December 9, 2009, 8:21 am

Going Back to the Old Model? A Look At a Single Income Family Part 2

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance
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On Monday, I was explaining a bit where I stand with my single income family situation. We basically chose this route in order to reduce our stress and thereby to improve our quality of life. We surely won’t be able to have 2 cars in the driveway or go to Club Med with our children annually. However, it doesn’t mean that we will need to skip meals either! This is what I want to talk about today; the pros and cons of having a single income household.

What sucks about a single income household:

– You obviously endure more pressure to perform at work. This year, I have earned an amazing bonus because I was a top financial planner in my area. However, I must continue to be a top gun next year as well to reach 6 figures again.

– You have to make financial decisions, read “sacrifices” such as trimming discretionary expenses such as cars (ok, we just bought a new one, but it comes down to a similar cost as having 2 old cars!) and vacations (we can’t afford Disneyland, but we can rent a vacation property for a week).

– We think twice before spending money. While we can afford this lifestyle, we have decided to take a cut in our income early in life (we are not even 30). Therefore, we still have a big mortgage and a car loan to pay. If interest rates were to rise drastically, chances are that my wife would have to go back to work. 8-(

What is cool about a single income household:¸

– Since my wife has enough time to take care of the house during the week, we spend our weekends together as a family with great activities.  We are not “too tired” to play with our children.

– I have never felt so close to my children! When I arrive home after work, I don’t have to rush into making supper (it already smells good in the house when I open the door 😉 ). So I play with them and we can sit down to dinner together and have a “chit-chat” about everyone’s day and whatever is important that day.

– My wife and I are less stressed about “all the little things” that need to be done at home. We are actuallyahead on our Christmas shopping! (Can you believe that…)

– I actually work less too! No more household chores to complete over the weekend and working for my online company feels like pure pleasure (it is like that because it’s only once a week and I look forward to it, as opposed to feeling like work because you have to do it every day!).

So I am not saying that having a stay at home mom is the perfect situation… yet, come to think of it, it’s pretty darn close to it 😉

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We are a single income no kids household and enjoy the weekends as we don’t need to do all the chores. What I do find is when I get home from work I like to spend some time at home while my wife, who has been home wants to get out. It is a balancing act, however we would rather have it this way than both working and what that involves.

by: The Financial Blogger | December 9th, 2009 (2:26 pm)

That is an interesting situation, I guess that your wife does a lot of other things aside from the day-to-day household chores?

I just wanted to say I think it’s really great that you recognize the value of what your wife contributes to the family. I gave up my job of over $200K because of the exhaustion two high stress banking finance jobs and two children under four can do to a family. (It helped that I did not love it, so please don’t think I made a huge sacrifice!) All this to say I often feel that my financial contribution is missed, but reading your post I know we made the right decision. (but yes, here’s hoping for low mortgage rates for years to come..)

by: The Financial Blogger | December 9th, 2009 (6:03 pm)

I guess you need to live both situation (woman at work vs woman at home) to truly appreciate having someone at home.

And it IS a real job 😉

I’ve done it all three ways: both working, wife at home, and husband at home. (and 4th – both retired).

As long as both parties are on board with a) the lifestyle changes single income requires, b) equally valuing the contributions of the stay-at-home partner, and c) eliminate from the equation the statement “My partner doesn’t work,” single income is viable.

I never thought my husband didn’t work when he was the stay-at-home-parent, but when he referred to me as his non-working wife, I resented that characterization so bitterly that I went back to paid employment ASAP.