Wednesday, November 12

Maybe you CAN afford to quit your job

One of the most obvious reasons people hesitate to start working at home or they're unable to be stay-at-home moms is income. When you compare salaries alone, there's no contest. If you leave a full-time salaried position making $40,000 a year for a job where you're only sure you can make about $6,000 the answer is obvious.

But you have to consider what it's really costing you to work full-time. There are so many expenses we don't realize we have when both parents are working full-time. DH and I have always been all about saving money and even we really did some of the things that might be considered extras. If you stop working outside your home, here are some things you can save on:

  • Gas or the cost of commuting- Any errand running you do as a SAHM would add up to much less than your daily commute.
  • Car - This could be a stretch, but if it's feasible for you, you could sell one car and save on insurance and a car payment if you have one - or you could net some savings money from the sale.
  • Wardrobe - No matter how frugally you purchase clothing, you still have to wear something nice to work. Your work-at-home/stay-at-home wardrobe doesn't have to be as pristine (and it won't be).
  • Childcare - The cost of childcare, especially for more than one child, can be more than half of one parent's salary. At that point, you're just working to pay for the cost of working in many cases.
  • Food - Even if you're diligent about brown bagging it, the occasional business lunch or emergency-I-forgot-or-didn't-have-time-to-make-one happens on occasion - not to mention the also, ahem, occasional, coffee stops. And with two working parents, pizza night or dinners out are bound to happen a few times a month.

You may have other items to add to this list, but these are the most basic things to consider. MSN offers a helpful article with some more info. If you're working full-time now, stop and think about how much you probably spend monthly in these areas.

I've been able to pretty much eliminate all these job-related expenses and still earn an income. What's more, lots of the things I pay for working at home (such as internet or home office equipment) can be a tax writeoff. When money has gotten tight, we've talked about the possibility of my going back to work. Then we stop and consider the cost of what I've listed above - especially the childcare - and I realize that anything I would earn after those are all paid is equal to what I make now and NOW I'm able to stay at home with my kids. So what I'm doing now is automatically better in my eyes.


Lorrie said...

This article is great! I just posted something almost exactly like it last night. I may have to link back to it to give moms another perspective.

I would really like to apply for the webby awards. I am not sure that I have the professional experience they are asking for. Is it difficult to evaluate some of the sites? I sent it on to my husband who is an English teacher online as well as in the classroom. I thought he might be better at it then I would. Thanks for the great idea.

Emily said...

Lorrie - I noticed your article last night when I was looking at your blog. That's so funny!

Don't let the "professional experience" intimidate you. As I mentioned, they just want people who can tell them why they like or don't like a website. For the "qualifications" part in the Blog category I chose, for example, I just said basically I have a blog and I frequent other blogs so I know what I like and what I want to see.

It sounds like this could be right up your husband's alley too. It does take a little bit of writing for the reviews.

Valerie Deneen said...

Thanks for posting this. There are some many people out there who think they cannot afford to stay home, but with this advice maybe it can be done.

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