The $1,000,000 Sacrifice

What would you be willing to sacrifice for $1,000,000. Many people decide to sacrifice $1,000,000, without even fully realizing it. If you become a stay-at-home parent for 20 years, and gave up a $50,000/year salary to do so, you've sacrificed $1,000,000 in lost wages.

One of the biggest goals of Ninja Piggy is to help people make well-informed financial decisions. In order to make good decisions, you need to consider an opposing viewpoint. You might not always be swayed by a counter argument, but you should at least listen. Many people blame ignorance for the poor financial decisions they’ve made. With the internet providing so much readily available and useful information, it is becoming increasingly difficult to claim “no one ever told me that.”

Being a stay-at-home parent is one of life’s greatest callings. Not everyone is cut out for it, but for those that are it is incredibly rewarding. Life is about balancing trade-offs and making sacrifices for the things that are most important to us. My mom was able to stay home with us four kids growing up and it made a positive impact on all of our lives. For our family, the sacrifice was well worth it. I think having/ being a stay-at-home parent is great, but I also respect the families that decide to have both spouses working. The purpose of this post is not to talk you into or out of a decision to become a stay-at-home parent. It is simply a different way of looking at a sacrifice many people choose to make.

I’d be sad if someone changed their mind on becoming a stay-at-home parent simply from seeing the calculator results. Life isn’t always about money, and if staying-at-home is a priority for you than it can be worth more than money can buy. Some people have other priorities in life and staying-at-home isn’t for them, and that’s okay. The key is to make conscious financial decisions and to have a plan that matches up with your life’s priorities.

What About Childcare If I Stay Working?

To keep things simple, the calculator looks at only two variables: salary and number of years the stay-at-home parent won’t be earning an income. Now, if both parents are working outside of the house, the parents will need to figure out (pay for) childcare during working hours. The cost of childcare will cut into the amount a stay-at-home parent is sacrificing.

When it comes to salary, it’s important to point out that salary can leave out additional benefits you receive, as part of your total compensation package. For instance, in addition to your salary you might receive 401(k) matching contribution, health benefits, employee stock purchase plan and many other benefits, perks and discounts from your employer. As an example, a $50,000 salary with benefits may equate to $75,000 in total compensation, depending on the benefits.

The key here isn't figuring out an exact number, but rather to get somewhere roughly in the ballpark. The calculator is designed to give you an idea of how much you are/ will be sacrificing by being/ becoming a stay-at-home parent.

Other Options to Consider

Being a stay-at-home parent doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. There are many parents that want to stay-at-home but can’t afford it. The internet has made it a lot easier for people to work from home, including starting a side business. Part-time work while raising a child can help for those that want to spend as much time with their child(ren) as possible, but who also need some additional money.

Eventually your kids will go off to kindergarten, and some parents decide to return to work (at least part-time) when their youngest begins school. You might be able to find a work schedule that allows you to be home when your kids are home, if that is important to you.

Remember, keeping your expenses low can give you a tremendous amount of financial flexibility. I’ve seen many families that “can’t afford” for one of the parents to stay home because their expenses are too high and they need to keep up a certain lifestyle.

Live the life you want to live by making smart and informed decisions. Decide what is important to you and make the necessary sacrifices to achieve your goals.