The Economics Of Being A Stay At Home Mom

by A Guest Writer · 4 comments

in Guest Posts

This is a guest post from Mrs Micah, who was kind enough to contribute this post for your reading pleasure while I am on vacation. If you enjoy reading it be sure to check out her blog!

Welcome to Mrs Micah readers! A little bit about me… if you’re looking for financial advice or wisdom, you’ll have to go elsewhere; I’m still looking myself! On the other hand, if you’re in search of an (overly) intimate look at one family’s finances and journey out of debt, with a few French/American cultural observations thrown in for flavor, well than, you’ve come to the right place.


When the time comes, I may be a SAHM myself. I plan to keep blogging and doing freelance projects where possible, but the overall income I bring in will probably decrease. Some mothers, particularly in households where the man controls the finances, feel like they’re not contributing at all to the family finances. In most cases, nothing could be farther from the truth.

SAHMs contribute in two ways to family finances, the same as their husbands.

First, they often bring in money. Sure, it may not be a lot, but many SAHMs I’ve met online make a little something from their blogging or their crafting or do a little freelance work. Even taking online surveys for money counts.

Don’t do that? Maybe you’ve been learning about personal finance from various blogs and have helped your husband find some higher-interest yielding banking accounts and CDs to put your money. That’s money you’ve earned. There’s so many places to look for earned money, you can probably see something.

Second, they save the family money. Like bringing in money, there’s a lot of facets to saving. Daycare costs are often quoted. This can be huge. Other things are cooking so that the family doesn’t spend as much on going out or take-out or even prepackaged foods because both parents are tired. SAHMs can save the family a lot of money through frugality—or just being there to take care of household issues keeps the replacement costs down.

Plus, if you’re a SAHM in France, you get a little stipend from the government. That counts as salary too.

Everyone’s “salary” is different under this framework, depending on what you bring in and how you practice thrift. Some things are guaranteed–like savings on childcare. That’s a definite savings. Some SAHMs don’t want to be thrifty, so their salary may be lower there…but maybe they make a lot of money off their blog.

Want to raise your salary? Well, like all jobs you have to be realistic—you may not have time to save every penny possible and to take 5 hours of online surveys or run 4 blogs. But most likely you can find small changes, mid-sized changes, and big changes which will increase your salary.

In the end, you’re a productive and awesome member of your family by being there for your kids but you’re also financially productive and awesome. Don’t forget it!


1 Vered April 3, 2008

Thank you for this article. You are bringing up several important, yet often ignored, points. I was a SAHM for six years. During those years, I was (still am) in charge of managing our investment portfolio. Our portfolio did very well over that time. Neither my husband nor I ever doubted that I have a significant role in our family’s finances, whether I earn a salary or not.

2 Anonymous April 3, 2008

i have been a off and on sahm for more than 35 years…and this girl does it all still. but, my darling husband gives me his military pension and half of his earnings from his full time job every month. he has his soc.sec. check and the other half of his job income to do with as he pleases. he also provided for me to have a nice pension should he die as i am too young for soc.sec. for several (many more years). he knows how hard i have worked for us whether i got paid or not. this has made a very strong marriage for us too.

3 Becky@FamilyandFinances April 4, 2008

Nice job vocalizing the contributions of a SAHM. Thanks, Mrs. Micah!

4 Homemaker Barbi April 4, 2008

I find it fascinating that France offers a salary, however small, to SAHMs! I wish the USA was more forward-thinking in areas such as that, as well as parenting leave.

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