- 4 years ago
Hey, bees….I’m going annonymous on this one. I’m going to try to leave out personal details, but still would rather this post not be on my normal account.
Here’s the deal…I’m newly married and my new husband and I are still enjoying the newlywed bliss. We’re both in our mid-20’s and for the past few years have been living off of just my income while he finished up his degree. (He works about 10 hours a week at an on-campus job) I make a good income (recently there was a post on here that had a CNN link to “what is middle class”, so for reference, my income alone puts the two of us squarely in middle class for our area), and we were able to buy our home and pay for our wedding out of my salary. We were both looking forward to his graduation so that he could find a job and increase our “disposable income,” but we don’t need a second income to survive.
Here’s where the issue comes up. This past year or so of school, he got pretty burnt out and went from “I’m excited to work in this field” to “I’m dreading sitting behind a desk all day.” He stuck through it and just finished his last class this week. (yay!) However, now that he’s no longer a student, he can’t continue to work at his on-campus job while he looks for work in his field. So, he looked for some temporary work so he could pull in a paycheck while he looks. He found a job with a “jack-of-all-trades” kind of company…during the summer it is mostly yardwork/landscaping, in the winter it is driving plows, occasionally there are small construction or moving jobs, etc. He’s guaranteed 40 hours per week, but at a pretty low hourly pay (though the owner says the first raise comes within 3 months of working and pay will continue to go up as he learns new skills, etc.). He’s only been there a few days, but he LOVES it.
He has come home each day tired and sweaty, but really happy with what he’s doing. He loves working with his hands and he loves that it’s different each day. He asked me last night what I would think about him sticking with this job “a little longer than we originally planned”…as in, his temporary job might become somewhat permanent.
Truthfully, I’m torn. As I said before, we don’t need the money that would come with him working in the field his degree is in and I want him to be happy, but because this job is pretty low-paying at his current wage, once he starts paying back student loans, and now that he’ll have to go on my insurance since this job has no benefits, our income will only increase by a few hundred bucks a month.
My other concern is that I’m worried that if he changes his mind, it’ll be harder to get a start in his career field if he doesn’t jump right into it after graduation. It’s one thing for a company to hire someone without expereience who is right out of school, but to hire someone with no experience who graduated, but went into a job doing manual labor…I don’t know. I’m worried that by the time (if ever) he decides to actually use his degree, it’ll be too late. Are these concerns justified?
To make matters worse, his dad was a total jerk last night when my husband called to let his parents know. It’s not like his parents helped pay for his degree, but that didn’t stop the (totally sexist!) lecture about how “you’re as bad as a girl who goes to college just to find a husband, then never uses her education”. Despite that particular comment, I think my FIL’s heart is in the right place: he’s concerned that we’re making decisions that could lead to money troubles down the road (“what if something happens to your wife, you can’t support both of you on that income”).
Ugh. I just don’t know what to do. Are there any other bees out there with huge income discrepancies between you and your husband? Does it cause issues? How do you handle everything? Our finances are completely joint so there’s no issue of “his money” and “my money”, but I don’t want the fact that one of us makes more to cause issues down the road.