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post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Just wondering how other mothers manage to stay at home on one income?
I do this now (in Australia) but we're moving to the states soon and I know the cost of living is higher there so I'm wondering how you guys do it! My DH said that cost of living might be higher but the wage is higher as well... so we would be better off.... THEN he went and contradicted himself saying that I might have to work when we go over there and have his mum watch our daughter because we might need two incomes.

I got pretty upset about that, DD is only 5 months old and bf's... and while I have no problems working, I do have a problem leaving DD. There aren't many jobs where you can take your child along and I don't know how I could work from home and actually earn some money as the web design business I have seems pretty slow!
post #2 of 11
Hi, Quickening, where will you be moving? Living expenses here vary from area to area. Cheaper housing (i.e. the same house but in a different location) is usually found a little ways outside cities. Most people seem to have to commute at least 20-30 min. to their jobs. For ex., our house was bought for around $200K, and we live about 45 min. from Wash., D.C.. The SAME house just outside the D.C. area would be $300-350K, easy. It's all about location (usually). However, my friend is from Western Pennsylania and you can get a HUGE single-family house for what I paid from my townhome! Frustrating. Anyway, there's hope! Best of luck, happy home-hunting, and welcome to the U.S.! Keep us posted!

post #3 of 11
Hi there,

It completely depends on where you are going to live. The midwest is generally cheaper than the coasts, but midwest cities are higher - Minneapolis, Chicago, for example. It would be helpful to know what part of the country you are going to be in, in order to better answer your question.
post #4 of 11
YOu might want to check out www.salary.com It has a cost of living calculator and a salary guide so you can see what is an average salary for your DH in the area you will be moving to.

post #5 of 11
Yes, it really depends where you live. We're in the 'burbs of Chicago (about 1 hour away from the city). Dh works in a suburb, and a small, older (50 years old at least) 3 bed/1bath runs about $160,000; we live about 40 minutes from his work where an older 3/2 is about 120,000.

We're moving to Arizona where dh will make a bit less, but the cost of living is much lower.

It can be done!
post #6 of 11
post #7 of 11
I'm near DC and it's considered expensive here. Compare it to living in Sydney. I'm not working at the moment - even if I wanted to, child care is too expensive here, it wouldn't be worth it. But I think, like in Australia, often both parents work so they can pay for the mortgage, cars,... etc I'd rather cut expenses, live more cheaply and be a SAHM. And the thrift shops in my area are really good - I swear I can buy Dior baby clothes for 50 cents. I don't find so many differences between Australia and America. Things are dearer but wages are higher. If you try to convert prices to Australian $ then things will appear expensive. You won't want to use your Aussie $ here! But on a typical American salary, things will be ok. I assume your dh is American or is gonna work in USA? so that your health insurance needs will be covered? That's the big difference here - the social and health system is more expensive and not as comprehensive as in Australia. BTW if you're planning on returning to Australia, just think how much your American money will bring you when you go back!
post #8 of 11
Quickening, where are you moving to? (if you don't mind my asking)? Different parts of the country vary greatly in cost of living. I am a SAHM and we recently left New England (expensive) to move to the South (affordable) so that I could continue to stay at home. But I agree - the suburbs are usually cheaper than the city, usually the further out you go, the cheaper. But yes, I know a lot of stay at home moms (I actually know very few working moms) here in the US. It's certainly very possible!!!!
post #9 of 11
Yes, location is one key. We are in AZ and you can easily find a comfy house for USD150K- with a pool!!!
It also depends on the type of lifestyle you pursue. dh doesn't really care but I try to eat organic as far as possible, and that can make expenses high, so I;ve been compromising a bit here and there, and shop at the local farmers' market.

Is this move a corporate one? Will the company pay for the move, in the sense that they pay for shipping of your personal effects?? If so, ship ALL you can!!! You will be worn out trying to buy stuff for your new home, new life. We shipped most of our furniture from HK and Germany, and other than 2 solid pine bookshelves, did not spend a single cent on household furniture. We find that furniture can be expensive- and not necc of good quality!! It's very easy to get trapped into all those "buy now, pay later" deals so common here. We find America is a society that encourages debts, not our style.
Also, bear in mind the taxes- if the company pays for move, corporate housing initially, YOU have to pay the taxes on all these expenses, as it's considered an income, so you have to set aside a sum of money to pay for those taxes in a year!

You can also shop online a bit to get an idea of prices of baby stuff, etc, and see if it's better to already buy some things in advance and ship them along (stuff like diapers, clothes, books, toys, etc).

It's possible for you to be a SAHM, as has been said, it depends on where you will be, and also, on the lifestyle you are going to maintain. Good Luck!!
post #10 of 11
We're raising 4 children on my husband's income of $50K/ year and we live in an area with astronomical housing prices (but low propery taxes). We own a house, and while we're not rich, we're staying out of debt and basically doing fine.

Think of how much it will *cost* you to have a job. If you work, you'll need: a nice wardrobe

If you work outside the home, you are likely to spend more on food, such as lunches out and convenience foods because you don't have time to cook from scratch. You need to figure out the costs of working and subtract that from your potential income to see if it's still worthwhile to work.

Good luck!
post #11 of 11
Just a thought, I work as a nanny and bring my son along. It is perfect because I make money and have my son. I also plan to open a home daycare for school age children in a few years, those are working options that don't require you to leave you child
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