Before moving to Italy with my husband, we made one of the most difficult decisions I think we’ll make as a couple until we have children. I say WE because it truly was a joint decision that I don’t know if I could have really made on my own in good faith. The decision was to quit my job so we could be together full time.
Tea of the day: Refresh Mint
Brand: Tazo Tea
Color: More like the Peppermint Bark tea than Mint Medley I tried before, this tea is brown in color. It’s a lighter brown that allows you to see to the bottom of the mug still.
Taste: I had to check the ingredients because there is a familiar taste that I like but was slightly different than a normal peppermint. I thought may be it would be licorice, but instead is spearmint. I almost exclusively chew spearmint gum which is what made the taste familiar. The spearmint does make the bite of mint flavoring stronger than Mint Medley, and it offers a cooling sensation in the mouth.
Ideas for next time I have this: I still struggle to think of other ingredients to add to mint flavored teas. The strength of the spearmint makes me really enjoy it the way it is, so why fix what’s not broken?
Now, I had a pretty good job, and I liked it for the most part. I was a trainer at a university’s call center. By the time I left, I had trained over half the existing staff, knew everyone by name, and could tell you at least one thing unique to them. My favorite part of working is the relationships I build with other staff and my position gave me the perfect opportunity to do that with everyone.
Why it works
I would never encourage anyone to just quit their job. Some people have the ability to make those decisions without having something else like that. I am not that type of person. I wouldn’t quit a job without one in place or a plan.
Here’s why quitting my job works for us:
- WE talked about it a LOT. My husband and I discussed several times at length what our financial situation would be if I were to quit my job. We discussed how much debt we each have, the income we would have, and looked ahead at what we would like to do with expendable income. We even got on the same page about a savings plan.
- Extra money was saved for when we became a single-income household. Because of our specific situation with where my husband is stationed and living options, we did have some extra cash flow coming in for a few months. Before we got married, that money’s purpose was identified and we have not strayed from it. It is in a separate account and only spent on my mandatory expenses related to bills and travel. Luckily, we saved enough that student loan payments are not a worry until I can get a full-time job upon returning to the US.
- WE discuss larger purchases. Being a single-income household brings accountability and we have to hold each other accountable. We each are very conscious about what we spend and any large purchases are discussed beforehand. Part of that discussion includes which account the purchase is made from, its necessity, and other possible options. Two recent examples are a second car and a device that diagnoses car problems.
- It’s an ongoing conversation. Like most couples, money talk is typically left open-ended. The conversation is never truly over. There are always bills being paid and purchases being made. That ongoing conversation is part of our accountability system. It’s not wrong to ask if the internet bill was paid or if it’s ok to buy something we “want” rather than “need” on Amazon.
That last point is really key. Without the ongoing discussion, my not having a job would not work. I’d be too stressed out about money to the point where I’d likely give up my social life out of fear. Having the constant conversation continues to bring assurance of our financial situation while alleviating the stress that could be a symptom of one income for two people.
Benefits of quasi-employment
There’s also some serious benefits to not having a job, especially when you’re living abroad. I say I’m quasi-employed because I am a skincare consultant and am working on starting my own coaching business, but right now, there’s little to no income generated from those.
- Focus on my marriage. I really have the ability to focus on my new marriage and being a great wife. Not that I wouldn’t be able to if I was employed, but our relationship has never really had to compete with a job in person. My husband and I were long-distance the first 18 months of our relationship (that includes our first 3 months of marriage), so spending time with each other never had to compete with time for our jobs. We haven’t gotten to spend time together consistently until now, so to be able to really focus on that when we are together instead of fighting thoughts of what I need to do to prepare for work the next day is incredible.
- Focus on my interests. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English that I haven’t really used except to go to grad school. I’ve always wanted to write something. Never really knew what, but I got some time to figure it out. I started this blog and exploring opportunities to write in other places on the internet. You won’t know most of it is me, but it’s out there and I know it. 🙂 Also, I love tea so I get to drink a lot of it now. AND I’m having a lot of fun playing travel agent for us by researching places for us to travel to while we’re stationed in Europe. Oh, and I certainly wouldn’t have been able to stay up and watch the World Series at 2:00 AM if I was working.
- Focus on my family and friends. I think I might talk more with my family and friends back home now than I did when I was working and lived closer to them. I’m so grateful that I’m able to keep up with them even when I’m 6,000 miles away. I don’t know what I’d do without my family and friends. Just because you move away doesn’t mean you have to completely start over. My husband and I grew stronger through distance so I know it’s not an excuse to lose connection with people I love and care about. And this extends to new friends I’m making in Italy!
- Focus on me. I’ve been back in the states for almost a month. My husband decided to text my mother asking how they were holding up with me back home, haha. My mother’s response was that they were doing fine and that I was more centered. That really hit me. I have been working since I was 15 and always get invested emotionally in my job. You could say I was “always” working. Between that, a social life, softball tournaments, traveling for family gatherings/weddings, and then my own wedding, there wasn’t much time for focus on me regardless of how often people said I needed time to just relax. Well, I have it now. I’m not productive every day, but most days I am in some way. I embraced the true laziness for awhile, but it’s a lot easier to make productive decisions when I’ve actually had a chance to relax.
I still feel like I’m on a long vacation. I’m not sure it’s totally hit my psyche that I don’t have a job I will be going back to. Whatever that job is, I’ll have to apply for it and that’s a thought I can push away for now. The reality is that if I want to work, I can, but I don’t have to.
Like I said before, I’d never simply tell someone to quit their job. But if you’re thinking about it, maybe this can help ease your mind about what some benefits are and some things to REALLY think about beforehand.