How Much is my SAHM Job Worth?

How Much is my SAHM Job Worth?

As a stay-at-home mom, you know that your service to the good of the family is invaluable, but have you ever stopped to consider exactly how much you save your family in a given year? Follow along as we lay out the basic savings your job gives your family. Then sit back and contemplate your awesomeness!

Child Care

The first and foremost job that a SAHM completes is childcare, and when you consider the costs of daycare services, this job in and of itself is probably the biggest contributor to your family's well-being. Of course, childcare costs vary per area, so let's estimate this out on an average basis.

Depending on the age and number of children, full-time care of your children could run $150 to $1000 per week. Let's average this to $500 per week and figure out the annual salary: $500 x 52 weeks = $26,000 per year.

Home Maintenance and Chef Duties

Oftentimes, the SAHM job doesn't end with childcare. Stay-at-home moms take on many hats, and home maintenance usually falls into the realm of the SAH mother's responsibilities. Depending on how handy you are, this could include lawn and garden maintenance, home repairs, house cleaning, laundry services and short order cook.

Obviously, most families would not hire most of these services out, but if you were to quit your stay-at-home job, this is what it would look like for your family to hire out your replacements: Lawn and garden at $20 per week ($1040 per year); home repairs at $30 per week, on average ($1560); house cleaning at $50 bi-monthly ($1200 per year); laundry services, estimated at low end of $20 per week ($1040 per year); and short order cook at $70 per week ($3640 per year).

Total low-end estimates for home maintenance and chef responsibilities are $8480. Of course, for SAHMs who live in expensive areas or do more than the minimum upkeep, this estimate could be way more.


One other place that didn't quite fit into the above services is driving duties. With all of the responsibilities and activities that your children may have and participate in, this job could be major. It's difficult to assess though, so we'll look at this on a bare minimum scale again, comparing the service to a taxi's fees. Taxi's run about $2 per mile, depending on your area, so if we estimate that driving Junior to and from school once per day on a 10 mile round trip five days per week, we come to $5200.

In total, a mom's typical duties can account for a family savings of $39,680. Again, this estimate is based on the low end of household contributions, so if you care for more children, do more maintenance and cooking or chauffeur more often, your estimated savings can be even higher. So kick back, pat yourself on the back and relish in the wonderful job that you do!

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Jana's picture

Jana wrote:

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 17:18 Comment #: 1

I get the point that you're trying to make but sometimes, when I read posts like this, I feel like deepens the divide between working and SAHMs, which is something that we really don't need. When you start putting a value on one type of mom versus another, it breeds resentment. At least it does for me.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Wed, 02/22/2012 - 18:21 Comment #: 2

Jana, I apologize if anything I wrote came across as offensive. That was not my intent at all. I think that sometimes stay-at-home moms can feel undervalued, and I simply wanted to portray the actual monetary value of their work. I think that both working moms and SAHMs are invaluable to their families; we all do what's best for our families, no matter where we work.

Melanie's picture

Melanie wrote:

Thu, 02/23/2012 - 20:42 Comment #: 3

It's not the divide, it's the answer to the "What did you do all day?" question. SAHM aren't usually valued for the contributions that they do. If there isn't a $ assigned to their worth, it's like some consider their value negligible.

Christa Palm's picture

Christa Palm wrote:

Fri, 02/24/2012 - 20:56 Comment #: 4

Melanie, I also thought it was interesting to look at the monetary value of contributions. It's not that I didn't think SAHMs were valued; I simply wondered how much of a value I could assign to myself as a part-time SAH(soon-to-be)M.