Both spouses working necessary or important?
Note: I generally write about one post a week and generally write long post, this post is over 1300 words, read it at your leisure and share your opinion on how you feel about it. Thanks.
In right now in down economy, many jobs are cut. A few people are still making good money but some are making less money doing same job. There are many stay at home moms and dads are like me who do not make any money.
Zenguy works as a consultant and he was unable to get any project for long time. I Stay home with my 2 kids, home school, teach at co-op as a volunteer. Our life is simplified enough that, we survived in little saving that we had. I have electrical engineering and marketing background and worked in corporate doing well while ago. I was talking to a relative and she said that made me think, basically she said I am wasting earned degree and money spent on education by not using it and doing things for free. If we both had a job, there will be always one income coming in. She in a way is right, and many times, I wish that I had an income/paying job. If I was working, we would not be in pressure when Zenguy did not have a project or contract for long time and we would be in better financial shape.
I thought of writing an analysis and Pros and Cons of both spouse working or not as it could help someone in similar situation to make a right choice for them. You will also see why my staying home is saving us more money, even if I was making 6 figure income right now too. Please read on, and make choice that works for you and your family. There are no right or wrong choices, we all do what works for us, this is simply my choice based on my experience.
Benefits of both spouses working
1. We still would have at least one income coming in for paying bills.
2. We would be all covered under my work insurance, saving us $710 month on medical premium and $6000 yearly deductibles.
3. We would be covered for dental and eye coverage through job and would not have to be without or pay from our pocket.
4. R would be able to go to best private Kindergarten and Little P ould have best care at home or day care with Nanny.
5. Zenguy would not have so much pressure to find a job and look for right one that feels right for him.
6. We would not be stressed (internally) about money as much.
7. I would get a social adult time outside, enjoying occasional work lunches, and conversation with other professional adults.
8. I will be using my electrical engineering and marketing classes: My education will be useful to earn and keep our lifestyle going.
9. I will be wear and buy new decent clothes from stores without guilt.
10. I may get professional hair cut or beauty care. (I am not usually in to these thing though)
11. I would be moving up in my career ladder.
12. Maybe I could help Zenguy and other friends/family with my professional contacts and job prospects.
13. We would be able to travel and take vacation, often as we used to.
14. We could eat out without being guilty.
15. We can attend parties, gathering without worrying about we can afford it.
16. We would be generous as we used to be with friends and family.
A Few Possible Issues with of both of us Working:
1. Since I would be working, kids would be in day care/preschool whole day. These are rough estimate cost for school and daycare in California. Cost for R’s Private Kindergarten : $850 (reasonably priced) plus afternoon daycare cost till 6pm $300-$500 : Total cost for R= $1150-$1350 per month. P’s cost for daycare since he is under 2 year and needs diaper changes/feeding: $1200-$2200 depending on care. Very expensive, most of my pay would go for kid’s care/school.
2. Since P sometimes gets (due to his lung issues) sick on and off, I would not be able to leave on day care (strict policy of all day care to avoid other kids getting sick) I would have to take off from work, if we both worked or Zenguy would have to do all caring for him, whole day while I am at work.
3. I may not be able to get time off whenever kids are sick, If I do, I might get laid off or create a tension at work.
4. We have to wake kids up at 6am to get ready and rushed to daycare/preschool by 8am and rush traffic to get to work. We have to pick up kids at 6pm or before, or getting extra charged for being late (unless situation is worked in it already), which creates extra stress.
5. If I am working or both of us working, we might have to do overtime without extra pay as it is expected and occasional weekend working too, leaving kids alone again? or finding a weekend care person.
6. We might be eating out or getting ready made food often , if I am working from 8-6PM everyday, not leaving me much time to cooking as often.
7. Kids will not be taken care of as well as myself by day care people, no matter how nice they are, as they may have 1 adult to 10 kids ratio (typical )
8. After extra tax, child care costs, car and extra gas costs, work clothing and other unforeseen work expenses will not much in my hands.
I used this calculator here Should your spouse work? and I assume I will make $5000/month salary (high amount), what would be take home income will be after all above expenses? it came out to be $286 per month. That is not much at all for all the efforts and stress that it will include. Check it out yourself with various pay and tax rates.
9. Sometimes at work, you would have to go out with co-workers or office parties, even when you brought your own lunch, adding to your lunch expenses.
10. You would have to pay some money every month towards some office party sometimes, such as birthdays, baby showers, outgoing employee, new employee and other outings parties.
11. You will be driving more, adding more cost to insurance, gas and wear and tear of your car.
12. Some of my mommy friends who work, they hire cleaning lady as they do not have time to clean house, adding more money. We usually do all cleaning work by ourselves right now.
13. Some of working mommies get cooking lady or food from outside, more often adding more expenses.
Why Staying home is Working for us:
Overall, in our case me working with 2 kids in not beneficial at all. I do help out our household income by;
1. Free child care
2. Free cleaning/cooking as I love to cook and like cleaner house
3. I have time for selling extra items from home
4. I can do more by saving money by living frugally
5. Saving on clothes/beauty care, gas, clothes prices, gifts for work expenses by being home
6. I can do still freelance writing, tutoring kids to make little income doing what I love.
7. I have sanity to wake up with kids and not be rushed, living life to smell the roses and not living fast life I used to live when I was working crazy hours.
8. Best part about this is, I get to choose what work I want to do regardless of earning anything, such as blogging.
In conclusion, we may not have income, but we do not have rush and stress ourselves for extra $286 month income for me. What do you think? $286 is good for groceries!
Check out Other Related Articles;
No spend month Challenge : I did a challenge to spend $300 per month only during July 2010, check it out.
Ways to Help Your Unemployed Friend or Family Member: This is very useful right now with down economy.
Surviving without money possible? An interesting case study of a person who is living without any money, impressive.
Creating a simplified Financial Plan: Simple plan to follow for all of us.
Story of Stuff: Do we really need all the stuff in life? We want it, need it? Most likely no.
Although finding a job for me after a few years break is also challenging, decisions decisions..sometimes it is not so easy choice. It was sure tough when we were both were not making money but we stuck it out and more surprising fact is that we survived for 22 months. Zenguy has a small project now and things seemed to be looking up.
Your turn: What works for you and how did you made a choice?
Photo Source: commonwealthfund.org