How much do you consider finances when thinking of having another baby? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 17 Old 01-09-2013, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! 

 

Out of curiousity, how many of you make financial considerations a major part of deciding on having more kids?  We are debating #3, but many of our choices, including driving compact cars, would have to be re-thought.  Not to mention tuition, possibly wanting a larger home, and so on.   Most older folks I know advise against limiting family due to money, but lots of young families I know feel they have to.  

 

We actually came very close to having my husband have a vasectomy, so we are not a couple who has always wanted a bigger family.  It's just that when looking at the pile of baby things we're thinking of giving away . . .  

 

Thoughts? 


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#2 of 17 Old 01-09-2013, 06:58 AM
 
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Sadly, I consider finances way too much. In fact, the only major factor that keeps me from having a huge family (other than fertility issues) is finances.

We have struggled financially with just one. I'm currently pregnant with twins and I'll be honest that I literally loose sleep at night worrying about money. My dd is only five and I've already found it to be true that as children grow, so do the expenses that come along with them. 

I hope I can word this right ... I think there is a huge difference between a family that is living a very comfortable life and doesn't want to cut back and a family that is struggling with having enough for necessities.

For me personally, I wouldn't let the concern of not being able to go on fancy vacations, or adding a little to the car payment, or paying for private school and college stop me from having the family I want to have. But when it comes down to not being able to provide healthy food and being stressed out over money on the daily things, it worries me. 

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#3 of 17 Old 01-09-2013, 07:31 AM
 
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I'm single and have been for 5 years and honestly, aside from wanting some action I really don't want to deal with another adults BS in my life. Maybe my opinion would be diff if I hadn't had whiney clingy men who expected me to be their mommy and change their tires and take them to doctor and all that. Ugh. Didn't even get sex out of the deal!

 

I always always wanted a big family and i'm creeping up on the turning point age for baby making and i've actually contemplated having one on my own. I get knocked up fairly easily (I'd have to. I had sex once in 36 months and that was #2) so I don't think i would have to try too hard...*shrug*

and i think i'm doing a hell of a good job raising my two lil guys alone, and I make fairly good money.

but then I think about paying 1300/mth for daycare when the kids were 1 and 4, and it's now down to 700/mth during school (higher in summer) since my youngest started kindy....

so i'd be looking at something like 1700/mth with a baby.

I have room and car to hold a third kid, but (Selfishly) as much as I miss the kids, the time they are with my ex allows me to travel or work odd hours. I just went to our 2 OKC offices and waco this month....which is something I really do HAVE to do with my job.

a baby would jack that up...

 

The kids were begging me to have another kid last week however. A brother because mommy only wants boy babies....LOL.

They asked questions a few times that led me to telling them when I was pregnant with #2 especially people kept asking me if I was really wanting a girl. I didn't find out sex with both my kids and HOLY COW....you'd be surprised how much this will bother even random strangers. Sheesh!

I told the kids I was really happy quinn was a boy. I like baby boys.....I'm a tomboy and prefer dirt and worms and lizards to barbies and bows.

 

Altho a coworker of mine has custody of his 2 kiddos (boy and girl, they are 7 and 8 to my kids 6 and 9) and I helped him out with xmas pressies this year since he makes almost half of what I do, and I didn't have kids so santa doesn't come when they have xmas with my ex...

I will admit I enjoyed helping him figure out cute girl stuff because he's slightly more clueless than I. I totally rocked his world when I told him the secret to girl stuff is packaging. little girls love boxes and bags and places to store stuff. lol.

 

Now if I was married....that would be a different story entirely. But I have thought about a DIY job and $$ wise would be really hard, and it would affect my ability to make $$....soooo... :(

 

I say have one and send me some used onsies so I can sniff them :D

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#4 of 17 Old 01-09-2013, 10:41 AM
 
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We are also mulling if it makes sense to have another, given current circumstances of tight finances. On one hand, why raise a family under stress? On the other, I'm really curious to explore how we can be more creative, which would benefit the family anyway.

 

We are older parents, and I think we're facing the reality that if we don't have another child now, we will be too old in the near future (I'm 40). Also, being older, I have seen just enough of life to know that, truly, life is sweetest when we do what makes us happy, not what sounds practical. But maybe being practical is what makes someone happy.

 

If having a large expendable income makes you happy, then probably it will feel okay to limit your family size. If limiting your family feels like real heartbreak, then I would venture to say that you may be happier, even if broke, with the family you want.

Then there is the *however*; a good period of grief may yield a surprising acceptance of not having more children. Our attitudes can and do change with time.

 

It seems that children are happiest when parents are too. Sometimes we have to be very creative to find our happiness under stress, but that's really good for our kids to see too. We have to weigh all our values together to make this decision.

 

For us, we live in a tiny house now so that we can be near the mountains, but it's still getting too expensive (Boulder, CO). We may need to move somewhere cheaper to have another child, but we know we want to stay somewhere near the mountains. We weigh in paying a little more to be near the mountains because it helps us save in other ways (education, activities, and perhaps most importantly, peace of mind). I have also seen that I can work more as dd gets older, so I know the financial setback of having another baby would gradually shift.

 

Tuition....Eek. Well, we're not going to be able to afford it anyway, unless a large unpredictable event occurs. I hope to work diligently on my child(ren)'s behalf to find aid if and when the time comes. Supposedly there are thousands of unused dollars of scholarship money every year.

 

And, we probably need to get used to eating more rice and beans...

 

One disclaimer: we have only one child! I'm not sure how stress levels will change with two.

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#5 of 17 Old 01-09-2013, 12:38 PM
 
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We don't consider finances much, just let the babies come when they will.  We have our HSA contributions set up so that we accumulate enough to pay for a midwife-attended homebirth every couple of years.  Money has always been a little tight for us, but we have gotten a lot better at frugal living over time, adding experience and new skills, so we are stretching our dollars a lot farther than we did when we only had one or two children.  The child tax credits and deductions are a help.  Also, we are stretching our space a lot farther; we have 900 square feet now and have downsized so much that it almost feels roomy.  I guess we are transitioning from a small family lifestyle to a large family lifestyle.  People talk about feeling like their families are complete, but I am totally not there yet.

 

The biggest financial hit was when we went from 2 to 3 and had to buy a larger vehicle, but we needed to replace our car soon anyway.  From 3 to 4 is not going to be so bad, since our family health insurance only charges for the first three children.

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#6 of 17 Old 01-10-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really appreciate all the thoughtful responses!  

 

We already eat mostly rice and beans...  but in terms of our money situation I would call it tight, but not desperate or keeping me up at night.  That said, I am really taking to heart theadvice from RedHeather about kids being happiest when parents are happiest, and I *do* get stressed and overwhelmed easily.  I *do* worry about money, not so much for indulget items, but because we haven't even started saving for retirement (and my husband is older).  I do think that the stress/worry about money would increase if we had #3.  And, of course, we are driving 2 older compact cars, that are both paid off and get decent milage.  I know adding to the family would mean a larger car, car payment, and more money for gas.

 

And, when it comes down to it, in my heart I guess I know we could "afford" to have another.  We could cut back even more than we do now, and we could probably find a useable used vehicle and trade in our 2 small cars... and so on, but the more I think about all of those things, the happier I am with our family size right now.  I don't need much, and that's good b/c we don't have a huge salary!  I do, however, appreciate little things like having a sitter and going to dinner with my husband (a huge treat!).  Not sure if that kind of expense would work if our family got bigger.  

 

Thanks so much for all of your thoughts.  


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#7 of 17 Old 01-10-2013, 06:09 PM
 
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First, you can get three car seats in a small car, you just need narrow ones.

 

Where we are: I are cooking #3. We have always planned on four and made that part of our plan for a long time. House is small, but with "just" enough space for everyone (planned). We don't have a car, have a stroller that can be single, double or triple, are still opting out of lessons (though we do love preschool). Plan is public school and university in Canada (where I paid less for university than I currently do for preschool). And really, the only gear you need to add to the stash for #3 is a new carseat.

 

That said, I am at home so no daycare costs. We went from broke students with #1 to a great job for husband so we have been getting better and better off with each kid, so there is no crunch.


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#8 of 17 Old 01-11-2013, 10:58 PM
 
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Daycare costs are the number 1 reason why I'm not having a third child. I wish I could be a sahm but its just not possible since my dh doesn't make enough to support our family by himself. Kids are expensive and I think the added cost would push my family over the edge. That being said, if you wait to be financially cushy then no one would ever have children. You'll be able to make it work one way or another.

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#9 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 06:05 PM
 
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Tough call.....I am mostly a stay at home but work about 20 hours a week outside the home as a nanny and doula. It is necessary for me to do to make ends meet, bc DH is a teacher and we NEED the income. I choose this type of work bc it was really important for me to keep DS home with me, he comes to work with me and we have never used any type of childcare which is what feels right to us. I have thought about having baby #2 =, as Ds is 14 months and my biggest concern is how will I bring in the needed extra $1,000 a month with two kiddos. I don't think I could manage my nanny/doula work and bring two of my own kids with me. Sending my kids to childcare is just not an option for us bc of our beliefs, and even if we did the cost of it would totally negate me working. So that is my predicament, so yes I guess finances are dictating my decision that this point in time.

 

DH is going to back to school to become a Principal which would be a very large pay increase for him. He will be done in about a 1.5 years so maybe then if I could really just stay home I would consider #2. Good Luck with you decision!!


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#10 of 17 Old 01-13-2013, 06:54 PM
 
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We are having our last child any day now... it's #3.  (He/she will be our last due to my health, not finances.)  When we started out having kids, we were in a lot tighter of a financial spot, and by logical terms we really should have waited a few years.  (Hindsight is 20/20 and all that.)  However, I feel we are in a better place right now, more so than ever before, to have a third.  Expenses do indeed go up as the children get older, but I think this is offset by, as a pp said, having learned to live on less.  We are much more frugal now than we were at the start of our marriage - and honestly it's partially practice but also partially the fact that over time your expenses go down a little bit.  Maybe the big ticket items don't (like home maintenance, etc.) but typically a few years into things you have all the "things" you need in your home, so you don't have to budget things like furniture etc in.  And yeah, you can also keep a lot of baby supplies from previous babies sometimes.

 

What we're hurting on now a bit is tuition and other costs of going to a private school (we plan on homeschooling again soon but due to this pregnancy DS is actually going to go to a private school starting tomorrow) and some incidentals like clothing items that cannot be bought secondhand like winter boots.  The kids are also eating more so our grocery bill is going up - BUT I think that's more the fault of inflation, not their eating habits necessarily.  Although I am making bigger portions now that they're growing...

 

FWIW we still only drive one car, and it's a compact one at that.  It's not very practical or comfortable and we don't have any extra seating (such as for my mother who doesn't drive herself) or any guests, or even a dog, but it is what it is.  We're not planning on upgrading any time soon.

 

For many people, #3 is the one they can't imagine adding without huge difficulty.  For us, #4 would be that.  Plus you have to factor in mental health, the possibility the child will have SN, and all those other factors... I doubt that for most people, finances ALONE would be the deciding factor... But I mean, it's certainly possible.  But even things that some people view as necessary when having more kids isn't.  Car space, yes.  You need to be able to fit car seats in there.  Food, yes, of course.  Rooms in the house - many people consider that to be essential as well.  Growing up I knew a (very happy!) family with 8 kids and only 3 bedrooms (one for parents, one for girls, one for boys.)  The whole thing was like... maybe 1000 square feet.  They lived on potato soup half the time, but were one of the most wholesome and happy families I know.  I still keep in touch with one girl on FB and they're still really close as adults.  It all depends.

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#11 of 17 Old 01-14-2013, 10:41 AM
 
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Growing up I knew a (very happy!) family with 8 kids and only 3 bedrooms (one for parents, one for girls, one for boys.)  The whole thing was like... maybe 1000 square feet.  They lived on potato soup half the time, but were one of the most wholesome and happy families I know.  I still keep in touch with one girl on FB and they're still really close as adults.  It all depends.

 

I love this! Yes, it all depends on what the family dynamic is and what the parents feel is necessary for happiness. Clearly this family valued simply each other, and they got through it well. Another family might struggle and feel impoverished in this situation, and it would be understandable.

 

I think our personal values and beliefs are a big part of what we have to weigh in, not just monetary amounts. I know one family who believes very strongly in Waldorf education and are not having another child so that they can send their one all the way through Waldorf 12th grade. They are content with this decision because it resonates with their strong beliefs. Then I know a single mom with 6 kids sending them through Waldorf on scholarships and eating bean soup. They too are a happy bunch.

 

Whatever the desire, if it's strong, there's a way.

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#12 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 05:56 AM
 
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So true...when there is a strong desire there is always a way! I talk to many moms who say to me..."oh you are so lucky that you can stay home and/or take your kiddo to work with you. I would kill for that, BUT I have to work." I have to work too, but I knew childcare just wasn't an option for me, it just didn't feel "right" to me.....so I though long and hard about my strenghths, experience, degree, etc, and decided to give the type of work I currently do a whirl. It has worked out beautifully and I am very happy. I feel like I get to get out in the world, while doing work I feel proud of, and my little boy reaps all the benefits of being with mommy, all while earning the money are family has to have! YEa. If there is a will, their is a way :)


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#13 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 06:19 AM
 
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Money (and its close cousin, lifestyle) are huge factors in the size of our family. We are committed to sending all of our children to college and having them graduate without debt. 

 

If we were independently wealthy and could afford not only lots of college tuitions, but also two SAHPs and regular household help with the cleaning, cooking, and chauffeuring to school and actvitiies, we might adopt more kids (I am done birthing them no matter what). I think we could divide our attention adequately among more than 4 kids IF my husband didn't have to work and IF I wasn't burning so much time on non-parenting-related housework.

 

If we were strongly moved to increase our family size without an increase in income, we'd probably homeschool, train up our children to do way more housework than most contemporary American kids, and move to an urban location where walking and public transit were options for the older kids so that the younger kids (and the mom!) didn't spend all day driving them around. 

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#14 of 17 Old 01-15-2013, 07:53 AM
 
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There is a huge financial change (and lifestyle change!) between being childless and having one baby. Housing, neighborhood choices, work schedules or lack of same, even car choices are altered to accommodate a baby. But once you are already parenting, I think each additional kid makes much less change in budget or lifestyle. You probably already have any needed equipment, live in a family-friendly neighborhood, etc. I have had up to 6 kids at a time (2 each of bio-kids, foster kids, and grandchildren), and because I already had the 8-seater mini-van, it really didn't have all that much financial impact. My house accommodated us (some room sharing). I backed off on treats, because I would have to multiply everything by 6. One or 2 ice cream cones can be an impulse item; 6 is a budget disaster! I was already working from home and homeschooling the oldest 2 and foster kids must attend public school, so tuition or childcare was not an expense. Most of our family's favorite activities were no more expensive: we already had memberships to the zoo, the Children's Museum, etc., and a beach trip mainly costs gas for us. Of course we bought more groceries, but a big pot of soup isn't that much more expensive than a medium sized pot of soup. Private schools, college, would of course add up, but those things were not our issues.

 

Before conceiving my last 2, I made serious financial plans for how that would all be covered. Those plans fell through in a big way (divorce and more), and none of my careful planning had anything to do with our reality. Money has often been tight, but never to the point of regret. I admire people who plan and consider the reality of adding children to the family. But I know that from my experience, the best laid plans of mice and men... and all that.
 


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#15 of 17 Old 01-23-2013, 02:12 PM
 
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We have three kids (12, 14, and 17). we only have 3 because of finances. If money wasn't a factor and I could have been a SAHM, we would have had more. I did stay home the year my youngest was born (I had 3 kids under 5 and an hour commute) and I loved it. But when we moved back to where our family lives, it became easier and necessary (because of COL) for me to go back to work. There are times I wish we had more, but we are stretched so thin time wise right now, I can't imagine having more games, or plays, or performances to attend. So while money was the reason, time has become another factor.

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#16 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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Well I used to think that as long as we could cover the bills and I could be a SAHM then we could have more, but as our ds1 gets into looking at colleges I'm re-thinking the wisdom of that. He's a great student and is looking at big name $40k+ schools around the country. He's well aware of the financial part and is trying to find the right match of schools that are likely to give him a scholarship. But with only $7000 saved in his college account, there is the real possibility that he will be limited in where he can go, with a worst case that he has to continue to live here and take classes at a local school when this kid is ready to take on a different part of the country. It's heartbreaking to think that he might be limited, and that we may have to do this three more times with his siblings as they go to college. Until you have that awesome older teenager looking to you for help its easy to say "oh that's so far away." But it goes by so fast.

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#17 of 17 Old 01-24-2013, 03:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NortheastSuperstar View Post

Well I used to think that as long as we could cover the bills and I could be a SAHM then we could have more, but as our ds1 gets into looking at colleges I'm re-thinking the wisdom of that. He's a great student and is looking at big name $40k+ schools around the country. He's well aware of the financial part and is trying to find the right match of schools that are likely to give him a scholarship. But with only $7000 saved in his college account, there is the real possibility that he will be limited in where he can go, with a worst case that he has to continue to live here and take classes at a local school when this kid is ready to take on a different part of the country. It's heartbreaking to think that he might be limited, and that we may have to do this three more times with his siblings as they go to college. Until you have that awesome older teenager looking to you for help its easy to say "oh that's so far away." But it goes by so fast.

 

 

I just had my fourth and I think I will be having this exact conversation with myself in a few year.  Four kids?!?!  Goodness, we are in for many more years of frugal living.  


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