Why very low income and very high income SAHMs often treat frugality as a very part-time job

With the very low income, they have to because there’s no room for error and low enough on the income tree, it’s a real financial loss plus massive stressor to have two workers maxing out at 43k or so.

For the very high income (in W2 income terms anyhow), it’s related.  If your husband makes 400k, you get the same benefit spending 10 hours a week or even month finding an extra 25k in the budget as you would working a 50k/yr job because you only end up with a little more and you have to work 40 hours a week to get it.  You have to crack six figures yourself before the extra money is harder to find via frugality than just working a job for it.

This isn’t to say that frugality is pointless unless you only make under 40k or over 400k, but that at the extreme ends of wage income (as reflected in both extremes having the highest rates of SAHMs), it’s mostly going to be easier to conserve cash rather than earn marginally more cash.

The math is different closer to the median married income, which is partly why the median is rising.  The reason is that people who are willing to marry when both incomes are likely to be about even set up their finances differently and as a result losing one income doesn’t create the space to segue into conserving the remaining one.

Of course, another reason the median married income is rising is that if you weren’t taught household management and homemaking skills, which is a very large number of marriageable women these days, it is terrifying to figure out how to get along on a low income and marrying a higher earning man sounds like it will be safer/easier.

Good housewife blog on frugality and homely arts.


Sometimes there’s a value to the way the internet shows you people in very different places in life, working with very different talents and resources, and yet coming to a lot of the same ways of thinking that you are.  Not because of the similarity itself, but because human experience is frequently still broadly similar along many axes and sometimes technology whispers otherwise, that we’re all uniquely exceptional in our experiences unlike our ancestors.

I use homely in the Tolkeinian sense.

Anyway, it’s a good blog, I’m glad she has time to post more often these days and it’s got good concepts, discussion and information.  Really, you can start anywhere, it’s all good reading.

Why I now use recipes.

I have little girls aged 6-8 cooking these days, so they need clear directions and a straightforward sequence of steps that doesn’t change because “this needs to be used up” or “there are fresh herbs in the yard”.  When they are a little older that will be fine, but right now they could use the structure of a “receipt”.  So now I’m joining the recipe-using club.