I did it! I got a teaching job for the fall! As some of you know, I dream of teaching at a college. Its what I wanted to do before I met Mr. SSC, and what I daydream of while spending long, tedious days in the office. Many years ago, I even turned down a teaching job out of graduate school to be with Mr. SSC. Career vs. love – that was an easy (but painful) choice.
With the recent downturn in the oil industry, I started day dreaming again about what I WANT to do. If I could start all over, what would I choose? I realized if I was 80 looking back on my life, even if I stayed in my current job and retired at 40, I knew I would be disappointed with myself for never trying my hand at teaching. Mr. SSC and I discussed it, looked at how we were progressing financially, and decided that if a good job came up for me, I should try it!
So, around the holidays, I started perusing open jobs. I applied to one in a lovely mountain state, and three near Houston. The mountain state job and one in Houston never got back to me… I’m assuming I was too good for them. Lol. Another turned me down, and the last one gave me an interview – and a job!
I am super excited about this new job, because while I will make $100k less/year (OUCH!), I will have summers off. I do expect it to be hard work though – making lectures, lesson plans, grading and more grading… but, I am hoping that the enthusiasm of chasing my dream will keep my energy up! Often I wonder if I am crazy to give up a such well paid job, for an underpaid, over worked job – but I have never been so excited! All but one of my closest friends and family are on board too… so that helps me feel like I am doing the right thing, even though it may not seem logical financially. I mean – in the FI blogosphere, we all talk about ways to make MORE money, not LESS.
What does this mean for our finances?
The million dollar question. Literally. Honestly, I’ve run scenarios and losing that extra salary makes a minimal dent in our FFLC date. We’ve saved 80% of our goal, so at this point investment growth is fueling most of our gains, not our savings rate. At a 4% growth, my job switching only puts us back 8 months. Hopefully – 4% growth is achievable, but these days, who knows?
I’ve projected our budget, based on previous years. We will have to watch our miscellaneous spending and grocery spending. We can cut out the maids. Our son heads to public school this fall, so we only will have to pay for some after-school care. In a perfect month, I think we can still save $3800/ month, or my take-home salary. Not bad.
There are several other perks we are looking forward to. Mr. SSC is looking forward to being able to start his work day earlier, and beat rush hour. Now, he will be able to be home in time to eat dinner with the kids. Starting next year, I will have summers off, so the kids don’t have to go to daycare year round. I loved summers off as a kid, as any normal child would, so I’ve always felt guilty that the kids don’t experience that. Even this coming summer, we are only putting them in daycare 3 days a week, so that I can prepare courses.
Another benefit of slowing down our race to FI, is that I will get the chance to pad my teaching resume. I planned to try out teaching once I ‘retire’ from industry, so taking a job now and gaining experience may allow me to be more competitive for jobs in a more desirable, mountainous location. If we can make that happen in a few years, any income I make teaching will mean less we have to withdraw from our investments. That would put us in a great position financially. Thinking about it this way makes me realize that by taking a financial step backwards now, is likely going to put us ahead in the future.
I’m so excited that I have hardly been able to sleep the last few days. The sky seems bluer, the air sweeter. I’m usually an optimistic and cheerful person, and I realize that shedding a job I am dispassionate towards may make me intolerable.
Now to sit down and figure out my last day, so I can start a secret countdown….
I’m curious – have any of you ever taken what seems like an illogical step financially that improved your life? I’ve been money focused for so long, giving up so much salary still feels so wrong.