Over the last two years, I have had the great fortune of working a full-time job outside the home. What that means, is the constant hustling of contract work took a back seat to a steady, every two-week paycheck. It was quite lovely, especially for someone who had literally spent the last five years chasing money. I’m using literally on purpose. If you’ve even been in business for yourself, every day feels like you’re running and jumping to catch whatever contract and cash you can. To be able to know every month we would get a set amount that we could count on was great for peace of mind.
Unfortunately, that is all about to end. In about a month and a half, I will leave that wonderful job to finish off work on my (second) Master’s degree which means more time for research and goodbye steady paycheck.
Fortunately, we’ve never really counted on my salary to live. Over the last two years as our expenses (new house, new car) changed, we have tried our best to keep all our bill-expenses within The Husband’s pay. We used mine for savings, extras and, quite honestly, fun. So, we can still afford our life but continuing to afford our most recent lifestyle may be more difficult.
Also, different from before, we’ve decided I won’t go back to chasing money. I will take freelance jobs that come my way, but gone are the days where I spend every waking hour trying to fill our coffers and instead I’ll spend every waking hour writing papers and working in (Unpaid) internships. I suspect this will be difficult for me as I’ve never not worked, or attempted to work, every day since I was 12 years old.
This is our plan: Keep our bills as they are, inside The Husband’s pay. Take everything I will make in my last few months of working full-time and stash it in savings. Then, strip back on all the frivolity of the last 18 months. The trick will be pulling back but not bankrupting our fun completely. Like any starvation diet, we’ve learned the hard way that if you eliminate everything, you eventually burst and start gorging, which never works for anyone long term with food, or money.
Stay tuned as we re-learn how to live on love (and The Husband’s income). I suspect there will be lots of posts about family fun at home, grocery budgets and DIY beauty treatments coming up! (I’ll miss you restaurant dinners, Whole Foods and gel manicures.) Our goal is to live well and continue to save even on one steady income.
We’ve done it before and we can do it again. This time should be way more fun, because there is not a penny of debt in sight!
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.