October 10, 2011

Preparing for the Future

It’s been almost a week since I posted.  There are so many things I need to do but my energy level has been low.  Last week I felt “cruddy.”  I was tired a lot. Actually I think I had a mild case of the flu and so I didn’t push it too much and rested.  This is the luxury of being home in my opinion.  I can lie down on the couch when I don’t feel well and take a nap. 

Last week my husband was offered an opportunity to change jobs.  He wasn’t looking for a job as he is very happy with where he is working right now.  Sometimes though opportunities come along when you aren’t looking for them and then you find yourself trying to make a life decision – one you hadn’t asked for.

So last week we spent a few days trying to decide what was best for him and our family.  He would have to work in a community that is about a 30 minute drive from our home.  The salary and benefits are better.   If you looked at it from a financial view, you would immediately think that the obvious choice would be to take the new job. After all more money and better benefits translates into more money to pay off bills and our mortgage sooner.  It also means more money for retirement.

But it also means working in another community which means you can’t walk to and from work anymore nor come home for lunch.  My DH has a tremendous amount of flexibility with his job which is why he is also able to coach cross country for the local high school.  This is something he would have to give up.

So in the end the decision my husband made was to stay right where he was at.  Sometimes you can’t put a price on the non-monetary benefits that a job can offer you. 

The one thing that I have always worried about is that in light of what has happened in the past few years, job security is a thing of the past.  Companies can close or be bought out and employees can be laid off through downsizing.  My husband and I have never talked much about what would happen if he found himself out of a job when he is in his late 50’s, until this weekend. 

My husband is 53 years old and I am 52.  We talked about the scenario of being out of a job in his late 50’s and what we would do.  How would we pay our bills?  We came up with a plan which involves continuing to be careful about our hard earned money.   Our credit card debt will be paid off between January and March of 2012.  What a relief.  And what comes next – the mortgage.  Think about it – what would your life be like if you had no credit card debt, no car payments and no mortgage?  Without those bills, my DH could work a job that pays considerably less money.  We talked about all the possibilities. 

The key is that we live simply and will continue to live simply.  Nothing will change. 

I have a goal in the next year or so to start my own business.  It won’t be a big money maker, but I do hope that I can at least net around $300 a month.  I want to make bar soap, lotions, lip balms and lotion bars to sell.  It’s something I have always been interested in doing.  At the very least I could start out by making these as gifts to give to my family and friends on special occasions.  It’s a hobby that could be transformed into a modest money maker.  I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has ever started a "cottage" business.

I started this blog as a way to keep track of my new lifestyle and how I could cut back on expenses to live on one income.  Now I am realizing that this lifestyle is the way we will continue to live for the rest of our lives and that is so freeing.  My husband does not need to work a job that pays more money just so we can buy more stuff.  That is not freeing.  It is far more fun to live on less and enjoy the freedom that it brings to become debt free.


Momof2 said...

I agree, it is so freeing to live within a budget. We have paid our credit card debt, and are trying to builg up our emergency fund a bit. I really enjoy your blog. I hope you are feeling better.

judy said...

That is the same path my husband and I are taking. We should be completely out of debt by March 2012(God willing). Then we will have that money to put into savings and retirement.

I am thankful that our home is paid for but I can't wait to be rid of everything else. I also know that I have my mothers care to think about in the coming years.

I try each day to just stay level headed and think about what is best for us not necessarily what will get us the most money.


Kris Watson said...

I love how you think. ;)

saving for travel said...

I think the same, get rid of the mortgage but continue to live frugally.

Sft x