(Closed) SAHM, how big is your family & whats your income?

posted 6 years ago in Babies
Post # 76
Member
3378 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

A lot of responses here seem to have a pretty inflated sense of what are necessities, and what are just things that are nice to have.  Yes, you may not want to live without those “nice to have” things, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it by without them.

I’m not in this boat yet, but I will be very soon (I’m pregnant with our first child, not currently working as I’m finishing a grad degree, so we’re living on DH’s income already).  Once our baby comes, Darling Husband will be making about 60K, after a year he’ll be up to 70K, and I’m confident we’ll be able to live very comfortably on that income.  Our cars are paid off, but we do have student loan payments, and we’re currently renting (a good chunk of money each month is going into saving for a down payment on a house).  We live in a city in the midwest (Ohio), so not a very high cost of living (but higher than, for example, a rural area).

I just look at the example of my brother and his wife – they are both elementary school teachers in Indiana.  Together, they probably make about what my husband makes, because unfortunately teachers are paid an obscenely low amount in that part of the country.  They have two boys (4 and 6 years old), and while they’ve had to budget carefully and they definitely don’t have an extravagent lifestyle, they own their own home, take the boys to the zoo and the children’s museum regularly, the boys are involved in sports teams, and they take a vacation or two a year.  They aren’t hurting, the boys have great opportunities, and I think they have a pretty nice life!  You just have to decide where your priorities are – if having luxuries is more important, no you may not be able to do that on one income.  But that’s not that important to everyone.

Post # 77
Member
1956 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

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Janelle123:  that’s exactly what I was thinking after reading through this thread. 

Post # 78
Member
106 posts
Blushing bee

When I read this post, I just think of all the single moms out there doing it on one income with little to no support. What the difference between a single parent and a SAHM? Expectations! If a Stay-At-Home Mom wants to stay home, expenses have to adjust. Having one family vehicle, less formal vacations, more picnics at the beach or park, home cooking vs. restaurants (…the list goes on). A single parent will learn the value of wants vs. needs by necessity…. maybe if you are thinking about being a Stay-At-Home Mom you will need to re-evaluate what your wants vs needs are … and what it really mean to truly live on one income. 

Post # 79
Member
8439 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

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Rachel631:  I think it depends on employment.  My husband works for a large corporation, so our health insurance is pretty awesome ($0 copays, HSA, $3000 max out of pocket, etc) and it all comes out pre-tax.  However, those in the US that are self-employed, work for small businesses, or are underemployed may not have access to the same benefits.  I’m not sure how that may have changed since Obamacare though.

Post # 80
Member
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

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Rachel631:  Health insurance in a tricky thing here.  My co-woker is on her husband’s insurance.  The first $3K of medical expenses are out of pocket.  So, they pay a premium, and they pay the first $3K, in addition, so it isn’t like health insurance just pays for everything.  My health insurance requires a co-pay for a lot of services and medications.  Plus, I pay part of my premium.

 

I read the other day that the average 55 year old has $145,000 in his/her 401K account.  Assuming 10 more years of work and saving, let’s say $250,000.  Can you imagine trying to stretch that for 20 years?  That’s it.  I don’t know how people are going to retire.  Social security pays maybe $2000 a month, if you work until age 67.  You take a penalty if you  take it earlier.  Very few people have pensions.  If you are making $60,000 a year and supporting a family of 4, and don’t have a pension, I really don’t know how you are saving for retirement.

So, yes, you probably can stay home on $60,000 a year or less, but does in make financial sense?  Not just in what you can provide for your kids, but in how you can save for your future.  My kids don’t do any sort of travelling or elite teams (although my daughter may eventually in gymnastics) and sports are super expensive.  If you don’t have kids, it is hard to anticipate just how much they cost.  And, at least in my town, the education you recieve varies immensely by school district. 

 

I looked it up yeaterday.  The average income in my zip code is about $100,000 a year and the average house price is about $350,000.  It take a lot to live in a good school district.

Post # 81
Member
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Premiums skyrocketed under Obamacare, at least they did for a couple I know really well.  She ended up going back to work part time they went up so much.  IMO, they will continue to go up.  Not enough young healthy people are signing up to pay for all the old and sick people…..That’s the last article I read anyway.

Post # 82
Member
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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Mrs.Sawyertobe:  I think the answer is that increasingly, people just won’t retire. I won’t receive any sort of pension until I am at least 75, which will be pretty normal for my age group. After that, I’ll probably work part time, like a lot of people in my family.

Darling Husband and I worked out that there was no point paying into a private pension, because the returns we would get would be so little. We would be better off putting a small amount into private savings and continuing to work a few hours a week in a non-stressful job into our old age. Many in my family work not for money, but for the enjoyment and stimulation it gives them. Hopefully we will be the same. As it happens, even putting money into savings doesn’t make sense right now because the rate of interest is so low.

I suppose we’ll just work until we become infirm, at which time we will go into care and sell the house to pay for it… that seems to be what the older generation usually do here. Once the money from the house runs out, the local council then foots the bill (which is funded by central govt., largely from income tax).

Post # 83
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2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

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Rachel631:  I find the thought of working until I am either dead or infirm incredibly depressing….Hopefully I won’t have to…

Post # 84
Member
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

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Mrs.Sawyertobe:  It’s actually supposed to be good for you to work a few hours a week into your old age… slows down rates of dementia and the like. I don’t mean that 80 year olds are working 40 hours a week, but I have several older family members who do 10 hours a week or less in a non-stressful job that they enjoy. We have to wait until 75 to claim our pensions now, anyway. Years ago then people would just take a pension and wouldn’t be expected to live much longer anyway, but as life expectancy rises then something has to give…

Post # 85
Member
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

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Rachel631:  Ok, well, I guess I wouldn’t mind that, but I was really hoping to find a regualr volunteer gig once I retired…..:-)Like volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House or something.

Post # 86
Member
5219 posts
Bee Keeper

To answer the OP:

My parents lived off of one income– my father stayed at home while my mother worked. We lived in a low COL area, and she made (at the time) right at around 90k or so. We were comfortable, lived in a nice house and went to private school. This of course was from the late 80’s- early/mid 2000’s when I went off to college. I don’t remember money being a huge issue ( ie parents arguing over it).They still made me pay for my first car and have summer jobs. I played sports and did piano lessons, and we took vacations fairly often. They weren’t big spenders on material things like designer clothes or shoes, when I was in high school I was given a “clothing allowance” for the year… if I remember correctly it was like $250 or $300. Once it was gone, it was gone. I was very fortunate that my parents provided me what they did provide.

In comparison, right now my brother works while my SIL stays at home with my niece. He also makes ( from what I can gather) around 90-100k or so. They live in a nice home ( 3BR/2Ba, good neighborhood) and they have their toys ( two large vehicles, a piece of land he hunts on + hunting equipment). However; they definitely have struggled here and there. The birth of my niece was expensive, and he even has good insurance! Also, he had to have an operation a couple of years ago that was costly. My SIL does all of the cooking, cleaning and is very thrifty in a lot of ways. They also live in a pretty low COL area, so they do well. However; I do know it has been tight at times. Between saving for retirement, insurance, taxes, mortgage, gas ( he commutes a bit), eating out when he travels for work… there’s enough left over for them to enjoy life, but there have been a few light Christmases and they have only taken 1 or 2 vacations in the past 4 or 5 years. 

As far as me personally, I wouldn’t do it unless Darling Husband was making well into 6 figures. That’s just me, though. We like our hobbies and nice things, we save like crazy people and I wouldn’t feel comfortable living close to paycheck to paycheck while having young mouths depending on me for food. God forbid something terrible happen and my child need a very expensive surgery or be born with a condition I couldn’t afford to try and deal with. My Darling Husband grew up very impoverished, it is not something we want for us or our kids. So for that reason, 50k wouldn’t be enough for me to consider leaving work.

I think everyone has a different threshold for what they are willing to consider. Like that other thread last week, the gal was planning on having 3 people live off of 30k. That is ill advised, IMO. I think as long as you can reasonably afford your children, I see no issue with it. It isn’t my business what your standard of living is and if you are/aren’t saving for retirement.

Post # 87
Member
1228 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2014

This is such an intensely personal question, because while you can survive with children at almost any income, everyone’s definitions of “struggling” is different.  After adjusting for Canadian inflation, my father raised 3 kids and saved for a comfortable retirement on 80k.

My mother shopped the grocery flyers, we drove for most family vacations, we shared 1 computer and 1 tv and 1 phone line, had old furniture in an old house, never went to summer camps, we never had cable or central A/C, gym memberships,  nor video games/a stereo system/VHS movie collections, nor Nike shoes.

But we had swimming and music lessons, private tutors, help for university tuition, help with weddings or first mortgages, and a lifetime of memories of skating outings, meals cooked from scratch, visiting Smithsonian museums, evenings doing homework together, road trip games, after dinner family walks, picnics in the park, library trips, days at the beach.  I know living off of one salary caused my mother a lot of stress, but we kids never thought about it.     

Post # 88
Member
213 posts
Helper bee

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Mrs.Sawyertobe: One thing a lot of people forget when looking at retirement income is that your expenses should be much lower in retirement. Housing costs should be only property taxes, No kids at home, less gass/transportation expenses, etc. Also if someone is going to work until 67 (full SS benefits) then while it is wise to budget for 20+ years, most people wont need that much, the average life expectancy in the US is only 78.

Post # 89
Member
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

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MakingHerWait:  I agree that they should be a lot lower, but in reality, often times they are not. Medicines and such for seniors can be very expensive and even if you have medicare, you need a supplement.  I agree that you should not need your full salary, but I think a fixed income of $2000 a month is not enough.

Post # 90
Member
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

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MakingHerWait:  My grandmother just turned 92 and I had a great grandmother that lived to 101, so I am figuring (hoping) my reitirement will need to be longer than 13 years….

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