January 22, 2018 Adventures Careers Family Household Philosophy 34

 

Aaaand we’re back with more on our move to one income!  This is the first of two Bonus Articles in a series covering the Adventure Rich family’s move to one income. If you need to catch up, here are the earlier posts:

 

And Then There Was One… Income (Part 1: Quitting)

And Then There Was One… Income (Part 2: Privilege and Opportunity)

And Then There Was One… Income (Part 3: The “Non-Plan”)

And Then There Was One… Income (BONUS #2: AMA Questions Answered)

And Then There Was One… Income (BONUS #3: AMA Questions Answered)

 

As part of this series, I asked for reader questions (“Ask Me/Us Anything” style).  Some of these questions were covered in the “Non-Plan” post.  But there are many more incredible questions Mr. Adventure Rich and I would like to answer!  We will cover half of the questions today, focusing on the questions that center around our emotional and personal approaches to our shift to one income.  In the next Bonus Article, we will cover all the juicy financial questions!

 

Sole Breadwinner and Location Questions

 

 

How has this impacted you, now being put into the position of the sole ‘breadwinner’ for the family? Do you have any additional stress, etc.?  ~ Dave Married with Money

 

My question is similar to Dave’s, but I’m thinking about the long view. So you may not be able to answer now, but I wonder if over time, you may feel more weight to your position as the income-bearer. Of course with your adventurous spirit there’s nothing to keep you from altering the plan if your needs change.  ~ Mrs. Groovy seconded by NZ Muze

 

I’d like to second Dave’s as this is also something we’ve contemplated as a future possibility. How do you plan to handle the mental/emotional implications of being the income earner, and what happens if you begin to feel unhappy/trapped in your position?   ~ The Budget Epicurean

 

Mrs. Adventure Rich:

This is a great question and one I am will likely be feeling through over the next few weeks and months.  The first emotional reaction to Mr. Adventure Rich’s quitting was “Thank Goodness!”.  The move has opened many doors to us.  In the short time since he quit his job, we have already been having more conversations, better planning, more wholesome meals, more family time and several big projects underway (like building a new wall in our house!  See the picture below…).

 

But the pressure of being the sole breadwinner certainly has hit me a few times.  The Sunday night before Mr. Adventure Rich’s first official “no work week” met me with a bit of a surprise.  I got panicky and a bit nervous.  I think this may have been due to a mixture of things, but being the sole breadwinner certainly was one of them.  Mr. Adventure Rich met me with a huge hug and reminded me that we will be alright, regardless of how this decision pans out.  This new setup will bring added pressure and stress to my job in some way.  But there is also a flip side…

 

When I think about our new set-up, it is allowing me to enjoy my job more.  With more support at home and a lot more flexibility all around, I am allowed to dive into my day with fewer “oh, and that bill needs to be paid” or “I should run a load of laundry” concerns.  I think if Mr. Adventure Rich and I can keep a good line of communication up about what needs to be done and what is going on that week, the set-up may allow me to better enjoy the fulfillment and challenge of my job.

 

So yes, there are new pressures and stresses that I have experienced and will continue to experience.  But there are also big benefits that I will focus on to help offset the pressure and stress.

 

And like Mrs. Groovy mentioned, we are embracing our adventurous spirit 🙂  If all else fails, we will adjust… over and over again if necessary.  No one can predict what will come tomorrow, so when I think about that, it helps me to focus on what is within our circle of influence and let what is outside of our control go… which is quite hard for the Type A Perfectionist known as “Mrs. Adventure Rich” 😉

 

 

A large employer around here reversed the telecommuting contract for a lot of their workers (not a popular move) and that required them to get back to the physical office (find a daycare and drive 1hr into the city) or go find another career. Is being location independent on one income a little scary?  ~Lily from The Frugal Gene

 

Mrs. Adventure Rich:

I am going to answer these answers together.  Yes, there is absolutely a scary-factor to being on one income in a location independent situation.

If my employer were to require office presence, I would likely try to initially negotiate some middle ground (one office appearance a month or something like this).  But if it was a hard and fast rule, I would have a hard decision to make.  But Mr. Adventure Rich and I have discussed what we might do and we will continue to do so (since our perspectives may change!).

I do know that we are both still hard working, employable people.  We will never be able to control all of the factors in our life, but we can work to remain flexible and prepare for the unknown.  From there, we enjoy the day and try not to dwell on what is outside of our control 🙂  I trust we will be able to figure out what to do in the face of many difficult situations.

 

 

Accomplishment with No Job?

 

Mr. AR on a recent cross-country ski date

 

The big hurdle for my wife that led to her becoming part time self employed was losing that sense of accomplishment work brings. Has Mr. Rich given any thought to how he will combat that.  ~ Full Time Finance

 

Mr. Adventure Rich:

My line of work has always been in the practical arts and particularly, for over a decade, in janitorial maintenance management. As anyone who seriously cleans knows, an accomplishment in this field is both frequent and fleeting (e.g. you clean a bathroom and it looks and smells great! 24 hrs later – or 5 minutes in some cases – it’s filthy again).

 

To combat this, my philosophy has been to focus on enjoying the small successes and since I’ve been on the management side of things, creating and improving a system that gets things done well. I think this will transfer nicely to this new stage of life since we are still discovering a new way of life in our first home.

 

 

Fear, Anxiety, and Challenges

 

 

What’s your biggest fear due to this move?  ~ Jason from Winning Personal Finance

 

How are you dealing with any fear/nervousness/anxiety? (question for both)  ~ Pete from Do You Even Blog

 

Mrs. Adventure Rich

Alright, I’ll add my biggest fear and how I’m dealing with it.  My biggest fear is that I lose my job and we are left “high and dry” as far as income goes.  I think this is especially the case now that our income is currently dependent solely on me.  Yikes!

 

I am dealing with this fear a variety of ways.

 

(1)  “What If” Scenarios:  The biggest way I am dealing with my fear of being without any income is by going through “what if” scenarios.  What if I lost my job tomorrow?  What would we do?!?  Well, we’d figure it out.  We are both hard-working individuals.  We would find a job, part or full time, regardless of pay, that could at least act as a source of income while we figure out other options.

 

(2)  Financial Preparation:  Mr. Adventure Rich and I are currently reviewing our financial security.  We are checking in on our emergency fund, insurance, and other financial options to ensure we are in a relatively prepared position.

 

(3)  Prayer, Quiet Time, Walks:  And when all else fails, I find that taking time to think, pray, slow down, go for a walk or just sit in silence can help me a lot.  It may not be a cure for fear and anxiety, but it helps a lot more than it hurts 😉

 

I know I will always find something to be nervous about, to fear, or to be anxious about.  But I also have a toolkit (“What-Ifs”, Financial Prep, and Prayer/Quiet Time) to combat these emotions and concerns.

 

Mr. Adventure Rich

I try my best to avoid fear and anxiety in all areas of life but with this new job/lifestyle change, I have found myself most concerned with what others might think about it. I worry that others may think I’m freeloading or something. I try to keep in mind the fact that we are trying to live our own best versions of ourselves in this life and that the thoughts of others should be taken with a grain of salt.

 

 

What do you see as the biggest challenge with this change?
  ~ Wealthy Doc

 

Mr. Adventure Rich

The biggest challenge will be in discovering a more long-term purpose for my daily activities and daily life. Up until now, I haven’t even had the luxury of considering other options because I always thought I would just have to work, always.  As the parody songwriter, Weird Al, once said in a song, “The world is my burrito!” and I’ve never had to make my own “life-burrito” before!

 

Mrs. Adventure Rich

The biggest challenge for me right now comes down to three big areas.

 

The first is the adjustment to being the sole breadwinner and the pressure/fear that comes with that (as addressed in response to a few other questions).

 

The second is not overdoing the “oh hey, you are free… so, you can do this and this and this and this and this!”.  Haha, basically, I am working hard to make sure I right size my expectations of what can/will be done with what Mr. Adventure Rich can/will actually do.  A big part of this decision was opening the opportunity for Mr. AR to discover new passions, ideas, and projects.  This won’t happen if I hand him a Honey-Do List a mile long each day 😉

 

The third challenge for me is financial.  It will be challenging learning to adjust our spending and savings goals.  We have been spoiled the past few years with generous salaries and booming stock market returns.  This has been great to see, but I have also become accustomed to having plenty to save towards our goals.  We will still be spending and saving, but in a new way.  I think this will be challenging to me as I adjust my expectations in the financial realm.

 

 

Finding a New Rhythm and Managing Expectations

 

Mr. AR’s handywork.. a new wall!

How long do you think it will take to find a new “rhythm” or schedule that is optimal?  ~ Wealthy Doc

 

Yes I think to tag on to what WealthyDoc said, what are your expectations of how Mr. AR will use his time now (helping with household chores and child-related activities perhaps) and do they align with Mr. AR’s plans (if it were my husband he would most likely want to use his time splitting wood, fixing up the house, outdoor things)? ~  Julia

Mr. Adventure Rich

After the few weeks we have already had in this lifestyle, a routine is beginning to emerge.  But I think it will be another month or two before we form a good rhythm.

 

Mrs. Adventure Rich

On my end, this is an area I am trying to be very careful with.  Yes, I do hope to have some additional support with household chores, but I also cannot and do not expect all of the dishes, laundry and cleaning to magically disappear!  I have made it a goal of mine to communicate my “asks” (vs. just thinking them and expecting Mr. AR to read my mind 😉

Another aspect of this question is that I actually really want Mr. AR to have a majority the time over the next few months free to dedicate to handyman/home improvement projects that have been bugging him, creative outlets (building, cooking, baking and/or creating in some way), exercise/getting outdoors and active, and exploring his many business ideas.

 

Mr. Adventure Rich has already been working on one of our big projects… building a wall for our currently “open-air loft-ish” Master Bedroom.  It is a project full of challenges and hard work, but I am seeing a side of Mr. AR I haven’t seen in awhile.  He has a spark… a sense fulfillment and a joy.  I know I can’t describe it, but seeing this spark in the man I love makes our decision and the extra set of dishes at the end of the day completely worth it.

 

And I think on my end, it may take a month or so of adjustments (especially with some upcoming business travel) to really get a sense of our new rhythm and schedule.

 

 

AR Jr Questions 🙂

 

Snowshoe adventures… following the rabbit tracks!

 

How does AR Jr feel about having Dad around so much more now?  ~ Erin, Reaching for FI 

 

Mr. Adventure Rich

AR Jr remains energetic, spirited and hilarious (in addition to being a handful sometimes) so I’d say he feels pretty good about me being around more. As Mrs. AR has previously addressed, his daycare/grandma care/home days will remain the same. However, he should be more well rested since I’ll have the time to allow him to sleep a little more in the mornings and maintain a better nap routine.

 

 

What is Mr. AR’s favorite game to play with AR Jr that they have so much more time for now?  ~ Erin, Reaching for FI 

 

Mr. Adventure Rich

AR Jr and I have really enjoyed cooking and fixing/building things. I look forward to being able to do more of this with him and see how his interests and skills develop.

 

 

What’s Next?!?

 

As I alluded to in the intro, the next (and likely final) post in this series will be Bonus #2, covering the financial AMA questions.  Until next time…

 

Always an Adventure,

Mrs.  Adventure Rich