You lose a lot of money when you decide to go to a single income family and become a stay at home mom. That second paycheck means a lot. But you may also gain. This depends on a variety of factors.

The most obvious factor is the number of children you have. The more kids you have the more you have to pay for daycare. In some cases daycare costs can entirely eat up that second paycheck by the time you take other factors into consideration.

Your tax burden will decrease with the loss of that second income. This is one of the most easily forgotten factors, and is what can change a job that might possibly be worth it to one that is actually losing your family money. After all, the decrease in taxes is not only in terms of dollars but also your tax bracket. Go into a lower bracket and the percentage you pay will be lower.

The amount the stay at home parent spends on clothing generally goes down significantly. There is little need for a stay at home mom to constantly buy new clothing, and little of it will need to be dry clean only. You save a lot by wearing clothes you can wash at home.

A stay at home parent eats out less often on average. When figuring this benefit, don’t assume a stay at home mom never eats out. You know it will happen, and when it does, it will probably include the kids.

Transportation expenses also often drop for stay at home moms. How much depends on how many activities you’re running the kids around for, of course. This can also decrease your auto insurance premiums.

All these factors can make being a stay at home mom go from a pipe dream to a possibility. If you aren’t sure you can afford to be a stay at home mom, sit down and work the numbers. You might have to make fewer sacrifices than you think.

In my next posting on this topic I will go over the financial costs of being a stay at home mom. Even when you can make it work there are losses to consider.

[tags]financial benefits,single income,family,raising kids,SAHM[/tags]