Friday, February 28, 2014

2014 outlook

Since I spent all of January struggling to overcome hardships and most of February preparing for the awesome transition we are about to make, it's high time I got around to thinking about what I want the REST of 2014 to hold for our finances! 

I'm having trouble remembering how much I've written about S and my plan for him to be a stay at home dad and get back into his pottery studio.  We've been kicking around the idea/ hope that we can live mostly off of my salary which would allow him to get back to doing what he loves- making/ selling/ teaching pottery.  We've been trying to figure out how to make this happen since before the babies were born but never could come up with a feasible plan that met all our financial goals and obligations if we stayed in the Boston area.  

But with this move to Kentucky, we might actually be able to make it work!  We've gotten the math to work on paper but we will have to stick to a very skimpy budget until he starts pulling in some money from his art work/ teaching classes.  So Goal Number 1 for the remainder of 2014 is to stick with the slimmest budget we've ever had to give S the opportunity to reestablish his pottery studio and be able to stay at home with our boys!  (This is a major topic so I'll write more about it later)

Goal Number 2 is to get our emergency fund back up to $1000 by the end of the year.  As for our debt, Goal Number 3 is to pay off the remainder of the medical bills ($550), pay off as much remaining credit card debt as possible and to chip away at the rest of the debt with the regular monthly payments for a total debt reduction of $7000.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

On the road again

February has been a busy month!  Somewhere around the end of of January, when things were looking so bleak, S and I kind of threw in the towel and decided it might be a good idea to think about moving nearer to my family and somewhere cheaper.  Our initial thoughts were to get somewhere in the one easy day's driving range of Kentucky so that travel for holidays and emergencies would be more doable and perhaps family would be tempted to visit us more often to lend a helping hand with the twins.  We figured it would take several months to land a new job which put us moving somewhere in the late spring/ early summer right before the boys' 1st birthday.

With marching orders in hand, I spent the first weekend in February putting together my resume and portfolio of work examples.  Over the first week of February, I sent out some e-mails to my friends in the profession and started scouring the job postings.  Mid-week a friend from college wrote me back to let me know her company was hiring for their office only an hour or so away from my parent's house!  I sent off my stuff and got an immediate call back.  A week later I was flying down to interview and now, only 19 days after starting my job search, I have officially accepted a position with them and start on March 17!

My head is still spinning with this sudden change but I have such an optimistic feeling about the move.  It seems serendipitous that just when we have reached our breaking point, an opportunity presents itself.  The move means we will be within arms reach of my entire family and most of my closest friends, a whole battalion of helping hands for when things get a little too much to handle on our own.  The move also means a much cheaper cost of living, and with a comparable salary to what I have now, equates to roughly a 30% raise!  Lastly, the move puts me in a job that I believe is much more in line with what I enjoy professionally so I'm hoping there will be a level of job satisfaction I don't currently have.

Fortunately, I did our taxes as early as possible and we have already received our mega return (since we didn't adjust our withholdings after the babies came last year).  I had initially thought it would go towards debt, which would have been nice, but now it looks like it will help us make this unexpected transition!  So many things to get done in a very short amount of time!