In 2012, I made a career transition to part-time work as a project manager at KHC Wealth Management. My infant son had special needs and the demands of my full-time job did not afford me the work/life balance that our family needed. The reduction of income would negatively affect our finances, but my husband and I were willing to make the following lifestyle adjustments in order for me to spend more time taking care of the children:
Delaying Financial Goals: Saving less each month meant we would have to put off buying a new car (my husband’s is on its last leg) and moving to a larger house to accommodate our growing family. We had to adjust our mindset about these items – they are wants, not needs. Happily, I am still contributing to my firm’s 401(k) plan so our retirement goals have remained the same.
Shifting Household Responsibilities: When my husband I were both working full-time, we pretty much split the household responsibilities 50/50. Now that I had more time at home, I took on the bulk of the cleaning, laundry, and shopping. Unhappily, having a cleaning service every two weeks was not a luxury we could continue to afford with a lower monthly income.
Soliciting Help from Family: Rather than send my son to daycare, we were fortunate that my in-laws stepped in and offered to watch him on the days I work. This helped us in two ways – we didn’t have to pay for childcare and my child got to spend quality time with his grandparents.
With any life change comes trade-offs. It’s important to consider all facets of such changes and decide for yourself if you are willing to make the necessary lifestyle adjustments.