SAHM Poll — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Re: SAHM Poll

  • DH's income is obviously a major factor, but there are quite a few other factors to take into consideration as well, such as debt, savings, etc. 

    We were really careful over the last few years about not taking on any debt (except our mortgage), and we saved as much as possible so we have something to fall back on if DH were to lose his job.  As much as I would love a new mom car, we haven't had a car payment in over a year, and would like to keep it that way for a while, which means no new cars for us!  (We still have my car from college, although we hardly drive it since dh takes the metro and I use the other car).

    Good luck!  It's totally worth it.  :) 

  • We have no debt either- not even a mortgage- sigh- but that's for another post. And I consider our savings to be a pretty hefty amount... it's the going down to one paycheck that worries me- even if it were just for a year. Given this economy, though, I worry about just having one of us working... if dh were to get laid off and he were the only one of us working, who knows if he could find a job right away- and as a teacher it wouldn't necessarily be easy for me to just jump into a position if I needed to start working in say November. It's a lot to think about...
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  • you should also take into consideration of costs for being added to your H's health insurance, the loss of 401K contributions and other benefits you might be getting from your employer.
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  • I voted even though I don't SAH - my DH is a student so my income is the only one. Even without tuition, I don't think we could be ok with less than $90k but we also rent a house in Arlington which will run you much more than an apartment in Springfield (for example).

    If you're really only staying home for a year, I wouldn't be so worried about saving a lot (of course, retirement contributions are separate from this calculation for me) especially if you have a chunk in the bank to fall back on if you really had to.

  • My DH is self-employed but hasn't had much work due to the economy so we are planning for him to stay home with the baby (while trying to get contracts) and I will continue to work full-time. I agree with PP - your income needs depend on your debt, your expenses, and your general lifestyle.

    We have started to get tighter with our budget and I absolutely love this woman's website. She's a mother of 2 (with one on the way) and she explains amazing ways to save money. She feeds a family of four on $40/week. I can't quite get to that but she has plenty of great tips and information about how to use coupons and cook ahead to save money. There are so many intelligent moms out there who figure out ways to make it work.

    The other budgetting website that I just found is It is AMAZING at helping you track your expenses with no data entry (it just links to your existing accounts). Click on "About" and then view the video by the CEO to see how it works. I signed up and it allows me to track all of our accounts and expenditures very easily. It has helped me find areas where we can reduce our spending (such as our huge grocery bill).

    Well, hope you are able to figure out what will work for your family.


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  • also, think about whether or not you'd like to return to work in a few years, depending on what industry you are in, returning might be difficult if your industry changes all the time and being gone 1-2 yrs would mean a lot of re-training and learning new technologies/etc

    GL with your decision, make it based on what's best for you and your family, regardless of what others tell you!

  • It was a huge priority for us for me to stay home. We were willing-but didn't have to-reduce our standard of living to do it.
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  • I voted b/c I'm mostly a SAHM, but I do work about 10-12 hours per week. Even with DH's salary, we couldn't afford for me to not work at all. My mom watches DD one day while I work and I work Saturdays when DH is home - so we aren't paying daycare which is a huge help! (It does suck to work weekends though!)
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  • Can you take off longer, say 6 months, instead of 3?
  • Thanks for you input everyone! Since dh and I are already on the same health plan, I'm a teacher, we don't own a home, and it would only be for 1 year, I'm feeling like I have a lot of bases covered in terms of the points you guys raised. I guess it just seems hard to fathom being able to support a family on one income in this area- especially since we are in the city. But it definitely makes me want to scrutinize our spending.
  • We tried to figure out how to make it work for a year, which we ultimately couldn't do.  Do you have a written budget?  Remove your income and look to see if you can still pay all of your bills, afford any entertainment (eating out, cable, etc), and not go broke.

    We also looked at what I'd lose out on in terms of 401k and bonuses, earning power, the ability to return to a position of the same stature, how much education it would take for me to return to work (since I work in IT, my skills would be out-of-date for the year I took off).

    Good luck with your decision.  I would have loved to take a year off to be at home with DS! 

  • We started off the beginning of our marriage by putting my salary into savings and paying all bills with DH salary and bonus money.  We were able to do this so ultimately we knew we could afford for me to stay home.  We also knew that this was a huge priority for us, so we were going to make it work no matter what.  I have to say we ate out a lot and with Nicholas going to bed at 5:30 that has really helped us save money in that area.
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  • My DH is SAHD and I work full time. ?It is not ideal but we're making it work. We're saving a ton in child care, of course. ?And he has a special bond with dd (that makes me so happy, and feel I like she's a lucky girl). ?We live a pretty frugal life style, as we own a home and have a sizeable mortgage payment. ?But it works for us, as we're homebodies and are more interested in getting rid of stuff, than buying it. I'm having a 2nd baby next month. ?And yes, I'm nervous as heck about finances. ?But eventually DH will get back to work, and boy will that feel good when it happens. ?So our attitude is to buckle down now, and enjoy being able to have a stay home parent with our kids. ?And look forward to living it up when DH is able to to back to work (Ann Taylor, here I come! ha ha).
  • While DH does make enough to support me staying home, we also have a significant amount in savings.  Before TTC, and while I was PG, we worked very hard to have at least 6 months of expenses in savings just in case DH lost his job.  Because of this, we feel quite comfortable with me staying home.
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