Babies on the Brain

How do people afford 2 (or more) kids ?!

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Re: How do people afford 2 (or more) kids ?!

  • When I was working FT we were still bringing in a decent amount of money. Plus DC was cheap where we lived so we were ahead. So it was never a question of if we could afford 2.

    Now due to a job change for DH and what we wanted, I SAH. We would love a third, but unless we have more income and find a way to make it work without daycare expenses, we are being responsible and not "just figuring it out".
    "Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."
    Goodbye little angel(7/22/2011)....see you in heaven
    Goodbye my second angel (9/18/2011)
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  • I think when it comes in the future, that would definitely be something to think about, work shifts.  I am an Occupational Therapist, so HAVE to work day shift.  But the hubby may be flexible.  If we worked it out so that we wouldn't need a baby sitter, that would be great.  And day care scares me.  So many illnesses!

    The MIL is a retired teacher. But her health limitations worry me.  She always says "I will watch the babies", but she needs a walker to get out of the house.  Carrying a baby around... and walk.  That TERRIFIES ME! 

    Over $1000 a week for child care is absurd!  I couldn't imagine... I don't have kids yet!
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  • @raeah219 - I'm going to be honest... it still doesn't sit well with me that your FI says you have to work no matter what. I understand saying "okay, if you want to be a SAHM, we will have to sacrifice XYZ... " and talk about it... but that closed off attitude would lead me to resent him. Enough about that though... You asked for specific areas that may be able to be cut in order to afford a second child. DH and I don't have a kid yet, but we save approximately 30% of our income each month because we are CHEAP.  I don't know much about your family but if you really want to save here are things that can be done...

    - If you have a mortgage that is at least a few years old, it would be worthwhile to look into refinancing options. The rates are crazy low right now but starting to go back up. We bought our house at a 3% interest rate in 2012. This is incredible savings over a 5 or 7% rate. 

    - If you pay for cable television, stop. $100 a month is so pointless. We have an HTPC and watch every show we want to (even prime channels), often before it ever airs on sites like primewire. We have a netflix... that is $8 a month. You get about 20+ local channels via digital antenna. We used to have direct tv... even with buying a new tv, the htpc, our remotes, and paying out our DTV contract, we cut even within a year. We only have a tv in the living room, then a vizio smart tv in the spare bedroom that has netflix and local channels. We save $1200 a year with this. 

    - Sell your cars and buy cheaper cars that are better on gas and have cheaper insurance rates. If you just bought a brand new car, you are inevitably upside down in it... so this won't work. If you need a new car, the sweet spot on price is around 3-5 years and 50K miles... there is no need to ever buy a new car as it depreciates so rapidly. The more it is worth, the more insurance will usually be. 

    -If you can't pay cash, you can't afford it. Period.

    - Pay things in advance if you get a discount. Daycare is usually this way.

    -Take advantage of tax breaks. Some states offer a mortgage interest credit that you can reap each month instead of writing off the interest at the end of the year. For some this is about $200 a month. Worth looking into. I don't know specifics.

    - cell phones - you can buy a used phone in cash and if you live in a metropolitan area, should be able to get good service with one of the cheaper carriers. 

    -DIY things like pest control or auto care. 

    - I make my own house cleaners, soaps, room sprays etc. Cheaper and healthier. We spend probably $10 a year on house cleaners and laundry. I also buy ingredients in bulk on amazon or costco. 

    -have a garden if you eat tons of fruits and veggies. This is my first year trying this one... I have had herbs in the past. This year doing tomatoes and peppers to save some money. Big bonus - all organic! I will freeze the tomatoes as they ripen to use in soups/sauces throughout the winter.

    - budget your meals. We buy meats, frozen veggies, cereal, etc. at Costco and have a big deep freezer. This has helped so much with our meals. We also always make extra dinner to take for lunch the next day. We allow ourselves one meal out each week (carry out so we don't pay tip) and the occassional sweet treat like a mcdonald's frappe. 

    -monitor your homes energy/water use. You can call your local utilites company to ask if yours seem in line with the norm and how to save money. That is the most useful thing. We got a Nest smart thermostat and have seen a savings of about $30 a month in electricity usage... That is almost $400 a year... or $4K in 10 years. That is a lot of money!

    -breast feed and cloth diaper. Even if you can only cloth diaper at home because of your day care facility, this can save you so much money. 

    - sell stuff on craigslist, buy things used, and have yard sales. I hate having extra stuff sitting around... so we sell pretty much anything extra either in our yearly yard sale or online. If we go to buy something, I always check craigslist and look for used stuff. I also shop consignment for clothes and take good care of our stuff so it lasts a long time. Having a well decorated home is important to me so this can take a lot of patience.. but it pays off. Like we have an Ethan Allen sectional bought on CL (retail over $3K) for $400. I steam cleaned it and we will have it for a long time. 

    - maximize income/minimize need for childcare - this could mean you working at a daycare center to get a reduced rate for your kid. Or start a home day care of your own (requires certain certifications). Or your husband can look for ways to make more money in his career or go back to school. A lot of times we feel "stuck" but we really aren't. 

    -Childcare - explore your options. Many centers have discounts for the second child. With two kids, it is often cheaper to have an in-house nanny during the day. Some who do this also nanny-share... so you have a friend/neighbor with 1 kid... the two of you hire a nanny to be at your home during the day.. you only pay 2/3 the cost. There are all sorts of arrangements people have in place to make it work.

    I still stand by my hypothesis that most families seem to not really make it work. They go into debt and are stressed all the time trying to make it work because they didn't think things through in advance. Unfortunately, this seems to be the norm. I hope some of these tips will help you, though! Through doing what we could to cut monthly expenses, we have sped up our timeline for having #1 by a few years. Good luck! 
    Jags8greeneyed_brideaditigirlMeery82
  • Sorry to add to that novel up there... but another thing we did is get a cash rewards credit card. We pay it off religiously in full every single month. We see it more as a debit card. Many bills auto draft from it. Last year we made about $400 just from paying our bills and buying things with this card.... just one more way to save a buck. It all really does add up. 
  • *Stuck*
    Thank you soooooo much @TheCraftyKoala! You are a money saving machine. I really really appreciate you taking the time to write that post. You gave me so many great tips
    Also, about my FI wanting me to work. I feel like he does have the right to tell me I have to work because I dont have the right to tell him that he has to shoulder the financial weight of our entire household and thats what he would be forced to do if I were a SAHM

  • raeah219 said:

    Also, about my FI wanting me to work. I feel like he does have the right to tell me I have to work because I dont have the right to tell him that he has to shoulder the financial weight of our entire household and thats what he would be forced to do if I were a SAHM
    Providing for your family shouldn't be a negative thing. I get it, not everyone can afford living off of 1 income, but he should at least be open to the idea of you staying home down the road. Maybe he is, but doesn't want to give you false hope in case that doesn't work out? But I'd at least have a conversation with him about what it would take for you to be able to stay home without him feeling anxious or overburdened about it. Tell him about the benefits of you staying home with the kids. It usually does make more financial sense for both parents to work, but finances aren't the only factors in the decision. If it's something you really want and feel he isn't "letting" you do, you may end up resenting him.

    I'd follow a lot of the tips given by PPs including craftykoala. Maybe he will see the results and realize this really could work. GL!
    [Deleted User]

  • MandJS said:
    raeah219 said:
    *Stuck*
    Thank you soooooo much @TheCraftyKoala! You are a money saving machine. I really really appreciate you taking the time to write that post. You gave me so many great tips
    Also, about my FI wanting me to work. I feel like he does have the right to tell me I have to work because I dont have the right to tell him that he has to shoulder the financial weight of our entire household and thats what he would be forced to do if I were a SAHM
    Except you wouldn't be, as you would be SAVING the money you otherwise pay for childcare. See what I mean? Not all contributions need to actually EARN money to be financially sound.
    This.  Working is also an expense because you pay for gas to get to work, work clothes, lunch out, contributing to co-workers birthdays and whatnot, and taxes.  Childcare is the biggest expense in the beginning having a child.  My being at home takes care of that.  If you want to keep working then that's fine.  But if you actually wanted to be home I'd fight for it.  Break down all of your expenses.  If he really just wants you to contribute because he is than that's silly to me.  There is huge value in being home and taking care of your children.  That should be taken into consideration. 
    [Deleted User]
  • @raeah219 - you're welcome. Sorry that post was so long... I just kept it open for a bit and kept adding more. We don't do all of these things because we don't have kids yet (so obviously don't cloth diaper, etc.) but over the last few years we have worked really hard to free up our income so that welcoming a child can be a real possibility. It can be done, if you really want it! I also count my lucky stars to have married such a frugal man who loves providing for his family!

    I think what it comes down to is that no one has unlimited resources so we all juggle to some extent. "Where there's a will there's a way."

    OP - I would recommend sitting down this weekend and categorizing all of your expenses from the last few months. You may be shocked by what you find... For us it seems like the little charges add up.. $20 at home depot, $5 Starbucks, $15 book store, $40 hair cut, etc. that make a huge difference because you just don't really think about it. That alone can be the difference between affording a second child or not. 

    [Deleted User]
  • Nicb13 said:

    Whoa @TheCraftyKoala, that's a seriously long post! ;)


    Totally-- but you really sound like you have your ish together-- and I know you are young, so I am going to really applaud you!  There's actually a lot of great advice in there. 

     

    BFP 1- EDD 2/09/11 Missed MC DX @11 weeks D&C- 7/25/10 BFP 2- EDD 12/22/11 Natural MC @ 5w 2d BFP 3- EDD 1/25/12 DD Josephine born 1/16/12

    Lilypie - (TUWi)

     

    [Deleted User][Deleted User]aditigirlMeery82
  • @helenahhandbasket - thank you! :)

    We are a far cry from perfect lol We prioritize and spend on what matters most to us. I really can't take much credit because it would be impossible if I didn't have a good partner who loves to save. And I picked up a lot of tips from other ladies on these boards. I don't think we are that young though... I'm 24, he is 26. :) Is that young? I dunno lol 
    [Deleted User]
  • Nicb13 said:
    @helenahhandbasket - thank you! :)

    We are a far cry from perfect lol We prioritize and spend on what matters most to us. I really can't take much credit because it would be impossible if I didn't have a good partner who loves to save. And I picked up a lot of tips from other ladies on these boards. I don't think we are that young though... I'm 24, he is 26. :) Is that young? I dunno lol 

    I'm 33 so you are "young" to me!
    Samesies-- I am also 33 (soon to be 34).  You are a bambeen.

     

    BFP 1- EDD 2/09/11 Missed MC DX @11 weeks D&C- 7/25/10 BFP 2- EDD 12/22/11 Natural MC @ 5w 2d BFP 3- EDD 1/25/12 DD Josephine born 1/16/12

    Lilypie - (TUWi)

     

  • lol I guess I am a youngin' :)

    I often forget that many of you are a decade or so older than I am, but I guess that is why I have learned so much since I started lurking here. :) 
    [Deleted User]
  • DH and I work opposite shifts. (He works 5:30am-2:00p and I work 3p-8p m-f and 9a-4p on Sunday)

    We also moved from our LCOL area where we could afford 2-3 kids on just DHs income to an extremely HCOL area where I HAVE to work and we did that because our families live here and it was a priority for us that our children are raised around them.

    So we afford our baby by making sacrifices. We spend less time together, we don't have tons of extra money, we coupon, we don't have cable, we have one car from 2001, we buy things from Craigslist or the thrift store.

    Neither DH or I make tons of money. He does logistics and I do in home support for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

    So really we cut out things we saw as unnecessary to prioritize having another baby. It's not easy and it's taken us a long time just to save up the 4k I'll need for my 12 week maternity leave but the trade off is that our families are always here to help us. DD spends the night at least once a week with her grandparents. (She loves it and it gives mommy and daddy a bit of alone time) If I have an appt while DH is at work and can't get the car my sister in law usually gives me a ride or watches DD while I take her car. DHs grandparents are retired and live next door to my in laws and they love having her come over and are always willing to watch her whenever we need.

    So I guess what I'm getting at is we are able to afford having another kid because we have a family community who are willing and happy to help us.
    raeah219
  • lol I guess I am a youngin' :)

    I often forget that many of you are a decade or so older than I am, but I guess that is why I have learned so much since I started lurking here. :) 
    I can never judge age on here, which is probably a good thing.  I'm 30, so I tend to subconciously assume everyone else is too, though some are obviously much younger, while others are older.


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  • fredalina said:
    I would think there would be a lot of demand for evening and weekend occupational therapists. It is hard for working parents to fit that shit in. Trust me.
    No. Not at all. OT's only work Day shift.  We don't do nights.  Weekends yes... I work PRN on Saturdays at some places. 
  • ::waves hi:: from over at SAHM!  Just wanted to add that there are expenses that have risen from being a SAHM that you need to account for if you are going to get together a budget to talk to your DH.  For example, our energy bill has gone up each month because I'm HERE as opposed to an empty house which we would have programmed to use less heat or ac during the hours we would be gone.  Also we spend money on activities for myself and LO.  We haven't done any classes yet, but we will probably be joining a gym next month, and we've done a lot of bounce houses/indoor play places this winter (which all have a fee).  The summer was easier because of course outside is free lol.  I also drive almost as much I did when I was working - playdates, errands, visiting family, etc.  Those are really just a few things, but you can't just say that being a SAHP will save money on child care and gas, because those costs can be matched by other things!
    raeah219
  • LimaDLimaD member
    aliebno said:
    ::waves hi:: from over at SAHM!  Just wanted to add that there are expenses that have risen from being a SAHM that you need to account for if you are going to get together a budget to talk to your DH.  For example, our energy bill has gone up each month because I'm HERE as opposed to an empty house which we would have programmed to use less heat or ac during the hours we would be gone.  Also we spend money on activities for myself and LO.  We haven't done any classes yet, but we will probably be joining a gym next month, and we've done a lot of bounce houses/indoor play places this winter (which all have a fee).  The summer was easier because of course outside is free lol.  I also drive almost as much I did when I was working - playdates, errands, visiting family, etc.  Those are really just a few things, but you can't just say that being a SAHP will save money on child care and gas, because those costs can be matched by other things!
    I agree that as a SAHM you will incur other costs like utilities from being home, etc.
    But how much you spend is really up to you, and I guess might depend on where you live. There are a TON if ideas on Pinterest of creative, free or cheap things to do at home to keep LO engaged and entertained. Of course it's still nice to get out of the house and like PP said, that's a lot easier when the weather is nice. 

    But on cold or rainy days there are some ways to get out of the house without spending $.
    Story time at the local library (i think some Barnes & Noble stores do it too), play dates with friends, going to the shopping mall-- A lot of space to roam around and they have a kid play area my DD can climb all over.  Of course these ideas might be depending on age, my DD is 15 mo old so she really enjoys it.   I know in the fall we love going to apple orchards and pumpkin patches. Some cost money, but some are completely free and still offer a lot of fun things for kids including wagon rides and play areas.

    Also, I just signed us up for a swimming class that's offered at an indoor pool in town. I don't have to be a member of anything, I just pay the $30 for the 6 week class. That's not free but not bad either and we meet 2 days a week. 
    So yes, you'll pay some money for stuff, but nowhere near what you pay for childcare. I guess it depends on you and how you choose to spend.
    thechickencoopraeah219
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