There’s been a lot of talk these past few days about the increase in moms who are the primary breadwinners for their families. It’s up to 40% of households with children, the highest it has ever been. About two thirds are single moms, one third married. Apparently, there’s also 51% of those surveyed who think children are better off with stay at home moms who don’t work. That’s not for me. I see no problem with either parent staying at home AND being the breadwinner.
Last year, I was one of those breadwinner moms. I might be again this year – we don’t stress about who earns the most during the year, but it’s clear come tax time. I way outearned my husband for the year last year, a huge benefit for our family. Still, it would have been rough without the benefits such as health insurance that my husband’s job offers.
I’m a firm believer in having one parent at home, ideally working from home. It’s a security thing. Life happens. Jobs are lost, spouses die, disability, divorce… all ugly stuff if you depend strictly on that one income. You can’t predict these things perfectly, and too many people think it will never happen to them until it does.
Having two incomes also lets the family do more. We wouldn’t be able to do much at all if we relied only on my husband’s income. Sometimes my work means I want to get things done rather than go have fun, but we make sure there’s a balance.
I didn’t start working at home planning to outearn my husband. I knew the potential was there, as my income is more variable. Hard work on my online business has allowed me to get where I am. His income from his job doesn’t change that much, especially in the current economy.
Income potential is one of the great things about running your own business. You might not ever earn your expenses back, but you might earn far more than you would from a job. You might land somewhere in between. You don’t know unless you try.
Of course, you can be the breadwinner with a work at home job too – it just depends on the job. My oldest sister did so for a time as a software developer. She works outside the home now, preferring the office, but that’s how she works best. Her husband stays home with their kids. It works for them.
How Do You Earn a Good Income From Home?
Earning a good income from home isn’t easy for most. It is possible. Just what makes a particular income “good” is up to you.
If you’re a single parent, for example, a good work at home income would be the one that allows you to support your family. Benefits such as health insurance may be a part of what makes a particular income “good.”
If you’re married, it depends on what you need the income for. If your home-based income is just a supplement to your spouse’s income, “good” may be when it’s enough to get your families some extras or to save for emergencies.
In any case, I think a good work at home income is definitely there if you’re earning about what you might with an outside the home full time job. That’s when you no longer have to think about whether you should get a better job outside the home when the kids are in school or whatever other reason people might think you’ll someday go back to an outside the home job. You might choose to do so, but it will be on your terms because you’re earning the money you need to already.
You probably won’t hit this point right away. It takes time to find a work at home job that pays enough or to develop a business so that it earns enough money. Either one is a lot of work.
There are work at home jobs with good pay and benefits. If that’s what you need, focus on what it will take to get one of those jobs. Develop the skills such employers are looking for. These jobs aren’t usually the low skill work at home jobs that a lot of people seek out at first. If you want to earn more, you have to do more.
If benefits aren’t an issue, a home business may be a good choice too. Don’t let the dream of easy money blind you. Focus on a sustainable business model. It takes more time to build an income that way, but it ought to last longer. Ought to, but there are no guarantees in business.
Whatever you do, even if it isn’t earning what you hoped, or if you see it only as a step on the way to earning more money, work hard at it. Don’t treat job or business as a hobby. If you want to earn good money from home, work like you mean it. Whether or not you ever become the primary breadwinner in your household, that’s what it takes to earn good money from home.