Stay-at-Home Moms & Money

Know Your Worth

You may not think that you're contributing to the family's bottom line because you aren't bringing home a weekly paycheck. But think again: Salary.com (an online provider of salary data) estimates that the services of the average stay-at-home mom -- including housekeeping, cooking, doing laundry, driving kids around, and managing the household -- would amount to an annual income of $138,095.

If that doesn't convince you that you're valuable, consider this: By taking over the bulk of domestic chores, you're freeing up your husband to focus more of his time and energy on his career, an "investment" that can yield greater earning power for him. Fact is, he couldn't have made that investment without your support.

"So don't hesitate to insist that you have an equal say in financial matters," says Kristin Maschka, spokesperson for Mothers & More, a national networking and support group for moms. "Your job is just as important to the family's economic health as your husband's is."

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