The cost of being a stay at home mom

Nora two months old

My little button is two months old today! In light of Women’s Money Week today’s topic is about work & kids, or kid in my case. I think it’s funny that this topic was chosen on a Monday…as if I’d have my article ready by then. Just another reminder of how much kids change your life! Routine? What’s that? Oh well, happy Tuesday!

Before you read any further: This post is about my circumstance. I’m not asking for advice or standing on a soap box declaring the right or wrong way to parent. Thanks in advance for understanding.

My jobs
When Dave accepted a job 3 years ago I was limited to finding my own job around the area we would live. I didn’t qualify for any positions posted since I was an entry-level dietitian. My first job (and current job) was as a contingent clinical dietitian at a hospital. Contingent means that I fill in when needed. For example, since the hospital is staffed 7 days a week the dietitians take a day off during the week when their turn for weekend coverage comes up. I used to fill in on some Mondays and Fridays but now there are two more contingent dietitians and I’ve suggested they get first dibs to cover shifts. The reason I suggested this is because the job doesn’t come with a glorious pay scale and I’d only have a fraction of my earnings after tithe, tax, babysitting costs, and gas to drive 60 miles round trip. The other job I still have is teaching a nutrition class at a community college. The pay is great, it’s a five minute drive away, and it’s only a 4 hour class held twice a month.

New job: MOM!
I’m still not used to the fact that I’m a mom. I knew I’d love having Nora but not as much as I actually do now that she’s really here! Nora is so entertaining and all of her smiles, coos, super loud farts, and excessive stretching bring me endless joy. This is the scene that comes to mind when Nora does her good morning stretch:

From two incomes to one
I wasn’t a big moneymaker when I was working before Nora but it was nice to have extra money to put toward retirement, giving, and extra principal payments on the mortgage. Thirty percent of our total gross income was from my salary and went to all the extra categories I mentioned. It really sped up our debt payment and helped us to reach our big financial goals. We based our budget solely off of Dave’s income knowing we’d lose my income once we started having kids. We figured it would be easier to live below our means rather than figure out how to cut back 30% of our expenses.

Cost of working full time
Say I worked full time (8 hours a day) and got a babysitter I paid $9/hour to watch Nora for 9 hours (half hour before/after work for commute time). I would have 29% of my income left after 15% was allocated to taxes and 56% to a sitter. I imagine I would shell out more money if I were to pay for daycare rather than a sitter too!

I’m not sure what dollar amount I would have to make to feel like it was worth working instead of being home. It’s hard to put a price on something you can’t quantify like raising a child. Dave works hard to support our family and I’m glad I can keep our home clean, keep up with laundry, and have a meal (somewhat) ready to eat when he gets home so we can unwind together. I’m thankful I get to snuggle with Nora during one of her naps and get a workout in during another nap. I don’t take the blessing of staying home with her for granted at all. I know my stress level would be a little unreal if I had to somehow squeeze in grocery shopping, meal prep, cleaning, and exercising while managing to have time leftover to spend with Dave and Nora. I give props to the moms who do that.

baby nora

For now
Kids aren’t kids forever. I’ll likely go back to part time when our kids get older and eventually full time down the road. Until then we will continue to live simply, spend wisely, and enjoy this precious time with Nora.

Be sure to catch my posts from Women’s Money Week from 2013 and 2012!WMW 2013
Monday: My Recipe for Increasing Income (two key ingredients!)
Tuesday: Finding Time / Increasing Productivity (How is your 24 hours a day spent?)
Wednesday: Family and Money (Leave the light on, pay a quarter)
Thursday: Happiness, Hobbies, and Money
Friday: Future Planning & Financial Planning (Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face)
WMW 2012
Monday:  Entrepreneurship / Making Money
Tuesday:  Relationships and Money
Wednesday:  Saving and Investing
Thursday:  Setting up a Budget
Friday:  Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement
Saturday:  Debt Payoff
Sunday:  Goals / Taking Action
How did you decide to stay at home or go back to work (part or full time)?

My recipe for increasing income

This week, March 4-8th, I am participating in the second annual Women’s Money Week. Check out the WMW site to hear from other bloggers on each daily topic and be empowered to better control your finances!

source: larrysincomeblog.com

I’ve shared a number of unique personal stories about increasing income. To name a few…
I was a personal assistant for a 19-year old
I made an extra $500 in one month by doing the side hustle
I started staff writing for Life & My Finances
I work a total of 4 jobs

My most recent strategy to increase my income was asking my employer to double my salary. Say whaaaaa? Yep, I did that. I currently work part time for the health department and I pitched my reasons why I think they should move me to full time. My supervisor and the director were totally on board and excited for the ideas I had to better serve our clients and the employees (like taking my Employee Wellness Program to the next level). Now I’m just waiting to hear back from the board to see if they can fund my additional hours.

Something you’ll notice if you’ve followed my financial journey on Budget for Health is that there are two reoccurring themes (I’ll call them ingredients) that have led to these additional income sources.
I’ll share them with you so you can add them to your recipe for success :)

The first ingredient…
One factor that significantly helped me increase my income was networking. Starting out as an entry-level dietitian, I was limited to job hunting around the city where my husband found a job. Every job opening wanted at least a year of experience which I did not have. Once I found a contingent position at a hospital it opened doors for me to get the part time position at the health department (without the year of experience they “required”). Through coworkers at these two jobs I was introduced to a few important people and wound up adding two more jobs! They offered less hours but also paid 1.5 and 2.5x more than my average hourly rate.

The second ingredient…
If you didn’t already notice, a main theme of these stories is initiative. Sitting around wishing I could make more money didn’t work, so I did something about it. My motivation to increase my income was so we could reach our 2012 financial goals (which we did!). I even initiated Budget for Health because I desired to teach people about REAL food and share my financial journey to encourage others. I never thought of myself as a writer but this site has become a great resource for others and I’ve also been able to network so much through meeting other bloggers!

The final product
If you blend these ingredients together and add your own personality to the mix, I’d say you’re well on your way to finding opportunities that will increase your income. More importantly, networking and taking initiative has helped me find ways to get paid for doing what I love.

What methods have you used to increase your income?

Read some great articles on today’s topic of increasing income:
Making Sense of Cents: $5,983 in February Extra Income and Goals
From Go Green Travel Green: 12 Ways to Make Money as a Stay-at-Home Mom: Earn Money from Home
From Chicago on the Cheap: Using online education to learn new skills and increase income

My articles from WMW 2012:
Relationships and Money (one of my favorite articles)
Saving and Investing
Setting up a Budget
Paying off Debt (our debt free announcement!)

Women’s Money Week 2013

This week, March 4-8th, I will be participating in Women’s Money Week with over 100 other sites that are posting about one or more of the daily topics on money during the week. This event is about “encouraging women to speak up about money, take control of our finances, and reshape our financial future.” Even though the event is directed toward women, my posts would be beneficial for men to read as well, plus there are male bloggers participating in this event. This would be a great week for me to hear your comments since the topic of finance is something I’ve been interested to learn more about and would appreciate insight from my readers! I’ll be linking my articles to each daily topic and will share my favorite articles on the same topic from other sites.

Women’s Money Week 2013 Topics
Monday: My Recipe for Increasing Income (two key ingredients!)
Tuesday: Finding Time / Increasing Productivity (How is your 24 hours a day spent?)
Wednesday: Family and Money (Leave the light on, pay a quarter)
Thursday: Happiness, Hobbies, and Money
Friday: Future Planning & Financial Planning (Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face)

In case you’re curious about last year’s topics and what I wrote…

Women’s Money Week 2012 Topics
Monday:  Entrepreneurship / Making Money
Tuesday:  Relationships and Money
Wednesday:  Saving and Investing
Thursday:  Setting up a Budget
Friday:  Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement
Saturday:  Debt Payoff
Sunday:  Goals / Taking Action

Women’s Money Week

This week, March 5-11th, I will be participating in Women’s Money Week with over 90 other sites that are posting about one or more of the daily topics on money during the week. This event is about “encouraging women to speak up about money, take control of our finances, and reshape our financial future.” Even though the event is directed toward women, my posts would be beneficial for men to read as well, plus there are male bloggers participating in this event. This would be a great week for me to hear your comments since the topic of finance is something I’ve been interested to learn more about and would appreciate insight from my readers! I bolded the topics I’ll personally be writing on, but I want you to see the topics for the whole week in case you want to check out some other posts.

Monday:  Entrepreneurship / Making Money
Tuesday:  Relationships and Money
Wednesday:  Saving and Investing
Thursday:  Setting up a Budget
Friday:  Money in Your 20s/30s/40s/50s/Retirement
Saturday:  Debt
Sunday:  Goals / Taking Action

On days I don’t post my own articles I plan to share my top 5 articles I enjoyed reading from other sites that are participating in WMW, so be sure to stop by Budget for Health any day this week for some great financial wisdom!

 

P.S. There are 5 days left to enter the free Sam the Cooking Guy cookbook giveaway! Spread the word :)