First I backed up and figured what I would have earned had I continued working. My part-time hours would have been cut due to lower summer enrollment and by me removing availability to counter the stress of taking my kiddos to work with me. Rounding it all out, I would have brought in about $700 after taxes during the 11 week summer break. Take out gas money (1.5 gallons a week for 11 weeks = about $40), extra meals and treats picked up to bribe the children, ($20 a week x 11 weeks = $220) and it takes the income to $440. That's not chump change, but when looked at from a weekly standpoint, it's only $44.
I wondered if by tweaking the budget I could make up that money. Let's see: all calculations based on 11 week period of summer break for the kids.
- Choosing not to fix the 2nd car, just for the summer, leaving me and the kids to walk/bike to the store, library, pool, friend's houses. $400 saved in repair + an average of $5/week on gas = $455. (I realized this is temporary, as we will need to have 2 cars by the time school begins. Putting off the repair DOES save money by not having the car available to run out and spend money we were not planning on spending. Hard to calculate, so I will use the repair amount to cover this)
- Calling the phone company and removing the 'extras' like Caller ID, 3-way calling, yada yada .... as well as removing our long distance. Both Dave and I have cell phones (Dave's paid through his work and mine at $45 a month) and can use our minutes for calling out of area. Saved = $55
- Placing our DirecTV on hold. No monthly charges until we decide to hook it back up or live without the service. We did have to purchase a converter box for the digital take-over but I searched for the online coupons and received $80 towards 2 boxes. We paid $14 out-of-pocket after the coupons and also purchased a $30 antenna to ensure a good picture. Saved = $215 (holding service) - $15 - $30 = $170
- Going Greener: We planted a garden (no money saved due to purchasing items to create the garden. Next year we should only have seed expenses). Line drying clothes saves us money on the utilities bill as well as extending the life of our clothes. Granted, I don't line dry EVERY time I do laundry, (and I don't hang our underwear and towels out) but I am getting more consistent. Making my own laundry soap saves us .45 a load x 11 loads a week equals $45 saved in 11 weeks. Total saved by going greener = $60
- Having more time: Being home with the kids mean I DO more around the house. I tend to fix most meals instead of eating out or grabbing something convenient at the last minute. I have time to SHOP for bargains. I have time to sew and craft with the kids instead of buying something pre-made or spending that time at an expensive outing for entertainment. I really can't put a price on this. Being able to have the time to do the things I want for myself, my husband and my kids brings me into balance which equals happiness for me.
:: drum roll please::
$44 a week in our pocket by working part-time during the summer break.
$67 a week in our pocket by staying home and taking care of the kids.
I realize this is just a 'snapshot' of certain things and variables are not figured into the equation. It makes me feel better, though, for quitting my job and choosing to spend my time with my children and making my husband's life a little easier.