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*Spin-Off* What do you do? And how much horse-expense can you afford?

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  • My observation about govt jobs (does not include teachers, firemen, police or govt consultants):
    they cycle about 5 years behind the private sector.
    So when private sector is booming, govt employees are way behind salary wise. When private sector tanks govt jobs are more secure, better paying. Then private sector rebounds and government jobs are at the bottom.


    • Probably an idiot to weigh in on this, but this part of the conversation is stupider than usual....

      The thing about having a life where one person (in most cases, the woman) chooses not to engage in paid work outside the home (SAHM) is that, even if it were a perfect heaven on earth for all parties involved (doubtful), it's not really practical to plan for that as one's economic strategy. It is so very dependent on finding the right person to make that arrangement with, both interpersonally and economically. It's like telling someone that your preferred strategy for paying for having a horse is to choose your parents carefully. Or draw a winning lottery number. What is a 19 year old supposed to do to establish that gig? Only date guys w/ good college majors who come from families with a low incidence of bankruptcy, divorce, or mental illness?

      Especially these days, one can lose any job at any time for reasons that aren't even economically predictable. But if one's economic well-being is nearly 100% dependent on the good will and good behavior of exactly 1 other person, that would scare the pee out of me. I have no idea how or why anyone would sign up for that. I have a long term partner whom I cherish and rely upon, but holy crap, I make my own $$$, and I don't know how anyone could advise another person to do otherwise than to cultivate an expectation and practice of economic self-reliance, particularly if you want to have horses in your life. (I get that no one wants to do 40 hours a week of paid work when they have tiny children, but children aren't tiny for 20 years, they are tiny for a few.)

      I don't think SAHMs hurt other women, but I'm afraid for many of them because I think they are one marital mess away from living in a refrigerator box, particularly if they have been out of the paid workforce for many years.

      So in terms of advising our OP, if you are an SAHM, and it works for you, glad to hear it. But I'm not sure if I'd tell a daughter that your life is the way to go. We all know people who've had to give up their horse & farm lifestyle because their marriage broke up. I don't know about y'all, but I sure wouldn't advise any young person to plan their entire economic well-being around the good behaviour of one other person. Yikes.
      Last edited by Lori B; Mar. 10, 2013, 12:58 PM. Reason: forgot something
      I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
      I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


      • I can't help with the whole career to $ ratio, but you should definitely look into going into public health/zoonotic disease type work if that interests you. It's a really hot field with the diseases that are emerging and spreading (Hendra virus in Australia, West Nile Virus, etc) and some grad schools have specialized programs for it now.


        • I couldn't agree more with this post. Having watched my SAHM who had earned a college degree prior to getting married struggle financially and live in virtual poverty after my father divorced her after 20 years of marriage, I vowed NEVER to be financially dependent on another person.

          I put myself through college, worked hard, climbed the career ladder, and was able afford a horse and to buy my own home while still in my 20's.

          Ironically, now that I am in my mid-50's I am unemployed thanks to the economic recession and dependent on my husband financially. I went from being the primary bread winner making over $100k to being unemployed. Fortunately I do earn some money independently doing consulting work and from a very small pension, but my husband is now paying most of our bills. I hate being financially dependent on him and the dynamic it has created in my marriage. Hubby now insists on seeing all the bills, wants an itemization of how I spent my money (down to I spent $59 on groceries). It sucks! I couldn't leave him now if I wanted because I have no job and no stable income (try renting a home or an apartment with no means of self support). I couldn't afford to keep my horses either, so I feel trapped.

          I would never willingly be financially dependent on anyone.


          • How much money you need will very much depend on not only where you live (as you already know) but also the sort of lifestyle you want to have in addition to horses.

            I live in San Francisco and I'm a software engineer. With 3ish years of experience and no related degree, I'm knocking on the door of six figures, and I feel like I'm just getting comfortable. I have a new car, travel quite a bit, and am hoping to buy a horse this year. Now, that's doable in large part because I eat on the cheap (not always easy being single in a big city) and because I live in a, um, interesting apartment (see my OT day thread) that is by no means glamorous, but reasonably priced for the city and meets my needs. Were I also interested in eating out often and had higher standards for my living space, I'd have a lot less to play with.
            If the pony spits venom in your face or produces a loud roar, it is probably not a pony. Find another. -The Oatmeal


            • This is so bazaar. I already stated I am a "stay at home". I watch my grandson and take care of all of the livestock. I raised three children, all adults now. I have 2 college degrees. I worked and bought my first house at 22, before I married my husband. I worked up until we sold that house six years ago and moved here to VA. I am now a "sahm" or stay at home grandma. But I could go back to work at anytime and be able to afford to live here. It's not one way or the other. Most stay at home moms keep up their skills, just in case. We don't sit here dumb as rocks collecting checks. To think that is just plain ignorant.


              • Thank you, CHSatwork. Well said.
                “Pray, hope, and don't worry.”

                St. Padre Pio


                • No one said you were sitting doing nothing! No one! Not me! I am not criticizing you. I don't know you. But I do understand the job market, and the risks involved in leaving and then needing to re-enter the paid workforce. And that is what my post is about. Please spend some time actually reading it if you want to rant about what it purports to say.

                  When anyone, anyone leaves the paid workforce, it gets harder very fast to get back in and make what you were making a very short time before. Man or woman. This is not a criticism aimed at you or any other SAHM, it's just a nasty fact, like gravity or the impossibility of losing the freshman 10. It's a risk to make that choice, and if someone wants to do it, that's fine, but go in with your eyes open.
                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                  • It is hard to re-enter the workforce in some fields, especially in this economy.

                    I don't worry about my husband straying, but I work in part because I worry about what would happen to my family and farm if he should die in a car crash. As it is, we'd have to change some things but I can support us on my salary.

                    I have a lot of SAHM friends who don't mind this uncertainty, and that's great if it works for them. Personally, I have a very low risk tolerance. The "do you have $500" thread terrifies me -- there are a lot of people out there who don't have a $500 cushion! I am the kind of person who gets shifty if she's not in the "six months to a year of expenses saved" range.


                    • I didn't see anywhere on here that anybody recommended that a single young woman PLAN to be a SAHM, is that on here? I know I didn't recommend PLANNING on it but it's great if it works. I have a daughter and I certainly don't tell her to plan it that way. My kids appreciated having me home with them; there have been times when I did work outside the home and things just always went better when I was taking care of the household and animals. It's great if it can be done but it's nothing to count on.

                      I have a degree also and I've worked on and off through the 15 or so years since I had my first kid; I could have a job at the drop of a hat if I needed one. Nothing is guaranteed these days; people are doing what they can.

                      I can't believe some women on here are so against women making choices for their families. It used to be understood that one spouse/parent stayed home to make the home, make a home life, raise kids and do the work of having a home. If a parent wants to do that and is able to do that then I think they should; I don't think kids should be institutionalized in day cares, preschools and then the school system, that's my opinion that led to my decisions. My kids, the ranch and home life were worth more than my full-time salary to me and my husband, especially when the kids were small. I still brought in money, I still am educated, I can still get a job when I need one.

                      Just because some of you have trust issues and uncertain times and different priorities is no reason to bash the choices of other women. You're applying your ideas and beliefs to someone else and that just isn't accurate. Say what is right for YOU-that you chose to make your own money or have financial priorities or choose to stay in a career or don't trust a spouse to support your family for a few years while you raise your kids-but don't tell someone who CAN do it that they are somehow wrong.
                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                      • We have lived all over the U.S. and in Canada and have learned that it VERY MUCH depends on where you live. Cost of living and cost of horses varies greatly depending on where you live, how you keep your horses, and what you want to do with them. Find costs in your area (or in the area you see yourself in the future) for what you want to do with your horses and then add at least 15% to that price so that you can absorb unexpected costs and the rate of inflation. Obviously, having trail horses in rough board is very different from having show horses in full training.


                        • Divorce is 50% and I have trust issues? I am not against 'choices', I'm risk averse. If you are happy betting your wellbeing on one person, and you bet well, good for you. But statistically, it's not a great bet.

                          Paranoid much?
                          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                          • OP, I read some of the early posts and then stopped when it got nasty.

                            What I wanted to tell you, was to think about being an eye doctor or pharmacist. I have friends who do both and have a lot of flexibility and make very good incomes.

                            I am a financial advisor and before that I was an estate planning attorney. While I found value in my career choices and left of my own chosing, I would not advise anyone (who doesn't already have a job lined up or their education paid for) to go to law school based on economics and basic math (supply/demand and debt load).

                            Stay out of heavy debt unless you know you are going to be able to find a job.

                            Just my two cents.
                            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


                            • Ok, so marriage is uncertain, but it still adds financial security to our lives more than it subtracts it. The various risks and responsibilities of life are pooled and really at any time one party could have their life turned upside down because of the loss or injury of the other. You can insure against that too, though, to an extent.

                              What really takes me aback though is, When did this:

                              Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                              Only date guys w/ good college majors who come from families with a low incidence of bankruptcy, divorce, or mental illness?
                              become bad advice to give our children??? I'm not advocating being a judgey-judgeypants and sure, everyone has some of each of the above in their families, but don't you want the odds to be in your kid's favor? When your daughter comes home with the paranoid schizophrenic French poetry majoring barista talking about the horses she's going to own, won't you at least laugh?
                              An auto-save saved my post.

                              I might be a cylon


                              • I didn't say it was bad advice. It's probably good advice. But it's not as good as your daughter herself having a good major and a better chance of a good job OF HER OWN. Not to mention the fact that much of that information about the dating pool isn't exactly easy to come by. Hard to find out how crazy the people one is dating sometimes until pretty far down the line. Too far.
                                I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09


                                • You can be financially secure as a SAHM and financially insecure even if you work. It's all about making good financial choices - all the time, not just at the beginning, or sometimes.

                                  Everyone should have the ability to support themselves - of course. Certainly we should not advise our daughters (or sons) to skip becoming educated and financially independent by gettin' hitched and having kids.

                                  But smart financial choices also include - not going into debt, living within your means, setting aside savings; and also things like how to share debt responsibly with a spouse or partner; the importance of having your own good credit; making sure you are protected if your spouse dies (buy life insurance), etc. I would be in fine shape if my husband died, and I would also do *very* well in a divorce if our marriage failed; partially because we could sell our assets and split them and we would both have money in the bank, and I could go back to work. Those aren't lucky accidents, it's just being smart.

                                  Being financially responsible is the same whether you're married or single (although obviously it's easier to become financially secure with two incomes and one home, if you can trust your partner to be financially responsible as well). Make good choices regarding your money, period.


                                  • I'm an EDI Analyst. Basically I am a middle man between a company and the insurance company. Neither DH nor I receive huge pay checks, but his job comes with a ton of "perks" I guess you could say. He is the barn manager at his mother's dude ranch so we have an apartment, utilities, food, and board for our horses for next to nothing compared to what it would cost somewhere else. Most of the money we make in our paychecks go into a savings account. We're both money hoarding savers by nature so our savings account is pretty nice for a couple in their late 20s.


                                    • Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                                      Just because some of you have trust issues and uncertain times and different priorities is no reason to bash the choices of other women. You're applying your ideas and beliefs to someone else and that just isn't accurate. Say what is right for YOU-that you chose to make your own money or have financial priorities or choose to stay in a career or don't trust a spouse to support your family for a few years while you raise your kids-but don't tell someone who CAN do it that they are somehow wrong.
                                      This lovely argument would work better if you didn't start out assuming some pathology on the part of your opponent.

                                      How do you know folks have "trust issues" behind their desire to be financially independent?

                                      Otherwise, I think this whole sub-topic got started because Wendy raised a diatribe against SAHM out of the blue.
                                      The armchair saddler
                                      Politically Pro-Cat


                                      • I have had a career in sales since graduating college. In a high pressure corporate sales environment I was making 100K. I traded high income for better quality of life. I am still in sales but now doing something I am passionate about I make closer to 65k now but I am human again. My hubby makes less than I do but with our combined income of 100k+ I get $800 per month alloted to my horse. Board is cheap, I do my own training w weekly lessons so I typically spend closer to $650 per month. Any extra goes to my show fund and I typically end up with enough to do 1-3 A shows per year. I do my own hauling, braiding, grooming, schooling so I get out of shows super exhausted but not completely broke
                                        As a career sales is lucrative and flexible, it usually only requires a 4 year degree but it takes a very specific skill set.


                                        • Hey, OP --

                                          To answer your first question, I have a Masters' in History, and the last two years I've made close to $50,000 as a "professional adjunct." That means teaching 12-14 classes per semester for three or four different schools (mostly online, thank goodness). But that's going to change over the next few months as new rules go into effect. Not sure how much yet, but I will be looking for another job. Hopefully a full-time teaching gig. I live in KS, where things actually aren't that expensive.

                                          To answer your second: I spend $200+/month in grain for 8 horses. Luckily we're able to raise most of our own hay and I live on the family farm, so no mortgage for me. But the money never goes far enough. Two years ago I spent nearly $3000 on hay. My mom paid for four of the horses until she died three years ago; at that point, the family members who owned the horses refused to pay for them and they became my responsibility. All are older and require all kinds of special care. So you always have to be sure to think ahead to the worst-case scenario. I'm learning to budget better, though, and am slowly building up an emergency fund while paying off my debt. Still, basic routine care is pretty expensive with that many. I don't show; I can't afford to replace the old truck and I have to have a car for getting to work. My trailer, happily, is paid off.

                                          To answer your third quasi-question: can you find an internship with a local vet, a bio lab, or some other business that you might be interested in? Have you thought about forensics? That's a fast-growing field (but you'll need better chem grades, I think!).