Statistics suggest more new moms are making the same decision that the Bomsteins made. However, financial planners like Janice Barlow of Raymond James say staying at home to raise a child, may not be as big of a financial sacrifice as some might think.
Lindsay Bomstein and her husband Josh couldn’t be happier with their newborn son William. But when William was born 2 months ago, the South Tampa couple also had to make a decision. Would Lindsay continue to work full-time, earning more than $30,000 a year at a non-profit agency, or would she stay at home with her new son.
"I think if you go back to work you wonder what it’s like to be home,” Lindsay tells me, “and if you stay home you wonder what it’s like to be at work." In the end, Lindsay decided to stay at home. "When we started looking at the numbers, I wasn’t making a ton of money and it just didn’t make a lot of sense for us to pay for daycare."
The decision has also meant the Bomsteins have had to tighten their budget, and “being more aware,” Lindsay says, “not going to get a $5 cup of coffee every other day. We’re definitely more conscious of what we are spending."
Statistics suggest more new moms are making the same decision that the Bomsteins made. However, financial planners like Janice Barlow of Raymond James say staying at home to raise a child, may not be as big of a financial sacrifice as some might think."I think when they look at the two salaries together and the tax bracket,” Barlow says, “when they take away, usually the mother has to stay home, and it really isn’t as traumatic as they thought and the mother often chooses not to go back."
Barlow points out that couples like the Bomsteins don’t actually lose a $30,000 a year salary, just the take home pay following taxes. Second, she says losing a salary may drop a family into a lower tax bracket. Plus, she says a new child means a tax exemption.
Then there are the possible savings of not having to pay for child care or gas driving to and from work. Barlow says family’s can also reduce other expenses like going out to dinner, trips, even dry cleaning. After looking at a family’s budget, staying at home may be an option that some thought was impossible.
Lindsay says by staying at home, her family is losing about $100 a week. But she says it’s well worth it because "The time we are spending together, it’s wonderful for me and I hope wonderful for him (William)."