When I was thinking about How I Became a Stay-At-Home Mom, I also thought a lot about the hidden costs of working.
Here are some of the things I thought about when I was considering returning to my job.
1) Day care for three little ones on a full-time basis would cost me at least $1300 a month.
2) I needed to have a professional wardrobe. When I’m at home, I get to wear lots of comfy jeans and sweatshirts.
3) It costs approximately $130 a month for gas just to get to work. And then you have to figure in the frequent oil changes and other maintenance on top of that. When I’m not working, I save a ton of money on car expenses.
4) When I was working, I often brought home take-out or we went out to eat because I was too tired to cook. (BIG expenditure!) I also spent more money on convenience foods. Now I cook more.
5) I often got invited for lunches out with co-workers or drinks after work, or Pampered Chef parties… and hit up for all the kids’ fundraisers, too. It was fun, but it adds up.
6) If my parents did watch the kids a lot, they wouldn’t want to babysit on weekends, which means my husband and I would not get very many dates. Not good. Parents need grown-up time, too.
7) I am not good at the working mom juggling act. I know moms that can do it and I’m so impressed with them… but I am not one of those moms. Our family just seems to function better with me home.
8) When I was working, I didn’t have time to scout out great bargains or find great sales. I have saved a lot of money simply by being able to scour the internet, newspapers, and stores, for deals on everything from clothing to insurance costs.
9) Since I’ve been home, I have become more organized. And when you know what you have, you save money. I’m also not running out of things and being forced to pay full price like I did when I was a working mom. I can buy things on sale and stockpile them for later.
10) When I was working, I carried a lot of guilt about not being home with my son. I felt like everyone else knew him better than I did and it broke my heart. I don’t feel guilty any more.