Today, being a stay-at-home mom carries quite a bit of stigma. While so many men and women praise homemakers for their devotion to their kids and their courage for leaving the working world, the very same people likely harbor concerns about stay-at-home moms’ inability to financially provide for their growing families. Though the self-sacrifice necessary to stay home with the children nearly 24/7 must be monumental, our society has a hard time believing that a modern family can exist on one income.
Indeed, raising kids can be expensive, but allowing a parent to stay home and provide care is actually one of the most budget-friendly parenting strategies. Being a full-time parent is unendingly rewarding, both spiritually and financially. Here are all the ways stay-at-home moms save their families hundreds of dollars every month — and why more and more moms are choosing this lifestyle every year
No Daycare or Nanny Costs — and Happier Kids
When both parents work and there aren’t any generous grandparents living nearby, the only option is to hire someone else to take care of the kids. On average, daycare centers cost about $900 per month or more than $11,000 per year. Alternatively, nannies generally cost about $700 per month. Worst of all, babysitters regularly charge more than $15 per hour, so parents who want to enjoy a night out will only add to an overwhelming mountain of childcare costs.
Conversely, having a parent at home immediately slashes most childcare expenses. Plus, according to Pew Research, more than 60 percent of Americans agree that kids will be healthier and happier if they grow up with a parent instead of various childcare professionals.
No House Cleaner Costs — and a Cleaner Home
What a household pays to maintain the home and yard depends entirely on the house’s size (in square-footage and number of inhabitants) and the quality and duration of the cleaning. Still, most estimates place average monthly costs of housekeeping services between $75 and $175 for two cleanings. This includes vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning countertops; for the most part, any extra tasks, like washing windows or cleaning cabinets, costs extra. Plus, most house cleaners will refuse to tidy any clutter, so even when a home is clean, it won’t necessarily look good.
With so many hours in their day, stay-at-home parents have ample opportunity to clean and tidy — and they do. Stay-at-home moms spend an average of 23 hours every week completing housework and chores, compared to working mothers who put in about 14 hours of home maintenance.
No Financial Planner Costs — and a Better Home Budget
Raising kids isn’t cheap, and many American families turn to financial advisors to guide them toward saving and earning strategies that will stretch their precious dollars to the limit.
Registered investment advisors certainly are knowledgeable and skilled, but they come with a hefty price tag: Some demand a flat fee of at least $1,000 to examine a financial portfolio, and then they may charge an hourly rate in the hundreds of dollars to develop a plan and provide suggestions.
Though stay-at-home moms don’t provide additional income, they usually have a stronger grasp on the household’s finances because of their frequent spending on food and home essentials. Thus, at-home mothers can provide a more personalized saving and spending plan that can be implemented in the day-to-day.
Lower Food Costs — and Better Food
Families who see both parents leave for work in the morning are more likely to suffer from poor nutrition. Tired, stressed parents are unlikely to cook rounded meals with fresh ingredients, which means entire families are relying on over-processed food, which costs more up front and robs growing kids of the nutrients they need.
Stay-at-home moms are known for their devotion to home-cooked meals, which generally are healthier, are cheaper, and taste better than the pre-made stuff. Plus, at-home parents have time to review coupons to help cut grocery costs, and fresh ingredients from the supermarket certainly provide more fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals that families should always have.
More Work Flexibility — or None at All
Even with toddlers who need near-constant care and attention, a stay-at-home mom’s day usually isn’t jam-packed with activities. There is plenty of time for at-home mothers to supplement household income with part-time position with flexible hours and adequate pay.
The Internet allows stay-at-home moms to perform any number of jobs from their kitchen tables, and most telework positions are exceedingly flexible, which a stay-at-home parent needs. By working from home while their children are still young, many moms can avoid a major employment gap and provide more to the family budget.