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Is $55,000 enough?

Ok, so I have 1 DD who is 18 months. DH wants to have another when she is two. I told him the only way I will have another is if I can be a Sahm. That means I would have to leave my good job with benefits. I make about $35,00 and DD makes $48,oo0. He just got offered a job for $55,000 with benefits. That is also a main reason I have not quit my job because he didn't have any medical benefits. I am terrified to quit. I'm wondering if this will be enough to support a family of four. We live in California by the way. What would you do.?Would you quit and become a sahm? Thanks in advance.

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Asked by Anonymous at 5:51 PM on Dec. 3, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (16)
  • Here's a test: as soon as he starts making the higher salary try saving 100% yours and see if you can make it.

    Of course another option might be to set a goal to pay any debts you might have with your salary so they won't exsist by the time you stop working.

    That is a pretty significant decrease in your total income, so I would work hard on budgetting and see if it is really feasible.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:56 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • OP here. That is a great idea. Thanks for the help.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:59 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • I honestly couldn't tell you if that is enough in California. My hubby makes less than $30,000 and we are just making it. We live in the midwest. A big part of it is budgeting, only paying cash for things, using coupons, not spending money just for fun, etc. I would think you could do it, you just have to decide if you are willing to go without in other areas.

    Answer by micheledo at 6:11 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • I, too, am terrified at the idea of only having a single source of income. It's also a lot of pressure to be the sole breadwinner. I turned down a job that would have paid for both our salaries simply because I did not want that kind of pressure. Plus we did not want to lose the senority and benefits of the jobs we have, and place all of the risk with a new employer that might decide they hated me.

    Would you be interested in working part time, or taking an extended leave? One compromise we came up with (but ultimately didn't take) was to have hubby take an extended leave so that I could become acclimated to my new job. If everything worked out, then great-- he would quit. Otherwise, I'd go back to my old job and he'd keep his. Of course, this only works if there is a job to go back to, so don't burn any bridges!

    Answer by Busimommi at 6:11 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • WOW, consider yourself lucky, I can't find a job and DH got laid off over 3 months ago,,,this year we only made about 12000.
    Try living on that with 3 kids (ANYWHERE)

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:34 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Read this before considering.  Times are going to get worse. 


    Answer by Anonymous at 6:38 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • Taking time off work to be with kids (or for other personal reasons) is a huge decision, as you have already noted, because of the uncertainty associated with 'jumping back in.' There are so many relevant factors (your profession, your location, and the length of time you expect to be out, e.g.) that it's hard to give a blanket assurance that your re-entry will be smooth or easy. If you're committed to the personal benefits associated with jumping off the treadmill for a period of time, that's a huge piece of the equation. "The Feminine Mistake" and other books have noted the financial risks associated with leaving the paid workforce for a long period. I don't mention those risks to be negative, but because they are real; in my work, I see some returning workers sail back into fantastic and highly-compensated roles, and others struggle to return at a reasonable level of pay and responsibility.


    Answer by rkoloms at 7:04 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • It matters a lot how you spend your time while you're away. If you keep a hand in the action via a volunteer role, a bit of consulting, or a part-time job, you're in a better spot re-entry-wise than if you take your professional hat off entirely. Best of luck with your decision .

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:05 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • in CA. No cards or car payments. Everything bare minimum, not enough unless you want to live in a bad area, even good areas getting robbed during the day. I agree at least wait until all bills are paid and have some cash saved up. Lost job last Dec now again this Dec. This Job is 70k hope to better that with the next one, but what worked is paying things off and keeping it simple, no telling what will happen next anywhere. Nice place for 1600. Not using heater, keeping lights to a minimum by in bulk from Costco. I also have a business. But cash and no bills

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:36 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

  • You would be fine in Ohio. I know CA is more expensive. I have no idea if that would be reasonable.
    Think about all your expenses and his take home pay. Does it fit the budget?

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:40 PM on Dec. 3, 2009

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