Our third one hasn't cost us much. She gets hand me down not just from her sisters but also all her sisters friends. she really scores. Actually every little girl we know from 4 on down really scores because we have more than we could ever wear. the older ones we shop carefully, a lot of second hand off season but it is all the top brands that all the girls want
: feeding one more doesn't cut into your budget much. We all ready had a seat for her in the car.
that said we don't do classes or lessons or anything really. It would be fun but we can't afford for all three. heck we can't afford for one to do those things really. I also hate having to drag everyone around to lessons and planning our lives around games and practice. I also think of all the gas that gets wasted doing that kind of thing. even if we could afford it I don't think I could justify the waste of time and resources. however I think if they had to make the choice between ballet and tae kwon do or Ava, i would think they would choose Ava hands down. she is more entertainment than money could ever buy. we do stuff through parks and rec, with our homeschool group etc. i feel no obligation to pay for college, and we live in a small 3 bedroom house in a rough neighborhood but we like it. We can be as tacky as we wanna be and don't have to worry about being the tackiest people on the block
We drive a piece of crap car but only when we aren't biking walking or taking the bus. and it is paid off. And all my friends are very impressed at my skills with jumper cables.
We homeschool so they will be able to work more to save money for college (and I really think kids value it more when they pay for it themselves), We do have small savings accounts for them that are growing slowly but steadily. we will teach them about investing at a young age so it will increase faster. In the end though it is there money and they can use it how they want be it college or a car or travel or just making ends meet. we are teaching them to value public transportation and leg powered transportation so owning their own car won't be high on their priority list, we do have some money for extras but they know that life involves choices and we can't have it all, do it all and be it all. and sometimes it falls on them to choose what is important to them.
We also are just blessed to hang out with people who are willing to help us. Grandma gave us her old piano and does piano lessons for us. I know we are blessed to have a skilled musician in our family. And one who is so generous with her time and talent. and old piano (which is still really nice - I think she just wanted an excuse to get a new one
). but we also know about 2 other people that we could have traded or bartered with for free quality piano lessons. We are blessed to have an excellent inexpensive homeschool co-op. 5 hours a week, 25 weeks a year, all for the low cost of $200 for all three girls. I am blessed to have children who would rather have play dates than play soccer or hockey. I am blessed to have friends who know where all the cheap and free entertainment for kids are.
We do not have health insurance but we have a great free clinic and a Dr. office who will bill us. we own our own business and barter occasionally including some medical stuff. but really insurance isn't all its cracked up to be. we crunched the numbers on Ava's birth and even with an extended hospital stay and a horrible infection it still only saved us about $50 when you factored in deductible, co-pay, premiums and such. it really is just cheaper for us to pay as we go. I know it is a risk if something huge happens but if all else fails since we are self employed we can always bottom out our income for a few months and get Medicaid. we are just barely over the line for the girls as it is.
i have a little job to help pay for the extras. I work overnights. One nice perk it has is that part time employees qualify for limited benefits including a medical savings account. That would be nice to have. but really it is amazing how far a little part time job can go towards paying the bills on extras. One shift a week pays for all our homeschool expenses. A second shift a week will pay for braces. 1.5 shifts a week pay for all our groceries - organic mostly. if i wanted all the girls in a lesson of their choice 1 shift a week would pay tuition and equipment. So long as you don't have to pay daycare it is amazing how much you can have for little extras with just 10-20 hours a week.