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It's just too expensive to have kids - Page 2

post #21 of 72
I think kids are expensive even cutting corners and being as frugual as possible. They are worth it though.

post #22 of 72
Having another child would be extremely costly to us because of my fertility problems. IVF isn't cheap and it will be a while before we can save enough money to do it. It's not so much the baby that's necessarily expensive, for us its the conception.
post #23 of 72
I have found that while babies can be cheap, they get older and the expenses go up! Wait until you have teen-agers. They can eat. And eat. And at that age they tend to wear out their clothing. I buy some things resale, but with two kids that are hard to fit - it ain't easy to find stuff. I do better with overstocks and outlets, but that is nowhere near as cheap as 'council for the blind' or 'goodwill' where I can find TONS of pristine baby clothing and toys. Don't even get me started on what I paid for school supplies this year. It is obscene. Yes, they are worth it, yes I would do it again, but no, they are NOT cheap.
post #24 of 72
If we didn't have good insurance, our son would have been very expensive even before he was born. I went into early labor at 6 months, had to go on complete bedrest, leave my job early, have bi-weekly monitoring at the hospital, caregiver at home. I don't even want to think about the cost (financial and emotional) if he had been born that early. So many people are lacking good insurance. I just don't see how a blanket statement can be made that children are inexpensive.

I agree that most of the "stuff" people think they need is unnecessary spending though.

I have managed to clothe my kids with mostly hand-me-downs and consignment. As they reach age 4 though, the pickings are slim, as kids start staying in one size long enough to wear it all out. And I cannot dig through thrift or mend clothes with my high needs toddler with me 24/7.

I don't think people should feel they have to wait to start families if they want to, but it can be a struggle. I have been able to stay home and we are fine with my husband's salary, but I have friends who don't have money, partners, etc., and it is hard, even when just trying to provide love, healthy food, shelter, and clothing.

post #25 of 72
I live in the UK- therefore no spending on healthcare for my boys, one of whom has a chronic illness, on their births (homebirth with midwife led antenatal care) and subsidised childcare, and some government handouts that aren't means-tested. And I would never, ever be stupid enough as to say that kids are cheap. Not unless your children are completely lacking in ambition- to create pictures, to make music, to take part in sports, to follow their dreams. Music lessons, free karate lessons (dad's an instructor) and woodcraft folk multiplied by two cost the same as a week's shopping. (The violin lessons are subsidised.)
If someone says they can't afford kids, all power to them. They're taking control of their lives and their priorities and I respect that. If people say that kids are important to them and they're going to find a way to make that possible financially, I respect that too. I don't see it's anyone else's business.
post #26 of 72
Originally Posted by Messac888
I don't mind if people don't want to have kids, but it irritates me when they say it's because of money. If you don't want kids, don't have kids. Period. But stop making excuses.
I think it's a fine reason to put off having kids. Some people might be struggling to pay off student loans, credit card debt, hospital bills, etc. I'm really in no position to be judging other's financial abilities.

Babies are not expensive in their necessities, but necessities increase as they get older. For some, the loss of one income and the additional cost of health insurance can be hard. It sure is for us.
post #27 of 72
Get back to me when you have more than one kid

- You have no help from family.
- So you put the older child in prechool so you can nap with the younger child, have a bit of a break, or go grocery shopping w/o having more than one child with you.
- Your child starts wearing size 4 and up (There isn't half the selection in the thrift stores for these sizes compared to baby clothes)
- Your child is weaned and starts eating like a horse

Yup, they are expensive. And I didn't buy Baby Einstien or sign up for Gymboree classes. We didn't pay for any type of classes until my oldest started preschool at age 3. I get creative and sell things on ebay for extra money. But it's still as struggle. I would never criticize someone that would delay having children because of the cost. What's wrong with being fiscally responsible?
post #28 of 72
Money is a big reason that I probably will have just one.

If you have good insurance and your medical/dental/birthing costs were covered, then consider yourself lucky. But please don't make rash judgements about others, who may not be so lucky. Having to pay for medical ins--plus deductibles and high coinsurance, dental, and birthing costs (I had mat ins with dd, but still paid $3000 out of pocket) for one child is *daunting*, and doubling those costs may not be realistic for some people.
post #29 of 72
Originally Posted by Heffernhyphen
I think the hospital when he was born ran us $100, but you could skip the hospital entirely.

There's the occasional $20 co-pay at the ped, but he's very healthy so no medicine or treatments.

Not everyone one has health insurance, though. If you don't, all the yard sales and co-sleeping in the world isn't going to make up for it...and don't get me started on college fees.

We can only afford one child.
post #30 of 72
Originally Posted by hhurd
Not everyone one has health insurance, though. If you don't, all the yard sales and co-sleeping in the world isn't going to make up for it...and don't get me started on college fees.

We can only afford one child.

College is insane. I know all the arguments--they don't have to go, they can pay for it themselves, they can get scholarships, they can get loans, they can work etc.

The fact is most private colleges cost over 40k (I don;t think a kid is gonna make 40 k working part time at McD's). Sure your kid can go to community college and sure they can go to state schools (which is great if you live in CA)...but what if there is a particular thing your child wants to do at a particular college? What it after two years of community college, she wants to study music at Berkely, or writing at Emerson...or law (g-d forbid), at Harvard?

There is no way of getting around the cost. Not even if you have saved (good luck on having saved 400k in 18 years), not even if your child has a loan or two or four, not even if their summer job had them saving 3k in six weeks. Do the math , even for state schools.

Just do the math. I don't think people understand the totally raw deal Americans are getting. There is no other country asking families to put up all this money for a uni education. Ask a Canadian what the tution is at Concordia or McGill, say, Vs a private college in the US. American universities are asking families to mortgage their homes to pay tution.
post #31 of 72
Moved to Frugality & Finances...
post #32 of 72
I think OP has a good point to a degree. Kids don't have to be expensive as regards to 'stuff'. You CAN do it w/out buying all the things deemed 'necessary' (unless of course a special needs child blesses your family).

I always think of how ppl do it in less affluent countries. They don't have cribs, strollers, highchairs, etc. Kids are still able to thrive without toys r us.

The year ds came we made 9k.... he survived as well as we did. Its all a matter of perspective and what is important in your life.

As for juding others - its none of my business what they decided to do. But sharing my experience with others is an eye opener and shows it CAN be done and cheaply!
post #33 of 72
Frankly, I am glad to hear people say that they don't have kids because they cannot afford them. At least they are thinking ahead. I think what makes me crazy is the opposite statement--We can't afford to XYZ because we have kids. As if they didn't expect them to cost money. The one that comes to mind is "We can't afford to have one of us stay home".
Well, that's fine if you have to work--but it does become an excuse for SOME people to avoid being with their child on a daily basis. And yes, some parents do have to work--especially single moms and low-income families. I get that.
But others refuse to give up their lifestyles in order to have these "expensive" or "not expensive" kids (according to the OP)--take your pick.

We waited until we could afford to have children to have them. I was 38 when my first was born. It allowed us to live very comfortably without being completely strapped from check to check. It allows us to have 529 plans (financial plans for college) for BOTH of our children. It allowed us to pay for costly medical bills for our first (who has special needs)--therapy and co-pays for medical bills. These things were unexpected.
And it means that we can do fun things as a family once in a while without worrying how we'll pay for the water bill the following month. We have a family vacation once a year.

I think children CAN be expensive at any age--without the commercialized garbage that many of us think about automatically when we think "waste" (and what the OP is talking about).
Medical bills, college plans, savings accounts, etc.,--these things do add up.

I applaud the people who know their shortcomings (financial and otherwise) and do not bring children into the world because they are unprepared for parenthood.
post #34 of 72
I think we are all in agreement that babies and toddlers, as long as they are healthy and have insurance, are cheap--nearly free, really, when you use any second hand diapers and other things peole give you. I don't think my first child cost a dime for several years. Now he's 16 and well, it's costly to keep a 16 yr old in whole organic food and music lessons. :

well worth it , but not cheap.
post #35 of 72
you make a good point. And almost everyone I know who has ever said to me "I can't afford a child right now" was takling about "I can't affoprd to have a child and stay home" because just because you have a baby doesn't mean your debt is any smaller, your car cost any less, your house cost any less, those student loans magically go down . . . .

On an reletively unrelated not I can't see how most poeple can afford daycare and still bring home the bacon? daycare here for 2 chidlren cost $1000 a month. At my highest income that is what I made . . . .and part time is almost impossible to find. most people who need parttime have to pay for full time.

also being below a certain level of income makes it a little easier to afford your kids. Suddenly you get lots of free perks. 100% coverage for medical care and dental and eye, free food, housing assistance, free classes for your kids. child care assistance, free clothes and supplies, reduced prices for buss passes, pool passes and other memberships in the community, free lunch (all year round, regardless of age) free/discoutned school and classes for you (granted I live in a pretty help friendsly county. All you have to do is flash your "poor" card. (it is amazing what a medicaid card will get you around here)

We never lived better than when our income was at its lowest. that is when my kids got lessons and classes and stuff and new clothes. Suddenly our income was freed up for them. And all we had was medicaid and WIC. but WIC reduced our grocery bill by at least a $150 a month and medicaid meant no Dr. for my dissasterous child who had had 3 full body xrays by a year (she seriously could get hit by a truck in our living room. that child just attracts injury). Als having the medicaid card afforded us free classes and activities and cheap swimming lessons and pool passes. all the things we couldn't afford before. We agonized over every raise in pay. It would have to be significant to cover all that we would lose if our income went up much. (we made $1000 a year under the line but would have lost about $1000 a month in benifits) We ended up loosing otu caverage when we bought a house. it sucks. It sucks listening to your child struggle to breath and not be able to afford $1000 for an emergancy room visit. It sucks saying "no you can't have that skateboard because you might hurt yourself and we can't risk that. I wish I could afford to put a little more fun in my childrens lives ya know.
post #36 of 72
Originally Posted by flapjack
If someone says they can't afford kids, all power to them. They're taking control of their lives and their priorities and I respect that. If people say that kids are important to them and they're going to find a way to make that possible financially, I respect that too. I don't see it's anyone else's business.

I agree that AP is cheap - cloth diapering (especially if you buy used prefolds like I did), bf, co-sleeping... cheap! But, living on one income is tough. Health and dental insurance are *so* not cheap, and if you have a big deductible like we do, you're paying out of pocket for everything on top of premiums. That is our biggest expense.
post #37 of 72
Are all babies expensive? No. Are all babies cheap? No.

The bottom line is you can hope and pray for a healythy baby and an easy delivery but you never know what will happen. Yes there can be complications that can add up or youmay have no trouble at all. Yes, its great to have friends and relatives lend you hand me downs and donate supplies, but not everyone has someone to help with that. I think a lot of it can be a gamble.

For us having this baby is costing us dearly. Yes, it was our choice to adopt and I wouldn't turn back, but the bottom line is everything requires money. Even when the adoption is complete I will have to add the baby onto my insurance, loosing money from my check. I need to work to get insurance, so I am not able to stay home, so I will be paying for daycare. Formula, yes this is my choice, but still I need to figure in money. And what if the baby gets sick? WHat if I have to miss work?

Botom line is that nobody knows...
post #38 of 72
In some ways, I think that whether or not kids are "really" expensive is beside the point. There have been good posts here on both sides--people who have found raising kids not to be expensive and people who, for whatever reason, have. The OP's complaint was about people who say they're not having kids yet because of the expense. And, really, I don't see why any of us have the right to judge that. If people PERCEIVE that kids are too expensive for them, why is that a bad reason to wait? Even if people want to wait until they have enough money for lessons and a nanny and disposable diapers--things that many people here are happy to do without--why is it wrong for them to wait to have kids until they feel more ready to do those things? My sister wanted to wait until her business was well-established before she had kids. Did she "need" to that?--no, in the sense that they could have easily supported kids on her dh's salary alone. But she wanted to wait until she felt a certain amount of long-term financial security and could provide her kids with "extras" that were important to her. I just don't see the problem with that. People should have kids when they FEEL ready--and what they need to feel ready varies from person to person.
post #39 of 72
The older the kids they more they eat :LOL
Clothes for us are cheep as we yard sale and pass the clothes down.

We have home births and the first 2 cost us 1,400 apeice and 3rd cost us 1,800.

But the biggest expense is food.
We plan on a garden next year so that should cut the cost a bit.

We will homeschool, dont know yet will that will cost us.
post #40 of 72
Originally Posted by tara
Health and dental insurance are *so* not cheap
We pay $418 a month for our health insurance, and that's HALF the cost. Dh's company pays the other half. And that doesn't include our oldest daughter (who hasn't arrived), who will cost an additional BUNDLE to add to the insurance. We have $20 co-pays and between $10 and $50 copays for medications.

Someone posted earlier about the raw deal Americans get for education. Well, we get a raw deal for healthcare, too. I heard recently that some large proportion of people who go bankrupt (don't remember the percentage, but it surprised me) do so because of medical bills. In this country we allow people to go BANKRUPT to obtain what other countries regard as a right, not a privilege.

This is a country of seriously misplaced priorities.


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