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Do the Math

By Andrea G. Schwartz
April 13, 2010

As a result of an excellent weekly class that I'm am taking under the direction of Mike Winther of the Institute for Principle Studies, much of my extra reading has turned to the subject of economics. A book I had heard about for years but never read through, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? finally made it into my library. It provides an interesting perspective on "two-income" families.

Until the 1970s, most families were able to improve their standard of living with only one adult working outside the home. In the 1970s, '80s, and '90s, mothers and wives got paying jobs ususally on the assumption they were helping support their families.

Try this. Add up the total taxes your household pays: state and federal income tax, sales tax, property tax, and any others you can find (remember that many taxes are "hidden taxes" that aren't easy to identify). Compare the total taxes paid with the total wages earned.

Chance are you will find that one spouse is supporting the household, and the other is supporting the government.*

My husband and I came to the same conclusion back in 1979. When I added up the cost of putting my son in daycare, additional transportation costs travelling from my work to where he was during the day, lunches out, drycleaning bills etc., the net gain after taxes was $37.00!

Homeshooling families regularly make ends meet on just one income, or supplement it with work the mother/teacher can do from her own home while maintaining her role as her children's teacher. Sure it takes some creativity and good adminstrative skills, but the rewards of the one-on-one opportunity to train your children in the ways of the Lord is not only worth more than a paycheck, it allows you to store up treasures in heaven!

*page 85 of the 2004 edition.


Topics: Economics

Andrea G. Schwartz

Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven FamilyThe Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your HouseholdEmpowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom ServiceWoman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected]

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