Living on a Budget, Saving Money/What's More Important?

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Question
My wife, Steph(25) and I(25) have been married for 2 years of our 7 year relationship, we have a daughter in her toddler years. Here is the issue. She wants to move to North Carolina, about 2,000 miles away from where we are now. Okay, now a little background. My wife and I work in the same field she has worked for 7 years at the same job and hates it. I love my job, and have worked at the same place for 10 years. Currently I make about $60,000/yr, Steph makes about $15,000, she works part-time for spending and saving money. The reason she wants to move is her family is in NC, and I mean her entire family: Dad, Step-mom, Brother, Aunt, etc. She moved out here with her bio-mom 10 years ago though a divorce. I only have my mom alive here. I do love her and want to support her, but it scares me to move so far away without guaranteed employment, or at least unemployment with a pay cut. I don't want to have to start over with our lives, when we first met we were broke! It took a long time to finally get comfortable, but given the fact our daughter isn't in school and we have no debt, it seems like it would be a fairly easy time to go. NC is a lot cheaper than where we live now, so I wouldn't need to make as much, but i'm still worried. Should I or would you, give up a very good job and risk it all for family? What's more important, financial security or emotional well-being?

Answer
Tough question, indeed.  Personally speaking, I wouldn't make the move until you secure employment.  Additionally, if it's 30% cheaper to live in NC (just to throw out a number), make sure you score employment that pays no less than 30% of your current salary.  Money isn't everything, but it's a lot.  The vast majority of marriages that end in divorce, end that way due to financial stress in the family.  Something to consider, and given that you are the major bread winner, should give you more clout in this area.

On the personal side, I can understand where you wife is coming from too.  She wants to be close to her family, and perhaps NC has a better quality of life (not sure where you are coming from).  One option to consider, if you do decide to make the move, is drag your Mom with you.  Maybe schedule a visit to NC (just you and her), in an attempt to sell the idea. That may be the necessary compromise that sells you ultimately on the idea.

Since I'm mathematical by trade, here's a simple way to tabulate things.  Each of you should come up with an independent list of PROS and CONS for making the move.  See who's columns are longer independently.  Sometimes visualizing this on a piece of paper (or computer file) makes it an easier decision to make.

Not an easy decision either way, but both of you should keep an open mind, and do what's best for your IMMEDIATE family (you, your wife, and your toddler).

Best of luck with your decision!  I hope I provided a little bit of insight.

Doug

Living on a Budget, Saving Money

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Douglas Hayman

Expertise

I will gladly answer any and all questions relating to family, home, or household budgeting. I consider myself a pioneer and expert in the area of disciplined budgeting.

Experience

I routinely manage my home budget using my home-grown system. Additionally, in corporate America, I managed a multi-million dollar budget for a technical Fortune 100 Financial Services company for many years.

Publications
(1) "Reduce Your Monthly Budget By 20% Using Simple Budgeting Strategies" (2012) ISBN # 978-0-9081613-1-1 http://www.BudgetSurgeon.com (2) "How to Maximize Traffic to Your Website" (2007) - ISBN # 978-0-9801613-0-4 http://www.expss.com/ebooks/WebsiteTraffic.htm

Education/Credentials
B.A., Economics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY M.S., Computer Science, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

Awards and Honors
B.A. with Honors, Economics, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY

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