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Old 12-27-2011, 01:05 PM
 
5 posts, read 6,011 times
Reputation: 10

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I apologize in advance, as this will be a lengthy post.


Hello! My name is Ryan, and I'm a 30 year old father of three. I was recently laid off (read 3 months ago) from a rather comfy job as a recruiter in the financial industry. I currently live in Iowa and my previous salary was 29,500 + bonuses and commissions. Last year I made just over $47,000 total. (really not bad for Iowa, where everything is dirt cheap.) I currently pay $875/mo for a 3 bedroom townhouse.

My wife works in childcare and currently makes a modest hourly wage of 10$/hr. I have three children, two of which are in school full time during the day (Kindergarten and 2nd grade). My youngest goes to my wife's daycare for free, which is a nice bonus to her wages.

Less than a month ago, I accepted a position as store manager for a well known, international hobby store. The store is in a suburb of Northern Chicago (i am bound not to mention the precise location until the old manager is canned at the beginning of February).

The salary begins at $33,000 + full benefits with a guaranteed raise of 10% for the first three years, based upon the performance of my store, not to exceed 20% in any one year.

I will be moving at the end of January and staying with a good friend for the first month or so. My wife and children will be staying behind and living with her parents until the school year is over. I will be looking to temporarily move into a one bedroom towards the end of March, hopefully on a month-to-month basis. Or, if this is not possible, I will be looking to get into a three bedroom right away.

I am very concerned that $33,000 may not be enough to support myself and family. My wife does plan on working as well, most likely in daycare but we have found that many daycare centers in/around the Chicago suburbs require a minimum of an A.A. degree in child education, which my wife does not have. She does, however, have about 10+ years experience in daycare.


So, my questions are:

1) Is $33,000 for the first year a manageable salary in the Chicago suburbs?

2) How much should I reasonably expect to pay for rent on first a one-bedroom apartment and subsequently a three-bedroom apartment and still stay out of the "less desirable" parts? (I see rental prices vary dramatically on craigslist)

3) Can you suggest a few suburbs in the north/northwestern suburbs that would fit my needs?

4) At 10 years of experience, how much could my wife reasonably expect in wages at a daycare in this area?

Thank you.

Last edited by rewfus; 12-27-2011 at 01:14 PM..
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:10 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
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OMG. $33k is going to be a very very very meager salary to support a family of five. Frankly I am sorta shocked that the offer is so low. Many retail clerks make more than $15/hr...

If your work location is WAY up around Gurnee maybe you can afford to live in southern Wisconsin, though frankly I doubt you could get a three bedroom townhome for less than $1200 even around Kenosha or Pleasant Prairie.

If you are closer to Northbrook or Schaumburg you are going to have a heck of a time finding any place where the five of you can live in any kind of decent surroundings...
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:17 PM
 
5 posts, read 6,011 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
OMG. $33k is going to be a very very very meager salary to support a family of five. Frankly I am sorta shocked that the offer is so low. Many retail clerks make more than $15/hr...

If your work location is WAY up around Gurnee maybe you can afford to live in southern Wisconsin, though frankly I doubt you could get a three bedroom townhome for less than $1200 even around Kenosha or Pleasant Prairie.

If you are closer to Northbrook or Schaumburg you are going to have a heck of a time finding any place where the five of you can live in any kind of decent surroundings...
I would expect my wife would make no less than $12/hr, which amounts to around $25,000/year

Combined, that's $58,000. I could very well see my salary jump as high as $51,000 within the first three years.

Combined total after 3 years would be anywhere from $66,000-$81,000.


The first year is going to be tough, I have no qualms about it.

But is it doable?
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:24 PM
 
28,383 posts, read 67,903,744 times
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The wild card is really IF your wife can get any kind of job that makes more than any childcare will cost...

A mid-$50k household income is not horrendous, but if you are stuck in the $30s things will be VERY tough. Food is not much different than in Iowa, but utilities and total of property taxes(which tends to raise even rents...) and income taxes make the prospect of even simple day-to-day life for a family of five dicey.
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Old 12-27-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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Thanks for the input.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,070,616 times
Reputation: 6183
Chet is right. Your beginning salary is less than $3k per month gross. Even if you do not withhold taxes you are looking at spending not much more than $700 per month rent.. It will support you but not your ramily.

Your wife really needs to stay with her parents until you get your feet on the ground. If you can split expenses wth your buddy you will be able to send money to her parents. I'm afraid it will be very hairy for you and the kids. And unless your kids are the same sex, you must have the 3 bedrooms unless you have one in a crib. .

Last edited by linicx; 12-30-2011 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:51 PM
 
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I do have three boys(3,6,7), so a two bedroom for the first year or what not is feasible, I spose. They all sleep together in the same bedroom now, even though we have three bedrooms. (A comfort thing, I suppose.)

My wife will also be working while staying with her parents and I will not have much as far as expenses for the first 2 months while I stay with my friend. He owns his townhouse outright, bought and paid for and refuses to accept rent from me. I will obviously be paying for my own food, but I'm fairly confident I can sustain myself on $100/wk.

My wife's parents also refuse rent from us, although we have offered multiple times. They are very supportive of our decision to move out of the state, even though I know it saddens them that their grandchildren will be farther away.

Both my parents and my wife's parents have offered to support us, monetarily, with whatever we need and both make very decent livings.

I hate to think it, but I may have to lean on my parents and in-laws for the first two years.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:40 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
11,544 posts, read 25,070,616 times
Reputation: 6183
It is called 'male bonding'. It will probably be a few years before they want seperate rooms. You are extremely fortunate that both sets of parents are willing to help. Boys aren't terribly prissy and bunk beds are a wonderful. Start with 2 bedrooms.

If you could stay with your friend until June it is a big advantage because the people who are going to move will start as soon as school ends. It will give you more choices and better housing stock to chose from. If your friend will not let you pay rent maybe you can buy him a season pass to something he enjoys.
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