Number of children based on expense
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  1. #1
    Registered User Marie78's Avatar
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    Default Number of children based on expense

    For those of you that went from one child to two children, did it cost a lot more each month to care for 2 babies instead of just one? We are adding a 2nd baby to our home soon and I'm just wondering if it was a noticeable cost increase each month. I'm a SAHM, so we don't have daycare costs. I'm also thinking about down the road, when the children are involved in activities that cost money and need things like school clothes and dental care (braces) and that sort of thing.

    Did anyone limit the number of children they decided to have based on the cost of raising them? Dh and I had talked about maybe having 3 or more children someday, but the more I think about the expense of raising each child and meeting their needs, I worry that will limit us to only 2.

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    Member Darlene's Avatar
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    I especially wanted 3 children. The cost of raising them when younger wasn't a big deal but we figured as they got older it would have been a struggle for us. My being a stay at home Mom was important to our family so our choice to limit ourselves to 2 children was the best one for us. Worked out well.




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    Registered User TheRootedNomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darlene View Post
    I especially wanted 3 children. The cost of raising them when younger wasn't a big deal but we figured as they got older it would have been a struggle for us. My being a stay at home Mom was important to our family so our choice to limit ourselves to 2 children was the best one for us. Worked out well.
    This sounds very familiar. I really wanted three as well and other than day care the cost of them as little ones wasn't a factor. We very much worried about the costs when they were older though put together with the cost of day care. If my second pregnancy wasn't as rough as it was I don't know that we would have stuck with that decision as we were still pretty young when we passed the day care stage for our two. Money didn't seem as big an issue after that.


    ****On a side note we actually found that the second child was a big financial plus as far as our taxes was concerned (especially being a Dec. baby) After number two there doesn't seem to be as big a tax break.

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    We limited it to two, and I'm glad we did. Financially, we could not afford a large family, and each additional child does bring more expenses, especially when you reach the teen years when kids tend to become involved with expensive extra curricular activities....not to mention college (which is where we are now)!

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    Registered User ruderring's Avatar
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    Two was all we could afford as well. We even spread them out a bit to help with the cost as well as due to being so young when we had #1. It has been nice to have #1 out of hs and in college as we now have moved #2 into hs. A lot easier for us to deal with extra curricular activity expenses and going to all of the games, competitions ect. I really never wanted more than 2 but did think about it briefly and decided against it because of the whole getting up in the middle of the night, paying for daycare and other expenses on top of having a couple of difficult pregnancies. On the other hand my mom and dad had 4 of us and made it by pretty well. My mom was a sahm most of our lives. She babysat in our home but didn't enter the workforce until my baby sis started 1st grade. Don't get me wrong they were very frugal and made the most of what they had when we were younger but we always were well fed and clothed. May not have been the latest fashions but it didn't matter. It has made me who I am today. So, either way I can see it working. It is a matter of your personal preference.

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    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    We didn't limit due to finances though when our kids were little we were quite broke (not that we knew it then). We stopped at 2 at the advice of my Dr after most of a pregnancy on bed rest and her advice we might not get so lucky a 3rd time.

    Honestly back in the years we were having kids we were young and didn't even think about the financial aspect until they were a few years old. Having kids in high school now I can honestly say it doesn't have to be as expensive as the media portrays and yet you can have happy kids that don't think they are missing a thing because they aren't.

    Sure kids are expensive but I do honestly believe there is always a way to make due as far as finances go from what I see with our friends with large families.

    We have friends with the same income but with 4 kids. They do just fine. Her kids actually have more name brand clothes than mine because she is a major thrift sale shopper and gets them for very little! I don't know about all schools but ours have a max cap per family that has to be paid for sports etc no matter how many kids and how many sports they play. Quite a bargain for a larger family. As far as braces etc 1 kids may need them but not another (in our case).

    Another factor I think makes a difference is where you live. Some areas are obviously more expensive than others. Before our oldest started school we moved from a bigger town that we were not happy with the schools to a small rural town 30 min away with schools we were very happy with. That avoided the need for private school. For 30K less than the selling price of our very small home on a small lot in the big town , we bought a hobby farm in the nice small rural town. Our property taxes were 1/3. Being a more rural area there was not the pressure on kids to have all the right stuff it seems as the kids are much more likely to be out riding atv than traveling 30 miles to a mall.

    If in my heart I really wanted another child I would have one.

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    Registered User Marie78's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for your responses . My Dh and I each had a sister growing up and had wished we had more siblings around. My first pregnancy was high risk and very scary. So far so good right now, and like many of you, we have decided that this pregnancy may make or break the decision for more children.

    The other factor of course, one of the largest for us, is money. My Dh and his sister always had what they needed and wanted in regards to extracurricular activities and opportunities that money can buy. My sister and I did not and I really feel I missed out on those things. I remember wanting to: join dance & gymnastics, take piano lessons, play an instrument, play t-ball, play soccer, ride horses, and I'm sure there is more I'm forgetting. I was 6 years old when I began asking to do these things and I was 11 years old when I stopped asking. I didn't know why at the time, but now I know the biggest factor was my parents couldn't afford to have me do anything "extra" that would cost money.

    I don't want to deprive my children of the things they would want to join and get involved in. Raising kids is expensive. We can afford to house, feed, and clothe them. I worry about being able to provide the activities and opportunities I missed out on, I just don't want them to grow up missing out too. Then there are the things that they might need like braces. I also want to help in some way with college, I didn't get any financial help towards that and it was also difficult paying those loans once I graduated college.

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    We have 4 kids and I'd love to have one more, but have very rough pregnancies so we'll see. Our kids are spaced way apart so we paced ourselves a bit (mostly because of the rough pregnancy aspect). Kids are expensive. No, they don't have to be though. Our kids are not spoiled. They have what they need, get a few of their wants each year, but the thing that is expensive for us is their activities. They each have their "thing" that they love and we love being able to give them those experiences. Around here most people have similar incomes and most children have something they are very involved in be it soccer, gymnastics, dance, baseball- whatever. It doesn't matter really what activity it is- they are all about the same cost in the end. Our kid have benefitted so much from their activities- we wouldn't give them up. That isn't to say that there are not children out there who do not have such experiences and don't turn out to be great kids and people. It is just much harder now to play on school teams, etc if you haven't had years of prior experience. Kids have to be "experts" in sports by the time they even get to high school around here in order to make the school team. Money isn't the only issue though- time is a big issue too. I'd love to have more children, but there are only so many hours in a day. I want to give my kids as much of ME as I can as well. I am glad that we can make it to all of the soccer games, etc and really think throwing one more child in the mix right now would push us over the edge. There is so much driving and scheduling at this point. I really thought I was busy when I had little kids, but once we had teenagers life got waaaaaay busier. And so, so fun too. I'd say have this next baby. Enjoy each minute with your kids and see where you are in another year, or two, or three, or four. You might not be ready now, but maybe a few years down the road.

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    Registered User Emjo's Avatar
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    I have two boys, not quite 3 years apart. The only costly thing I found that first year was formula, as I was unable to breastfeed. Clothing has been a snap, as I was able to reuse a lot of my first son's clothes. We already had all the baby furniture and my oldest was done with the crib, so no issues there. So it was just the cost of formula, as well as more diapers. I had spaced them 3 years apart hoping that my oldest would be toilet trained (or nearly so) when the new baby came, but it didn't work out that way (my oldest is significantly developmentally delayed and is still not trained at all at 4 1/2 years old).

    We have decided that we're done with two, but finances weren't a huge factor. Three kids would make things tight, but we could do it - however, having a special needs child takes up more time and energy, and we feel like we are maxed out emotionally and physically with the two that we have! If my oldest wasn't special needs and was more independent, I would have probably had a third child.

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    Registered User Jamielane's Avatar
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    We had two almost 4 years apart . I very much wanted another but I had a heart issue that needed to be repaired that made pregnancy dangerous and I was on bedrest the entire 2nd pregnancy which was not easy with a 3 1/2 year old. We also would have no where to put a third baby if t were not another girl like the first two. On doctor advice I had my tubes tied at the samae time as my second c section so 6 years later when my heart was repaired another pregnancy was not an option. I dont find raising two to be that much more costly then raising one at this point but the older they get the more expensive it gets so I guess the best thing to do would be to space them a few years apart so that they are in different stages at different times. My oldest will be finihsed with high school by the time the younger one gets there and high school is expensive . College ..... ugh..... I dont think my oldest will go to a traditioal college . She is more of a vocational school student . She wants to be a hairstylist, makeup artist . My younger one is still to young to really know what she will do so we will see . I do know if I had known in 1999 when she was born that my heart would be repaired and I could have gotten through another pregnancy safely at a young enough age to have another baby (36) I would not have taken that option away from myself rather we actually had one or not.

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    Registered User Lora88's Avatar
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    If I had based the number of Kids I had on my income I would have had none I had 4 and somehow managed to feed clothe and educate them quite well Im sorry that I didnt have more My Grandma used to tell me (in Italian) that every baby comes with a loaf of bread under its arm I should have believed her I will always regret not having more children

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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    We have 4. We stopped there, dh had a vasectomy. He's regretted it ever since, we'd have loved a 5th.

    Costs. Babies don't cost alot. There are always lots of hand-me-downs etc. But as they get older they do cost more. However, there are sacrifices we do make and we are ok with it.

    No new vehicles. We by used and in distress. Dh fixes them up, we drive a year or two, and we sell them for more than we buy them for. Makes up for the insurance costs.

    I stay home, childcare would have been prohibitive. But I run a home daycare.

    They are in sports, all 4. It is pricey, but we don't worry about it, we budget for it. It means lots of time driving, getting them where they need to be. But we have healthy happy children.

    One thing we didn't plan for is homeschooling. DD11 will likely never step foot in a school again until college, she was too traumatized. As a result the home daycare income has been reduced as having a full daycare takes too much time. IT is what it is.

    Would I do it differently? Yes, I'd fight the vasectomy and have a 5th.

    We don't have a high income. The costs of living are high here. But we do all we can to live within our means. For several years I did volunteer work for the hockey organization and my son played for free. The girls sports don't to that, but I can do the volunteer for the community league and they'll submit vouchers to the organizations and pay for the sports.

    Is it easy, nope, but be it one or 2 kids, parenting always has it's challenges.

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    Registered User Momto5RN's Avatar
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    the only thing about my kids i find very expensive was a choice we made and that was to use the catholic schools we made the decision when # 1 went to 1st grade and i had just had # 3 never knowing we would end up with 5 ( all planned )

    really i dont believe for one second kids cost as much as those surveys always say . even with private schooling mine didnt cost that much from 0 - 18 - i think the people who figure those #'s out figure it for the most expesive brands living in the most $$ areas etc .

    i know for me the real only budget impact i had to alter my budget for when teh new ones came along was puttoing 2 things back in the budget diapers ( one can cloth diaper too and possibly make it less- i choose finding really great diaper deals because i did go back to work PT after the first 4 and had a sitter a few hours each day and dh wasnt fond of cloth ) and formula ( and if one is able to BF that solves that problem - ) even so theres ways to cut the costs

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    We are trying to decide if we should have a second child or not, but will definitely stop at 2. I would like to be able to devote considerable resources to all my children, including financially. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for saving money (hand me down clothes, diapers on sales) but I want to be able to afford opportunities for my children, regardless of what they are. I don't want to stretch my time or money too thin, and I feel that more than 2 children would do that for us. Again - this is just what works for us, I'm not trying to imply people who have more than 2 children are wrong.

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    Registered User 2ndGenGranola's Avatar
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    I have 3 kids. The only financial drain I saw was when I had all 3 in diapers at the same time or all 3 end up sick at the same time and ended up at a weekend clinic or the like (which is rare now that they are older).

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