Can You Afford to Work Part Time After Baby?

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If you have a little one on the way, you and your partner have probably spent a lot of time doing the mental math: Can we afford a nanny or day care? Will one of our salaries essentially go toward paying for that expense? Or can cutting back on my work hours help balance the need for income and covering child care costs?

To make determining the answers a little easier, we’ve created a calculator to help you understand which scenario works best for your budget: Continuing to work full time, working part time or foregoing one paycheck altogether and staying home with the new arrival.

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Plug in your personal numbers in the tool below once you have a sense of how much child care will cost in your area, whether that’s day care, a nanny or a special situation you have worked out with a relative. The calculator will show you how much your budget fluctuates depending on the percentage of time you plan to keep working. You can play around with a few different scenarios to determine how much—or how little—you need to work to cover your costs.

CAN I AFFORD TO WORK LESS?

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For example, 60% if you’d like to work three of five days, 80% if you’d like to work four of five days, etc.

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TYPE OF CHILDCARE AVERAGE COST FOR FULL-TIME CARE
Daycare Center $380 to $1565/month (average $975)
Home Daycare $300 to $1,000/month (average $650)
Nanny $2,170 to $3,030/month
Relative Care Typically free, but you could opt to pay minimum wage in your state
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If you’re not sure what to input here, enter $220 if you plan to breastfeed and $450 if you plan to use formula. On Day 7, we’ll come up with a more precise figure.

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If you work part-time, you’ll
have a monthly surplus of:
$0

For comparison, check out these other work scenarios:

If you work full-time, you’ll have a monthly surplus of:
$0
If you stay home, you’ll have a monthly surplus of:
$0

* These numbers are rough estimates. To get an accurate figure, use the Budgeting Tool in the My Money Center.

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