Post # 1
I’m really curious about savings rates and having kids. This includes savings accounts, investments, 401(k)s, etc., but not property.
I’ve seen people talk about how much they had to have in the bank before they felt secure enough to have kids. I’m interested in a related but different question – how much extra do you have left over at the end of the month?
We don’t have kids, but I would like to soon. We are currently saving about $700 a month ($500/month in our money market savings account, and $200 in his 401(k)), and my husband would like to be able to have a much bigger cushion every month before we start trying. I understand that, but I’m also 32 and would rather not wait too long!
How much beyond your regular monthly expenses do you think you need to have a child? And does that change depending on whether or not you own your home? If you have different answers depending on renting or owning, you can pick a different number for each.
Post # 3
Would you be staying home and living off of the saved income or is this with working, just the extra for the raising of kids?
Post # 4
Working, but with the added cost of childcare.
Post # 5
I am probably not the best first answer but here it goes. My husband and I own our home, and we try to set aside as much as we can. My husband is very nervous about the costs of the children, but I try to keep in mind we both make pretty good money, and know people who have raised kids with much less. We plan to both continue working, and we will just make it work. Sorry I don’t have anything specific, we have a safety net, but I think if we were to wait till we felt financially comfortable, we may never have kids. I know so many people who make incomes I would be happy to have and they still have money struggles…. so idk, but I have faith when something is important you just find a way! I am be nieve! lol
Post # 6
I put 1-3k and owning in the poll, but I meant 1-3k in my actual savings; that’s separate from our deductions to 401Ks. Saving 1-3k per month is actually on the low end of what I’d like, but it’s something!
Post # 7
I’d like to have a decent amount in savings before we TTC. You just never know what’s going to happen. I know a couple who’s infant daughter ended up in the NICU at 3 weeks old and incurred thousands of dollars of medical bills (after insurance). Now the family is struggling to make ends meet. That’s probably not what you wanted to hear but these are the things I think about when I start getting the itch to reproduce. It’s true that if you wait until everything is perfect it will never happen but atleast for us, we need a safety net in order to feel comfortable taking that next step. I don’t know how these people do it with next to nothing but I’ve got a lot of respect for them. However, it’s not a life that I would want for myself.
Right now we rent but we’ll own before we reproduce. I’d like to save $2k+ per month which could be done if we really stuck to a strict budget (I’m not very good at that). Ideally, having atleast 6 months of income saved would be great but I don’t know how realistic that goal is.
Post # 8
I really don’t think is something that you can actually put a price tag on. Both my husband and I are chemist and I had my daughter why in college and my son right after. You can’t really tell how much you need to have before having kids. WE have our home, enjoying our kids and going alone with what life has to offer. Thats the enjoyment of it all and stop worrying about how much to have in your bank account before having kids.
Post # 9
@jangbeh24: With all due respect, I don’t think thats the best advice. I do think that people should be concerned about finances. You’re adding another mouth to feed for atleast the next 18 years. If a couple can hardly keep themselves clothed and fed then they’re probably not in the best position to have a child.
Everyones comfort zone will be different. I’m sure there are people out there who think it’s crazy that I wouldn’t want to have a kid unless I was saving $2k+ per month but that’s where we’d be comfortable. Unfortunatley, I’ve seen first hand what having kids before you’re financially ready can do to a family. They “make it work” but it’s anything but easy. I’m sure they’d agree that having more of a cushion would have made their lives much easier. It all depends on the quality of life you want to lead.
Post # 10
@UpstateCait: My point is, this is what life is. I understand your point but what’s life all about to you? You could wait and save all the money in this world before having kids but while if something tragic happens? Will you regret waiting? Anyways, it’s how you see things, go ahead and save.
Post # 11
I guess it depends on your perspective on how parents are supposed to be.
I didn’t have any savings, nor did I think about saving when I got pregnant. I could not buy my son OSH KOSH clothes and disposable diapers all the time or ToysRus stuff, but he is 25 years old now and survived the “poor” house! I was a single mom, working partime, and on social assistance. (I didn’t go to work until he was in kindergarten, so he was 4 years old) My child went to school from 9-3 and I would drop him off at school and pick him up afterwards, until he was old enough to be on his own, then I got a “real” fulltime job.
That is what I did. I am not belittling those who have to work fulltime and get a nanny.
Post # 12
Where I am daycare is $1200+ a month so we’d need to have more than that left over in the budget. Not counting 401k, that’s separate and not something I’d cut back on after having kids. There are things that could be cut out to make room for baby expenses, but I’d want to start with a good cushion. Thankfully by the time I TTC I’ll be done with student loans so that will help a lot.
Post # 13
Everyones comfort zone will be different.
Agreed. That’s why I’m curious to see what the range is. Mine is higher than many people’s, I know – my husband and I make about the median household income for our area, which means there are tons and tons of people having families on less than we have. But I would find that hard – as it is, we don’t have a car, don’t have cable, don’t have smartphones (and the much-higher monthly service fees that go with them), etc. I know there are other ways we could save, like eating cheaper food (we buy most of our vegetables and eggs at the farmer’s market, and my husband only eats non-factory-farmed meats) and me buying fewer clothes (that is my weakness!).
Our dilemma is that for the next year and a half, I’ll continue to get a very small paycheck, but I’ll also have a lot more time and flexibility. After that, I hope, if I can get a good job in my field, I will get a very significant bump in how much I earn, but I will also be much, much, much busier. And there’s no guarantee that I’ll get such a job. So in some ways it makes more sense for us to have a baby soon, since I won’t be on the tenure clock yet and I’ll have more free time. But it’s taking a much bigger financial risk.
Post # 14
The large cost is childcare, many people have different options for that so money saved every month will depend on what you have lined up for childcare. When I had my son we paid $600 a month in childcare and $100 in formula, $150 a month in diapers, and about $100 in misc. We are thinking of trying for a baby next year and I would be comfortable with being able to save $1500 a month now, counting on $1000 a month for extra baby expenses and then Putting $500 a month in savings. How I felt after having my son was that there really wasn’t so much that they actually needed, I could have gotten by with way less.
Post # 15
this is an interesting thread! we are playing to TTC this fall, and we will have almost 40K in student loan debt, plus other debt from lines of credit, etc. Happily, it seems that the wedding WON’T put us into debt, yay!
I know that we will save what we can, and pay down out debts bit by bit. I’m 34, and can’t wait much longer. I just hope we don’t run into any conception troubles.
With the support of our families and friends, I know we will have more than enough of what we need to get us through. I don’t want to raise my child on brand name, brand new stuff anyway- i’m a thrift store, re-user type of woman. I won’t be putting them into child care either. We will arrange our work schedules so one of us is home every day, or have my Mom help.
$1200 a month for child care? I had no idea. That’s harsh. The first 5 years are SO formative, that I plan on spending as much time with my new little human as possible!
Post # 16
Day care costs about $2000 a month where I live, so we’d have to have $2000 extra each month for each kid. Plus, a little extra to save for retirement, college, security fund, etc. I’d say $5-6000 extra for 2 kids, $3-4000 extra for one kid would keep me from freaking out.