Monday, January 22, 2018

Staying at Home

Are two incomes really necessary for a family to survive?

I am not talking about career moms or dual income, no kids or others who choose to work because they want to.

Let's just address those who would prefer to or at least be comfortable with, being at home - for their kids and for their spouses.

Is it necessary that you work outside the home? Short answer: Probably not. Except in circumstances where one partner is limited in earning income for some reason (disability, few local options, etc.)

How can that be, you may be asking. First, let's take a closer look at your income and expenses.

Unless you are in a career that you have trained for that pays well, the chances are that you are barely (or not at all) making enough money to cover your working expenses.

There are several things to take into account:

Taxes. How much do you pay on your income, and does it put you in a higher tax bracket so that you pay higher taxes on your partner's income, too?
Transportation. It's okay to have a second car, but if you're not driving to work every day, you save gas, maintenance, wear and tear and even insurance. Ask your insurance company what the rate would be if you only drove 3.000 miles a year instead of 12,000.
Clothing. You don't need to dress in rags to stay at home, but neither do you need an expensive wardrobe. Take the things you have learned in creating a wardrobe and cut the expense and the volume at least in half. Sell your excess.
Child Care. This is a big one. It's very expensive to pay for child care. If you stay home and take care of your own kids you save all of that money.
Medical expenses. This one might surprise you, but kids who stay home as opposed to going to day care, have fewer illnesses. The chances are that you may be healthier, too.
Food. How many times do working parents who are responsible for the evening meal stop and grab something from a fast food place or get take out? Or order pizza or other food delivered, just because they are too tired or overwhelmed to cook a meal?
On the same note, calling in your order to the grocery store will cost you. If you have time and energy, it literally pays to go to the store yourself. Besides that, you can often find deals and sales that would otherwise be missed. Not having to buy precooked food, deli, canned or frozen, from the store counts, too.

Okay, second step.

I am not criticizing or even suggesting, but here are some questions you may want to think about.

How much could you save if you hung laundry, even part of it, up to dry instead of using a dryer?

Could you repair clothing instead of buying new? Do you know how to use a sewing machine to at least make simple household items like curtains and potholders?

Do you know how to cook from scratch? Did you know that you can save money by doing so?

Can you clean the house completely without help? The advent of window washers and house cleaners has come about because no one is at home to do it.

How much does your makeup cost? Would you wear it daily if you were at home?

Be honest and think it through. You may find that you will actually make money by staying at home.

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