Article telling Millennials who can't afford kids to "just make it work"…

posted 2 months ago in No Kids
Post # 61
Member
1425 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Wait, if people can’t afford a class ring or cheerleading lessons for their kids, then they shouldn’t have them…? I don’t agree with that.  

These are all EXTRAS but is it really fair for a child to go without just because you wanted kids but couldn’t really afford them?”

Yesit is fair because like you said, these are EXTRAS. Not having extras for the kids does not equate to not being able to afford them. 

How many parents nowadays can afford full college tuition? If that were truly the rubric of “being able to afford kids” then only the 1% could have them. My parents pay $30k a year for my sister’s college (Johns Hopkins) and that’s only HALF!! 

thebeekeeper :  

Post # 62
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee

Ok but no one actually wants a class ring, right?

Post # 63
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

This article was stupid. If you want kids, and can figure out how to afford them, have kids. If you can’t or don’t want them, don’t. I like kids, I wanted kids. I have 1 with 1 on the way, and Daycare is going to suck for the next few years. I couldn’t imagine though moving back home for a long time to raise kids. We had to move in with my parents when our house settlements didn’t line up for exactly one month. I love my parents. I really really do. One month was all of our limits. We settled on the new house Thursday morning, we slept in the new house Thursday night. Everyone lived much happier. 

Post # 64
Member
5874 posts
Bee Keeper

penny1403 :   Houses are more, but incomes are way higher.

This is not accurate. Wages, adjusted for inflation, have barely budged in 30 years. If you entered the workforce before 2008 you have a very different experience than the millenials who graduated college in a recession. They are still trying to catch up and many of them are still in that situation despite making good choices based on the information they had. For example I have several friends who went to law school (historically a safe bet for a high income career) and then all of the jobs disappeared and they were left holding the bag with a ton of loans and no way to pay them. The economy has recovered and they are doing fine, but they missed out on many years of earning. 

There are choices to be made in life, but there are also circumstances beyond peoples’ control as well. To assume that everyone had the same choices as you and that they just didn’t want it bad enough is ignorant and privileged thinking.  

Post # 65
Member
345 posts
Helper bee

Okay…storytime here.

My sister and I are both Millennials. I’m currently a waiting bee and will probably marry when I’m around 24 or 25 and my SO is around 26 or 27 (we’re currently 22 and 24 and he’s said a proposal is coming within the next 4-8 months). We’ll both be in the early part of our mid-career and past entry-level salaries (he’s an operations specialist for heavy industrial suppliers and I’m a behavioral scientist for an ad agency). We will both own cars. I will own a house (closing in a few weeks yay!) We both already have our own health insurance and cell phone plans. We both pay our own rent and while he’s borrowing a car from his parents at the moment, he has a plan to purchase a used Chevrolet Volt within the next 12 months. I’m already on my second car of my own after my first was totalled by a distracted driver.

We’ve got the adulting thing pretty well in hand.

We’ve also discussed that we do not want to have kids until I’ve made director (typically around 7-10 years in the business in my field putting me somewhere between 28 and 31 by then) so that we know our financial ducks will all be in a row.

We are constantly being chided by my (Baby Boomer) parents for saving too much (I just got a lecture last night asking why I wasn’t comfortable only saving 10% of my takehome pay) and being too financially cautious (example: I’d like to install a pergola and small storage shed at my new house instead of a 2 car garage to save the money) 

My sister got married very young (she was 22) and was fully committed to planning her wedding before she or her husband had a job or a place to live. Both of them still had cars from their parents (no payment on them of any kind) and my grandmother gave them a free place to live for their entire dating process and a full year after their marriage. 

At around the 100k mile mark my sister’s car flooded (it wasn’t insurance covered due to a quirk in the policy) and she sold it for scrap. She then purchased a car that three carseats across would fit in “just in case” (they had no children at this point) and insisted on purchasing new so there wasn’t “uncertainty” in the decision. Her husband was given a second car from his parents.

My sister got pregnant when she was 27 after being told by a doctor she probably wasn’t particularly fertile so she didn’t need to worry too much about birth control. They moved closer to the family, did extensive home renovations, and had their sweet little baby. Unfortunately at this point they are struggling to make payments on everything and so tight on money that when I asked if my sister wanted to split a Christmas gift with me to give my parents ($60 per person for a new firepit for our yard) she insisted they couldn’t afford it. She doesn’t work currently and refuses to go back to work. 

My parents have supported their financial decision-making all the way–in spite of the fact that it often means our family taking on huge extra responsibilities (i.e. cleaning their entire house, redoing their entire yard, etc) 

I love my parents, but I’m consistently baffled by this idea that “oh just get married, oh just have the baby, don’t worry about finances” is a good way to move forward. 

 

Post # 66
Member
345 posts
Helper bee

Also my parents keep telling me I’m “making great money”–which is not entirely untrue. BUT when they got married my dad’s first-year salary alone was $15k more than my early-mid-level salary! They bought a house for $80k that’s worht $500k now! For the last time–you have never lived on my salary stop telling me how great it is!

Post # 67
Member
9109 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2016

penny1403 :  I will say, I actually am doing the same thing that you’re talking about. I bought my house dirt dirt dirt cheap because it was unlivable when I bought it, did all the remodeling ourselves and we’ll have a pretty nice profit if we decide to sell it. 

This was 4 years ago when I bought it and we live in a decent cost of living area though so I would not say that my situation is typical or would be attainable for a lot of people. Had my Dad not been doing housing remodeling for thirty years professionally and had we not lived in a low cost of living area I wouldn’t likely have the advantage I have. 

But different strokes for different folks, not everyone can be lucky enough to have things line up to do something like that.

I would love to have three kids, but realistically I don’t think it’s would be financially possible unless we hit the lotto or something. I make good money and I’ll likely make enough to afford two kids and maintain our quality of life but three would be a stretch. I would rather have less children and let the children I have have a great quality of life than have more children and make them sacrifice. 

Post # 69
Member
4323 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

slomotion :  

This is my exact thought process right now. My three year old is in tap and ballet and she loves it. When I bought her ballet outfits, I thought of how awesome it was that we are able to do this for her. I do want a second one but I don’t want to take anything away from my daughter, and I want to do the same for a second one.

She’s only three so she doesn’t have any wants yet, but she has way more than she needs. She’s happy and comfortable with a lot of extras. The extras are a luxury but it’s so nice to be able to provide them for the kids.

Post # 70
Member
2227 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

graced :  i guess im not sure where you think that your sister went “wrong”? Because she isn’t able to budget more for gifts at Christmas? Because she chooses not to work and to be a stay at home mom?  Her life and life choices seem ok to me.

Post # 71
Member
5036 posts
Bee Keeper

penny1403 :  I started making good choices at a young age

Don’t you also shame your baby daddies on social media for child support? 

Post # 72
Member
5874 posts
Bee Keeper

jannigirl :  agreed. The sister has the right to choose what she does with her money and it sounds like she is prioritizing staying home with her kids over Christmas gifts. That’s perfectly legit. 

slomotion :   Sansa85 :  it also depends on your definition of sacrifice. Some people prioritize ballet lessons, but others think having more siblings to grow up with is the priority because they love big families. Neither of those is wrong so long as everyone is having their needs met. 

Post # 73
Member
4323 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

LilliV :  

Agreed! 

Post # 74
Member
555 posts
Busy bee

camenae :  If you are currently living paycheck to paycheck and it’s just you or just you and your spouse then you have no extra for children. Period. That is the point. That’s what paycheck to paycheck means. If your current bills equal your current income then you have nothing left over for a child. 

Forget about the extras and the fact that your kids are always going to wonder why they can’t be included in x,y and z. Forget about college and the child’s future. If you currently have little to nothing left after you or you AND your spouse get paid, where do you expect to acquire this extra money for a child with NEEDS like diapers and clothing and school supplies and food?

Go ahead, I’ll wait. Is a magic fairy going to come and bring it to you? 

Post # 75
Member
1193 posts
Bumble bee

Society puts a lot of unnecessary pressure to follow a certain pattern…

Graduate high school, Graduate college, Get married, Buy a house, Have 2 kids, Etc.

If you have no kids, you are selfish, if you have only one you are setting them up for a lifetime of disappointment, if you have 3+ you are nuts.  

I actually tried to follow that plan and everything fell apart…now I am thinking outside of the box and following my own rules and my life is great.  Of course, I still get the pressure to have kids, but I just brush off the comments and keep doing what I’m doing.  

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