This post was written by my free-spirit wife about our recent life-change. Be sure to give us your advice on our situation!
We all know that there are two types of people in a financial relationship. If you have been keeping up with this blog, you know that Mr. LAMF is definitely ‘the Budgeter’. He is the person with the monthly stats on Mint.com every month, can recite Pi to the nth decimal, is frugal, makes planned purchases, and has a four-year plan to pay off the mortgage. Talking about investments and real estate make him giddy like a child getting cotton candy at the fair.
Enter ‘the Free-Spirit’ (For Mr. LAMF this was in a coffee shop on a blind date, yes we were set up); personas number two in the relationship. All Mr. LAMF has known about finance was turned upside down by the person who is a spontaneous, an emotional spender, flies by the seat of their pants, needs the pretty colorful charts in the monthly budget report, and has no idea what the ‘Four-Year Plan’ looks like.
As you can imagine the first couple months of our marriage (after dating for only 10 months across the country) the money issue was hard to crunch. Finding a place where both of us could meet in the middle was like pulling teeth. Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University was the life ring we both needed to get on the same page and work together to be responsible stewards of our finances. Since we have made the decision to move forward as a TEAM, we have been able to pay off our debt, move across the country, purchase a house, and make sizeable renovations on the new purchase. Yep, we are on track with the Four-Year Plan.
Here Comes the Wrench
About two weeks ago, Mr. LAMF informed you that I found myself unemployed. While I took the emotional route by buying a soft, warm (did I say expensive) sweater to cuddle up in to console myself…I think I nearly gave Mr. LAMF an aneurism. He did a great job being sensitive and supportive, but I know inside he was crunching numbers and thinking about what the new budget will look like with only one income. I know he has thought about how this will affect the plan of paying off the mortgage in four years too.
Although a wrench was thrown into our budget, we felt confident in the fact that we live below our means and do not have large amounts of debt looming at a time like this (especially given the fact that I did not qualify for unemployment). It meant a little more penny pinching and watching the renovation spending, but not something we will lose much sleep over.
The main place where this will affect us financially is in the plan to pay off the house at turbo speed. My job income would have allowed us to make double, or more, payments on our mortgage. With that gone, we have some choices to make.
I have the opportunity to branch into my already existing photography and design business, which is still in the initial stages. Let’s call this Option No. 1. It will take some investment to make this into a sustainable income that would replace the lost income, but it is truly something I love. While this would be the fun route, realistically it does not have a huge ROI in the first few months, maybe even years.
The initial expenses would be:
- Setting up my website (purchasing domain name and hosting fees)
- Business cards
- Finishing the studio in our house
- Marketing (bridal shows, professional memberships, etc.)
- Possible additional equipment
Option No. 2, slightly less glamorous, would definitely pack a punch to our plan. This option would consist of finding a stable full-time job to replace my income while still continuing to invest and grow my business on the side. It would also restore Mr. LAMF and I to the esteemed DINK status (Dual Income, No Kids) where we could really do some debt-busting damage.
- New shoes and blouse to go with my interview suit 🙂 (maybe, we’ll see if this is in the budget!)
So here is the ultimate question…do I continue the hustle for 3-4 more years so we can live out our dreams free of financial restrictions (within reason), or do I start living out my dreams now and sacrifice our financial goals for 10+ additional years?
I am interested to see what the readers think of this scenario. The early years of the mortgage can be critical to the amount of interest you pay. Should I risk sacrificing additional interest to pursue my business? Should I polish up the resume and get back on track for the Four-Year Plan?