9.01.2010

HE WORKS HARD FOR THE MONEY

I read a story on Fox Business today called 7 Steps to Becoming a One Income Family. According to the article, only 21% of American married couples survive on one person in the workforce. All I got from this article is that Erik and I must be a couple of freaks to make this whole one income thing work for our family. Of course we don't own a pool or an airplane, but somehow we still manage to get by.

Long ago, before I sat around all day at home to do nothing but eat bon-bons and watch Oprah, I did work. I even made more money than my husband when I quit my job (gasp!) to stay home and be a Mom. I was never scared though, I don't know why. I always assumed that the pros of staying home outweighed the cons. Besides, once you deduct childcare expenses, a work wardrobe, all those "lattes", eating lunch out (and probably dinner because I'd be too tired to cook), and commuting, it didn't seem worth it for the little money I'd be left making.

Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox for now. I'm just grateful that I am in a position where this works for us, because for 79% of Americans (that statistic blows me away) it does not or they don't try to make it work.

13 comments:

  1. i hate it when people say i'm "lucky" because i stay home. luck has nothing to do with it, it's all about sacrifice. my husband is a government employee, so his coworkers' pay is the same or at least public. several wives from his office complain that they have to go back to work when they have their babies... but they buy luxury cars, go on vacation out of the country, wear designer clothes (that are NOT from the thrift store), and so on. we go camping and drive a used minivan. my experience is that most people around here aren't willing to sacrifice to make it work and make excuses to alleviate their guilt.

    :::donning flame suit:::

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  2. Most of that work money just goes to taxes anyway. I was making double what my husband did at the time I chose to be home with the munchkin and yes, I thoroughly MISS not going to see every theater show I want to and buying lots of shoes and updating the house with cute furniture, but life would seriously feel crappy if I worked full time. I would rather raise my own kids than pay someone to do it for me.

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  3. People seem amazed tha twe make it work, too. It's not easy, and money is tight, but it's totally worth it.

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  4. Not to mention the costs that aren't nearly as obvious, like how your children feel about you, how involved you get to be in their lives, and how you can have more control over what they're doing all day (I said "more" control--not that my son is trashing my husband's CD collection as I'm writing this...). The emotional and spiritual costs from having a two-income family are far higher than most people realize.

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  5. AGREED. a lot of times on paper it hasn't made sense, but it's always worked out in the end.

    i can't believe that stat. 79%? wow.

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  6. I agree with you, as Haans and I live off his GI benefits and his part time job as he goes to school, and money is definetly tight. And we rely a lot on the tithing blessings the Lord promises us in Malachi. But having said that, you do have to be mindful for those who can't make it work and they are sacrificing a ton as well, (ie, the pool, luxory cars etc.) And I see how torn the mothers are that have to go back to work that have enjoyed being stay at home moms. So obviously sacrifice the European vactaions for the hug and kiss when they wake up from naptime or come home from school, but be careful on judging.

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  7. 100% with you on this, Cristin! I'm so glad we feel like Darwin makes sufficient income to support us. Yeah, we might have to miss out on some of the "fun" things other people get to do, but it totally doesn't even compare with me being able to stay home and raise our kids. Just a few more months & our first one will be here :)

    P.S. I love reading your blog. It's great to keep in touch!

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  8. It's funny that the article is such simple advice. "Use a budget, plan it carefully and thoughtfully, and do without what you don't need." Wow. I say this sarcastically but it's true: This could change the world!!

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  9. When I lived in Seattle I knew so many people who would send their kids to day care. It made me so sad. but they had nice cars! (sarcasm)

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  10. We did the math on this for a class I took in college- and it's been awhile so the numbers are gonna be low.

    Still, in a 2-income family with both parties earning $35,000 per year (average income in 1993), by the time you deducted daycare for 2 kids, taxes etc., the family only got ahead by $5,000 by having that second income. There is an awful lot you can do from home to earn some extra $ if you need it.

    We are also getting by on one income. My kids have never been to Disneyland. I know that's a great place for busy families to 're-connect' but I'll take the never being disconnected in the first place over an expensive vacation. And my 145,000 mile mini-van.

    As I see it, we can have time or money (few of us get both). I'll take time but to each his own.

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  11. on the disneyland point... i grew up in daycare. i have residual issues from it and certainly feel like my parents, especially my mom, chose their careers over their children. i had hoped it would alleviate as i became a mother myself, but it only worsened. i can't comprehend how i was left behind at four weeks and for every. single. year. the "babysitter" i had from four weeks on until i was old enough to be a latchkey kid is someone i'm still close to... the woman raised me!

    i digress... feeling guilty one day about my parenting (or lack thereof?), my husband's aunt (mom to eight) told me, "it's quantity over quality. it doesn't matter if you're reading a book all day while they play at your feet, the point is that you're THERE." that really resounded with me and still gets me a bit choked up today. i think she's absolutely right!

    and when i shared that with my mom (in a non-threatening manner), she waved her hand, scoffed, and said, "oh, a day at disneyland can make up for a LOT of time spent apart."

    um, no. it can't. :(

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  12. I nearly 100% agree with you and truly hope that when I have children I am able and willing to do what it takes to stay home. I definitely think too many people think they need the big house and the fancy cars to be happy.

    I do however believe there are SOME cases where people really can't live on a single income. I do agree MOST people are too into materialistic things, and not willing to be disciplined with their money, but I hate to lump everyone in that category. There are always exceptions on both sides of the coin.

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  13. I love EVERY SINGLE comment on this page! I agree with you. I had a neighbor who put her little princess into daycare so that she could afford her McMansion, McMercedes and McNeiman McMarcus shopping sprees among McMany other luxuries. She pretended to be happy, but she was miserable. Perhaps even McMiserable.

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