8 Determinants Whether Your Spouse Needs To Work Or Not

Choosing Between Work And Stay-At-Home

Deciding whether one or both parents should work is never easy. There's no single approach that will work well for all families. Many potential cost savings can be gained by a parent staying home to care for the children. On the other hand, there is also a loss of income. Analyzing the details for your own situation is your best bet.

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 because childcare and other expenses linked to work, usually use all of the second income. But, this isn't always the case.

1Child Care Expenses

$600 to over $1,000 per month for childcare is not an insignificant amount. Preparing for your future child is important because having a child means extra expenses. On the other hand, stay-at-home parents get to take care of their own children and eliminate child care expenses.

2Clothing Expenses

Most people need clothes for work that cannot be satisfied with the clothes they typically wear at home. Remember, dry cleaning costs a lot as well. So, having your spouse not needing to change for working clothes every day can reduce clothing expenses, and that includes the laundry.

3Transportation Expenses

When one of you stays at home, you might only need one car instead of two. If you just have one car, then commuting expenses can be cut down. Even if you keep two cars, the cost associated with gasoline, tires, maintenance, and more will be significantly reduced.

4Food Or Meal Expenses

If you stop going out to eat, you can save a bundle. If a spouse stays home, that can cut down lunch costs. Additionally, the morning stops at those expensive coffee places will be reduced.

5Home-based Income Opportunity

Maybe one parent can telecommute part-time. There is also the opportunity to start a home-based business that could result in a significant income. This item might require part-time daycare, nursery school, or simply waiting until the child is old enough to start regular school.

6Frugal Living

If you use this opportunity to overhaul your entire way of life, you might save a bunch more through simple living. Make a list of all your monthly expenses, crash out everything you could do without, and start cutting. A lifestyle that highlights frugality can be a wonderfully simple and meaningful way to live.

7Retirement Money

Two earners in the family often mean two sets of retirement accounts. You can miss out on a lot of retirement savings and 401(k) contributions by staying home. Keeping your job can prepare you for retirement.

8Career Plans

Is your current career important to each of you? Dropping out of the workforce can stop your career cold. Consider where you would be likely to be in 10 years if you continued working. You might not even be able to start at the same level you left.

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 decide, if it's the right move for your family's situation.

About Author

Jackie Wing

Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."