Woman Considers Asking Her Husband For A 'Salary' For Being A Stay-At-Home Mom

She doesn't want to "go groveling for money" when buying something for herself.

woman holding baby while on the phone and using laptop garetsworkshop via Shutterstock / lena5 and miadigital via Canva

From dealing with the demands of their children from sunrise to sundown (and often in between) to trying to keep the house nice and tidy, being a stay-at-home mom is a full-time job. Despite the neverending to-do list, much of the work stay-at-home moms do is not only underappreciated but also underpaid — leaving many mothers without any say or power over their own personal finances.

Concerned about her lack of financial freedom, one stay-at-home mom considered asking her husband for a 'salary.'

“My husband and I have been married for 4 years and we have a 1.5-year-old together," she explained in a Reddit post. "He works and I agreed to stay at home since the birth of our son. I was earning only about 1/8 of what he was anyways, so we decided the most sensible arrangement since getting married was that I'd become a homemaker and SAHM [stay-at-home mom] when we had a baby."


Now three years after leaving her job, she explained that there are a few changes she wanted to make in their arrangement.

"My husband earns good money but he's very frugal about nonessential spending because he wants to be financially independent (no job, earnings from investments) at an early age," she wrote, which she admitted she knew about him before they got married, but which now limits her financial freedom because she doesn't have an income to provide her own spending money.

Her husband established a $150 spending limit, which "means if I go out to get clothing, makeup, brunch, little treats, etc. and the amount exceeds $150, I would need to call him beforehand and talk about what I'm buying," the woman explained. “It feels extremely restrictive and quite frankly humiliating." 


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A survey found that the labor stay-at-home moms provide is worth over $150,000 a year — but many don't have an equal say in the family's finances.

Salary.com's 2019 Mom Salary Survey estimated the value of a stay-at-home mom's labor by labeling all of the work these mom's perform regularly, finding that stay-at-home moms should make $178,201 per year. 

"Parents hold the ultimate hybrid job at home. They’re CEOs, judges, academic advisors, and so much more,” Sarah Reynolds, Vice President of Marketing at Salary.com, said of the premise behind the Mom Salary Survey. “The role of Mom requires a diverse skill set that commands serious market value in the talent market."

Despite this valuation, stay-at-home moms are often cut off from having any say in how the family spends money as they're not the ones officially earning it. 


While it's unlikely that families can afford to budget over $178,000 for the stay-at-home parent, experts agree on placing financial value on that parent's contributions to the family.

According to financial strategist Farnoosh Torabi, the parent who isn't actively making an income should at the very least be provided a say in the family's budget and have unrestricted access to the family's financial profile.



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While the way each family decides to budget and allocate money may look different, it's important to remember that both parents are ultimately on the same team and compromise is essential to making the relationship work.


"When you walked down the aisle, you became one," certified business coach Christy Wright said on an episode of The Dave Ramsey Show when asked about stay-at-home moms receiving an 'allowance'. "You decided to share your life, your time, your money, your children, all the things."

Therefore, Wright said, instead of looking at is as "getting money from your spouse," couples need to remember that that is shared income.

Instead of forcing his wife to ask for money, which is a demeaning experience, or expecting to regularly spend money without any concern for the family's budget, this woman and her husband should sit down and budget together to figure out how much money they have available to spend on nonessential items and agree to stay within those constraints together.


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Victoria Soliz is a writer with YourTango who covers news and entertainment content.