I recently finished my two weeks at a job I am rather good at. It was not the most exciting position in the world. I was a biller for a long-term care pharmacy. The place where I was employed had its many issues. So in all honesty when it came down to me quitting or going broke , I wasn’t exactly in tears. But that isn’t the point of my blathering today.
The real issue with me is the reason to why I had to quit. It came down to dollars and cents. We just couldn’t afford to have me work. Which in itself is really an absurd concept. However it is a real issue many American families deal.
After the birth of our second son, we made the decision that if things didn’t work out financially I would quit my job. At the time I was working full-time and making $10.30/hr. In a lot of areas that is a decent pay rate. Honestly without actually sitting down and looking at finances , I figured we were golden. So I went back to work and the boys went to daycare full-time.
We aren’t a family that really lives outside of our means. We each have a vehicle but we also live in a rural area. My husband owns a pick-up truck which he uses to haul wood to our house for heat. Gas is not currently available in our area so we are dependent on wood heat. I drive a 2011 sedan which is our main vehicle on the weekends. It has better fuel mileage and we all fit in it. We both have a cellphones but no land-line. However my husband travels for work and I am a worry wart. So missing his call would kill me thus the need for cellphones. Plus I need to stay connected with the outside world or I will close in on myself. We pay basic utilities. We own a four-wheeler but that is paid for. I have student loan payment. He has one credit card which is used only for emergencies. We go on vacation once a year. Before the birth of our second son, we usually had extra money to put in savings or do something fun.
Then our little Pickle entered the world. Even before I went back to work, we were doing ok. Then the daycare bills started to come in. On average we were spending between $200-$250/week. Our bill one month was over $1,000, which is equal to two mortgage payments for us . I went from paying daycare to work to working to pay for daycare. ( We were short-staffed and I was working mucho OT that month) So like we sat down and looked at out finances. We looked at ways to cut back our expenses. Honestly if we even with the few things that we could axe, it still wasn’t enough. Then my husband started talking about selling his truck and that is where I drew the line. I was honest with him. I didn’t understand the point of working, if we had to start selling things off so I could do it. It seemed counterproductive. The reason I worked in the first place was to so we had extra money to do things. And now it is costing us money. So after much debating back and forth, we decided I would quit my current job until I could find something part-time and closer to home. ( I was commuting 60 miles a day)
I honestly thought my first thoughts were going to be joy. Truth be told, I was panicking on the inside. I mean things are going to be tight. The jobs market here is also severely lacking. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means. I think the most frustrating part was that it even had to be made. I understand that the daycare has to make money also. I know they aren’t making millions off of me. I just doesn’t make sense to me.
I even vented my frustrations on the almighty Facebook expecting some kind of backlash. I though I was going to get tons of comments about how we need to cut back on our spending. Or my favorite, you should be glad you even have a job. The reaction was the complete opposite. I was embraced with sympathy. Stories of families in the same exact position as us. Some had quit professional careers to stay at home after their second or third kid. Some cases it was the mother but there were also some stay-at-home fathers. The number one reason was it didn’t make financial sense for both parents to work.
Did you and your significant other have to decide? How did you come to the decision? How did you feel after you had made the decision?