October 27, 2006, Newsletter Issue #139: Can I afford it?

Tip of the Week

Issue: You want to stay home with your children, but you feel you need to work full-time to make ends meet.

Call to Action: The question may not be "Can you afford to stay home?" but rather "Can you afford to work?" If you calculate what it really costs you to work outside your home, you may be surprised. Use this sample formula to get started:

*Start with your "take-home" pay (after taxes & deductions)
*Add the value of your benefits (medical insurance, profit-sharing accounts)
*Subtract your expenses: Childcare, business wardrobe, eating out, train fare, gas, tolls, parking, household professionals (do you pay someone to cut your yard? Staying at home you could either do it yourself or hire a less expensive high school student who you could supervise), cost of paying retail for everything (you donīt have time to shop the sales), miscellaneous requests (raffle tickets, school candy drives, office birthday gifts)
*Whatīs left over is your Actual Pay.

Take this a step further by totaling up the hours you work, commute time, time to pick up and drop off the kids. Then divide your Actual Pay by this number of hours. Next, ask yourself, "Are you worth more than this?"

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