Dual Income, No Stress

My wife and I both work for the man.

She works for the government man and I work for the tech startup man. It would be very difficult for her to get fired based on performance. It would be very difficult for me to keep my job if I had a bad month or two. She gets small, predictable bumps in pay. I’ve doubled my income in just two years.

We are not entrepreneurs at heart. We like to go to work, help our companies and get our paychecks. Extreme saving is our path to financial independence. For us, this is the easiest and more predictable way to get where we work to go.

I’m extremely proud of my wife. She left a great, relaxing life in South Korea to start over in America with me. I feel blessed each day but I sometimes question why she did this.

After we got married (and she was legal to work) she secured a government career on her own and has since been promoted quickly. I offered to help her get interviews at private companies but she wasn’t interested and didn’t need me to achieve her goal. As a libertarian, I didn’t understand why anyone would want to work for the government! But she did. And I’m happy for her.

When investing, I’d recommend diversifying your portfolio. You should also try to diversify your income streams. Without planning to do so, we diversified our W2 income. My job is sink or swim. I have the potential to make multiple six-figures in the next few years if I absolutely crush it. But my company could run out of money and fire me in the next few months. I’m not sure what will happen. But I know we’ll be alright because we’ve hedged our bets and our career fields aren’t correlated.

One of the simplest ways for a dual income couple to get rich is by living on one income and saving/investing the other. This not only keeps your savings rate extremely high, it also keeps stress due to job loss at a minimum. I know this isn’t always possible. But I’m tired of seeing couples making a boatload of money lose everything due to a weakening economy. Keeping lifestyle inflation in check will significantly reduce your stress.

So if (when) I fail miserably, she is our safety net. I’m a small-cap stock. She’s a government-backed bond. I have both investments in my diversified portfolio. We have both in our household.

Dual income in different fields helps us live a relatively low-stress lifestyle. It’s not the quickest way to get wealthy, but it may be the safest.

This article has 8 comments

  1. Fervent Finance Reply

    I have a friend who got married about a year ago and his wife has already “retired”. Now her salary was basically a drop in the bucket compared to his, but it eliminates a lot of their options. He has a pretty stable, high paying career, but with it comes a lot of stress. If he one day says “f it, I need a lower stress job” with more than likely a lower stress paycheck, they don’t have her income to fall back on anymore.

    I love that my GF and I have our separate careers. Mine is higher paying and I could get laid off if we have a recession and lending dries up, but other than that my job is pretty stable but can be stressful. My GF’s isn’t as high paying, but she couldn’t get fired if she tried. It gives us a great sense of security that we could live off one of our incomes if we had to.

  2. Penny @ She Picks Up Pennies Reply

    We’re DINKS, and it’s exactly what we want right now. Although we’re both teachers, we are in different districts. I’d like to think we are both past the point of RIFs due to budget issues (been there, done that), anything is possible. While it would be nice to always have the same schedule, the peace of mind is better, I think.

  3. getrichquickish Reply

    I financially support my family of six, in an expensive city, on one salary. If I can do it, anyone can!

    If my wife were to start a 9 to 5 tomorrow then 100% of her income would go into savings. It seems crazy that we could do that, but it seems even crazier when I hear dual income peeps say that they’d be toast if they lost one of their incomes.

  4. MustardSeedMoney Reply

    I like that you are content in the situation that you all are in. Being happy with what you are trying to work towards is incredibly important. It sounds like you have found the perfect balance for you all and I wish you the best on your financial journey.

  5. tjcaffiliate Reply

    Great Post, it sounds a lot like my fiance and I. I honestly believe that most households require 2 incomes just to get by. Even if one person earns enough to pay all of the bills, like you said, the secondary income is a great way to push more money into savings and get ahead

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