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Anyone else *not* think babies/children are expensive?? - Page 6

post #101 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherEden
Really the expense isn't much. And if we were extremely well off financially I probably wouldnt do anything differently. She thinks that I denying my children things that we could afford if we had more money. And that buying their clothes second hand isn't a very nice thing to "do" to them.

What are your thoughts on this?
She is in a different place for sure. I would think clothing them in all name brand expensive clothes so that when they grow up they are clothing snobs and in debt from their learned commercialism and materialism is an even worse thing to "do" to a child!

We are expecting our third and got many of the same comments from family and friends. We live on a limited budget, but children don't really effect that budget except in a few small ways. Since we bfeed and cdiaper (I did buy some more diapers this time) and we have a good stash of diapers, one more isn't all that much more. The amount of the grocery bill will go up when DD starts eating solids in about a year, but that is plenty of time to plan for that.

We actually have less stuff this time since we have moved and sold a lot of the "baby gear". The only item I wish I still had was the bassenett since it is a safe place to put baby down so big brothers can't step on her!

I know that there is a lot of good intentions that come from wanting your children to have the best of everything. That is one reason I will skimp on my own needs (i.e. new jeans etc.) in order to make sure to get organic milk. But, there are some out there that are more concerned with the status of what it is they give their children than the quality and value of it.

I grew up with hand-me-downs and stuff from garage sales and goodwill. It was fun for me. My kids don't know the difference between Ross and Goodwill now and if I play my cards right they won't think them any different when they get older.

I want my children to understand value and have values that allow them to buy things second hand and give away stuff they don't need so someone else benefits. I will buy high quality items (hanna anderson clothing for example) but I don't necessarily feel the need to have those things and pay full price. I believe there are ways to give your children quality without going broke.


Blessings,
N~
post #102 of 130
I pretty much agree with a lot of mama's. The baby part isn't too bad, but now that the girls are older things are starting to add up. I always bought most of our baby cloths second hand. I could never understand paying so much money for cloths they spend so little time in. It's hard to find good quality second hand clothing for older kids. I don't want my kids to look like they're wearing cloths handed down for generations. :LOL I never buy regular price for anything and I'm always looking for deals on clothing. Our food costs are rising because the girls are getting "real" appetites. Fees associated with school increases. Our oldest is turning 7 next week and I am realizing that we are going to have to pay "youth" admission for her when we want to go to the musium or other special activity. Up until now she has been free. Allowances so we can teach them how to budget and spend within their means. We pay the girls $1 for their age. That's $10/week or $40/month.

We don't enroll the girls in a lot of extra activities. We prefer to do things as a family and spend our time that way. We don't like to rush after dinner for classes as the girls need to be in bed by 8. We like to keep things in a nice routine as everyone seems to function better that way. They don't really like "classes" so it's pretty much a waste of money. We try to buy passes for the things we like to do. We buy a zoo pass every year, but dd's pass will go up this year. We buy a facility membership so we can go swimming/skating whenever we want. I wanted to take them to the musium in a couple of weeks, but wow it will cost $10 for dd. That makes it too expensive with my admition on top. I can't imagine when all 3 of them are of youth age.

Looking ahead to college is stressing us out. We would love a bigger house and with 2 very small extra bedrooms and 3 kids, we are outgrowing our existing home. However, we are very apprehensive about getting into a bigger mortgage when our oldest will be going to university in 10 years and the middle dd in 11 years, knowing they will not qualify for student loans but dh doesn't make enough that we can adequatly save for their tuitions.

I miss the frugal baby years.
post #103 of 130
I think a normal, healthy baby can be very inexpensive. However if you have a baby who doesn't fit into a preconcieved idea of babyhood, it's a totally different story.

First dd could not/would not bf. I have never added up the cost but let's see: lactation consultant x3, breast pump rental, breast pump purchase later, bottles and stuff, endless trips to the doctor for mastitis infections, nipple shields, nipple shells, etc. She still didn't end up nursing after all that (5. 5 mos of trying) and I gave up and put her on formula, and that was pretty expensive, too.

Second dd was born with GI issues. I cannot even fathom all we have paid for her. Breast pump purchase, crib purchase (so we could have her sleep elevated long-term), endless-- and I mean endless-- doctor visits to specialists, hospital stays, procedures and minor surgeries, therapy copays, medicine copays, $$$$ special formula for her messed up GI system that insurance didn't cover, more $$$ Pediasure for the next 2-3 years until she learns to eat normally and can get off her feeding tube, a new stroller b/c I needed one that she could be washed easily because of her puking so often, a spare sling to use while washing puke off the other one, a complete change of diapering system that would work with her stomach tube placement, sposies in the meantime, ear tubes, medical tape (lots and lots of it), etc etc.

So just pray that you have a normal, healthy baby and then yeah, it won't cost you much.
post #104 of 130
I just wanted to make a comment on buying second hand clothes. I grew up in second hand clothes and that is primarily what I buy for my son. However, I wouldn't recommend buying used clothes for your children unless you are willing to wear used clothes yourself. I remember feeling hurt as a child when my grandmother would go to the store and buy a new shirt for herself and not one for me. I am a garage sale hound and people usually rave over the cute clothes I find and would never "guess." But if I am going to buy something new for myself, I try to buy something new for my son as well so that he doesn't feel less important. Most kids do notice those little things.

And back to the topic...I agree, kids don't have to be that expensive. I personally think that kids who have everything and are provided with too much "stuff" don't really appreciate it. It is Ok to not have every fancy activity, new toys, and name brand stuff.
post #105 of 130
USAmma -
You brought up a point I had meant to address. I think one thing that makes me feel nervous about our financial situation is that having a baby is unpredictable. Even with insurance, a child with any medical or special needs can be very, very expensive.

heldt123-
I think that's a good point. Growing up, I wore lots of second-hand clothing, but I liked it because my mom made it seem like a treasure hunt - we'd go to thrift stores and look for surprises and bargains. She would buy items for herself as well. The other thing I remember fondly is getting hand-me-downs from families who had older girls. When I was little, I loved spending time with girls who were a few years older than I was, and was very excited to get clothing from them.
post #106 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by abac
Living in Canada, we get our monthly Child Tax Benefit which has allowed us to purchase a home. We joke that ds pays our mortgage. (The CTB covers the whole mortgage.) We are paying significantly less than we were to rent a 2 bedroom apt., and now we have a 4.5 bedroom house with a big yard.
Holy heck! Abac, I'd love to know how you managed to get such a huge CTB! Our payment is $40 a month! $40 - that pays for our BEll phone bill! How in the WORLD did you get such a huge payment????

Back to the OP's question - I don't find the cost of DS expensive - what I do find expensive (and, in fact, unmanageable) is our ability to live on one income. DH does not earn enough to pay for our very small house and our property taxes, insurance and bills. We want me to be at home until DS in school at which point I will work part time or full time. But, we're barely managing and we are very cheap and not consumers at all.

We've done the obvious- hand-me-downs, bf'ing, cloth diapers. No processed food, make food from scratch, lots of low budget vegetarian cooking etc etc. But, at least in our city and with DH's income, we find the one income he earns (again an individual matter) does not cover our smaller than average mortage and our fixed expenses. If we were over-consuming, we could cut back, but unless we figure out a way to live "off-the grid", we still have to pay our hydro, etc. and that is where the one income is an issu - We've also figured out cost of day care and we can't afford that either. So, yes, having more than one child and being either at home or paying daycare for 2 would be very expensive.
post #107 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherEden
Well as far as health insurance goes, we have Medicaid. So it doesnt cost us anything. If anything having an additional child makes us more eligible.
I just want to point out that recieving programs like WIC and government medical insurance and food stamps etc (while continuing to add to the family) is issue for some folks. Your sister in law may have given you a very watered down version of how she really feels.

Some people feel as strongly about supporting their family on their own earnings as others feel about CIO and circumcision. A lot of my NFL friends are as outspoken about this as they are about other hot topics.

Not sure how I feel on this issue. I sympathize with folks who want to have more kids, but I personally am not sure having more with government support is ideal.
post #108 of 130
: I hear that crap all of the time because I am Catholic and would like a large family.

"Aren't you done?" "Can you afford anymore?" "Why on earth would you want a large family?"

I have just started telling people that I hear they are cheaper by the dozen!
post #109 of 130
Our biggest expenses are:

health insurance---DH is self employed so we pay all of this ourselves

dentist/orthodontist/eye dr/pediatrician/allergist/dermatologist---we pay $20 a visit for the ped/allergist & derm....pay a good bit at the dentist (ins covers a little amount), pay the full eye dr (and we have 6 in glasses/contacts), pay in full at ortho (may be able to get reimbursed a little)

food--I have a hungry family lol....buying organics is near impossible right now, but Im looking at co-ops

sports/ballet/etc---DS was playing viola but quit...but 3 play soccer, one does ballet

cars---we both have minivans (needed something to haul around so many kids lol)

school---The girls go to a private school (Their moms choice...we split the cost), our boys go to public school (free) and DD goes to a church run preschool (we pay for)

housing---we live in a townhouse...can't afford to by a house in our area

So far don't really have college funds for our kids (the older girls do)...I spend too much on clothes and am going to start taking some of that money and putting it away for my kids college
post #110 of 130
[QUOTE=Kincaid]I just want to point out that recieving programs like WIC and government medical insurance and food stamps etc (while continuing to add to the family) is issue for some folks./QUOTE]


Exactly, because claiming that a child is not expensive because you get government help for health insurance or food stamps is silly.

The child IS expensive for society, even if you are not directly paying the cosst.

Let me say before I get flamed that I think kids are worth EVERY PENNY and I have no problem with those who need governmental assistance.

But claiming that a child is not expensive is just plain wrong.
post #111 of 130
Maya, I agree that claiming kids are not expensive IS a disservice. If nothing else, it undermines the awareness of the funds needed to support programs like WIC (which feeds people's kids), medicaid (which provides full health care and medicinces for people's kids), food stamps (feeds families and kids) and day care subsidies (provides care).

Saying they are not expensive while folks are recieving this benefits is irresponsible to the system that is footing those services. Because if we prentend kids don't "cost" anything, then how the heck do we complain when Bush cuts those programs (and head start, and free lunches at school, and all the other programs that children of the poor recieve).

I would be a lot happier if folks quit pretending kids were cheap and said, yes, we recieve services and they subsidize the lack of a living wage in this country.
post #112 of 130
The expensive things for me (I agree, not expensive other than these things) are health insurance & tuition. If you homeschool or public school you eliminate the majority of that cost (depending on curriculum, I guess - I'm not a homeschooler) All in all, if you CD, even part time, & breastfeed the baby stuff isn't bad at all. I'd have 10 kids if it wasn't for those 2 things - they alone are costly enough!
post #113 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kincaid
Maya, I agree that claiming kids are not expensive IS a disservice. If nothing else, it undermines the awareness of the funds needed to support programs like WIC (which feeds people's kids), medicaid (which provides full health care and medicinces for people's kids), food stamps (feeds families and kids) and day care subsidies (provides care).

Saying they are not expensive while folks are recieving this benefits is irresponsible to the system that is footing those services. Because if we prentend kids don't "cost" anything, then how the heck do we complain when Bush cuts those programs (and head start, and free lunches at school, and all the other programs that children of the poor recieve).

I would be a lot happier if folks quit pretending kids were cheap and said, yes, we recieve services and they subsidize the lack of a living wage in this country.
post #114 of 130
As babies, my children were cheap. No formula to buy, no fancy schmansy clothes, cloth diapers, not a lot of gadgets.
As teens? Absolutely they are. From dance lessons to athletic sign up fees, equipment for these activities, to their clothes, not to mention saving and paying for their education, kids are expensive. To suggest otherwise is to be in denial, because even if a family is in a poorer tax bracket, someone, taxpayers, for instance, is picking up the tab for the necessities of children.
I wish I could say otherwise. I wish we lived in a grass hut, surrounded with water, where my kids were home schooled, and played in the ocean, and wore nothing but their bathing suit all day, but that is not reality for most.
post #115 of 130
On the subject of insurance and government aid...
We just got insurance this month for the first time. For 10 years dh and I were completely uninsured (through the gov., private, or otherwise).
Dh now has a job that offers affordable health insurance.
I really, really, really believe the US should at least have some variety of socialized medicine. The hospital situation is insane. Regular docs aren't that expensive to see, but if you add a hospital in, it's really madness what we're doing.
While I agree that it's a little odd to hear someone on any kind of govenrnment assistance say kids aren't expensive, at the same time, health insurance *should* be affordable.
Only in the US, among developed Western nations, do people feel they can't afford children because they can't afford insurance.
post #116 of 130
My SIL's dh is unemployed and her insurance ran out and she's paying $1200/month for cobra.

We have been uninsured (for years, ug) and have freeballed it because 1200/month, how can any unemployed person handle that??

Debra Baker
post #117 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kincaid

Saying they are not expensive while folks are recieving this benefits is irresponsible to the system that is footing those services. Because if we prentend kids don't "cost" anything, then how the heck do we complain when Bush cuts those programs (and head start, and free lunches at school, and all the other programs that children of the poor recieve).

I would be a lot happier if folks quit pretending kids were cheap and said, yes, we recieve services and they subsidize the lack of a living wage in this country.
Yup
post #118 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by maya44

Exactly, because claiming that a child is not expensive because you get government help for health insurance or food stamps is silly.

The child IS expensive for society, even if you are not directly paying the cosst.
ITA.
post #119 of 130
"Dh and I like to say 'Children aren't expensive, lifestyles are'."

I realy believe that a lot. But I don't think that money should be a deciding factor in having children, part but not all. It definitely should be a point to think plan accordingly on.

That being said...I have seven myself, four of them go to private school. We aren't wealthy but we live within our means, which means we TRY to save and not SPEND, but it's hard sometimes. It does mean you have to make concessions, like giving something up you want so your kids can have soemthing they want or need. They don't go without and while we aren't a designer label family (Target and Wal-mart being our main clothing designers) I will spend a little more for quality and durability.

I will shop sales at high-end stores, I was able to pick up a first communion dress for my little girl that was a HUGE discount...I think it was a 90$ dress I got it for 25$. So I look for stuff like that.

I guess the point is this: If you have a committment to your family, and you want children, one should be VERY aware of their needs and wants. It's up to parents to give children what they need and crave the most in life and it isn't money. I child could care less if you have 100$ in the bank or 100 million...if you love them and shower them with the gifts of afffection and tenderness, teaching and instilling them with respect and faith, that in itself is an investment that will payoff better than any financial or college plan that you could spend a lifetime accumulating.
post #120 of 130
I think it's easy to think that babies are not expensive. We don't have a ton baby stuff, we cloth diaper and breastfeed, and thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the people around us, ds has enough clothes to get him through the first year.
But then I look at my loss of income, the increase of our health insurance, my attempt to have all his foods be organic, using environmentally friendly detergents, and it really can add up. Just wait until he needs shoes, music lessons, sports, etc.
That said, I have learned from people around me, there seems to always be a way to afford the next baby
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