(Closed) Help! Biological clock vs. low income/high cost of living

posted 7 years ago in Babies
Post # 3
817 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

One of my thoughts is that you will NEVER find a perfect time to have a kid. You can always think of some excuse, whether it’s money or career or freedom or whathaveyou. If you were to get pregnant on accident or the pill didn’t work effectively, you would probably figure it out.

Now I’m not saying you should TTC at this point, but I do think it’s worth having a goal in mind. Maybe you and Darling Husband should pick a date in the future — say, 6 months — and put it on a calendar. Decide that you will revisit the decision at that point and maybe things will be in a better place for you financially.

Post # 4
345 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

personally, i would go ahead and start trying now.  you’ll never be financially ‘ready’ for a kid, and but you can always make money later on, but if you wait too long you could end up missing out on being able to have kids at all. I’ve never met anyone who has regretted having their baby when they did, but I do know someone who waited too long and then found out she couldn’t have them due to early menopause 🙁  so get cracking i say! as soon as i’m married next year i’m going to start trying, i already wonder if i should now as i’m in my early thirties and the longer we wait the harder it gets and the more likely there is to be problems…

and i’m in a high cost city as well, so totally understand but on the bright side you’re not in debt which is a great achievement!!

Post # 6
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

You will at least have a postdoc position in a couple of years, yes? You should make $45000+ at that point in most fields. That’ll be a big help!

We are in the same boat – we will be living in San Fran when we have a kid – and even being in the top 10% of wage earners in the USA does not put us in a very good position for being able to afford a 3-bedroom place plus two kids in daycare. With a TWO bedroom home being $550,000+ for a fixer-upper…we’re not even sure we could afford the third bedroom for a second cild, let alone the daycare and college, etc.

Really, it comes down to sacrifice – you will only make so much money over the course of your life. You can have fewer children later and live in the better neighborhood with the better schools/save for their college, or you can live in a worse neighborhood with worse schools, not save for college, have more kids (or somewhere along the spectrum depending on the cards life deals you).

Since two kids and a bigger house puts us in a scarier financial place (ie if one of us lost our job/was unable to work, we would immediately drain savings) we are leaning towards the only one kid/smaller house/better neighborhood option.

Post # 7
1555 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I live in a pretty moderate COL city and husband and I make a decent combined salary, but I know we’re going to struggle financially (well, maybe struggle is the wrong word, but we’ll notice the added expense) so I can’t even imagine living in a more expensive city with less money. That being said, people do it every day.

I checked out that link you provided, and I found it pretty shocking when they compared average home price to average household salary. I know that is somewhat skewed because people who make up the average salary count may not also own houses, but still! If the average home price is $600,000+ and the average household salary is $80,000/yr or less, I just don’t see how people do it.

I can’t help you as far as predicting how far your money will stretch, but I can second the notion that unless you have Bill Gates money, you’re probably never going to feel like you have enough- and yet people do it every day.

Post # 8
5800 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2011

I work in one of the top 10 cities and 60k combined would not be enough for us to consider TTC. I don’t think there’s ever a perfect time but at least for us we want to be able to save for college/take family vacations and 60k just would not cut it. I’m trying to think what would be our minimum … prob 100k (fyi we make well over that now and I still thinking having a baby would be rough on our finances). I do think picking a date to reevaluate is a good idea.

Post # 9
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Oh my gosh, are you me?

We only make a little more than you combined, but not by much, and have just started TTC-ing. We actually are still living in my parent’s in-law apartment in their home while we save for a house.We live right outside of Boston – VERY expensive cost of living.

We had a hard decision to make, because I have severe PCOS and was basically given a “fertility deadline” of age 25/26 (I’m turning 24 this year). So we decided to start trying now instead of wasting time that I can never get back.

We went in with the mindset that things could be very different for us 9 months from now (and that’s if we get pregnant right away, which is NOT likely). For now, we are just saving as much as we can.

I just have to have faith that everything else will fall into place. You will never feel like you have enough money to have a baby, but with the right amount of sacrifice and planning, I wholeheartedly think it’s totally possible.

Post # 10
1269 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

I think having a goal/timeline would help.  Do you see yourself financially set in a few years?  Is that in the foreseeable future or could you consider moving?  For example, DH and I will be where we want to be financially in 3-4 years.  I am going back to school for a career that will allow me to work part time and still make a considerable contrubition financially.  And Darling Husband will have a few steps up working in the hospital. 

I’m sure we could afford a child now but just by waiting that 3-4 years I will have a better career, we will already have a house considerably paid off, and will have no car or student loans.  That puts us ahead to save for college education, take vacations, etc… which would arguably put our child ahead as well.  And that puts me closer to mid 30’s and Darling Husband late 30’s.  I am ok with that because I’d rather be 40 with a 5 year old and living comfortably then 30 and not meeting our goals or continuing to do the things we enjoy.

Post # 11
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

You will never have enough money for a chid.. simply put…. you can always need “more.” Now, if it happens, you’ll work it out. There’s always someplace to find some extra money we don’t realize we have… there’s always the ability to work more and make more. Start selling Mary Kay or something easy while you’re in school on the side etc…  Plus, when you do get preg. you have a good 9 months to save every penny and family/friends are always good at helping get stuff for baby… plus there are foundations to help you if necessary.

Now, the reality is… you’re in your 30s. Depending on how long you’ve been on BC you may take a good amount of time to even begin ovulating again. Then for women in their 30s it can take longer to get pregnant as well… The sad reality is… if you wait too much longer, it could be too late…. then you will be faced with super expensive fertility treatment that may very well not even work… and all that money you “saved” or more of which you earn in salary at that point will bring you right back down to where you are now.

basically, it’s not an easy decision… but people making less than you do it all the time. I know plenty of families on one basic salary in DC with children and they’re not in sketch areas or unhappy. On the contrary… they are happier now than ever before… But there is no such thing as a perfect time. 

Post # 12
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I worry about the exact same thing. I am turning 30 this fall and live in the most expensive city in the country (NYC) and our total income might sound impressive, but it’s nothing here. It basically gets us into a small one bedroom apartment in a decent neighborhood and we would be barely scraping by every month if we had to pay for Daycare. And the catch is that we both make the same exact salary, so it wouldn’t make sense for one of us to stay home. I know that in a few years I might get promoted and we might be better off financially, but that makes me wonder if I should risk waiting to get pregnant (if we decide to at all) in order for the other pieces to fall into place first.

The plan right now is to hold off, especially since we don’t know for sure if babies are in our future and reassess when I’m 32. I think that’s the longest I should let myself wait biologically in order to at least start trying.

Post # 13
241 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2011

Gosh, I don’t have any advice, but my husband and I also live in one of those top 10s, both have secure, if not lucrative jobs that we mostly enjoy, and still don’t think we really have enough to have a child. I guess we are both thrifty by nature, and are so used to putting away a good chunk every month in savings, that not being able to save as much looks very, very scary. What also scares me is that my husband could afford our mortgage payment on his salary alone (he bought it before we got married), but if he lost his job, I would not be able to pay the mortgage alone. And we live in a small condo! Oy, the anxiety. I hope you and your husband come to a mutally OK decision.

Would it be possible to look to move now, before even TTC? I admit that as much as I love our urban metro area, the cost of living and hectic pace of life is starting to wear on me, and I can’t imagine trying to be zen about child-rearing in this area. 🙂

Post # 14
376 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Thank you for posting this. I feel similar to you but I moved away from the expensive city to a much cheaper area. IF you have a job you are pretty well off here. But its a big IF. When I graduated in 09 I spent till 2011 to find a full time job that make LESS than what I had before a degree. Now I have debt, I bring in less money and I’m older. I’ll be a few months from 30 when I get married. There is no way I can feel like the the time is right unless I get a new job (fingers crossed there!) or a promotion.

Oddly enough my study abroad trip to Ireland (private loan but an amazing experience) really is influencing me when I think about having children. The Irish went through so much hardship and death just to try to have a normal life. I feel like I owe it to people long past to have a family and not worry myself so much. They had a family (or else I wouldn’t be here!) and they didn’t have much food or decent housing. I’ve got a much nicer house (comparatively to the past) and I KNOW I can feed my kids. So if generations of really poor country catholic folk can manage kids during a potato famine, I think I can manage it on a tiny income and a lot of debt. I’ll just make it work– stubborn by nature I suppose 🙂

Post # 15
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

We live in one of the Top 10s as well, and having a kid at $60k household income would make me nervous.  But it’s managable, if you don’t mind pinching pennies.

I know there is never a right time for a kid and never enough money. But there is also a difference between not being able to afford to go to Disneyland this year and having to open yet another credit card to have the car fixed.

Post # 16
1160 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

OP I totally feel you. I mean on the top-10 COL cities thing and wondering if you’ll ever have “enough” for what you want in life (for me, its for a house/land). Bio clock is def an important concern too. I guess the thing you have to consider is what in your lives could “give way” to make your plans happen.

I am sensitive to money/kids thing because DH’s family had kids when they probably shouldn’t have financially, living in this area. It’s possible, but the way they did it sucks. They left a lot on their kids’ shoulders.

BIG BUT though. The difference between my inlaws and other families who had less and are happy/functional, though, are distinct, from what i can tell: 1-marital communication 2-realistic goals and 3-a plan. If you communicate well, are realistic about what you might have to give up (location? house size? etc), and work with each other as a team, then you will do fine.

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