Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Revising our plans

With my official diagnosis, I’ve spent some time figuring out what I think it will take to reduce my stress. My career, while awesome and fabulous in many ways, is not conducive to minimizing my stress. I’ve devoted my entire working career to the industry and my employer, so it’s extremely nerve wracking to consider leaving and doing something else. That said, I’m committed to doing everything I can to get and stay healthy. Managing my stress minimize the risk of flare ups, and thus potential impact to my organs.

M & I have kicked around a ton of different options, but where we’ve tentatively landed (for now) is to investigate the following changes:

·         Me working full-time (same employer) through the end of September.

·         Moving to a part-time role (some sort of flexible role) at the end of September, maybe with a small break in between. Four to six weeks, as I really focus on relaxing and getting myself healthy.

·         We’d like to have a minimum of $30,000 saved in our emergency fund, if I quit my job. Currently, I’m with the large/stable employer, and M is with a small company. While things are fine now, there are no guarantees, and if he moves into the primary breadwinner role, we need a much bigger safety net with owning two houses.

·         If at all possible, we’d like to try to keep our vacation house. It’s important to me right now, and I’m trying to minimize the amount of changes that I feel are “forced on me” by this diagnosis. That doesn’t mean we will keep it at all costs, we both understand that there’s a good chance we’ll need to sell, but with the right part-time role, I’d like to at least give it a shot.

·         Cut childcare. We’re currently paying over $1,000/month for after care. We use it for a very short period of time each day (2:30-4, & then 12-4 on early dismissal days). If I get the right part-time role, I should be able to meet the kids at the bus stop each day, eliminating the need for this expense.

·         Eliminating additional expenses. Fortunately, we’ve done a great job of driving down our monthly expenses, but it’s a bit of a mixed blessing, as there aren’t a lot of obvious cuts to make – we can continue to cut gifts, dining out, groceries, and the cleaning lady will definitely go. I’d also like to research our insurance, as it seems super high to me. We’ve considered selling our car & buying a less expensive option, so that’s another option.

·         We’re assuming that my employment shift will mean pretty drastically lower taxes (as we won’t phase out of most deductions), which would eliminate a large expense. We will, however, run any numbers before we make further assumptions.
Are you adjusting your financial plans this year?


  1. I think going part time, or even a FT reduced schedule would help, moving forward. Glad to see that you have so many positive options.

  2. Sounds like a great plan! Hope everything works out as planned! :) Health is the best thing you can have!

  3. I have to disagree on the cleaning lady. If you were 100% healthy, then yes, that would be an expense to cut. But I think having the cleaning lady will give you much needed peace of mind (aka, less stress), that your home is clean. I am guessing if you decide your house isn't clean, and then spend all your energy cleaning it....you will pay for it in the long run.

    Just a thought. ;)

  4. I disagree on the cleaning lady as well, it will only add to your stress level if the house is dirty and you don't feel well enough to deal with it. It is more important now than ever. Other things that don't hurt as much should be cut first - take care of yourself.

  5. Have you thought about cutting back on what you put into your kids' education fund? You have given them a good start. If things even out- you can restart aggressive savings on their behalf. If you are in less circumstances when they are college aged- their chances for scholarship increases.

    You should try to stay on your current health care plan until the beginning of next year. I don't know the details- but my nephew's company insisted on holding him on "medical leave" until then so he could be eligible for Obama long term care in 2014.

    We are adjusting like crazy. Our kids are each having a baby-- one boy, one girl. Shortly after the girl arrives her daddy (our son) deploys to the Middle East for nine months. While we are used to helping out- we may be doing double duty in the next year. This means moving money over to gas for the cars (almost non existent right now) and away from...we haven't figured that out. It also means much more in the postage and baking accounts for our son.

    I , too, agree with the others on getting rid of the cleaning lady---but you may want to look at what she uses for cleaners. We use nothing but vinegar (just like the local hospital these days).

  6. Apparently, financial concerns do affect one’s health. I hope making these changes helped you keep your condition from getting worse in the past months. Cory@Integrated Accounting