We are approaching a cross-roads, my wife and I.

She works at the same place as I do, and is equally pissed off with the place. We have both worked here for a couple of decades and seen many changes – none of them for the better. We can vouch for the toxic nature of office based working as commented on by Ermine some time ago. We are subject to the same (mal)practices as anywhere these days.

Yes, the money is good but I am now in a stage of life where my time is more important to me, and burning it away at someone else’s bidding is the last thing on my mind. I have convinced the wife that she ought to consider the situation from the same viewpoint. In an extreme case we could live off my salary, whilst she stays at home, although ideally we would want to punt for a situation where she brings in some income, but doing something she really wants to do, not feel she has to do.

She wants to explore the possibility of setting up as a homemade cookie/cake maker, which I want to encourage. She’s doing some prep work already, even whilst drawing a living wage, because this is an area where health and safety /food hygiene, for example, needs to factored in from the start. We’ll start small and see if it floats.

So we’ve started discussions on how to achieve this. We’ve set a date in the future (her 50th birthday) at which point she would walk away from the job. That’s 18 months away. Between now and then we have a lot of preparatory work to do in setting ourselves up as a one-income family. This will involve hammering down outgoing costs, and stashing as much of her remaining salary as possible. We need to get innovative in solving the problems we face on a daily basis – transportation, food, utilities – but there’s plenty of advice and inspiration amongst the PF blog cloud to draw upon. We’ve been a bit lazy here to be honest and have made all the middle-class mistakes – big mortgage, two new cars, rural living costs, young child (only kidding!) but I’m gonna work damn hard to make this work.

We also need to become more self-reliant in stuff like home-maintenance and suchlike, so we are not at the mercy of other people too much. We have installed things like a water-softener and pressurised heating system in the house, without calculating the true cost of their life-time maintenance needs, so that’s a mustachian punch in the mouth I’m owed, for a start.

…and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you…that ye may have lack of nothing. 

As the good book says (1 Thessalonians Chapter 4 Verse 11).

I’ve got my work cut-out, but I feel even now a sense of relief that my wife feels the same as I do. It’s much better to do this together than trying to work against each other (that’s enough West-Coast hippy-dippy nonsense, Ed.)