The last few weeks have been kind of a roller coaster.
First of all, we had a freakin’ baby! My brain still has trouble wrapping around that idea. I mean she’s here. She’s so damn cute and she makes my heart melt with a smile. If you had told me this time last year that I’d have a 2 month old baby, I’d have asked you what you were smoking. I was so discouraged with the whole fertility issue and we were seriously talking about giving up on the idea of having our own child.
So she’s here and I couldn’t be happier. But her coming has caused us to take a closer look at some other issues in our life.
First issue, Moo and I have made some serious headway into becoming debt-free. I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey for a couple of years ago and while I don’t agree with everything he says, I feel like he’s spot on that debt is crippling this country. Moo and I have been steadily working on becoming debt-free since last Christmas and we paid off a heck of a lot of our debt prior to Phoebe’s birth. We’ve only got a few things left to pay and we decided to, in Dave Ramsey’s words, “Drink the Kool-Aid” and do something crazy. That crazy was selling Moo’s car.
Moo has had a VW Beetle since we got married back in 2000. He owned a black one then and he decided to trade it in and get a red convertible Beetle in 2005. This thing is the most fun vehicle in the world, but has been nothing but a world of trouble. It’s been in and out of the shop since we bought it with sensor issues, computer problems, strange warning lights, you name it. The sheer aggravation of this thing was enough to make Moo start thinking of getting rid of it a few months ago. But right around Labor Day, we got something in the mail from the local VW dealer saying that his particular year was in high demand. So we went over and talked to them. They offered him almost twice what was owed on it and we’re paying off a couple of major debts with the proceeds.
Next, I got a notice the other day that a small pension that I had at a previous employer was shutting down and I needed to make a decision on how I wanted my funds to be dealt with. I could let it roll to the new fund where it wouldn’t earn more than 1% yearly, I could roll it to an IRA where the market would affect it – and since the market sucks right now, I didn’t think that was a good idea or I could take it as a lump sum. Of course, being a former tax professional, I knew there were tax implications related to taking it as a lump sum, but paying off the remainder of our debt except for a small loan and our house seemed to be the most prudent thing to do. So I didn’t have any problem signing the paperwork to get the lump sum processed. So basically, during the month of September, we have all but eliminated our debt.
Money issues leads me to the biggest change except for the baby. I decided a few days ago to quit my job and stay home with Phoebe full time. I had been thinking of doing this since I was about 4 months pregnant, but wasn’t sure how we could do it. While Moo makes almost twice what I make and what he makes is nothing to sneeze at, our debts were such that it would have been incredibly tight around here. However, with our debts disappearing at a rapid rate, and after calculating child care costs, rising gas prices and other incidentals, it just makes more sense to stay home.
This was a really hard step for me. I had some incredibly good friends at my job and I enjoyed 75% of my job. I hated the stupid things like commuting 30 miles one way and increasing jackassery by top management (not the locals – I liked my boss and his boss), but the folks there were great and the customers were great.
But I’m not just going to be a stay-at-home-mom (SAHM), I’m going to be a WAHM or work-at-home-mom. I had played around with starting my own business last year, but decided that I didn’t want to do retail. For one thing, keeping inventory in my dining room kinda sucked. I was able to sell all my inventory and I may tinker with some retail as a fun outlet, but my main business will be to use my HR and administrative skills in a virtual environment. I’ve been seeking a good place to do this and have been doing some freelance recruiting while I get the rest of my business going.
There’s some other stuff that I want to talk about and I will in the next few days, but I think you can see that my life has changed in so many ways in the last couple of months… and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything.
Now, some more cute exploitation 🙂