Financial Reasons I’m a Stay at Home Mom

I’ve heard many moms say that they can’t afford to stay at home. I’ve seen moms in tears, agonizing over leaving their children while they go to work. I’m not saying that all moms should stay at home or that they can financially afford to quit their jobs, but I will give you the financial reasoning behind my decision.

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Two kids in daycare equals big bucks! A few years ago, I had two little kids at home. One was in diapers and the other was only 3-years-old. The cost of daycare would have been around $1200 per month. That’s a huge chunk of a teacher’s salary.

Extra eating out -  If I were a working mom, I know that we’d be eating out more. Who has time to juggle work, kids, laundry, cleaning, and cooking?  There are some moms that can do all of this, but for the most part, eating out will increase with more work hours.

A sense of entitlement - I am usually a content and frugal person, but sometimes the entitlement bug sneaks up on me. ‘Why shouldn’t I have that? I work hard.’  I know a lot of people that feel this way and they have the debt to show it.

Increased tax liability - For a while, I was working in preschools where my kids attended.  One year I did my taxes and found out that the extra little bit of income I made put us into a higher tax bracket and it cost us almost as much in taxes as I made. That was really discouraging.

Gasoline and automotive expenses - With working comes more commuting, which means gas and automotive expenses.  At that particular time, I had figured it would cost me around $400 per month in gas for the daily work commute.

Clothing expenses - We all need clothes, but when you work you want and need to look nice.  I do have nice clothing, but not what most would consider a working woman’s wardrobe.  Clothing can be very expensive.

I had figured that daycare, clothing, gas, eating out, and all of the extras would put me bringing home about $700 per month (on a teacher’s salary).  Working full-time just wasn’t worth that kind of money. 

Stay tuned as later this week I will tell you some things I’ve done to help save money and better afford staying at home, as well as some part-time opportunities.


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    • Cherie Burbach

      I can totally relate to this. But remember, you’re not just a “stay at home” mom, you are also a “work at home” mom.

    • Lauralee Hensley

      Daycare costs and gasoline costs are the worst.
      We cut expenses by going down to one vehicle, that way we don’t have to spend additional money on car insurance. I realize not all families can do this and you do have to make adjustments when you do, but I’m lucky that my husband has one day off during the work week so that appointments are usually made on that day.

    • Sarah

      I wish I could change the internet & current culture so people would start referring to themselves as “stay at home parent” instead of “stay at home mom” – none of these points are gender specific, and it just goes to exclude those of us who have stay-at-home dads in the family.

      That being said – even when both of us were working full time, we never went out to eat. I agree on the day-care costs and clothing expenses. I’m a bit confused on the tax – unless you mean that the difference between what you earned & the day care costs was almost eaten up by taxes. Moving to a different tax bracket only affects the amount of income that is above that tax bracket. To use round numbers, if you make 20k, but only exceed the tax bracket by 5k, then you are only paying higher taxes on the 5k. at most, you are only paying the higher tax bracket percentage on the 20k, which would still net a considerable amount.

    • Gayla

      Great points. I’ve been a work at home mom for over 10 years and when I think about all the money I’ve saved by working from home, it’s astounding.

      As for gender specific – and political correctedness and “work at home parent” or whatever, maybe you could focus that keyphrase on your own blog and make a splash.

      When it comes to being sensitive on topics in today’s culture – I am more concerned with the desensitizing that’s going on with sex and porn over pausing to make sure I’m saying Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas – or wondering if my saying Thank God is offending someone – let along whether my being a “work at home MOM” is offensive.

      Being 40-something is wonderful – but the thing I like most is the thicker skin I’ve developed with age :)


    • Gayla

      Point taken. No harm, no foul

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    • Karen Weideman

      Sarah: I am a stay at home/work at home mom. This article is written specifically about me to show others how I came to this decision. I am a parent, but first and most importantly, I am a mom.

      About the tax – What I’m saying is that when you make more money, it can put you into a higher tax liability and the little bit that I made teaching part-time put us into a higher liability. Most of what I made went to pay those taxes.

    • Sarah

      No – I understand – I think its just one of those things where everything seems to be focused at stay-at-home-moms. I love your blog, and certainly wasn’t trying to say I was offended by it. I was just pointing out that there are lots of families with stay at home dads who this applies to as well. I don’t think it has anything to do with political correctness to say that many of these reasons are the same reasons why we decided to have my husband stay at home.

    • Sarah

      If you really think I’m offended or said anything out of a concern for “political correctedness”, and felt the need to reply with a full paragraph about how you refuse to worry about being sensitive on topics in todays culture, perhaps you haven’t developed the thicker skin you think? It sounds more like you were offended at what I said. I assure you I was not offended by this blog.

      I certainly wasn’t trying to start an argument or call someone out – it was just a side note because I feel like this article has relevance to my family – even though we chose for my husband to stay at home instead of me.

    • Dawn Meisch

      What does “just a’stay at home’ mom” mean? Do you mean to imply that stay-at-home mother’s don’t work?

      Because that is really insulting to mothers who don’t have a paying job, but manage to work 15 hours a day as “just” a stay-at-home mom.

    • Karen Weideman

      I can’t speak for Cherie but I do know her and a little about her character. I’m sure she’s not implying that stay at home moms don’t work. She has children and she knows the demands that mothers face everyday.