Stay-At-Home Parent? Good for You, but Watch Financial Consequences

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Being a stay-at-home parents has its advantages.

You won't miss your child's first words, steps or learning experiences on a playground, park or just walking around the block.

The number of stay-at-home mothers is on the rise, with 29% opting to remain in the homestead in 2012, up from 23% in 1999. Stay-at-home dads account for 16% of stay-at-homes parents through 2012, up from 10% in 1989.

But there are financial factors that come into play that any parent should know about before deciding to be at home with the kids. The Washington, D.C.-based Certified Financial Planning Board says they are "under the radar" costs that are all too real and need to be addressed.

Read More: Parents to College-Bound Kids: 36% Of the Bill is Yours

"The total cost of leaving a job to become a stay-at-home parent isn't simply a tally of hard costs paid for by check or credit card, like the costs of professional attire or a subway pass," says Eleanor Blayney, a consumer advocate for the CFPB. "Many people don't consider the foregone benefits, which are easy to ignore when making this decision because they are hard to quantify."  

There are some net financial positives in electing to stay-at-home parent, Blayney adds. Costs attached to day care (which can run up to $285 per week for an infant, according to the YMCA), telecommuting and pricey lunches out of the home all add up. Throw in dry cleaning and the odd happy hour or night out with co-workers and there are some significant savings.

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