Yesterday was Eric’s last day of work, until at least January 2012. That’s right folks, my husband quit his job.
For about a year now, we knew this was coming. Eric has been working as an EMT (emergency medical technician–you know, those guys on ambulances) since August of last year, but the whole goal was–and still is–for Eric to become a firefighter. With that, comes the firefighter academy.
This academy is a 14-week program. And it’s gonna suck. To put it bluntly. He has to be at the academy at 5:30 a.m. and then he doesn’t get home until like 7 or something. And then he has to study for all those tests they give him. Once the academy is complete though, you are able to apply for a lot more firefighter positions. Yes, you are reading this correctly–the academy doesn’t guarantee you a job.
So it is possible that Eric may be out of job longer than 5 months, but we’re hoping that’s not that case as there seem to be a few opportunities on the horizon.
Can we survive on one-income? Yes we can.
When I first heard of Eric’s plan to not work for 5 months, my initial reaction was “You have GOT to be kidding me.” We were barely making ends meet as it was–how the heck were we going to afford living on one salary?
Well, our spending habits have changed a lot since last year. We are no longer saddled with $5,000 in credit card debt that we’re working to pay off. And we will no longer be contributing a huge chunk of our pay toward savings. We’ll also save money by not having Eric’s $200 monthly food allowance for work–yay for packing lunches! And we also won’t be paying $160 for Crossfit, since he’ll be getting a workout every day at the Academy. So that’s at least $1360 in savings every month.
We’ve been preparing for this. We met our $8,000 savings goal briefly in July. For the past 7 months, we’ve been stashing away around $1,000 each month to give us a nice cushion (although we’ve spent $1,487 this month alone for academy uniforms, books, and registration, ugh!)
I’m actually very happy that Eric quit his job. I’ve never been a huge fan of a job that made him work every single weekend, with the exception for two, for the past 12 months and gave him shitty pay. But I understood it was a stepping stone for the next phase in his career. So yes I am happy that I will have him on weekends for the next five months, even if he’ll have to study during some of that time. I’m sure you’ll see an update in about a month, saying how much I hate that I have to do everything while all he does is study, study, study–but for now, I’m gonna enjoy this time–and the next two weeks where I get him all to myself before the academy starts.
Have you ever had to live as a one-income family? Have you ever had to be the breadwinner while your spouse went back to school?
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