Published here with permission from The MOORE REPORT INTERNATIONAL - March/April 1999

The Moore Foundation, Box 1, Camas, WA 98607

A note from us: The book by Larry Burkett, mentioned below, is an excellent book for those considering to become a "one-income" family. It is available directly from Crown Financial Ministry.

Getting Along on One Income

by Dorothy Moore

We often hear media commentators and others speak of the high cost of living and the absolute necessity of both parents working out of the home in order to make ends meet. It is so common that it is almost taken for granted. In fact, with people who are not well-informed, that is one of the reasons given that homeschool is impossible for many. Of course, everyone has a little different situation on which to make that decision, but it is very interesting how many parents somehow work things out so that Mom can be at home with the children.

For one thing, unless mom has unusual skills and is in a very high income bracket, her take-home pay may actually yield only minimum wages. A few years ago an article was printed in the financial section of the SUNDAY STAR LEDGER of Jersey City, N.J. in which Charles A. Jaffe advised parents of new babies to analyze the financial pros and cons, as well as the emotional cost, of both parents working full time . He quoted financial planner Robert Topping of R. B. Topping and Co., of Fairfax, VA: "When you add up all the costs that it takes to have both spouses working, the marginal benefit to the second income may be outweighed by someone wanting to stay home with the children." It was strongly stated that the second income may amount to below a minimum wage income, after taxes, child care, commuting costs and other expenses are considered. Many people are surprised when they sit down and do some figuring to see how much the second paycheck really brings to the family. It can easily convince the average person that it isn't worth the hectic lifestyle demanded by both parents having jobs. We have been aware of many families where Mom has quit her outside job, sometimes highly paid prestigious positions, to give full-time nurture to her family. Here are letters from two who made the change:

The sacrifice was financially great. My husband was self-employed, my income as a special education teacher made up most of our budget plus the insurance. But we prayed and prayed and prayed! And felt that my staying home with our child was what God wanted. He really blessed our obedience. My husband was offered a job that was perfect for him. It obviously came from the Lord because he hadn't pursued it. It was created for him. We have had many things happen over the last few years that the Lord has orchestrated. B.B., SC

One and a half years ago I decreased my work hours as an RN from 20 hours a week to 24 hours a month. We did have concerns as to whether we'd be able to afford this change. Larry Burkett's Book, "Women Leaving the Workplace", was a big encouragement. Well instead of not enough to eat which was one of our silly fears, we've been blessed to be able to save more than we ever did when I worked part-time. We just replaced our furnace and added central air and we've been able to purchase lots of good materials to build our home library and enhance our home learning. We've been able to sponsor a world vision child in addition to our tithe at church. God has been generous beyond anything we had expected. Praise Him! L.B., OH

An interesting study took place some time ago which was published in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED PSYCHOLOGY. According to this analysis of data from a national employment survey, three psychologists from Rutgers University concluded that a wife's employment had a negative effect on her husband's health, regardless of the husband's age, income bracket, or educational level. The study showed that they were less satisfied in their home and work lives than were the husbands of non-working wives. This was in spite of the fact that they expressed a positive attitude about their wives working.

This study included 208 husbands whose wives worked at least 20 hours a week for pay and 408 husbands whose wives were housewives and didn't earn any income. Their conclusion was that husbands may not object to the employment of their wives, but they seemed to need to feel that their incomes alone were adequate to meet the family economic needs.