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Survey on Money and Budgeting....for the Baby - Page 2

post #21 of 58

I don't know that there are a lot of options for 3 children in car seats or boosters without going the minivan or SUV route, and SUVs are definitely higher up on gas consumption.

 

We're hoping that we'll have more children in the future (although its no guarantee with our ages), so for us it is important to pick a vehicle that will have room to keep growing our family size. Our current car is only a 2009, so has lots of life left in it, and DH will continue to use it for traveling to and from work.

 

We're waiting as long as possible to get the new vehicle. I'm due May 12, but I usually go to 41 weeks, so we're not expecting to have the baby until about 20th, then I plan on staying home with the baby for about 6 weeks, so we're calculating that we won't actually need the new vehicle until probably July 4th weekend, so we could potentially have an extra 2 months to save towards it.

 

If you can go without until fall 2013, then it would give you a bigger budget to find something you're happier with. At the same time will your current vehicle last that long, and would repairs eat up more money that you would save by waiting?

post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynann View Post

I don't know that there are a lot of options for 3 children in car seats or boosters without going the minivan or SUV route, and SUVs are definitely higher up on gas consumption.

 

We're hoping that we'll have more children in the future (although its no guarantee with our ages), so for us it is important to pick a vehicle that will have room to keep growing our family size. Our current car is only a 2009, so has lots of life left in it, and DH will continue to use it for traveling to and from work.

 

We're waiting as long as possible to get the new vehicle. I'm due May 12, but I usually go to 41 weeks, so we're not expecting to have the baby until about 20th, then I plan on staying home with the baby for about 6 weeks, so we're calculating that we won't actually need the new vehicle until probably July 4th weekend, so we could potentially have an extra 2 months to save towards it.

 

If you can go without until fall 2013, then it would give you a bigger budget to find something you're happier with. At the same time will your current vehicle last that long, and would repairs eat up more money that you would save by waiting?

Yes, unfortunetely SUVs do consume more gas which is costly.  We sold a vehicle this summer and bought an SUV to accomodate our growing family.  Timing was good to sell our car (an '08 Subaru Forester) which could only fit one rear facing car seat and we purchased an '06 Ford Expedition which will do us for even 3 kids easily.  Now, while the gas is more, the vehicle was WAAAYYY less than what we sold our Subaru for (we were able to put $8k towards debt!  That's a lot of tanks of gas!) because it was higher milage and because people are selling off bigger vehicles.  But, since it's a truck engine, we expect it to reach 300,000km no problem whereas a car is at high milage around 225,000km (sorry I don't know the conversion to miles) so for us that's about 3 more years of driving vs a car of the same milage.  Plus, we camp and the SUV can pull our tent trailer and fit all our gear.  So, I think for some people and if you are buying used an SUV can make sense.

post #23 of 58

If you really can't do a a larger vehicle right now you can fit 3 across in sedans but you have to figure out the right puzzle of car seats.   You may decide you want to get something larger later but you can deal with that then.

I was actually hoping to keep my Corolla or get another sedan but in the end we knew there were times when we wanted to be able to carry other people (family from out of town, friends with only one car and a disabled family member who cannot drive).  The other point some people pointed out here on MDC when I was asking about it is that sometimes having the kids next to each other is hard.  Kids poking sleeping babies or trying to give them food or drinks, etc.  We also take some long car trips and knew for us more space would be good.

Each family has different needs though so a sedan may work fine depending on your needs and kids.

post #24 of 58
Thread Starter 

Ekk, CoBaby, poking the sleeping baby!  Oh no!  I sure hope DD doesn't turn out like that, oh gee whiz, that is something I did not even think about.

 

Yes, Lynann, this is exactly DH's fear, that we will have to put more money into a worthless vehicle.  And you are right, it's not worth it.

 

Nstweart, we were actually looking into the Forester.  I don't know that we will ever get to 3 kids...but it's something to think about.  I just like the safety record and space as well as gas milage on the Forester.  Yours is about the age we are considering, how much did you sell it for?

 

In the discussion tonight, DH pointed out that if we buy something on the low end we can always buy something bigger later if necessary.

 

I think we are going to buy a 4 door something with good gas milage...and maybe a little extra space to haul camping stuff.  At the moment we have yet to make a camping trip, so maybe this should not even be a concern right now but it is something we hope to do in the future.  We also enjoy road trips...and hiking which all require more space then the average car.

post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacquelinej View Post

Ekk, CoBaby, poking the sleeping baby!  Oh no!  I sure hope DD doesn't turn out like that, oh gee whiz, that is something I did not even think about.

 

Yes, Lynann, this is exactly DH's fear, that we will have to put more money into a worthless vehicle.  And you are right, it's not worth it.

 

Nstweart, we were actually looking into the Forester.  I don't know that we will ever get to 3 kids...but it's something to think about.  I just like the safety record and space as well as gas milage on the Forester.  Yours is about the age we are considering, how much did you sell it for?

 

In the discussion tonight, DH pointed out that if we buy something on the low end we can always buy something bigger later if necessary.

 

I think we are going to buy a 4 door something with good gas milage...and maybe a little extra space to haul camping stuff.  At the moment we have yet to make a camping trip, so maybe this should not even be a concern right now but it is something we hope to do in the future.  We also enjoy road trips...and hiking which all require more space then the average car.

Jackie, we loved, loved, loved our Forester!  The issue isn't with 3 car seats, it's with two.  In order to put a car seat rear facing in the forester, it has to go in the middle so that the back goes between the two seats.  Unless you put the passenger or driver seat alllll the way forward, which is not an option for us because I am 5'9" and DH is 6'1".  I had to put my seat forward as it was, and we had to buy the smallest infant seat (A peg perego or a chicco are the only ones that fit!).  And since our DS will still be in his Britax when this babe is born, it was too tight to have him right beside the baby seat in the middle.

 

Now, our Forester was a 2008.  This was the last model year for the old model, which is more like a station wagon.  If you get a 2009 or newer, it's more like a small SUV style vehicle, the back seat is a bit wider and the vehicle is a bit longer overall so there is also more space in the back in terms of distance between the back and front seats and I think you'd have no problem space wise.  As far as cargo goes, the Forester is pretty good.  Better than a lot of small SUVs, in fact.  However, with baby gear we did find it necessary to get a Thule for longer family trips (in particular, Christmas one year when we needed to bring the stroller, the pack n' play, etc. etc. as well as all our Christmas gifts.)  But those you can pick up on Kijiji or Craig's list.  Also keep in mind because they are all time 4WD they aren't as good on gas as some other vehicles of the same size, but you get performance, safety, and reliability as a trade-off.  We never had to take our Forester in once other than for scheduled warranty maintenance and it was amazing on winter roads (and off road too!  We took it Christmas tree hunting a few times with friends and drove it through the snow where they took their big 4x4 trucks with no issues).

 

Our Forester had under 80,000km and we sold it for $15,500 (with a set of winter tires on rims and a Thule roof rack).  It was the anniversary edition with the really big moon roof, and keep in mind we are in Canada so vehicles sell for more here and Subarus really retain their value anywhere.  I can see us driving another Subaru in the future as a second vehicle or when we need less space for gear and kids.  We truly loved it. 

post #26 of 58

I can vouch for the Subaru, I drive an Outback and previously had a Legacy wagon, awesome cars. I live where it snows a lot, so need the AWD and didn't want an SUV. I actually had a Forester for about a month, but got rear-ended and it was totaled, boo. Anyway, I had my DD's rear facing car seat in the back of my Legacy, not in the middle without issue. I'm not tall, but her dad is and he never had an issue. We like to camp too and its great for that, although we realize that once we have a second kid in the back, we will have a lot less room in there, so may get a rocket box for the top for trips. Its true they keep value and they can go for many, many miles. I get ~27 mpg, which isn't awesome, but my other requirements were more important, and the car is 8 years old.

post #27 of 58
So, things have changed a bit now that we know we are having twins. I'm going to look at other childcare options now as 3 in daycare is oof expensive and a home care or nanny might be a better option, but I'm torn as DD does so well in her daycare. Maybe something different for the twins and keep Sydney where she is or maybe we'll just save enough from our bonuses every year for the next few to cover it. It is only going to be ~3 years with 3 in daycare FT. We also aren't sure about moving in the next 2-3 years now either, we still want to, but not sure if we'll be able to anymore. Ah well, I know we'll be fine, but it has definitely thrown us for a bit and we are preparing to and already starting to be more conservative with our spending. I'm definitely going back to work, but I told DH I may want to change from 16 weeks to a little longer depending how things are going, but its hard to make a call now as who knows! I think I will talk to my boss that I plan for 16 weeks but I would like the flexibility to push it to 20 or 24 weeks if I need some more time with the twins.

I also want to figure out a carseat configuration so we can have all three in the first row of our Acura MDX. I do have the second row if I have to, but I'd rather not use it. I think it will be fine with two infant seats and one convertible and I think with the right convertibles, two rear and one forward can be made to work and we'll just leave the twins rear until Sydney is ready for a booster, but yeah, going to be interesting! Also need to buy another infant seat and now two bases (so DH's car can have 2 bases, he had none last time which we could do again and just drive them all around in my car, but it is nice for him to be able to pick kids up too with his car), definitely want a double stroller, a second crib eventually, probably a second bouncy seat, second high chair eventually (where am I going to fit two, I think I may need to get those attach to a chair kind), twin breastfeeding pillow (maybe), etc.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacquelinej View Post

I think we are going to buy a 4 door something with good gas milage...and maybe a little extra space to haul camping stuff. 

 

These are similar to the criteria we had when we bought my car last year. With plans for kids and a habit of driving 300+ miles round trip every weekend in the summer, gas mileage and cargo space were our primary deciding factors. We also plan to keep cars a long time (10 years is our target), so reliability and durability also got high marks.

 

With all of this in mind, we decided to get a diesel. Sure the fuel costs 10% more (it was down to 3% more a few weeks ago), but our diesel easily gets 30% better fuel economy than our comparable gas car. The engines are designed to last a long time too - my FIL has over 200K miles on his 2005 golf diesel. This also results in high resale value if you change your mind in a few years.

 

Major factors that might stand in the way are local regulations (for the longest time, you couldn't buy a new diesel in Massachusetts, for example), the limited selection (VW and Audi were really the only affordable options for us, so you're buying a pretty nice car as a base) or a cold climate (diesel fuel can gel in the winter, but we've had no problems yet).  As a bonus, you may be able to find a high biodiesel blend or make your own fuel from used fryer oil ... something DH and I thought about after going to a green car expo a few years ago ... you can also use it for heating oil.

 

If diesels are an option in your area, I encourage you to take a look. The Jetta Wagon TDI is a very nice car for the price.

 

An option we're thinking of for the long term (to replace DH's 8 year old sedan) is the Ford C-Max hybrid wagon. Its cargo space is more like a hatch than a true wagon though. What I wouldn't give for more wagons in the US!

post #29 of 58

I'll place another vote for the Subaru.  We had a Legacy wagon that we just sold and I Loooooooved it.  DH had a Subaru before we were married and I was skeptical when he wanted another but it was such a great car! 

post #30 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

So, things have changed a bit now that we know we are having twins. 

 

Quinalla, there are so many things that you have to consider!  I consider my future twin the potential acceptance to graduate school which would start in Fall after the baby.  Those plans would completely cease if I were having twins and I would be so upset.

 

 

You gals have given me much to think about...I have a lot of research to do!  After the graduate school applications are done though...currently my large project in the works.

post #31 of 58
Yeah, there definitely are a lot of things to consider. I think we are leaning more and more towards sticking with our current daycare at least for now. I really like it and since they provide food (except for formula/breastmilk), there is a lot of cost savings there we wouldn't have with most other care options. It is going to be so expensive though! And I still plan to look into other options too, but they are going to have to be pretty awesome. That's really my biggest financial concern, well that and saving for 3 for college not 2, but I did not plan to pay for all their college anyway, just a good chunk, so I'm not as worried about that. Having an extra kid gear/clothes/food/etc. isn't going to make that big of an impact, especially with how generous our families are with gift giving, but it will make an impact for sure.
post #32 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quinalla View Post

Yeah, there definitely are a lot of things to consider. I think we are leaning more and more towards sticking with our current daycare at least for now. I really like it and since they provide food (except for formula/breastmilk), there is a lot of cost savings there we wouldn't have with most other care options. It is going to be so expensive though! And I still plan to look into other options too, but they are going to have to be pretty awesome. That's really my biggest financial concern, well that and saving for 3 for college not 2, but I did not plan to pay for all their college anyway, just a good chunk, so I'm not as worried about that. Having an extra kid gear/clothes/food/etc. isn't going to make that big of an impact, especially with how generous our families are with gift giving, but it will make an impact for sure.

Do crunch some numbers, but you may find that having a nanny is the same cost for 3 kids as sending them to daycare (or close).  Then you have the added convenience of no pick-up/drop-off and you gett to come home to a clean house!  If you would end up hiring a housekeeper to come in once a week, factor those costs in too, and you are probably really at the same cost.  As your kids get older and have activities, school, etc. it would make life even easier.

 

I know that in my city, if you have 3 kids a nanny is almost the same cost as a daycare.  Especially if you are able to do live-in.  I'm in Canada and I think you're in the States, right?  I don't know if you have a live-in caregiver program there?  It allows you to sponsor a foreign national on a two year work permit.  Here, a ton of nannies are from the Philipines, work on a two year work permit, then apply for permanent residency (win-win).  Our nanny completed her two years before coming to work for us and now has her premanent residency and is working towards citizenship.  If this might be a possibility, start looking into the process now as it takes some time to line up (at least here).

post #33 of 58

I am thinking along the lines of a nanny myself. I am still at the stage of thinking and not actually looking into it, so I am currently speculating, but I don't know that it would be an outrageous expense compared to daycare as it wouldn't be completely full time (DH and I may be able to work it out so we only need care 3 days/wk). I would also be able to scrap the expense of DD's before and after school care program. I definitely need to dig into the logistics of finding a nanny, but am hoping we could go this way. I have also heard about nanny-share programs, where you have the same nanny for 2 families. This could save a lot on cost if you could find the right fit. That could be a good possibility in my situation, esp since DD will be 9 and can be a helper when not at school. But probably not so much with infant twins plus a toddler!

post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by adventuregirl View Post

I am thinking along the lines of a nanny myself. I am still at the stage of thinking and not actually looking into it, so I am currently speculating, but I don't know that it would be an outrageous expense compared to daycare as it wouldn't be completely full time (DH and I may be able to work it out so we only need care 3 days/wk). I would also be able to scrap the expense of DD's before and after school care program. I definitely need to dig into the logistics of finding a nanny, but am hoping we could go this way. I have also heard about nanny-share programs, where you have the same nanny for 2 families. This could save a lot on cost if you could find the right fit. That could be a good possibility in my situation, esp since DD will be 9 and can be a helper when not at school. But probably not so much with infant twins plus a toddler!

Yes, nanny sharing sounds like it could work for your situation.  Some nannies may also be fine with part time if they have another part time job.  My friend's ex-wife has a part time nanny.  Another option for you might be a university or college student.  Someone who is doing education or social work or the like would be a great option.  They could do classes on the days that they don't nanny, or do evening classes on the days that they do nanny.  A friend of mine did this during his undergrad and paid for university that way.

post #35 of 58
Yeah, I plan to look into my options for sure, but I am very reluctant to leave DD with a nanny as she loves the interaction with the other kids her age so much, she just thrives on it to an extent I never could have imagined. But I'm still going to look at everything as no drop off/pick off is not a small thing and $$ is a big deal, though with as on the way as her daycare is to work, it is as easy as it gets unless it were walking distance. Live-in nannies are an option here, but I don't think DH or I would be comfortable with it.
post #36 of 58
Oh, just got some good news from the daycare owner, she is definitely willing to work with me on costs, so that's good. I don't want to cheat her of course, but if I can get a little help, especially at the start, that would be very nice.
post #37 of 58

Oh, good news Katie!!  That helps a ton!  With respect to the interaction - I do agree that is important.  Our nanny has DS out doing an activity almost daily (he has two girls the same age that he plays with almost every day, our nanny is friends with their nanny).  Either play group, the zoo, a historical park with a steam train and wagon rides, etc. the playground, a splash park in summer, the play area at the mall, library, etc.  So that's just something to keep in mind if you do interview nannies.  Make sure they are outgoing/ like to be out and about if that's important to you.

 

We decided against live-in as well, even though we are ideally set up for it.  Our house has a basement suit, where DH and I lived during university (even though we owned the house, we rented out the main floor and lived in the basement to save on costs).  We took over the whole house before DS was born, and the idea of sharing our house again after having tenants for 6 or so years was just not what we wanted.  Some people love it, but it wasn't for us at the time.

post #38 of 58

Katie, That IS great that they will work with you!  It can be so hard to find a good daycare provider and infant care sure can be pricey!

 

I used to nanny for two families years ago.  If you can find the right fit it can work really well.  I loved it and it worked really well for the families as well.  In hind sight I do wish I had asked to be able to take the kids more places like NStewart was talking about although our community doesn't have much in the way of all that. 

post #39 of 58
Thanks ladies, it is a load off to know she will help us out. We may still look into nannies just to have a fair comparison and I will definitely ask about kids being taken out as my DD needs that interaction, she's such an extrovert! Poor kid with her two introvert parents smile.gif We even have a little park in the neighborhood that can be walked to and lots of fun things that can be driven to as we live just outside Columbus.
post #40 of 58

Couponing! It's a lot of work, but I save money by buying in bulk when I get stuff for free or really ridiculously cheap. We also eat very well- buying organic produce and meats and not resorting to premade/frozen meals. The couponing blogs also post good deals online for EVERYTHING. It's worth looking into.

I work as a nurse, and continued my old management job and work from home doing bookkeeping and paperwork for two stores in addition to my career job. I'm doing this until the baby comes so that I can save a little extra for his/her arrival. We share our money, neither of us spend much on ourselves so it tends to work out well.
 

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