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 of 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 and that child care and other expenses linked to work usually use all of the second income. But this isn't always the case. Here are ten factors you might need to consider.
1Child Care Savings
A budget of $600 to over $1,000 per month for child care 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 that we typically wear at home. If both parents are working, that means extra work clothes. Remember that dry cleaning costs a lot 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 at 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 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 for you 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 to live only on one income, whether by choice or necessity.
8Retirement Money Or Income
You may consider that you can cut 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 at home. Having a 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 be in ten years if you continued working. You might not even be able to start at the same level that you left.
10Chances Of Divorce
The current divorce rate means that it's likely that you'll be a single parent at some point. Having your own household is obviously more expensive than living with someone. Sadly, most couples don't grow old together. So consider the ramifications a divorce would have on the financial situations of everyone that is involved.
One parent can stay at home with the children. This can be wonderful for the kids. It can also be a financially reasonable solution.
But this depends on the specifics. Consider the long-term impact. Decide if it's the right move for your family's situation.