How Do You Afford to Have Many Kids? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 1 Old 12-29-2001, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
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How do you afford to have many kids?

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Author Topic: How do you afford to have many kids?
unregistered posted 07-06-2001 07:57 PM
I'd like to have more than 2 kids, but for financial reasons, I probably won't. I'm mostly a SAHM. I do some freelance work, but mostly, my husband supports the family.

How do families with more than 2 kids do it? Does the husband make $100,000+ a year? Does the mother work? Do you live in a rural town where gas, food, and housing are cheaper? Coupons alone can't do it. Where does the money come from for the house, car, clothes, & college education, not to mention birthday gifts, wedding gifts, etc....

Is it all about sacrifice? No vacations, no cell phone, no dinner out with friends?

Unless the family is wealthy, I have no idea how families with 3+ kids do it? How do you do it?

Thanks all,


Member posted 07-06-2001 11:00 PM
Hi, when we were growing up (early 70's to late 80's) my dad was the sole provider. We were a family of 3 adults and 3 kids. He didn't make 100k a year, far from it, probably around 30k a year. My parents owned their own house, paid cash for cars, etc. They just did it, ya know.
Now I'm staying home full time with 2 boys. My dh makes about 30k a year. We live in a moderate sized town. We have two fairly good cars, one we bought & paid for before my 1st son was born, the other we just bought used, but in great shape. I don't do any work from home, except for a few online auctions here and there for extra spending money around season change (for clothing).

The thing that has helped us was to quit eating out so much. Cooking at home has made a HUGE difference in our budget. Also, when our 1st son came, we stopped going out. IT wasn't anything for us to drop 50.00 or more dollars at a club on Friday night and do it all again on Saturday. When I think of all the money we drank!! And vacations, spending 3000 on a vacation. OMG.

Anyway, it definetly can be done. Simplify your life, declutter your life, eat healthy, eat at home, give up the cable (keep the internet LOL)... there's lots you can do to save money.

HTH...good luck.

Member posted 07-07-2001 05:24 AM
When we had one boy he did where a lot of different clothes. Now we have almost 4 and I don't go shopping for that sort of thing as much and we have one car. But I am still a SAHM, we own our house, go on vacation, go out to eat and dh makes no where near $100,000. We live in an almost urban area (city limits about a mile or two away) in a fairly high cost of living area. We don't live in a new house full of name brand merchandise and we don't go to Florida or overseas every year. If you don't let that sort of thing bother you too much it's really not too hard, I don't think.

Member posted 07-07-2001 07:25 AM
We, too, planned on being a two child family but #3 surprised us. And our oldest child has special needs and we incur a number of expenses (tutoring, therapy, etc.) we didn't plan on having. DH has a good job with pretty good benefits and I work pt time at home (about 8 hours a week). Guess what? We are making it and doing BETTER than when we had two children and I worked FULL time. Rarely eat out, budget carefully for clothes (lots of hand me downs, second hand shopping, etc.) simple gifts for b'days and holidays, sale and bargain shopping. Vacations for us are usually visiting and staying with family out of state. I never would have dreamed it would work but it does. Can't talk dh into #4 though.
[This message has been edited by Myboysmom (edited 07-07-2001).]

Member posted 07-07-2001 08:04 AM
I am also a sahm with 2 children, would love to have another but think that we can't afford one either. We live on 30k a year, own a home, have 2 used but reliable cars and enjoy a meal out occasionally. (ok- too often for our budget but.)
I think that if we had another we'd have to get a different car, squish into our house. (we have a three bedroom) etc. etc. ....then I think who cares??? we'd get by somehow. Money does not necessarily make for a happy family, nor is it needed to love your children. THAT is the important thing.
Anyway I know how you feel.

Member posted 07-07-2001 09:29 AM
Wasn't there a thread somewhere around here about budget saving ideas, thats how we make ends meet.
We have 2 boys and live off my Dh's income only, we could afford one more, he makes $45,000 a year and we are in California, if you want to do it you'll find cost cutting ways do do things without loosing your quality of life. We have no payments except for the mortgage and eat out rarly, plus cooking from scratch and stocking up on frequently used items during sales makes a huge difference, along with cloth diaper and thrift shops you should be able to make it just fine.
BTW every few years we go to europe on vacation and thats with me at home fulltime, If you want it bad enough you'll save like crazy.

unregistered posted 07-07-2001 10:11 AM
We have six children and live off one income. We've never taken extravagant vacations but take a week at a cottage on Cape Cod every year. We do have a cell phone, we do take the occasional dinner out with friends. We do make sacrifices in some areas. We have a smaller house than we would like. One of our cars is a real clunker. I cook from scratch and sew and use hand-me-downs but I would do that if I only had one!
We've got one through college and one about to start his senior year at college. They have loans and scholarships, we have a few low interest loans.
We are not rich, nor do we live in a rural area. It can be done, it's a matter of figuring out priorities.

Member posted 07-07-2001 10:16 AM
We too don't make alot of money but we make it in California with 5 kids.We don't have a car payment,always use coupons,make alot of food from scratch,and buy second hand.Everybody we know asks how do you do it?We just do.We are not deprived either.We go out to dinner once a month on a date.Last night, as a matter of fact ,we went out to dinner and a movie for dh birthday.Our boys play sports which can get expensive.I stay home and babysit my niece for my sister who is a single mom.the income from that pays for groceries and my dh pays the bills and mortgage.This works well.I think if we had more money we would just spend it on useless items.
I have to say we are not having anymore children because we don't have any more room in our house and we can not afford a bigger one or a bigger van.We absolutely love having this large family and would never change anything.I am frugal by nature because of the environment and there is so much waste in America it sickens me.
The book that helped me was Tightwad gazette 1,2,and 3.We also don't do credit.We have a creditline with a low interest available for an emergency.

Moderator posted 07-07-2001 11:19 AM
I came from a family of six (4 kids) and my parents raised us on one income - my dad was a house painter. Here is what I saw them do:
1) cash for cars (always one newish, one piece of crap);
2) fairly low mortgage, garage sale furniture and clothes;
3) few meals out (I can't remember being at a restraunt as a kid, and even at McDs we could never order a coke!);
4) vacations = camping; Catholic schools for all of us (how did they do that?);
5) free entertainment (libraries, free concerts in the park, visiting friends);
6) my dad worked at a university for the physical plant as the in-house painter, so we all got free college tuition!
7) AND (here is the one that I am unwilling to do) I think my parents totally lived paycheck to paycheck and had very little savings.
My husband and I make a shitload of money compared to my parents, but I need to have a cushion in the bank & money going into my 401(k) to feel secure (maybe I will no longer feel this way in the future, but right now I don't apologize for my needs).

Also, we like to buy books and cds and stuff my parents would never DREAM of spending money on. I mentioned to my mom that I am going to the LLLI Conference and the cost blew her away (it is super expensive at $150 for one day), but my mom was a LLL member who would NEVER spend that kind of money.

I just cut my income in half last week (I started a new part time schedule) and I have an idea about what we are going to cut out. Savings, things like the LLL Conference, expensive kid classes, first run movies, fewer books and cds.

Kudos to all you SAHMs with spouses earning less than $40,000 - I KNOW that it takes alot of discipline to make ends meet!


Member posted 07-07-2001 01:22 PM
Hello mom2beof2,
I can't say I have a big family === just have one ds at the moment. However, I do know a couple who has 5 children ranging in age from 18 mos. to 14 yrs old. The wife is a SAHM. The husband has never earned much more than $30-35k, and often had a 2nd part time job to supplement a little. I always wondered how they made it through. I must say that do often seem to live month to month. Several years ago they moved to an area where the cost of living is fairly low. They do live modestly. No new car, no car payments, etc... They by a lot of things 2nd hand. They did however just manage to buy a house and a few of the kids have been going to a private school. Most importantly, you know what? - they are happy! as a couple they are quite romantic like they just recently started dating, and the kids are doing well. This is what has amazed me and showed me that there are some things all the material things in the world can't give.
As far as my own experience, I had a long almost 15 yr lucrative career before becoming a mom which I gave up to be at home. Therefore, my dh and I had to make a radical adjustment to live on just his income alone. We had to make some sacrifices on lifestyle, but again it is a question of what is important to you -- do material things more significantly elevate your quality of life or does a caring, nurturing, & loving environment that you create for your family that does?

The only tempering thing I have to add to this mom2beof2, that you don't want to stretch yourself to the point you can't provide the basic important things to your children. If you are stressed having to work 2 or 3 jobs, or if you are stressed because you don't have enough $$$, then that won't help. Also, if you reach a point that adding another child is financially unachievable, I think you will know when you reach the point, but you are probably a long way from it.

Good luck to you and wish you much happiness in creating your family

unregistered posted 07-07-2001 06:57 PM
Thanks to all who answered. After hearing what some of your dh's are earning and supporting the family with, I'm wondering why me and my husband are not sure how we'll get by with 2 kids. My dh will earn about $80,000 this year. I guess it seems like we should be able to raise a family of ten.
I guess I should be looking at budgeting much much better than I am now. We have no credit card debt, no more school loans, no car loans, just the montly credit card bill, which we always pay off, and the mortgage. We even have a 2 family and the tenant helps alot with that. I'm not sure why we're not socking away the money every month.

I have concluded from all your input, that if we want more kids, it can be done.

Thanks for all your advice. I'm having #2 in October, and hopefully dh will want #3 one day.


nursing mother
Member posted 07-09-2001 02:54 PM
Hi Mom2, It can be expensive and there is alot of sacrifice involved, but the joy of having a large family makes up for it. We are a one-income family with 5 kids. My hubby makes about 65,000 a year. We have 4 kids in private school and own two cars. I buy the youngest 3 clothes at second hand stores and always use coupons and make food from scratch most of the time. We take several small vacations a year, go camping and spend alot of time at relatives homes. We only own 1 credit card and pay it off each month. We have a pretty large house, but it is old and we fix it up when we can. I love country decorating and have furnished my house entirely on old second hand antiques that I have found at flea markets, gargage sales, Goodwill etc. It is amazing what you can find out there for pretty cheap.
I don't buy any frivulous (ms) stuff. We do have 3 computers and two t.v. and our splurge is that we get cable. We don't attend movies because of the cost.
Anyway I do believe you can have a large family and live on 1 income if you are very careful. I take alot of pride in finding bargins and deals out there and I feel I am no way deprived and my kids sometimes complain about all the neat clothes, and toys others have, but I remind them that we do other things instead like camping, hiking, and family stuff that their friends only dream of because their parents are wo busy working to pay off their big house and all their "toys".

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