The Financial Benefits of Being a Stay-at-Home Parent

If you’ve been reading my blog, you will know that I am currently on maternity leave until September. My partner and I discussed what I should do when the time comes to return to my office job, and we both agreed that I should leave my day job and become a full-time stay-at-home mother.

We looked at both possibilities: I return to work vs. I stay at home, and had a thorough discussion. Naturally, our discussion involved the financial aspect too. Having spent some time deliberating, we eventually came to a conclusion that we will not gain a lot financially if I return to work full time. Luckily, my partner’s income will cover our living expenses, which I’m very grateful for.

If you are deliberating whether to return to work or stay at home with your child, these are the things that play in favour of you becoming a stay-at-home parent from the financial point of view.

CHILDCARE

Childcare is by far the biggest expense associated with raising a child. Childcare costs in London are eye-watering.

In the area of London where I live, you are looking at an average of £1,300 each month if you decide to send your child to a day nursery. Very often, you will have to pay extra for food.

Another possibility is to leave your child with a childminder, but it’s nearly as expensive.

Money Saved: around £16,000 a year

TRANSPORTATION

We live in zone 2, and to get to work, I would need to take an overground train to zone 1. The cost of a travel card covering zones 1-2 is currently £124.50 a month (or slightly cheaper if you buy an annual travel card from the start).

Trains to work are exceptionally busy and often late, so generally it’s a nightmare to get to work. I don’t think I can count a number of times I had to call in to let the office manager know I was running late. Moreover, I sure don’t miss being stuck on an overcrowded train somewhere between the stations.

Money Saved: around £1,400 a year

OFFICE ATTIRE & DRY-CLEANING

If you work in an office and go to client meetings from time to time like I do, you will have to look presentable. You will have to invest in a few pieces of clothing to wear to work. Chances are you will also need your office attire to be dry-cleaned every now and again.

Working women are likely to spend more on beauty products, too. I don’t apply any makeup now that I’m staying at home with my son. As a result, I haven’t spent on makeup all that much this year. Same goes for work clothes and dry-cleaning – I don’t remember the last time I bought something to wear to work or had it dry-cleaned.

Money Saved: around £1,000 a year

SOCIALISING

Whether you want it or not, it’ll be pretty hard to be pulling out each time your colleagues invite you out for a drink after work or a quick bite to eat during your lunch hour.

You will also be asked to pitch in whenever there are collections for people leaving or having a baby. The cost of birthday cards can quickly add up, too.

Money Saved: around £300 a year

CLEANING SERVICES

If both you and your other half work full time, it can be pretty hard to find a chance to clean your house. You’ll probably want to spend your evenings and weekends with your children to make up for the time you’ve been away.

A lot of working parents hire help. In our area, a cleaner will charge you anywhere between £10-20 an hour. If we were to hire a cleaner, she would probably need 3 hours a week to clean our house.

Money Saved: around £2,200 a year

TAKEAWAYS

You may also find you’re too tired to cook after work. You may either decide to order takeaway or have a ready meal. Neither of these options is cheap.

Personally, I’d rather spend an evening with my child than in the kitchen, and I’m sure many parents will choose to do the same.

Money Saved: around £1,000 a year

TO CONCLUDE

Looking at my personal situation, I will be saving around £22,000 each year by staying at home. On top of that, I will save myself a lot of time and stress! Most importantly, though, I will be able to spend as much time with my son as I can and give him as much attention as he needs. This alone makes losing one income worthwhile to us!

True, I will lose such benefits as a workplace pension, personal development allowance and miss out on training opportunities. Over time, I may also lose my professional skills making it harder for me to find a job when I finally decide to start working again.

However, these days there are plenty of opportunities to make money from home, either by setting up your own business or working remotely. I am willing to give it a try and see what happens.

The Financial Benefits of Being a Stay-at-Home Parent - Girl Counting Pennies

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16 Comments

  1. this is a good article! you provided a very good detailed list of being a stay at home parent.

    i can relate to your article. my wife also stays at home after she gave birth to our first child. since then we are living on one income and we don’t have any problem with that. plus, kids really grow too fast and we are lucky to be with them and witness their milestones.

  2. I can see it makes sense! I bought a book in a charity shop last year called how to afford time off with your baby and I am not planning to work when we have children!

  3. I think a lot of people see the benefits of having a stay-at-home parent, but they still need a little bit of income from that parent to make it work. Like you said, it’s nice that there are a lot of ways to work-from-home today.

  4. We have baby#2 on the way and my wife and I have been discussing this possibility. It still works out financially better with my wife working but when there is more than one child, that’s a different equation. Plus, it’s just much less stressful when one parent can stay home so you’re not always rushing to drop off and pick up, etc.

  5. I love the idea of being a stay at home parent. I think a lot of people don’t realize the amount of work comes along with that job, and the rewards are incredibly amazing as well! I’m currently an au pair in Italy and basically take care of the house as a mom would, and it’s pretty difficult!

  6. I completely understand the dilemma you were faced with. When I had my eldest son 7 years ago me and my husband had the same conversation and came to the same conclusion.

    I also work from home and I love the flexibility of being my own boss and making my job work around my family. Being a stay-at-home mum is the most rewarding thing that I have ever done. Kids grow up too fast, so knowing that I haven’t missed a thing is something that I will always cherish.

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