A Price Must Be Paid

Sarah is considering quitting her part-time job to be home with her kids exclusively. Can they afford for her to do it?

QUESTION: Sarah in Salt Lake City is considering quitting her part-time job to be home with her kids exclusively. Her husband is a firefighter and has four days off each week. Sarah can work from home, but she feels as though it’s pulling her away from her kids. Can they afford for her to do it?

ANSWER: It is very difficult to go back, and it’s going to get more and more difficult in most environments. I would pay the money to keep your certification. If you guys can prove budget-wise that you can live on his income, I don’t have a problem with you quitting. That’s what it all comes down to. But you’ve got to do that. You can’t call me back in six months and say you quit your job, you weren’t watching that closely, and now you’ve got $6,000 in credit card debt because you were lazy, disorganized, and you didn’t stick to your budget. Don’t do that. You’ve got to be hardcore about this. There’s a price to be paid. That means the family is going to have less money coming in, and I’m certainly okay with that for you to be at home. I think that’s a good trade. We did that. But it costs you, and you need to be willing to live on less than you make then and not go into overspend mode.