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Stay-at-Home Mom's Salary

The (Monetary) Worth of a Stay-at-Home Mom

Being a stay-at-home mom is an anomaly of a lifestyle. It's one of the only "jobs" around where it's absolutely mandatory to be on call 24/7, 365 days a year. And it's also the only job that's this demanding, yet comes without a salary. Needless to say, we were intrigued to discover Investopedia's "How Much Is a Homemaker Worth?" Check out their calculations below, and tell us whether you think this is an accurate accounting . . . or way off.

The Value of a Stay-at-Home Mom:

Private Chef
The American Personal Chef Association reports that its personal chefs make $200 to $500 a day. Grocery shopping is another chore that needs to be factored in, as grocery delivery services generally come with a $5-10 fee.

Total cost for services: $1,005 per five-day work week x 52 weeks = $52,260 per year

From vacuuming, dusting, sweeping, and scrubbing, to dealing with dirty dishes and making beds, unless she has regular help, household chores are also the responsibility of a stay-at-home mom.

Total cost for services: $118 per week x 52 weeks = $6,136 per year

Child Care
The International Nanny Association's 2011 survey reported that nannies on average take home between $600-950 per week (and that often includes perks like health insurance, paid vacation and sick days, and federal holidays off — not so much for supermom).

Total cost for services: $600 per week plus perks/benefits x 52 weeks = $31,200 per year

Employing a private car service may seem like a luxury to most, but getting the gang where they need to be, on time, is all in a day's work for a stay-at-home mom. An elite membership with a service like Red Cap, which provides drivers for the client's own car(s), runs about $1,000, plus between 33 cents and $2 per minute.

Total cost for services: $1,000 per year (plus estimating 8,000 miles driven/50 miles per hour at 33 cents per minute) = $4,168 year

Laundry Service
Professional laundry services charge by the pound. Texas-based Susie's Suds Home Laundry Service said that they charge between 90 cents and $1 per pound to wash, dry, fold, hand, and steam your clothes. Items that take longer to dry (comforters, blankets, rugs, winter coats, etc.) are assessed at $12-15 each.

Total cost for services: 90 cents per pound x 4 pounds of clothes per day x 5 days per week x 52 weeks = $936 per year

Lawn Maintenance
While this category probably doesn't apply to city moms, or those who employ a gardening service (or have a lawnmower-friendly husband), there are plenty who do handle outdoor landscaping. Assuming that these services cost about $30 per week . . .

Total cost for services: $30 per week x 52 weeks = $1,560 per year

And the grand total is . . . $96,261

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
juliagrey juliagrey 5 years
While I appreciate the sentiment, don't most people do these things for themselves anyway? With the exception of obvious ones such as child care and driver, is it really so different to toss someone else clothes in with your own? Suddenly you deserve $936 dollars a year more for it? You also get to wear the clothes you wash and eat the food you prepare and live in the home that you clean. Your family is not your employer. Also unless you're washing by hand that seems sorta bogus. Is this to say that single people, or couples do not do laundry or clean their homes? I know I'm reading too much into this and the point is to really get people to appreciate how difficult it is to be a parent. It is a 24/7 job that literally puts someone elses entire life, personality, and emotional development in your hands. But still. I do laundry and cook and clean up too, no one is saying I should get paid extra for it. Even though I know I'm apparently saving a ton of money by doing it myself instead of paying someone $52,260 a year to cook for me. And my mom was for sure not a private chef, not only was she not trained at le cordon bleu, but we ate what she wanted to eat, she just doubled the recipes, and a family of 4 is not spending $52K on food for a year, we didn't even have an income that big. If anything, thats life, hard work, long hours, low pay and no appreciation, kids or no kids. At least the stay at home mom's have a family! So go ahead, put a price on that too, but I think family is worth wayyyy more than $96K a year. I know that mine is worth billions to me, so $96k worth of work? Pffft thats getting off cheap for all the love and the true value of family that you get in return! When my parents are too old to care for themselves I'm certainly not going to be making lists of how much extra I should be earning to take care of them. It just really rubs me the wrong way to imagine people so cold to think about their families like this. Besides the grass isn't going to cut itself, even if you're single.
kikimcC kikimcC 5 years
you forgot Counselor, Tutor, Personal Assistant, Finance Coordinator or Accountant, and 24 hour healthcare worker/Night Nurse. And adding overtime to all these.
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