Is it Worth it to Work Outside the Home?

ClientAs a new mom of twins, I’ve often wondered if/when it’s actually worth it to work outside the home.

I’m still a working mom, but I’ve chosen what some would consider the “best of both worlds” because I work from home. Before I’d think about taking a job outside the home again, here are few financial costs I’d consider first to decide if it’s worth it.

Childcare

The number one thing I’d think about is the cost of childcare. Childcare is expense, especially if you want to find someone you trust to give your child the love and individual attention that they need. The cost of childcare varies greatly by region and provider, but the good ones are going to cost you at least $200 each week. If you have twins like I do, or two kids in daycare, that is going to bring your monthly cost to $1,200-$2,000per month! If you start out in a low paying or minimum wage job, the costs of childcare alone are enough to eat up the majority of your take-home pay.

Housework

Time spent at work and away from home is time not spent working on the necessary tasks that must be done to keep your household running smoothly. Cooking, doing dishes, washing laundry, and cleaning can take a lot of time, especially if you have young children. If you and your spouse work full time (or more) outside the home, hiring help to get these household tasks completed may be necessary. Hiring household help sounds great in theory, but like childcare, quality help is hard to find and can be very expensive.

Lunch

If you work a traditionally scheduled full time job outside the home you will most likely be home for a quick breakfast and supper, but it’s tempting to eat lunch while you’re out. People in small communities may be able to go home for lunch, but the majority of workers are forced to eat out or bring their lunch each day. Bringing your lunch will save you some money when compared to eating out, but it does take time to prepare in the morning before you leave for work.

Transportation

As a work at home mom, my commute is about 10-20 steps from point A to point B anywhere in our home. This really helps keep my transportation costs low. If you take a job outside the home, you will have to either drive or take public transit. Both of these choices have pros and cons when it comes to convenience and time involved, and both will end up costing you more than the commute around your home.

Clothing and Personal Care

The pressure to look a certain way is much higher for those who work outside the home. Most office or professional jobs have a standard of dressing, and for women there is usually an unwritten code about which makeup and hairstyles are acceptable too. All of these things cost money and need to be kept up, at least to some degree. One of the benefits of working from home is that I don’t have to have certain wardrobe or hairstyle, and my co-workers (my kids) like to hang out with me regardless of how I look. For the rare times I need to be in a video conference, I can rock a business-y shirt with yoga pants on the bottom and no one is the wiser.

As you can see there are many financial costs to consider before you take on a job outside the home. Sometimes the costs outweigh the benefits.

Do you work at home? Did you weigh the cost benefits before making the decision?

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One thought on “Is it Worth it to Work Outside the Home?

  1. Bigger costs, I’d be far from my baby .. no way.

    I would never consider working outside my home, when the current situation is working wonderfully for us. I play with the baby and take care of her, then, when she’s asleep, I can also manage my business. Sure, it’s not easy, but I wouldn’t miss these precious moments with her for the world

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