Working Moms

I did the math

I don't know why I like to torture myself.  I calculated how much money I actually make after taxes and daycare (basing taxes on higher tax bracket b/c of me and DH).  I do not currently get any benefits at my job (on DH's insurance) and not eligible for 401K until 1yr of employment.  I bring home a whopping 38% of my salary.  That is disgusting to me.  No wonder there are so many moms who can't "afford" to work.  I guess I'm "lucky??" I have a fairly high paying job. 

So what percentage of your gross salary do you bring home after taxes and daycare?

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Re: I did the math

  • hocushocus
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    Well honestly taxes are a big issue because we live in the northeast. My "take home pay" after 401, pre tax day care and taxes is about 54% of my gross. 

    I never calculate how the % that daycare is of my take home because I don't care. I have no desire to stay home.

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  • 39 after taxes, daycare and 401k.
    I really only work because that 39 is helping us build a bigger nest egg.
  • aglennaglenn
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    Probably less than you.  Daycare is ridiculously expensive around here.  I consider myself lucky to be able to afford to continue my career.  That's definitely not the case for everyone in this area.
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  • TBH, I've never done the math but I will get a fully funded pension and I carry the medical benefits (which are very generous) and I'd work for the medical benefits alone because what's offered through my H's work is expensive and not great coverage.

    Anyway, I had a few thoughts about your post: 1. Why are you only deducting daycare costs from your salary, IMO it's a household expense, same as car payment, mortgage, etc. so both salaries go towards the cost 2. 38% is a lot more than 0%, and you've admitted to having a high paying job, so say you make 100k/yr, that's 38k you're bringing in. Hardly chump change, in fact, that's many people's annual salary BEFORE any deductions. 3. Do you want to SAH? If not, then what does it matter if you're bringing home 10%, or 50%? I mean, it will never be 100% because taxes exist and if you enjoy working then unless it's costing you money it doesn't really matter. 4. Are there intangible benefits you're not including such as fulfillment of long term career goals, adult time,  etc.?

    I'm a little puzzled that you find 38% to be disgusting.  That seems a very strong sentiment. ::shrug::



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  • I'm still posting here because I'm technically still employed until the end of July. I am staying home next year though ("year" because I'm a teacher...school year.)  Daycare expenses for two would leave me bringing home $200 a month.  It just wasn't enough to justify working and I want to stay at home with the kids.  I'll go back when they are in school or when we just have one in daycare.  It does seem sad when your take-home pay is less than half!

     

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  • image Booger+Bear:

    TBH, I've never done the math but I will get a fully funded pension and I carry the medical benefits (which are very generous) and I'd work for the medical benefits alone because what's offered through my H's work is expensive and not great coverage.

    Anyway, I had a few thoughts about your post: 1. Why are you only deducting daycare costs from your salary, IMO it's a household expense, same as car payment, mortgage, etc. so both salaries go towards the cost 2. 38% is a lot more than 0%, and you've admitted to having a high paying job, so say you make 100k/yr, that's 38k you're bringing in. Hardly chump change, in fact, that's many people's annual salary BEFORE any deductions. 3. Do you want to SAH? If not, then what does it matter if you're bringing home 10%, or 50%? I mean, it will never be 100% because taxes exist and if you enjoy working then unless it's costing you money it doesn't really matter. 4. Are there intangible benefits you're not including such as fulfillment of long term career goals, adult time,  etc.?

    I'm a little puzzled that you find 38% to be disgusting.  That seems a very strong sentiment. ::shrug::

    Totally agree with this. I don't understand at all why women deduct the entire amount of daycare when doing this deduction (as if it is soley their responsibility). It is a household expense just as the mortgage, utlities, vehicles, etc.

    Another pet peeve is when women foolishly don't recognize or consider that 401K money that is being deducted and not part of your take home. It is still YOUR money. You are taking it home just not every month and it is often matched by employers at a rate far higher then you could make investing money. Don't discount the financial security earning that money gives you and your family now and in the future.

    I honestly am not even sure how I would calculate childcare in my situation since we don't pay my parents to watch DD, but they live with us so we pay the increased expense of food, utilities, cable package (parents request), occasional thank you gifts etc.

    It doesn't matter to me though because I don't want to stay at home and I know I am not paying to work.

  • MH is the one who makes the least between the 2 of us and if we had 2 in day care it would suck up 72% of his "take home pay"  (We currently only have 1 but we'd like to have another).

    That is 28% of the sum he brings home after taxes and after he contributes to a retirement fund and health care and dental for our whole family.

    Though I make much more than him, the benefits at my job are not very great, plus my company is one of those that has been playing with the idea of not providing coverage for spouses next year.

     



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  • My H decided for a career change just over a year ago so he is entry level and at his last job he had to work 50hrs per week to break even on gas & day care.  It'll be worth it soon and he was a SAHD for a year before that so we were used to 1 income but still a tough pill to swallow.  

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  • Mine will be 37% if my pay will stay the same after I come back from maternity leave. I agree with OP its not a lot. To think of the amount I could bring home if not for all the taxes..... I know taxes will always be there I just wish they were less because our area is extremely expensive to live in and to ever buy a house and have a child/children you need two people having 6 figure incomes to even afford it.
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  • If I pay for daycare 100% from my paycheck (the reason OP is taking it from her paycheck only is because she is trying to determine how much money she is making above if she were not working, and presumably had no child care cost), insurance, 401k, taxes, vacation buy, submit 1 hour's worth of pay to charity, I take home 46% of my pay.  Of course, if that were the case, DH would get a raise, because he would not have any insurance or day care cost coming out of his paycheck like it does now.

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  • image Booger+Bear:

    TBH, I've never done the math but I will get a fully funded pension and I carry the medical benefits (which are very generous) and I'd work for the medical benefits alone because what's offered through my H's work is expensive and not great coverage.

    Anyway, I had a few thoughts about your post: 1. Why are you only deducting daycare costs from your salary, IMO it's a household expense, same as car payment, mortgage, etc. so both salaries go towards the cost 2. 38% is a lot more than 0%, and you've admitted to having a high paying job, so say you make 100k/yr, that's 38k you're bringing in. Hardly chump change, in fact, that's many people's annual salary BEFORE any deductions. 3. Do you want to SAH? If not, then what does it matter if you're bringing home 10%, or 50%? I mean, it will never be 100% because taxes exist and if you enjoy working then unless it's costing you money it doesn't really matter. 4. Are there intangible benefits you're not including such as fulfillment of long term career goals, adult time,  etc.?

    I'm a little puzzled that you find 38% to be disgusting.  That seems a very strong sentiment. ::shrug::

    Sorry I should have stated up front that I would much prefer to SAH than work. I am not receiving benefits or 401k from my company, and do not feel all that fullfilled in my career.  I do look at daycare as coming fully out of my salary b/c I hope to eventually stay home, as soon as we can manage without the income I do bring home.  I guess 38% is "disgusting" to me, b/c being a working mom causes me a lot of stress and disappointment, and I feel like I'm barely getting anything out of it.

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  • Mine is 50% ish.  I did not take into consideration taxes, so it probably is a bit less, but I also get pretty cheap health insurance and a pension and PTO, so I figure they kind of balance out. 
  • image hocus:

    I never calculate how the % that daycare is of my take home because I don't care. I have no desire to stay home.

    Same with me.  And another thing really... daycare and the current cost of childcare si a temporary situation.  Eventually my kids will be in school (99% sure it will be public school and thus "free") and I will want to be working.  My career would be gone if I decided to drop off the map for 5+ years to stay home with my kids until they were in kindergarten. It's not happening.  

    I seriously never even think about the % of take home pay.  Really, kids are expensive, so I don't bat an eye at the fact that a major part of my paycheck goes to taking care of them.

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  • Just did the calculation, and I'm at 25.5%. But that's contributing the max amount to my 401k. And paying too much for daycare ($1600! yikes!) because I didn't feel comfortable leaving LO at any of the home daycares we toured. But I have the better insurance. And the 401k is money that's mine at the end of the day. 
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  • I'm at about 30% after taxes, nanny and 401k. The amount my employer matches is minor (maybe 3 percent), but I do put in a little extra.  If I take 401k out of the equation, it is about 34%. However, I have a nanny (as opposed to daycare) so my cost is higher than the typical person and DH's income alone puts us in the 2nd to highest federal tax bracket so everything I make is taxed at a high rate.  However, we have no state income tax (just property and sales tax) so I also may be lower than some other ladies. 

    Unlike others, I do see the point of including childcare cost in the equation because I know for me personally that if I didn't work, I would not have this expense.  If it were just an issue of finances, I absolutely would not continue to work because the little bit I make does not affect our standard of living and we are well capable of not only living, but also saving money on DH's income.  However, I also feel like that if I left my field for several years, I would have a very difficult job getting back into my field.  Also, I don't think I would be happy being a full-time SAHM.

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  • I got confused because you said gross but then you said after taxes and daycare.

    Edited - I did the math wrong.

    28% of my gross goes to child care - the other comes home

    17% of total income both me and SO goes to child care - the rest comes home

    ** I included DD's private school in there with child care.


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  • image meganandchase:
    If I pay for daycare 100% from my paycheck (the reason OP is taking it from her paycheck only is because she is trying to determine how much money she is making above if she were not working, and presumably had no child care cost), insurance, 401k, taxes, vacation buy, submit 1 hour's worth of pay to charity, I take home 46% of my pay.  Of course, if that were the case, DH would get a raise, because he would not have any insurance or day care cost coming out of his paycheck like it does now.

    This.  I occasionally calculate "take home" pay for both DH and I, and in each case I calculate out the full cost of childcare and then add in the cost of a traditional preschool, because if either of us stayed home, that's the amount by which our household net income would decrease.  That's just accurate math.  (And yes, there are other factors in that calculation too -- 401k employer contributions, likely raises during the period of "unemployment", the re-entry penalty that we would have to pay when returning to work, etc). 

     

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  • Daycare is 25% of my base salary before bonus, probably close to 20% of my all-in compensation.

    So I guess I take home about 75% - 80% of what I make personally.  That doesn't include DH's salary which is substantially larger than mine. 

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  • image jf198400:
    image Booger+Bear:

    TBH, I've never done the math but I will get a fully funded pension and I carry the medical benefits (which are very generous) and I'd work for the medical benefits alone because what's offered through my H's work is expensive and not great coverage.

    Anyway, I had a few thoughts about your post: 1. Why are you only deducting daycare costs from your salary, IMO it's a household expense, same as car payment, mortgage, etc. so both salaries go towards the cost 2. 38% is a lot more than 0%, and you've admitted to having a high paying job, so say you make 100k/yr, that's 38k you're bringing in. Hardly chump change, in fact, that's many people's annual salary BEFORE any deductions. 3. Do you want to SAH? If not, then what does it matter if you're bringing home 10%, or 50%? I mean, it will never be 100% because taxes exist and if you enjoy working then unless it's costing you money it doesn't really matter. 4. Are there intangible benefits you're not including such as fulfillment of long term career goals, adult time,  etc.?

    I'm a little puzzled that you find 38% to be disgusting.  That seems a very strong sentiment. ::shrug::

    Sorry I should have stated up front that I would much prefer to SAH than work. I am not receiving benefits or 401k from my company, and do not feel all that fullfilled in my career.  I do look at daycare as coming fully out of my salary b/c I hope to eventually stay home, as soon as we can manage without the income I do bring home.  I guess 38% is "disgusting" to me, b/c being a working mom causes me a lot of stress and disappointment, and I feel like I'm barely getting anything out of it.

    That makes sense to me.  That's how I feel too (generally).  I would much prefer to stay home at least for a few years while I have to pay our nanny a crapload.  I take home 50% of my pay and it depresses me too.  I've also done the math and I just can't afford to stay home right now.  Anyway I totally get what you're trying to say OP. 

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  • skyejoskyejo
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    Awww, OP I'm sorry you're feeling down :(

    After my 401k (10% contribution) and taxes (DH carriers our insurance), daycare for two leaves me with 52%.  It works for me because I don't have a desire to SAH.  If I did though I'm sure it would be tough for me to mentally deal with the thought of working when SO much money is being used on childcare. 

  • Well, a lot of good points have been covered, but 38% is better than zero percent and I agree with others that you should look at it from the perspective of complete household income, not just your own. Also, you can't calculate the monetary benefit of staying in the workforce and not having a gap in employment. IMO, that is huge. Remember, (assuming you send your children to public schools anyway) the daycare expense is only temporary.
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  • I did my calc as my gross salary - taxes - daycare.  I didn't include any benefits, flex spending, or 401k into my computation and I get about 53% of my income.

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  • 18%, but that is after what I take out for retirement (22.5%), taxes, and daycare. I'm very happy working 33hrs/wk. I'm not interested in SAHM no matter what the cost.

     ETA: recalculated, it's actually 24% working part time. I'm not going to bother figuring out what it would be if I went back to FT. 

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  • shannmshannm
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    Haha...less than 4 percent plus my health insurance. It will stay that way even with DS going into kindergarten next fall bc we are using a private school. So I will be working to pay his tuition.

  • I do not count the money that goes into my retirement plan (20% of my base salary) as lost money.  It is mine.  I also do not deduct daycare just out of my salary.  DH and I both work. 

    Regardless, I work because I love my job, have a fully funded pension and will be able to retire at age 50.  If I alone paid for daycare, then it would be less than 10% of my take home salary. 

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  • Currently, 32% with no benefits taken out.  That will be very different when we have LO#2.
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  • If I paid for Daycare I would be bringing home 75% of my salary after tax and daycare, BUT my daycare is unbelievably cheap for this HCOL area AND it's not full time because DH works nights so we only need about 25 hours per week of care.  If DH paid for daycare it would take up almost 50% of his salary after taxes (but he carries our insurance and FSA account)

    Our mortgage is the one that scares me, it takes up 75% of my salary after taxes, and DH's work wouldn't even cover our mortgage if I lost my job.  When we bought the house (2007) we both had much higher paying jobs and either of us could cover the mortgage, and then some.

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  • DC will cost us (after our second is born), approx 1/4 of our gross income 1/3 of our net (combined). 

    I only have 401K taken from my paycheck and basically I could pay DC on about 1/2 my take home each month. 

     DH carries the insurance(his is better by far), and has 401K taken from his checks, - if DC were taken out of his checks, he basically works to cover DC, gas, insurance and his 401K contributions.... now that stinks! 

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  • KL777KL777
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    DH and I both pay for pre-kindergarten so I divided that yearly amount by 2. After taxes and my half of the pre-kindergarten fee, I still bring home 72% of my gross.

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  • I agree with others--day care and full day private school tuition are household (both income) expenses, but for purposes of the exercise and my own curiousity I calculated it. I also have to remind myself that there are plenty of less expensive options for our DD#1 for preschool--we just felt strongly that the one we chose is the best for her, even if it means paying a pretty steep tuition. Once she starts full time K in 2014, the cost will be half. But--I am pregnant with #3, so that savings will be eaten up by baby #3's day care costs. So next year it will be even higher. I just keep reminding myself that this is temporary, and in 5 years once they are all in school (even private Catholic) we will be swimming in extra cash (HA!) compared to what we are paying now. Good early child care is expensive, no two ways about it.

    Before my annual bonus factored in, after DC/tuition for two and taxes is 38%. When I factor in what it will be next year with 2 in DC and one with private tuition, it is 24% (depressing, but still would not change my choice to work).

    After my annual bonus is factored in, after DC/tuition for two and taxes is 46%. When I factor in what it will be next year with 2 in DC and one with with private tuition, it is 33%.

    However, if I look ahead a few years, when all are school age and also including costs for after care and a summer nanny, and even while factoring in no increase to my pay, we will be at 72% without bonus and 76% with bonus.

    Will baby #3 be another girl?


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