Child Costs

OK, I am gonna go out on a limb here and blog about my thoughts on Suze Orman on the Oprah show today. (Yes, people, I TiVo Oprah and watch her when I can IF I am interested in the topic). Last week I was a little upset at Suze for laying into a couple with 23 credit cards and $90,000 in debt - "Sell you house! You can't afford it!" To who Suze? Who is going to buy their house right now in this economy? WHO? I understand they need to do something, but have you seen the housing market lately?

Today she is telling a young woman, pregnant with her second child, that she can't afford to stay at home after the baby is born. The numbers break down like this: IF she stays working they will have $2500/month left after expenses (but doesn't take into account extra childcare costs I don't think). IF she stays at home and loses her income, they will have $900/month left after expenses (saving on childcare costs). But Suze says NO, she MUST go back to work because $6,000 in the bank and only $900 month to save is too little and the woman is not taking into account the additional costs of a new child.

OK, you know how I feel about this, but bottom line - I think I have lost all respect for Suze Orman. Elliott and I broke down the numbers when Ava came along. If I didn't work, sure we would lose that income. But by only being a single income family it puts us in a different tax bracket and thus saving money. By not working outside the home we save money on commuting costs, work clothes, lunches out, daycare, and all other manner of things which add up when you are on the run (your morning Starbucks trips, too tired to cook - just order out, etc). By staying home I have been able to shave even more off the family budget by using coupons, planning shopping trips, watching sales flyers, and all of the other things I tell you about.

I have a personal conviction that it is important for me to be home for my children. I know I am fortunate that I am able to do that. There are absolutely instances where you MUST work to support your family and I would be the first in line IF I needed to be. Like I said, I know I am blessed. But I want to encourage you that if you have a personal conviction and are feeling torn by what the world says - "you can't afford not to work" - take a long look at your priorities, where you can cut corners and expenses, and try (just try) to not buy into what the world says. IT IS POSSIBLE! I, along with thousands of other Americans, are living proof that even the Suze Orman's of the world aren't right 100% of the time.


Skinner Family said...

I am going to link this blog entry. I love what you said! Thus, you have given me yet another reason why I'm not watching Oprah. Use to.. until she said something on the lines about it being okay to be sleeping around when you are married... both parties... and that must be the way of life. Plus, Oprah embrassed a friend of mine on there. She did one of those "you are coming for a make over... oh wait your husband really has a dirty little secret to tell you." It was terrible! Okay... I vented. Again, Thank you for what you said!

Lisa Shatzer said...

Amen, sister!