cost of woh

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2003
cost of woh
115
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 11:28am
This is something very interesting that I saw on the Oprah show awhile back. They were speaking to working mother's who wanted to stay at home, but didn't think they could afford to go without the second income. There was a financial planner on the show, and he went through the true cost of the mother's job.

He wrote down all the costs: the cost of the DCP, the cost in gas for the commute, the cost of the lunches at work everyday, the coffees, the budget spent on work clothes. He also found that most WOH come home and are tired, so they don't usually cook at home, so there was a cost for evening meals that were purchased factored in to some of the tallies. Anyway, he wrote down all the they were spending in order to keep this job, and what do you think he found?

In most cases, the WM was really only adding about $200-300 extra per month. Some weren't even bringing home that much, depending on the pay of the job, some were working only to cover the cost of daycare.

So, he gave them practical solutions on ways that they could save money, and be able to stay at home. Since this is what they wanted to do, they were really happy to learn that by frugal living they could cover the small amount that they actually were bringing home, and be able to be there with their kids instead.

Something to think about if you want to stay home and think you can't afford it. :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 11:38am
Well,I like sah,and I think it does benefit my family,but I need to be honest--I pick up a lunch every so often,I have a personal relationship with my coffee drive through guy,and my dd goes to preschool,and my work /home clothes are somewhat comparable(I wear the same sweaters and shirts, I just wore slacks/skirts at work instead of shorts and jeans),and after running around all day and supervising the kids at the park,etc,I am often very tired around 5 PM!
Avatar for taylormomma
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 11:47am
Honestly? I laugh myself silly at this logic. It's always so unreal and one-sided...anything it costs to WOH is pretty much balanced out just in the increase in my electric bill by having someone SAH full time.

I've done the math, and I bring home WAY more than $300 a month when all is said and done.

But so what if I didn't? I certainly wouldn't turn my nose up at an extra $300 every month. $300 goes a long way.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 11:51am
My costs to WOH are almost nil.

My kids are past the childcare age.

I live about 3 miles from work and combine errands with work so gas is very little.

My work clothes are jeans/shorts and tee shirt. The only added expence is I am rough on my clothes at work so have to replace them more often.

I take my lunch to work, or come home for lunch (my boss buys us lunch about twice a month so on lunches I actually come out ahead).

How elaborate a meal I prepare has to do more with how I am feeling that day then work status. Somedays I feel like cooking and some days I don't, that has not changed with my work status. I always have enough variety on hand in my kitchen to throw togther a quick meal if that is all I feel like doin that night or a more elaborate meal if I feel like it.

I think across the board childcare is the highest expence.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 11:54am
I have always thought these analysis' were bogus. I know how much I make and what the expenses are for WOH, and trust me when I tell you that is WELL more than a couple hundred bucks a month, more like a couple thousand! When they do those analysis', there is so much bogus crap they throw in, like dry cleaning- I don't dry clean, I use Dryell. Also, we eat at home more since I went back to work. When I was a SAHM, I was anxious to get out of the house and we ate alot more than we do now. Now I can't wait to get home and stay here after work. They also throw in haircuts, make-up, clothes and such- all of which I do even when I don't work.
Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:05pm
I'm like you. My childcare expenses are $0 at this point. I can wear jeans to work every day if I want, although I do dress a little nicer than that (skirts, nice slacks - buy at Kohl's - great sales!). My commute is 5 miles each way. I usually bring my lunch. Although I'm sure the study would include a lot of WOHMs, it certainly doesn't include this one! And I end up bringing home waaaaayyyyyy more than $300/month.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:19pm
Every few months someone else comes up with this newsflash and it's as insulting today as it's been the other 250 times someone has raised these "points". Here's a real newsflash: most of us own calculators. Just about all of us have the wherewithall to have figured it out if we were adding only a few hundred dollars a month. Some of us make so much more than this analysis assumes that it's REALLY insulting to assume that we're all working for minimum wage. Some of us come home, tired or not, and cook. Some of us don't think that drinking expensive coffee depends on your work status. Most of us don't need a professional wardrobe, including those of us who are professionals. Virtually no one dresses that way anymore. Many of us have school aged children and don't need 50 hours a week of child care.

Are there some women for whom this might have been useful information? Sure, but it's patronizing as hell to think that for more than a handful, we weren't able to do the math ourselves.

Besides, think of all the money I save by drinking coffee provided at the office!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:24pm
>>>>Some of us don't think that drinking expensive coffee depends on your work status. ...Besides, think of all the money I save by drinking coffee provided at the office!

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Its funny you brought this up, because of all of the things listed, I thought this was the most rediculous. How does work status relate to the type of coffee a person enjoys? And why, if a person likes an expensive latte as their one "thing" shouldn't they have it...whether they work or not? I'll tell you, ever since managing a coffee shop right out of college, I've never drank the "office coffee", and if I ever leave my present FTOTH job to SAH, I won't be giving up fancy coffee...so PPPPPPTTTTHHHH!!! :-P

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:26pm
ditto!! except i dont have to replace my clothes as often. i do buy lunch out everyday as a treat to myself for sah with the kids when they were little and working so hard to raise them and it costs me about $30 a week. i do believe i "DESERVE"(sarcasm intended, LOL) that much. i also have my hair highlighted and my nails done. all as little "extras" i did without for years.
Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:26pm
Funny how the planners don't factor in the cost of lunches at home and gas in the car to run around taking the kids to play dates and going out to dinner because you're tired of looking at the same four walls. If SAH means I can't eat lunch, put gas in my car or go out to dinner, no thank you. Of course you can make it look like many can afford to SAH if you count the cost of WOH but not the cost of SAH! I don't know about the rest of you but I would still drink coffee and eat lunch if I were home. I'd still put gas in my car and we'd still go out to dinner. I would also expect my utility bills to go up because I'd be home all day. While I wouldn't have a dcp bill, I also wouldn't have my paycheck, benfits and wouldn't be gaining credit towards retirement with a company or with SS. When you look at things from only one perspective, of course they look skewed! There are costs to SAH as well. To decide what you can afford, you have to look at the costs on both sides of the equations. Not look at the cost of WOH but ignore the cost of SAH.

edited to add:

Did this "financial planner" talk about the cost of pre-school for kids who don't go to dc? About the cost of increased utility bills? About the cost of lost years of service towards retirement and lost SS contributions? Did he factor in that mom still will drink coffee and eat lunch and that she'll still have to wear clothes (I love it when they say our clothing bill goes down. My jeans cost twice as much as my slacks for work, lol). Did he factor in that while mom may indeed have more energy for cooking she's also going to feel like she just has to get out of the house? You know, I can make living in a half million dollar house look afforable if I foget to factor in taxes, insurance, utilty bills and food!! Why do they air this garbage? I feel sorry for the people to do this new math and decide they can SAH only to find they really coudln't afford it and end up taking decades to dig out of the hole they dug themselves into.

A few hundred dollars more a month is nothing to sneeze at in some income brackets. Especially, when that few hundred dollars a month now also means a few hundered dollars more a month when you're a senior citizen.




Edited 6/7/2003 12:42:23 PM ET by cyndiluwho

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunny_dolphin
Sat, 06-07-2003 - 12:31pm
>>>There are costs to SAH as well. To decide what you can afford, you have to look at the costs on both sides of the equations. Not look at the cost of WOH but ignore the cost of SAH.

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Bingo! Cyndi, you said it.

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