Hi guys. I have been working part-time since DS was 6mo, usually 10-20 hours per week. With twins on the way, as well as me really wanting to be at home fulltime, DH and I have decided that me SAHMing is the best option for us. I am super excited and should be officially done with work by the summer.
Financially, it is going to be very tough for us because we live in a high cost-of-living area and DH works in arts/entertainment that just does not pay that well, but which he loves and is great at. DH's job is based here for now and as it is he has a long commute just so we can afford more than a 1 bedroom. We have always lived modestly and like it that way. We are also debtfree with the exception of our mortgage and a small student loan. Our spending is fine, it's housing costs that eat up most of budget. (We bought the smallest/lowest cost home we could find here, a 2bed condo, and actually our motrgage is not bad at all. It is the property tax and HOA fees that kill us, doubling our housing costs - we could not find anything in our price range without a HOA.) Second is our transportation costs (and DH takes public transport). Close third is food and in winter, utilities.
The cost of living here is such that most people who SAHP have much higher incomes than we do, and people tend to assume that we do too. I get a lot of "Wow, that's great if you can afford it" or "I'd love to stay home but I have to work." Well, we can *just* afford it, and we can't afford anything else either. If I were to work part-time, it would not cover part-time childcare for two babies. If both of us were to work full-time (which we do not want, just our personal choice but we are not okay with full-time childcare), then one of us would be working to pay childcare anyway. And due to our career fields, it is likely that we would not both find fulltime positions in the same location. Right now DH is gone 12+ hours a day 7-7 and usually later, so my hypothetical job would also need to be flexibe enough to deal with that, and I would likely be in charge of all the second shift stuff. That kind of life is not for us, we'd rather make do with less. But people don't tend to see that we have old cars and can't afford extracurriculars. They think we are privileged. And I do, in fact, feel very fortunate, I am not complaining. DH and I are proud of what we're doing. I just have no one to talk to about our actual situation.
Can anyone relate? Want to share tips, thoughts, ideas?
I know there is a low-income thread in the frugality forum, but we are not really in that situation. Our income is very low for this area, less than half the median, but we have a steady income and can afford our home, food, utilities, gas, and all necessities. Also, I do plan to return to work at some point in the future at which time our income will potentially jump a lot.