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Changes in Our Income


Not too long ago, we did an income switch-up. I went to part-time at my job. My husband got a part-time job that ended up being more like full-time. How did that affect our job income?

It only affected it a little bit.

Since my husband works a minimum wage job and I earn about twice as much at my job – there wasn’t much of a change. It fluctuated some since some weeks I worked more hours and some weeks he worked less. The big thing is that we were pulling in about the same amount of income working more total hours. That is the part that bothers me since it is not an efficient use of time.

On the flip side, since my husband has a fairly recession-proof job, there is a some sense of security. But it still bothers me. Not only because of the more total hours, but because the effect it is having on our family.

We no longer have regular dinners together everyday like we used to. We haven’t been able to go out snowshoeing together at all this winter or even take a trip to the lake. Our family unity is suffering. Not sure how else to put it except to say that it stinks. I don’t like to sound like I am whining about it, but I have to say what I really feel about this arrangement. We’ll deal with it – we used to work opposite shifts way back when, which was even worse. I guess once you have a taste of being able to have time together, you don’t want to go back to not having it.

As for the business, it is still making a profit and it is growing. When I talked about income above, I was not including the business in there. All net income from our jobs and the some of the profit from the business goes to our expenses and towards our debt (I haven’t added to our savings account in a while). Some of the funds from the business have already been used to pay off start-up debt in full and to contribute to the business savings. We are being conservative right now with the money we pay ourselves.

There have been questions about our business and I’ve decided to talk a little bit more about it. I’ll start tomorrow with reviewing a book that was very inspirational.


  • Reply Another Reader |

    Having your husband take that job allowed you to reduce your stress at a time when that was very important to you and to maintain your income through that period. Now that your husband is back in the workforce close to full time, he can use his current work history and references to look for a better job. As the business grows and adds to your income, you can add to your savings and speed up the repayment of the debt, including the student loans.

    Once you have repaid more of your debt and you are confident you can rely on the business’ income, you can re-evaluate who works where for how many hours and for how much. In the meantime, you can use the experience to teach your son about making short term sacrifices for the long term future of your family.

    By the way, the math does not make sense to me. If you cut your hours 25 percent and he is working full time for half as much, his gross income should significantly exceed what you lost. Have you checked the income tax withholding? Are there other deductions that might account for the money? Is the cost of commuting eating into the difference?

  • Reply SnoBaby |


    Thanks for your supportive words on my blog. It’s nowhere near as fancy as yours. Congratulations on your hard work!
    I know what you mean about the workload straining the family. I don’t work full-time, but it’s also not a steady schedule with the perfect hours (i.e. only working while my kids are in school). And, with so many people looking for work, I feel I should take any work I’m offered (pay off that debt quicker and be stable in the event my husband loses his job.)
    So, we’re in the same boat as you right now with strain on the daily routine at home. Anyway, keep up the awesome hard work, and know that the craziness is only temporary, right?



  • Reply Another Other Reader |

    I’m curious why your husband is working only a minimum wage job. It’s that all that’s available in your area (have you said what state you’re in?) . Is that all he’s qualified for? I’m hoping you won’t mind answering, since this blog seems mostly anonymous.

    I’ve always thought of minimum wage jobs as a first job for teens, a college job or a secondary job. Where I live (Texas), I believe even fast food pays more than minimum wage.

  • Reply Tricia |

    Another Reader – actually, what he has been doing on the side results in better references than his current job. His current job is filler.

    As for my hours, they were cut 50%, not 25%. Some weeks are a little more, some a little less. I didn’t even think of the commuting cost – I’m basically looking at gross income.

    Another Other Reader – my husband is qualified for a lot more. Within his field, our area doesn’t have many jobs for him so that is why we are making our own with the business. We expanded the job search a while ago to other states (we’re in MI), but given the current economic conditions, we are so glad we didn’t go through with that. Fast food is a minimum wage job where we live.

  • Reply Andrea |


    I just started following your blog and am so impressed by your honesty and the progress you’ve made with your debt. I am at the beginning stages of my own debt journey. My husband and I just moved from MI to TX for better job opportunities and it was a difficult choice. We left with a mountain of student loan and credit card debt, some of it incurred from the cross-country move. To make ends meet, I work Saturday through Wednesday and he works a traditional week, meaning we never have one full day off together. It has been a huge strain on our marriage. Although we don’t have children, I can understand all the feelings you might be having right now working different schedules. To cope, we’ve tried planning “special” nights throughout the week that don’t cost us anything–like Game Night, where we pull out some cards or board games. Is there anything you and your husband do that has been helpful?

  • Reply Another Reader |

    As a long-time hiring decision maker for entry-level professional/technical positions, I can tell you that a resume that showed a consistent work history and some hustle were as important to me as knowledge in the technical field. If I saw a resume that showed an inconsistent job history where the person appeared to be dabbling in work in general and in the specific field, I was very skeptical and that resume usually went to the bottom of the pile. I wanted to hire the person who was ready, willing, and able to get the job done and who needed the job. That was my best chance at getting a consistent performer that could be part of a team and who would stay long enough to be worth the investment in training. Therefore, I think the time at minimum wage job along with the simultaneous side jobs and the experience starting a business make your husband more employable.

  • Reply Rich @ richlikeyou.com |

    Well I have to stop and say congrats on your progress. I remember reading your blog back when you started it, and up until about January 2007 when your husband lost his job because of the bosses wife.

    I am very impressed by your progress!

    I had kinda fell out of the PF blogsphere but was on another blog that linked here, and noticed how far you have come.

    Good luck to you and your family!

  • Reply sf |

    Hi Tricia,
    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years now…your tenacity in getting your debt paid off is truly impressive.
    I don’t know if it’s a good thing or bad, but you will adjust to your husband being away for work. I have two boys and my husband travels weekly to support our family (though I work full-time as well). It can be trying at times, but keep in mind that he’s out there doing it for you and your son. Single parenting definitely has its challenges…but this too shall pass. Can’t wait to hear more about your business. Good for you!!! I’m feeling your excitement as your debt nears the ZERO!

So, what do you think ?