Mothers everywhere have at one time or another toyed with the idea of staying at home to raise the kids. Some jump right in deciding that no amount of money can make up for the experience of being able to take care of their children, while others are more skeptical about being able to survive on just one income while adding another person to depend on that income. This is not an easy decision to make and it does require some form of sacrifice, but if you are seriously considering giving up your job to take care of your child then you need to consider the following factors.
1. Consider the Possibility of Tax Savings
To calculate how leaving your job would affect the family income you need to do more than a simple subtraction of your salary. For instance, you may move into a lower tax bracket and end up losing less than you thought because of your tax savings. If the second income only just barely pushed you into a higher tax bracket staying at home might actually be a good idea for your family.
2. How Much Would Daycare Cost?
Daycare is not cheap and many working mothers find themselves in a situation where it feels like they work just to pay for a daycare service. Figure out how much this expense would set you back so you can factor the cost as a saving if you decide to stay at home or an expense if you decide to keep on working.
3. How Much Would You Save on Eating Out?
Staying at home means you would have more time to dedicate to running the house.
Many families find that they can cut their food bill in half if they prepare most meals at home and focus on getting deals at the supermarket.
4. What Would Your Baby Cost?
Don’t forget to add the cost of your new baby into the mix as well. Not only are you thinking of forfeiting a salary, but you are doing this while also adding another mouth to the family table. Factoring the needs of your child is an integral part of making this decision.
5. Would You Want to Return to Work?
While your plans for returning to the work force may change as time passes it is wise to have a tentative plan in place. If your aim is to return to work eventually you should try to keep up with current affairs in your field and even take the opportunity to seek out additional training.
6. Can You Work From Home?
Another alternative is to find a way to earn an income from home. Maybe you can arrange with your current employer to work from home if your position allows for it or maybe you can start a new business. Don’t block out any of your options but rather start to think of how you can make things happen and turn your new status as stay-at-home-mom into an opportunity to launch another one of your dreams.
While it would be great to come up with a definitive number to answer the question of how much it costs to be a stay-at-home-mum the simple truth is that… it depends. There are both financial costs and emotional costs associated with the decision and each factor should be treated with importance.