Okay, first a quick note to thank you all. I love the support this community offers about pretty much anything and I love that you never make me feel like things that are big to me are trivial. You all are great.
So, back to our regularly scheduled family programming.
As some of you know, Lesley works two jobs. I have a job in an office where I meet with clients and feel good about what I do and have free health insurance for the family and an amazing retirement plan. Lesley works part time at the public library and part time doing office management for a local non profit. The deal was that I’d move to Oregon for her to go to grad school but I would move again. The up side is we live somewhere we love. The downside is that she has a very expensive graduate degree and will never work in her field. This has been okay mainly because she loves her jobs. She likes working at the library and has loved the non profit she has worked for for close to 4 years. She has been committed to staying there and family decisions have always included her employment there.
But lately things at the non profit have taken a turn for the worse. Her boss had a conversation with her a while ago about what it would take for that to be her only job. We talked about it – a slight increase in hours and some sort of benefits (paid time off, money towards retirement, ect.). She talked to him and got the impression that when preparing the budget for the next fiscal year those things would be looked into. That conversation took place about six weeks ago.
Two weeks ago her boss asked her to get quotes to offer health insurance to their 5 person staff. Her boss and one other person currently get a stipend to buy insurance but he wants to offer everyone insurance or a stipend. Lesley told him that she wouldn’t include herself in the quote because she is covered from me and if they were offering health insurance she wouldn’t take it (likely there would be a big copay or cost and currently she is covered for free). He said okay and she asked what would happen if they offered a stipend to all employees. He said since she had health insurance she would not get it. She explained that neither he nor the other employee have to show proof that they buy insurance with their stipend and she would use hers to put into a private retirement account. He again said she would not get it and followed it up with, “People who have kids get a huge tax return and I don’t have kids but somehow have to pay for that.” Lesley was floored. Her boss is super progressive. Lesley is the only person who works there with a child. She doesn’t think that he thought about that when he said it and has no idea how screwed up that was to say.
So then comes last week. She screwed something minor up at work (prepared a mailing to 30 people, forgot to include a return envelope, restuffed mailing, peeled stamps off first envelope, and sent it. In the end she wasted some time and 30 envelopes). Her boss the next day had a talk with her about how she is not on her game and said that he gets it must be hard to want to be home with your child but he needs her to focus there. Other employees just don’t show up some days and nothing is ever said.
So we talked about it and he is right. It is hard to want to be home with your child and at this point that is where she wants to be. So we’re working on a plan to drop that job. She works 20 hours a week at the library but 28 hour positions regularly open. She is keeping an eye out for one of those but in the meantime we are working towards he being out of her nonprofit job September 1st no matter what.
This involves a few adjustments. We have paid off two credit cards this year but want one more paid off before then. That will leave us with just under $2000 in consumer debt. We’re canceling cable that we never watch (after the stanley cup). We’d keep Gus in childcare some while she was home so she could get stuff done around the house, craft, and cook and he’d still be in childcare while she worked but we could cut that by about $200 a month. I get a $200 monthly raise in October so that will help. We are going to work on having better control of our spending. She currently brings home around $750 a month from that job and between my raise and childcare cuts we’d be out around $350. We easily overspend that on eating out, stuff Gus doesn’t need, or other things that we can reign in. Our tax return would mean we could still go to New York next summer. We could still get to Vancouver in November. Things would be tighter, but we’d all be happier. Laundry would get put away, our garden would thrive, we’d eat dinner before 8 pm. It’d be worth it.