I’ve always known that I wanted to be a mother. I’ve also always known that I wanted to be a stay-at-home mother. It was (and is) very important for me to be able to be home with my kids as they are growing up.
Now, I don’t want this to seem as if I feel that being a stay-at-home mom is the only way to mother. I am blessed that our circumstances have allowed me to stay home, however, it hasn’t come without sacrifice. It has to be a decision based on what is best for your family.
If you are considering becoming a stay-at-home mom there are several financial aspects that you should take into consideration beforehand.
Plan ahead for the loss of an income.
After I found out I was pregnant, Mike and I talked about how we would financially handle me no longer working. What we did was deposit my paycheck directly into our savings account. This way we got used to only living off of Mike’s paycheck while setting aside a nice emergency fund. This will give you a good idea of how feasible living on one income would be.
Calculate daycare costs.
Daycare can be expensive, especially if you have more than one child. If you are on the fence about whether you should stay home you might want to do some investigating into tuition at local daycares. Once you know how much daycare will cost, you might be better able to determine if being a stay-at-home mom makes sense.
For me, once I calculated how much daycare, commuting, and even the additional income tax liabilities (from being in a higher tax bracket) would cost it was pretty much a break-even scenario in which I would essentially be working so that someone else could raise my children. In that situation the answer was easy.
Consider ways to cut back.
Losing one paycheck can be scary. However, with some budget adjustments the sting doesn’t have to be quite so painful. Things such as couponing, selling items at consignment sales, or even cutting back on luxuries such as cell phones, eating out, or buying everything new will also help you keep more money in your wallet.
Is it something you want?
Some people, such as myself have always known they wanted to stay at home with their children. Other moms might not be so sure. Whatever choice you make, whether you become a stay-at-home mom or continue in the workforce, make sure it is what you want. There could be nothing worse than feeling you are being forced into something and being resentful later. Maybe compromise and stay home for a year or two and then go back to work.
Consider work you can do at home.
There are legitimate opportunities in which you can work from home. Virtual assistants, transcriptionists, and freelancers are all able to make decent incomes while working from home. If you don’t have the time or energy to commit to a full-time at-home job, there are other ways that you can earn a little extra money from home. The Penny Hoarder blog has put together a nice list of 12 Best Ways To Make Extra Money in 2015. It is definitely worth checking out, especially if the difference between staying home and not is only a few hundred dollars.
Another way to potentially bring in some side income is through direct sales. Find something you are passionate about and look into joining a sales team. There really is something for everyone out there. There are also varying amounts of time you can put in. Some people do them as a full-time job replacement other people use them to make a little extra cash for vacations or other luxuries. For me, I chose Young Living essential oils since I am interested in living a more natural lifestyle, but as I said you have to make your own choice.
Regardless of whether you decide to be a stay at home mom or not, know that there are no right or wrong answers. The decision is one that should only be made by you and your family. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.