When Less Means More

steph-noah-picLast March I accepted the job as full-time CEO, COO and CFO of a little company I like to call the Taylor-Christensen household.

Prior to this, I'd worked in corporate America for 10 years. The happiness part eluded me, but the money kept getting better.

Then, about a year ago, I had my son, Noah. For years I'd proclaimed that I could not imagine quitting working to raise children. But it wasn't long before I was overwhelmed by the exhaustion, and dissatisfaction of trying to maintain a job while being a new mom.

In March, my husband and I made one of the hardest choices of our dual-income lives: To prioritize our sanity over our six-figure income. With that, I turned in my full-time paycheck for full-time parenthood, walking away from nearly $80,000 a year.

Now, as CFO, it's my job to keep this operation afloat on an annual revenue stream that's less than half of our previous one—$74,000 to be exact.

My husband and I agreed early on that living on one salary would literally mean that: Living On One Salary—no debt, not tapping into savings. Holy Budget Crunch, Batman!

Here's what I figured we could spend, based on my husband's take-home pay of $3,940 and a budget breakdown from Jean Chatzky.

35% Housing = $1,386
25% Living Expenses (utilities, food, etc.) = $990
15% Debt (cards, loans) = $594
15% Transportation (car, commuting) = $594
10% Savings = $396

At least, that was the plan. In my next post: Coping With a Spendy Husband.