Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The finances behind being a stay-at-home-mom.

I had this post all ready to go for today but then Trees Full of Money went and posted pretty much the exact same thing yesterday. Oh well, here it is anyways…and when your done go over and check out Trees Full of Money’s version!

When we were trying to get pregnant with my son it wasn’t even a consideration that I would stay home. There was no way we could afford it! But the bigger my belly got, the better being a stay-at-home-mom sounded, and by the time he was born we had decided I would stay home for the first year. That was over two years ago!

While I was working I was bringing home about $1,800 a month. I was commuting 45 minutes one way, which is a lot of wear and tear on the car. I don’t really know how to even calculate that if you want to be honest. But I do know that we saved about $140 in gas a month, even at gas prices from two years ago. But that extra cost brought my take home pay down to $1,660. Plus we saved about $50 a month on our car insurance since I only drive about 6,000 miles a year now. So now we are down to $1,610

“They” always mention clothes and lunches out as being a cost to work but for us it really isn’t. I eat the same or more lunches out being a stay-at-home-mom than I did when I was working and I still wear clothes. I didn’t have a fancy work wardrobe to maintain.

But what is a huge factor for us is daycare. Full time daycare for a newborn is very expensive. It costs about $175 a week for an unlicensed home daycare, basically a babysitter. If you want a licensed daycare center then you are looking at over $250 a week. But I probably would have been fine with the $175 week home daycare, you can find some very wonderful caregivers if you look. So subtract $700 from my take home pay, which leaves me with $910. Oh and I already had a 4 year old that was being watched by a good friend of mine for the very discounted rate of $200 a month. So subtract that and it leaves me with $710 a month.

So in review we have…

A take home pay of $1,800
Minus total working expenses of $1,090
Leaves us with $710

A take home pay of $710 a month for working 160 hours is only $4.44 an hour. And I didn’t even consider the wear and tear on the car, or my time commuting. I figure I could work nights somewhere close to home and make that if the time ever comes that we need it.

So what seemed like an impossible dream is actually good sense. Or should I say “good cents”?

1 comment:

JB said...

This is a great post. My family has thought long and hard about this... very hard. One thing to consider is what happens when the babies are both off to school? Or even both out of the house?

My mom was a stay-at-home mom and then my parents got divorced when I was in college. I think it was very hard for her to learn how to go back to work in her mid-40's.

That's why I want my fiancee to continue going to school, at least one class a semester, or keep working at least part-time somewhere - especially once the kids are all in school.