Post # 1
I know this is a very personal issue, I’m just trying to wrap my head around the costs of kids.
We have our fair share of consumer debt, and I know there’s never a “right time” and that you never really “have enough money” to have kids. A lot of our friends have nothing but their household mortgage and household bills to pay for, no credit cards or anything.
How do you do it? We are talking about TTC soon but my hubby is really about the money factor. My sister (who has 3 kids) says you just start saying no to things. Want those shoes? Nope, can’t have them. Want that chocolate bar? Nope, can’t have that.
Please, bees, give me some hope. I fear that he’ll never feel we’re ready financially.
Post # 3
@marlew: We are going through some financial disagreements as well. In fact, this month, we bit the bullet abd we put his entire overtime check (he’s a firefighter) on all of our credit cards. I feel much better that we are CC debt free, but we still have a bathroom to pay for, mortgage and a car. I can relate to your husband in that I will never really feel ready financially… But in reality, I know we will be okay. You find ways to make it work when you have a child.
We have been TTC for almost six months now and just really tried to focus on our debts and it all works out. Neither of us are big shoppers though… I haven’t bought shoes or clothes in I dunno how long, I don’t get my hair done, we don’t get massages, I don’t get my nails done or facials, etc. all helps. Also, of course, cutting bills in any way you can, call your cell phone company and see how to decrease that, cable bill, see how you can save money on energy bills, etc. This in combination with working…a lot…has made it possible to pay off our credit cards.
What we did was paid minimums on all cards except one at a time, we would pay 100-200 or more on until it was gone, starting with the ones with the lowest outstanding debt. It comes down eventually!
Post # 4
@marlew: My sister (who has 3 kids) says you just start saying no to things. Want those shoes? Nope, can’t have them. Want that chocolate bar? Nope, can’t have that.
Pretty much this. Unless you increase your earnings to pay off debt and/or save, you need to reduce your spending. What if you start to curb your spendings and pay down debt, that will show you guys can buckle down when you need to, and that may show him that you guys are doing well enough financially even though you may have debt and can handle a child.
Post # 5
I recommend reading Your Money or Your Life. It really puts finances into perspective and changed the way I spent my money.
Post # 6
What do you mean “How do you do it?” How do you get rid of debt or how to you have kids with debt?
Living within your means is really important and will only get harder when you have kids. If you have a kid and you still have CC debt, it will only get harder to pay off and likely the debt will grow.
Do some math with your intereset rates and see how much extra money you spend each year you cant pay your CC bills off. This is money that could be saived for retirement, a kids education etc.
And you do have to just say no. To yourselves and your future kids. You dont need new shoes every season. Your future kids do not need brand new everything. Thrift shops can be great.
Make a budget with your available income and stick to it. If you have to make envelopes of money with each category (Like gas, groceries etc) and pay with cash so you stick to it.
Post # 7
thanks for the advice. ThreeMeers – trying to find out how you do it and have kids..
I think I know now what I need to do, so it’s time to buckle down.
Post # 8
@marlew: I see you live in Canada. Have you ever seen the TV show, “Til Debt Do Us Part” on Slice? It’s an awesome money management show with some great tips for eliminating consumer debt. I believe the host has a website with a free budget calculator and what not. I watch it all the time though we currently don’t have any consumer debt. It may give you some helpful hints.
Post # 9
They have that in the US as well. Its a good show.
Post # 10
My brother and SIL are just now pregnant after paying off all their CC bills and debt other than their cars.
1st – budget. Sit down and write down what you make, then what you absolutely NEED to spend. Payments for rent/mortgage, utilities, food, car payments, insurance. Then what you need to be comfortable – a small allowance for clothes, eating out, etc. What’s left? Save it/pay off debt. If you can go without the “wants” you can get out faster.
I know a lot of people who get in trouble with overtime and bonuses, too, if you get those. You can only count on your base salary when you make your budget. Anything “extra” – take a little to celebrate (because why work if you don’t get rewarded) and then use the rest to pay off debt. In no time you’ll be to the point where you’ll have those extra checks to buy things you need for the baby, etc.
Post # 11
You HAVE to learn how to live within your means. If you are in cc debt, then there are problems with your finances. Because if you can’t live within what you have now, you will almost certainly struggle when you have kids and have to pay for daycare, diapers, formula, clothes, etc.
First figure out where your money is going. Are meals out adding up? Do you spend too much on groceries – either buying expensive or prepared foods, or too much food that gets wasted? Do you buy too many clothes/shoes? Do you live in a house/apartment that’s unreasonably expensive for how much you make?
My method for finances is to make sure we live within our means, including savings. Some savings is long term, some is short. Short term can be spent on fun stuff like clothes, vacations, etc.
Post # 12
We’re going through much the same thing.
Good friends of ours once said, when we asked how they did it – “you just make it work”… Lots of our friends are going through tough times (lay-offs etc…) with kids, and I don’t get it either, but like everything in life, you make do with what you have/don’t have, and everything works out.
Right off the bat, a sister with 3 kids is a HUGE bonus – hopefully there are a lot of hand-me-down clothes/furniture/baby-stuff etc…
I found this though, which is sort of helpul (i think it’s American though)
Post # 13
Why wait until you have kids to say no to unnecessary spending? Why don’t you set up a budget for the next year to pay back your debt while you’re TTC?