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How Much Do You Really Make?

by Jacqueline McLaughlin Hale |
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If yours is a second income and if you have children, many of you probably work outside the home because you "have to". You'd love to stay home and take care of the kids and the house your way. You may even long to join the PTA, help out in the classroom, go back to college or just cook more nutritious meals for your family. Staying home could even reduce the stress in your life, "if only".

So out of curiosity I wanted to know how much you REALLY make if you have children and a job. What I discovered was startling!

Before I launch into a bunch of numbers, it's important to understand where they came from. Therefore, these are the assumptions I made:
Salary: ,000 per year or .42 an hour
Tax Bracket: 28%
Commute: 15 miles one way
Working Days: 260

Let's start with just the basics. After they take out income taxes (28%) and social security taxes (7.65%) you're left with ,305 from your initial ,000. If you've got two kids in daycare or after school care it probably costs you close to ,000 per year. Now your paycheck has been reduced to ,305. Your commute racks up another ,418 per year in gas, and wear and tear on the car. Your ,000 per year has just been reduced to ,887.

You, or your children, may eat lunch out three times per week because you're too tired to fix it or because you didn't get a chance to go to the grocery store. At an average cost of per lunch you're spending 0 a year. For the same reasons your family may go out for dinner once more per week than you normally would. At per dinner for a family of four, that's 60 per year. You're left with ,547 or .48 per day!

What's even harder to quantify is the extra money you spend on dry-cleaning, pantyhose (if you're a woman) and a second wardrobe for work. IF you were able to estimate these costs and if you subtracted them from your remaining ,547 it's easy to see how you could easily end up "paying" to work!


From Working Mom to SAHMTelecommuting

Jacqueline McLaughlin Hale is a CPA and the editor of Between Friends: Living Life Your Way (http://www.betweenfriends.org) Between Friends is a website dedicated to helping women balance their responsibilities so that they can make more time for themselves. It does this by providing tips, tricks and tools for household hints, parenting, money matters and self-improvement. It also offers a FREE monthly ezine: The Balanced Woman. Visit today!

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