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Can Being a Stay at Home Mom Cost You Money?

Sep 7, 2008
For most people, the answer to this question is "YES! Obviously!" Having one parent stay at home can be quite the sacrifice for the entire family.

Despite the popular myth, many stay at home moms do not have husbands whose jobs pay extremely well. Many live on an extremely tight budget. And while sometimes staying at home costs less by the time you consider expenses such as daycare versus what the second income is bringing in, it's all going to feel like a sacrifice.

And it probably is one.

Despite the potential to save money in certain circumstances, many families really do bring in less with one parent at home. You can't forget the risk of having a single income, either. One income can be lost very easily in troubled economic times. There goes the insurance. There goes the security.

Being a stay at home mom can also mean a lot of pressure to do things with your kids. You probably aren't "just" staying at home, after all. Being there for the kids means tons of time to put them into activities. These generally cost money, sometimes a lot of money, depending on the activity chosen.

The lost income is why so many stay at home moms are so good at finding bargains. They have to be. It's find a cheap way or do without.

There's more than just the obvious income loss, however. Stay at home moms often lose more to the loss of retirement income and missed promotions in their chosen fields when/if they do return to work. The effects can impact your entire life.

Fortunately, stay at home moms may also be able to supplement their family's income from home. Some do rather more than supplement it, in fact, by running home businesses. It's not the solution for every family, and there are risks as well as flat out scams to be avoided.

The great part about working at home is that it can cut back on the money you lose. Depending on what you do, it can take care of the entire problem or even improve your overall financial situation. It's something to be considered.

The decision to work at home shouldn't be a light one, however. You need to understand what it is you want from being a stay at home mom, and do your best to not lose that part.

Then you have to figure out what will work best for your particular needs and interests. There's no one right answer.

Some people may be able to freelance or telecommute in within the fields they are already established in. Others will start a completely unrelated business. There are many more options available to work at home than there once were.

What matters most is that you keep your priorities in order. You should be focused on doing what you and your family needs most, not on following the crowd or the hype. Doing things your own way can be very satisfying.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster runs http://www.homewiththekids.com/ as a resource for work from home moms. Find more work at home options for stay at home moms at her site.
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