I did not do this step exactly as prescribed. Last year, I worked for half the year until my daughter was born. But I’m basing this step on my husband’s current salary which is our only income. According to Trent of The Simple Dollar, this is a shocking step for most people. But fortunately it was not that traumatic for us. Since I stay at home with our daughter, we have no child care costs. My husband has a relatively casual office environment. He takes his own lunch and has a 5 to 7 minute commute. So his salary is pretty much exactly what he brings home.
As we talk about looking for ways to increase our income, these advantages are something to consider. My husband could take a job further away, but then he’d spend more on commuting costs and spend extra time on the road each day. This would also affect our relationship, since we would have less time together. We currently have two cars. Both are old. One is in rather poor repair. We can’t afford to replace the oldest car with a newer one that would hold up better to the rigors of a long commute. But since my husband’s work is so close, we can make do with one car if need be. Carpooling, public transit or even biking to work are potential options that are not available to us if he were to take a job further away.