This is not a post about what is better a stay-at-home mom or a working mom because that depends on your particular life’s circumstances, goals and beliefs. I can’t say one is better than the other because I have been both and everything in between – I have been a full time stay-at-home mom, a working mom and now some type of hybrid of the two. But I understand the stresses of both, and one of the main ones for stay-at-home moms is the guilt they feel for not contributing financially to their families. When you become a stay-at-mom you understand you are doing it for all the right reasons and you are proud that you get to raise and be with your kids, but I know that you may also feel troubled by the fact that you are financially dependent on your husband. However, don’t be so hard on yourself, let me share with you four ways that you are actually contributing financially to your household.
1. Money Saved in DayCare and After-school Care – DayCare, preschool and after school care are expensive. My best friend pays about $200 per week for her baby’s daycare. And the longer a child is in daycare the more it costs. And even if you have one kid in school, you would need to pay for after school care while you are at work in the afternoon. Your household saves a lot of money when you do your own child care.
2. Food and Eating out Savings – It’s really hard for mommies who work full time to prepare home cooked meals every night. And on the weekends, working mommies don’t want to cook – I certainly didn’t feel like it when I was working full time. I thought that I had worked hard during the week, so I had earned my right to eat out. But buying food everyday for dinner and eating out on weekends took a toll on our finances, and our health. I save so much by preparing meals at home and it’s healthier for our family.
3. Transportation Savings – You can spend a lot of money in gas these days commuting to work. Let me give you an example, my mom used to work about 40 minutes from her house before she retired. When she retired and she actually did the math, she was stunned to discover that she spent most of her salary on gas and tolls. The same is true if you work outside the home.
4. Tutoring Savings – This is one of my favorites. When my daughter was younger she was struggling in math, so I met with the teacher and she suggested tutoring. I told her that I would do the tutoring for her (I didn’t have money for a tutor), and guess what I came up with a plan to help her with her math and she improved her grade dramatically – I saved a lot of money doing my own tutoring.
So you see how in four indirect ways stay-at-home moms contribute everyday to the financial well being of a household. They don’t get a paycheck but they do save money and help use the household’s income really efficiently.