One option for saving money that many young families don’t consider is living on one income. It’s a touchy subject for a number of reasons. If both parents are beginning a career, they may fear that they will be unable to advance if they take a few years off. Others may believe that they can’t get by without two paychecks. And then there is the issue of who is the one who stays home. Typically, it has been the woman. Maybe that’s not always the best choice though if the woman makes more money or the man is more nurturing.
If a couple can look at this rationally, however, they may find that it makes sense to consider this idea. The most obvious savings would be in child care costs. Then there is the reduced need for clothing since a stay-at-home parent doesn’t need a fancy wardrobe. Another saving might be in gas and car expenses if they find that they can get by with one car. The cost of food would probably be reduced since you would have more time to prepare meals and thus eat out less. Additionally, if you ate lunch out most days while working, this expense would be eliminated.
There might even be health benefits. Rushing around to get everything done all the time can often lead to a great deal of stress, which can lead to health problems for both the adults and children. Marriages often suffer too.
Obviously, this is a big decision and one that takes careful planning. Start by making a list of all the pros and cons. Figure out ways that you might be able to cut expenses. Here is how one woman did it: http://www.stretcher.com/stories/05/05nov07g.cfm