Author Topic: starting my mustachian life  (Read 3155 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
starting my mustachian life
« on: September 21, 2013, 07:15:47 AM »
Hello Mustachians!

I am new here, but I have been following the blog for a while.  I have been married for a year and recently turned 30.  Somehow those two things together made me want to re-evaluate how we plan for our future.

I think we are off to a good start, but any feedback, encouragement, etc. is most welcome!  I am really doing this to keep track of my progress and to hold myself accountable.  So I will outline our current goals and what we've accomplished so far.

1. Pay off student loan $40,000 at 6.8%.  In deferment until December 2013.  This is our only debt other than the mortgage.
2. Start trying to have a baby in roughly 1 year.  We are a same-sex couple, so this comes with added expenses of actually getting pregnant.
3. Save and invest as much as possible towards retirement and long-term savings.

I just graduated with my MBA in June.  I recently accepted a new position with the same company for better growth potential and better benefits.  It is a lateral move for the same base salary.  However, the job comes with an additional automatic 6% employer contribution to my 401k, better annual bonus structure, and stock options.
Base salary: $49,000. (will get a raise in April 2013)
401k: Automatic 6%.  Plus 6% match.  As long as I put in my 6%, I get 18%)
stock options: I can purchase company stock 2 times per year at 85% of market value.

Currently in nursing school and will graduate with RN in May 2014.  She is planning to go straight into graduate school to become a NP.
She currently works part-time as a nursing tech, 24 hours per week.
Typically brings home net of $800/month.  She also has health coverage while working part-time.

1. No credit card debt.
2. Total retirement accounts currently at $30,000
3. Cash savings is $5,000

Here's my dilemma:

We moved to be closer to my wife's family about 3 years ago and got new jobs.  With the assistance of parents, we purchased what we thought would be our dream home in 2010.  A 3 acre farmette with barn, 100% cleared and fenced pasture space, and fixer upper 3 bed 2 bath house.  We definitely bit off more than we could chew thinking our job prospects were better than they actually were.  It also requires a freakish amount of work and cash to keep it up.
Leaving behind our 5 acre property with a 3 bed 2 bath house in a different state that we could not sell at the time.
So for the past 3 years, we had our new large property as our primary home, and the old larger property rented with just enough to cover the mortgage and taxes.
Our current home is 45 miles away from my work, producing a 450 mile weekly commute for me alone.  My wife does the same commute in the opposite direction, but 2 days/week for a total of 180 miles per week.  I know, it's insane.

We have been very fortunate to sell both of our houses and getting ready to close on a new house in the city where I work in 2 weeks.  This will be 6 miles from my work and walking distance to a lot of other amenities in the area (grocery store, parks, etc).
Fortunately the sale of our 2 existing properties allowed us to put 20% down.  It is a townhouse with no HOA fees, completely renovated, and no outdoor maintenance.  So we don't plan on putting any additional money into the house other than paying off the mortgage.

One major issue is my wife's part-time job.  She will now be one hour and a half away from our new home.  She is interviewing for new positions in our new area, but there is no guarantee. 
The big issue is health insurance.  Because I cannot put her on my insurance until open enrollment in January (3 months away), she needs to keep up her hours to keep the insurance.
Would you keep the part-time job after January for the added $800/month to go towards savings/student loan?  Or would you cut the part-time job completely to get rid of the 6 hour/weekly commute expense and hold out for graduation in June 2014?

The other big question is if we should continue adding to savings or put everything towards the student loan?
Current savings rate is $600/month towards emergency fund.  This will clearly change once we officially move.  Savings rate will be higher with savings on commuting expenses and less house maintenance.

I know this is a lot of info!  For those of you who are still reading, thanks so much and I appreciate any feedback.



  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 80
  • Location: United States
Re: starting my mustachian life
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2013, 10:47:32 AM »
Maybe she needs to keep the insurance for health reasons, but if not, have you checked out private plans? Not sure what's available in your area, but I'm older than you and I only pay $110 a month for individual Blue Cross coverage.  She could work at a coffee shop near your new home and cover that much! :)


  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 485
Re: starting my mustachian life
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 05:18:10 PM »
Either option could work as a transition, but the key is for her to get a job near where you live. 


  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 202
Re: starting my mustachian life
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2013, 05:53:59 PM »
If she separates from her job it should be a "qualifying event" so that you can go to your HR and request to have her put on your health insurance immediately. You don't have to wait for Open Enrollment for a qualifying event.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Wilmington, DE
Re: starting my mustachian life
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 05:37:32 PM »
Thanks everyone!

I agree, the main goal is to find her a new position close to the new home.  We really on have 9 more months to go until she graduates with her RN and will be able to work a normal RN job while moving into graduate school for her MSN.  We can definitely stick out the current schedule for the next 3 moths and then cut her hours in January once she is on my health plan if a new job does not come along during that time.

With our current emergency fund of $5,000, I think we should be fine to start putting as much money as possible towards the student loan until June 2014 when our income level will increase.  Any thoughts?


  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1089
  • Age: 30
  • Location: Australia
Re: starting my mustachian life
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2013, 07:09:10 AM »
It sounds like you two have made some really good choices already :)
I don't think your wife should quit her job until she has another job closer to home lined up. It's nearly always easier to get a job when you already have a job (employers prefer to employ people who are already employed!) It seems like your wife is bringing home about $80-$100 per day, I have no idea who car you drive or how much fuel is in your state but I would guess the commute is unlikely to cost more than $20 return in petrol (and a rough rule of thumb would be to double this to cover the cost of additional servicing, tyres and depreciation). As the job is still bring in more than $40 for each day worked and is helping your wife have better odds of employment in your new town it sounds like it is worth keeping until a job close to home can be secured.
Good luck!