Well, technically, I suppose I am a work from home mom, but my paycheck generally goes into savings or into paying for unneeded items-like toys or the like. So my part time job doesn't cover any bills, or buy food, and certainly wouldn't support us if something happened to my husband's job.
And that is my fear, and probably the fear of all stay at home parents. What happens when the bread winner gets laid off?
My husband found out yesterday that his company laid off some really close friends of ours, all guys and gals who had been with the company a long time. He also found out that more lay offs are coming by the end of Feb/March, so needless to say, we are slightly nervous.
I have faith we will be fine no matter what happens. We follow Dave Ramsey's advice on finances, we have an emergency fund and no debt besides our house and Bill's truck, both of which are easy to manage. Plus I'm working, and that money can be easily applied to bills, food and the like.
But, for what about those stay at home parents that don't have a work at home job? Well, I had a few ideas that I thought I'd share:
*Offer to watch working friends kids for half what they are paying for daycare. This works well for me since I do have a degree in Early Childhood Education, but for anyone already staying at home, watching other kids can be a great way to generate income while helping friends cut their bills too. Some states have laws over home day cares and accreditation, so that is why I advise just starting out with a few friends or neighbors kids, so you can keep it under the table and not have to pay for all the state licensing, insurance, and the like. Also, they are probably kids you are familiar with and have watched from time to time anyway! I would suggest not having more than 4 kids (including your own) to watch, so I could watch two other kids, at about $100 each a week.
*Work nights so the bread winner can have days free to go to interviews and search for jobs. Wal-mart, love them or hate them, right now is doing great and the two near my house here in Mobile are hiring.
*See if a company that offers health care to part time employees is hiring. Starbucks is/was one such company. I worked there through college and after because of the great benefits, quitting only when I got pregnant with Little Dude because two jobs was just too much. I don't know if they still offer benefits to people averaging 20hrs/week, but it is one place to look at. You can also check out Forbes Top 100 Places to Work to find companies with great benefits.
*Try being a contract worker like me. Send out your resume showcasing your typing, writing, computer and editing skills and emphasizing how you are a quick and eager learner and see if any marketing or web based companies can use you for data entry, editing, or writing. Even go by places like ManPower to see if they can place you somewhere.