Monday, September 04, 2006

Survival in a one income family...

Terri Cettina @ Bankrate.com writes about "How to survive as a one-income family." What a coincidence, my wife and I were discussing that after finding out the good news. With a baby on the way, we started to discuss what we'd do after the child is born. We feel child care before starting school is very important. So what do we do once my wifes maternity time is up? We have several options available...

  • Daycare: We'd like to try and avoid this option as much as possible. Between not being comfortable with strangers taking care of our baby, and the cost of daycare, this will have to be a last resort.

  • Family members and close friends: We have several people in mind that may be able to watch our baby while @ work. We'll only need someone to watch the baby 4 days a week, from around 9 in the morning to about 3 or 4 in the evening, about 6-7 hours. So hopefully that may make it easier on whomever is willing to help us out. My job schedule is flexable, so I may be able to shrink it down to 3 days a week.

  • Change of work schedules: Like I mentioned, my schedule is flexable. If need be, I can watch the baby during the day and then my wife during the evening while I work. We feel this may be tough on the marriage, so we'd like to make this next to the last resort.

  • Wife quits job: This is another tough decision. The wife is the one with the bigger salary, so it would be financially tough to live on only one income. We haven't run the numbers yet, but I believe we may be able to do it for a while. We're currently saving for a house, and plan on purchasing one in about 3-4 years. If she quits, it will really delay things. Another reason for moving is to find a town with a good educational system. The city we currently live in...does not.

The bankrate article gives 5 tips/suggestions on how to check if your family can survive on one income...

1. Track actual expenses for one to three months.

2. Try living on the working spouse's income for three months.

3. Get insurance, update wills, consider a home equity line of credit.

4. Check into tax implications.

5. Don't put off retirement planning.

4 comments:

Tiredbuthappy said...

John,
We chose to put our son in daycare for 3 days a week starting when he was 3 months old. This was very hard and I wouldn't do it again if I could think of a way to avoid it. However, 2.5 years later, he still only goes to daycare 2-3 days a week. He loves his friends there, and gets to do great crafts and vigorous outdoor activity.

A priority for us has been making sure he doesn't have to go there full time. That's been our compromise. We had to send him, but we've made sure one of us works part time so he can be home with mama or papa a couple days a week.

John said...

Thanks, hearing good stories like that makes me feel more at ease. Sounds like there are probably many positive aspects of daycare, like socialization, activities, etc. I'm hoping that if it does come to daycare, we can make it as little as possible like you've done. Thanks again for the input.

Brian said...

John, is the option of you leaving your job on the table?

John said...

Hm, probably not. I'm not college educated so it would be tougher for me to find a similar job in a similar career field for the same amount of money. Or at least that's what I believe. Though there have been women who work with us that have left for a few years and have been hired back. But with the condition the company is in now, I don't know if it would be an option in the future. Part time for a few years may be a decent option though. It would probably be much easier for my wife who is educated, and in the medical field to pick up where she left off before she quit.