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It's just too expensive to have kids - Page 3

post #41 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama
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.
:

The price for student insurance (student plus spouse) is over $400/month. And this is for people they *know* are broke!
post #42 of 72
I figured the understanding that we also get a raw deal for health care was already common knowledge here at MDC.

In case anyone reading this thread is under the mistaken impression health care coverage is good and comprehenisve in the US-- it's not.
post #43 of 72
It's not the baby part, it's the kids and beyond part of their lives that is expensive. Ds isn't costing us much. Baby cloths are so easy to find second hand, but older kids cloths are not. This month alone I have spent $290 for bussing (if I drive them then I pay the same amount in lunch room fees), $120 in school resourse fees, $460 for indoor soccer (because I want my kids to get excersize and be in social situations outside of school, plus I'm on the soccer board and it's a great organization. Soccer is also the cheapest sport out there), $90 for soccer shoes and chin pads (for both girls), $150 for back pack/lunch bags/2 pairs of jeans. Needless to say we are flat broke until payday.

On payday the girls need some cloths because both went through and enormous growth spurt over the summer. Both of my girls can only wear slim pants with an adjustable waist and guess what? Old Navy and the Gap are the only places I can get them. I buy only when they have a sale. I buy jeans because they wear better. The girls only get 2 nice dressy outfits in their current size. Sometimes the youngest gets hand-me-down, but they usually don't fit her because she's very skinny and straight while her sister is curvy and stalkier.

My kids don't get fancy furnature or toys. I have refinished the furnature they do have to look nice. They don't have fancy toys. They have game boys which were given to them at Christmas and cheap stereos given for their birthdays. They don't have many games or cd's though. We took a trip to the coast and camped because it was the cheapest way to do it. We had a blast, but it still cost us $1200 to do it. Totally worth it but dh and I could have gone to Cancun for the same money and been in a warm bed with a hot shower. :LOL

We needed a mini van which makes things even tighter. We sold all other cars and now just have the van so we could make it. No car or SUV could hold the 5 of us safely. We didn't buy new, but it's not old either because we can't afford repairs on an older car.

Yes, kids are expensive. Perhaps people who state that are looking ahead? Babies are not a lot of money, but they grow up and their needs change. There is nothing wrong with making sure you are financially prepared for children. However, most people are never really financially prepared for children.

I love my girls and my son. I love my family. Sometimes I get a little down because it's like our money is always leaving our account. My dh makes a very good wage and I'm able to stay at home. However, things are very tight and we need to watch every penny. If we didn't have the kids we would be in a totally different place and enjoying a different lifestyle. But that's not the life we choose.

I wanted to add that I live in Canada and we pay a provincal healthcare fee of $75/month for our family. Not every provence pays this, but we do. I couldn't imagine paying hundreds for insurance. We also contribute $300/month into RRSP's throught dh's work because they match that amount monthly. We have studen loans, a car loan and a house payment. We have 1 car. No credit cards or other bank loans. Dh is in the third tax bracket and we are still struggling. Dh and I don't get new cloths unless they are from Costco because they are durrable and cheap. I have a friend that does my hair. We don't go out because we can't affor a sitter AND the evening out. I buy 1 bottle of wine every 2 weeks because I enjoy a glass from time to time and dh buys 1 bottle of wiskey every 2 months. We don't smoke. I buy locally and organically when I can, but I usually can't. I cook from scratch. And we are still struggling.
post #44 of 72
Not to mention all the stuff they break, ruin, destroy. The front window, the living room lamp, the peeling wallpaper upstairs. Oops, Mama, I had an accident and crashed my bike into the neighbors brand new car.

Yeah, damage control can get pretty costly...
post #45 of 72
Ahh, damage control. I can't count the number of stitches my brother and I had between us. :LOL I had a finger severed when I was 6 mos old (accidentally slammed in a door), and my brother was a spirited boy who loved to climb and jump and get stitches once every few months.
post #46 of 72
This is a great thread. I've enjoyed reading the responses. So here is my 2 cents:

Financially, sure, children can be expensive. Even if you yard sale, etc. It still adds up and way back before kids maybe that yard sale money went to a night out. In the long run, for us, DS costs us nothing. We prayed for 2 years for a healthy baby and got a "no" for months. I wouldn't care if he cost us $1 million dollars a day. Seeing him smile and grow and just being with him is priceless. My parents were on welfare when I was born and growing up we had some lean times, but I know they never said, "Gee if we never had that 3rd kid we wouldn't be strapped."
post #47 of 72
Thread Starter 
I love the passionate debates we MDC mamas have. It's so enlightening to see all the different perspectives and learn from so many different teachers. I wonder how my parenting would be different if I'd never stumbled across MDC.

When I originally posted my comments about how inexpensive raising my son has been so far, it was really more of an observation than a complaint about others who say they can't afford it. My point was not to slam them, but really to congratulate myself (and other mamas who parent upstream, rather than in the mainstream) for finding another (better) way.

If anyone took offense, I'm sorry. As I told my husband, I swear I could post the question, "Do you like mandarin oranges or tangerines better?" and I'd get a fight from somebody. Guess it's because we're all such devoted, interested parents.
post #48 of 72
We too are in Canada, and although those major things are covered...the extras are not and with my jaw issues its a tonne the insurance company is moving to deny my last surgery funny how they covered the last three, its only 800 dollars but I counted on it...we have fifty bucks.

I have cried for 3 hours tonight. 7 years of braces I get them off today and I am so sick over that 800 dollars they promised would be paid then they denied it....I just lost it. I haven't even looked at my teeth.... (maybe I would if it was all over but I have a few more surgeries to go ... and the reasons for the trauma to my face to begin with...having the indignity to pay to correct abuse done to you.....well.....poor insurance customer service agent who took my call

Sure kids are expensive but life is so expensive lately...I have little to cut back on = okay maybe my fluff....and we don't make bad flow - but we got car payments, a credit card, student loans...

Quote:
And we are still struggling
sometimes I get upset when people ask me dumb questions like why don't I put my kid into private nursery school, hire a cleaning lady a few times a week....get my hair done, wear makeup. The first causalty of a frugal family is mom. its me.

But for it all and its all relative, but I hate when people point out to me that kids are expensive we better stop - if I haven't borrowed money off you don't tell me what to do with my few bucks they are MINE Like since when did having more $ make you better able to 'provide' for your kids....cause sometimes kids don't need the stuff money buys (nannies, cleaningladies, etc. sometimes they just need mom, family...
post #49 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2six
I have found that while babies can be cheap, they get older and the expenses go up!.
That is soooo true.I'm just thinking of this year's dentist co-payment.yes,we have insurance ( whatever it's good for )

600 by June *sigh*
post #50 of 72
I guess what really frusterates me about the whole issue is that I'm hearing lots of other mamas say that they really want to give their kids lessons and vacations and clothes and health insurance and college and pets and some of those 'extras' beyond just the basics, which I think is totally logical. But when I say that this is the reason that I intend to continue to work rather than stay at home, suddenly these exact same little 'extras' that everyone wants to give their kids are luxuries that I should give up so that I can spend more time at home, and make me one of those evil mamas who works because she wants to, not because she has to.

DH and I have been incredibally blessed in this pregnancy. Just incredibally blessed -- we concieved on a last-ditch effort at natural treatment before IVF, we've been given nearly everything we need for the baby either from the local freecycle list or friends and family handing down what they don't need or found at a garage sale, so that our total pregnancy and baby-related expenses have been less than $400, and we're splitting the birth center cost between us and our medical insurance, which pays for a breast pump and any supplementary care I or the baby need. Dh and I are even able to split our hours so one of us can watch the baby full time and not pay for day care.
But the sad reality is that I still have to return to work 6 weeks post-partum because even with the baby costing us nearly nothing, we can't take the hit to the household income that would result from my losing my (part time, but abominably well paid) job.

On the other hand, I think there is something to the idea that you shouldn't put off having children just because you think you're not financially ready. Partly, I'm sure I think that because of our experiences with infertility and the fact that a lot of women don't know they're going to have problems until they begin trying. While DH and I could have waited a couple of years until we're out of school and into very well paid professions, by that time my disease might have progressed to the point of making it impossible.

It's kind of like a master card commercial... some things really are priceless.
post #51 of 72
I think dc are expensive, we payed out of pocket for our CNM and the birth, next time it will be a homebirth so a little cheaper. We bf, co-sleep, get all our clothes at the thrift store, along with most of dd's toys. We have spend alot on organic food, and have spent a small fortune on dd's allergies. We have membership to the children's museum, and the day at the pool once or twice a month, other then that we don't pay for activites. We will homeschool so I'll spend money on some good educational toys and stuff. We go to ND's and chiros to stay in good health, it's not covered by insurance, and not cheap. Plus my lost income as a RN, our life insurance policies, and our worthless health insurance that runs over $300.00 a month for a family of 3 which covers nothing but major medical.
post #52 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by huggerwocky
That is soooo true.I'm just thinking of this year's dentist co-payment.yes,we have insurance ( whatever it's good for )

600 by June *sigh*
Tell me about it. Dental insurance covers $1500 of orthodontics - which are going to cost us a whopping $4000 per kid. And NOT doing it (as some elsewhere have suggested) is not really an option b/c I have kids that have delayed eruption - meaning the teeth won't come in until we move stuff out of the way. I'm not so cruel as to leave my 13 year-old with two front teeth (which look like they are shoved back in his mouth too) and then a big gap until you get to his bicuspids.
post #53 of 72
Good thread. It is more expensive than I thought it would be and we too have garage sale stuff and gifts to keep us going. Hubby gave up his job so I could finish grad school and hopefully get a good job --we are living on my small teaching stipend (800 per month) and it is VERY difficult -- our credit cards are ugly! Anyway, we didn't want to put our dd in a daycare so early on and having dad stay home seemed the best option...

One idea for college: lots of secretaries, food service ppl, parking garage and maintanence workers do what they do here because TUITION IS FREE FOR THEIR DCS! I think they have to pay taxes or something but its a big private uni ...Faculty too have this benefit. Anyway, when I am feeling sick of it all and wanting to quit and such I remember that teaching somewhere might be my dd ticket through higher ed...

Just a thought Just thinking about buying her winter clothing right now is quite enough really!
post #54 of 72

Two incomes to make ends meet

I'm sorry, I didn't have time to read through all the thread. : But maybe sometimes when you hear people say that they just don't have the money to start a family, that they don't really mean all the gadgets or even medical or educational expenses. It takes both my dh's and my income to make ends meet, and we live quite frugally. We've never even gone on a vacation. If we were to have a baby right now, I'm not sure how we could afford to live. We both have to work to pay our basic bills, so how do we pay for childcare? If one of us stays at home to care for baby and we lose an income, where does the money come from for food, rent, heat, gas?

Will our lives always be this way? Of course not. But it would be irresponsible of us to start a family right now. Please be gentle with people who mention how expensive it will be for them to have children. They might REALLY mean it!
post #55 of 72
I was just reading on this topic. Do you own more than one pair of shoes, have more than one choice about what to eat for a meal, have access to your own transportation, or own more than one set of underwear? A yes to 3 of those questions means you are affluent. Until Amercans change the way we parent, the rest of the world's children will continue to starve. Soccer lessons? Brazilian soccer superstars learn on the street, often with fruit because they cannot afford a ball. We had an accidental pregnancy 3 weeks after our wedding. Student loans? Credit Cards? We can't pay them. Maybe later. Property? Don't own it. Everyone has their priorities, I guess, but to me good credit is not as important as good parenting- which to me means someone who loves our high needs dc is her primary caregiver. Isn't financial security a myth? Think of Katrina victims. Enron victims. Many financially 'secure' beforehand. Part of me thinks, every couple that puts off parenting helps the overpopulation problem. But another part thinks, in this part of the country, it's usually the liberals that put off parenting, so it hurts the future generation.
post #56 of 72
post #57 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by provocativa
I was just reading on this topic. Do you own more than one pair of shoes, have more than one choice about what to eat for a meal, have access to your own transportation, or own more than one set of underwear? A yes to 3 of those questions means you are affluent.
I agree that comparing being poor - even being very poor in America is quite different than being poor in the third world. But the real issue here is that we all live in the industrialized first world which means that for a variety of reasons having to do with safety ordinances, zoning, price controls and import/export tariffs, we have to pay for first world prices for housing, food, and other goods. We make first world salaries when we work, but they don't quite keep up. Living in a palapa-roofed hut in the woods isn't an option for most of us. You're comparing apples to watermelons.

Quote:
We had an accidental pregnancy 3 weeks after our wedding. Student loans? Credit Cards? We can't pay them. Maybe later. Property? Don't own it. Everyone has their priorities, I guess, but to me good credit is not as important as good parenting- which to me means someone who loves our high needs dc is her primary caregiver.
If not paying your bills works for you, that's your business. But I don't think that's a finanaically responsible way to afford kids, or a even vaugely convincing way to argue that children are not expensive. In fact, I think it makes rather the opposite point -- your children and your parenting choices are SO expensive that you can't afford to meet your bills.
post #58 of 72
Wow, what a thread. Yes children are expensive. Babies are actually cheaper because they do not wear shoes, wear out clothing, need education, school supplies, and eat the house out.

Yes we waited to have kids. We got a few awesome vacations out of the way, built up our retirement accounts, bought our house almost 10 years ago, went to state universities, and got our affairs in order and did some remodeling to our home. We always planned for me to stay home. We have only one debt- our house and it only eats up 17% of our income incl property taxes. But we feel its asctaully cheaper having me home.
post #59 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by BumbleBena
Ahh, damage control. I can't count the number of stitches my brother and I had between us. :LOL I had a finger severed when I was 6 mos old (accidentally slammed in a door), and my brother was a spirited boy who loved to climb and jump and get stitches once every few months.

Ouch! Were the doctors able to reattach it?

~Nay
post #60 of 72
Well, we have five of them... and yes children do cost money - food is certainly not free, but beyond that it doesn't have to be a ton of money for sure. And you do no need so many things that people think they have to have....
With our fifth, we did not have any "baby" type things except a car seat, a couple of hand knit toys, cloth diapers, and clothes (either given or yard sales). My husband made a booster seat finally with scraps of wood around the house so she can join us at the table (now 17 months old).

As far as college, well both my husband and I put ourselves through the state university... if they want it badly enough, the will do it. We do hope we can help them at some level, however.

Warm wishes,
Tonya
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