explaining it.

Much of the discussion in the many threads offer a version of what is recommended here: don't shine a light on it, or avoid talking about it altogether, having truthful or 'truthy' lines that divert getting into it in conversation.

I quit a fairly prestigious career position last year and people were shocked...if it weren't for taking on a small business of my own, I can only imagine how difficult it would be answer to friends and family.

Having DW on board is key...it is no one else's business how you take care of your own finances

BuffaloStache

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2017, 11:04:06 PM »
Having DW on board is key...it is no one else's business how you take care of your own finances

This- My wife loves her job much more than I do, and has stated that she is likely to continue working longer than I intend to. I'm not sure yet if that means I'll be able to stop working FT sooner than planned, or if she'll change her mind and we'll work longer to both quit together. But either way we are excited for the freedom that comes with FI and the opportunities it creates.

mxt0133

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2017, 11:54:16 PM »
OP, you are my hero.  Fuck what everyone else thinks, they're just jealous.   The only thing I would add is I hope you are taking good care of health and your wife's for that matter so both of you enjoy a long and happy life together.

davisgang90

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2017, 04:55:44 AM »
It sounds to me like you have at least 2 part time jobs.  Imagine the cost to hire someone to run those errands, clean and cook?  You have nothing to be embarrassed about.  Both of you have earned what you have.  Enjoy!

Dicey

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Re: My Wife works FT, I work PT
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2017, 10:44:49 AM »
Repeat after me until it gets comfortable: "I teach at XXXX School. What do you do?"* Everyone wants to talk about themselves. It's so easy it's laughable. Eventually you won't care, but this tactic will serve you well in the meantime.
*If they know you know what they do, change it to something like "How's your job going?" Easy-peasy.