Melissa’s been helping me for many months with some of the behind the scene tasks here at Bucksome Boomer. When an opening came up for a staff writer, I was happy to offer the role to her. I know you’ll enjoy her perspective and thoughts on all things related to personal finance. This week, I asked Melissa to let you know a little about her.
My daughter had a 103 degree fever for four days last week, and just when enough time had passed that I thought the rest of us had avoided her sickness, my other daughter and I got her cold and fever. After a night of alternately piling on the blankets and throwing them off based on the whims of my fever, I greet the babysitter at 8:30 a.m. and sit down to do work. I manage to write a few posts, but mostly I just try to breathe despite my stuffed up nose. After the babysitter leaves at 11 a.m., I feed the girls lunch and put them down for a nap. We play during the afternoon and help my son with homework after school. My husband has a conference to attend locally, so he gets home later than normal. The kids are tired when he gets home, and my husband immediately asks for aspirin for his throbbing tooth. I hope he doesn’t need expensive dental work because our recent debt snowball has stalled due to several unexpected expenses.
I am Melissa, and I have been a work-at-home mom for a year now, and while every day is different and many are chaotic, I am so grateful to be able to work for myself, so to speak, and care for my children during the day. My son is 7, and I have two daughters – ages 3 and almost 2. I have a variety of jobs including blogger (my two blogs are Mom’s Plans and Fiscal Phoenix), staff and ghost writer and virtual assistant. It is safe to say that I don’t get bored working from home!
Paying Down Debt
Right now my husband and I are in gazelle intensity mode; for non-Dave Ramsey fans, that means we are paying down debt aggressively. We have a large amount of debt (approximately $37,000 in student loans and $13,000 in credit card debt), but since we became gazelle intense last October, we have paid down over $8,000, all of that from the credit cards.
My husband will receive his Ph.D. in physical anthropology this upcoming May. He has been in school getting his Master’s and then his Ph.D. for eight years, which includes taking a year off when our son was born so he could stay home to care for him while I worked full-time.
Making the Decision to Be a Work-at-Home Mom
I worked full-time as a teacher for the first eight years of our marriage, but when we had our last two little ones back to back (17 months apart), the cost of day care became prohibitive; in fact, I would have only taken home about $500 a month after paying all of the daycare expenses. My husband and I decided it would be best if I start working from home and also care for our children during the day.
Last year was a bit rough financially; we only made approximately $30,000, and our rent along was $1,000 a month. (We live just outside a major metropolitan area, so the cost of living is high.) The bulk of our credit card debt was accrued during this time.
However, this year my business is growing and my husband has settled into a post-doc position, so we have been able to begin to pay down our debt. It will be a longer journey than I would like, but I am excited by the progress we have already made.
Some of the topics I plan to write about here at Bucksome Boomer include debt and ways to care for kids when working from home. I am looking forward to hearing your thoughts and comments and am excited to be part of the Bucksome Boomer writing staff.