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Old 03-03-2010, 06:39 AM
 
Location: Florida
1,738 posts, read 5,490,028 times
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ivory, do you have kids?
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:11 AM
 
43,017 posts, read 49,727,727 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TouchOfWhimsy View Post
I'm not saying that "most" people are like that, just the ones who ask ME incredulously how anyone could live on one income. I kid you not, many people in this area live in very expensive houses and drive high end cars, and don't see living in a smaller home or driving an older car as reasonable. I don't count their purses.... I just threw that one in for effect. As I said, if someone wants to live that way, then that's no problem at all... but it's good to recognize that people don't *need* to live that way.
I'll never forget when the mother of one of my children's friends said, "I don't understand how families can make it on 100k per year!" (That's how much she earns for her two income household. Her marriage is crap and she's always thinking that she can't make it on her own. Meanwhile, her household gets decent child support on top her her and her husband's combined income which is near 200k.) My mouth literally dropped open in shock at her statement. We live in a very low cost of living area and managed to easily live on one income---providing our children with more than they provide their children. It's all about the level of house and cars. They spend like mad on so many things that are unrelated to children. Heck, we even took more vacations than her family. Yet she can't see how it's possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I have to ask why a family needs to reduce to one income? What advantage to them or their children is there in limping by when you can do better with both parents working.
It was a necessity for our family. I worked full time until one of our children was in 4th grade. A child's long term illness dictated that one parent be home or my husband and I risked losing our jobs due to missing too much work to be home with the sick child. At first, we'd trade taking off work, but eventually it became clear that we were in for a long road. We decided that it would be best for me to stay home because my husband's career was in more stable industry and his employer provided the best health insurance coverage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I've read reams of research on the effects of dual working parents on children and the effects are positive for two working parents (mostly financial plusses that lead to better outcomes for children but there's also a self esteem boost for the daughters of career moms). So, why do people keep arguing in favor of eliminating one income? What is the basis of the argument when, finances aside, our kids are, pretty much, going to turn out the same either way?
I find it interesting that you're overly focused on what others do to the point of researching it. Sounds like you must have some deep guilt and you're trying to justify your desire to be a working mother. That's cool. I just don't think it's right for you to make assumptions and judge others with such a broad brush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
When you look at the cost to a woman's career, this is a serious decision. Take 5 years off and you lose more than just 5 years income. You lose 5 years experience, 5 years of contribution to a 401K, 5 years of pension vesting and 5 years of raises that you never get back. So, even in a break even situation, WRT how the kids are expected to turn out, it can be better that mom stay in the work force.
New flash. Money isn't everything. Seriously. Some things are much more important in life.
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:32 AM
 
Location: The brown house on the cul de sac
2,081 posts, read 2,723,503 times
Reputation: 9268
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I have to ask why a family needs to reduce to one income? What advantage to them or their children is there in limping by when you can do better with both parents working.

I've read reams of research on the effects of dual working parents on children and the effects are positive for two working parents (mostly financial plusses that lead to better outcomes for children but there's also a self esteem boost for the daughters of career moms). So, why do people keep arguing in favor of eliminating one income? What is the basis of the argument when, finances aside, our kids are, pretty much, going to turn out the same either way?

While there are plusses for having an educated mom stay home, there are also plusses to having her income. So you'd have to decide, on an individual basis, which was better for a family. Take my case when my kids were little. I brought in 2/3 of our income and all of our benefits. The reduction in SES would have, surely, cancelled any benefit to my staying home and then some. It was a no brainer decision. If I had been making what I am now, we would have made the opposite decision because my income, after day care costs, wouldn't have made as much difference as having an educated mom at home could have. For others, it's a closer call and very individual.

With an uneducated mom, it's pretty much better she works (assuming moderate to high quality day care is used) and she can actually earn enough to make a financial difference for the family. Studies have shown that for low income families, mom working is better. Often day care is a better environment than home. (I'll have to appologize in advance for not having links to post. The kids killed a computer by picking up a virus and I haven't rebuilt my link library yet).

When you look at the cost to a woman's career, this is a serious decision. Take 5 years off and you lose more than just 5 years income. You lose 5 years experience, 5 years of contribution to a 401K, 5 years of pension vesting and 5 years of raises that you never get back. So, even in a break even situation, WRT how the kids are expected to turn out, it can be better that mom stay in the work force.
I completely agree especially in light of today's economic climate.

I am a SAHM for now and yes, I love it and it's the right place for me to be now. However, these days, many families do not have the option to live on one income, no matter how frugally they live.

There are now more women than men in our workforce and many are the primary wage earners. Many work just because of health benefits. And get this, these families are raising children that turn out just as healthy, happy and whole as the kids with a SAH parent!
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Old 03-03-2010, 08:38 AM
 
2,605 posts, read 2,622,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegirlinaz View Post
. Basically after all my ranting and going on (boo hoo for us) my question is, how do people in our situation ever afford to have a baby?
You set your priorities and lessen your financial burden by weeding out what isn't necessary for you at the time. You make it work.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:07 AM
 
4,267 posts, read 3,051,168 times
Reputation: 3579
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I have to ask why a family needs to reduce to one income? What advantage to them or their children is there in limping by when you can do better with both parents working.
I don't think that every family needs to reduce to one income. It works for some families and not for others (for a wide variety of reasons). I think it's wise for everyone to live within their means whether they have one or two incomes. We've always been frugal but the experience of going from two incomes to one forced us to re-think all of our financial decisions and spending and really tighten our belts. It hasn't always been easy but we're not limping by and are actually in much better financial shape then we were before. I'm glad we followed our hearts.
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:14 AM
 
5,581 posts, read 8,208,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Or maybe they want to live in a safe, or at least not outright dangerous neighborhood, and want to be able to afford healthcare for their children. You can't do that on one modest income in many places, even if you're willing to squash into a small apartment, go without a car, and follow all the other frugal living tips.
We live on the west coast where housing is $$$. So to live in a safe/nice area where the schools are good we currently rent. It's more affordable than trying to buy a home in this area. Once the kids are out of school we plan on moving to an area where buying a home isn't as expensive (because living near good schools won't be a factor). I agree it's hard buying a home on one income in good areas. We could buy a condo, but we figure that would be the same as apartment living and we wouldn't want to pay extra for the same sort of lifestyle, so we save our money. We're able to put the max amounts into our retirement plans as well as set money aside into other investments and savings accounts, so this works for us. Sometimes when we sit down and do the math, renting actually seems to come ahead of buying a home anyway, so we're not entirely sold on the buying a home idea just yet...
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Old 03-03-2010, 10:54 AM
Status: "The Union forever! Down with the traitors." (set 1 day ago)
 
13,619 posts, read 17,220,993 times
Reputation: 11745
I figured I would chime in on the SAHM bit. When my wife and I were first married we both worked. I was the primary earner, but her income wasn't exactly a throw away. We lived well. We ate out most nights, we owned three nice cars. When my son was born my wife took the standard maternity leave and then went back to work leaving our son in the care of her mother, who doesn't need to work. All was well.

Just before my son's third birthday we found out we were expecting again. This pregnancy was very hard on my wife and around the same time my MIL had decided that she really wasn't able to take care of my son every day. So, my wife quit her job to stay home with my son and take care of herself during her pregnancy.

At first it all went well, but our savings started to depreciate. At first we stopped eating out so much. Then we decided to sell my toy, a very modified GTO. This helped us stabilize a bit.

My daughter was born 19 months ago...about 13 months ago we found out we were expecting a very unplanned number 3. We were living in a rental, had been for a long time and we simply didn't have enough space to accomodate 3 kids. We were now on one income, with no prospect of my wife returning work to work any time soon.

We wanted to buy a house and make a home for our kids. We got rid of the Audi A6 and the Chevy Avalanche and bought a good used GMC Envoy to haul the kids around. We cut back in other areas as well, but the cars were the biggy. We bought a house that was well within our means in an area that had a good school district, but would mean a longer commute for me. So, I bought a cheap commuter car in cash.

Our lifestyle has radically changed. We don't eat out every night. We don't drive the coolest cars on the block. We don't live in the ritziest of areas, or in the biggest house. However, we wouldn't trade it for anything.

My wife could go back to work this coming Fall as my son will be in KG full time and my wife's salary would more than pay for day care. Maybe we could even afford some nicer cars. However, we have come to appreciate our simpler life and I know my wife and my kids wouldn't trade the time at home with mom for anything. So, for now, Dad can give up his Audi and his sports car and give my kids what they deserve most...their mom.

Edit: I just wanted to add that we are doing what we are doing on a salary of ~$70k per year. For a family of 5 in NJ I think this makes us solid middle class, if not lower-middle class.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:35 PM
 
2,605 posts, read 2,622,654 times
Reputation: 2107
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoExcuses View Post
You set your priorities and lessen your financial burden by weeding out what isn't necessary for you at the time. You make it work.
=
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I figured I would chime in on the SAHM bit. When my wife and I were first married we both worked. I was the primary earner, but her income wasn't exactly a throw away. We lived well. We ate out most nights, we owned three nice cars. When my son was born my wife took the standard maternity leave and then went back to work leaving our son in the care of her mother, who doesn't need to work. All was well.

Just before my son's third birthday we found out we were expecting again. This pregnancy was very hard on my wife and around the same time my MIL had decided that she really wasn't able to take care of my son every day. So, my wife quit her job to stay home with my son and take care of herself during her pregnancy.

At first it all went well, but our savings started to depreciate. At first we stopped eating out so much. Then we decided to sell my toy, a very modified GTO. This helped us stabilize a bit.

My daughter was born 19 months ago...about 13 months ago we found out we were expecting a very unplanned number 3. We were living in a rental, had been for a long time and we simply didn't have enough space to accomodate 3 kids. We were now on one income, with no prospect of my wife returning work to work any time soon.

We wanted to buy a house and make a home for our kids. We got rid of the Audi A6 and the Chevy Avalanche and bought a good used GMC Envoy to haul the kids around. We cut back in other areas as well, but the cars were the biggy. We bought a house that was well within our means in an area that had a good school district, but would mean a longer commute for me. So, I bought a cheap commuter car in cash.

Our lifestyle has radically changed. We don't eat out every night. We don't drive the coolest cars on the block. We don't live in the ritziest of areas, or in the biggest house. However, we wouldn't trade it for anything.

My wife could go back to work this coming Fall as my son will be in KG full time and my wife's salary would more than pay for day care. Maybe we could even afford some nicer cars. However, we have come to appreciate our simpler life and I know my wife and my kids wouldn't trade the time at home with mom for anything. So, for now, Dad can give up his Audi and his sports car and give my kids what they deserve most...their mom.

Edit: I just wanted to add that we are doing what we are doing on a salary of ~$70k per year. For a family of 5 in NJ I think this makes us solid middle class, if not lower-middle class.
You make it work.
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Old 03-03-2010, 12:49 PM
 
2,839 posts, read 6,574,656 times
Reputation: 2739
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I figured I would chime in on the SAHM bit. When my wife and I were first married we both worked. I was the primary earner, but her income wasn't exactly a throw away. We lived well. We ate out most nights, we owned three nice cars. When my son was born my wife took the standard maternity leave and then went back to work leaving our son in the care of her mother, who doesn't need to work. All was well.

Just before my son's third birthday we found out we were expecting again. This pregnancy was very hard on my wife and around the same time my MIL had decided that she really wasn't able to take care of my son every day. So, my wife quit her job to stay home with my son and take care of herself during her pregnancy.

At first it all went well, but our savings started to depreciate. At first we stopped eating out so much. Then we decided to sell my toy, a very modified GTO. This helped us stabilize a bit.

My daughter was born 19 months ago...about 13 months ago we found out we were expecting a very unplanned number 3. We were living in a rental, had been for a long time and we simply didn't have enough space to accomodate 3 kids. We were now on one income, with no prospect of my wife returning work to work any time soon.

We wanted to buy a house and make a home for our kids. We got rid of the Audi A6 and the Chevy Avalanche and bought a good used GMC Envoy to haul the kids around. We cut back in other areas as well, but the cars were the biggy. We bought a house that was well within our means in an area that had a good school district, but would mean a longer commute for me. So, I bought a cheap commuter car in cash.

Our lifestyle has radically changed. We don't eat out every night. We don't drive the coolest cars on the block. We don't live in the ritziest of areas, or in the biggest house. However, we wouldn't trade it for anything.

My wife could go back to work this coming Fall as my son will be in KG full time and my wife's salary would more than pay for day care. Maybe we could even afford some nicer cars. However, we have come to appreciate our simpler life and I know my wife and my kids wouldn't trade the time at home with mom for anything. So, for now, Dad can give up his Audi and his sports car and give my kids what they deserve most...their mom.

Edit: I just wanted to add that we are doing what we are doing on a salary of ~$70k per year. For a family of 5 in NJ I think this makes us solid middle class, if not lower-middle class.
Wow, with very few changes, I could have written this story about our family as well. We have only two children, but the rest is pretty accurate (I worked until my son was a year old, and we had two car payments, ate out a lot, lived in a too-big house, etc). We sold the expensive house, cooked at home, got rid of one of the cars, cut up the credit cards, and started watching our budget... and you are right, I would not trade our lifestyle for our previous one for ANY amount of money!
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Old 03-03-2010, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,738 posts, read 5,490,028 times
Reputation: 621
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
I figured I would chime in on the SAHM bit. When my wife and I were first married we both worked. I was the primary earner, but her income wasn't exactly a throw away. We lived well. We ate out most nights, we owned three nice cars. When my son was born my wife took the standard maternity leave and then went back to work leaving our son in the care of her mother, who doesn't need to work. All was well.

Just before my son's third birthday we found out we were expecting again. This pregnancy was very hard on my wife and around the same time my MIL had decided that she really wasn't able to take care of my son every day. So, my wife quit her job to stay home with my son and take care of herself during her pregnancy.

At first it all went well, but our savings started to depreciate. At first we stopped eating out so much. Then we decided to sell my toy, a very modified GTO. This helped us stabilize a bit.

My daughter was born 19 months ago...about 13 months ago we found out we were expecting a very unplanned number 3. We were living in a rental, had been for a long time and we simply didn't have enough space to accomodate 3 kids. We were now on one income, with no prospect of my wife returning work to work any time soon.

We wanted to buy a house and make a home for our kids. We got rid of the Audi A6 and the Chevy Avalanche and bought a good used GMC Envoy to haul the kids around. We cut back in other areas as well, but the cars were the biggy. We bought a house that was well within our means in an area that had a good school district, but would mean a longer commute for me. So, I bought a cheap commuter car in cash.

Our lifestyle has radically changed. We don't eat out every night. We don't drive the coolest cars on the block. We don't live in the ritziest of areas, or in the biggest house. However, we wouldn't trade it for anything.

My wife could go back to work this coming Fall as my son will be in KG full time and my wife's salary would more than pay for day care. Maybe we could even afford some nicer cars. However, we have come to appreciate our simpler life and I know my wife and my kids wouldn't trade the time at home with mom for anything. So, for now, Dad can give up his Audi and his sports car and give my kids what they deserve most...their mom.

Edit: I just wanted to add that we are doing what we are doing on a salary of ~$70k per year. For a family of 5 in NJ I think this makes us solid middle class, if not lower-middle class.
awesome! I wouldn't change my days home with my child either. all those first moments are exactly that 1st and I want to be there clapping and watching.
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