After 2+ years of working, budgeting, and a whole lot of Dave Ramsey, I have finally charted out a plan to transition out of my full-time job and back into just being a MOM again! Carefully planned, charted and precisely refined – after much rumination I finally feel I am ready to set this plan into motion. My target date for turning in my notice to my employer is 9/5/2017. Yay! I am nervous and worried and excited all rolled into one.
For me, it was a big deal to plan it all out and write it all down where I could see everything step-by-step. First and foremost, I compiled a monthly budget made out of real actual numbers. Not just my best guess, but real facts that I could back up with documentation. Statistics that I could actually point to and use. I analyzed numbers from our current utility bills to find the average cost each month for electric, propane, cell phone, & internet. Average monthly rates for life, car & homeowners insurance were calculated. I scoured the county auditor’s property tax website for precise home values and the corresponding property tax. Mortgage numbers were included. “Mini emergency funds” for car and home maintenance were formed. Average lunch money, school expenses and kids sports & activities were considered. Spending in discretionary categories like groceries, restaurants & entertainment was metered out. Payroll deductions like taxes, insurance and 401k were greatly contemplated and fine tuned. Then throw in savings, giving and the college funds. Oh, and don’t forget Christmas!
Finally, after much ado about everything: the over thought, over analyzed, overwhelming Zero Based Budget was formed at last! After determining what we could count on each month from my husband’s income, our farm money, and my side hustles, it was decided we could be sure of at least $3225 to take home after taxes and deductions each month. Behold its beauty and wonder!
Just one last note, this is my “getting up and running” budget. I do plan to add back items like Netflix, savings and my YMCA membership once I get my sea legs for staying home. Also, I would like to upgrade to faster internet connections. But I have pushed pause on all these items at the moment, so you will see they are reflected as zeros in the budget line
Planning to move from two incomes to one.
So how do I intend to accomplish the seemingly monumental task of moving from two incomes to one(ish)? Well, one day at a time. A variety of smaller changes will help me to accomplish larger goals, until I finally arrive at my destination: working much less and a life with (hopefully) greatly reduced stress. I feel being able to devote more time to my family will be beneficial to my kids, my husband, and myself!
The first thing I do when planning toward a goal is write my plan down. Okay, so one big goal: quit my full time job and find a much smaller one! Next, I write down the main problems, or barriers to achieving this goal. For me, it is almost entirely financial (and a little bit of a mental block…one income is scary to me!). Finally, I write down the changes I can make to break down the barriers to my goal.
Some of my smaller goals are paying off our credit card (previous bad business decision…whoopsies!), paying off our land loan (readers note: think of this piece BEFORE buying a 50 acre farm…you know, if you had the spur of a moment urge to do something that. OMG Like, WHO DOES THAT? Oh right….we did, bahahaha!), paying off “our” motorcycle (thanks for that “investment” dear husband!), filling up our emergency fund, and sticking to a CASH budget (that’s so Dave!).
Once I have my smaller goals written down, I make a list of small tasks to achieve the goals. For example, to pay off our credit card, I threw every bit of cash that came my way at it until it was gone. Sticking to my cash budget helped me (sometimes) develop a surplus of cash from week to week, which also got thrown at the debt until it was paid off. I am a big believer in the Dave Ramsey plan, probably because he utilizes “baby steps”. I have been a fan of breaking down problems into small chunks ever since I can remember, so it feels natural to me. In fact I am famous for making my kids “find 10 things right now and put them back where they belong”. They hate it, but it’s over with so quickly (small chunk) that it’s not worth it to argue – it’s easier to just do it!
I believe small steps are key to achieving goals. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all.
So what is my plan to stop working full time and transition into a more domestic role? Well, what I want is always a moving target! Disclaimer: as a woman, I fully invoke my right to change my mind whenever the heck I want and however many times I feel like it. 🙂 But seriously, my goal is to move from having an 8 – 5 full time professional career to a part time, more flexible job. I think I will always want to keep working. Although I love my children and husband, I think I need to do SOMETHING outside my house for my own personal sanity…but just not as much of it as I do now.
In a perfect world I would just simply work half as much and keep my same rate of pay. Because my boss would just totally go for that. “Hey boss, I’m just going to stop coming in so much. Don’t worry, you can keep paying me at my regular hourly rate… and just keep my full benefit package where it is too. I won’t be here half the time, but I know you won’t mind. On account of you loving to do more of the work yourself. Or you could hire another person and double your budget. Okay, thanks, good talk!”
Soooooo in exchange for more time and freedom in my work schedule, the fact is that I am probably going to have to accept lower wages per hour…and remember, I will have less of those hours. So in other words, let’s say right now I make about $25 an hour. Odds that I will find a part time job paying that much are slim. Full time employment pays higher wages because this comes with the commitment for a greater amount of time each week. So let’s say I can land a job at $15 an hour for 20 hours per week. I just went from earning $52,000 per year to $15,600 per year. Ouch!
And so my friends, you see where one can get into the proverbial pickle. Your money or your time: which one to choose?