Originally Posted by ChetMC
Yes, I would quit. Once you're home you have more time to put toward budgeting and saving money. I never pay retail for anything. I have time to research every purchase to death. There's more time to plan meals, to figure out complex coupon schemes, to go to more than one grocery store, to check 18 websites and find the one with the lowest price, to go to the outlet mall on Saturday, etc.
We are right at that place where it would cost us for me to work. I'd have to make at least $40k per year for it to be worthwhile, if I was working full time. And if I go to work part time, we would lose the EITC and WIC, which would mean that the first $5200 I made that year would net us *zero*. And that calculation is assuming no work expenses whatsoever. So that hypothetical part time job? I'd have to make about $15/hr to net anything at all, and part-time jobs making that are all but nonexistant here.
DH makes about $32k per year. He has excellent job security and very good health and fringe bennies (he's a gov't employee, too), and we live in an area with a very low COL. We do alright.
OTOH, if I were to go to work FT, even if I made more than DH, we'd be paying for childcare for an infant and a toddler on top of our $5200 per year loss. DH can't turn down overtime (weird union rules- he has the right to turn down OT, but there is no one else qualified to do his job, so sooner or later, he's got to do the OT), which means trouble for daycare- late fees and so forth- and he's the one who would pick up the kids. Plus we'd have to get more reliable vehicles- two, because, right now, if I have to go without a car, it's no big deal, but that would not be the case if I went to work.
So... starting off $5200 in the hole, at least $10k in childcare, and two car payments with increased insurance costs... not to mention about $7k in additional state and federal taxes... and whatever other work expenses I had (I'm a sucker for fancy coffee, too)... we're looking at a minimum of about $20k. If I got a job making what DH makes, that leaves me with $12k per year, or netting less than minimum wage. And my work expenses could *easily* go higher than $20k, depending on the price of gas, my commute, professional clothes/cleaning, etc.
We even had SIL, an accountant, run the numbers for us, and she was like, "Yeah, don't bother working."
The big question is quality of life. DH doesn't have to do hooey cleaning, so I have to do very little on the maintenence front. I volunteer. I've been helping my neighbor out- her mom is dying, and she's the caregiver. Our lives are more relaxed, and I believe, joyful, because we don't do the two income-daycare-pickup dinner hustle.
I miss adults. I wish I knew more people here. I get lonely and sometimes bored. But I'm confident that this is the right thing, at least for now.