I just crossed the one month mark until full-time stay-at-home dad life begins. Since officially making the decision to be a SAHD and giving notice to my job, I have approached the situation like I handle most decisions I’m faced with, an endless amount of research. Below are some of the resources I’ve found and a couple of other random things I’ve been up to as I wind down my days as a corporate employee.
The At Home Dad Podcast
Podcasts have quickly become my favorite way to consume media. So my first destination when I wanted to start researching the SAHD world was podcasts. After listening to a couple of different SAHD podcast out there, I stumbled upon The At Home Dad Show. This has quickly become my absolute favorite out of my 37 subscribed podcasts (35 of which in some way deal with finance).
Baker and Adam, the hosts, are SAHD’s in LA and started the Podcast to chronicle their adventures of being a stay-at-home dad. Their show highlights stories of everyday SAHD’s, talking through their daily schedules, what they’re cooking for dinner that night, how the transition to at-home dad life came up, and anything else they stumble upon. For the first time in my life, while listening to one of their podcasts, I was that guy who was openly laughing out loud on an airplane, getting several strange looks as I struggled to keep back the laughter.
In addition to the comedy, the At-home dad show hits on two more serious topics which I had brushed off initially when making the SAHD decision, cultural acceptance and depression/isolation. In particular, they address being open and embracing the fact that you’re a stay-at-home dad. As Mrs. FW pointed out in her post, The world isn’t made for Stay-at-home Dad’s, while the number of SAHD’s is increasing, it’s still a tiny community that comes with lots of strange looks and cold shoulders. The At-home-dad show openly talks about these challenges and how they have overcome them and established their community.
How to Dad
On the lighter side, Jordan Watson from New Zealand created a YouTube channel called “How To Dad” which highlights his hilarious adventures with his daughter through various common situations dads face. In particular, I love the video below in which he reenacts the various Dad stereotypes at the playground.
Short Order Dad
Thanks to the At home Dad show, I discovered Robert Rosenthal’s book, Short Order Dad: One Guy’s Guide to Making Food Fun and Hassle-Free. Rosenthal isn’t a stay-at-home dad himself, but was the main cook for his family and completed his culinary degree on this side while being fully employed. His philosophy centers around simple, quick recipes with a few ingredients (most have 6 or less) and lots of flavor. He also does not meal plan, but advocates for keeping a few core ingredients always in stock such as core proteins (chicken, ground meat, etc.) and vegetables and improvising with what you have on hand.
Long before the SAHD decision, I embraced cooking for the family. I love to cook and explore new recipes. Similar to Rosenthal, I also don’t like to meal plan, so his philosophy of just opening the fridge and using your imagination to come up with that night’s dinner resonated with me. I hope to start incorporating a lot of his recipes into my routine over the next couple of months.
Retire By 40
One of the first blog’s I started to follow on the financial independence retire early movement was Retire By 40. Joe is also a stay-at-home dad with longer-term aspirations to be Financially Independent. Joe’s blog has been around since 2010 and has ton’s of great content on both FIRE and being a SAHD. He even has a post entitled, How to Start a Blog and Why You Should, which was the roadmap for me when I created this blog.
I Will Teach You to be Rich
While it’s not related to being a SAHD, Ramit Sethi’s book, I Will Teach You To Be Rich, is something I have known about for a while, but hadn’t actually sat down and read yet. He just recently published the 2nd edition, updating the content from 2009 for 2019. Ramit’s writing style is very blunt and to the point, which can be off-putting to some. I like his overall message though, which very much aligns with our Finance Rules.
He is a proponent of understanding your spending habits, establishing a savings rate, and spending money on the things you genuinely care about, what he calls conscious spending. He is also an advocate of DIY money management through low-cost index funds via a brokerage like Vanguard.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is just about to graduate from college and start on their financial journey. Toward the end of the book, Ramit has excellent sections on paying off student loan debt, buying your first car, first house and how to save for a wedding. I wish I would have had this book back when I graduated.
Final days of corporate employment
As my days as a corporate employee comes to an end, I have also decided to squeeze everything I can from it. Here’s a few I tried to maximize.
Max out 401k
Back in February, when I knew that being a SAHD was a very realistic option, I increased my 401K contributions so that I would reach the $19,000 max contribution level before my last day in June. Our current savings rate goals have us hitting this max by making 12 equal contributions each month, but there is nothing from stopping you from hitting the $19,000 limit early.
I am currently on my health insurance separate from Mrs. FW and the kids. Our benefit year renews every April, which along with that comes a new slew of annual appointments and benefits, all of which will reset once I join my wife’s insurance policy in July. To capture the most value, I had my six-month cleaning at the dentist and had any X-ray’s that could be taken. I also established care with an internal medicine doctor, had a physical and ordered a six-month supply of contacts which is covered by insurance.
Waking up earlier
I am not a morning person. As it turns out, though, kids don’t care about that. The FW twins have decided that 6:00 AM is going to be their standard wake up time, while FW Jr likes to sleep a bit longer until 7:00 AM. To fully embrace the job duties of the SAHD, knowing that free time to shower will be at a minimum, I’ve decided that 5:30 AM is going to be my new wake up time. This will allow me 30 minutes before anyone’s up to get ready.
On a side note, you may have noticed the cool Amazon links above to purchase the two books I referenced. These links are my first attempt at trying to monetize this blog. So, if you like what you read about either book and think you might buy it, I would greatly appreciate it if you use the links above. You get the regular Amazon price, but Amazon gives me a small cut.