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Is Working Really Paying?

Kinda on a continuation of my ‘Curse of the Feminist Movement’ blog from a few months ago, I wanted to add a money side.  I have been talking and thinking more about it recently with friends.  Honesty, I believe women can do anything, but the true killer of women is that they try to do everything at the expense of going crazy, doing a poor job in some important areas, and neglecting themselves.   Many women try to balance everything, but I haven’t met anyone who really feels they are happy with the balance.  Balance and simplicity are not the same things.  Seriously, a working career can last 50 years or more and the time the kids are little and at home is only a small part of that.  There is still plenty of time to work and climb the ladder left after they get older.

It is nothing against the fact that women can work, but working full time and trying to have a family is …. not simple.  It is also not necessarily as financially smart as it sometimes looks.

So, aside from gender stereotypes, what does the money say?

First, take both a working and non-working look at total monthly expenses to figure out what you really make working.  Things to start with include:

  1. Taxes, tax brackets, contributions (if you take them off the top of your check)
  2. Childcare
  3. Travel (gas, car mileage and wear and tear, could you get by on less vehicles and all the expenses that go along with that if you weren’t working?)
  4. Food (lunch food at work as well as the amount of extra times going out to eat or buying more prepared food)
  5. Work appearance-Clothes, make-up, hair, etc
  6. Kids needs (formula if it is hard to pump, more germ exposure and more possible illness costs)

Here is a website that starts to work on this, but you might need to add to it.

So now what you should have is an ‘after children’ monthly take home pay.

Next figure out the time it takes you to work.  This isn’t as easy as it sounds.  There is lots of time included that isn’t thought of.  Work time includes:

  1. Actual time at work
  2. Time spent driving to and from work
  3. Time spent getting ready for work
  4. Time spend decompressing and winding down from a stressful job (this might include a money expense above as well)
  5. Time spent working on appearance (noted above), shopping for clothes extra hair appointments etc.

Figure out this amount of time per month and you have the total number of hours/time that work is costing.

Divide the amount of ‘after children’ pay by the number of hours it takes to work and you have an real hourly rate.

Take this number and compare it to what you would be willing to trade for:

  1. More time at home and with the kids
  2. Less stress and less mommy guilt
  3. Fill in the blank with what you might spend your time on (hobby, new business idea etc)

Living on less, or smaller financially, can add up to living much better and happier.

What you do from here is up to you.  Chances are, you aren’t making quite as big of a contribution to the monthly budget as you thought, and your working is probably contributing to the household stress if there are kids at home and there is always a mess, dirty laundry and no food.

Choosing to work because you like too is still perfectly fine.  It just helps to really see the full financial picture.  Since I am blogging about simplicity I definitely lean to not working, at least not working full time, but I know that every situation and family is different.

Thanks for reading!  Please take a look around.  Home –Lorilee