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In six weeks our parental leave ends. My wife took the first 10 months leave and I am taken the last 2 months leave. We have it situated that between lieu time and vacation days that we will be able to be home with our DD all but 1 day a week for the summer.<br><br>
We are considering having me quit my job and stay home. It is a torturous decision. Neither of us can stomach the thought of putting our DD in the care of someone else. But at the same time, having both of us earning money feels safe and means we can save more money.<br><br>
We have crunched the numbers and we can make it work on her salary, but it will be VERY tight. It will mean much less savings and less flexibility to do some things we would like to do. But these things are def. wants and not in the least needs. Her salary will pay the bills if we are frugal. We usually are, but there would be less wiggle room.<br>
We could also could save for several things, but less that we have been while I am working. Our savings would be:<br>
* education fund for DD - small bi-weekly amounts but good enough to contribute since it will be building for 18 years.<br>
* retirement fund for us - small monthly contributions, but we also have a small pension and will eventually own a house.<br>
* maintenance saving for house maintenance or housing emergencies<br>
* very small vacation fund to allow us to visit family across the country every 12-18months and do a camping trip each summer.<br>
* small emergency fund<br>
* small miscellaneous fund for unforeseen expenses that are not covered under other savings.<br><br>
With all of this our budget will be super tight. There is very little room for much outside of our necessities, and we will have to be creative with meal planning and finding ways to be more frugal. We are already pretty frugal, we do not own a lot of toys and we are both pretty good about consumption.<br><br>
We do have plans for it to be shortish term...like 2-3 years before I start a consulting business. The plans are that this business will allow me to be flexible enough to continue to do home care for our kids until they all are in school full time. At the present time we have one 10 month old daughter and hope to add 1 or 2 more kids within the next 2-4 years.<br>
We then hope to continue on living a frugal lifestyle but pump more money from my income into savings and into the kids activities and such as they grow.<br><br>
And we are thinking that maybe I take a kid or two in for before/after school care if possible to help build more savings and make things not so tight.<br><br>
What do you all think about the risk? The savings that we have would def. not be huge through this time. And there is always the risk that big budget maintenance will come up, but I am hoping that our house maintenance fund will cover it, and if not we could dip into the vacation fund. And then our savings will be increased in a couple of years.<br><br>
Part of me is saying that it is really a good idea. Both my wife and I have lived on way less. But then part of me is thinking that we have a chance at financial security with both of us working and it feels good to be financially secure. It also feels good to think that our DD will be raised and looked after by people that have only her best interests at heart.<br><br>
If it means anything. We live in a high COL city in Canada. We have health care covered and dental, prescriptions, homeopathic care, ect through work benefits packages. Our housing, banks, and pensions are secure. And my wife's job is very secure. My job is not so secure, it's low paying but has good benefits. My wife's job also has good benefits.<br><br>
What would you do?<br><br>
edited to add:<br>
the debt that we carry is student loan debt and a mortgage. We do not hold any consumer debt and do not buy things beyond our means. If we do spend on credit it is not unless we are able to pay it off within a few weeks.
 

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It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into it.<br>
I think maybe having something on the side for a few hours a week to bring in like the childcare you mentioned might help to supplement, etc.<br>
Sound like a good plan with your wife's job being secure.<br>
Good luck!
 

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Sounds like you have it well thought out. I say go with your gut instinct. Sometimes you just have to jump. I did almost a year ago and I haven't regretted the money at all. I even surprised myself. You get more and more into it (being a SAHM/SAHD) that you get crazy creative with making money stretch like silly putty. I have turned this into a passion career. Best of luck!!
 

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I think if it is only, solely <i>fear</i> of childcare that makes you want to stay home, you should consider going back to work to see if it works. The reasons for that are:<br><br>
- you can (after a good adjustment period) always quit<br>
- if fear of other caregivers is the only thing keeping you home, my guess is you will come to resent the austerity measures<br>
- the number one financial mistake people make after having kids is underestimating their real cost of living<br><br>
However it does sound like you're really good planners and if this is something you personally are excited about doing and you want to stay home and make it a passion to save money and live more cheaply for a few years, then I say go for it.<br><br>
I just don't think the financial stress is worth it if it's just fear-based. There are great caregivers out there (we've benefitted from a wondering Montessori).
 

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In your situation, I would do it in a heartbeat!! I have been making the same calculations for my family but because of lack of benefits through my DH's work, we can't quite cut it yet, but hopefully once he gets benefits next year, it will work out. I know it's scary to consider living on SUCH a tight budget... but if you have room for all those savings, I think you have a good cushion to fall back on. It also sounds like you have a good financial history & with a good credit score you should be able to get a low-interest loan if a huge unforeseeable expense arose.<br><br>
With decisions like this, I like to pretend I'm on my deathbed (gosh how morbid <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">!!) and imagine what I'd say about my life. Would I look back & be glad I had secured a financial future & continued working? Would I look back & be so glad I spend every single moment with my kid(s)?<br><br>
Also, what kind of work do you do? Is there any way you could pick up a couple side jobs, or work a very very part-time job a couple days a month when your DW would be home, or do a small amount of work from home, just to give you guys a little more wiggle room? I tend to think very 'all or nothing' but there's quite a continuum between 'working' and 'not working'... (I am currently a part-time WAHM & we get all our benefits through my job but it also helps give us that cushion, which we are putting all into savings so I can feel more comfortable quitting next year).
 

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We did this, though in somewhat different circumstances. DH always wanted to work for himself anyway, so he was saying goodbye to a job he did NOT want, and saying hello to the opportunity to work on his own thing a little bit. (VERY part time, like an hour or two a day).<br><br>
In our case, we do make ends meet. Our budget sounds a little bit like yours except I think you actually have a little more breathing room. Like a PP said, you will probably find the budget needs more than you think, but then you might come out like us. For us, we don't have much savings but we are paying down debt (and not incurring any new, at all), and best of all, we sleep every night knowing the bills will be paid. Our lifestyle is really frugal by most standards (for example, we don't even have Netflix much less cable - just borrow movies for free from the library, we pretty much never go anywhere, we don't spend money on stuff like CDs, DVDs or clothing, etc.). But it works for us, we don't feel any strain.<br><br>
I do think a PP's comment about the real reason you are doing this is good. If it is indeed just fear of daycare, it might not work out so well. We had some other reasons to do it, like I mentioned, DH wanted to work on his own thing anyway, he really does enjoy being at home. We really enjoy the slower pace of our lives (not something everyone would enjoy - though of course being at home doesn't require slowing down! you can fill up your days with quite a bit if you are the go-go type).<br><br>
DH's relationship with DD is really terrific - she is SUCH a daddy's girl. Anyway, it worked for us. But another thing to consider is, do you want to re-enter the workforce (as in working for somebody else) later? DH doesn't, so we don't worry about it (plus, he is still doing stuff that can go on his resume anyway). But if you do, you'll have to also throw into your considerations how you'll keep your experience and career fresh. Women have this problem too, but I think men have this problem even more.
 

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Oh just had another thought.... Google 'second income calculator' (or you could figure this out yourself, with daycare expenses etc.) and figure out how much you'd be making an hour if you continue working. I was shocked when I did this once & figured out DH would be making $1.78 an hour!! Or you might find you'd be making a lot more. That might help you figure out if it's worth it as well.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>crunchy_mommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15405369"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Oh just had another thought.... Google 'second income calculator' (or you could figure this out yourself, with daycare expenses etc.) and figure out how much you'd be making an hour if you continue working. I was shocked when I did this once & figured out DH would be making $1.78 an hour!! Or you might find you'd be making a lot more. That might help you figure out if it's worth it as well.</div>
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I'm not at all arguing that this is a worthwhile calculation to make but I did want to say that I completely disagree with this kind of calculation as a deciding factor for a few reasons:<br><br>
- it doesn't take into account future earnings - staying on the salary grid means that you generally receive increases (depending on the economy) as a percentage of base income which then compound over time. That's not even counting promotions, networking, training, staying current, etc.<br><br>
- it also doesn't take into account things like CPP contributions (that's social security in the US), RRSP room/contributions, or points on an employer pension plan<br><br>
- it penalizes the lower earner. If the lower earner wants to be penalized and is making a case to stay home, that's fine; if the perception is that the lower earner's work isn't of value because it barely covers childcare & therefore that person is being pressured to stay home, that's an issue to me<br><br>
- just speaking philosophically, childcare is a shared expense. For a monthly in/out grid it does make sense to figure out what it is really costing the family, but putting it against one salary has always bothered me a bit. To me it makes more sense to pool all the income and then decide if it's worth it.<br><br>
- also remember if you are planning to school outside the home childcare is a limited expense, and it goes down as the child gets older. When I went back to work my salary basically covered my costs. Now it contributes to our education & retirement plans as well. My son is still in full-time care, but he is not a tot. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I might be coming across as anti-SAHP here; I'm not. I just have seen some financial and personal trainwrecks up close because people got it in their heads that staying home was best for the kids and then ended up in a stressed out position where the whole family suffered for that "ideal" - either because things were tight, or because the SAHP was then unhappy, particularly given that he/she couldn't afford a few hours of preschool or lunch with friends.<br><br>
I have ALSO seen cases where it worked beautifully. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Very good points!! We definitely took many of those things into consideration as well when we ended up deciding to have DH keep working (although it wasn't really $1.78 an hour because we didn't end up using child care). I do think it can help pull things into perspective though. My DH kept working (still is working) because he didn't WANT to be a SAHD (even though I think he would've done much better than I would as a SAHM). But had he wanted to SAH, I think that calculation would have helped him feel more comfortable with the decision.<br><br>
I definitely think it did cause me to look less favorably on his job, just like you said. In my mind, I thought his job wasn't really 'worth' much to us & I kind of resented that he didn't want to SAH. Of course now that I'm WAH part-time for way less than DH makes, I have the same feelings about my job. :-/
 

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Good gracious, OP!! DH and I both work and there's no way we have even enough money for more than one of these:<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">We could also could save for several things, but less that we have been while I am working. Our savings would be:<br>
* education fund for DD - small bi-weekly amounts but good enough to contribute since it will be building for 18 years.<br>
* retirement fund for us - small monthly contributions, but we also have a small pension and will eventually own a house.<br>
* maintenance saving for house maintenance or housing emergencies<br>
* very small vacation fund to allow us to visit family across the country every 12-18months and do a camping trip each summer.<br>
* small emergency fund<br>
* small miscellaneous fund for unforeseen expenses that are not covered under other savings.</td>
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I say, go for it. You seem to have more "room to move" financially than you think.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
To answer a few questions:<br><br>
What do I do?<br>
I have a degree in Environmental Management. I have a passion for food security. I right now work for an amazing one of a kind non-profit organization that is dedicated to building food security for low income individuals, food/environmental education for children and youth and supporting local agriculture and environmental initiatives.<br>
Sounds great right? Well it is....except....the actual job I do at this organization is not using my degree in the least, is a job that I HATE and has little opportunity for advancement. And since it is a non-profit org. that relies on public and private funding, there really is very very little job security. There is the possibility that over the years I could move to a different position within the organization...but no guarantee and if I stay in the position I am in it def. makes it harder for me to get other jobs in my field.<br><br>
My plans:<br>
To take a few courses that I would need and start my own company doing residential environmental consultancy. I have some experience already as I did a lot of home maintenance and painting as a business while I was going through University. After the courses I would also qualify to get licensed to do home energy audits, so that would allow for me to do actual audits that would qualify customers for possible rebates.<br><br>
The idea of the business is to consult and/or be a project manager for individuals and families wanting to do renovations on their homes but without the time and/or knowledge to know what to do or what products to invest in etc. The housing sector (including renovations) are strong here in Canada.<br><br>
Although food security is my first passion (outside of my family) I am very<br>
passionate about environmental living and home renovations and would enjoy the work.<br>
To really get the business up and going would be a couple of years in. And then I could really make my own hours to an extent by deciding how many clients to take on at any given time. Just doing energy audits I could make a good wage working a few hours in the evenings or a weekend day.<br><br>
Another thing a couple of PP's asked was whether I was doing this just out of fear of caregivers. Short answer is No, although that fear is a bit stronger than the fear of not having an actual job.<br>
My wife and I both strongly believe that we would like our children raised by a family member. I really enjoy being with my DD (and other children) and really do not want to miss out on participating in her adventures and learning and growing. It really is amazing.<br><br>
I think we are pretty set that it is what we want to do. I guess it is just scary making changes and having less security. I am not going to quit my job until September because I have lieu time and vacation set up so I can stay on until the end of the summer at full salary but still work it out with mine and my wife's schedule that we can cover care for DD all but 1 day per week. We plan on living off of the new budget as if I had already quit and see if it is realistic before I quit.<br><br>
Thanks for the input so far. Hearing the comments, questions and advice form all the smart women here is a lot of help.
 

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well, i'm a single mother with 2 kids who lived on less than $1k/mo for years. it never once occured to me to put either one in daycare to work fulltime, we just cut out cable, restaurant dining, etc until both were in school and i could work 20 hrs/wk. and then my income went up to a big fat $1600/mo.<br><br>
i wouldnt think twice to stay home and live on less until the youngest child was in school.
 

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I think your plan sounds great, you sound very focused & I think it's a great idea to live off 1 salary for the summer to make sure it will work!! BEST OF LUCK! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>GuildJenn</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15405200"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think if it is only, solely <i>fear</i> of childcare that makes you want to stay home, you should consider going back to work to see if it works. The reasons for that are:<br><br>
- you can (after a good adjustment period) always quit<br>
- if fear of other caregivers is the only thing keeping you home, my guess is you will come to resent the austerity measures<br>
- the number one financial mistake people make after having kids is underestimating their real cost of living<br><br><br>
I just don't think the financial stress is worth it if it's just fear-based. There are great caregivers out there (we've benefitted from a wondering Montessori).</div>
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<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that"><br><br>
There are really, really great caregivers out there. PERSONALLY, we've had more luck with centers than individual homes. (In a center, there's always someone else to pass the baby off to if one person is stressed.)
 

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Well, he said it wasn't fear of childcare.<br><br>
And from what he posted, I simply don't see the financial stress in there. We have a lot less room for savings ourselves (vacation? ha! college savings? ha!) but no financial stress, ourselves. Of course it's his decision and not ours but I would just hate for him to feel anxious about something that just doesn't need anxiety. I don't think money counts for much after you've got the basics covered, and it sounds like they have more than the basics covered.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>laohaire</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15409639"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">And from what he posted, I simply don't see the financial stress in there. We have a lot less room for savings ourselves (vacation? ha! college savings? ha!) but no financial stress, ourselves. Of course it's his decision and not ours but I would just hate for him to feel anxious about something that just doesn't need anxiety. I don't think money counts for much after you've got the basics covered, and it sounds like they have more than the basics covered.</div>
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Agreed. DH & I both work and while we do have a substantial emergency fund & I have a 401K, we definitely don't have college savings and a vacation fund etc. and we are not stressed by finances.
 
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