Surprisingly, the answer may be yes, especially if you:
…live in a two income household where your income isn’t the primary source
…don’t depend on health insurance solely through your employer
…have at least one child which you pay childcare for
…work outside of the home with even a modest commute
…don’t mind reducing some of your extraneous spending if and when you decide to quit working
Shocking? Maybe, but you decide for yourself, let’s take a look at the cold, hard facts.
Now, to be more than judicious in this equation, I will be modest in my expense forecasting because I am also going to use a modest income model. Here’s what we will use:
We will use model of $12 per hour, based on a 40 hour work week.
This calculates to $480 gross. After AZ taxes at a married rate it comes to $398.76, so we’ll round up to a $400 net income.
I’ve checked here locally and found reasonable prices average from about $150 – $200, so we’ll say $175 for childcare.
Extra Transportation Expense:
I have figured in an average 20 mile one-way commute which, again, is about average here in Phoenix. With a 25mpg, this totals out to an extra 8 gallons of gas. The current gas price is around $2.30 – we’ll round up to $2.50 for wear and tear and vehicle maintenance – which comes to $20 per week.
Now, when I was working, how this worked for us was that we both bought our lunch most of the time. While this averaged more than the $10 per day (total) I’m allotting here, I will use this figure because I realize many people bring lunch from home frequently already. I submit that if you are staying home, you will be able to make your spouse’s lunch most of the time and, since you will be eating at home, this will be at least a $10 per day savings. Side note: I’m not even factoring in that morning bagel and $3 latte, or that lunch with the friends from the office that easily runs $20 a pop – so you know this could be a HUGE savings, am I right? We will use a savings of $50 per week.
Extra Food Expense:
We all know about those “I’m so tired, grab take-out on the way home / order pizza in” kind of nights. This happens more than we would all like to admit and boy, does it add up! Whenever I’m over budget, I can pretty much rest assured that THIS is THE culprit! Honestly it still occasionally happens now that I’m a stay-at-home mom, but it’s infinitely more rare! I am only attaching $30 per week to this, which would be one complete take-out meal for our family at a nicer fast food place like Rubio’s or Pei Wei (including beverages or dessert) or two moderately priced take-outs. $30 per week
Extra Personal Expense:
Here I am talking about maintenance for wardrobe, personal grooming, accessories, etc. Now, I’m not suggesting that if you should decide to stay home you stop caring about what you look like, that’s ridiculous! However, I don’t want to overlook the fact that when you work outside of the home, there is frequently an expense attached to that, and sometimes it could be quite substantial. Office jobs tend to require a type of professional image and wardrobe that most people don’t tend to wear during times they aren’t in the office. When I was working in the corporate world, I frequently wore dresses, skirts and suit pants or jackets. These types of clothing tend to be more expensive to purchase and maintain. Now I rarely, if ever, wear these in my everyday life and over the years most of them have disappeared from my closet. Furthermore, while working I got my hair done far more often than I do now, and I would also get my nails done – which I stopped doing altogether. I would like to assign an amount to these expenditures, despite the wide variation between those who it wouldn’t effect much to those who it would drastically and permanently effect. I will assign $20 per week.
So, obviously this isn’t the full list of all of the expenses associated with having a job, and you may find that your circumstances are much different – in either direction – but it is certainly interesting to explore.
Taxes are sure to be affected by this change as well, and could push this either way. If you have a larger deduction purposefully taken out of your payroll to either offset taxes owed or to pad your refund, then this could have a huge bearing on the outcome of your income. For our family, losing that second income actually put us into a different tax bracket which increased the percentage of our tax refund. We consider that extra “income” when making up our yearly budget and payment planning.
OK, are you ready? Here is the final tally:
$ 400 Net Income
-$ 175 Childcare
-$ 20 Extra transportation expense
-$ 50 Mid-day meals
-$ 30 Extra food expense
-$ 20 Extra personal expense
$105 Final weekly take home pay!
Is it worth it? Only you can answer that for yourself and your family!
And remember, if you decide you can “afford” to stay home, you can always supplement your income in a variety of ways – find out more about that in my upcoming blog “10 ways to start making money from home TODAY!” I’ve got some great and practical ideas to help you make up some of that “missing income” right away, should you decide to take the plunge.
Taking this step was one of THE BEST decisions my family ever made – for me, for my daughter and yes, for my marriage! I’ve never regretted it, we’ve never regretted it and I know you never will either! Come on in, the water’s fine!