So, um, Torsten quit his job yesterday. His last day will be in two weeks.
This wasn't a sudden decision. He's wanted for years to start his own company, and now that we're settled here, he's started planning it in earnest. Working with my dad and his best friend, both of whom are also investing to become minority stakeholders, as well as a few other friends/partners, he is now ready to begin work on his own IT consulting firm.
It's happening, for real. We filed the papers to become an LLC. We got a federal tax ID number. We opened a business checking account. The logo and website design are complete, and we've found a vendor to actually build the website. We've applied for liability insurance. We purchased a computer, Quickbooks, a BlackBerry for Torsten, and various other equipment. He is ready to focus full-time on this company, and start working to make his first sale.
Right now I am incredibly thankful that we had a good mortgage broker who pointed out to us that with interest rates so low, it made more sense for us to get a 30-year mortgage and pay it off at 15-year rates as desired than to lock ourselves into a 15-year mortgage with a much higher required minimum payment. This allowed us the luxury of knowing that if one of us lost our job, the other's income would be sufficient to pay the bills.
We've been so good all year about paying the extra cash each month with the aim of paying the mortgage off in 15 years. It's going to be painful, feel like a cop-out, this month when I write the first check for the minimum amount. But we've promised ourselves that we will pay back the extra, plus a bit of padding, as soon as we can afford it again. I am tracking the minimum payments in a spreadsheet so we know exactly how much extra we need to inject once it becomes possible again.
In the meantime... well, my salary almost covers our expenses. It pays all our fixed costs: mortgage, car loan, utilities, phone, Internet, homeowners and car insurance, property taxes, dog, and so on. It doesn't cover our groceries, which is a big part of why we've significantly reduced our grocery spending. And it certainly doesn't cover extras like gratuitous shopping and meals out. That's why we've implemented this spending freeze. So far it's going well, but of course it's still new. We'll see how it feels once we're several months in. We are literally buying nothing that is not absolutely essential.
Torsten will be paying himself a small stipend each month, just to cover the grocery bill. We have decent savings in case of unexpected expenses. (I am sure as soon as his paycheck stops coming in, something expensive will break, because that's how this sort of thing always works, right?)
In the meantime, I am temporarily the sole breadwinner. I have complete faith in Torsten's ability to make his company a success, so the only thing that makes me stressed about this is the idea that I could potentially lose my job, thus losing all of our income plus our health insurance. So I had a nice long chat with my boss about all this, and she assured me that I am in no danger of losing my job. And I believe her, so I'm feeling much more relaxed about this whole thing.
In fact, I'm feeling downright good about the whole thing. Yes, it means that we have to be very frugal, and that now would not be a good time for me to get pregnant, and that Torsten will be working very long hours for awhile. But he's doing what he wants to do. He's so happy about it. And it's so great to see him so enthusiastic about what he's doing.
And we are hopeful that it won't take too long before his first sale. But we are prepared to live without a sale for a long time, if it takes longer than hoped to get the company off the ground.
But the company is so awesome. He has a really great concept and a fantastic implementation plan. And he's really freaking good at what he does. I have no doubt that he will make this company a success. And I can't wait to see it happen.
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