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Anyone else *not* think babies/children are expensive?? - Page 5

post #81 of 130
Me too. I am really shutting up because my daughter is tooting the horn.

And thanks
post #82 of 130
I just wanted to respond the original post asking if anyone else thinks babies/children are inexpensive.
I am pregnant with my third. I am a single mom and I earn $10.00 an hour. I get government medical and daycare but beyond that I never ask anyone for anything.
And I am not even the slightest bit worried about the cost of this baby. I have so many things left over my from 19-month-old that the only thing I will need is diapers.
So, no, I don't think babies are expensive at all.
post #83 of 130
we have 5 kids. we "can't" afford them. however i will not complain because Ortho sent me $25 for completing a survey about the patch AND I got to keep they kid I got while using it. :LOL

Telling us we shouldn't have more kids is as rude as asking if my kids all have the same dad. Each family or person needs to decide for themselves what they are comfortable with. DH and I don't agree on what is comfortable.

DH feels that it is unreasonable for us to struggle with what we make. The $$ amount doens't matter. We know we can not afford to move and our area is pretty good. (pay scales and geography wise)
Insurance is paid for but deductables and copays add up times 5. We have 3 of us on monthy meds we choose to take.
We bought a house larger than 'needed' because we wanted to. Well, we never owned a house before and this one was very well priced. And we do have 5 kids.
We have to have a van if we are all going together.
I will NOT pay for my children's education. My parents did not and DH's parents did not. We will help but have explained to our teens that their help is expected, they will not be given school.

Our 3 biggest expenses are house, van, daycare. Yes, daycare. I can not leave my job and get back into the pay scale later if I am a full time mom. Plus, my mental state is such that I need to work. I don't need to explain that to anyone either. We pay our own way and our kids seem ok. As much as I would like to have an even number of children, especially a girl, I don't think we will plan on another child. As I tell my 14 yo, DH and I are married and know the risks associated with marital relations. She has no say in our choices but needs to think about them in her life. So another is a possiblity

i guess my ramble comes down to it is no one's business if you have one kid or 100 or none. be the best parent you can and if you feel material is important, fine. if you feel organic is important, fine. if you feel having multiple children is important to your child's developement, fine. in my case no one is going to finance my elder care but would my kids education so that is where my "spare" money is going.
post #84 of 130
I was thinking about this thread while paying my credit card bill and realized that there have been a few kid expenses that I didn't see coming....

Suntan lotion (my boys are practically see through and we go through tons of it)

Lotion in general - the boys have eczema and dh and call post bath time the "jiffy lube" we so gob it on

Film and developing pictures - I just can't stop taking pictures of them

There are others but those jump out at me - anybody else?

BJ
Barney & Ben

P.S. DH and I quit smoking when we had ds so that probably saves us about $5 a day (not to mention what it has probably done for our health)
post #85 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital
I get government medical and daycare but beyond that I never ask anyone for anything.
Quote:
So, no, I don't think babies are expensive at all.
I'm not in any way slamming you, but yes, if everyone got free insurance and free daycare, the cost of having kids (for most people) would go WAY down.

Namaste!
post #86 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
I'm not in any way slamming you, but yes, if everyone got free insurance and free daycare, the cost of having kids (for most people) would go WAY down.

Namaste!

Oh I would have move kids if it didn't cost $400 a month each for daycare. I might actually have furnature in my house! Or I could get an SUV.... lol. I CAN afford an SUV, I CHOOSE not to. (from a conversation I had about why they didn't have more kids) health insurance? Dh could get a different job, I could afford not to work (I take home basically only enough to cover insurance)
post #87 of 130
$400/month for daycare is *cheap* My sil spends about $1500/month for two kids none of whom are infants in diapers so she was spending a lot more before this.

Our biggest expense is food : , house, Mastercard.<<mostly because of gas.

db
post #88 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebraBaker
$400/month for daycare is *cheap* My sil spends about $1500/month for two kids none of whom are infants in diapers so she was spending a lot more before this.
I know someone who pays $24k a year for her 2 children. But she also makes a lot more than i do and in a more expensive area. My kids are in a home care environment that I have used for 8 years off and on- I am grandfathered in on the rates. IMO, she is the next best to me being there.
post #89 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
I'm not in any way slamming you, but yes, if everyone got free insurance and free daycare, the cost of having kids (for most people) would go WAY down.

Namaste!
Good point.

In the distant past, i have paid upwards of $100 a day.
post #90 of 130
Whoa.

I am very shocked by how nasty some of you have been toward me.

Let me rephrase, since it was a three word phrase that set quite a few people off. We would FEEL very, very poor were we to lose half our income.

We do have over $100K in student loans. My husband works for LEGAL AID on a grant, through which he provides legal services for women in two rural counties who have been abused. He does divorces, child custody, restraining orders, etc. He actually makes $27,700 a year right now, but will probably get a raise soon to be around $33,000.

Our loans are made up of loans for our undergrad degrees, his law school and my MSW. I work in a mental health program in a prison as a Psychiatric Social Worker.

$130K in student loans - that's our mortgage. Of course, we still have to pay for somewhere to live. We can't buy a house because our long term debt to income ratio is too out of whack. DH gets about half his loans paid each month by his school, but everything else is on us. We pay about $1000 each month for student loans. Were we to have a baby, we could reorganize and get that monthly cost to be lower, but we're still ultimately responsible to pay those loans at some point over the next 30 years.

We chose this situation. We are both ambitious and passionate about what we do, and we wanted to have the best tools possible to do our jobs. Hence, lots of schooling. I didn't chose my field because I would make lot of money (I won't) but because I felt I had an opportunity to do something meaningful. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm scared about our financial situation.

We will have enough to eat, we will have a roof over our heads, but I guess I'm looking for a little more financial security than that. I want to know that we'll be able to pay all of our bills each month, pay for healthcare and put a little in savings to use for emergencies. I also want to know that we're at least on the way to being able to buy a house. Renting is not a recipe for long term financial stability.

So these are the issues my DH and I are struggling with right now. Just as I think it is terribly inappropriate for the OP's family to question her decision to have another child, I think it is inappropriate to be dismissive of my financial concerns. I do appreciate the support I've received from MDC -- I never would have thought that things like cloth diapers could be such a good option. And I think there is a great community here of women who understand my desire to SAH even if it is a financially difficult decision.

Anyway, I apologize for my mistake in phrasing. We would <i>feel</i> poor. I am afraid of having more going out each month than coming in, and the desperate feeling of juggling bills, of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

But I am still really shocked by how cruel people were toward me. Go back and read what you said about me, and just think for a second how that must have made me feel.
post #91 of 130
Michelle, I'm sorry I didn't say anything earlier but I thought you were being used on this thread. Good on you for responding so nicely.

These things just seem to happen every once and a while but it sucks none the less.

It's not you.
post #92 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mimie
Whoa.

I am very shocked by how nasty some of you have been toward me.

Let me rephrase, since it was a three word phrase that set quite a few people off. We would FEEL very, very poor were we to lose half our income.

We do have over $100K in student loans. My husband works for LEGAL AID on a grant, through which he provides legal services for women in two rural counties who have been abused. He does divorces, child custody, restraining orders, etc. He actually makes $27,700 a year right now, but will probably get a raise soon to be around $33,000.

Our loans are made up of loans for our undergrad degrees, his law school and my MSW. I work in a mental health program in a prison as a Psychiatric Social Worker.

$130K in student loans - that's our mortgage. Of course, we still have to pay for somewhere to live. We can't buy a house because our long term debt to income ratio is too out of whack. DH gets about half his loans paid each month by his school, but everything else is on us. We pay about $1000 each month for student loans. Were we to have a baby, we could reorganize and get that monthly cost to be lower, but we're still ultimately responsible to pay those loans at some point over the next 30 years.

We chose this situation. We are both ambitious and passionate about what we do, and we wanted to have the best tools possible to do our jobs. Hence, lots of schooling. I didn't chose my field because I would make lot of money (I won't) but because I felt I had an opportunity to do something meaningful. But it doesn't change the fact that I'm scared about our financial situation.

We will have enough to eat, we will have a roof over our heads, but I guess I'm looking for a little more financial security than that. I want to know that we'll be able to pay all of our bills each month, pay for healthcare and put a little in savings to use for emergencies. I also want to know that we're at least on the way to being able to buy a house. Renting is not a recipe for long term financial stability.

So these are the issues my DH and I are struggling with right now. Just as I think it is terribly inappropriate for the OP's family to question her decision to have another child, I think it is inappropriate to be dismissive of my financial concerns. I do appreciate the support I've received from MDC -- I never would have thought that things like cloth diapers could be such a good option. And I think there is a great community here of women who understand my desire to SAH even if it is a financially difficult decision.

Anyway, I apologize for my mistake in phrasing. We would <i>feel</i> poor. I am afraid of having more going out each month than coming in, and the desperate feeling of juggling bills, of robbing Peter to pay Paul.

But I am still really shocked by how cruel people were toward me. Go back and read what you said about me, and just think for a second how that must have made me feel.

I wanted to say that I did understand where you were coming from and the points you bring up really are valid. In the end no one can really judge another's situation unless they have walked in that person's shoes.

One thing that a thread like this brings out is that we are all coming from a different perspective as far as our value system. Rather than berate or denigrate one another, discussions like this IMO provide for rich learning.

Shay
post #93 of 130
Mimie, I'm really glad that you brought this up, because it helped me to look at the lawyer comments on the last page without being so angry I could cry.

I'm studying to be an attorney. For my first summer position, I worked at a non-profit that works with kids who have special health care needs and families with young children, and advocates for their access to health care. It totally changed my life -- there is nothing like coming home at the end of the day and realising that you helped save a baby from starving to death because her parents couldn't afford the expensive prescription formula she needed, or that you helped a nine year old boy with autism learn to say "mama" for the very first time because without your work on his case he would never have gotten the therapy he needed to learn to speak. What I do is just massively, insanely important to me.

But my ability to continue to DO that work is totally threatened by the fact that it only pays $26K a year -- too much to qualify for loan repayment assistence (Which, by the by, is not provided by 'the school', but by student orginizations who raise and invest funds to make those payments. It's a total grassroots thing -- so if you care about affordable legal services, buy a cookie from them, huh?) but too little to pay my $1000 a month in loans and still make the rent and bills. Yeah, I could take my JD and my experience in health care law and work for an insurance company making $60-80K per year working 60+ hour weeks and helping insurance companies screw working families out of benefits, starve babies and keep children from learning to speak --- but that's not what I went to law school to do. And I couldn't live with myself if I did that. And I think it's insensitive and insulting to complain about the lack of affordable legal services and people pushing for social change and call all lawyers sharks while at the same time poo-pooing anyone who doesn't take their JD and use it to make a mint and screw over the working class, you know?

And for the record, I would totally call our income very, very poor if I took that job. $26K per year - $12K of loan repayment doesn't leave a whole heck of a lot for three people to live on. (DH will still be in school when I graduate - woe betide us when we have to start paying his student loans off) and I may very will simply not be able to afford to take that job, and need to find some sort of comprimise between selling my soul and not knowing where food is coming from. I also thing a huge part of being very, very poor is the sense of living on the egde -- one financial problem, one illness, one job loss or layoff, one car repair from out of the blue and you really are left wondering how you're going to put food in your bellies and keep warm now the heat has been disconnected. I think regardless of income anyone living in that situation has the right to consider themselves poor.
post #94 of 130
Belleweather

and

Thank you.

And, btw, I *hate* insurance companies.

My SIL is a legal executive for a big hmo and that $60-80K figure, well, you should add another digit.

Debra Baker
post #95 of 130
Babies aren't expensive. I'll agree with that! That's how I got my third! (c'mon honey, breastmilk is free - I'm staying home - we can use hand-me-downs.......)

Kids are expensive. Very expensive. Mine are 7 1/2, 9 1/2 and 11. The dental bills alone are staggering. Now I'm looking at 4k for my dd's hearing aids. dd9 has allergies. I've picked up two different prescriptions in the last 2 weeks trying to get her some relief. My ds11 is allergic to tennis shoes (yep! lucky me!) so he needs cream for that.

I'm not the kind of mom that schedules the kids either. We really take it easy and feel like it is important for the kids to hang out and run around after school. But it is important for kids to have some activities. And it's expensive. Then there's the food! Those little suckers can EAT! My grocery bill for my 9 and 11 year olds is crazy!

Kids are expensive. The thought of paying for college is making me ill. I'm banking on the boys getting scholarships - dd too I hope!
post #96 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belleweather

But my ability to continue to DO that work is totally threatened by the fact that it only pays $26K a year -- too much to qualify for loan repayment assistence (Which, by the by, is not provided by 'the school', but by student orginizations who raise and invest funds to make those payments. It's a total grassroots thing -- so if you care about affordable legal services, buy a cookie from them, huh?) but too little to pay my $1000 a month in loans and still make the rent and bills. Yeah, I could take my JD and my experience in health care law and work for an insurance company making $60-80K per year working 60+ hour weeks and helping insurance companies screw working families out of benefits, starve babies and keep children from learning to speak --- but that's not what I went to law school to do. And I couldn't live with myself if I did that. And I think it's insensitive and insulting to complain about the lack of affordable legal services and people pushing for social change and call all lawyers sharks while at the same time poo-pooing anyone who doesn't take their JD and use it to make a mint and screw over the working class, you know?

And for the record, I would totally call our income very, very poor if I took that job. $26K per year - $12K of loan repayment doesn't leave a whole heck of a lot for three people to live on. (DH will still be in school when I graduate - woe betide us when we have to start paying his student loans off) and I may very will simply not be able to afford to take that job, and need to find some sort of comprimise between selling my soul and not knowing where food is coming from. I also thing a huge part of being very, very poor is the sense of living on the egde -- one financial problem, one illness, one job loss or layoff, one car repair from out of the blue and you really are left wondering how you're going to put food in your bellies and keep warm now the heat has been disconnected. I think regardless of income anyone living in that situation has the right to consider themselves poor.
These are some really valid points. Again its a matter of perspective, some people may not mind living on the edge but for others its a truly uncomfortable feeling. I must admit I was raised by parents who lived on the edge and as adults both my brother & I are people who like feeling secure. Security is not always defined as a big house, car, etc. In some cases its just knowing that if a partner loses a job, your next stop is not public assistance and dodging bill collectors.

Also you bring up the point of wanting to take your education and do good works versus being out for self and making a ton of $$. Its a hard struggle when you are socially minded and want to make a difference because for those who have not walked in your shoes its hard to understand the struggle you face. Again speaking from experience, both dh & I hold BA's and masters degrees (well technically mine will be issued in a few mos) yet our salary is crap considering the investment made to get us through school.(the old income to debt ratio) I am constantly dealing with family members who assume we are living well because we have degrees. Education is a tool that can be useful but when you are guided by an internal value system it does not always get you ahead by the standards of the world.

In any event, I will stop my rambling and just say that I agree if someone feels poor, they are entitled to their feelings. In some ways its the old grass isn't greener on the other side. To someone who has never made more than a minimal amount of mony, a higher salary seems great. However if having that higher incomes comes with higher debt and responsibility then perhaps its not as food of a deal as originally thought.
post #97 of 130
Thank you for your support, IdentityCrisisMama, Shayinme, Belleweather, DebraBaker, and Lab (and everyone who was supportive earlier in the thread). It really does make me feel much better.

Anyway, I wanted to clarify something. While I am very nervous about our financial situation, I do feel very fortunate. I guess I feel like feeling poor (as in worrying about $$$) and feeling sorry for myself don't necessarily have to go hand in hand. I wish we weren't constrained by debt, I wish we could buy a house, but OTOH, I feel very lucky to have had the option to choose what I want to do with my life. My husband has had that opportunity as well. Even though I don't make a lot of money compared to other professions, I get to do work that while incredibly challenging at times, makes me feel pretty satisfied.

So... sorry for being OT. I think the OP's experiences just go to show how careful we should be about trying to judge other's financial situation. i know I have friends who make way more than we do, who are worried financially about starting a family, and it just makes me want to pull my hair out. But I'm trying to look at it from the perspective that I just don't know everything about their situation - sure, they just bought a gorgeous house, but I bet they've got a pretty hefty mortgage payment every month that's still going to be there for a long time. Just like the OP's SIL sure as hell doesn't know everything about her situation.

And, although I want to make sure some financial issues are worked out before we TTC, I would never, EVER judge a family who had a child with less resources. I honsetly think that as long as the basic necessities are there, it is the PARENTS, not the child, who will be impacted most by the financial situation. I think my baby would be properly cared for and loved, no matter what, but I might be stressed and anxious if we were to have trouble paying our bills and saving for things that are important to us. Strong, loving, good parents come from every background, and kids with good parents thrive.
post #98 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by MotherEden
I dont know what school mimie's husband went to but many many law schools forgive your student loans per year for every year you work for something like legal aid.

Oh, if only it were quite that nice and tidy..... : BTDT.....know how much they forgive....about $500/every 4 months of employment in the public sector. You do the math. That's 1500 a year. Divide that by somewhere upwards of $100K in school loans and you'd be working a loooooooooong time to get that debt paid off. Not to mention that you're getting paid about 60% less, if not more than that, than any of your colleagues for doing harder work. Nope, that concept just doesn't work here.....

Sorry, I just had to address that one.
post #99 of 130
(Read the whole thread and cool to you moms who discussed your feelings and got to the point you got to. Wow, Way cool).

As others before me have said. Babies are not costly, unless you lack insurance and need help.

But kids are a different story.

I know we could say no to quality food, music lessons, drawing classes, school trips, museum memberships, someday college (only for those who choose it, of course! I know there is more than one ticket to being happy & 'educated') etc. Plus, one of my children who did a yr in public school is going back to his old private school next fall. (Refuses to hs again).

We have not had to do any Pottery Barn bedrooms or even $60 sneakers, but the other stuff- the music, the braces? Yeah. That costs. I don't think we are extravagant or over-scheduled, but there are some things that are healthy aand make life pleasant that we want them to have. My kids involved with music are really involved with music. It's life to them. My artist spends hours a day creating art. None of this enrichment is cheap, although like I said, I know they are considered 'luxuries'. I am grateful we can do this for our children, but none of it is cheap. Keeping an active 16 yr old boy in enough healthy, organic food is a financial challenge in and of itself.
post #100 of 130
I was in a taxi yesterday with my cousin her 4 month ds & my 10 month ds. She was chatting to the taxi driver about how she wants more benefits because babies are soo expensive - nappies, milk etc I just smiled and said that i went for the cheep option and breastfed and used cloth nappies.

I think babies are as expesive as you want them to be - we are lucky and have been given loads of clothes from friends who's children have outgrown them, we co-sleep, make our own baby food, buy toys from charity shops, and we don't go out in the evenings at the moment, so that has saved a heap. but i imagine we will spend more on him as he grows but i don't think you have to or your child will be any better off if you have lots of cash - i always remember that it was my parents time and attention i wanted not toys or activities.
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