10 Arguments On Whether One Or Both Parents Should Work

Why It Helps To Live On A Single Income

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. Here are 10 factors you might need to consider.

1Child Care Savings

A budget of $600 to over $1,000 per month for childcare is not an insignificant amount. Remember that preparing for your future child is important. Also, take note that having a child means extra expenses.

2Wardrobe Or Clothing Savings

Most of us need clothes for work that cannot be satisfied with the clothes we typically wear at home. Both parents are working means extra work clothes. Remember that dry cleaning costs as well.

3Transportation Or Commuting Savings

Imagine if only one spouse is working. You might 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.

4Food Or Meal 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. It can also reduce the morning stops at those expensive coffee places.

5Having 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. This item might require part-time daycare, nursery school, or simply waiting until the child is old enough to start regular school.

6The Practice Of Frugality

If only one spouse works, you can 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.

7Faster Mortgage Qualification

A second income can make it easier to qualify for a mortgage. But, be careful. If you can't be eligible with one income, you might be on thin ice if you ever decide - whether by choice or necessity - to live only on one income.

8Retirement Money Or Income

You may consider cutting costs if only one spouse commutes to work. But, 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.

9Future Ability To Be Employed

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

10Chances Of Divorce

The current divorce rate means it's more than likely that you'll be a single parent at some point. Having your own household is obviously more expensive than living with someone else. Sadly, most couples don't grow old together. So consider the ramifications a divorce would have on the financial situations of everyone involved.

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

John Quintana

John Quintana is a proud Cuban, a lifelong resident of Miami, Florida where he lives surrounded by a loving family. When he's not writing, he spends his time either fishing or in the kitchen.