Doebler, Cathi Brese. Ditch the Joneses: Discover Your Family: How to Thrive on Less than Two Incomes!. Printed in Canada, 2010. 138 pp. $14.99. Purchase at Amazon for $14.99 or less.
Cathi writes from the experience of leaving a full-time job as a Manager of Performance Development and beginning her own consulting business in order to have the freedom to be the main caretaker for her children. She shares her insights from this experience for other parents to learn from as they seek to make similar transitions.
Divided into four parts consisting of 25 chapters, Ditch the Joneses is an easy read offering practical tips on how to make what is for many a very difficult transition in life. The first part looks at the reality of difficulty inherent when it comes to making financial decisions
Part two offers advice on how to actually make the switch from a two-income to a one-income family. The first chapter in this section is extremely important—plan before you start having children. She offers insight on how to determine your budget and how to to begin the actual process of removing one income (or substantially decreasing it). This section concludes with tips on maintaining sanity during the transition.
After making the decision to leave the work force or work part time or from home, there will be attacks from many different people. Part three offers help on defending your decision. Here, Cathi looks at various assumptions we will face when living a life of conviction. Her chapter on quantity versus quality is excellent regarding time spent with children.
The final part looks at a hodge-podge of miscellaneous ideas and resources.
Theologically, Cathi not only offers biblical support for the reason she wanted to be the primary caretaker of her children, but she also offers much in the way of biblical support for her advice and reasons for just about everything she says.
As I state in pretty much every book that includes these, please be wary of the prayers at the end of each chapter. While they serve a particular purpose, make sure they do not become a crutch for you as you are making the transition yourself. What I mean, is that you need to cry out to God from your heart, not Cathi’s.
After having made the transition ourselves, my wife and I can attest to the veracity and necessity of making some of the changes Cathi states. It is pretty much a foregone conclusion in the world today that your children will be raised in a daycare, then school, and then by a nanny or something during the summer months while mom and dad seek advancement in the work place to “provide the life their kids need.” Cathi does a marvelous job of showing why that not only needs to be the case, but that as parents, you are missing out on the most important days of your children’s lives.
Her practical guide shows that while it may be difficult, it is not impossible. If done for the right motives, it can easily be accomplished. It takes a mindset of thinking outside the box that many have not even thought to consider.
I recommend Ditch the Joneses for any family looking for ways to live on a smaller budget (who ain’t?) or even looking for tips on how to save money to move towards living on one income. I really wish I had this resource when my wife and I made the transition rather than rely on trial and error (emphasis on error).