Can you save money by being a stay at home mom?

If you stay at home, you won't be bringing home the income you would generate if you had a job outside the home, plus you won't have the health benefits that come with most jobs. On the other hand, if your husband is employed by a company that pays for health insurance, your family is covered anyway. According to the human resources firm Adecco in a 2009 study, 80 percent of mothers who worked outside the home said they did so for financial reasons -- that their family really needed the income that they brought in.

In addition to transportation costs to get to work and having to pay for more upscale clothing, the biggest expense for a working mother is child care. The average monthly child-care cost is $679, or $8,148 a year; it's even more if you have to pay for more than one child. So, if you stop working, although you're no longer bringing in income, you don't have to pay for child care and transportation to work. You may find that while you're at home, you're able to prepare food that's both healthier and more economical, which is similar to what a British study reported in the "Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health."

In order to decide if you'll save money by staying at home, you have to plug in the real figures. When you look at your income, subtract the amount that's deducted for state and federal taxes, child care expenses, and transportation to and from work. If it looks like your family won't be able to manage without the money that you bring home, but you really don't want to go out to work anymore, you might consider working from home (also known as telecommuting).

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