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What Would You Do If Your Income Doubled?

thinky face

I ordered a bunch of books online and I’ve been reading them before bed. Which is new for me, because instead of going from 0 to 60 (when I wake up) and 60 to 0 (when I look at my computer, stop working, shut it down, then immediately swan dive into bed), I’ve been trying to go from 60 to 45 to 15 to 0.

I really enjoy my work, but the downside is that I can get caught up in it pretty quickly. There’s always something to write, something to do, or a new project to brainstorm. But in an effort to balance things out, I stop doing any sort of work or around-the-house puttering 30 minutes before bedtime. I get ready for bed and turn on some music and reach for my stack of reading material on my nightstand

It seems a little weird to be sitting up in bed, paging through a catalog while listening to Gungor or whatever, but it’s surprisingly soothing. I’m not thinking about work, I’m not reading email, I’m not checking our budget, I’m not texting anyone — I’m just looking at pretty photos and hanging out and unwinding. Or I’ll play something instrumental and read from whatever book’s on my nightstand. I’m at the tail end of All the Money in the World: What the Happiest People Know About Wealth by Laura Vanderkam. (I’m a big fan of her other books, 168 Hours and What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.)

It’s definitely out-of-the-box as far as personal finance books go, and I’ve been enjoying reading it. One great question she points out: why are finance gurus giving people ways to trim down their food budgets, when housing and transportation take up the biggest pieces of that monthly budget pie? Or.. instead of worrying how you’re going to fund retirement when you’re 65, what if you found a career that you really loved so you’re not counting down the days until you’re done? I’m simplifying it, but I think most of the chapters are great and totally worth the read.

Anyway, I was poking around on the money section of her blog to see if she expounded on any of her thoughts from her book since it’s been a couple of years since it was published, and I read a post where she linked to another post that asked “What would you do if your income doubled?”

What Would You Do If Your Income Doubled?

Grumpy Rumblings is a joint blog written by Nicole and Maggie, and one of them has a husband whose income suddenly doubled last year due to a job change (to a job that he loves, no less). It’s a fascinating question, and one worth a good daydream or two for anyone at any income level, I think.

I sat and thought about if my income (as opposed to Jack’s) immediately doubled, which one of my work tasks would I drop? And ultimately, I realized I enjoy everything I do. I certainly might outsource more – if not just work tasks, certainly housekeeping tasks/errands, so I could spend my time doing what I love — spending time with my family and friends, working, taking yoga classes — instead of spending time, you know… running errands and cleaning things. But I think even if my income doubled, I’d be forcing myself to stop working at some point during the day. Might upgrade my bedsheets or something. ;)

Then, of course, earning more means the ability to give more, to spend more, to save more. Would you move? Pay off debt? Immediately start padding 401Ks and Roth IRAs and 529s for your kids (an oft neglected line item in many budgets, a complete non-option for many Americans)? Throw money at Sallie Mae and hope she leaves you alone? Eat better? Give more? Hire someone to come wash, fold, dry, and put away laundry twice a week? Move to a safer neighborhood? Do all of your furniture shopping at Room & Board? Move to a gated community? Pay off debt? Fill up an emergency fund? Visit a new continent every year? Have more children? Adopt a puppy? Write a check to your favorite NGOs on your birthday every year? Buy your mom something? Upgrade your vehicles?

Would you be happier? Did that daydream morph into daydreaming about how you could double your income?

Looking forward to the comments; always great discussion to be found. “The comments are better than your blog posts!” Yeah? Thanks, Mom.

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67 Comments

  • Reply Tiffany September 8, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Gungor! Love.

    We actually were just talking about this last night and settled on the biggest change we would make would be to determine a set dollar amount that would go into a separate “giving” savings account. Then, when things come up (as they always do), we would have it right there to give. We’re starting this actually soon. But if my income doubled, we’d funnel much more to the account.

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      I love this idea, Tiffany! I like to outline charitable giving at the beginning of the year (even dedicating a certain amount of posts on this site, since I get requests often), but I really like the idea of having an account to tap into should a friend be in need due to illness or something else.

  • Reply Whitney September 8, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    My husband is in his fourth and final year of dental school, so our income will soon more than double. Except that it won’t. We’ll have a few hundred thousand dollars of student loans to pay off, BUT after that it will be interesting to see how life changes and what we do. The current plan is to build our “forever home” where our kids will grow up and our grandkids will come visit. Oh, and a gym membership :)

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Final year! That’s amazing! I love the idea of a forever home. :D Great dreams, Whitney.

  • Reply Heather Laura Clarke September 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    Such a fun question! We would buy a farm, upgrade to some new furniture, and take actual non-camping vacations. I think I’m starting to forget what hotel rooms feel like …

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      I have not even *attempted* camping with small kids. Kudos to you guys!

  • Reply Cassandra September 8, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    If our income suddenly doubled, we’d pay off our car and pay off school debts. Then set aside the money for the rest of my husband’s school. Then start saving half for a house and half for retirement. We’re still pretty young, 25, but I’d love to get started. It’s crazy to see those charts showing how much you accrue just by starting early. Plus I would start a book buying budget. Nothing crazy large, but I’d love to be able to buy a couple books I love each month.

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      A book buying budget; can’t hate that. :) And yes, I totally wish I started saving when I was 18. ;)

  • Reply Shelby September 8, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    This is great! Our financial strain skyrocketed when my ex-husband decided he didn’t want to pay child support anymore. We’re getting by really well because we’re budgeting fairly well and we lived off next nothing during the college/early kid/minimum wage years.
    If our household income doubled, we’d pad up the emergency fund for the first doubled paycheck. We’d use the second and third directly toward paying off our credit cards. We’d pay for our wedding with the fourth. Beyond that we’d allocate more toward evil Sallie and guilty pleasures. We’d be able to have a honeymoon instead of, well, not having one.
    We’re fairly boring I think, but we’ve been struggling with the change in income from the Mr. Deadbeat issue that a double in pay would mostly be just a really comforting change for us rather than a huge life change.

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      So sorry that you’re dealing with that, Shelby. :( A friend of mine has been in a long, ongoing battle for child support, and I hope a resolution comes fast for you and her.

  • Reply Scott September 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Two things sprang to mind (going with the moment and not thinking about it too much): creative pursuits and travel. Both equate to having the resources to have more time I guess. I’d like to carve out more time to work on my writing, plotting, character development, etc. Have the freedom to work on expressing myself more fully, because I have the time to do it in a meaningful way.

    I’m also horrible about spending money on travel experiences that will fulfill my spirit/soul/creativity, because it costs money. It’s total cognitive dissonance, because I feel justified and happy after a fantastic experience. Travel and experiences are LIFE and yet I immediately feel guilty about spending it instead of throwing it in the bank because of “what if?” scenarios. What if I lose my job? What if San Francisco has an earthquake and I lose everything? Etc. Etc. I hate that that stops me.

    Sometimes I think a little extra $$$ would help me feel okay about valuing answering, “What if I don’t do the things I want and the life I want completely passes me by?” in a positive way.

    (Hi Lola, if you’re reading this!)

    • Reply Wendy September 8, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      “How vain it is to sit down to write, when one has not stood up to live.”- Thoreau

      That’s our motto as writers. Through it we’re financially responsible and seize every opportunity that comes available if it’s best.

      Just a nugget, as your response hit home in many ways.

      All the best.

    • Reply Lola September 8, 2014 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Scott! Writing and traveling would be fantastic!

      • Reply Roo September 10, 2014 at 8:32 am

        Hi, Mom.

        • Reply Amanda September 12, 2014 at 11:22 am

          This. xD xD xD

  • Reply Wendy September 8, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    We would stay much the same. Within the last month we paid off all debt (house, car, extenuating bills from a major accident that totaled 5 digits), so right now we’re at a point of, “woah… what can we do? What do we want to do?”

    We have agreed upon a few trips next year (family and creative-work) and likely hiring out one job (if we paid ourselves to do it, it would cost 5 times as much due to the hours needed to do it).

    Realistically, we like-love-enjoy-are grateful for our lives. We work from home doing what we love. We raise our children on a huge piece of land under a mile from the beach. We are close enough to family to be there when they need us (and we willingly go to help often).

    If anything, we’ll invest more in giving to others and our own creative endeavors. We’ll continue to be grateful. We’ll continue to make our own food. We’ll continue to find ways to be resourceful, for we like it! We’ll celebrate beach dates, and we’ll stay up late creating. We’ll take naps when we can, and we’ll laugh as we always do.

  • Reply Anna September 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Oh goodness, what wouldn’t I do if my income doubled!? In all honesty, the sheer weight that would be lifted off my shoulders would be enough for me. Would it be awesome to be able to buy more organic food? Join a yoga studio? Buy that pair of shoes I’ve been coveting for roughly 3 years? Of course. But, I think the stress that comes from the every day “Okay, if I buy this, can I afford this?” would ultimately be alleviated and that would be huge. I subscribe to the school of thought that ‘money can’t buy you happiness’ but I do think it can help take some of those every day stresses out of the equation.

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      I crack up every time I see that sign “I’ve got 99 problems but money could solve 73 of them.” Your last line made me think of that, Anna!

  • Reply Jennifer O September 8, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Doubled income? Wow, that would be amazing. I think or very first item would be to save for a year, living off what we’re already make, and put all the extra towards finally buying a home. We’ve rented for almost six years, and while we love the neighborhood, we want a place of our own, desperately, but so far have refused to be “house poor” to do it. (Tried that once, lost our house after both hubby and I got laid of our jobs). After getting in a home…we enjoy eating out once a week, maybe a vacation, and saving the rest for the future college educations and weddings of our four kiddos. We’re boring, lol, but wouldn’t it be awesome to be less worried about the future?

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 6:01 pm

      It would be so awesome, and that’s not boring at all, Jennifer. :)

  • Reply Tanja September 8, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    I would buy my parents a house close to me. They live in the east and I live in the PNW where real estate is more expensive. We have talked about them moving closer but unfortunately they can’t afford to buy a house where I live. So if my income doubled, I could just buy them a house, that way I could afford two mortgages.

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      You are a kind, kind daughter, Tanja! Love that idea. :)

  • Reply Laura W September 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    This will be happening for my husband in the next year since he’s currently a PhD student. We’ve already decided that we’ll continue to live within our current budget as much as possible and pay off debt with his extra salary. First, credit cards then a new roof and an emergency savings account. After that we’ll start a college fund and start saving for travel. Sounds so boring but it will take so much pressure off our shoulders!

    • Reply Roo September 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Super smart, Laura! Good luck to your husband in his last year in school!

  • Reply nicoleandmaggie September 8, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for the link! In answer to what we did do… We upped retirement saving, upped charitable contributions, upped mortgage pre-payment, spayed and rehomed several cats that we found in our backyard (long story), and we’re starting to do long-deferred home repairs and maintenance. For example, in theory we’re going to replace our children’s bathroom carpet with vinyl (we’ve already picked it out and paid for it, but either home depot or the contractor lost the flooring and had to reorder/back order it, so it’s been well over a month). We also just ordered horizontal faux wood blinds to replace the ancient broken vertical blinds in two sets of our windows and we’ve ordered super fancy half circle blinds to replace the dusty ancient covers that the previous owner made for the half circle windows. (We’ve been in this house for ~10 years…) I have dreams of curtains to replace the other two sets of ancient vertical blinds. And I think we’re going to get some new sheets one of these days as our current ones are getting torn (potty trainer + incontinent kitten = extra washing).

    • Reply nicoleandmaggie September 8, 2014 at 6:23 pm

      Oh, and hired someone to mow the lawn! And started eating out 2x/week on average instead of 1x. Those are time-saving.

  • Reply Heidi September 8, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    This actually happened to me! I always thought I would be a “starving artist” and took it for granted that I’d always be scraping. And I so wish that I had daydreamed more Before the money came…it might have kept me from spending so long just staring at it going “uhm, so, I guess I should…invest…in something…?”

    What I’ve ended up doing: more retirement investing, down payment on a house, “adopt” 3 Compassion kids, invest in Exodus Road, and money for my little brother (getting married) and little sister (surprise! cracked foundation = $18,000!). Oh, and never ever fighting about money with my husband? How did I dodge that one? I might be the luckiest person I know.

    But do daydream! Even if you think it’ll never happen! Don’t get caught like I did without a plan or even really a dream. Dream!

    • Reply Emilie G September 9, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      I love what you said! “Don’t get caught without a plan or a dream.” Very nice. That’s the quote for the bookmark I’ll use when I read the book Roo recommended. I’m applying for grad school and definitely want to make the most of the return on a lot of hard work. Thanks for your insight!

  • Reply Trude September 8, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    I’m definitely of the wind-down-to-sleep approach, reading before bed is a habit I’ve kept since I was little. :) My other half is the same where he’ll go from TV in the background while he works on the computer to bed, and I have no idea how he does it. I’ll have to check out that book, since that approach is how I feel too! If my income doubled, I *might* be tempted change my career, but I think in reality that would go toward giving us some breathing room here in the (very expensive) OC – saving for a down payment on a house, upgrading our cars, getting rid of the last little bits of student loans, and maybe a real getaway vacation for once. :)

  • Reply Liz September 8, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    I am expecting to finish up my Ph.D. next summer (debt free) and hopefully more than doubling my current stipend of 20k. The husband and I have always been crazy frugal living with my meager earnings alone and saving his bigger salary, so I don’t think much would change outside of using a portion to invest in a home wherever my “big girl” job is. We both have just crashed through the blog archives of Mr. Money Mustache (think a more fact based, NSFW version of Dave Ramsey). Early retirement is the goal. With a savings rate of 50% of your salary, you can retire in 17 years! Money and things don’t provide happiness. Quality time with the people (and pets) that I love is all I need.

    TL;DR I’d save that money in some index funds!

    • Reply Wendy September 9, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Love MMM! We have been able to cut our spending and increase our savings significantly since reading his blog. :)

  • Reply Athena September 8, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Wow. That’s something I think about quite a lot because I blog and would eventually like to grow my business into something more sustainable but I don’t often have the motivation at the end of the day. But, if I were to double my income.. I’d move into a comfortable apartment and sock money away into savings. I really want to beef up my emergency fund. And I could probably travel a little bit more but since I already travel quite a lot, maybe it would be more expensive traveling!

  • Reply Meghan September 8, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I obsess about finances, mostly cuz we’re scraping by. But, if our income doubled:

    1) credit cards gone
    2) hire a weekly house cleaner
    3) monthly pedicures
    4) replace windows
    5) catch up on significant house repairs
    6) college funds
    7) save, save, save
    8) travel, travel, travel

    Sigh.

  • Reply Sandra September 8, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    In this order:

    1) New car
    2) Move (need one more bedroom, at least one more bathroom, a bigger yard and a better school district)
    3) Save way more
    4) Hire regular time with a mother’s helper so that we may #5
    5) Eat better

    • Reply Roo September 10, 2014 at 8:33 am

      Nicely done, Sandra!

  • Reply Christina September 8, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    My husband and I have always wanted a financial babysitter. Someone to pay our bills, set up savings and give us a monthly allowance since we are terrible with money. So first we would hire that guy. Over all our life style wouldn’t change much- we’d do the boring-but-worth-it-in-the-long-run stuff like paying down debt and padding our savings. We’d also finish renovating our home. What a great question!

  • Reply Sarah September 8, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    We actually experienced this first hand and had ours more than double. It allowed me to quit my job, but we chose to live mainly as we always have. We live in the same old farmhouse. We still drive not new cars that are paid for. We vacation to the same places (but we do stay in a touch nicer hotel). It has allowed us to give more, and we have invested a lot in the market and also in real estate. We have our own business, and some years may not be as great as others. We live modestly and save for our rainy day and for our kids’ futures.

  • Reply Ashley September 8, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    This happened to my husband at the beginning of the year; 2 weeks after getting laid-off he was offered a job at almost twice his previous pay. With the knowledge that he could be laid-off again in the future (he’s a contract worker) we upped our savings and haven’t splurged on too much. He did upgrade his 17-yr-old car and we’ve spent money on home improvement projects but we’re keeping our regular expenses similar to how they were before because once we start a family I’d love the monetary flexibility to work less and stay home with our children.

  • Reply Natasha September 9, 2014 at 12:37 am

    We would be those crazy ppl with like ten kids. Hubs and I have actually talked about it, if his income was doubled (I’m SAHM now but have a small, sweet dream to start an etsy shop one day) we would probably have number 5. And hire a nanny/helper, and we would travel. Take the whole crew to France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Vietnam.
    We would travel to the west coast to visit family every year instead of every other. Wouldn’t change our house too much, love the ‘hood and school district, but def some paint. But we would HIRE someone to paint.
    Ahhhh, dreams.

  • Reply Laura McClellan September 9, 2014 at 8:52 am

    One of our goals in life right now is to shop at Publix regularly. Serrrrriously. Shopping really IS a pleasure there. No more Aldi or ghetto Kroger, hollaa. One day. One day. ;) People who coupon like crazy and monitor sales and stockpile and whatever say it’s actually not more expensive but ain’t nobody got time for that.

    Traveling (west coast, Europe, etc), someone to clean my house occasionally because they would do an exponentially better job than I do (I’m sure of it — it takes me weeks to actually get around to cleaning our bathroom after deciding it needs to be cleaned) probably buy all my clothes at J.Crew, let’s just be real. Put some money away to adopt internationally some day…if it was C’s job that doubled I’d quit or go part-time at my day job and just write things. But he’s a teacher sooooo what up Aldi. ;)

    • Reply Roo September 9, 2014 at 10:35 am

      I have never been to Publix!! Tell me all about it.

      • Reply Erin September 9, 2014 at 2:14 pm

        Publix is the most magical grocery store! It is clean and everything is nice. The store associates are very nice and there are great sales. I love Publix and have for a long time, but now my husband works there so I love it even more. Next time you are in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina or North Carolina look for one!

  • Reply krys72599 September 9, 2014 at 9:07 am

    I think my life wouldn’t really change all that much, although I WOULD help my mom out a lot more than I can right now. She’s on a fixed income and her house needs some work, so…
    I would travel a bit more, worrying less about how expensive airline tickets are; my 2nd sister just moved to AZ so now both of them, and my nephew, are there…

  • Reply Carrie F September 9, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I think our top changes would be more travel,more savings, and more giving. I love to travel, but can’t take too much time away from work. My husband is an independent contractor, so long-term savings for him are difficult. I put a portion of my income in my 401k, but would love to save more for retirement and our eventual children’s educations, etc. Also, there are several organizations I’d love to help support financially, even in a small way.

  • Reply Heather September 9, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Roo,

    I love this post, and it has me thinking. I am currently going through breast cancer treatments with two small children so I would first fill up that emergency fund. We had a small one, and you guys, it’s gah-on! So I would make sure it was pretty hefty, because, as I have learned from my life (and from Big Brother), expect the unexpected. Also, I want to travel more and look a little more mom-fabulous (when my hair grows back in. Why? Why did I always end up with a messy bun on the top of my head?) And GIVE…and help other people whenever I can. I used to want a bigger house and such, but that stuff doesn’t really matter to me anymore. Okay, to be completely honest, a new sofa would rock my world.

    Also, as I was checking out those Laura Vanderkam books on Amazon, I wondered which is your favorite? Or maybe which is the best starting point? And since my life and children are off the chain right now, what are your faves for parenting books?…so that I can implement some better parenting when chemo lets me move off of the couch in a couple of months. If it helps, I am normally a SAHM who works outside the home two (at most, four) times a month.

    Thanks, Roo! Your blog is my favorite.

    • Reply Roo December 23, 2014 at 8:47 pm

      Heather, I’m reading through old blog posts (well, the comments), and I’m super late on responding.

      How are you? How are your treatments going? Happy to answer the book question if the question’s still relevant. Happy holidays!

      • Reply Heather December 29, 2014 at 9:38 am

        Thanks! I would still love some parenting book recs. We are doing MUCH better since my chemo ended in the fall. Still pretty tired but that feels amazing comparatively. :) Your blog (and a couple of others) inspired me to start my own and the writing has really helped me cope. So thank you.

        Invasiveducttales.com

  • Reply Jessica September 9, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    This is the kind of thing I can’t really think about right now because I’d get lost in imagining how nice it would be. But it’s a simple one to answer.

    Pay off 1 remaining credit card balance
    Upgrade car
    Stop the daily nickel-and-diming of paycheck-to-paycheck existence
    Consider moving to a better place

    Short term, though, I’d give serious thought to bringing in a cleaning service every 2 weeks.

    • Reply Roo September 15, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Cleaning serviiiiiiiiice! Sounds great. :)

  • Reply Sabrina September 9, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Hhmmm, you certainly know how to make us think Roo. Definitely pay off all debt for sure, pad the 401k, dump more in the ole savings to eventually be able to buy a home. Honestly the idea of not worrying about money on a daily basis would be the absolutely amazing. (If I ever were to win the powerball or something though, I’d never blow dry and straighten my hair again. Ever. Would be a regular at the Drybar fa sho)

  • Reply Erin September 9, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Reality would be that we would buy a bigger house so that if we start a family the little ones would have somewhere to sleep and then save, save, save! We would probably do some traveling too since it is something we both really want to do. In daydream land, if my husband’s income doubled and not mine, I would pursue either more education or a writing career or both.

  • Reply Amy @ Dusty's Sister September 9, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    I love this question! We would go super Dave Ramsey style and rebuild our emergency fund, after spending it when my husband lost his job last year, then pay off debts and start putting more towards retirement and kids college funds. We could use a bigger house, but would probably stay where we are and travel more and give more. I’m currently raising funds for the American Cancer Society in honor of my dad and have been so impressed and inspired by those who have donated. I would love to have the means to do the same every time I felt so moved, which is often.

    • Reply Roo September 15, 2014 at 11:39 am

      Great ideas, Amy!

  • Reply Ammie September 10, 2014 at 1:17 am

    My husband’s income recently doubled when he went from a law clerk to an attorney after passing the bar exam last year. After going on maternity leave for my son born in March, his new income allowed me to resign from my full time career and become a stay at home mom, my life long dream. I could have kept working and paid our student loan debt down faster, but our boys will only be this little once. So although we’re still living off nearly what we were when we both worked, our lives have completely changed now that our family income comes from just my husband’s career.

    But, if it doubled again, I’d pay off the student loan debt a law degree requires and that would open up the door for many more “luxuries” like buying a home, longer vacations, college savings plans, etc.

    Fun question!

  • Reply Carlotta@Hoquasifinito.blogspot.com September 10, 2014 at 4:12 am

    I would work half the time and have my current income. does this make any sense?
    I think my time is way more worth it…I’m ok with my income, I just want more time! :D

    • Reply Roo September 10, 2014 at 7:55 am

      So maybe buy more time? Like outsource tasks so you have more time?

      • Reply Carlotta@Hoquasifinito.blogspot.com September 10, 2014 at 8:00 am

        no, I would probably just use my time to do things I love, and not only my job, which is not bad!
        I would just not spend 10 hours in an office.

  • Reply Lauren @ Faith and Macaroni September 10, 2014 at 4:23 am

    Savings. Over and over again. Much as I hate to admit it, we live paycheck to paycheck. We don’t accumulate extra debt (credit card is paid in full). Currently we are paying off my car and my husband’s school loans. So when something unexpected hits, we take a hit elsewhere. I stay at home with our daughter, because I don’t have the qualifications to work at a job where the cost of daycare would be worth it. Other than not worrying every time a major car or house expense comes up, I’d love to put more money into our house, give to our church on a regular basis, and take a vacation with my husband.

    After all that is said and done and everyone else is taken care of, I’m going back to school. When the last of my future babies hits elementary school, I’m going to school as well. I don’t know exactly for what yet, but it’ll be for something that I love. Maybe that’s an associates degree in landscaping, and maybe it’s a masters in religion. More than anything, I’d love a job where I’m not desperate to retire (but maybe a little flexibility to enjoy my grandkids, you know?). I want to be proud of myself and I want my kids to see me do it.

  • Reply Angela September 10, 2014 at 10:53 am

    We would save like crazy! Since my husband is in the military, we have no plans for buying a house anytime in the next 10 years, but we’d love to have money set aside for one. I would like to max out our IRAs every year, as well as the 529s we have for our girls.

    And beyond that, we would travel like crazy! We’re stationed in Germany right now, and there are soooooo many places I want to go and see! I would spend a whole week in Rome, then another week in Greece, then a week in England, then one in Ireland, and one in the South of France, then one in the northern part off France. There’s no way my husband has that much leave, but it’s nice to dream! I’d also love to go on a detailed tour of WWII sites all over the world. And spend some quality time in a used book store, buying up all of the books that I’ve always loved.

    I think we’re gonna need that ‘double income’ for a number of years before we could cross even half of that stuff off the list!

  • Reply Kelsey Jones September 10, 2014 at 11:59 am

    So this literally happened to me this year. I am a freelancer like you and stumbled upon an amazing client that I love and is now a huge part of my income. I always thought when I reached a certain income level, that my life would play out a certain way. That just isn’t the truth. I’m still the same person I was 50% of my income ago. Its actually more emotional than I thought it would be, especially since I never thought I’d be this successful so soon. Two major things I did was pay off the rest of my student loans (what a huge relief) and got a virtual assistant to outsource some of my admin and research tasks. That alone has helped me so much. As for the future, I plan on traveling more (Greece in April), giving more to my local soup kitchen and women’s shelter, and saving up for kids/riany days. Like I said before, I have way more emotional feelings about it than I thought I would (see: imposter syndrome) and life doesn’t suddenly turn perfect when you double your income. You are still the same person, picking up your dog’s puke and nagging your hubby about socks EVERYWHERE. Its important not to define your life by the money you make.

    • Reply Roo September 15, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Congrats! That is amazing, Kelsey. Good for you, and 100% agree with on that last line.

  • Reply Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 September 10, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    If *my* income doubled, I would pay off my credit card balance (small) and car (less small), then save the rest. If *our* income doubled (he makes more than me and there’s just the two of us), I’d hope we could agree to pay off all of our debt and then save aggressively to make travel and early retirement a real option.

    • Reply Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 September 10, 2014 at 1:27 pm

      If *his* income doubled we’d probably tweak what we contribute to joint expenses, and then he’d be able to determine what to do with it, but like with my own income plans or hopes if both incomes doubled, it would probably aim to increase our options and reduce our burdens, whether through debt reduction or investment.

      • Reply Roo September 15, 2014 at 11:31 am

        Nicely thought out, Rebecca. I like all of it.

  • Reply Stephanie Ezzell September 10, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Quit my job and finish a book, that’s what I’d do. Also, nap.

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