Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crisis Averted? Concerns Abound

Even before I lost my job back in February, our family's finances were not in the best of shape. We had committed ourselves to being a single income family so Chanel could stay home with the kids and we had been doing everything to realize that reality. From incurring debt to try our hands at a vending business, to being caught buying a house at the peak of the housing bubble, my losing my job brought us to the point of starting to consider bankruptcy.

My early job search reached for higher paying positions, but I always ran into an issue with their wanting more experience. Then I lost my job and we decided to broaden our horizons and consider a potential move, and be relocated somewhere with a lower cost of living (which was pretty much anywhere outside of New Jersey).

When this offer came through for Kentucky, initially I was very excited (and truly, I still am) even though the salary was a little lower than we were asking. Kentucky, after all, is dirt cheap. We'll be short selling our house, eliminating a great amount of the debt we've taken on. Beyond that, the outdoor lifestyle enjoyed down there you could say is an answer to a yearning of my soul. Certainly, we no longer need to explore bankruptcy.

For the most part, I'm concerned with cash flow. With our housing costs being $1400 less per month, our healthcare $650 less, I still feel the need to be cautious. We're planning on setting aside $250 per month for flights back east to see family on a regular basis. There are always additional expenses immediately following any move, plus there's the temptation to take on other conveniences like movie services, ordering out, etc. Not to mention the cost of sending kids to preschool. The big mystery for me is the effect of losing the mortgage interest deduction on my tax withholdings. Even a small percentage swing can make the difference of living comfortably and continuing our spartan lifestyle.

Until we are reimbursed for a variety of expenses to move there, we remain on the brink. Maybe this stint of unemployment was something we needed to teach us how to be tight fisted with our money. It's going to be difficult these next few weeks, especially, working as a divided family so I can get an early start on getting paychecks. I still remain confident this is the best move we could have made for ourselves; I just hope we can reap the full benefit of making it.

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