When my wife and I left teaching, we knew that it wouldn't be easy. We knew that moving from a comfortable DINK income to a meager barely-scraping-by would be an adjustment. We expected that we need to be a lot more self-reliant.
After all, you can't lean on payroll departments and HR managers to take care of things if you're the only two people in the company.
But we didn't realize just how much was coming back onto our plates.
Neither of us had ever given much attention to all the little numbers on the back of our pay stubs. We just trusted that someone smarter than us was making sure that our taxes got paid, our retirement funds were contributed to, and our health insurance was getting their premiums.
Then, next thing we knew, we had to figure all of that out on our own.
And there was a lot to figure out.
And we're still figuring some of that out. We've been self-employed for four years, and we still struggle to make sure all of our taxes are taken care of so we don't get end up owing all of it in April. Just a few months ago, we finally starting saving for retirement again. It took us until last year to find healthcare coverage that didn't cost as much as our mortgage.
Some of it was much easier. We found an inexpensive vision clinic where we could get new glasses without paying much more than when we had insurance. We were able to find affordable life insurance quotes online and find an option from there.
Now, we're in a pretty good place. Our needs are taken care of, and we're not getting ripped off by our insurance companies. Our coverage isn't stellar—we pay 100% of doctor's appointments, but we'll be in good shape in case we have a medical emergency.
It's taken us a while to get here, and the road was paved with a lot of confusion, insecurity, and Google searches. But we're finally taking care of what we need to take care of. And that's good enough for me.