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Your views on affording more children. - Page 9

post #161 of 192
I got steamed reading this thread and then realized, "oh, I don't think I count!", as it seems the debate became about two-parent households and a SAHP who want more kids but have a materialistic lifestyle that is preventing it. Although this wasn't the initial question, there are a lot of narrow world-views going on here. A single parent who wants 10 kids, but can't afford it, is obviously not persuing a materialistic lifestyle. A parent who makes 3000/month, for example, is obviously limited in the number of kids he or she can have in daycare at a time. That parent is quite accurate in saying "I wish I could have more but can't afford it." If there were no daycare need, I would think it could be done very easily.
post #162 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by InaX5 View Post
I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.

You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get.
That's a really mean judgment to make. This is a parenting board we come to to support one another, not make comments about how much one person loves their child over another.
post #163 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by InaX5 View Post
I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.

You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get. Plus, if you don't feel that an additional child is an expense you can't figure out, then your better prepared if harder times hit.
.

Wow. That's the most ridiculous thing I've read on here in a while.
post #164 of 192
Quote:
You love your children enough you will find away [...]
For me, it was important that both my daughers had a chance to go to college and get degrees. Having more children would have decreased my ability to make sure that happened.

For me, not being a financial burden to my children in my old age is important. Having more children would have made it more difficult for me have a solid and well-funded retirement plan.

For me, protecting my children from the effects of financial instability was more important than gratifying my personal desire for more babies.

For me, those were the things I found a way to do because I love my children enough.
post #165 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by InaX5 View Post
I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.

You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get. Plus, if you don't feel that an additional child is an expense you can't figure out, then your better prepared if harder times hit.

Oh and somehow we even have a savings account.
This is not true at all. I wish it were a matter of giving up a few things, I suppose if I gave back my degrees maybe I could afford a few more kids, but wait then I would lose my ability to support the 2 I already have.

Shay
post #166 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by InaX5 View Post
I am about to have child # 5. We are classed working poor, yet through smart spending & an ability to know how to make extra money when needed / wanted. We do OK. We even have a few extras. I feel more prepared financially then ever before.

I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.

You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get. Plus, if you don't feel that an additional child is an expense you can't figure out, then your better prepared if harder times hit.
This reminds me of the classic slam on WMs - "you could afford to if you just wanted it badly enough."

On one level, sure, if i suddenly became pregnant with quadruplets, we wouldn't starve to death. But many of the things we want for our children would have to be sacrificed.

Much of what people are posting is the Quality vs Quantity debate (this is an oversimplication, of course). People who say they cannot afford adding another child or four to their families, are saying it would diminish the quality of their parenting. Others (often with big families) argue that the quality of their parenting is not negatively impacted, and possibly enhanced by having a larger family.

I believe both are true. A big family is a completely different dynamic, lifestyle, structure, etc than a small family - even if each child receives equal amounts of financial coverage as a smaller family.

I personally do not enjoy nor want that dynamic for my family - I fully respect the families who do, I just don't need nor want it for myself.

And adding money back into the equation, children do cost on average in the US $120K for 18 years, not including college education, private schools, fancy lessons, nintendo game systems, etc.

http://www.moneycentral.msn.com/arti...tlkidscost.asp

This article breaks it out by income level - under $40K vs over, etc. The number is an average for a two kid family - onlies cost more per kid than the third or fourth kid, etc. But the fact is that there are some per child costs that can't be dispensed with, such as dentistry or food.

There are many things we do spend our money on, such as membership in our community pool, tithing at church, preschool, an au pair for our boys, a larger house in a great neighborhood that we could do without if needed. But they are expenditures made in the best interest of our kids and to do without them would in my estimation for my family, negatively impact my kids.

Just my 2 cents.
post #167 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by InaX5 View Post
You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get.
I am going to hope that what you mean is, you will find a way to adequately support the children you already have, not that you're required to have more children in order to prove that you love the ones you already have.

Anyway, I am 100% in agreement with offwing.
post #168 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by InaX5 View Post
I am about to have child # 5. We are classed working poor, yet through smart spending & an ability to know how to make extra money when needed / wanted. We do OK. We even have a few extras. I feel more prepared financially then ever before.

I believe there are 2 reasons you hear people comment on not being able to afford more children.
1. poor spending habits.
2. an unwillingness to give up regular extravagances.

You love your children enough you will find away, no matter how tough things are financially, or how tough they get. Plus, if you don't feel that an additional child is an expense you can't figure out, then your better prepared if harder times hit.

Oh and somehow we even have a savings account.

For us an extravangence is food, shelter and clothing. I believe that parents have a moral duty to provide their children with these things, the clothing and food can be skimped on, housing is one where I will not sacrifice my childs safety to live in a cheaper neighborhood which has more violence just so I can have another child.
post #169 of 192
I agree with siobhang that the dynamic is totally different in larger families. There's also a different dynamic when the children are closer in ages than mine.

MY experience, with having my 2 girls almost 5 years apart, is that I'm strongly needed for companionship. I love this -- but then, it's hard to imagine how I could be this connected with each child, if I'd had a little one every 1 1/2 or 2 years.

I'm kind of different in that I always dreamed of having a bunch of little "stairsteps" not more than 2 years apart in age -- but my reality is I married later in life, and breastfeeding has a powerful impact on my fertility. I'd love a big family, but I still don't feel led to wean my children before they're ready, just so I can hypothetically get pregnant sooner.

I guess, in a way, I can't "afford" more, because my fertility pretty much shuts down while I have a child who still wants to nurse a few times a day. I guess my biological "bank" is very limited.

Of course, I feel very blessed and don't want to sound like I'm complaining. Sometimes our bodies know what's best when we don't -- and in my case, I believe God's the one directing my body.
post #170 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upside View Post
I'm trying to figure out what this statement means to me right now. We're currently expecting baby #2, just as planned. I don't know at this point if I want more than 2 children, but something I hear and read often is that people say that can't afford more children. In what way? We have a 3 bedroom house, 2 bedrooms for kids, someone bunks up so I don't think we need more space. Is it the basics people can't afford, extra health and food costs? Those seem like something we could handle IF we decided on more kids.

Is it that people feel public schools aren't good and need to send their little ones to private schools? Are parents worried about paying for college? My parents were not able to help me through college but I'm fine with paying off my own student loans, so I don't feel like that's an issue for me, I'm glad they had me even though they didn't have a lot of money.

Here's what I'm really saying, I feel like middle and upper middle class parents have a certain expectation for what they need to provide for their children, and I can't figure out quite yet where I come down on this issue. It seems like if I give my kids love, warmth, food, clothes, make sure they go to school (public for us), then am I really limited by whether or not 20 years down the road i can pay for them to go to college or help them buy a house? Is the tendency to materialize our lives the real issue? I'm not sure how well I'm expressing myself, I do come down on the side of more kids, less stuff, but any thoughts?

It totally is the real issue with our family. When I was in India I heard this story, told by a family who chose to only have one child because that's all they could afford: "Every day mommy had enough money to buy flour to make three chapattis: one for mommy, one for daddy, and one for baby. We have all we need. If we have another baby we will have to break our son's chapatti in half and share it with his brother or sister. Both would suffer."

While this is oversimplified, it's true for many families. It's not just about quality of life. It's about putting food on the table and giving people just the basics. My dh makes a decent (not too bad, not wealthy) salary. We have a low mortagage payment that is about the same as a good apt. in our area. We have enough room in our 3BR house, theoretically, for two more kids since our girls share one of the rooms. My oldest attends a public charter school that's free. The big factor right now is my youngest has long-term medical needs that are costing us hundreds of dollars per month. Without insurance that would be in the thousands. Since the condition is inherited (we didn't know that before we had kids) we have a good chance of having another child with the same condition.

But even if we didn't have the medical issues-- I look ahead to music lessons, vacations (# of plane tickets), a bigger car to cart all the kids around in, helping them with college, giving them good quality food and keeping them clothed (and I'm not talking designer clothes-- just clothes). We would struggle a lot on one income. If I went back to work and had more children I'd basically be paying my whole salary in childcare. And what about putting away for our own retirement?? That doesn't seem important now but it will in a few years. I'm actually going back to school to become a nurse so I can get more income for our family-- not only to pay med bills but to contribute to our retirement nest egg.

Emotionally we don't want more children even if we could afford them. Two is plenty for us. We are enjoying sleeping through the night again (most of the time) and being able to do bigger kid things. No more PPD to look forward to. Life is getting easier. I love babies but I am done.
post #171 of 192
Personally, I would never stop having kids just because I couldn't pay for their college educations. Both DH and I paid for our educations completely out of pocket. Neither of our parents paid for any of their kids educations, and couldn't afford to. I guess if you're looking at it that way, neither of us would have been born! I'd much rather be born, and have to pay for my own college than not be born at all! I think helping to pay for your child's education is a wonderful idea. But, I would never use that as a basis for not having any more kids. We want 7 or 8. Hopefully we'll be able to chip in and help with costs for college. Lack of money or resources didn't stop us from getting our degrees (and getting married and having kids IN college). They'll survive. We did.

ETA: I went to college with a bunch of stuck-up, snob sorority girls and frat guys. Spoiled brats. Parents were completely paying for their kids educations and they were just drinking their parents money away. No concept of responsibility or maturity at all. That's NOT going to be my kids, let me tell you. I made excellent grades because I knew I was paying for them! No mommy or daddy to bail me out. Our plan right now is to have our kids completely pay for their own college out of federal loans and grants (scholarships are ideal...). IF they graduate with a minimum GPA (3.0 for a science/math/engineering degree and maybe 3.5 for a liberal arts degree) we'll assume the loans and pay for them. If not, they better budget for the 300$ a month or marry someone rich! Eating ramen noodles 4 times a week never killed anyone. Also, if someone *doesn't* go to college just because they didn't have parents to pay for it, they didn't deserve to go anyway. The government has wonderful grant/loan programs to help people pay for their own college. College is no longer a luxury for the well-to-do families. Everyone can go to college now. Money is available and if you get a degree in the right field, jobs are available also immediately to help pay those student loan debts.

Has anyone ever read that book "The Color of Water"? That woman raised 12 kids in Harlem on absolutely no money. The kids had to grow up a bit faster, but all of them ended up going to college, several went off to become doctors, lawyers, PhD's, etc. The idea that low-income families can't produce college-educated, high income, musically gifted people is degrading. You just make sacrifices. As a woman who got married and had a baby while DH and I were full-time students, who both graduated with exceptional GPAs in difficult fields (I have a Bio degree and DH was mechanical engineering), I'm familiar with making financial sacrifices to get what you want. It is possible. Don't think just because you can't pay for your child's education they won't or can't go AND be successful. That idea is ridiculous. BIL is exceptionally gifted musically. He's on a full scholarship to USC for french horn. They have no money at all. He played his entire musical career on a borrowed french horn. MIL paid for his lessons by bartering artwork (she's an artist). You make it work.
post #172 of 192
I've been out of school 6 years and I'm still $25,000 in debt from student loans. Given that college is probably going to cost twice as much as it does now by the time dd is in school...I'd like to spare her as much of that burden as I can. I don't plan on raising a spoiled or irresponsible child either way.

That said, college savings is certainly not the ONLY reason I'm not having more children!
post #173 of 192
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by holly6737 View Post
IF they graduate with a minimum GPA (3.0 for a science/math/engineering degree and maybe 3.5 for a liberal arts degree) we'll assume the loans and pay for them.
Hey! You are discriminating against the liberal arts! I worked hard for my, read it, summa cum laude in English Lit .

As for the college thing, I don't feel upset with my parents for not paying for my education. I guess if they had, I wouldn't be complaining, but I'm not complaining about it now because I feel like I got my money's worth from my college years...
post #174 of 192
Quote:
Eating ramen noodles 4 times a week never killed anyone.
If you look at the long term effects of consuming all that sodium, yeah it has.
post #175 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliacat View Post
I've been out of school 6 years and I'm still $25,000 in debt from student loans. Given that college is probably going to cost twice as much as it does now by the time dd is in school...I'd like to spare her as much of that burden as I can. I don't plan on raising a spoiled or irresponsible child either way.

That said, college savings is certainly not the ONLY reason I'm not having more children!
Oh definitely! I'm just saying not being able to pay for college is a ridiculous reason to not have any more kids if that's your only reason IMO. And some posters were implying that if you dont pay for your child's education you're either a bad parent or are going to raise kids who are going to be stuck in minimum wage jobs for the rest of their lives and I don't think that's accurate at all. Hey, if you don't want more kids, don't have more kids! If you're done, you're done, you know?
post #176 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Sweeties1Angel View Post
If you look at the long term effects of consuming all that sodium, yeah it has.
Oh please. I guess I'm a gonner then and so is DH, cause I totally lived off of kraft mac and cheese my freshman year and DH definitely lived off of ramen noodles. Now we don't have to worry about saving for retirement!
post #177 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Upside View Post
Hey! You are discriminating against the liberal arts! I worked hard for my, read it, summa cum laude in English Lit .
.
That's a real accomplishment! We'd pay for yours though, see? It passes.
post #178 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by holly6737 View Post
Has anyone ever read that book "The Color of Water"? That woman raised 12 kids in Harlem on absolutely no money. The kids had to grow up a bit faster, but all of them ended up going to college, several went off to become doctors, lawyers, PhD's, etc. The idea that low-income families can't produce college-educated, high income, musically gifted people is degrading. You just make sacrifices. As a woman who got married and had a baby while DH and I were full-time students, who both graduated with exceptional GPAs in difficult fields (I have a Bio degree and DH was mechanical engineering), I'm familiar with making financial sacrifices to get what you want. It is possible. Don't think just because you can't pay for your child's education they won't or can't go AND be successful. That idea is ridiculous. BIL is exceptionally gifted musically. He's on a full scholarship to USC for french horn. They have no money at all. He played his entire musical career on a borrowed french horn. MIL paid for his lessons by bartering artwork (she's an artist). You make it work.
I did read this book. However I wanted to say as the costs of college rises, its just not that easy to work your way through and pay..

I went to college in my mid 20's and had to foot the bill myself, now I have a 100K in student loans between undegrad and grad school.. lets just say that this level of debt greatly limits my family size. I am scared because my eldest is 15 and 3 years away from college and at present I have no $$ to contribute to his schooling though I will do what I can.

No, its not necessary to pay for your kids college but in this ever-changing world gone are the good ole days where you can you can expect to get a good job without some education.

Also as more people go to college it seems there is less financial assistance available.. I remember 15 years ago when a Pell Grant was actually worth enough to pay for community college. Its just not the case these days. Especially if you are not flat broke, but somewhat in the middle, I know in a couple of years when ds starts applying to college they will look at our income and assume we can pay yet my own debts greatly limit me.

Shay
post #179 of 192
Quote:
Originally Posted by shayinme View Post
I did read this book. However I wanted to say as the costs of college rises, its just not that easy to work your way through and pay..

I went to college in my mid 20's and had to foot the bill myself, now I have a 100K in student loans between undegrad and grad school.. lets just say that this level of debt greatly limits my family size. I am scared because my eldest is 15 and 3 years away from college and at present I have no $$ to contribute to his schooling though I will do what I can.

No, its not necessary to pay for your kids college but in this ever-changing world gone are the good ole days where you can you can expect to get a good job without some education.

Also as more people go to college it seems there is less financial assistance available.. I remember 15 years ago when a Pell Grant was actually worth enough to pay for community college. Its just not the case these days. Especially if you are not flat broke, but somewhat in the middle, I know in a couple of years when ds starts applying to college they will look at our income and assume we can pay yet my own debts greatly limit me.

Shay
I just graduated college in 2006, DH in 2005, so I have an idea of how much college costs now-a-days, especially since I footed the bill myself. I'm in about 30k just for me, DH is in about the same. Yes, it is becoming necessary to go to college to get a good degree, but my point was that whether or not someone else is paying for your college should have no bearing on whether you go or not. No, your DS probably won't be eligible for many grants, BUT he will be eligible for federal loans, some of which he won't have to pay interest on. I believe you can max out at 26k for subsidized and 26k for unsubsidized for your undergrad. and for grad. it's more. Even the federal loans you DO have to pay interest on, the interest is pretty low and if you consolidate, it's really not a hardship at all if you know how to budget correctly. You can also get a work/study job. I had a job my freshman year in a lab. Spring semester I actually got paid to do independent research which was presented at the undergraduate research symposium and looks really great on my curriculum vitae. Where you get into trouble is if you take out private loans. If you go to a public college and make sacrifices, there really is no reason you should have to take out private loans, although we did just because we had a baby and costs were more. I totally agree everyone should go to college, if not just for the experience, I just don't agree that having your parents pay is the only, or best in some circumstances, way to go. College costs DO continue to rise and federal funding IS getting less for those in the middle-class (thanks, pres. Bush). THIS is why it's important to vote democratic! (my shameless plug)- Am I allowed to say that? When it comes to paying for college, where there's a will, there's a way. I think the media hypes it up alot more than it is, though.
post #180 of 192
I guess I should clarify the college thing-- we cannot afford to pay fully for their college nor would I want to. I too earned my way through the first time and am doing it again now. However they will be allowed to live with us for free as long as they attend college full time and work summers. I think we will be able to cover 1/2 their expenses but they will have to pay for the other 1/2. I used to go to school with the spoiled kids who basically drank themselves right out of college and I was so resentful of them, when I was working hard and surviving on $20 food allowance per week.
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