Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Andy: Stay At Home Dad?

Laura and I are looking at our finances to see if it would be possible for us to afford to have one of the two of us stay at home. It is quite clear that we cannot afford to have Laura stay at home. Her job pays about 1/3 more per year than mine does, her benefits are significantly better, her position has room for advancement and it is a job in the healthcare industry. If the economy goes to hell in a handbasket, which I am somewhat anticipating, people will still get sick, they will still need medical care, etc. My job, dealing with aquarium supplies, is much more likely to suffer based on the economy than hers. So the reality is that we are discussing whether or not I can be a stay at home dad.

Financially it will be tough, but if things go as planned by mid July we will be completely out of credit debt. That's right, 100% credit debt free. We will have paid off almost $15,000 in credit card debt. In light of the very consumer unfriendly bankruptcy bill that Congress will pass (probably this week), we are delighted to see the end of that. In fact, we intend to close out all credit cards completely. Once this bankruptcy bill becomes law, credit is no longer a safe proposition for the lower and middle class; in fact it is the doorway to a debtor's prison.

So, with credit cards done, the only debt we have is fixed interest: car loan for the Prius, home loan and student loan for law school (again, my advice: if you are going to attend graduate school, I highly recommend getting the actual degree as opposed to alcoholically drinking your way out of school). I want to emphasize: all of these are fixed rate loans. It is tight, but it is doable.

I'm not worried overly about the gender role bullshit. I think that I will be equally as good a stay at home parent as Laura. We're only planning on the one child, so we might as well try to do this right. It would really be a chance to try and raise her with our values.

I might even try writing again. I'm not so sure about that. I always have wanted to be a writer, but writing is an emotionally draining task and frankly, I am sick of failing. So I might try to avoid that.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. Just kind of thinking out loud this morning.