Can You Afford to Go Back to Work?


Fifteen years ago, before I was married or even had kids, I worked with a few women who truly struggled with whether to stay at home with their new babies or come back to work. I watched while they weighed the pros and cons and calculated their finances, looking for some magic answer to one of the hardest decisions we end up making.

That was 15 years ago. I can only imagine that the struggle has gotten harder, especially after hearing the news that daycare costs are skyrocketing across the country. In North Carolina, the average cost of full-time daycare for an infant is $8,508. Stand that number up against the median income for North Carolina: $43,734. It doesn't take much to see that it's highly likely young moms might spend a good amount of their hard-earned money just paying to have someone else watch their child.

Of course, there are a lot of other factors to consider when weighing whether to go back to work or stay at home. It's a very personal decision. But on the financial end, there are some ways to make it easier. Check out the Stay at Home Calculator to get a start with figuring out your budget. But just doing the calculator won't give you the answer. Sometimes even if you can afford to stay home, you'll want to go back to work, or if you have to work, you'll want to stay home. It's a really hard decision. Luckily there are a lot of companies who help you get the best of both worlds. Check out our new list of Family Friendly employers across the state of North Carolina who work hard to promote work/life balance. We also have some great ideas for finding balance in work and life.

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