I am currently married with 2 kids, (Ages 2 years 9 months & 4 months) and am at a crossroads for the future. My wife and I both have GEDs, with me having about 3 quarters equivalent of college credits. We got together when I was 18 and she was 19 and spent our money freely and never budgeted for several years until we decided we wanted to settle down, start a family and start planning for our future.
I was able through persistence and luck to secure a lucrative job in the oil field around the time our first child was born. I've been able to move up and be promoted in that time and am currently making about $100k per year. Since I've gotten this job my wife hasn't worked so this is our only source of income currently. The pay and work itself for this job is pretty good, and I enjoy the work most of the time. I am away from home 50-66% of the year however so the work life balance is not ideal, especially when the volatility and future of the oil industry is taken into consideration.
We currently "own" our home on a 30 year mortgage, paying $1226 per month (P&I, PMI, Taxes), with approximately $6000 of equity in our home. My wife's car payment is $342 per month, (We owe around $15k still) we have a personal loan we used to consolidate our other debts that costs $768 per month, we also have $203 for phone, $134 for insurance, $200 for utilities, $50 for misc subs (Netflix, Disney Plus, Car Wash etc.) and internet at $88. This is my first month budgeting but I have set aside $1000 for food/gas/other expenses and hope to bring that number down over time as we adjust to the budget. Which brings our total monthly expenses to approximately $4000/month. Offsetting this slightly my wife's brother is renting a room from us at $300/month so that brings our expenses down to $3700 currently.
My ultimate goal after reading "Set For LIfe" & "Rich Dad Poor Dad" is to eventually get this down to $2500/month, and then start saving money to invest in BRRRR. The first step in my mind right now is paying off our personal loan, car and then refinancing our mortgage to eliminate PMI, in that order, this will lower our monthly expenses to around $2400/month. (Doing this will cost about $70k) I would also like to have an emergency fund equal to 1 year expenses which would be about $14.5k.
As of right now we have approximately $10k in savings (Currently in a Discover savings account at 1.6% rate) and no 401k or IRA. I know trying to time the market is generally poor advice and more gambling then investing, but I am hesitant to start investing in a Roth now when the market feels like it is approaching a peak. (My work does not match 401K or I would invest up to the match.)
I am currently averaging about $6k/month take home which with our current budget should allow us to save around $2k/month. If everything stays constant, I should be able to accomplish my short term goals in approximately 2.5 years. This is where the crossroads mentioned above comes into play:
There is a competing company hiring for a position I should qualify for, which would offer me a significant raise. (Approximately $138k, which would increase my take home pay to around $9k/month) This would allow me to accomplish my short term goal in just over a year. While this sounds good, I am hesitant to leave the security offered by my current company due to the volatility in my industry. If I go to a competing company and oil prices fall in the next 6 months there is a high probability I would be in the first round of layoffs without seniority at a new company.
On the other hand if we can stick to this same budget and raise our savings from $2k to $5k a month even 6 months of work might be worth it.
The other crossroads I'm currently at is trying to train myself for a new position, so if and when I am laid off, or when I'm at a comfortable savings rate I can transition from this job to a more stable career. I am interested in becoming a programmer/software developer and know very basic python. The question is should I incur the additional cost of going to online school while I work, or is being self taught still a viable path to employment in today's IT field? (I have 5-6 hours most days I could dedicate to online school or personal study)
My current plan either way is to focus on Python/SQL as my main platforms and learn more languages as I transition over or as needed.
This post is getting long so I'm going to end it here; TLDR I have 2 major questions moving forward should I stay at my current job offering moderate stability or move to new job with low stability but significantly higher pay? Should I incur the higher cost of traditional education to jump start a programming career, or is being self taught a viable alternative?
Made a few typos in the above post but waited too long to edit them. Monthly savings are 2.3k & 5.3k /month respectively. 14.5k savings is enough for 6 months of expense (not 1 year). Probably made a couple other minor mistakes but I'll leave it at that.
I would stay at the job just for security. Because if you go to to the next one and see the possibility of being laid off because of how the industry is, it would be best to stay where you are. Also I would figure out which real estate direction you want to go in. Then research that area to see how it can help you guys out financially. I like Buy and hold and using that income to pay down my debt vs trading my time on the clock to do that.
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