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.