The Second Income: Is It Worth It?

For Nancy McCardel, the days start early. At 5:30 a.m., she gets up to feed her 3-month-old daughter before showering and dressing in a blouse and suit ($300, plus $12 a week for dry cleaning). She rouses her 8-year-old son, and during the summer, whisks him off to a day-care center ($112 per week). She then drops off her daughter at another center ($210 per week) across town. She drives downtown to her job ($4 roundtrip, plus $22.50 per week for parking) as managing supervisor for a public relations firm in Atlanta and picks up a gourmet cup of coffee ($3 a day). She eats lunch ($4) at her desk. At 4:30 she races from the office to get the kids. After a quick dinner, she bathes the children, reads to them, tucks them into their freshly made beds ($70 for bimonthly housecleaning), and does chores. By 10:30, she tumbles into bed. At week's end, this 35-year-old wife and mother wonders: Is it worth it?

To continue reading this article you must be a Bloomberg Professional Service Subscriber.