Salary.com has a cute little tool that lets you find out how much your mom's services at home are worth. You enter in the number of children and their age ranges, and you identify whether or not she's has a job outside the home. I did a calculation for a stay-at-home mom with one small child and one school-age child.

Her value? In the range of $64,374 and $174,061 per year. You can even take it a step further by entering your zip code and getting a local estimate. And the highlight of the whole exercise? Printing a fake check to give to your mom to let her know that you appreciate everything she does.

For the most part, this is just a fun post to honor mom's holiday. But I can add one practical tip for readers. When buying life insurance, don't forget the value of the stay-at-home mom. Many families make the mistake of only buying a substantial policy on the dad, if he's the "breadwinner" for the family. They forget that if something happens to mom, a considerable amount of money could be spent on child care and household help. Make sure mom is covered with life insurance too!

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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