I think being able to stay at home depends on several factors including the dedication to make it happen, the area you live, how frugal you can be, how many kids you have, and what life has brought you before, etc. etc.
I totally, totally agree.
I was just reading through this thread, and my DH makes quite a bit more than some of the salaries quoted, however, we live in a very high cost of living area, where the money just doesn't stretch as far (which is why I suppose salaries are a bit higher).
We'd probably do much better in a lower cost city with a slightly lower salary.
Where we live houses generally cost between (minimum) $300k to $400k/$450k.
$400k will get you a 1700 square foot 1950s ranch, typically, just to give you an example.
On that house, the taxes would be about $6000 to $7000 per year. So, that is at least $500 per month on just taxes alone.
So, it really boggles my mind when people talk about mortgages that are less than $1000 per month. I don't know anyone with that small of a mortgage here, even if they had a good down payment. Well, maybe people who bought their houses 15 or 20 years ago.
Average rents are well over $1000 for any 2 bedroom apartment.
So, yeah, cost of living is a HUGE factor when it comes to living on one or two incomes.
We live well on two incomes, and we just get by on one income, with help from savings.