Has anyone done a comparison of costs-work vs stay home?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moosemaniac, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    I'm just looking at the concept of staying home and raising my goats and making soap and other goat milk products, vs working 9-5 Monday through Friday, driving 19 miles one way each day.

    Does anyone know of a good comparision study?

    Ruth
     
  2. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Nope!

    But for me, the cost seemed to be $200 a month.

    I made up the rest of the money by cooking from scratch, more carefull shopping, not having to buy uniforms, and so forth.

    PS... I MEANT to say that I used to make $700 a month working part-time, but I was able to make up $500 of that by scratch cooking and frugal living, which left us in the hole $200 a month. Which was OK, as the old pickup held together longer than we thought it would.
     

  3. Salmonberry

    Salmonberry Registered Nut

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    The book "Your Money or Your Life" will help you do your own comparison. It takes some time, but it's very eye opening.

    Salmonberry
     
  4. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    The Neil Cavuto Book? I love him, but I haven't read that one. I'll have to get a copy...checking half.com.

    Ruth
     
  5. moosemaniac

    moosemaniac Well-Known Member

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    Found it for 6.99. Ordered it. Thanks!

    Ruth
     
  6. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't know of any cost studies, but I think it would depend on your situation. When I quit work to stay home and home educate my children in 1993, we tried to figure out what it cost me to work, and plan our budget around that. Since I was an engineer for 15 years and in management (and actually was making more than my husband), there was no way that we could live on the same budget that we had been, although we had saved up quite a bit of money. We basically took our budget, and tried to figure out what costs we wouldn't have or would be cut back if I wasn't working. We found after I quit that it cost more to work than we had figured so our budget was not as tight as we had thought it would be. For me the big cuts were in child care and schooling (my children were 9 & 6 when I quit and in private school, I've had two more since), clothing as I had to wear business suits with pantyhose most of the time, gas and insurance for to/from work - insurance went down as I try to only go out once per week, and food bill as I was able to cook more from scratch and less eating out.

    If you're planning on some business adventures, you'll need to figure the costs it takes to operate those also. You may need to consider the cost of business licenses, insurance, accounting and a many other costs for your business pursuits. There are usually some good books on starting businesses at libraries. I have looked a little into selling my soaps, but in order to sell at the craft fairs or even to local small shops, they want you to have insurance. Some of the craft fairs also require a business license.
    Dawn
     
  7. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If the one wage earner can pay the bill and fixed expenses it works well, IF the stay at home Mom stays at home and don't run the wheels off a vehicle. If she raises as much as possible and cans or freezes it. If she does her cooking from scratch, IF she limits the junk food and drinks to a bare minimum. You will get ahead of like familys making two paychecks the size you and you mate are making. I worked a good paying job for 32 years. My wife stayed home and raised 4 kids. She wore out 3 sewing machines making all her and the kids clothes. She worked harder than most women have to on an hourly job. !0 years before I and a coworker retired, we both owned nearly 200 acres of good farm land that was paid for. His wife stayed home like mine. Most of the coworkers the had working wives didn't own much more than their home, and a couple new vehicles.

    If you add up what you spend on clothes and maintaining a vehicle that takes a tank of gas everytime you look at the gauge, plus the extra expense at the grocery, and many other things I've left out, you will very easily be going in the hole. This is not to say a working wife can't be just as frugal as a stay at home wife and many are, but when you follow some of them throught the check out lines in town you can see a paycheck going down the drain.
     
  8. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    My sister and brother-in-law ran the numbers when she was pregnant. She was working full time as a receptionist. After figuring in work clothes, gas, make-up, pre-prepared food or eating out (because neither one had energy to cook after work), help keeping the house and yard up, and full-time daycare --- they figured it would cost them $200 a month for my sister to keep working. Once it was all added up it was cheaper for my sister to stay home.

    Now that my niece is in school, my sister drives truck during harvest and makes as much in a couple of very hectic weeks as she used to make in a year as a receptionist.
     
  9. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In 1972 when I ran the numbers, i would have earned $5 a week after costs
     
  10. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I don't think any comparison study can answer your questions. There are too many variables. Figure up your work expenses and subtract that from your earnings. Figure up your business expenses and subtract that from your business income. Don't forget to account for tax differences as these can be substantial at the end of the year. If there is another wage earner, a business can result in a net tax savings as it often results in a paper loss for tax purposes. On the other hand, if you have a net income, then you must pay self-employment tax.

    I am surprised by how many people simply do not do the math before attempting various things. Often the numbers will give you a clear answer.

    Jena
     
  11. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I think you'll have to figure it for yourself, because every situation is so different. Here's one example to hlep you figure what to include:
    http://www.preksmarties.com/moms/sahm1.htm. This is based on a mom, so daycare issues are included. I don't know if that applies to you.

    Don't forget taxes, commuting costs, clothing/uniforms/dressy clothes, convenience foods, lunch out, daycare if you have children, the extra expenses of thing you might have to pay someone to do that you could do yourself if you were home (lawn, cleaning, etc). I'm sure there is more that I'm forgetting.
     
  12. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    Both my husband and myself have home-based "jobs" now; mine as a newspaper editor and his as an electrician/handyman....so neither of us stays at home all the time....but it does make a difference!

    He could take a tremendous cut in pay to stay here and just work in our county compared to having to drive back and forth to Birmingham which he did for more than 20 years.....the transportation costs alone were staggering.

    And for someone who has kids, the daycare costs are AWFUL.

    Most moms would likely save money by staying home, by saving on dayce, clothes, meals, etc.

    If you don't have young kids I think you'd still save money....AND

    I HATE to see all the big HUGE EXPENSIVE homes going up on what was once farm land all around here.....and you almost NEVER see a child playing outside, people sitting on a porch, etc. bECAUSE they are almost always gone to work and when they are home it's more like a motel, where they just check in to sleep!

    We've lost what HOME used to be! Our HOME is truly a HOME now!
     
  13. Shrek

    Shrek Singletree Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    In 1998 we found that my ex could save us more money staying home and caring for her son than she was bringing home from her $9 an hour 40 hr a week job after paying for fuel and day care expenses.
     
  14. KindredSpirit

    KindredSpirit Well-Known Member

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    Assuming someone else in the household is providing income, have you tried living on only that income for your household (with the exception of your work related costs, which you could subtract from you paycheck.) That would give you a pretty accurate picture of if you could afford to quit and also how much of your check goes to your job. I think if you have child care then working outside of the home may not work out financially, but otherwise it usually does provide additional income for the household. When you read "Your Money or Your Life" though they talk about how much something is worth in terms of your "life hours". Maybe staying home isn't as financially sound but if it is doable and you generate income from home jobs and that is really what you want, why not! :)
     
  15. Wags

    Wags Well-Known Member Supporter

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    When we calculated in the cost of quality daycare it makes a whole lot more sense for me to be a stay at home mom. I am blessed to be able to work part-time from home and that more than makes up the difference of my salary minus child care. And thats before we factor in healthier kids, and non-business clothes for me, etc...

    As someone else said - ya gotta run the numbers to know if it will work for you.
     
  16. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I' did it three different times over 30 years and it always is a loss for both to work unless your making outrageous money. But facts and figures could never move bullheadedness. It was her right
     
  17. Timeless Rogue

    Timeless Rogue Rogue User

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    Then, of couse, there are other factors to consider other than the primary one of whether or not there is enough income to survive.

    If you're staying home to work and also have more time to work around your home doing such things as more gardening, how much of your grocery bill are you offsetting by harvesting from your garden (which, by the way, with only a couple of hours a day average can supply most if not all of your vegetables, herbs and such and thus be quite a substantial contribution so include that number).

    What is the overall effect on both your physical and mental health of no longer having to deal with the stress of a commute or the work environment and on-the-job conditions.

    If there are other familiy members involved ... husband, wife and/or children ... what do they think of you working at home (or not working at all, if that's the way it works out) and what are the positives of you being there for and with them more.

    So, I personally think that it's not just as simple as evaluating the financial aspects alone. Yes, you have to do the numbers ... there's got to be some income, after all ... but all of this works into that number also. Everything you do, everything you contribute has value ...