My wife and I have been together now for over a decade. When we first met, we differed somewhat in our views on money; however, over the years we’ve narrowed this gap in viewpoints. Even with us on the same page when it comes to goals, and our understanding of one another and our money habits now clearer, our financial relationship involves plenty of give and take.
Being open-minded and willing to try new things when it comes to our personal finances helps us continue to improve and strengthen our financial situation.
Reversing the breadwinner trend
A May 2013 New York Times article notes that, “Four in 10 American households with children under age 18 now include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of Census and polling data … This share, the highest on record, has quadrupled since 1960.”
This is the case in our family, with my wife being the primary earner. While I freelance from home while taking care of the kids, her income exceeds mine substantially. However, being able to handle the child care duties helps us reduce costs, helping up make up for some of this lost income.
Breaking the “dual income” mold
The choice for me to care for the kids during the day means that we aren’t a full dual-income family. But because of these child care savings, we don’t necessarily need another income. According to Babycenter.com, “Topping the charts with costs over $10,000 a year for baby and toddler daycare are the following states, beginning with the most expensive: Massachusetts, New York, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Illinois, Washington, and Wisconsin.”
From the inquiries I’ve made in our area of Chicagoland, toddler costs for full-time daycare seem to begin around $250 a week – about $13,000 a year – at a quality daycare. For two kids over a period of five years each, such savings easily exceed $100,000.
Developing a four-year plan
To ensure that we both get what we want from our financial relationship, we’ve developed a longer-term plan. I’m not particularly happy in the Chicago area, but my wife has a good job and her career satisfaction is important to me. On the flip side, my mental satisfaction is important to her. Therefore, our financial and relationship give and take has pushed us to create a four-year plan.
With a four-year plan in place, it provides greater clarity to our situation now and in the future. It helps us plan better financially (develop relocation and home sale plans), allows us to look ahead to decide where we want our living location to be in four years to learn more about tax rates, home costs, and job options in different places, and create career goals and timelines. It give us enough time that my wife can further her career, but not so much that I feel completely stuck in a place that I’m unhappy with.
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Building a Revenue Producing Blog
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Calculations have not been verified by a professional. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.