In Career, Discussions, Discussions, Discussions, Entrepreneurs, Life, Money, Parenting, Women

Why I am giving up (another) $250,000 to be with my family

So I did this once alreadyย for Baby Bun.

…and here I am, doing it again.. but this time I feel like an ingrate.

People would kill to make the money I do, and to be given the opportunity to do so, but here I am, saying no to this money in today’s economy, knowing all that I do about what people earn on average.

I AM SUCH AN INGRATE.

Still.

Another part of me says: But if Baby Bun will be your only Bun for the rest of your life, you will never, ever get back these precious, baby to toddler to little boy moments again.

Already, I am nostalgic for when he was a newborn. I cannot believe how big he is, how long his legs are and how much he has grown.

baby-mommy-swaddled-family

These banal, sweet, interesting and trying times of him transitioning into being his own person, changing from when he was just the tiniest, squealiest (sp?) little bun in your arms.

Baby Bun will not be like this forever. He will not want to be with Mommy 24/7, cuddling, kissing, squealing, clinging and just being My Bun.

SO WHAT’S THE REAL PLAN?

Now, I am not taking the next 4 years off (that would be insane), but I am taking the Spring and Summer off.


(Oh did I mention my partner is also taking time off?)

We’re thinking of spending a few months in France as part of the break, to really visit with family but there’s a bit of a snafu with a family event smack in the middle of the summer that I cannot miss.

I will go back to work at the end of the year, if there is still work to go around (most likely).

For now though, I need a break from my previous, toxic work environment and gratefully, I have the means to be able to take a mini sabbatical (of sorts) and to say no to what is essentially another quarter of a million.

Money is easy enough for me to earn.

Time and especially time with your young, growing little one is a lot harder to get.

Once that time is gone, it is gone.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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30 Comments

  1. Jaime

    First you’re not on the same socioeconomic status as the average person so you can’t even compare yourself to them. I’m saying don’t feel bad for taking time off and comparing yourself to a person that earns an average income is comparing apples and oranges.

    As I recall last year your net worth reached $500,000 on October, 2015. I think that it should take you only a few contracts to reach that million you were seeking to reach. Don’t be too hard on yourself. ^_^

    Plus a lot of relationships between parents and children are cemented when the children are very young. Good on you for valuing your family.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Thanks. I do feel better that he is under 5 and this is really a precious time to spend with him for so many hours a day, watching him grow and learn, hearing his first words.. it’s really incredible.

      Reply
  2. Ramona

    As long as you are ok with money, I see no reason to sacrifice family for some more money.

    Yes, I can understand working a lot, when you face the possible ‘pleasures’ of being evicted or starving, together with your family. Unless you’re in such dire situation, family should come first.

    I have slowed down on my business A LOT since my daughter was born. She’s my priority and I do some work 2 hours/day (usually at night). By being more productive, I can still maintain a good income, but it’s clearly far from what I could achieve if I worked 4 times more.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m definitely taking the time to enjoy him until the age of 5 because then my baby will be in SCHOOL…. I think this time is really precious, each day, and every parent tells me it passes so quickly. I can believe it, he is already so big and old!!!

      Reply
  3. Jen

    You will never regret it. I’m heading into year 8. I won’t lie and say there aren’t times when I wish I was working, both for the money and the sense of accomplishment (and, hey, recognition), but the time flies by so, so fast. Once my youngest is in school I plan to jump back in start a CAD business from home, but for now it’s just impossible to juggle it all and not go insane. Sometimes I like to think about the salary I *could* be making, and I tell myself that I’m spending that amount on my boys ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m sure I won’t regret it, but I feel like an ingrate.

      Reply
  4. MelD

    Swimming against the current is always going to be perceived as difficult, and for some, crazy. But I would say to anyone, go ahead, be strong…

    Maybe that is the attraction of being a grandparent – you savour the tinies quite differently from when your own kids were small and grew so fast, because you were distracted by so many other things. Later, you get to really, thoroughly, enjoy, and I find myself far more relaxed. As my grandkids are now 7, 4 and 10 mths, all I can say is, where DID the time go?! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I am looking forward to all of that. I’d love to be just the grandparent to swoop in and save them for a time, then swoop back out..

      My parents are definitely enjoying being grandparents. They said the same thing the other day.

      Reply
  5. LivingAlmostLarge

    You know how much we’ve given up? Probably that much and more (me not working and DH quitting and use self-financing a move WITHOUT a job and two kids). LOL. So you know where I stand! Firmly in the camp that money is money and LIFE is to be lived as you wish with or WITHOUT kids. I say that people want to quit and do something else even if it’s sounds crazy and you have kids or not you do it. Life is too short to hate your job and have regrets you didn’t travel more, spend more time with kids, or even do nothing if that is what you want.

    If you work hard you deserve to play hard at whatever you choose to do. I say this because I think people with kids easily “justify” taking time off. But I think people without kids should make the same choices for themselves because after 18 years the kids leave you are still working at your job. I hope that everyone is at least satisfied to still be doing what they do.

    Kids make giving up money harder but I think they it’s easier to justify to yourself and society “changing” your lifestyle to say focus on kids. But without kids I think people judge you as lazy and bum versus “family time.”

    I will admit to being super nervous that we just gave up $250k job for who knows how much. But time can’t be taken back and my DH has an appreciation for our kids and a bond he didn’t have before. Second this career shift I think is something he’d have wanted to do even without kids and it’s to make him a happier, more content person long term kids out of the equation. I am betting it’ll make him a better dad and husband just because he’s happier person overall and more satisfied with all aspects in his life with a better work/life balance.

    But this is our grand experiment. I’ll tell you in another 14 weeks how it all works out.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      LOL!! Talk to me in 14 weeks then.

      For me, there’s always plenty of time to work. I have 35+ years left, but Baby Bun is only a toddler, then a child for so long. I need to work while he grows up, but I don’t need to work all the time.

      Reply
  6. Jessie's Money

    Sounds like the perfect decision for your family right now!! Enjoy!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Planning a great summer so far ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  7. SP

    Love this post. I love that you are doing this, and that you realize it is fortunate, and that you share with the world that this is a possibility. Love everything here. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  8. Lisa

    SO happy for you! Great decision!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      Just for the summer though!

      Reply
  9. ArianaAuburn

    You are SO blessed that you can make such a choice. I would kiss the ground everyday if I could make that choice.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I know I am lucky. I would actually like to take all the summers off.. until he is 25.

      Reply
  10. Tim

    Good for you! You made the right choice.

    What’s the point of having all that savings unless you actually use it to support your ideal life? So bask in the glory of the extra time off, besides with your INSANE increase in net worth in 2015 you can MORE than afford it. I’ve picked time over money several times in my life (working less hours) and I have never regretted it.

    Enjoy the time off,
    Tim

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I am going to really enjoy it. I’m even thinking of doing the summer off every year…

      Reply
  11. Kailash

    Great decision! I never regret the time I spent with both of my daughters, not a minute of it. It is more precious than anything. Any material thing. And children absorb with heart and soul time with their mother and father. Soulfood for lifetime.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m coming to the conclusion that money is easy to make, time with The Bun at this age is precious.

      Reply
  12. Michelle

    Your kids are only young once. If you’re able to spend time with them-why wouldn’t you??? Future family is part of the reason why I made the shift to self-employment. France is always fun, I loved living there!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I would like to spend a year there.

      Reply
  13. Kim @ Needing The Dough

    I completely get this! It’s not always about the money. I made an active choice not to pursue a job with more money because it would significantly decrease the amount of time I get to spend with my family on a daily basis, and leave me exhausted the rest of the time.
    Both my girls wanted french braids in their hair this morning before school, and I was there to be able to make them feel like their best selves for the day – I wouldn’t dare put a price on that.
    Like you said – you can always get more money, but you can’t get more time.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I also want to really not be stressed at work and just come home, exhausted, missing his entire life.

      Reply
  14. Leigh

    Thank you for providing an example of taking sabbaticals and then going back to work! I’ve been debating that myself and it’s SO hard to pull the trigger. It’s especially awesome that your partner is going to take the time off as well!

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      It is very hard to say no to so much money but it is a conscious, though hesitant decision.

      Yes, we’ll spend the summer in Europe I think.

      Reply
  15. Revanche

    You already know what I think about this but I’ll say it again. No money can ever buy back your sanity OR this time with him so even though you can put a “cost” on it, you can’t put a price of value on what you’ll have instead.

    Though I am willing you to get better so you can actually enjoy this break.

    Reply
    1. save. spend. splurge.

      I’m finally feeling a bit better from my latest bout of malady, and I think what I need is to find social toddler activities to take Baby Bun to

      Reply

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