The decision to return to work or stay at home with the children is a decision many couples have to face. It often comes down to if the couple can afford it or not. How do you make that decision, and is it worth it both in the the long and short-run?
I'm really happy to share Lisa's story with you. Lisa and her husband recently had to make this difficult decision and they decided that ultimately they didn't want their children to be left with their debts down the road. They're doing what they need to do to eliminate their debt and have financial freedom for themselves and their children.
"We are very regular people. My husband is a plumber; I was a stay at home mom for almost seven years. We have 3 beautiful little boys ages 6, 4, and 2. Our house is fine, our cars are fine. Our children have everything they need and then some. We are fortunate. We also have no credit card debt. We can pay our bills easily with what my husband makes, and we even have a bit left over for my own retirement and for a little fun. However, we are $74,001 (not including our mortgage) in debt. Our debt is a combination of: a bad land purchase, my old college loans, and we're still paying on one very average car.
After going over our finances we realized we were not living in our truth. We realized that our debt was going to follow us until we well into our 40’s and most likely beyond. We always had the goal of wanting to retire at 55. There was no way this would or could be possible if we still had debt hovering over us for the next 20-30 years!? We decided it was time to take action.
Our first step was to work on a spending diet. We stopped do a few things, but in all honesty we are not extravagant. I don’t get my nails done ever, I get a haircut four times a year, and we very rarely go out. My husband fixes everything himself, and he doesn’t meet up with friends at the bar. For us, our biggest frill is cable TV.
Next I/we had to make the biggest decision in our spending diet. We decided that it was time for me to go back to work. It was not an easy decision to make, and I have been miserable at times. Often I long for the times when I was able to be with my children day in and day out. Sometimes I feel as if I am missing something I will never get back. And sometimes I resent my job (which is fine) for reasons unrelated to the work itself. I can’t begin to tell you the guilt felt with making this decision and with the guilt I still feel.
After I received my first month’s pay, and after we paid for child care and taxes, we only had about $570 left, and it went straight to paying off our debt. My paychecks continue to go to paying off of debts and because of the decision to go back to work we've been able to pay an extra $1000+ to our debts. It feels really good to be paying off the debt! If we continue to put my paycheck to our debt every month we will be able to pay off $28,000 in 13 months!
The decision to go back to work was not an easy one, and I do not know yet if I/we made the right decision or not. As hard as it is to be away from my boys we are going to keep on paying off our debt. We're putting ourselves in a position to succeed in our goal of eliminating our debts because is very important and it's something we care deeply about.
We also keep reminding ourselves that the best gift we can ever give our children is being able to take care of ourselves in our retirement, so they don’t have to."
Thank you Lisa!
Have you had to make the decision to stay home with the kids or go back to work? What factors did you consider to ultimately make your decision? Was it worth it to go to work to pay off the debt or not? Would love to hear your thoughts on this!
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I got an update from Lisa and since January they have been able to pay off $12,667.66 in debt! That means they have approximately $63k to go. They have made a HUGE dent in their debt!