If we haven’t had time to catch up lately, don’t worry! I have been busy too! In a nut shell, over the past four months, I have been positioning myself to leave my job of 8 years. I have worked in the field of research and analysis for more than a decade. I love the work, but I love my life, time, and family MORE.
In July, my employer announced that all remote employees need to return to work on-site. Our work-from-home policy has always been based on “manger discretion”. Over the years several employees brought forth complaints about not being granted work-from-home while their co-workers were able to. The whole thing was deemed as “unfair” and after a year and a half of ‘rumors’ that Leadership would end the flexible remote work policy, on July 1, 2018 – they did. I had many feelings about it. You can read more here, here, and here.
I knew when the announcement came, I would return to the office but it would not be for very long. In July, my husband and I got busy.
Step 1: First we combined our money for the first time in our relationship. This allowed us to see how much money was coming and going each month. It also cut out ridiculous spending because I watched that money like a hawk.
When we purchased our new home in January, the sale of our house fell through a week before our moving date. With the moving company already hired and closing date set, we forged ahead and took a risk by securing a private mortgage/bridge loan. The conditions of this loan meant we had to pay off this bridge loan in full by refinancing the new home with a bank within one year. Since July marked 6-months since the purchase of the new home, it also meant we met the criteria of owning the home long enough to refinance.
Step 2: We started the mortgage (refinance) process. We figured it would be easier to secure the loan with two full-time incomes on paper.
Step 3: Crunching the numbers. The next step was to dig into our budget. I listed all of our debts from the smallest to the largest. Since my daughter’s pre-K tuition is due in full by April 2019, we felt this debt had to be the first to go (I think Dave Ramsey would agree). To date, I will make the last payment November 15th. This means we will have paid off $14,002 from July 15-November 15th. Not bad!!!! We will continue with the next smallest debt and move our snowball forward as fast as we can.
Another reason we took control of our budget was to find out if it was even feasible with our debt load to have me stay home? What will child care cost for two children? How does that compare to my income? What I realized is that I would be more comfortable staying home if I knew I had a way to at least make a small income, even if the money went solely to debt. I knew I needed to feel like I had some control. I have been working and maintaining my own finances since the age of 12, so not having any money or the means to create some additional income for our family was not gonna fly with me.
Step 4: Secure a side hustle. And this is exactly what I did. On August 1, 2018 I became an independent contractor for an overseas company. I now teach English as a Second Language (ESL) from home while my girls sleep. I am doing this part time (on top of my full-time job) to build up my client base. As soon as I leave my full-time job, I can dedicate about 20 hours per week to teaching and make a good chunk of change without having to leave my home or pay for child care! WIN!!!!
Step 5: Make a transition plan. Once my husband and I agreed it would be beneficial for our family life if I quit my job, I had to consider my workload, vacation time, and benefits. When I depart from the company, it’s policy that I can take up to 150 vacation hours “with me”. Basically, I will get paid for 150 hours (one full month) of pay when I resign. Not bad! Since I had 230 hours of vacation, I had to plan to use my additional 70 hours of vacation time, wrap up any projects I am working on, and pick a date for my last day of work. Lucky for me, my supervisor approved all 70 vacation hours over the next 7 weeks and supports my decision to leave. She is also thankful I am giving more than a two week notice and have agreed to complete a major project before my last day. With all the layoffs and cuts in workforce in the last 2 years, we have been whittled down to a tight crew. Having time to plan who will take over my workload has been helpful to my boss.
Step 6: Submit my resignation letter. I have my letter typed up and ready to go. I wanted to wait a few more weeks until the time of my departure gets closer.
Although we still have quite a bit of debt, I feel more confident financially than I did six months ago. At this point, me quitting my job to stay home with the girls will provide a significant positive change for our family. No more 2.5 hours’ daily commute. No more money going toward daycare expenses. I can take the girls to their appointments and attend school functions without having to worry about ‘charging time’ or ‘missing a meeting’. More time in the evening with our kids. And overall, less stress!
As I complete steps 5 and 6, I will keep you posted. I am hoping these next few weeks go quickly. I really like my daughter’s daycare so I will feel bad telling them she will no longer be attending. If anyone has any polite and nice ways of telling our daycare provider we are leaving, please share them with me. Our daycare is small and personal. I don’t want to make them think we don’t like them. Besides, you never know what the future holds or if I will need to use them in the future! I never like to burn a bridge.
Thanks for reading.