How much is a homemaker worth?
It comes to just over $96,000 a year, and that's a conservative estimate.
This post comes from Porcshe Moran at partner site Investopedia.
The life of a homemaker includes an endless amount of demands and to-dos. Depending on the size of the home and family, the position can go well beyond the usual 9 to 5. We examined some of the tasks that a homemaker might do to find out how much his or her services would net as individual professional careers.
We took into consideration only tasks that have monetary values and used the lowest value for each calculation. (To read more, see "Insuring against the loss of a homemaker.")
Private chef. Meal preparation is one of the major tasks of most homemakers. From breakfast to dinner, there is plenty of meal planning and cooking to be done.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. A homemaker must drive to the supermarket, purchase the food and deliver it to the home. Grocery delivery services charge a delivery fee of $5 to $10.
- Total cost for services: $1,005 per five-day workweek x 52 weeks = $52,260 per year.
House cleaner. A clean and tidy home is the foundation of an efficient household.Typical cleaning duties include vacuuming, dusting, sweeping and scrubbing sinks, as well as loading the dishwasher and making beds. Professional maids or house-cleaning service providers will charge by the hour, number of rooms or square footage of the home. For example, biweekly cleaning of a 900-square-foot, two-bedroom apartment with five rooms costs $59 to $124. A 1,300-square-foot, single-story home with seven rooms runs $79 to $150. A 2,200-square-foot, two-story, three-bedroom home with nine rooms averages $104 to $180. Additional tasks, such as oven or refrigerator cleaning and dusting mini-blinds, can run an extra $20 to $25.
- Total cost for services: $118 per week X 52 weeks = $6,136 per year.
Child care. Homemakers provide full-time, live-in child care. This type of service from a professional provider would usually come with a host of perks including health insurance, paid vacation and sick days, federal holidays off, dental and vision coverage, and bonuses. The International Nanny Association's 2011 survey found that nannies make $600 to $950 per week in gross wages, on average. (For more, read "5 ways to save on child care costs.")
- Total cost for services: $600 a week plus perks/benefits x 52 weeks = $31,200 per year.
Post continues below.
Driver. A private car service might seem like a high-end luxury, but the beneficiaries of this service may need it on a daily basis. Companies like Red Cap, which provides personal drivers that use the client's own car for transportation, offer a glimpse into the cost of this homemaker task. An elite membership that includes 365 days of unlimited, round-trip service is $1,000 a year, plus 33 cents to $2.03 per minute.
- Total cost for services: $1,000 per year + [(estimated miles driven 8,000 miles / 50 mph) x 60 minutes/hour x 33 cents per minute] = $4,168 total per year.
Laundry service. Clean clothes come at a cost when you have to pay for a service that most homemakers do for free. Professional laundry services charge by the pound. For instance,Susie's Suds Home Laundry Service in Texas charges 90 cents to $1 a pound to wash, dry, fold, hang and steam your clothes.Items that take longer to dry, such as comforters, blankets, rugs and winter clothes, are assessed at $12 to $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 total per year.
Lawn maintenance. Basic maintenance of the exterior property is a less common but possible duty of a homemaker.This could include such tasks as mowing, debris removal and edging and trimming the lawn. These services cost about $30 a week on average.
- Total cost for services: $30 per week x 52 weeks = $1,560 total per year.
The bottom line
Total for a year of all services is: $52,260 + $6,137 + $31,200 + $4,168 + $936 + $1,560 = $96,261 per year.
The daily work of a homemaker can sometimes be taken for granted by his or her family members. However, these services could earn a homemaker a considerable wage if he or she took those skills to the marketplace.Homemakers in general contribute a lot more to the home in addition to these tasks, and no amount of money can fill those needs.
More on Investopedia and MSN Money:
My staying home may not save my family any money, but considering my take home pay when I was working fulltime it just made more sense for me to be a stay at home mom. Not only would my entire paycheck have gone to paying for daycare, but we would have gone into debt putting gas in my car and keeping up a work wardrobe.
I don't think this is a stupid story. I also do not agree that people who stay home should get a bill. If you believe this you must not be married. We are a team, which means we are both working together toward one common goal, raising a healthy, happy, intelligent son. My work may be done in the home, my husbands may be done outside of the home, but together they help us achieve something greater.
While I agree that articles like this - which come out every year - are just silly and fun, I think many of the commenters here are reading the information wrong.
No one is saying that a working parent needs to start writing $96K paychecks to their SAH spouse. No one is saying that working parents should stay home and they will magically be $96K richer. All this article and others like it are doing is attempting to place a specific dollar figure to the workload that homemaking typically entails. Thus, what that work would sell for IF it were placed on the open market. The purpose is to show the value of the work done in the home.
My only complaint with these articles is that I think they utilize bad math. So say a full time personal chef makes $4K, and a ful time nanny makes $31K, and a full time driver makes $4K. Alright. So we have $39K in dollars, but how many hours per day are we talking then? We're up to 24 hours a day (3 X 8 hours or full time) just with those three jobs. It would make more sense to add up the price of each job and then average the cost out, or separate it out based on how much time is spent doing each job. Don't just add up all the different work that might possibly be done as a homemaker and then give a full-time salary for each.
I'm a WAHM who works part-time and keeps the home part-time. Both are fantastic choices and both hold a lot of value. Money or not!
I know its about the cost of child care. When we blended our family, he had 3 and I had one, child care went through the roof. Since he made more money than I did it was cost effective for me to stay home and take care of the kids etc.
We saved even more since I wasn't so tired after working 9 hours a day and I started cooking again. It ended up being a "win" situation. Kids grades went up, food cost went down, day care gone.
It averaged that we actually saved money in the long run :)
Stay at home dad here: One category they failed to mention was serving as a tutor. I spend on average 1 to 2 hours per day helping with homework.
For those that are taking issue with this article; my wife has even acknowledged that she would not be able to do her job (CPA) as well if I was not home taking care of these responsibilities.
To Raptorsstrike - nobody is saying that you have to start paying your wife. The article simply argues that stay at home parents provide services that would otherwise cost a considerable amount of money. I've been doing this for 13 years, and it is the most physically demanding job I've ever done (and I dug graves during the summer when I was in high school). Moreover, you never get a day off!!
Then I guess those moms you know are giving many of us a bad rep. I look at staying home as my JOB. I take it just as seriously as if I were earning a wage outside of the home. While my husband does help out on the weekends with some of the bigger home improvement projects, I NEVER expect him to touch anything considered housework. I even take care of most of the home maintenance myself. My kids school from home though an online charter school because they were bored in the public school system and hated all the drama. My two oldest are now in high school and set to graduate with honors by the time they are 16. That would not have happened had they not had the opportunity to study from home. I know what you mean about bratty kids because we have a whole neighborhood full of them, some from two parent working households and some with as stay at home parent. That has only to do with upbringing.
What I don't appreciate is when people say that stay at home moms don't work. If done well, their job never ends. Please don't stereotype.
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