Last night, I had a bitter showdown with a calculator.
After getting home, my wife and I talked about the frustrating fact that at the moment, we don’t have the lifestyle we want. It’s mostly that we’d both love for her to cut back work from full-time to part-time. We have this talk periodically, and it always boils down to a hesitation to give up the comfort of her full-time income. I don’t know why, but this time I decided I wouldn’t just let the talk end in despair… I grabbed the budget book, my laptop, pencil and trusty calculator, and settled in for a bitter battle. I was determined to see if the numbers do actually dictate our lives, or if we can wrestle back control of things.
Several hours into the night, the missus had gone to bed and the house was quiet except for the furious scribbling of the pencil and frenzied tapping on the calculator. Even Lexi, our little cavoodle puppy, was trying to sleep and wondering what her crazed dad was still doing downstairs. However, as I scraped down to the bottom of the budget, I found what we didn’t expect.
If the last six months of income and expenses are a good indicator (which I think they are), I may be onto something. The promised land of part-time work for Mrs. Jake might actually be achieveable! Based on my income plus my estimate of her part-time wage, it’s looking like we could still cover costs and still save some cash every fortnight. This seems crazy because we’ve always assumed that it would be too tight if she cut back on hours. However, it just took some effort to smash through the assumption that it would never work.
Because it was a busy morning, I didn’t get a chance to present my wife with the snazzy spreadsheets, graphs and calculations I churned out. I’m going to keep that little ace up my sleeve until tonight! This one almost deserves a Powerpoint presentation and a laser pointer. Can’t wait to see how she reacts to the news that [if we budget well] then she can work less and we’ll still save money.