Dreaming of money

DH may or may not get an offer for a full-time job this week, one that he would very much enjoy doing that matches his skill-set perfectly.  The problem being that the company isn’t sold on hiring another telecommuter. But he also did better on the programming part of interview than anybody they’ve been interviewing for the full-time programming position, and that’s not even his specialty.  It’s also possible that he’ll get some contract work from that company instead of a full-time offer.

If he does get this job, he’ll have to travel more, potentially to both coasts (the company is on one coast, but the hardware for a client is on the other).  This weekend he’s gone for his grandma’s 80th birthday celebration and I’m seeing what it’s like with the two kids without him around.  DC2 is amazingly taking a nap right now, otherwise there would be no Monday post, as #2 is at a conference sans internets.  (DC2 doesn’t always nap on weekends, but ze has a cold and has been incredibly destructive this morning.  We both fell asleep during a nursing session around 2pm.)  I think if there’s more travel, then I might need to hire some help just to get by.  We’ll see.  DC1 is super helpful (ze is currently enjoying the nap to play scratch).

Also last week with all the interview prep and so on we ended up getting take-out twice.  That’ll probably happen more with DH working too.

So last week, with dreams of $ in my head, I sat down with some take-home pay calculators on the internets and looked to see what a salary of 85K (which is the lowest he thinks he’d take for a full-time position with travel etc., depending on the benefits package and other things) actually ends up being in terms of income.  It was probably jumping the gun, and may end up in heart-break this coming week, but it was a nice dream.

85K is more than DH made as a professor (spousal hire meant a lower salary than the other two profs they hired that year).  It would mean about 6K/month more income (for 12 months of the year!) than what we’re doing now.  The additional expenses I’ve mentioned above don’t really cut into that much at all (heck, we could start eating at our favorite $ushi place again and it wouldn’t make much of a dent).  Most of that money can go places.

First up we’d have to determine if we’re IRA eligible for the year, and if not if we want to do a back-door ROTH or just go with maxing out our retirement options.  Maxing out my own work retirement subtracts something like 33K from our take-home pay.  We still have a bunch to play with after that.  We’d like give a donation to DC1’s school again.  We could have other people come and fix up some of the things that need fixing up in our house.  We could pay down the mortgage, with it completely gone in 2-3 years.  Or we could save up for a sabbatical someplace fun and expensive.  DH might get a smartphone.

I could keep a smaller kitty in savings because we’d be getting summer income and because next month’s income will replenish the emergency fund in case of an emergency.

I could not worry about the 4.5K we lost at the preschool that went out of business.

I could brag about our 40%+ savings rate on Financial Independence fora (I won’t, but I totally could).

One of my colleagues complained recently about how Social Security is so unfair because all those lazy housewives get to keep their husband’s benefit when they become widows.  And one man can marry 3 housewives in a row, and so long as they stayed together at least 10 years, his check will support all three of them.  I responded that I make so much money even without DH working, and Social Security provides such a bare minimum (not to mention it’s less expensive to just give them money than to put them through DI and other programs that require screening), that I really can’t begrudge them that.  (Ze, who makes significantly more than I do, replied I wouldn’t feel that way with two kids about to go to college, but I have kids in private school and in daycare which each cost as much as a state school, so that warning doesn’t fadge.)  (I guess the point of that little digression is that even if we get rich again, I’m still for higher taxes for people who make lots of money!)

That jump from not having enough money to having enough money is huge, but the jump from having enough to having more than enough is pretty nice too.  So even though I’m making a bit more than we spend right now (not counting the recent 4.5K loss, and in the long term we’ll need another ~20K/year), it sure would be nice to go back to making a ton more than we need.  As much as I’d miss DH having free time and flexibility (which, admittedly, is worth an awful lot to me), there’s something to be said for not having to worry about money at all.

So, hopefully this will pan out.  If it doesn’t we’re no worse off, but it was a nice dream.


17 Responses to “Dreaming of money”

  1. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    One of the most disgusting aspects of our current political culture is the oblivious smugness with which wealthy coddled politicians and media scumbagges who wouldn’t know what it is to worry about money eagerly drool over the prospect of slashing meager benefits for the old and poor that enable them to barely survive. The callousness and pathological lack of empathy is staggering.

  2. Chelsea Says:

    We are very hopeful that DH will be offered a TT position soon, and, while he won’t be making as much as a professor as he would working at, say, Google, it will be wonderful to be able to stop dipping into our savings and start getting ahead again.

  3. hush Says:

    “One of my colleagues complained recently about how Social Security is so unfair because all those lazy housewives”

    What an odd, passive aggressive thing to say about folks like your husband! A growing cohort of SAHPs in the US (if not the new majority) are underemployed Latinas who would very much like to work. White housewives are a dying breed – and a great many of them who did not marry and start having children really young have already earned 40 social security credits on their own anyway.

    Fingers crossed that your DH gets the job offer you guys like very soon.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Well, not like my husband… he’s getting the 40 credits on his own– half my credit will be nowhere near his full credit. And we’ve got savings and IRAs/403(b) in his name so he won’t be totally dependent on social security even if I cleared out all the rest of the accounts, left the country, and changed my identity, leaving him with the kids. (Note: I will not do this.)

      I’m more worried about the women from previous generations who didn’t go into the labor force and supported their husbands efforts and then ended up with less than a full career of their own and then their husband left them with nothing but debt… they’re a dying breed yes, but that puts them in the social security range until they die. The women’s movement was really only 40-50 years ago.

      • rented life Says:

        That was my dad’s step mom. When dad’s dad died he left her with tons of debt. She had to sell all their possessions, including the house and it still didn’t cover everything. Sadly the other kids (adults) kept trying to take things she was meant to sell. Dad bought the stuff that he wanted from the house, because really she needed the money and he doesn’t, but my uncles were less kind about it. It was so sad to watch unfold. I’m concerned we’ll see the same thing if FIL passes before MIL. They emptied all her retirement a few years ago to buy a HUD home they didn’t need and could afford to fix up without more debt. ugh. Women need to know their finances.

      • Leah Says:

        My husband’s grandma is there. Believe me, she needs every cent of that SS check. Her husband was not a good saver.

  4. SP Says:

    We are jumping from 1.5 to 2, and I AM SO EXCITED. But I just was saying yesterday that I still disagree with tax policy that favors high income people.

    We also were just talking about what kind of mortgage we could afford on one income. “Afford” and “afford while saving at the rate we currently save” are two VERY different things, but it is mentally hard for me to grasp that.

  5. Debbie M Says:


    I’m going from thinking I might have 0 jobs to knowing I’ll have at least 0.25–I’m definitely getting a job with a tax prep company. Anything that’s less of a drain on my savings (even though they can last me until I get my pension in three years) is good. It looks like I won’t have to touch my Roth IRA at all next year even if I get no other work. That will give me time to slowly move funds from stock index funds (starting now, while they’re juicy) to a low-risk money-market type fund so I can pull from that the last two years.

    But my other fantasizing options are … strange. With so little taxable income (my savings have already been taxed), my exemption and standard deduction will still obliterate any federal tax requirement. But by having some earned income, I’ll qualify for the earned income credit, which means taxpayers could pay me. That’s creepy.

    Unless I get additional work, my taxable income will fall below the poverty level, so that’s too “poor” to qualify for Obamacare subsidies–so at least taxpayers won’t be paying for that. I’ll be so “poor” that I qualify for Medicare (creepy again), but my state didn’t extend Medicare, so I couldn’t actually get it. I can still get my regular insurance for another year (December 2013-December 2014) for slightly cheaper than Obamacare (without the subsidy), so I’ll be doing that.

  6. chacha1 Says:

    I’m in favor of “not having to worry about money at all.” :-)

  7. Laura Vanderkam (@lvanderkam) Says:

    Is 40% savings rate the line for bragging at personal finance sites?
    On a different note, as someone whose husband travels a lot, I would say that yes, you should arrange for help during longer stretches. If he were home, you could trade off, so since he’s not, the additional income should be used to pay for someone to take his place. One night off a week goes a long way toward saving one’s sanity. It also becomes an excuse to be social — you have a night off, you should use it!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, that’s about the line. Which is odd, considering how many single earner households there are, but I suppose the lower earner doesn’t often make 50% when employed (except in NYTimes articles about the upper middle class).

      My mom had a lot of paid college student help when she and my father’s jobs took them to different cities and she had charge of us.

  8. plantingourpennies Says:

    The jump from 1 to 2 and back again is huge and I totally get it. The first year we were married we took somewhat of a gamble with Mr PoP’s career – he worked for minimum wage at a business we really thought we were going to buy. Well, that didn’t happen and it was a bit painful and tight sometimes especially since we didn’t have a ton in easily accessible savings at that point (having exhausted much of it buying the house and then renovating it). Whenever we get too comfortable in our current position it’s helpful to remember those months when breaking even was a win and know that they really weren’t that long ago.

  9. Jacq Says:

    Ooh, I’m excited! You can be chipmunks again!:
    IMHO, not having to think of financial pros/cons etc etc frees up a lot of mental RAM for other, more creative thinking. Unless you’re into finding creative ways to save money for no apparent reason…

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