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How much more $ then child care costs would be 'worth' the SAHP going back to work?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

I'm just curious, especially those families where one parent stays home but for whatever reason is not planning this as the long term plan, as in not going back to work ever.  How much more money then quality childcare that you like would the current SAHP have to be able to make while working to make it 'worth it' to go back to work. 

 

For instance, if you had to pay 10/hr in childcare would you go to work if you made 11/hr? Or would you have to make 15/hr or 20/hr?  Or no way till youngest child is X years old but then I would go back at 10.1/hr??

 

Anything in particular that comes into your decision? 

post #2 of 40

Well Im a single mom so I dont have much of a choice.  If I can find employment I need to work regardless of my 'profit'.    I have very reasonable childcare, quality or not its reasonable and DS is 10 and homeschooled so I feel fairly certain that while its not top quality if there is an issue he has the skills to get help if there is a problem during the day.  (I am working toward leaving him home but I dont feel comfortable doing that for an 8 hr day just yet).

In the past I've had employers that offered some type of daycare assistance/reimbursement.  I am still able to claim daycare expenses on my taxes so the true cost of daycare isnt' dollar for dollar.

I would say my daycare has been between 10-20% of my basepay. I have very inexpensive daycare.

post #3 of 40

I haven't worked for the last few years because the amount of money wasn't worth the stress. However, next year I am starting to work  opening up a subsidized daycare (I get paid the full rate, but since I'm working through the community center, parents who are entitled get subsidies). There is a great need for it in my neighborhood, so I hope I won't have a problem being full. Ds next year is 3 and would have started play based local preschool anyway (public school). If I am working with the commuity center and I have a baby, I can keep that child with me for the first couple of years, and I get paid the subsidy for watching my own kid :D. It wasn't worth it when I had 2,3, or 4 little kids, but now that the girls are getting older, and Avraham Tzvi is 3, it is time to start. I'll be bringing home about $1600 a month after expenses,but for here that is a decent salary and for sure worth it!

post #4 of 40
I think it depends on the situation, if your making 1800 a month and are putting out 1000 in Childcare so only taking home 1800 but need that 800 to make all your bills then it would be worth it. For me I'd get full daycare covered or 19$ a day for inhome/private. Childcare is pretty cheap here, right now im looking at going back to work but will take a fairly decent pay cut compared to watching children and not paying out Childcare. But I think it'll be worth my sanity!!
post #5 of 40

I don't think it's all about the money in the short term and couldn't put a dollar value on it.  There are many benefits to my career, including medical, dental and vision insurance, retirement savings, and educational savings.  In addition, there is the career growth--taking off an extended chunk of time would be extremely damaging to my career, and would make me nearly unemployable in my current field.

post #6 of 40

exactly.  You have to weigh the whole package.  Medical. Dental. 401K. Pension. Vacation. Personal/Sick days. Tuition reimbursement. In a case like that it may be "worth" working for little to no take home pay since eventually the childcare costs should decrease and your salary should increase making the investment in childcare worth it. 

 

If it was strictly an hourly wage job w/o any bennies I would need at least a 20% ROI for it to be worth it. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post

I don't think it's all about the money in the short term and couldn't put a dollar value on it.  There are many benefits to my career, including medical, dental and vision insurance, retirement savings, and educational savings.  In addition, there is the career growth--taking off an extended chunk of time would be extremely damaging to my career, and would make me nearly unemployable in my current field.



 

post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by HollyBearsMom View Post

exactly.  You have to weigh the whole package.  Medical. Dental. 401K. Pension. Vacation. Personal/Sick days. Tuition reimbursement. In a case like that it may be "worth" working for little to no take home pay since eventually the childcare costs should decrease and your salary should increase making the investment in childcare worth it. 

 

If it was strictly an hourly wage job w/o any bennies I would need at least a 20% ROI for it to be worth it. 
 



 



I am in this camp.  When DS was born, I was at a job that had great paid-time off and retirement matching.  It also offered those pre-tax savings plans for medical and childcare costs, which were awesome. 

 

There were many women there that picked up the health insurance for their entire family and took full advantage of the other benefits but really were not taking home lots of cash each pay period but it was certainly worth it to them to continue working.

 

post #8 of 40

Great question!

 

I live in a high COL area, and daycare is ridiculous.  Before I was laid-off 2 years ago, I had two kids in daycare three days/week.  It was 24k/year. Yikes!

 

So I would not want to take a job where childcare was more than 40% of my pay.  ($60k with those childcare costs)

 

Remember, there are other costs to going back to work.  Commuting costs (parking, gas, tolls, wear&tear on the car). Dry cleaning, and buying nicer clothes/shoes or uniforms. 

 

Also - time will be at a premium, so if you are like us, you will need to outsource some things when all adults are working.  We would want a house cleaner every 2 weeks, and would buy take-out dinner a couple times a week.  And a dog-walker.

 

You won't be at home all day, so electricity and heat should be lower, but that might not be a significant cost.

 

 

post #9 of 40

Well when I started working when ds was 18 months, I HAD to go back. The money in just wasn't matching the money out and we had scaled back all that we could. I new I had to make at least $10 hr for it to be worth it and that was paying $25 for childcare. I was working part time. I found a full time job when ds was 2.5 yrs and made only $13 hr but that was plus medical benefits and retirement plan, paid vacation, paid sick. It was a pretty LOC area for childcare.

 

Where I am now I would probably have to bring in at least $15 hr for it to be worth it because childcare costs are higher here. Although I'll be willing to take a part time job for less if it helps my educational/career goals. I'm going back to school and so eventually I'll be paying childcare anyway with or without the job. So if I break even that will at least keep my student loans down.

post #10 of 40

I couldn't make any less then I make now to make it worth it. I make $25.00 an hour, I pay between $10-15.00 an hour depending on how many children are at home that day and what the sitter has to do with them. I work very part time, never more then half a day, sometimes just an hour if I am doing a home visit, so by the time a sitter gets to my house, I travel to where ever I am going, work and get back, there are some days that I pay exactly what I just made. If I worked longer hours or had benefits then it would be different but for now, with having multiple small children, this flexible job is a must and more about keeping my career then the money. It isn't like I am going to make a fortune in public health! 

post #11 of 40

the only way i would pay for childcare is if i was taking home at least 30K/year after childcare expenses.

post #12 of 40

I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think it's all about how much money you're making.  I've worked part-time in various capacities since my DD was a toddler.  We pay a ton of money for part- time daycare/preschool- it's often as expensive as my pay checks.  She goes to an excellent center that isn't cheap.  Even though I'm not making a lot of money, it's worth it to us because I'm keeping my resume current for when I am ready to work full-time.  I also really like working and what I do and I'm much happier if I'm working part time than when I'm only at home.  Lastly, my daughter loves her preschool so much that it's a win-win for all of us. 

post #13 of 40

I make min wage for my state and we pay $20 a day plus snacks,lunches,breakfast,drinks so it breaks to about $30 a day. My girls don't go to daycare everyday but when they do I only make $20 a day after cost of daycare,food etc. I work a TON of hrs at night, weekends like 12 or more hr shifts sometimes 7 days a week just to make what I need. Finding a new job would be great since I am worth more then I make per hr but I love this job, If something happens with my kids, or emergency, or I am sick I can leave that instant and even drive the owners cars etc. They love me so much that even sometimes he will pay for my girls daycare if I am low on funds or if I am helping him out with a extra shift. I plan to stick this job out until we close down or go under (which is bound to happen things are bad now. A little Hispanic ma and pop grocery store).

post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestylemama View Post

I'm probably in the minority here, but I don't think it's all about how much money you're making.  I've worked part-time in various capacities since my DD was a toddler.  We pay a ton of money for part- time daycare/preschool- it's often as expensive as my pay checks.  She goes to an excellent center that isn't cheap.  Even though I'm not making a lot of money, it's worth it to us because I'm keeping my resume current for when I am ready to work full-time.  I also really like working and what I do and I'm much happier if I'm working part time than when I'm only at home.  Lastly, my daughter loves her preschool so much that it's a win-win for all of us. 


This is us.

 

I have a very part time job and some weeks I do not work at all. DD's daycare costs $35 per day and she goes 3 times a week, regardless of whether I am working or not. It is so wonderful for her. DS will start there in May so it will be $65 per day for both of them. I bring home about $1000 a month (working about 3-4 days a month and a couple of nights - I am a musician). So once DS starts, i will not be making any money at all, especially seeing as I don't work over the summer except for side gigs.

 

I love having a professional outlet and it's very important to me that I do not lose my chops which is a definite possibility if I were not to work.

 

post #15 of 40

I would have to have enough over and above the cost of childcare to cover taxes, health insurance, retirement, housekeeper twice/month, a gardener once/month, commute/clothes/lunches out, gym membership, and still have enough to save for vacations.  And I'd have to be getting at least 3 wks/yr in vacation time. 

post #16 of 40
Thread Starter 


Thank you cristeen for putting into words how I am feeling but couldn't quite manage to articulate.  After reading it, it seems so obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post

I would have to have enough over and above the cost of childcare to cover taxes, health insurance, retirement, housekeeper twice/month, a gardener once/month, commute/clothes/lunches out, gym membership, and still have enough to save for vacations.  And I'd have to be getting at least 3 wks/yr in vacation time. 



 

post #17 of 40

There are other considerations. We have to have the money after childcare to live so it really isn't about $x an hour is it worth it. We also have to have the medical and dental benefits and the largish contribution my firm makes to my retirement (10% net) account as well as fully funding my retirement account. We also have very, very expensive childcare.

 

My familys "part" of my income is about 25% of what I earn after taxes, large premium co-pays for insurance, fully funding my 401K, and paying our nanny. Regardless of what I do in the future (would like to stay home for awhile) my retirement needs to be secure.

 

My mom's siblings all had a SAHP, well always, well after the children were grown and they are really really struggling in retirement. A lot of them are also anti-tax and worked off the books, when they did work and have pretty much nothing to live on.

post #18 of 40

It depends exactly where those extra dollars are going.  If it was keeping us from sliding into debt each month then I would probably find it palatable to work even if it wasn't much extra money. 

 

We looked at our monthly bare bones budget, then added a couple hundred dollars for the non-obvious costs of working like gas and less time to shop around for food and clothes.  Then we decided what an acceptable amount of savings would be so that our lifestyle would be financially sustainable.  That gave me the figure for what I needed to bring in after childcare costs were paid.  Whether that money came from part-time hours worked around DH's schedule or regular work hours minus childcare was more of a lifestyle/career decision than a financial one.

post #19 of 40

I tried working and having 2 children in daycare. For me no amount of money is worth having someone else watch my children. I had my children in a great, expensive daycare and I still felt that I was missing out on all that they did and learned each day.  I have been home for the past 11 years. My DH is only a school teacher, so we do NOT make a lot. I babysit in my home to make ends meet. If I were a single mom than I would work, no question about it. I have thought about working, all five of my children will be school age next year. The only thing that hold me up now is the fact that I homeschool 2 children and am not sure if I want to put them in school. So right now we are seriously thinking about whether more income is worth our children being in school. We know what goes on each day in school. We know that so much time is a waste. We know about all the bullying. Hard decision.

post #20 of 40

This, plus in our family we don't weigh the costs against one person's salary. We place the costs into our joint budget, because we don't have the assumption that the lower earner has to give up his or her career just because of being the lower earner.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post

I don't think it's all about the money in the short term and couldn't put a dollar value on it.  There are many benefits to my career, including medical, dental and vision insurance, retirement savings, and educational savings.  In addition, there is the career growth--taking off an extended chunk of time would be extremely damaging to my career, and would make me nearly unemployable in my current field.



 

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