So, uh, barring some unexpectedly quick grant turnover (they have a few extant grant proposals out, but it’s unlikely they’ll be funding before July even if they’re accepted), DH’s company is out of money come April. They will have funding again in July. So that’s three months of unpaid time off.
My first reaction (this announcement wasn’t completely out of the blue, so any potential shock value had worn off) was, “Yay!” See, I have a bunch of projects that really need to get done/started, and DH is coauthoring on a couple of things and we could get a LOT of work done in that time. Papers pushed out the door. It would be lovely. I am incredibly selfish. (Not surprisingly, this has also been the reaction of all of my professional friends that I’ve told. Apparently we all value our spouse’s time over money…)
The problem, is, of course, that while DH can afford to take a few months off unpaid (or, if he’s willing to look for work, laid off with unemployment), most of his coworkers cannot. So they’re looking for new employment now and will no doubt find it before July. The one exception is DH’s direct boss who is in a similar situation to ours– lots of savings, not a lot of expenses, and a high earning wife. DH’s direct boss is pretty awesome and so DH thinks it will be worthwhile to stick with the company so long as his boss sticks with the company.
This break doesn’t quite overlap with our summer leave (kids get out of school later), but it is also possible that DH (and maybe the rest of us) could spend a couple/few months in a furnished apartment in Paradise (in a crappy school district) doing full-time contract work for one of the major companies in his industry. DH would probably find that more professionally fulfilling and it would increase the chances he’d be able to work for that company remotely in the future.
So yeah, I am having a hard time seeing a downside to this so long as his boss sticks with the company. But DH has a hard time with change and doesn’t really want to think about it right now. He wants to focus on getting his projects done (all of which are due in March) until we know for sure those outstanding grant proposals aren’t getting funded.
If all we cared about was money, DH would be job searching right now, would get laid off, would take unemployment while job searching and I dunno, we might move. It is nice to have the luxury of being able to take it slow.
It is true that our average monthly spending is greater than my take-home pay (once you adjust for my salary only being for 9 months). Still, I’m not planning on fiddling with retirement savings– it won’t hurt to turn some of our taxable savings into tax-advantaged savings. (Plus I’ll be getting a month of summer money which will make up for some of the loss. I love summer money so much.) Our emergency fund already takes into account paying for an unpaid summer and we’ve been banking extra cash since the election and will be banking more before DH’s paychecks stop. I do wonder if we should cut back on the 529 saving, but I’m not sure that we need to at this point. We will revisit the 529 saving if our plans change.
So… yeah… guess I won’t need to write those posts about what to do with extra money piling up.