every dollar counts


March 18, 2015 by Ellen V

When we tried to figure out if it was financially possible for me to accept my current job as a part time teacher, we had to do some pretty simple math: take home pay – daycare fees – commuting expenses. If we came out in the black, I would accept the position. I was ready to go back to work, and we’re at a time in our life when every dollar counts.

There are tons of articles and blog posts out there discussing the true cost of working, and whether or not it’s worth it. I think in the emotional and mental sense, this differs according to families and their needs. In the financial sense, things are a bit more straight forward.

But one thing I’ve noticed on my days home for snow, sick babies, or holidays, is that there are hidden costs to staying at home all day. We save on electricity, food costs (we all pack lunches every single day, and nobody is around to snack all day… guilty.), and paper products like toilet paper and paper towels. Also, because we all interact outside of the house, no one is desperate for outings for ice cream or trips to the store in the evenings. We eat more simply (there’s no time to cook elaborate meals!) and enjoy our family time more. Our weekend trips and splurges are more thought out. These things aren’t financial biggies (they certainly don’t compare to daycare!), so they certainly aren’t reasons to go to work on their own, but when I add up the few dollars here or there that we’re saving every month by having all of us out of the house, well, every dollar counts!


2 thoughts on “every dollar counts

  1. Amy says:

    I noticed that during our snow days too. I save by not going to Starbucks daily (a bad work habit), but we went through TP and snacks so fast. Not to mention lunch food: Caleb’s daycare check includes his lunches, snacks and milk. I buy a 1/2 gallon of his organic milk and that gets us through more than a week. I’m in an emotional season of longing to stay at home right now that’s snuck up on me (maybe from all those snow days? Maybe because I hate leaving my house?) but that’s not financially feasibly for us right now, and especially not when I think about these hidden costs.

    • Ellen V says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who notices them! I found the hardest time for me to be away from Jane was when she started to get in a really great routine with naps and the rhythm of our days was busy and steady. There was a great balance of quiet time and active time. Now that I have a little one with an unpredictable schedule and an older one with a longing to be social, I’m in a better season for working outside of my home. It’s hard to do it all, you’re so good at it! Caleb is lucky, no matter where you are!

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