When A Two-Salary Income Fails

While this may not apply to everyone, you may find that a second salary brings in substantially less than you thought it would. In the beginning, Rachael thought that since she and her husband were just about breaking even as a couple, that staying home with the new baby would not work -- infant needs seemed endless. So she went back to her old job.

After a few weeks, they decided to actually calculate their bottom line with and without her weekly pay. This should not have been a surprise because there was still no extra funds at the end of the month. Rachael's second income necessitated extra expenses resulting in a near-breakeven budget once again.

When you consider the hidden expenses of a two-income household you must include the obvious ones like child care and commuting costs. Add to this -- order-out lunches, and those quickie dinners like take-out or prepared heat 'n serve selections. Office clothes and dry cleaning will apply to some.

Increased exposure to common illnesses for the child in daycare caused Rachael's absence from work more often than her single co-worker taking another bite out of her weekly paycheck. Rachael's second salary pushed them into a higher income tax bracket bringing an added burden at tax time.

If a two-salary income doesn't work any better than the one-salary did, then your answer has to be the Internet. To accomplish this without household friction, you must have three things going for you: (1) partner's cooperation: he/she must be willing to share some of the household duties without complaint. (2) your flexibility: to be able to work odd hours like when the baby sleeps, and (3) the biggest of all, sacrifice: working at home will mean giving up a few things until your Internet income equals what you earned offline.

When new mothers were asked what they would be willing to sacrifice to stay at home and work, some of their answers were:

  • Selling the second car to save on taxes, ins, and loan payments

  • Cable TV

  • Wal-Mart weekly stops

  • Cigarettes; a costly as well as unhealthy expense

  • Dinners out

Some added their willingness to shop for baby clothes at the thrift-store (they were surprised at the bargains). And almost all have begun coupon shopping; a big savings on the food budget.

The latest research states that 8,500 new home businesses are started every day in the U.S. So if you have been lifting couch cushions looking for loose change, get in on the Internet opportunities but you must be open to all possibilities. When you limit your focus, you limit your choices of income.

Opportunities such as Clickbank or Payaah are two popular avenues that can set you up in a heartbeat with multiple programs under one umbrella. You can hit the ground running, and explore other offers at your leisure.

Works for me.

© 2004 Esther Smith

About The Author

Esther Smith is editor of Partners-For-Profit Newsletter; always a good read, and publisher of http://thepermanentventure.com

[email protected]

In The News:

How to Mend a Work Relationship  Harvard Business Review
What Playfulness Can Do for Your Relationship  Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley
The U.S.-India Relationship Is Bigger Than Trump and Modi  Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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