Is It Possible To Stay Home With The Kids?

When you decide that you want to stay at home with the children the first thing that probably comes to mind is “can we afford it?  Your family is used to have two incomes on which to live.  Will your family be able to get along on only one income if you stop working?

The first big expense that will be eliminated if you decide to stay at home is the cost of daycare for the children.  However, if you decide to continue doing some work from home you may still need daycare for the children for part of the day or for a couple of days each week.  Determine how much of your income you are paying now for daycare and then decide whether you still want to continue with a demanding job or if you can manage with a job that takes less of your time.

There are some other expenses that will drop if you decide to stay at home.  You will likely be in a lower tax bracket so you will be saving money there.  You will not need clothes for work so you will be shopping less and you won’t have many dry-cleaning bills.  You will drive less so you will be saving money on gas, parking and wear and tear on the car. You will probably eat out less often.

Don’t assume that because you are no longer working outside the home you will not be eating out at all.  There are going to be some days when you feel like getting out of the house for a meal and times when you want to take the kids out to eat.

If you decide to stay at home with the kids for a few years you need to consider your retirement planning.  When you were employed you probably participated in a retirement program offered by your employer.  Now that you are no longer employed you need to consider saving something toward your retirement.  With only one income coming into the home this may be hard, but it needs to be considered.

Decide how much income your family will need.  This will determine whether you can stay at home and take care of the kids or whether you will need to earn some kind of income.  Hopefully, if you cannot make it on a single income the shortfall will be relatively small and so you will not have to work too much. If you do need to earn some income a work at home job or home business may become necessary. The idea of becoming a stay at home parent is to have more time with the kids and help them grow and develop.  To accomplish this goal, you and your family will have to curtail some of your free spending lifestyle.

Determine how much income you need to contribute to the household and how much risk you are willing to take.  Work at home jobs may be harder to get then starting your home-based business.  However, starting a new home based business can be a risk and it may take several years to earn much income from the business.

Sit down and determine what it is costing for you to work outside the home.  Determine what it will cost for you to stay at home with the kids.  You may find that if you tighten spending the family can make it on one income.  If not, you may find that by staying at home your family will only need half or less of the income you used to make.  A much less demanding job can fill that gap and still give you the time you want to devote to raising your children.