Can we be a single-income household?
Stacie is having some trouble at work. Well, technically, it’s trouble with the commute to work, the management at work, and some of her coworkers. She puts in too long hours for too little reward, especially compared to her fellow dietitians. The commute is wearing on her more and more daily (she drives from MD to VA) and I’m just waiting for her to snap.
A few months ago, I told her she could just quit, work on her blog (Building Nutrition), and take time to work on her own outpatient consulting business. She didn’t take me seriously and I didn’t push it at the time.
But this past weekend, Stacie and I met up with some old friends from PA, and they asked how things were at the hospital. She related how management isn’t supporting them and she doesn’t feel that she’s providing quality patient care because of the politics. In addition, the managers are contractors, while all the dietitians are hospital employees. Thus, management has dual-allegiances. Lastly, her boss’s boss left last week, and she was Stacie’s only real management support. It’s just a mess and doesn’t look to be getting better as a new contracting agency might come in who’s known to be even worse than the current one.
While we were talking with our friends, Stacie turned to me and seriously asked if we could live off my salary alone. I did some quick math in my head and responded Yes. And that doesn’t even count the income from this website.
When I got home, I did some more math and determined that all our budgeted expenses, except for debt overpayments, can be handled by my monthly income with room to spare. That’s how we’re able to pay so much down on our debts; because Stacie’s whole income is “extra”.
Granted, I can’t see Stacie just up and quitting because she has a strong sense of duty, and also doesn’t want to leave her patients just hanging. The doctors and nurses love and trust her, but that doesn’t help her problems with management and her coworkers’ support. But honestly, she’s drained at night and she’s finding it harder to be motivated to go to work each day. Her mental health is declining and her physical health can only follow eventually. She’s under too much stress, and if it gets worse, I’ll start seriously urging her to just leave.
I’d want a contingency plan in place though. For now, we can handle her not getting an income, but either her side businesses need to be more stable first or she should have at least a few leads on other jobs. She’s not a quitter, but she needs a serious break. Heck, she even has over a month of vacation time saved up! (I’m not far behind myself though). I think we both need a vacation.
I’ll keep you posted on any major changes, but for now, keep Stacie in your prayers please (or in your thoughts if you don’t pray). I don’t expect anything to happen anytime soon, but it depends on what happens with the management contract over the next month.