Thursday, January 29, 2009

Is it possible!?!

Before Samuel came home, I never even considered being a stay at home mom. I didn't even imagine that it would be possible, but the longer I'm home with him, the more I hate the idea of going back to work. Now I'm thinking harder and harder about it and even looking into how we could cut back and what would have to happen to make it a reality.

I've prayed about it a lot too and find that several comments from you all, on other posts, have really spoken to me. I wonder if God is telling me this is what I should do. I find myself wondering now if it's possible.

How could we possible cut back far enough, (without losing our home), for me to quit work!?!

I have major guilt about even considering this because I don't want to put all the financial burden and stress on my husband. I also would have to finish out the school year because I wouldn't be able to just leave my kids and school in the lurch. So, I've given myself the rest of this school year to figure this all out. With that said, here is what I've worked out so far:

1. I've worked as a teacher for 18 years, but to get FULL retirement, my age plus my years experience need to equal 75 and right now they only equal 59. I have a call into the retirement board to see exactly what I would get if I retired now. Also retiring now doesn't mean I can't go back later.

2. My husband has been a straight commission car salesman, up to this point. Meaning, if he doesn't sell anything, he doesn't get paid. Recently however, they've had a lot of guys quit and "the boss" has now given him (and 2 other guys only), a guaranteed $1000 up front each month, "until the economy recovers." 

3. I am looking for part-time (at home) work, (maybe typing) to help out. I'm in the research phase right now, but if anyone has any ideas that would be great. Let the flood gates open!

4. All our medical, eye and dental insurance comes out of my paycheck right now ($450 mth), so my husband is going to look into what his company offers. Six years ago, it was a better deal to go with my employers insurance and we haven't looked back into it since. It's gone up every year and more this year since we added Sam.

5. If I were to stay home, we could cut out my cell phone, which could hopefully cut the bill ($81 mth) in half.

6. We are also looking into different car insurance ($183 mth), cable/Internet/phone ($172 mth) and life insurance plans ($86 mth) too.

7. We wouldn't have to pay for childcare ($320-$400 mth). This will start in February, when I go back to work.

8. Right now I have a 44 mile, round trip, commute each day to work, so that would be cut and we could save a lot in gas money ($60 mth).

9. I wouldn't be spending my own money on supplies for the classroom either ($50 mth).

10. We wouldn't be able to put extra money ($250) to our car and home (to pay them off faster).

11. I also think we'd save at least $100 a month on the food bill because I'd be cooking every night. Right now (when I work) my husband sometimes gets home when I'm heading off to bed, so he just gets fast food and we've been eating a lot of frozen or already prepared meals, which are much more expensive too.

12. I've considered getting a cleaning lady, because with Samuel and a full time job, I fear the house will fall apart without it. I wouldn't get this service if I stay home.

13. I'm also taking into consideration our mental health. It will be a lot more stressful once I go back to work. I know women do it every day, but the more of your blogs I read the more I realize that it would be better for Samuel too. I always had a parent home, when I was growing up and most of my nieces and nephews did too. Also, Richard only has off one day during the week and every other Sunday, so if I were home, we would have more time together as a family.

I know that I need to trust that God will take care of us, but I also have to have a plan. Jumping in without a net is scary! WHAT DOES GOD WANT ME TO DO? CAN WE REALLY MAKE THIS WORK? IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE IN THIS ECONOMY?


Christy said...

Tracey I think it's great that you are even thinking about staying home with Sam! When we made the decision for me to stay home with Dman (it's something I always knew I wanted to do) it was a tough transition at first, but we've gotten used to it. We've cut back here and there and now we don't miss the stuff we've cut back on. We know it isn't forever, either, eventually I plan to go back to work.

It sounded in one of your posts like you have a great savings plan in place for this year to meet your goal of $10K. Since you would finish out the school year, you'll still be saving that money until then. Some of that money could be used to help while you are adjusting to not working. I don't know what your plans were for the saved money, but that is just something to think about.

I know that not everyone is financially able to stay home with their kids, but it is so rewarding if you can make it work. The sacrifices don't seem like sacrifices when you look back on the day, or week and see what you got to enjoy instead.

Darcie said...

Such a tough decision. If it does work out for you, though, I'm sure Samuel would love having mom to "hang" with all day!

Amy said...

It is a tough decision, but it is possible.

Luke 1:37 promises that "For nothing is impossible with God."

I have been a stay home mom for 17 years next month. It comes with sacrifices at times, but you can't get the time back. Money opportunities will always be there...but babies grow up, and they grow up fast. One way or another, God has supplied all of our needs and sometimes surprises us with our wants too. Money is tight, but the friends I have that work (as well as their husbands), say their money is tight too even with two incomes. My mom always says, "The more you make, the more you spend." I think she is right.

And like Christy said, not every one can stay home, but if you can make it work on your husband's salary, it is very rewarding. You won't miss the things you have to give up, because you're getting something worth so much more.

I pray that God will lead you in the direction that He wants you to go.

(((BIG HUGS!)))

Bri said...

I'm really glad to hear that you WANT to stay home. I have always had that dream and I get sick of people telling me that I won't be able to do it (mentally and emotionally, not financially).

I personally think that this is the most important financial concern for me. I don't care if we have to sit at home and do nothing, it is worth to have time with my kids. Plus, I always think that if I work full time that I will spend all of my weekends cleaning, laundering and grocery shopping anyway. (obviously to each her own in this area)

With the economy the way it is, we are having to look at other options as well. Right now we are trying to sell our vehicles to get more conservative ones and cutting back on much of the stuff you mentioned. We are also considering having me work only 2 days a week (10 hours a day) or taking on a few other kids to watch during the day (a little mini day care). I don't deal well with financial stress, so I need to have a good solid plan! Keep us updated on how this process goes for you!

Becky said...

Tracey, I would have written everything that Amy and Christy said!
It would seem that there is no way our budget should work each month, and meet itself again the next month but, it does and, that is all the Lord!
You are right. We have to have plans, budgets, etc. We have to be faithful, good stewards of everything that God gives us. But, we also have to have faith and I've never doubted that God would bless our decision for me to be home, at least until our kids started school. I hope to go beyond that b/c my only desire is to be a 'mom' however, it don't pay much! :o)
My hubby reminded me the other day that our reward is not on this earth! But I believe that my kids will reap much from our time together!

It's a tough decision and a heated debate! We always said one year at a time....let's see how it goes....and here we are, 9 years later! I don't know of any worldly thing I miss either!!
And, like Amy, how is it that the two income families we know are struggling too? I wouldn't say that we struggle, just meet daily demands.
At some point, we will have to do more, have more, in order to save for the and retirement. I keep thinking the Lord will return before I have to worry with all of that!!! :o)

I am lifting you up as you are considering this and seeking the Lord's direction in it all!! I think it's an even harder decision to make after all that you've been through for so long to become a mother at all! It's hard to have to leave it for someone else to do/enjoy!! Bless your heart as you work this all out!!

Annie said...

When we had our last born of the body baby I was bringing in the majority of the money. About two weeks into going back to work, we decided that money would find us or we would do without it. I've been home for almost ten years now. Sometimes I look at my career oriented friends and wonder if I missed out on things, but when I talk to them they all wish they were me. Definitely giving up income is scary, but it also gets the creativity flowing. I just completely remodeled by moving furniture to different rooms. Didn't cost a thing but feels new. Maybe when you go back to work, don't use any of your paycheck for living, and put it all into savings. Much wisdom in this matter.

Michele said...

You can do it! When Justin first came home, I had every intention of taking 3 months off and then going back to work. I owned a cleaning business at the time. I was going to work 3 days per week and take Justin with me.

When the time was getting close for me to go back to work I just didn't want to. I wanted to stay home with Justin! Larry was all for it. I ended up keeping one weekly customer and one monthly customer (out of about 14 customers) and took Justin with me when I worked. When Kaden came home I quit completely.
There are so many ways you can cut back and save money.
Can you tutor out of your home? I know if we can do it you can. We have had quite a bit of debt (that we are currently trying to eliminate) and we are managing. I save where I can started a weekly menu cut out meals out and look for ways all the time to save.
I'll be praying for you!

Headless Mom said...

I know that you're still looking at it and you have time to work it out but have you thought about subbing in a district closer? You could then work say, 3 days a week, less commute, no supplies, etc. Some day care situations are less for 3 days. What about tutoring? At one of those chains, or private?

Just a thought.

It can be a difficult situation/decision. I quit working 9 1/2 years ago just a few months before my oldest was born (I had gone down to part time before that.) The adjustment was weird-I was used to working and having my "own" stuff and money. Nine years later I wouldn't change a thing.

God will open the doors you need to be opened if this is HIS perfect will for you.