- First - It is essential for husband and wife to sit down together, discuss their money situation, and to make educated decisions about their work and finances. "Jill" could have just assumed it was all for the best, gone to work, and spent the next several years wondering why it was that they were still not making any progress financially.
- Second - If a husband and wife both want to work for whatever reason (personal enjoyment, professional development, etc), then sure - go ahead! But make sure that decision is made from a fully thought-out position. Know the numbers. Know what you're getting into and don't make the decision based on what society tells you is "necessary."
- Third - In all three scenarios, "Jack and Jill" were just one financial decision away from being completely in the hole. Say for example they had decided she should have her own car - after all, we're talking about a full-time, $30K job here! Even going as cheap as possible with that decision would still eat up ALL of her financial gain. And then some.
Administrative Assistant, $12.00/hour, 40 hours per week.
$480/week = $24960/year
AFETC: $961.92/year, drops to $0.00
- Loss of AFETC $961.92
The rest of the picture is this... I of course do bring in some money. I do graphic design for a magazine in Nova Scotia (www.coastallifepublications.com) and I do web design as well. I also babysit on occasion. And all the work that I do, I do from home, so I benefit from being able to subtract a portion of our home expenses from my income. I work to save money as well, and those dollars are a benefit to our bottom line that doesn't show up on any tax return (see my post about dollars earned vs dollars saved). So I am not overly burdened by a feeling of being a non-contributor to the household finances. We've chosen for me to be a 'keeper at home', and have also chosen to homeschool our children. Not to mention the military lifestyle involves moving every few years, which would sort of cut off any kind of career track. Those things considered, working outside of the home would be possible but quite challenging to fit into the rest of our lifestyle. Adding the financial considerations, it just doesn't make sense for us.
Working for nothing more than paying what it costs you to work... Unless you're doing it because you really want to be working, it hardly seems worth it.
Run the numbers: http://www.bankrate.com/calculators/savings/dual-income-calculator.aspx
(this calculator is simpler than what I did in this series, but you can use it to make the math a little faster)
How to live on 1 income without going broke - Liz Weston
9 tips for those going to one income - PT Money
Our One Income Family - Dollar Stretcher
How to Live on One Income - Frugal Dad
Living on One Income - The Centsible Life