Originally Posted by spk14
Thanks for the reply. I feel more comfortable with numbers. According to my numbers, I'm putting myself in debt $25,000 per year at my current salary if I want to get married and have a kid. That means $100,000 debt in 4 years. That may very well mean having to sell our house and move into a crampt tiny apartment. Although $55,000 may be a measly salary by most people's standards, I feel I've worked too hard to live the rest of my life in poverty.
As of now, I am single and have no financial worries because of my low cost of living. If I lose my job for whatever reason, I know I have 4 years living expenses in the bank and will have no need to panic.
Will I need to say good-bye to my sense of financial security if I ever get married? Is it common for the husband to pay 100% of the finances? Do many wives hold jobs that contribute to the family finances?
Are my estimates of raising a kid wrong? Are my expectations of a wife's ZERO earning potential wrong?
First of all, I get that income levels tend to fluctuate with the cost of living in the surrounding area. So while some folks here are saying "can you make more money" I know the answer is "depends on where you live (in large part)".
If you are paying all your expenses on $1,250 per month (I'm assuming the $15k per year includes rent and utilities, food, basic transportation) then you most likely live in a low-cost area, and your salary is pretty good. You would have to make $75k - $80k in most parts of So Cal to live as nice a lifestyle.
Agree you are double counting lots of expenses. How, as was mentioned earlier, are you figuring that a lady is going to add $20k a year in expenses? If you are talking strictly about a wife (no children yet), your additional expenses will be fairly small. Even if you marry someone making a minimum wage, your lifestyle should improve in marriage.
Even if you have a child, you do not NEED a house - it is a luxury. If you have a SAHM because your wife does not make much, you will not need day care (the SAHM will cover that) nor will you need expensive formula (SAHM can breastfeed). Your extra expenses for raising a child will not be near $15k per year.
So, yes you can afford to have a wife and child on your salary. You will have to budget and watch your expenditures, but that is reality for most people. You are frugal, but if your wife has high expectations (a house, pre-school, big family) but no income then you will have problems. However, it is completely reasonable to expect that the solution would be to spend less (something you can control) rather than make more money (which means depending on someone else to pay you more).
A bigger-picture question: what do you
want? Unless you are underpaid for your job role, earning more is likely to mean putting in more hours at work or changing your career. Would you be happy doing that? Would you be happy with a woman who expects a nice (rather than simply ok) material lifestyle; sounds like you are frugal by nature so it's a fair question to ask.
You seem to be thinking about this in the wrong order. By this I mean you seem to be asking what do you have to do to get a woman. You should be settled on what kind of life you want and then inviting a woman into that life.
If you talking about a CPA license, then I am assuming you are an accountant of some kind. If so, you are correct that your prospects without a CPA license are limited. An MBA is more well suited to financial planning and analysis type work, systems analysis, and other business functions.
Essentially, at this income level you can have the quiet life with a SAHM, or you could find a career woman and live a little more upscale. It really depends on what you want. And, in your early 30s, you still have plenty of time to have a family.
Personally, I would be very hesitant in marrying someone who made a high level of financial success a requirement for her husband. You work hard and can provide a comfortable life as you are now; beyond that point, more money says nothing about what kind of father and husband you will be.