Is it worth going back to work? This post will take a look at the pros and cons between working versus staying home with kids – a financial perspective.
Deciding whether one or both parents should work is never easy.
News alert: there isn’t a single approach that will work well for all families.
When it comes to deciding whether to work or stay home with the children, there is a lot to consider.
There are many potential cost savings that can be gained by a parent staying home to care for the children.
On the other hand, there is also a loss of income.
This is where you need to analyse the details for your own situation to work out what is best for you.
Sometimes couples have more options when one spouse has a significantly higher paying job or more work flexibility than the other.
Many people believe that nearly any couple can afford to live on a single income when it’s high enough, because childcare and other expenses linked to work usually use all of the second income. But this isn’t always the case.
Let’s take a look at some numbers associated with both options:
IS IT WORTH GOING BACK TO WORK – OPTION 1:
One spouse staying home:
1 – Child care savings.
$600 to over $1,000 per month for childcare is not an insignificant amount.
2 – Wardrobe savings.
Most of us need clothes for work that cannot be satisfied by the clothes we typically wear at home.
Remember dry cleaning costs as well.
3 – Commuting savings.
You might only need one car instead of two.
Even if you keep two cars, the cost associated with gasoline, tires, maintenance, and more will be greatly reduced.
4 – Food savings.
If you stop going out to eat, you can save a bundle.
If a spouse stays home, that can cut down on lunch costs and the morning stops at those expensive coffee places.
5 – Home-based income.
Maybe one parent can telecommute part-time.
There is also the opportunity to start a home-based business that could result in significant income.
I know as a blogger, I have been blessed with the opportunity to earn a good income right from home.
6 – Frugality.
If you use this opportunity to overhaul your entire way of life, you might save a bunch more through simple living.
A lifestyle that highlights frugality can be a wonderfully simple and meaningful way to live.
This might allow you to ditch the need for a second income.
IS IT WORTH GOING BACK TO WORK?
OPTION 2 – When It Might Make Sense to Keep On Working
1 – You want to earn even more.
If you aren’t comfortable with the idea of frugal living, that’s okay.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to earn more while you have the opportunity to do so.
You might just need to take those childcare costs into account to work out how much money you are ultimately earning outside of the home.
For example if you earn $2000 a month and your childcare costs are $1000, you need to decide whether that $1000 will be beneficial and worthwhile to have given the number of hours you are working for it.
2 – Mortgage qualification.
A second income can make it easier to qualify for a mortgage.
But be careful, if you can’t qualify with the one income, you might be on thin ice if you ever decide – whether by choice or necessity â€“ to live only on one income.
3 – Retirement Income.
Let’s be honest. You can miss out on a lot of retirement savings and 401(k) contributions by staying home.
4 – Future ability to be employed.
Is your current career important to each of you?
Dropping out of the workforce can sometimes dampen your career.
Consider where you would be likely to be if you skipped working in your career for a significant number of years.
5 – Your desire to work.
Some people have a sincere desire to keep on working, even if it means paying for extra childcare.
They feel like it contributes to their emotional well-being and they want to contribute to their family in a monetary way.
All in all, it is a bit of a numbers game.
The choice is always up to you, whether you decide to work and stay home with the children.
In our family I personally decided to stay home with the kids when they weren’t at school and had the mindset that we would do whatever it took to make it work.
It would only be for five or so years and then I could return to working after that.
It was a decision that worked for our family because I knew it was only a temporary thing.
I knew I could return to work once the kids were both at school and work to my heart’s content from thereon.
In the end it all comes down to WHAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
Is it worth going back to work? Only you know the answer!
Do the numbers. Yes, having one parent staying home with the children can be wonderful for the kids.
It can also be a financially reasonable solution, depending on the specifics.
Consider the long-term impact and know that either way, you will be making what you feel is the best decision for your family’s situation.