Author Topic: Staying at home parent income?  (Read 10200 times)

LAL

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Staying at home parent income?
« on: May 29, 2014, 01:54:44 PM »
For those of you who have a stay at home spouse, have you ever considered the income you've given up?  Yes there are a few years of daycare, but that eventually goes down considerably.  And you've been growing your income during those years anyway.

What made you decide to give up the income?  Did you regret it?  Has it affected your ability to FIRE?

I get told a lot, you stay at home and don't work, so you don't understand.  I wonder do families with two working parents get that by staying at home, we have less income to work with?

lackofstache

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2014, 02:14:17 PM »
We consider the income we've given up, yes, but we've decided that having a SAHP is worthwhile. It will affect retiring early, but we decided we'd rather have these years with our kids and work a few extra later in life if needed. Some retire to have kids, we had our children young, so we're taking a few years "off" now.

mxt0133

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2014, 02:17:42 PM »
I have definitely considered the lost income/income potential of having a SAHP.  What it always comes down to is one's own values and priorities.  If parents think that being around more early in childhood is more beneficial than being able to be there more later in life or provide financial support for college, wedding, home purchase, inheritance, ect, then they forgo the second income.  And vice versa.

Unfortunately most people don't believe they have that choice.  That when you have a family you have to live in a house, do lots of extracurricular activities, go on exotic trips, in order to do the best for your children.  I think that is what it comes to in our current culture. 

I get so many wired looks when people find out my family lives in a 650sf one bedroom apartment with two kids.  I just explain that time is how we are choosing to invest and support our children instead of expensive toys, clothes, experiences, large home, ect.

So far we do not regret it as it has help us to be even more mindful of our resource and shown us how wasteful we were.  We are just as happy if not even happier without the fancy vacations and new stuff. 

Ironically it has actually accelerated out FIRE date because our savings rate actually increased when we dropped to one income.  It was hard to stick to a budget without the proper motivation or a concrete goal.  With two income it was too easy to fall into lifestyle creep. When we do go back to two incomes hopefully it will be two part-time incomes!

Emilyngh

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2014, 02:42:28 PM »
For those of you who have a stay at home spouse, have you ever considered the income you've given up?  Yes there are a few years of daycare, but that eventually goes down considerably.  And you've been growing your income during those years anyway.

What made you decide to give up the income?  Did you regret it?  Has it affected your ability to FIRE?

I get told a lot, you stay at home and don't work, so you don't understand.  I wonder do families with two working parents get that by staying at home, we have less income to work with?

Yes, I consider the income we're giving up.   Even considering daycare it's a shit-ton of money over the years DH is a SAHP.   I find it funny that they two most often given comments we get when we mention that DH SAH are : (1) but he works from home then? (as in he can't possibly *only* be a SAHP, but yup, he is), (2) Well, daycare is so expensive having a SAHP saves money.

In our case it absolutely does not save money for DH to SAH, it costs a great deal.   It's a conscious choice (DH quit a good job) that enables us to live the life we currently want to.   It's affected FIRE, but we have a great life now (I have a great flexible job too, so we live a life not too far off from FIRE) and it's one of the best decisions we've ever made. 

DH might consider a PT job when DD goes to school, but probably only if it's something he's interested in (and PT, don't think he'll ever go FT again) and if it ever becomes an issue or not fun, he'd quit.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 02:44:21 PM by Emilyngh »

Workinghard

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2014, 05:36:25 PM »
I worked when our son was young and so did my husband, but we worked opposite shifts so one of us was always with him. When he was around 10, I needed to be more involved with his homeschooling and activities, so I became a SAHM. We also started doing foster care.

I went back to work over 2 years ago. The first year I tried out different jobs and then landed at the 3rd one. I started at $16 hr, then $27.50, then over $30 with benefits.

The one-income years were so difficult especially with college expenses. We could not have done it if we had a mortgage. Needless to say, savings did not add up fast with my husband's maxed out 401k being the only contribution.

Now that we're doubling up on income, we're trying to save a lot (around 70k) a year. We're maxing out (2) 401ks, (2) Roths, and contributing after tax dollars. I work extra so I don't  see a decrease in my income due to the 401(k) contribution. My husband works extra for play money, vacation, and occasional home repairs.

I do have mixed feelings about exiting the workforce. It definitely took a toll on our finances, added stress to our marriage, and delayed savings/retirement. Even working PT would have made a huge difference and not affected the things that needed to be done at home. I do NOT regret the time with our son, and because I was home, we saved on college expenses. I was able to drive him for dual enrollment classes at the community college since he started before he got his license.

I do regret that we're not further along financially. Long shifts and mandatory on call is getting difficult for my husband. He'll make it though--only 22 months left until he's eligible for Medicare!

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2014, 06:21:36 PM »
I/we think often of the income we've given up because I've been a SAHP.  It's a commitment we're very confident is best for us, but that doesn't mean that over the years, we (okay, I) haven't had to be reminded why I'm doing it. Sometimes, the money feels like a big loss, and the rewards are...well, hiding.

The light is at the end of the SAHP tunnel now, and I'm starting to get really excited about what I can do and how much money I can add to our 'stache in this upcoming chapter of life.

milla

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2014, 07:15:07 PM »
Yeah, we have two part time working parents because we decided we both wanted to be very present in our kids' lives. Obviously we would have more money if we didn't do this but we've never considered two full time working parents. We've had a part time and a full time before, albeit with non traditional schedules. This is the kind of parenting we want to do. We can afford a reasonable lifestyle and still save. It will take longer but we enjoy ourselves.
On the other hand we wouldn't make the choice to have a completely SAHP because we just can't do it. Us as people, we can't just let go of work completely. Having kids doesn't change us as people, we still have the same goals and interests that we did before and that includes the work we chose.
For us the cost of daycare isn't a problem, we just wanted to keep our kids home even if the "parent in charge" (that's what we call it) switches out. For a year we had a third person to help us out because things were so busy at both our jobs, but we still kept them home and paid more than daycare would've cost.

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2014, 07:30:18 PM »
Before I began the convoluted process of turning a hobby into an income-producing job, and thus became a work-at-home parent, the numbers still didn't make sense for me working. Back then, we calculated that we'd lose a substantial bit of money if I went back to work in the profession I'm trained in (line cooks make jack-all for income) and I was/am able to generate a lot of what we call "negabucks" because I don't work outside of the house. As it turned out, my not working gave me the time to develop a blog about those very negabuck-generating activities: gardening, from-scratch cooking, canning and preserving, etc. and, much to my surprise, that has led to many financially-advantageous opportunities including magazine articles, paid speaking engagements, direct advertising revenue and - most recently - a book deal.

So I guess my point is, I'm thrilled I've been able to SAHP my kids, I don't regret the decision at all, and I don't think being at home and developing income opportunities are at odds.

wild wendella

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2014, 07:32:59 PM »
Our son is only < 2 years old and we aren't FI, so I can't speak from the point of a successful retiree.. :)  But I can speak from the point of a happy single-income family.  My husband decided to stay home and raise our son when he was born.  It was a really smart decision for us.  And no, we don't miss the extra money. 

Our friends who are two-income parents seem to spend all of their extra money anyway.  Since my son was born, I've actually been saving more and paying down debts faster.  We've just changed our priorities.  It seems that a lot of dual-income parents try to cram in a lot of expensive experiences on the weekend.  This makes sense.  I used to live like this a bit myself before I became a parent.  Work hard, play hard, spend lots of money and all... the American dream.  ;)   But now we do more relaxed family activities that are free or cheap - go for a family bike ride on a rail trail, or a hike, have friends over for a game night, go to a local farm to see the animals.  These kind of activities are cost-effective, relaxing and seem like a far better use of time with our son.  Now, obviously a frugal family could continue to do frugal activities whilst having a dual income, that is certainly true.  But in our circle of friends, we see dual income families blowing through a lot of money.

Because my husband takes care of the house as well as our son, during the weekends we don't have to run around and catch up on laundry or cleaning, etc.  We have more free time than two-income parents.   That alone is worth the extra $$ to me.  We do send our son to a couple of classes for building social skills, but I definitely feel that while he is young, having a parent mold and shape my son's experiences is really beneficial and rewarding - both to my husband and to my son. 

Not sure whether this answers any questions, but I just thought I'd lend my experience.  Incidentally, I realize that we are lucky we can get by on one income, and not everyone can make that happen.  I should also point out that we don't own property and are still renting, so there are clear sacrifices.
« Last Edit: May 29, 2014, 07:51:09 PM by wild wendella »

abhe8

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2014, 08:00:31 PM »
yes! I call them my "million dollar babies." I took 2 years off during my training/early career and the salary I gave up would easily be over a million dollars in just a few years. But its worth it. both dh and I want to be very involved and present with our children on a daily basis. for 7 years we worked opposite shifts (he worked FT, I was in school FT and then worked FT). Now he is a SAH parent, although he continues to work from home some. He grows/raises almost all of our food and plans to ramp up production to a small commercial operation when I transition to PT work. Our financial picture and history is somewhat atypical, in that we still have mountains of student loans and plan to pay those off in the next 2 years, then hit the retirement and college savings. But we love our life. our children are happy and thriving and we would not trade our family time for all the money in the world. i'm thankful both dh and I have a very mustachian world view, as it allows us to be very happy (and to have a big family, 4 kids so far) on a small(er) income.

abhe8

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2014, 08:04:28 PM »
its interesting to see in this thread, other families with a SAH dad and WOTH mama. This is the situation that works best for us, but i admit, we dont' have many real live friends with similar schedules, so we often feel a little socially awkward. (ie., dh would LOVE to meet some of you other SAH dads for play dates!!)

CarDude

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2014, 08:52:09 PM »
Yup, we considered it, but decided the time was worth it. We've never regretted it.

catccc

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2014, 09:49:53 PM »
On SAHDs.  This was years ago, but one looked at our family calendar and saw "moms' night" penned in on a Friday.  I told DH "This is wrong, moms' night is Saturday!"  He said "no, your moms' night is on Saturday, mine is on Friday."  I had a group of moms I would hang with when I was a SAHM, but when we switched, DH found his own circle of moms for play dates.  He was the only SAHD in the group, and it worked.  (Actually, my "moms' group" does have another SAHD, and he attends play dates with his kids, and the moms are all welcoming of him.  But on moms' night, his wife comes, not him.)

I think pretty infrequently about the income we've given up to have a SAHP.  For our 1st kids' year, I was the lucky one, and I gave up my 80K base position to be at home.  We lived on my husband's 25K salary.  And it was easy, because for about 9 months before that (right after we got married and returned from our honeymoon with a baby on the way!), we lived on his income and essentially saved all of mine.  We switched and DH has been a SAHP for about 4 years now.  DD1 is 5 and DD2 is 3. 

We always wanted to have a SAHP.  It was always going to be DH, but I happened to be in a job I wasn't fond of at the time we were pregnant.  Because of our frugality and savings, we were confident we could make it a year w/o my income.  (BTW, it was 2009, we did not dip into savings at all that year, and our NW went up, and we paid off the 10K of student loans he brought into the marriage, and I rolled some old 401Ks over into my Roth and paid taxes at a nice low tax rate.)

What I do think about more often is the income we'll get when both kids are in school for a full day and DH has time to go out and make some money!

We essentially plan FI around my income alone.  Anything he can bring in to boost it is gravy. 

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2014, 12:06:24 AM »
Never. SAH trumps working, no contest.  :) I think some folks on this thread are SAH for a few years (until kids go to school?), but I am probably permanently staying home.  It's been a decade now, and I am really glad to be hanging out w/the kiddos, still.

I'm coming up on two decades and I'm just now, in the last year or so, starting to get itchy.  My first two are adults now (though one is living at home during college) and the youngest two are 14 and 15.  They're at an in-between phase where they do almost all their homeschooling independently, but I still need to be around all the time because they do need help occasionally, and they obviously don't drive and they need me get them to their various activities.  Their growing independence is making me a little restless at home, and I've been fantasizing a lot more lately about what it will be like to have a job and get rewarded with an actual paycheck for all I do. :)

lizfish

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2014, 12:38:01 AM »
It's great to read all these different ways of approaching it. We are not parents yet, but I can definitely see one or both of us being SAHPs even if part-time. I'm self employed and I would love DH to work less (although I know kids are work too) so I am concentrating on building up my income so we can save the same/more even if DH decides to take a pay cut or go SE/PT himself. He has a clown commute at the moment and he is dog tired. I have quite flexible work so I am confident that I can fit, say, a couple of days a week round kids, or more when they're in school.

BFGirl

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2014, 05:05:48 AM »
I wanted to be a SAHP, but it didn't work out for me.  Congratulations to all of you who are able to do this.  I think it is wonderful for you and your children.

A word of caution to anyone who is contemplating this, but who does not have the best marriage.  It may be better to continue working so that you can support yourself and your children in the event of divorce.  I have seen too many situations where a divorce happens and the SAHP now has to try and find a job after being out of the workforce for many years.  Of course the people on this forum know how to live under their means and hopefully have savings that can get them through, but it is still something to think about.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2014, 01:18:38 PM by BFGirl »

frugally

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2014, 05:13:05 AM »
Yes - my wife is a SAHM.  We ran the math and her taking a part-time job would have shaved exactly three months off our six-year journey to FI.  It just didn't make sense.

catccc

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2014, 09:09:49 AM »
I wanted to be a SAP, but it didn't work out for me.  Congratulations to all of you who are able to do this.  I think it is wonderful for you and your children.

A word of caution to anyone who is contemplating this, but who does not have the best marriage.  It may be better to continue working so that you can support yourself and your children in the event of divorce.  I have seen too many situations where a divorce happens and the SAP now has to try and find a job after being out of the workforce for many years.  Of course the people on this forum know how to live under their means and hopefully have savings that can get them through, but it is still something to think about.

I thought that child support and alimony were designed to mitigate this risk?

BFGirl

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2014, 09:58:04 AM »
I wanted to be a SAP, but it didn't work out for me.  Congratulations to all of you who are able to do this.  I think it is wonderful for you and your children.

A word of caution to anyone who is contemplating this, but who does not have the best marriage.  It may be better to continue working so that you can support yourself and your children in the event of divorce.  I have seen too many situations where a divorce happens and the SAP now has to try and find a job after being out of the workforce for many years.  Of course the people on this forum know how to live under their means and hopefully have savings that can get them through, but it is still something to think about.

I thought that child support and alimony were designed to mitigate this risk?

Yeah...great in theory, not always so great in reality.  If the relationship is really bad and the party who has been ordered to pay is especially vindictive, you can spend a lot of time and attorney's fees in court trying to enfoce child support and alimony.  Also, in my state you generally cannot get alimony unless you have been married 10 years and even then it is only in certain circumstances.  Also, alimony is often not for "life" anymore.  It can be really difficult if you are in your 40's competing with younger people for a job when you have been out of the workforce for many years.  I have seen a good many horror stories.   I am not saying every situtaion is like this, but it is best to be informed of the possiblity.

fidgiegirl

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2014, 12:13:39 PM »
Thanks for all the responses.  We have a little baby and I am on maternity leave and not looking forward to going back - the stress of a schedule (any schedule) with an unpredictable small person, plus I no longer particularly like my job, and daycare is expensive and scarce (though we do make enough to cover it and still earn above and beyond the cost of the daycare, if that makes sense - a lot of people will say "I was just working to cover the daycare" but that's not our situation).  DH doesn't want me to quit, but my anxiety about going back is already growing, and I don't really have to go back until late July/early August.  I feel I've been spinning my wheels for months on this point.  It's a hard decision.  To those of you who have yet to answer, or maybe those who already did if you're looking back:  Did you go into your decision with all the finances worked out already, or did you say "this is important to us" and figured out the finances later?  Hope this is adding to the conversation and not turning it a different direction.  I can start a new thread if more appropriate.

James

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2014, 12:20:26 PM »
My wife was a SAHM until this spring, she has been going to school for the last few years and just took a job as a librarian. It worked fine for us, but in hind sight I think she would have been happier working part time, just for personal satisfaction, getting out of the house, etc...


It's really such a hugely personal issue, depending on the incomes, preferences, personalities, kids, child-care options, support available, and a million other variable. I think the key for those deciding is to know there are no rules. You figure out what works for you, don't bow to pressure from outside to conform to some norm, be that staying at home or working.

Villanelle

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2014, 12:33:26 PM »
We have no kids, but I had to quite my career when we moved overseas.  Our time overseas is ending up being much, much longer than expected (will be about 8.5 years before it ends, with a slight possibility of extending).  I am definitely haunted by the income I gave up, and the huge, huge hit to my earning potential and to my SSI numbers.

But I also recognize that it was a choice.  In reality, we had little choice in the matter, but I could have stayed in the States and lived away from DH, so technically, it was a choice.  And having our marriage be healthy and strong and having and being a partner on a day to day basis was well worth the huge, huge number. 

Just like any other financial choice, even when this one stings a bit, it doesn't bother me all that much overall because I am comfortable with our decisions and I know they were right for us. 

We didn't really go into it with the finances figured out because this wasn't really something we planned for.  We were told we were moving, and that was that.  We were prepared to do whatever it took to make this happen, and for the most part, that was all we could really do. 

I did end up working part time for very good money, and will do that again in a couple years when the opportunity becomes available.  I went in to it dreading the job and doing it only for the money and because I was uncomfortable not working and I wanted something to fill the time.  But I ended up absolutely loving the work--best job I ever had. 

rujancified

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2014, 12:33:44 PM »
Before I began the convoluted process of turning a hobby into an income-producing job, and thus became a work-at-home parent, the numbers still didn't make sense for me working. Back then, we calculated that we'd lose a substantial bit of money if I went back to work in the profession I'm trained in (line cooks make jack-all for income) and I was/am able to generate a lot of what we call "negabucks" because I don't work outside of the house. As it turned out, my not working gave me the time to develop a blog about those very negabuck-generating activities: gardening, from-scratch cooking, canning and preserving, etc. and, much to my surprise, that has led to many financially-advantageous opportunities including magazine articles, paid speaking engagements, direct advertising revenue and - most recently - a book deal.

So I guess my point is, I'm thrilled I've been able to SAHP my kids, I don't regret the decision at all, and I don't think being at home and developing income opportunities are at odds.

1. I love negabucks! What a great concept.
2. We're in the pre-kids phase right now and are figuring out how we can work it out (we make roughly equal money; neither truly wants to stay home full time). Your situation is very interesting to me - Do you detail on your blog how you moved from hobbyist to pro? Was that your plan throughout or did you develop the following organically *HA* and go forward from there?

catccc

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2014, 01:00:29 PM »
Thanks for all the responses.  We have a little baby and I am on maternity leave and not looking forward to going back - the stress of a schedule (any schedule) with an unpredictable small person, plus I no longer particularly like my job, and daycare is expensive and scarce (though we do make enough to cover it and still earn above and beyond the cost of the daycare, if that makes sense - a lot of people will say "I was just working to cover the daycare" but that's not our situation).  DH doesn't want me to quit, but my anxiety about going back is already growing, and I don't really have to go back until late July/early August.  I feel I've been spinning my wheels for months on this point.  It's a hard decision.  To those of you who have yet to answer, or maybe those who already did if you're looking back:  Did you go into your decision with all the finances worked out already, or did you say "this is important to us" and figured out the finances later?  Hope this is adding to the conversation and not turning it a different direction.  I can start a new thread if more appropriate.

Fidgiegirl, if you can swing staying at home and your family can cover expenses, even if it means not saving a lot, I say go for it.  As I noted before, we had the finances worked out.  Most people can go out and get another job, earn more money later.  I will forever cherish my SAH days with our first, and I'm so grateful we can continue it w/ DH at home now.  It's hard to put a price on that.

ambimammular

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2014, 02:21:21 PM »
In some ways being a SAHM has helped us.  We have total confidence in our ability to thrive and save on only one salary.  Plus having someone doing full time defense on that money trying to slip out of the pocket really helps.  Mostly I think on how fat that bank account is going to look in two years when our youngest gets on that school bus and I start working.  Certainly my pay will be less than it would have been, but it will still taste like icing on the cake after the budget we're accustomed to.

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2014, 02:49:58 PM »
When my son was born I took a year of maternity leave.  Now that I'm back at work my husband is staying home and working from home.  We plan for him become a fulltime SAHD once his 1 year contract is up next year.  We worked out the finances ahead of time to make it work.  We decided that it was most important to us that one of us stayed home with the little guy.

Balance

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2014, 03:07:14 PM »
I am now a SAHD but I still work very part time from home.  I basically cherry pick assignments that don't take too much time away from the baby.  When I was working full time I would make anywhere between $80-120K with no benefits.  My wife on the other hand has the more secure job that pays $135K+ per year with great benefits for the whole family. It made more sense for me to be the SAHP instead of her.  It is working out great because our little guy is now 8 months and is thriving!  He is so happy and so are we as a family.  We haven't seen a huge drop off in our savings, and our NW has continued to increase. I do all the cooking, cleaning, gardening.  If I was still working full time I would be too exhausted to do it all (especially since our baby doesn't let us get enough sleep). The thing I do miss the most is being able to contribute financially.  I get a lot of weird questions and assumptions from people we meet being that I am the stay at home dad.  The time off is helping me realize that when our son starts going to school I may spend my free time with more meaningful work that will only enhance our happiness. 

mm1970

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2014, 06:18:47 PM »
Thanks for all the responses.  We have a little baby and I am on maternity leave and not looking forward to going back - the stress of a schedule (any schedule) with an unpredictable small person, plus I no longer particularly like my job, and daycare is expensive and scarce (though we do make enough to cover it and still earn above and beyond the cost of the daycare, if that makes sense - a lot of people will say "I was just working to cover the daycare" but that's not our situation).  DH doesn't want me to quit, but my anxiety about going back is already growing, and I don't really have to go back until late July/early August.  I feel I've been spinning my wheels for months on this point.  It's a hard decision.  To those of you who have yet to answer, or maybe those who already did if you're looking back:  Did you go into your decision with all the finances worked out already, or did you say "this is important to us" and figured out the finances later?  Hope this is adding to the conversation and not turning it a different direction.  I can start a new thread if more appropriate.
I have always counseled my friends to go back to work and give it a shot.  (Full disclosure: I'm a working mom and I like it.  Though after #2 I have off and on considered quitting.)

Worst case: you hate it and you quit later.
Best case: you get into a new groove and love it.

I always fell in the  middle.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2014, 07:24:05 PM »
My oldest really struggled in school, and she thrives doing homeschooling. I was able to work a bit while they were in school thanks to generous family that gave us free daycare, but we'd lose money paying for 3 in daycare, even just after school and during the summer.

I currently am home during the week and work PT on weekends doing commissioned retail sales in a field I have been in for 8.5 years. I have enough contacts that I can bring in a good chunk of $, nearly 100% of it goes straight into debt/retirement.

Even without homeschooling, I am quite busy at home with house work, cooking, gardening, etc. The bias towards stay at home moms versus dads can irk sometimes, but I love it. As our budget improves and we hit FIRE milestones, we are going to have me quit to get time as a whole family. Right now, my wife and I see each other during the daytime less than 30 days a year.

jasmine93b

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #29 on: May 31, 2014, 07:44:15 PM »
I was a SAHP.  It made the most familial and financial sense at the time.  I do not regret the time I devoted to my 2 now adult children. 

The unanticipated side-effect for me was: my DH and I divorced a couple of years ago as the kids were just about to launch for college.  In the time that I was the SAHP, my DH started a very successful business and has laid a very solid foundation for his present and future.  As for me, I am still unemployed and would have to be underemployed to rejoin the workforce. Ouch!  I have yet to fully reorganize and sort out that extended break in career.... 

If I, personally, had to do it again, I would try to find a way to work just minimal hours per week to keep my skills current and my professional contacts for networking (full time would be exhausting!  a SAHP is a TON of work!... depending on how your home and family is structured). 

Today's workplace has changed with internet based businesses and more work from home situations available -- if I were to be faced with the decision today (versus 23 years ago), I would attempt to look in those venues, hoping to achieve both goals.  That's me, we all have our own set of influences and unique concerns, do what feels right for you and family. 
Good luck, I hope that helps!!

DaKini

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2014, 03:01:21 AM »
We consider the income we've given up, yes, but we've decided that having a SAHP is worthwhile. It will affect retiring early, but we decided we'd rather have these years with our kids and work a few extra later in life if needed. Some retire to have kids, we had our children young, so we're taking a few years "off" now.
Same here. There are more important things as money, but in fact we currently buy time with money (the given-up salary of wife buys her time at home). we consider this a good deal. In fact it tells me we are partly FI, of one salary in this case, because we still maintain a above average savings rate (with two kids).

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #31 on: June 01, 2014, 11:13:08 PM »
Before I began the convoluted process of turning a hobby into an income-producing job, and thus became a work-at-home parent, the numbers still didn't make sense for me working. Back then, we calculated that we'd lose a substantial bit of money if I went back to work in the profession I'm trained in (line cooks make jack-all for income) and I was/am able to generate a lot of what we call "negabucks" because I don't work outside of the house. As it turned out, my not working gave me the time to develop a blog about those very negabuck-generating activities: gardening, from-scratch cooking, canning and preserving, etc. and, much to my surprise, that has led to many financially-advantageous opportunities including magazine articles, paid speaking engagements, direct advertising revenue and - most recently - a book deal.

So I guess my point is, I'm thrilled I've been able to SAHP my kids, I don't regret the decision at all, and I don't think being at home and developing income opportunities are at odds.

1. I love negabucks! What a great concept.
2. We're in the pre-kids phase right now and are figuring out how we can work it out (we make roughly equal money; neither truly wants to stay home full time). Your situation is very interesting to me - Do you detail on your blog how you moved from hobbyist to pro? Was that your plan throughout or did you develop the following organically *HA* and go forward from there?

1. Thanks!
2. I don't, because my blog isn't about blogging or money via blogging or "my life in general" or whatever, it's about gardening and related homemaking activities. Regular readers know a bit around the edges about the extreme hesitation I had re: monetization (so much of it is just icky to me, so I was very hesitant) but it's not really part of my blogging voice. But I'm happy to answer questions. I'm not MMM successful or anything, I just have a small, dedicated niche readership. I started blogging to have something to do while I breastfed my son who never slept. Not kidding. So there was no grand plan. And I did very much grow my readership organically. I just showed up and wrote, nearly every day, and tried to deliver authenticity and on-topic value in that writing. I grew just because of word of mouth. Pretty boring, really. A few moderate "hit" posts, but nothing extreme. I just showed up and tried to keep writing. If you want the "hit" formula, I don't know it, but copyblogger and problogger are incredibly helpful.

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2014, 05:29:58 AM »
My stay at home life may not be as financially lucrative as Erica's, but I do agree that by staying at home I was able to save money via scratch cooking, food preservation/pick your own, etc. 

There is something else at play in our lives that may not be true for others on this forum.  My husband continues to work despite the fact that he could FIRE--for the most part, he really likes his job.  By staying at home, I have helped him with support systems that have kept him sane when he works long hours or does a lot of work related travel. 

If I were to work for pay, yes, we'd have more money. But we are very comfortable in our lives.  So I am one of those rabblerousers who volunteers.  I sit on an advisory board for my town, I am the treasurer of a small non-profit. My favorite non-paid gig is that of an advocate for a statewide organization.  This group sent me to a leadership conference in DC and three times a year I go somewhere interesting in the state with mileage, hotel and meals covered.  I learn things and use these trips as opportunities to visit friends or family before or after.

When my son was younger, I did do an occasional teaching gig to keep those skills fresh.  (I have a master's degree and have taught at the post-secondary level.) Now, if something were to happen to my husband or our marriage, finding a job would not be required. 

Emilyngh

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2014, 07:19:24 AM »
  To those of you who have yet to answer, or maybe those who already did if you're looking back:  Did you go into your decision with all the finances worked out already, or did you say "this is important to us" and figured out the finances later?  Hope this is adding to the conversation and not turning it a different direction.  I can start a new thread if more appropriate.

We had worked out all of the finances, but there was still a lot of fear.   We had lived off of my income alone for about 4 years before DH SAH (used DH's income to first pay off debt and then saved the rest).   So, I really knew logically that we could live off of just my income.   

But, it was scary b/c I constantly got the message that it would be unaffordable.   Still to this day, my friends/colleagues often sigh to me that they wish they could have one sah, but there's no way they can afford it (their incomes are very similar to mine).   And when I heard this before DH SAH, I felt like maybe I was crazy thinking we could afford it b/c how could all of these people be so wrong?   Or that maybe we could live day-to-day but we'd have nothing to save, never be able to do any projects, or take any trips, etc.   I was worried that we'd start to run through our savings, but felt that even worst case, if that started happening, it was worth it and DH could go back to work after a few years and build them back up, so we jumped in.

Well, turns out that not only can we live completely off of my income, we have not touched our savings doing it....they've actually grown really well.   And we've continued our house renovation projects, taken some nice trips, all while savings growing.    All those "impossible to live off one income" warnings to us were wrong, so very very wrong.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 07:21:20 AM by Emilyngh »

bdoubleu

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Re: Staying at home parent income?
« Reply #34 on: June 02, 2014, 04:47:52 PM »
My DH stays at home, but we don't actually have kids (yet?).  There's the high-maintenance dog, but no little humans.  We are 27 and 28 years old.

When he was working, we had the idea for him to stop working and stay home to take care of the house and (eventual) kids (he was working an entry level job with little to no room for promotions).  I work at a hospital and have very odd hours (overnights, which means significantly more take-home pay, and through this I've found I am quite the night owl and really love working these weird hours - if I must work!).  He had a "normal" M-F 9-5 j.o.b., which he couldn't stand, and my strange hours combined with his normal hours meant we didn't see each other much, which made for 1.5-2 very miserable years of marriage (which may have taken much longer to realize had we not pulled the trigger on him quitting).

Anywho, we lived off my income and saved all of his for several months, and realized it wouldn't be a stretch at all (in fact, we are currently maxing my 401k and our Roths, plus additional money in taxable accounts on my income alone, and our only debt is the mortgage).  The kids haven't come yet (now almost 2 years after DH retired), but the household stress has gone down significantly.  DH is not wired to work a j.o.b., and he is really thriving with exploring hobbies (home-brewing, minor construction, etc), and I am more wired to work (for now, definitely looking forward to FI soon [or at least going part time - the way I'm wired, I think I will need to ease into retirement]!).  We both feel significantly better off with our current arrangement than we ever have.

I know him not working is slowing down my FI date, but we definitely have a nice FU stache if needed (I really enjoy my job at the moment, perhaps in part to the FU money we have compiled?). 

In all, it's been the single best decision we have made.  The peace of mind FAR outweighs the income lost.