Are Three Children Really That More Expensive Than Two? New Member - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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#31 of 39 Old 02-13-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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MamaScrat, you have a good set up!

For a van, I'd suggest something like a Mazda MPV. Mazda is literally third in line behind Toyota (#1) and Honda (#2) in terms of good quality, etc. All three are similar in those respects, except Mazda just doesn't have the name recognition the other two have, so they don't hold their 'value' as much. You could get a newer Mazda MPV (they were discontinued in 06/07 to make room for the Mazda 5) for under your budget limit.

Overall, yes, each child costs extra. However, I think a lot of people make 'too much' out of the cost of each child.

For example, I'm the oldest of 6 (my mom and aunt lived together, so technically it was me & my 2 sisters, and 3 cousins. We act more like siblings though). Me nor any of my siblings did 'after school' stuff, since we couldn't afford it. We went to public school. However, my mom stayed at home and was REALLY into our school work. She pushed us in learning, from helping all of us with homework to making sure we could take accelerated/AP classes, etc. All 6 have gone/are going to college. That, I believe, is more important than any 'extra-curriculars'. We did get involved in clubs in high school, like the French club, Journalism club, etc. So we did have 'extra-curriculars' albeit free ones. We did a lot of fundraising to go on trips, etc. Colleges are more interested in seeing a depth to extra-curriculars rather than a wide spread of them anyways.

In the beginning, because there's a large age gap between my middle sister and I, my mom would 'cash-flow' our college expenses. We went to a state school 30 minutes away, stayed at home, etc. She did put restrictions on it--we had to focus on studies (aka no partying) and we had a certain (very high) GPA to meet. If we didn't meet it, we'd be cut off.

After a while though, we all applied for FAFSA and qualified for Pell grants and loans. Since it was an inexpensive state school, Pell covered tuition and books were 'cash-flowed'. There are lots of tricks to buying/getting access to text books on the cheap, which I can post about if you are interested.

I'm not saying it was easy, it isn't. I would have loved dance and music lessons. However, I wouldn't trade my siblings for that. We are all close, ds has close relationships with all of them, we all help each other out, etc.

So it can be done. Your kids will still have a chance at college, especially if you really push them academically. It's not popular to say it here in the US, but grade matter a LOT. Good grades in high school and you will be AMAZED at what schools will do to get you in. To give you an example, my sister's application got lost. It was 2 weeks before the last orientation day. We called them and found all this out. Once they got her transcripts, 'magically' everything moved forward quickly. Good grades also open up tons of scholarships too.


Ami

Wife to dh, Mommy to my heavenly angel, J (06), and my earthly angels, S (07) and E (10)

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#32 of 39 Old 02-13-2010, 11:58 PM
 
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Saving for college is a huge priority for us. We can do it for two kids - not enough to pay for all four years, but a chunk. But we couldn't for three. Three kids are not afffordable for us.
That was my first thought too. The difference in the day to day stuff for 2 kids vs. 3 doesn't really factor in for us. But I do feel the difference when I transfer money into 3 college savings accounts instead of 2. It is our hope to pay 100% for all 3 kids, certainly not a priority for everyone but something we feel strongly about for our kids. None of our parents saved a penny for us and we turned out OK so I'm certainly not trying to start anything here.
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#33 of 39 Old 02-14-2010, 01:22 AM
 
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One way we are funding our children's college is for me to work at a college - even if you're in an administrative (vs. faculty) position, oftentimes after a few years there your children will get free tuition not only at that school, but at all affiliates.

I even know single moms who have sent children to private college for free due to working at a college and given the field in which I currently am employed, that is our main plan for paying for college (the kids have small college funds but there is just no way for us to sock away $100,000k each for college even if we stopped at only two children).
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#34 of 39 Old 02-14-2010, 10:24 AM
 
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For us it would be vastly more expensive.

Car: we'd need to get a minivan to fit three car seats, so the car, and gas for the next 15 or so years. I would question as to why you think you need a minivan for four people? Think of the impact on the planet!

Income: I am planning on starting some part time work once my youngest is in preschool, so we'd be back to one income for 3-4 years if we had another.
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#35 of 39 Old 02-14-2010, 10:36 AM
 
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One way we are funding our children's college is for me to work at a college - even if you're in an administrative (vs. faculty) position, oftentimes after a few years there your children will get free tuition not only at that school, but at all affiliates.

I even know single moms who have sent children to private college for free due to working at a college and given the field in which I currently am employed, that is our main plan for paying for college (the kids have small college funds but there is just no way for us to sock away $100,000k each for college even if we stopped at only two children).
That's an awesome perk!
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#36 of 39 Old 02-14-2010, 01:09 PM
 
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That's an awesome perk!
It is, but it is also one being phased out for new employees at many colleges. Still worth looking into, but harder to find than in the past.
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#37 of 39 Old 02-14-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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I think having three kids isn't expensive right away. But I see the extracurricular activities really making a dent. We are big on sports/creative activities. So yes three is eventually more expensive. Not even getting into college because they could want to be md's for all I know. That's great that your family can help you out.

Having said all that, having siblings to grow with and love is amazing to be a part of.. Siblings that will be there for each other after we are gone makes all the difference in the world to me.
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#38 of 39 Old 02-14-2010, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Delicateflower View Post
For us it would be vastly more expensive.

Car: we'd need to get a minivan to fit three car seats, so the car, and gas for the next 15 or so years. I would question as to why you think you need a minivan for four people? Think of the impact on the planet!

Income: I am planning on starting some part time work once my youngest is in preschool, so we'd be back to one income for 3-4 years if we had another.
Hi Delicateflower,

I just wanted to answer you mini-van question. We have a 4-door Saturn and a Hyundai. As it stands now, I drive the Saturn (larger of the two) and the only place that I can keep the toddler seat is behind the passenger seat. If I put it behind the drivers seat or the middle, I have to move the drivers seat so far forward that I can't even drive (I'm average height, but have freakishly long legs). Even with the current arrangement, neither me nor my 6' 3 husband can fit in the passenger seat, so one us rides in the back with DD. This will not be an option when we add an infant seat to the back in a month and were certainly too

I suppose that it would be possible to buy a larger sedan vs. a minivan. However, this seems silly to do when we are leaning towards three or four children and try to only replace vehicles every 7 years or so. Also, the local schools are not great out here on the outer rim, so lots of parents send their children to charter schools further in. These utilize car pool systems which I will most definitely be a part of. DD's already on the waiting list for the best of them. I'm a huge fan of homeschooling, but I don't see myself capable of doing it. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind.
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#39 of 39 Old 02-14-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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In our experience, adding a third child added a lot of expense to our family, because our third child has had health problems. He cost us nearly $10,000 out of pocket in medical expenses the first year of his life. Of course, you could have a perfectly healthy baby/child, and that wouldn't come into play, but it's something to think about for sure... there are no guarantees.

But really, this is all so subjective. It really depends GREATLY on what choices you make for your family, how you spend your money, how often you are willing to say "no" to your child when they want something every other kid has, what things you think are important for kids to have/do, etc.
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