Two income families have become the normal situation these days. You hear things like it takes two to support a house, or two incomes are better than one. This is not necessarily true if you live in a rural area and you have children. There are several issues to consider, and it may surprise you to find out you will save money, if only one parent works.
The Expense of Both Parents Working:
Some people only look at the aspect of having two paychecks arrive on Friday night to pay the bills. They often wonder why both checks just don’t seem to cover all of the expenses. Sometimes, both parents working outside the home adds to the family’s expenses more than it helps their finances.
Sit down and figure up the expenses of both parents working. Remember to write down everything. Daycare expense is a major part of both parents working. Consider the gas for both of you, along with the wear and tear on two vehicles that have to go each and ever day. There are also more oil changes and tire wear when both cars go every day.
Parents who work outside the home also have to account for things such as extra workplace clothing, extra beauty products for women and extra pocket money for lunch, soda, coffee or snacks while they are in the workplace. These are all things that can be eliminated for one of the parents.
When both parents work, the grocery expenses will be higher than if one of them was home to prepare meals. I have been in this situation, and have spoken to many other households where both parents work.
You will get into a habit of grabbing a lot of convenience groceries and a lot of take out, simply because you are tired when you get home. Convenience foods cost more than preparing a home cooked meal.
If you have children that arrive home before you do, you probably stock in some easy microwave food for their after school snack. You may even pay a sitter to be there both before and after school. These are all expenses you can eliminate if one of the parents stayed home.
Being a Working Parent, in a Rural Area, Depends on Wages
Of course, some working parents are Executives and earn a substantial salary. Even though they could still cut corners if one didn’t work, it may not make or break their financial bank. Some parents, in fact, prefer to work in the corporate world, instead of being a stay at home parent.
Other parents, who have done the math, realize that unless they make a lot over minimum wage, they really cannot afford to work if they live in a rural area. Commuting alone costs nearly as much as they earn per week. Add the cost of any daycare expenses, or sitters, and you may just be “paying to work.” Some parents are already figuring out that it just makes sense economically that one of them stay home and run the household.
If you live in a rural area, figure up your expenses carefully before deciding if both parents should work. You just might find that you will save money, if only one parent drives to and from work in the city every week, and the other one stays home.