When Working at Home is Frustrating, Remember What It Costs to Work Outside the Home

Sometimes working at home is frustrating. That’s something I deal with pretty often just now, but that’s just the way things go sometimes.  If working at home were easy a lot more people would be doing it and succeeding.

The hardest part is when the money isn’t coming in as I would like it to. That gets beyond frustrating at times and into the “what now?” side of things.

But I don’t let it stop me.

Working outside the home may look like an answer when you’re dealing with the frustrations of working at home, but it’s not always THE answer you should be looking for. Especially when jobs are scarce as they are now and it can be hard to say when you’d get an outside the home job.

Then there are the costs of working outside the home. Some costs, such as taxes, will be there to one degree or another no matter where you work. The need for child care may depend on if you work when your significant other, a good friend or grandparents are available to take the kids for you. Then other expenses are almost definitely going to increase if you work outside the home.


Cost of child care: This one most often increases because unless you get a night shift you’re probably going to need someone to watch the kids.

Commuting: I know I hardly drive at all right now, aside from errands I’d have to do anyhow. Working outside the home would greatly increase all the costs associated with my minivan, including gas, insurance and maintenance. The same will be true for most other work at home moms and dads.

Wardrobe: How does your wardrobe look? Will it be suitable for whatever kind of work you’d be wanting to do outside the home? Many businesses are more casual than they used to be, but it’s still generally not jeans and a t-shirt.

Eating out: How good do you really think you would be about bringing lunch from home every day. Yeah, that’s what I thought. While some people do great at that, most regularly find excuses to buy lunch.

You might incur even more expenses, depending on how you choose to run things. Some parents feel the need to do more special things with their kids because they’re home less often. You may also buy more convenience food because dinner needs to get on the table quickly in the evenings.

It can be hard to say what the right choice is sometimes. For me it’s still working at home. I’m not meeting my financial goals, but I’m pushing hard for them and truly believe I’ll make it eventually. That’s worth the sacrifice to me.

If you’re dealing with a lot of frustration too, run the numbers and think about what will work best for you and your family right now. It really can help you to figure out the direction you want to be going right now.

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