‘Deadbeat’ Dad Chronicles: Trouble Finding a Job?

Taz Bright helms this series. Taz is a father, speaker, long-time business owner and graduate of the school of hard-knocks. Taz uses his past business and personal finance experience to help steer others in a positive financial direction while, hopefully, avoiding the mistakes he’s made along the way. As a former 6-year victim of Identity Theft, Taz shares unique lessons learned while trying to regain his financial footing. Taz is a member of Toastmasters International, a martial artist, former bodyguard and a CrossFit athlete. As the owner of Bright Balance Ministries, Taz’s goal is to help as many people as possible reach long-term, solid financial stability.

EmploymentIf you’ve been following this series you’ve become familiar with the various frugal options non-custodial parents can employ in order to keep up with child support payments during financial storms.

In this final installment of the series I’d like to discuss an option that can, honestly, be a bit painful but is very effective.

In 2009, I started applying for jobs out-of-state partly because finding local employment yielded only temporary jobs & I needed something long-term. I applied for anything that was legal and paid American greenbacks.

The hardest part was leaving my son for an extended period of time. He was about ten years old when an employer from Idaho Falls, ID called and asked if I could be in their office within a week for an interview. I said yes because I was determined to take care of my son even if it meant being away from him for a while. Plus, I needed to set a good example.

I bought a bus ticket and called the employer to let them know the date of my arrival. My next step was talking to my son. I explained to him that I had a job offer, finally, but it was out of the state. I asked how he felt about me going out of town. He understood the reason, asked a few questions and we spent the rest of the day hanging out and enjoying each other’s company. I was on a bus to Idaho within a week; I had seven days left to spend with this blessing of a child.

Fast forward three months later. I’d been promoted from call center phone agent to “Floor Mentor” which meant I had a team of phone agents under me, I helped train new agents, scheduled team meetings, and evaluated agent’s customer service phone calls.

Most importantly my child support payments were on time and consistent. From a financial standpoint it meant avoiding interest, and keeping a negative entry from my credit report. As SavvyJames has mentioned, reducing or illuminating fees when possible helps support financial goals. Interest fees resulting from non-payment of child support was a fee Staying in TouchI’d rather avoid.

Personally, my employment and my promotion meant setting a good example for my son. Did I miss him? Absolutely! He visited, we talked on the phone and texted each other often. I hated the distance between us but I felt very accomplished that I was fulfilling my obligation and helping take care of my precious boy.

Working far away from family isn’t easy. It’s not an option I’d readily run to. However, the possible positive outcomes cannot be ignored. Just as investing, saving and preparing for retirement are frugal steps toward financial freedom, so is accepting a job out of town if absolutely necessary.

Blogger-in-Chief here at RetirementSavvy and author of Sin City Greed, Cream City Hustle and RENDEZVOUS WITH RETIREMENT: A Guide to Getting Fiscally Fit.


  1. Many families have to go through this. I hope the net impact was more positive for your son based on the example you were setting. Sounds like the ways you communicated with him would have made up for being away.

    • Debs, thanks for your comment. I think my son has caught onto how important it is to be frugal and keep financial goals in their proper place. He sees hard work modeled by his step-mother and myself. He sees us tired from work, willing to spend less and save, invest, etc. He also sees that the result is an income used to support him financially, prepare for emergencies, invest, etc. I pray he keeps a hold of that frugal mentality through his adult years.

  2. Sometimes things aren’t easy in life and we just have to do what we have to do. But I will say that it takes a lot of courage to move to a place where you know no one and start over. Good for you SavvyTaz for talking your son through the changes and wanting to set a good example for him.

    • Karen, it definitely wasn’t easy but well worth the effort. Setting an example for my children remains important to me, I’m sure you can relate. Being frugal is one of the most important financial lessons we can teach our children and sacrifice is definitely a close second. I pray he sees the benefit to both and passes it onto the next generation.

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