Tomorrow afternoon, my husband will leave paid employment for a while. We didn't choose this, but in some ways, it's turning into a wonderful opportunity. I think we're both a little surprised at how....good it feels.
Why? Because for a long time, time has been our biggest shortfall. And now we'll have enough. And that in and of itself worth a lot.
I've said it before, we're lucky. We can go a long time without risk. We're also making changes that may make this change sustainable for a longer time - even if we don't make it sustainable, reaching a point where only 1 salary is required for us to live on is a good thing, then another salary becomes savings. We have no idea whether this situation will last 3 weeks or 3 years.
Because it's unclear, we actually did some spending in preparation, which may seem like an odd way to prepare. We had a few things that we had to take care of - my husband needed interview clothes, his computer monitor needs to be returned to his workplace, so we got an inexpensive new one as the computer is essential for job searches, and we stocked our pantry and freezer over the last few months.
Then there were a few things that had been in the budget for a while - finishing some home projects, finally getting an inexpensive gas grill, and a few other things. Budget assessment said these purchases were still viable, so we're going ahead. We're also looking at a mortgage refinance, something that we're probably overdue to investigate. Right now our income vs. outgo delta (not including unemployment - with that factored in, we actually come out ahead) is somewhere between $1000 and $1400 a month, depending on what we include. If we can knock that down a couple hundred dollars a month with a refinance, that's probably a good deal.
The goal is to get the delta down to zero. To do that, we need to pay off my car before unemployment runs out in late 2011 (if we get to that point), reduce some monthly overhead, continue to focus on savings, and plan, plan, plan. But in running the numbers, it should work.
So now all there is left to do is more job hunting and enjoying the time he'll have.