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Old 10-08-2014, 11:09 AM
 
Location: New York, NY
624 posts, read 708,625 times
Reputation: 439

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Kids are horribly expensive. I used to make half my current income when I lived alone and had a great lifestyle. Now I make almost double what I made before but with a wife and 1 child I'm struggling with money problems and have no lifestyle at all other than working, playgrounds, and dealing with whatever the hysterical tragedy of the day is. I see very few ways to save money, build wealth, and possibly retire one day when every paycheck evaporates.

When I was younger I had that youthful naive lack of regard for money. I didn't care about money so much as I had enough to not be poor. Now money is all I think about. Its the only thing that matters to me. I've become a stereotypical materialistic greedy car commuting cubicle working middle class American. This is what happens when you become responsible for supporting other people.

Time - Lets not forget time is money. Kids use up almost all of your time and this is the biggest burden of all. All the time you could be spending developing yourself professionally, networking, and otherwise improving your income generating prospects are instead spent on the playground, feeding, cleaning, listening to crying / screaming, and sleeping after the exhaustion of all that. The truth is children are incredibly boring. You need to somehow squeeze out extra time for intellectual stimulation to keep yourself from becoming a zombie.

Housing - The more kids you have the bigger place you need. The more bedrooms the more you pay in purchase price or rent. You also need to either live in a neighborhood with good public schools (good schools = expensive, there's no escape from this) or pay for private tuition. This one is the worst of all after time.

Child Care - Everyone knows this. Full time daycare and/or babysitting is like renting a second apartment. Think occasional restaurants and/or nights out are expensive? Add the cost of a few hours of babysitting and most things are barely worth it anymore.

Health Care - Every extra person needs to be covered under your insurance. Kids will get sick, they may need glasses, they may need braces, they may have some other health problem. There more kids you have the more these random health issues will occur from time to time. Get ready to pay.

Baby supplies - Strollers, Car seats, diapers, bottles, replacement diaper bags, etc..

Auto - You need a bigger car (read: SUV) if you want to be comfortable with kids. Not only do you need a car which can accomodate the car seats comfortably but you need enough trunk space for strollers, toys, and all of the other crap.

Clothes - Kids are growing so you are constantly buying new clothes and shoes every year.

Toys - A lot of toys are expensive. Even the not so expensive ones add up.

College - College tuition is very high and its only getting worse. If you don't pay for your kids tuition they may come out burdened with debt and unable to make it on their own. You cannot start a life if you are burdened with huge loans right out the door.

Travel - 1 plane ticket for you might be ok. 1 more for the wife and N more for N children? Forget it, stay home. I hope you got to see the world before you had a family, because you won't be doing it now for a very long time.

Entertainment - Admission to any kind of entertainment such as museums or movie theaters just went from being reasonable to being something you have to budget carefully because now you need to buy so many tickets.
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:49 PM
 
25,910 posts, read 49,958,389 times
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There was a study advocating couple wait until age 30 to start a family... in other words wait long enough to be settled financially.

Maybe some truth to it.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:27 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
624 posts, read 708,625 times
Reputation: 439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
There was a study advocating couple wait until age 30 to start a family... in other words wait long enough to be settled financially.

Maybe some truth to it.
There's more than some truth to that. If you start too early when you are not financially ready you will find out very quickly how hard it is and then you're trying to play catch up while managing the huge financial burdens that come with children. The result is severe qualify of life sacrifices, trying to stay above water with debt (credit cards etc..), very little or no savings / financial security, strain on your relationship with your spouse putting your marriage in jeopardy, and constant stress and resentment that directly affects your ability to be a good parent. Better hope you never get injured, seriously ill, or lose your job!

I wish our culture would try to teach people about what being a parent is really like, instead of hiding it behind all of the platitudes about how wonderful children are supposed to be. Parenting is the hardest job on earth. You give everything you have, they take it all and complain for more, and that's just how it is. Nobody wants to talk about the down side of parenting because we're all afraid everyone will think we are bad people.
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Old 10-08-2014, 10:43 PM
 
25,910 posts, read 49,958,389 times
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Interesting points...

Back in the old days of my Grandparents time... a man would never propose marriage without the means to support a family... my Grandfather was 10 years old than my Grandmother and that was very typical back then because it took time for a man to get established.

Many of those I know in the SF Bay Area are professionals and put off having children well into their late 30's and even early 40's... this if for the first child...

Seem so many professionals put kids on hold until the clock starts counting down and kids place no financial burdens because they are well established...

Good friends of mine had always wanted kids and no luck... even had a college fund that the wife said go buy that dream car... for your 50th birthday... guess what... at 50 his wife gave birth to triplets!!!

It was natural without fertility treatments... they both met in High School... she is a Labor and Delivery charge Nurse and he is a Pharmacists...

She was just beaming and never stopped... kids will be 5 next month... he was a little shaken and still reserved... had all the plans for travel and early retirement after years of trying to be parents... hey, when the triplets go off to college the parent will be almost 70!!!
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:02 PM
 
Location: New York, NY
624 posts, read 708,625 times
Reputation: 439
Waiting too long has other problems. Past age 35 women are at much higher risk for having children with birth defects, learning disabilities, and other problems like that. Older men as well.

Also chasing a 2 year old all day trying to prevent him from committing suicide is hard physical work. I can't imagine how one manages that at and the sleep deprivation at 50.
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Old 10-08-2014, 11:48 PM
 
25,910 posts, read 49,958,389 times
Reputation: 19383
Quote:
Originally Posted by fmatthew5876 View Post
Waiting too long has other problems. Past age 35 women are at much higher risk for having children with birth defects, learning disabilities, and other problems like that. Older men as well.

Also chasing a 2 year old all day trying to prevent him from committing suicide is hard physical work. I can't imagine how one manages that at and the sleep deprivation at 50.
So far all the professionals I know have been very fortunate... healthy children with new parents 38 to 42

Funny thing is many of these couple are MD couples where both parents are Doctors working at the hospital...

As for the looking after part... everyone down to the last couple has live in nannies which just could be the secret
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Old 10-10-2014, 01:05 PM
 
480 posts, read 456,815 times
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Quote:
Back in the old days of my Grandparents time... a man would never propose marriage without the means to support a family... my Grandfather was 10 years old than my Grandmother and that was very typical back then because it took time for a man to get established.
I want to be clear about something. I have adequate financial resources to raise a family. I do not want anyone to get the impression that I'm relying on food stamps or other public assistance to raise a family. I am not and never will.

I'm also in my 30's. Financially we're doing fine raising two kids.

But that doesn't mean that I'm ignorant to how much its costing.

Quote:
As for the looking after part... everyone down to the last couple has live in nannies which just could be the secret
Live in nannies would be handy. But wouldn't solve the part about kids costing a lot. Live in nannies aren't cheap.
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Old 10-10-2014, 02:53 PM
 
25,910 posts, read 49,958,389 times
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Every year or so there are articles on the cost of raising a child and the numbers are always shockingly high... at least to me.

Kids have more today and expect more... maybe because they are better connected... growing up we had one telephone and it never was for chit-chat... couldn't tie up the line in case an important call was coming in and calls were generally billed... no such thing as unlimited.

Maybe perspective parents should prepare a spreadsheet with contingencies.... I do know some of the financial planners advocate saving for college when the child is born...
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Old 10-10-2014, 04:45 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,733 posts, read 2,883,545 times
Reputation: 4693
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
Kids have more today and expect more... maybe because they are better connected...
I think one of the most valuable lessons you can teach your child is how to resist peer pressure. It's one thing if I choose to spend money on my child. It's another thing if my child decides she must have something because someone else has it. Perhaps because I grew up with poor parents, I never felt like I was entitled to anything just because other kids had them. Raising kids have become more expensive because some parents feel like it's an arms race to do everything other parents are doing, regardless of their financial abilities. My thinking is, not only will you go broke, you're very likely to raise a spoiled entitled person.
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Old 10-10-2014, 09:38 PM
 
25,910 posts, read 49,958,389 times
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Me too...

Growing up we never ate out except on my birthday... and that was in lieu of a birthday party... and this included patronizing fast food like McDonalds.

We were big on bringing a lunch... even if it was only a hardboiled egg.

Same for Soda... never had any Soda in the house.

I can see huge savings just eliminating going out for dinner and not having Soda, Chips and similar in the house...

Mom always said if we were hungry have an apple or orange... we live in California and have fruit trees she planted... or have bread and butter.

We were also big on hand me down clothes and getting something new like a jacket was a big deal.

It's been many years and I still know most of the birthday presents I received from parents and grandparents... mostly tools... even going back to 8 or 9 years old... and I have done the same for my neices and nephew.

All the girls got their own tool bags at age 7 and each year I add to them or give cash in various ways... even a gold coin...

Never have I ever bought any plastic junk that no one would remember a week later.

At one time I managed a lot of Section 8 rentals and at Christmas the garbage dumpsters would be overflowing with all the packaging and wrapping from mostly made in China items only to find most everything in the wrapping to also be tossed out in a couple of months... like bicycles with only a flat tire of missing a bolt... similar when it came to diet... who gives a elementary school child soda for breakfast or stops for McDonalds for dinner every night?

Another part is that I started paying room and board at age 12 when I got my first summer job... $50 a week and $20 went to my folks, $20 to savings with about $4 to Uncle Sam and $5 and change for my lunch for the work week... a dollar was almost enough for burger and shake!
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