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Do you think I could afford being a stay-at-home mom?

My future husband makes roughly $35,000 and right now, I make around the same. However, if we decide to have children, I'm seriously considering being a stay-at-home mom. My occupation forces me to be out of the house for long hours, so I don't think I would enjoy being away from my children (who are not born yet, haha). Do you think we could make it work with just $35,000 a year? (I live in a city where the cost of everything is extremely expensive. For example, Gas = $3.54/gallon)

Update:

I actually have my degree and am getting my masters soon. I'm a teacher. But where I live, teachers don't get paid very much... and it's so hard to stay up late grading papers, supervising week-long field trips out of state, etc. when you have a family at home to care for. That's why I'm debating. I'm just not sure...

And thanks a lot to the person who called me that insulting name. Very immature...

27 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Im for stay at home moms but heres an idea. Why not tutor privately when you can. You could make your own hours and bring in a little extra income in your own home. Once the babies are past the infant or toddler stage you could advertise to tutor privately.

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  • 1 decade ago

    If the situation calls for adjustment then I am sure you and your husband will be able to get by. Oftentimes, you just need to review your current spending habits and make adjustment. Do away with unnecessary shopping and focus more on the necessities. Nowadays your predicament has already worked for several couples. Communication is the key to ensure that you and your husband won't argue about "money" in the future. Agree on how to budget and how much to budget. Drastic financial change will be quite challenging at first but once you get used to it - your perspective about finances will greatly improve.

    Congratulations on your future children - I am sure you and your husband will be great parents.

    BTW, since you'll be earning a Masteral degree soon - maybe you can explore part time teaching jobs or giving out tutorial lessons. Even if you opt to be a stay home mom - you can still have your own income. Good luck!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Hi I was in the same boat not too long ago (though you aren't there yet) anyway. My husband makes a little more then that. I worked full time until my oldest was 2 I hated it. I wanted to be home with her and I wanted more children. My Mary Kay consultant told me about Mk and frankly I didn't even listen. it was about a year later she came to my home (I had been using the products for 6 or more years) soI thought why not do it for the discount shortly after I got pregnant with my second and to my surprise I was able to quit my job. I have been doing this for 3 years now and I love it. You teach people about skin care and color application all which is taught to you. I didn't wear much make-up before Mary Kay just used the skin care. I have fun and make money plus it is an outlet for me to be someone other then mom. You are smart to plan ahead I loved the fact that I built my customer base so when I was on maternity leave I had reorders love that it is a consumable product and you get residual business.

    Anyway good luck to you check out direct sales it might be for you:)

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  • 1 decade ago

    i think it would be pretty hard. with everything being so expensive these days. $35,000 is ok for someone who lives by themselves and no kids, not much expenses, but to support a family, it would be rough.

    if you're considering becoming a stay at home mum, maybe you should find a part time job, at least 2 days a week, or if you have a hobby or something like that which you can make money from by working from home, then do that.

    other wise, i'd start saving from now, until you have kids, so that you can at least have some money to fall back on, for rainy days and such.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Wow, you must be living somewhere where they have some money if they're sending the kids away on week long field trips often enough that you're worried about it. Teaching is actually a very kid friendly job in that once your kids are in school you're working pretty much the same hours and have pretty much the same vacation days as they do. There are some times that you'll have to find care for the kids but its really not all that often.

    That said, if you want to stay at home here's what you can do. Once you're married make a budget based on only your husband's income. Figure in all your essentials (food, housing, car, gas, utilities). Then try to live off of his paycheck only.

    Don't use your paycheck for living expenses. Use that money to start individual retirement accounts for both of you. Use it to pay off debt. Use it to build up an emergency fund of 6 to 8 months salary.

    If you do that, you'll be set no matter what. You'll have investments growing early which gives you a huge headstart over everyone else and means you'll be more likely to have a good retirement. You'll be debt free and not paying interest every month for things that you've already used up. And you'll know you can get by on just one salary if you do decide to stay at home when you have kids. You'll be used to living that way if you start married life doing it so it won't be a shock to loose your income.

    I know a lot of people here have commented on your lifestyle not being as good. I beg to differ. It can take a bit of a readjustment, especially if you're doing this in a high income area. You have to learn the differences between things you need to live and things you want to have. Things you just want you sometimes have to wait for.

    Look for groups of people who are trying to pay off debt or live frugally for tips and tricks to make your money work for you. Yahoo Groups has a lot of them. Make them the people you compare yourself and your lifestyle to. Compare how fast your CC debt is going down, not who has the newest car or biggest TV.

    You can do it, but it does take a lot of commitment and a lot of belief in yourself.

    Source(s): Daughter of teachers, Married to a Navy sailor, SAHM to 2. http://www.livingonadime.com/ <---site owner did amazing things on 1 salary
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  • 1 decade ago

    Work as much as you possibly can, and live extremely cheap, until you do decide to have children. At that point, consider how much it will cost to work. Obviously, you will have childcare costs, which are more expensive for younger children; but also think about your home life: a welcoming, restorative home is a real blessing in life, and can heal a million wounds. If you stay home to care for your children, at least until they start school, you have the chance to be more hands-on with them, and also to create a good home and a stress-less environment (which is also a chance to save money).

    Encourage your husband to advance in his career, and offer your support in any way possible. You may want to look into moving a little further out to save money, but keep in mind commute times. Also, consider going back to work part time after your children start school, or running a small home business -- it will make life a little more hectic, but you'll have extra money coming in and still have the time to be with your kids at home. But by that time, you'll be a master at managing chaos! Best of luck!

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You can but you really are not going to do things nice like buy a house or go on vacations. My wife and I were in the same boat. She took 6 months off to be with the baby. Then she got so bored that she got her Masdter's degree and started working again.

    So try it out and you will get very tired of being poor and being home all the time.

    The best case scenario would be to stay at home with the baby and then take night classes to get that degree or masters.

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  • 1 decade ago

    OK, this is a question all mothers have to deal with...and their is no "right " answer. What you can expect is when you start having children, you are going to find they are very expensive...lol So you might not be able to get by on just his job. What you can think about doing is, get some education in the teaching field, then you can work in the school system while your children are going to school...you will be off when they are, and that helps a lot. Their are other jobs besides teaching...office, bus driver...etc You can start out in the pre school and work up as your children grow.....good luck.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Sit down and do the math. Likely if your in an expensive area.... No sadly it's going to be nearly impossible. My fiances mom has a house, makes 25,000 a year but has a lot of debt on credit cards, because she cannot afford the emergencies.

    My parents make 50,000 and we only have a 100,000 dollar house, and we can barely make the bills for it. So sit down, do the math, but with kids you have to have extra money, they go through clothes really fast diapers are expensive and youll see all your money right out the window before you know it.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It is my opinion that if you both sit down, define your dreams and goals, and then make a workable plan on how to achieve them, you will find that a solution will present itself.

    Have you considered starting a home business? If both of you agree, then set an income goal, how many hours you both are willing to work, and then start now. That way you will have a steady income coming in before the baby (or babies) get here.

    If you like, I will more than happy to help you with any of the above.

    Thanks and hope this helps,

    LD

    ldhelps@yahoo.com

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