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2017 Planning


Hi friends! How is 2017 treating you so far? So far, so good over here! Just trying to balance work and childcare (always!!) The kids have been out of school all last week (they go back to preschool this coming Monday) so I’ve been drowning in work-related tasks while I’ve been trying to juggle childcare with hubs. Yikes!

Speaking of hubs – a quick work-related update:

Remember when we spoke about hubs going back to school full-time and closing the doors to his business?? Well, slight change of plans…

He IS going back. He’s starting with 9 credit hours; his classes meet on Mondays and Wednesdays. That leaves him with quite a bit of spare time still on his hands (though, to be fair, his classes are basically ALL.DAY on M/W, so he’ll need to spend quite a bit of time on the other weekdays actually studying, doing homework, etc.).

Anywho, hubs landed a really big contract around October-ish that was supposed to be completed by the end of 2016. For newer readers, hubs is a wood floor contractor & installer. Unfortunately, the contract was for a big “new build” condo complex and anyone who is familiar with new build knows that they are rife with setbacks and delays. The same was true here. Floors are one of the last things to go into a new home, so hubs’ schedule kept getting pushed back more and more and more while other contractors were working on their parts of the project.

I think you can see where this is going.

The project was not complete by the end of 2016. Not even close. In fact, hubs had only just barely begun! (again – this was due to no fault of his own – this is just how new builds sometimes go).

At this point in time, hubs has a two-man crew still working for him. Rather than renege on the contract he had signed, he’s having his crew continue working for him on this big project. He’ll be able to check in on days he’s not in class to make sure all is running smoothly and according to schedule, but it shouldn’t be a big time commitment for him since the work is actually being completed by his crew.

After paying salaries, he obviously wont’ be making as much as if he were doing the work himself (which was the initial plan when we thought it would be done by the end of 2016), but he’ll still be making a nice little chunk on the side which will help add a bit of a buffer as we transition into the land of no-more-work. I think this is a great thing, though. It will be nice to have a month or two of additional side-income (from hubs’ business) before we transition into me being the sole earner in the household.

Speaking of, I’ve been running numbers over and over again trying to make our 2017 budget “work.” I think it’s just going to require a bit of flexibility because right now with our debt-payment goals and everything else….if I were the sole earner it just wouldn’t work. I wouldn’t be making enough to cover our budgeted items.

To be fair, this is with a budget that is dolling out $3,000/month for debt payments, alone. It may be that some months we are unable to make such a large debt payment. As I’ve alluded to, I also have some employment changes in the future, too, so there are lots of balls up in the air and lots of considerations at hand.

I currently have a few blog post drafts going (one with a 2017 budget and one with 2017 financial goals). I’ll do my best to try to get one of those posts up this coming week. I’m just counting down the days/minutes until we have regular childcare again! Whew! Especially now with the girls being older (4.5 years) and not napping – there is not a single break during the day in which I can get real work done. I do a good job of attending to emails, etc. but anything other than the basic necessities is pretty tough to squeeze in! Yikes! Any work-from-home parents out there?? How do you do it!?!? The kids each have little workbooks so I’ve tried to have “work time” for all of us (like, we’ll all sit down to do “work” together), but the interruptions are constant and, while that’s okay when I’m just doing emails, it makes it challenging to do any serious work that requires extended concentration, etc. I’d love any tips (though, hopefully this problem will dissolve once preschool is back in session!)

Have a lovely weekend!!


  • Reply Sarah |

    When my children were younger and had aged out of nap time, I still required a daily quiet time. A minimum of an hour where they were to stay in their rooms and read or play quietly. They were not allowed to talk or call for me. The rule was they had to stay there until I came and got them. They still needed a “rest” time, even if they didn’t sleep and I needed a solid hour to make phone calls or pay bills or whatever I had on my plate that required some concentration. Made us all more pleasant as the day wore on.

    • Reply Ashley |

      I’ve been trying to make mine do this, but they end up in wild play-time while they’re supposed to be resting! I think part of the problem is that they’re still sharing a room (by choice! In our new house we have space and had planned for them to each be in their own room, but they revolted and asked to stay together). They won’t settle down and just rest and, instead, end up just playing the whole time and making a big mess. Ugh! I need to get some better systems in place though, because it’s rough with no real down-time all day!

    • Reply Ashley |

      Possibly. We’re just going to have to “play it by ear.” It’s quite costly for hubs to keep his business going (he has lots of different insurances in place, annual license fees, etc. etc. etc.), so it depends on how much he is able to make after paying labor. Having a single crew isn’t exactly enough to retire on, you know? It’d be one thing if he was still actively doing installs in addition to having a separate crew (that’s where the real money is – since HE is the labor for his jobs), but with his only source of revenue being this one crew, it may not make enough to make the annual costs worthwhile. We’re not ruling it out, but playing a “wait and see” approach to see how things are going and what types of jobs/opportunities might be on the horizon once the current contract is complete.

  • Reply Anette |

    I home schooled for seven years while doing contract work from home. My girls always napped. Which is to say the hours from 1-3 were quiet time spent in bedrooms reading, playing quietly or napping. This was non negotiable. When you have kids home every day all day you need to have down time. Of course there were exceptions to this like days at the zoo or science centre but if we were home there was quiet time. Many of my homeschool friends have something similar.

  • Reply Teri |

    I just realized–with your girls being 4.5 does that mean this fall they will be in Kindergarten? Full time? Wow–wait until you see how that helps your budget out! If you only have to do before/after care and summer care……that will be huge!

So, what do you think ?