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Ask Dave

Decide with her

Randy has what he thinks is a good idea to help relieve stress in his wife's work life. Dave reminds him that it's really her decision, and that they should talk about it and come to a conclusion together.

QUESTION: Randy calls from Denver, CO, and would like for his wife to be able to reduce the stress in her life by cutting back on the number of hours she works. She’s a nurse, working three 12-hour night shifts weekly, but he wonders if they’ll still be able to pursue their goal of following Dave’s plan and becoming debt-free if this happens. Randy works as a teacher and thinks it possibly might work.

ANSWER: Well, the big question is can you live on that? It’s not “possibly;” it’s a simple math thing. You need to look at your income and her income at 24 hours, and then you look at your bills and do a budget. If you can live on that — and it’s what she wants to do — you look and see if you’ll be able to pay your bills on that.

You can always tap the brakes on this thing, too. She doesn’t have to go to part time immediately. I mean, we’re only talking about one day a week. It doesn’t change your life that much. So, it doesn’t hurt anything if she does her regular shift through the end of the year, and you guys keep looking at this and try to decide what you want to do.

But I would continue, with her, walking through the numbers. Walk through the numbers with her.