Do any of your customers live in single-income households?
If so, they’re probably well aware that the person who stays home is an invaluable member of the team. Often an unsung hero, the stay-at-home spouse bears the full responsibility of running the household, supporting their spouse’s career and raising their children.
Yet while it’s easy to talk about how much an employed person is worth – they have wages, after all – it’s much harder to quantify the value of the one who stays home.
Salary.com is out to change that.
How much is a stay-at-home spouse worth?
This year saw the 14th annual “Mom Salary” survey, in which Salary.com used their salary wizard to collect data from 15,000 stay-at-home moms. Participants submitted the number of hours they spend each week doing various jobs; Salary.com compiled the data to answer the question, “What if moms were paid?”
And the results?
“Stay-at-home moms went from working 94 hours per week last year to 96.5 hours on household and childcare duties in 2014. If paid for their 40 hours plus 56.5 hours of overtime, stay-at-home moms would earn $118,905 – an increase of more than $5,000 from last year” (source).
Lest it go unsaid, moms aren’t the only ones who stay at home. That’s why Salary.com also has a salary wizard for stay-at-home dads.
What would happen if they were unable to work?
If a stay-at-home spouse was injured or ill, how much would it cost to hire someone to fill in? To answer that question, let’s look at the weekly work breakdown for the average stay-at-home mom:
- Meal prep: 14.5 hours/wk. Hiring a cook: $203.58/wk
- Cleaning: 7.8 hours/wk. Hiring a janitor: $79.09/wk
- House-keeping: 14.6 hours/wk. Hiring a housekeeper: $148.77/wk
- Doing laundry: 6.5 hours/wk. Hiring a laundry operator: $65.65/wk
- Shuttling family members: 7.8 hours/wk. Hiring a driver: $106.47/wk
Those tasks alone total about $600 a week – and that’s not even the full list. Here’s the infographic where you can learn more.
Paycheck protection for the stay-at-home spouse
It would be wonderful if stay-at-home spouses got paid for their work. Unfortunately, they don’t. The value they provide is invisible, measured in terms not of what they earn, but of what their family doesn’t have to spend.
Yet when illness or injury disables a stay-at-home spouse, that value becomes all too apparent, as expenses pile up out of nowhere.
Although disability insurance is not available for stay-at-home spouses, there are ways to protect that “invisible paycheck” through critical illness insurance. If the stay-at-home spouse is diagnosed with a covered critical illness, the policy immediately pays a lump sum, which the family can use to hire help, among other things.