Post # 136
This is an interesting thread. While I do not have much to add because I do not have kids yet, and do not plan on being a Stay-At-Home Mom if i do, I believe that there are a few things that are overlooked:
– The cost of living. Several posters have mentioned it, but I believe that you REALLY ought to take a look at the CNN cost of living calculator a PP referred to (http://money.cnn.com/calculator/pf/cost-of-living/ ); without it, it is impossible to understand where) other people are coming from. To the poster (I believe it was @MakingHerWait) who is calls it “insulting” to say one cannot be a Stay-At-Home Mom on less than 200K: I understand you perspective, I really do. BUT- the Bee who mentioned that likely lives in a very expensive area, and is saying that she would need 200K in HER area. It would be like me saying I need to drive across only one state to get to Vegas, when someone from New York may need to drive across the whole country. We are both right- just a different perpective. I personally live in the SF Bay area, where a simple 2 br apt can cost up to 700K (Yes, I am not exaggerating- no bells or whistles or anything, please check this redfin search for my ZIP and you will see that there are currently NO openings under a million : https://www.redfin.com/zipcode/94070/real-estate#!sf=1%2C2&v=8&sst=3®ion_id=38997®ion_type=2&market=sanfrancisco). Based on such a reality, to have a house, a car and some savings takes a LOT, even with no kids; it is absolutely reasonable to wish for at least 200K before even considering being a Stay-At-Home Mom. I actually don’t even know any SAHMs in my vicinity- everyone goes back to work after their maternity leave.
– Time value of money: It is not fair to compare what our parents did to what we should do. The landscapes have changed, and money does not have the same value. Realities are different, and kids are not raised the same way. There are studies which established that, other things equal, it will be really hard for our generation to acquire the amount of wealth our parent’s generation had- that does not mean mere dollars, bur rather dollars adjusted for the value of inflation. Again- that is just me talking- I invite us all to do our research. (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/dec/17/living-standards-survey-institute-fiscal-studies)
– Finally, I saw this metric used a lot: what does top 5% or top 1% of the country mean? Does someone making 300K in the Bay really makes it to the top 5%? I would argue that they do not. That measure is likely normalized somehow, which would place a top earner in a metropolotan area closer to 1M/year, and a top earner in a smaller city closer to the stated number.
There is a lot of tension on this post just because we are failing to take a more wholesome approach. OP- not sure if you ended up doing it (I quit reading after page 5), but posting your ZIP or actual living area would help you get more relevant/useful answers. Otherwise, this post may not bring you what you need.
Post # 137
Honestly it’s gonna depend. Mom’s in Alabama are going to give you a completely different answer than mom’s in California or even Illinois. It really depends. I’m a Stay-At-Home Mom and my Fiance makes around 65k a year and we have 1 child.
Post # 138
That is true – I’m holding out for 74 haha.
You’re completely right, it is a large salary, I don’t doubt that. But that is what I feel comfortable aiming for, to achieve the lifestyle I want for my family.
My godson’s parents earn about £18k between them (they are split up, so have 2 rents to pay too) and they do well by him, but it’s just not what I want for me if that makes sense.
I think in London you would need a good £40k to have a properly comfortable lifestyle with 1-2 children (but that of course is just my opinion 🙂 )
Post # 139
Not ignoring you, just forgot I hadn’t responded! We live in the city (thank god for rent control!) and work(ed) in the East Bay. When I got my job in the East Bay, we looked at moving but found we couldn’t afford something similar in Oakland.
Fiance now works in the city again. He and I have also both worked as far south as Sunnyvale. We can both take BART or Muni to work.
We discussed a job / financial situation that we would require to even have kids, much less be a SAHP. Job — one of us must work for either GOOG or FB. Ideally, both of us would work there. Financial — have a meaningful exit with one of our startups. Ideally, enough to buy a 2bd / 1 ba home in Noe or Potrero Hill. SAHP would have us looking at one of us making 300k / year to ensure we can pay off our student loans, have a savings cushion and plan for retirement. Even in Seattle or Austin, we’d need to bring home at least 200k / year because loans and retirement are fixed costs. Add the unstable nature of startup jobs + fewer opportunities outside the Bay, it ends up being a crazy sum. Also, we aren’t counting on social security. At all.
Austin is pretty awesome. I grew up in Texas, but it was just tough for me to swallow a 50% paycut at the time (2012). We’d have to have a second car. We could have bought a downtown Austin condo with cash a year ago, but that is becoming less true each quarter.
Austin traffic is heinous. Westlake is the best high school in the area, but not very diverse. Fiance and I are not “white. wealthy. Westlake.” (which is a horrible football chant I remember from high school) so I would not want to raise children there, since they would be biracial. Prep school is expensive in SF and it’s expensive in Texas. Six to one, 1/2 dozen to another.
Summers are easy — everyone has a/c. And you get used to it. Only my dad is still in Texas though, and there aren’t that many direct flights out of Austin, so that is a big minus for us. Highly recommend Austin, even though it’s not a fit for what Fiance and I envision for our lives.
Post # 140
So I’m completely late to this topic (and wow did you get a lot of answers), but I’ve been thinking about this myself as well lately.
I’m not a mom and won’t be for a few years, but Fiance and I have talked a lot about this topic. Recently I started wondering if I should continue working at least part-time partly because I want to be financially capable of caring for a family if needed. But I digress.
My best advice is as follows:
1. Continue to talk it over with your DH. See what expectations you both have for your future together, what things you consider necessities (like a place to live and food to eat), and what you consider luxuries. You also want to take into consideration the area that you live in – for instance, is your home located in a good school district? If not, would you want to send your kids to private school? What about taxes? Or utilities?
2. Once that is done, starting tracking how much your necessities cost. Does your DH make enough to cover those on his own? Are you barely scraping by with both your salaries? Try to live on just DH’s salary for a while as well and see how well you guys do – it could give you a chance to see whether or not cutting back to a one income household is actually feasible for you guys.
3. Consider the costs of having a child. If you continue working what would it cost to pay for daycare? Would you current salaries cover that completely or would it barely let you afford it? Do you have family nearby that could help out with childcare? What about the costs of things like clothes, furniture, and diapers? Do you want to try to breastfeed or will you be using formula?
Basically, it really differs for each family. We could make due with covering the basics and a little extra if I stopped working now, but whether its the best option for us is yet to be determined. You guys have time to consider your options, so just do your best to talk it out. 🙂
Post # 141
How big is your family? Two adults and a one year old
Did you struggle the first year? For the first month. Because his delivery cost us $5000 out of pocket.
How much did you end up making on one salary? $90k ish
What is your location? Oklahoma
Did you have to compromise on something you loved/loved doing? I used to be able to do my nails, go shopping more, etc. Now I spend all that money on my kiddo. The only thing we have really had to give up is our spontaneous activities.
<br /><br />Read more: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/sahm-how-big-is-your-family-whats-your-income/#ixzz3DAILc9sO
Post # 142
I live in Chicago and my Fiance and I have total income right around 100K . We are both just about a year out of school. My Fiance will be returning to school (hopefully) next year to become a pharmacist. I’m hoping our income will grow substantially before we have kids – but I don’t want to wait forever. I would love to be a Stay-At-Home Mom during the younger years of my kid’s life, but it just doesn’t seem feasible. I currently live in a one bedroom apartment – and between paying rent and school loans – our income doesn’t stretch that far (and, I had free tuition in college!). Yes, I can buy most of the things I want – but nothing frivilous. I can’t imaging being able to pay for a house and two kids on one income. I feel like my soon to be husband would have to make at least 150K, I think, to live comfortably (who knows, maybe he will).
I just really don’t want my kids to have to worry too much about money like I did when I was growing up.
Post # 143
Oh my gosh! Is that really a football chant?! That is terrible. I know the area isn’t too diverse, but I figured it wouldn’t be like the southern stereotypes people sometimes affiliate with states like Texas (since it is more liberal Austin). While our kids would likely ‘fit in’ just fine, idk that I’d want our children to grow up in that type of setting – esp. after we grew up in such a diverse, more accepting area – so that’s actually a great talking point for us to look at now, thanks. Since we’ve been looking, I’ve definitely noticed that the Austin housing market has increased quarter after quarter. The prices are much better than here, but things are for sure in an up-swing.
Omg, what I wouldn’t give for rent control! One of my best friends rents a room in a RC unit and it is ridiculously awesome for the area. Yeah, Oakland’s up-and-coming nature is def bringing in higher rents nowadays. We were considering N. Temescal, Rockridge or even Emeryville for a while before DH’s job change, but no go. Our particular area is getting out of control price-wise (for the EB) so I’m not sure what we’ll do next time around.
If we were in the city, I would have to agree that $300k would be our minimum. We have more wiggle room out here, but a lot of the ‘city people’ (that’s my best way to describe them I suppose, haha) who can’t afford SF rent are starting to move here and drive the rents up more. Funny how the cycle works – yay, supply and demand. Sigh.
Post # 144
Yeah, it was in the late 90’s. I would hope that things have changed, but it’s not a risk I’m willing to take because I can’t change my race. Austin is definitely more liberal, but at the end of the day, it’s still in Texas — the lone blue county in a red state. And you know that TX congresspeople will not be representing Austin in DC. They will represent Oil, Gas, Military and Ag. interests first. Maybe Tech eventually because that is starting to blow up there.
Yeah, it sounds like SF –> East Bay –> Austin and everyone has to pay higher rents. :\ Feel free to PM me if you want to chat more!