Can this even be done? - Mothering Forums
Frugality & Finances > Can this even be done?
Juliacat's Avatar Juliacat 08:20 PM 06-22-2010
If I got promoted to full-time at the part-time position that I love, and dh quit his more-than-full-time job that he hates, we would have $1600 a month to live on. Is this even possible? If we weren't paying for child care and lived off of savings for health insurance and ate rice and beans and stopped buying cloth diapers or record albums or electronic gadgets just until DD2 is two years old (she is currently 7 months), could we make it work? Aaaaagggghhhh, I don't know! Thanks for hearing me out, though!

flminivanmama's Avatar flminivanmama 08:22 PM 06-22-2010
that's only $150 more than my rent... so I know we couldn't.

I guess it depends on your expenses
enkmom's Avatar enkmom 08:44 PM 06-22-2010
That would be really tight. Maybe if you get promoted he could find a part time job that he likes, and you would be able to breathe more easily.
Juliacat's Avatar Juliacat 08:48 PM 06-22-2010
Wow, Andrea, I remember when your boys were all toddlers! Where has the time gone?

Um, yeah, our mortgage payment is only $420 per month, I guess I should specify. I just crunched some numbers in a spreadsheet and I think we might be able just to do it until DD2 is two. Maybe. We're talking....
zinemama's Avatar zinemama 08:53 PM 06-22-2010
You might be able to pull it off, with great difficulty and sacrifice. But what about saving for retirement? Heck, what happens when a medical emergency happens or your car breaks down or the furnace blows, or any of a hundred things that routinely eat up a couple of thousand dollars at one shot?

Unless the savings you refer to are extremely substantial, I don't see this being a reasonable option.
inky leeuhhh's Avatar inky leeuhhh 09:45 PM 06-22-2010
no real advice, we are sort of in the same position (except i would be the one quitting to stay at home). so far i'm leaning towards working a very part time job so we would have some wiggle room.
Turquesa's Avatar Turquesa 10:00 PM 06-22-2010
Do you have your mortgage paid off? In your shoes, I probably wouldn't risk it while still paying living expenses.
Qalliope's Avatar Qalliope 10:52 PM 06-22-2010
It's doable. Is the 1600 after taxes? That's pretty close to what we make and our mortgage pmt is around $600. One car, coupon shopping, gardening, cooking from scratch all help. The budget is fairly tight but we do have money that goes from every paycheck to the 401k, life insurance, emergency savings, entertainment, and incidentals like car and home maintenance - and we don't eat rice and beans unless we want to. We don't have health insurance now, but I am working towards starting a home business that will let us fit it in our budget. I have 2 kids and we do not receive government assistance of any kind. Cost of living in your area is a big factor, I think.

I think there's a low-income thread. You might find some good tips on making it work there. There's also a lot of good frugality blogs. How difficult it is depends on your reasons for living on less in the first place. Sometimes it's worth a little struggle for a lot of peace of mind. Sometimes there's no choice and you just have to find a way to make it work - sink or swim - but people are out there living on a lot less than that amount, even.

Good luck with your decision.
VisionaryMom's Avatar VisionaryMom 10:58 PM 06-22-2010
Do you have other debts? That would be the biggest factor for me.

We've lived on less than that. It was tough but doable. You're only talking about 17 months, assuming your husband gets a job pretty quickly after your dd turns 2. Are you willing to go into debt if you run into major issues - expensive car repairs, for example, during the time you're not working?
brittneyscott's Avatar brittneyscott 11:08 PM 06-22-2010
That really depends on your expenses but I'd say it's doable depending on your expenses, COL in your area, and if you work with a good budget. We could live off of that much and if it was us in your shoes we'd do it.
mnnice's Avatar mnnice 11:30 PM 06-22-2010
Originally Posted by Juliacat View Post
Wow, Andrea, I remember when your boys were all toddlers! Where has the time gone?

Um, yeah, our mortgage payment is only $420 per month, I guess I should specify. I just crunched some numbers in a spreadsheet and I think we might be able just to do it until DD2 is two. Maybe. We're talking....
Does your payment include taxes and insurance? What do you spend on utilities?

My family of four spends less than that a lot of months, but way more other months were we have more car repairs or insurance premiums or vacation.

Anyway I think you could potential live a pretty satistify lifestyle on that if you have no debt and emergency fund (and not many actual emergencies kwim)
flminivanmama's Avatar flminivanmama 12:08 AM 06-23-2010
my baby is going to be 9 tomorrow! crazy, right?

well with your mortgage at a quarter of that monthly income it might be possible.... but it will be tight
Juliacat's Avatar Juliacat 11:33 AM 06-23-2010
Those are good points, all. Thanks. We have no other debts and our savings cushion is pretty decent, but we had intended it for other purposes.

I broke down the budget, though, and it looks like $2350 a month is what we could live on if we were careful. That includes health insurance, as well as some optional things we don't want to give up, such as a few days a week at Mother's Day Out for the kids (1 day for DD1 who will be in public prek, and 2 days for DD2). And it does NOT include any kind of savings contributions, which are obviously important.

That's a pretty big budget shortfall, and no, I'm not willing to go into debt over it.

So, I guess I'll tell my boss I deeply appreciate it, but the price point isn't high enough. (Or, the health insurance coverage I would get would only cover me and not our would make a huge difference! argh)