Posted in Blessings of Habit, Home School, Homemaking, Inspiring

No Such Thing as a Single Income Family!

saving and spending

Someone’s gotta stay home with the kids if we homeschool. Right?


We may quibble about which parent must stay, but no doubt one simply must.

Lots of people think keeping a parent at home precludes being a two income family, but it does not. The act of staying home saves so much, we  sometimes wonder how those who work outside make any money at all.

Let’s look at how it adds up:

  1. Clothing. Stay-home clothes bought on sale cost far less than suits or uniforms bought under duress. The same is true for shoes, bags, coats, etc.
  2. Transportation. If only one parent is going out to work, only one car is necessary. Same for gas.
  3. Work. Someone has to do it. Either you clean the house or someone else gets about $1000 per year to do it. You can do your own laundry, yard work, repairs, etc., and save the prices of hiring them done. Or the price of a counselor trying to fix your brain after you try to do it all yourself . . .
  4. Cooking. A rib-eye steak costs about $5 on sale at the grocery, about $18 at a restaurant. Spaghetti dinner for 6 costs the same at home as for 1 at a restaurant. Maybe less. A homemade birthday cake costs about $7, compared to $20 from the store, and you know which tastes better! Hearty, homemade bread costs half or less of insipid store-bought. However, if you make these yummy foods to sell, you get the store price!
  5. Shopping. What? Isn’t shopping how we lose money? No, that’s random spending. Shopping is comparing prices, waiting for sales, and squeezing all the value you can from every penny. It is sticking to your list, buying in bulk, and always being ready for the surprise bargain for someone’s gift for the future. It is what you don’t have time for if you’re on your way home from the office.
  6. Sewing. While it is true, fabric prices have gone up, it is also true you can make new, lovely curtains with hardly any sewing instructions, covering that window in sale fabric for about $25 instead of $125. With only a bit more knowledge, you could make yourself a skirt or cape. Learn a tiny bit more and make simple dresses for your girls. All with the same savings rate. But if you sell, it . . .
  7. Gardening. A pint of home-canned green beans costs about ten cents for the lid and bit more for energy to run the stove. There is an initial investment, but you can re-coup the cost once you’ve canned for a year or two. And store-bought vegetables are nearly $1 per can.
  8. Crafts. A bit of yarn, a drop of glue, how surprising the fun and savings in making gifts! And the savings is phenomenal. You could develop a reputation for a certain type of gift and become known as “the afghan lady” or the “soap lady”, turning it into a business. Astronomical savings in greeting cards, alone!
  9. Last, but not least, Child Care. It’s about $18 per day per child. That does not factor in the cost of medical care for all the diseases they will pick up.

This list could go on forever, but you get the idea. If, when you are at home, you actually WORK, you are a working mom, and your rewards are good.


Katharine is a writer, speaker, women's counselor, and professional mom. Happily married over 50 years to the same gorgeous guy. She loves cooking amazing homegrown food, celebrating grandbabies, her golden-egg-laying hennies, and watching old movies with popcorn. Her writing appears at Medium, Arkansas Women Bloggers, Contently, The Testimony Train, Taste Arkansas, Only in Arkansas, and in several professional magazines and one anthology.

10 thoughts on “No Such Thing as a Single Income Family!

  1. I have a son-in-law who let our daughter work since she had a very good job. He took over child care and home management- laundry, meals, etc. He’s done a commendable job in childcare and now that they’re older, he’s in graduate school working on a new profession in the medical field. The two girls attend a Christian school and we pick them up after school some days.

  2. I’ve often wondered how people can afford child care. I was a stay at home mum from Tory Boy’s birth and I have never regretted it. There is so much more to life than a large income.

    Of course, many people really can’t afford not to be two-income families, especially these days.

    1. Hi, Tilly! Thanks for this comment! 🙂
      People cannot afford childcare. They must have a double income to do so.
      They just cannot see that.
      And, yes, there is more to life than that.

  3. Very compelling read, Mom. Strong arguments from just the financial angle, never mind the peace of mind from not being caught in the rat race or worrying about latch-key kids.

    1. Thanks, my wonderful accountant! 😉 I have turned this over in my mind for days, since posting, wondering if it was really true, and cannot find the gaps, if they are there. Any I thought of could be productively argued away. It makes me wonder!

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