Let me tell you about my situation. I am married with two children and make 45k per year. My wife does not work because we prefer to have her stay home with our children instead of letting them rot in a daycare center somewhere. We have a modest $67,000 home with two small cars that are both paid off and no debt besides our mortgage. We currently contribute about 3-4% of our gross income to charities each year. I also invest $200 each month in several DRiP's as well as 6% of my income into my 401k and also have $100 deducted from my paycheck each month to buy each of my sons a $100 savings bond for their college education. We also take a two week vacation each year costing about $1,000 which we have saved throughout the year in our vacation club account. We also save $1,000 each year in a Christmas Club acount which takes care of all our gift buying in addition to buying gifts for underprivelaged children.I am sorry if I seem defensive in this e-mail but I feel that I need to respond to some of the critisism I received in some of the responses to my original e-mail.I guess it's my turn to be defensive. I take exception to your comment about children rotting in daycares. My 2 daughters are in daycare and quite happy and well-adjusted.Ideally, yes, a child is better at home with their mother. But because they are in daycare does not mean they cannot bond with the family or will end up as juvenile delinquets.Most stay-at-home (s-a-h) mothers do a wonderful job. But not all mothers make good s-a-h moms. Some s-a-h moms use TV as a babysitter instead of interacting with kids. In a daycare, there is social interaction with other kids, arts and crafts, and outside play time.It would be nice for my kids to be at home but everyone has to make choices for themselves. We chose daycare because on one salary (less than yours), housing costs would place us in an unsafe part of town, medical insurance would consume a large percentage of income, would have to sacrifice life and disability insurance, and would have to delay retirement savings.Also, my wife (she agrees) may only make a so-so s-a-h mom. She can sometimes have trouble playing with the kids. (I am much better at this. She always says she has 3 kids, 1 big and 2 little.) She also requires adult interaction and workplace challenges.Did we make the right choice? Would my wife have made a good s-a-h mom? Could we have made it financially? I don't know. Time will tell if we made a good choice. We will never know if we the best choice.-PSU
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