What If I Can't Afford To Be A SAHM or SAHD?
If it turns out you can't afford to quit your job to become a stay at home mom or dad, you can do what I did and become a work at home parent. Considering how much you will save working from home, you may not need to earn a lot to be able to quit your job to work from home.
Thanks to a company called Solo Build It! (SBI) and their step-by-step Action Guide for turning your passion into an online business, I was able to transition to being a work at home parent -- with my work from home income eventually surpassing what I used to make as an employee.
I started my online business in April of 2010 with just a computer and a $30 monthly SBI subscription, and have since become just one of SBI's many success stories -- many of whom are now work-at-home parents. And if a former janitor/short-order-cook like me can do it, so can you!
Note that due to the success I've experienced it was a no-brainer to become an affiliate for SBI. So if you decide to give SBI a try, please be aware that I will receive a small affiliate commission.
A Note to Single Parents
Let me first start by saying that my heart goes out to you if you are a single parent who has little if any choice as to whether or not you can afford to be a stay at home parent. Sadly, with half of all marriages ending in divorce (many caused by disagreements over those little pieces of paper we refer to as "money"), my heart is going out to a lot of people.
Sure, it is possible to start a home-based business that would allow a single parent to work from home. However, making that transition is extremely difficult. After all, since it can take several years for a business to become profitable, a single parent would likely have to hold down a full-time job while building their business from home. And what single parent has time for that?
So, Which is Better?
While there are legitimate arguments from both sides as to whether or not families are better off with a stay-at-home parent, what bothers me the most is the fact that the financial aspects of the decision are normally only considered after the fact -- when parents already have children, and they are already holding down full-time jobs.
In other words, very few of us ever make a financial plan for having children ahead of having them. The primary reason? Because that's what our parents did, and no one ever taught us any differently.
But at Least We Can Bake Cup Cakes
In my opinion, Home Economics should be just as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic when it comes to educating our children. Unfortunately, at least in the case of my family's experience, "Home Ec" was little more than a brief lesson in baking cupcakes.
That's outrageous! Especially when you consider the financial complexities of today's households.
A Society of Pin Balls
The truth is, most households today are more financially complex than most small businesses of the past, yet they have no business plan, no accountant, no budget, no purchasing manager, and so on.
And the general thinking process seems to be, "If we make enough money we won't need to worry about our finances." The result? A society full of people bouncing from one higher paying job to the next -- much like a bunch of pinballs on one giant pinball machine -- without ever stopping long enough to see if what we're doing even makes sense.
What Should Be the Deciding Factor?
When it comes to deciding whether or not it's feasible for you to quit work to be a stay at home parent, I think that the most important thing to consider is which choice will result in happier parents. After all, unhappy parents can't possibly be good for children.
But when I say "happy parents," I'm not referring to parents whose happiness depends on the quantity and quality of their inanimate objects (objects that can't love them back!).
Instead, I'm talking about parents who are happy because they are living a balanced life and they are engaged in a work that they find self-fulfilling -- regardless of whether that work is being a stay at home parent, or running a fortune 500 company.
What Ends Up Being the Deciding Factor?
Unfortunately, since most of us were taught that "more money and more things" leads to "more happiness," and since we have easy access to credit (allowing us to have more things with less upfront money), the financial aspects of quitting work to stay at home must now be considered. Because regardless of how much happier you and the children might be if you could quit work to be a stay at home parent, that happiness can be offset by an onslaught of creditors pounding on your door -- all looking for repayment for all the happiness they fronted you in the past.