When both Mom and Dad are both working full-time, it doesn’t leave much time to take care of the basics. Grocery shopping and filling the car up with gas can often prove a challenging fit into one’s schedule… let alone the little things like: laundry, house cleaning, lawn & garden care, dog walking and feeding, picking up the kids because you can’t leave work at 3:00 in the afternoon…little things like that.
The amount of time it takes to run a household adds up fast…especially when you consider the fact that unless you have another family member living with you (like a mother or mother-in-law) you need to pay someone to help with the day-to-day chores and errands.
The bottom line? If you’re thinking about going back to work once the kid(s) are in school full-time, you should consider the direct impact by weighing the tangible expenses of doing so…or rather ensure that your return to the work force will yield an income that outweighs the cost savings of staying home (calculated below).
House Cleaner: $7,200+/yr.
Babysitter / Nanny: $12,000 - $35,000+/yr.
Dog Walker: $7,800/yr.
Summer Camp / Swim or Country Club: $2,000 - $10,000+/yr.
Landscaping: $1,500 - $4,000+/yr.
Dry-cleaning: $1,000 - $2,000+/yr.
$31,500 - $66,000+/yr.
In short, unless you’re re-entry into the job market guarantees a salary of at least $50,000+/yr.… it’s likely you won’t break-even (on paper).
But what should also be taken into consideration, if you are one of the very fortunate (and very few) Americans who are in the position to even view a 2nd income as an option, is the fact that people who do what they love are happier people. And happy people not only make better friends and better lovers but better parents too. So, if your family can sustain itself on one (or one and a half salaries) ask yourself what you love more…the fulfillment of keeping a home or the fulfillment of your former line of work.