Money Changes Everything
I’m going to talk about a taboo subject today.
No, not that…get your mind out of the gutter. I’m talking about money.
One of the biggest adjustments for me as a SAHM is no longer bringing home my own paycheque.
I started earning my own money, babysitting, when I was twelve. I had my first real job at 15 (in a library) and have supported myself ever since. I put myself through college and university. I managed my own finances. I didn’t have a lot of money, but I got by.
Ironically, it’s only been the last couple of years that I’ve finally been debt-free and earning a pretty decent salary—just in time to give it up.
That’s not the issue though. We’re happy with our decision to have a smaller family income. We’ve made adjustments—we have one car, no cable, and we eat out less often. We’re concerned about having enough money to do the travelling we want to do, but that can wait a couple of years if it has to.
What concerns me about not having my own income is lack of autonomy (or a perceived lack of it). I need to have money that is mine and mine alone. Luckily, I have a little nest egg--last year, the company I worked for went public and the owners gave their employees stock in the company. Also, my skills are in demand right now and I think I could get back into the workforce easily if I needed to (this may not be case in a couple of years). If it weren’t for these two things, it would have been much harder to stop working.
My marriage is rock solid, but I still need to have my own resources. I just do.
Sorting out the logistics is another issue. BP and I have always had a pretty relaxed system. We have our own bank accounts and we just take turns paying for stuff. Now that there is nothing coming in, I have to stop paying for stuff out of my account.
We’re making BP’s account a joint one, but I don’t like giving up my privacy. I don’t want him to know how much his birthday present cost. He doesn’t always need to know how much Cakes’ new shoes were.
BP suggested that we top up my account every few months so I can just keep continue using it. My first reaction was, hooray, I’ll be getting paid for my work. Then I thought, wait a minute, does that insinuate BP’s my boss? (ha, fat chance) And then I thought, but wait….I’ll be getting paid from the family’s money, so no, he’s not my boss.
Am I over-thinking this? Does anyone have a clever system they want to share?
. . . he that wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends.--Shakespeare