First you get married, then you get a house, then you have a baby -- well, in a perfect world. After that comes the riddle: Working vs. staying at home. While staying at home undoubtedly comes with its own reward, quitting work can leave your family in a financial rut. Except when it doesn't. Because, there is a financial side to being a stay-at-home mom that you might not have thought about just yet. In other words, it's possible to have your cake and eat it too.
Should I Be a Stay at Home Mom?
As it stands, about 45 percent of mothers today are stay-at-home moms -- yes, even in this dismal economy. And as I got to talking with one of my girlfriends about her choice to be a stay-at-home mom versus continuing to work after her new family addition, we rummaged through her finances to see how much she would really be "losing" by quitting her job and taking a few years to tend to her youngling.
The Financial Side to Being a Stay-at-Home Mom
In her case, a 35-year-old college educated professional, my pal was making $32,500 per year. However, we first looked at how much should would save by being a stay-at-home mom by cutting her work expenses, and then we took a glance at how she could make up the difference.
She was spending $60 a week to fill up her SUV to get to and from work.
Yearly expense: $3,120
While she wasn't an over spender in this area, my friend spent about $40 a month on office wear and accessories.
Yearly expense: $480
Career Dues and Miscellaneous Expenses
Her continuing education and union dues were taking a big chunk out of her paycheck. Cutting those in favor of being a stay-at-home mom made a big difference.
Yearly expense: $5,300
Every day, my friend was going out to lunch with her coworkers, spending $5 to $12 a day, five days a week, averaging out to $8.50 per meal. Being a stay at home mom meant she could drop that nasty habit and save some money -- and improve her waistline.
Yearly expense: $2,210
Total expense to go to work: $11,110
However, those expenses far from made up her income. We figured she would be giving up $21,000 a year to stay at home with her tot. The next question was obvious: How could she make $21,000 a year from home?
Taking the Financial Sting Out of Being a SAHM (Stay at Home Mom)
To make up for a loss of $21,000 a year, my friend decided to sell items on EBay and Amazon, while her baby napped during the day. She had time to clean her house, take care of her baby, spend quality time with her family, run errands and create a successful enterprise netting $52,000 a year with just a few sales a day.
I guess there are times where being a stay-at-home mom can really pay off. In her case, she more than made up for what she lost by quitting her job. And while it doesn't have to be EBay or Amazon, I think most women out there are enterprising enough to find a solution that allows them to have it all too.
What about you, do you think it's possible to have it all as a stay-at-home mom?
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