(Let me apologize in advance if this gets long!)
I go back to work in 5 weeks and am physically ill at the thought of leaving DD. I have panic attacks about it daily. While I do enjoy my job (most days) I would give anything to SAH with my daughter. DH and I haven't really sat down to discuss it because he thinks there is no way we can do it financially. I want to at least give our finances a look.
Here is what is standing in our way: we live in a very high cost of living area and we would be giving up 50% of our income if I SAH (DH and I make about the same amount). We would also be giving up great benefits - I get free family insurance where I work and as a teacher I get great retirement as well. I don't know if DH would be willing to change our lifestyle very much - at least not things like giving up cable, etc. We are also carrying about $50,000 in student loans.
However, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make it work. I'm willing to do things like cutting coupons, cutting back on eating out, not buying new clothes for DH and I, etc. We only have 1 car payment, and plan on keeping it that way as long as nothing happens to DH's car. We're also planning on moving back to our hometown as soon as the housing market picks up (right now we'd take a huge loss on our house, which we can't afford). Moving home would cut about $600 off our mortgage (but DH would probably take a pay cut). Also, when we move home my mom and MIL could each watch Adelynn for a day each week, allowing me to get a part time job to bring in some money. I could maybe even get a 1/2 day kindergarten position and she could stay with our moms in the morning. While I don't want to put her in daycare I'd be completely comfortable leaving her with her nanas for a few days each week.
I'm also thinking about applying at tutor.com or brainfuse.com to bring in some extra money. I know one of my DH's objections (and one of my biggest fears) is that I'll lose my retirement...and teachers really do get a nice retirement package. However, I would probably go back to teaching once all of our children are in school full time. But, I'd have to continue taking college classes to keep my certificate up to date - not the easiest thing to do on one income.
What other things have you done to cut back? Did you sit down with a financial advisor before making the decision to SAH to make sure it would work? Any advice you have is greatly appreciated...I need to do my research before I approach DH about looking at this more closely. I have to finish out this school year anyways (I would never leave my principal in the lurch halfway through the year) so we have some time to really look into it before making a decision. Thanks!