Is Being a Stay At Home Mom Financially Feasible?

How To Decide Whether or Not to Be a Stay At Home Mom

If you're wondering whether or not you can make it as a stay at home mom, you're not alone. Many parents spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not they can get by on one income. Unfortunately, there's no cut and dry answer. Here are some things to keep in mind when weighing this monumental decision...

Are Two Incomes Necessary?

Staying at home is a lifestyle choice for many families. Some families can survive (and even thrive) financially on just one income. We’re conditioned to think that two incomes are necessary in today’s society, but some economists have exposed the dual-income myth.

In fact, some parents are finding out it's costing them more to work than it would cost them to be a stay at home mom. Confused? The devil is in the details, my friends.

The Endless Money Pit

Most consumers, without really being aware of it, spend a lot of money for the privilege of working. If you work in an office environment, you usually have to adhere to strict dress codes, and there’s always an endless succession of office parties, retirements, and birthdays you’ll need to buy gifts for.

Also, let’s not forget the lunches out and the takeout dinners you order because you’re too tired to cook at the end of a long and stressful workday. The pennies start to add up and the list doesn't end there.

From Here to There

Gas, commuting costs, and maintenance on a second vehicle can also chew up a huge portion of your income. Staying at home eliminates these costs from your household budget.

I’d recommend that those interested in being stay at home moms tally up just how much they’re paying on a work wardrobe and commuting costs. Day care costs are another big factor to consider.

The Other Side of the Coin

Before you run and hand in your resignation notice, understand that some of your expenses will increase if you decide to be a stay at home mom. When you stay at home, your electric bill will be higher because you’ll be home during the day when you’d otherwise be at work. Your grocery bill will probably increase too.

However, overall, a dual-income family usually equates with a high-consumption economy. Weigh your options heavily before you make a choice, and consider having one parent work at home to reduce the financial burden. After all, a stay at home mom in the family isn't your only option. Maybe a stay at home dad is a feasible alternative.

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