(Closed) Low Income SAHM's.

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 91
Member
434 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

But why make life harder on yourself? At $30,000 a year, you are going to struggle. You are basically one big life event (hospitalization, car accident, loss of job, etc) from complete ruin. There’s no way you are going to be able to save enough money on $30,000 a year to build up a big enough cushion to prepare for those events. Especially with a kid. Sure, things happen, and if you got pregnant accidently and had to make due you certainly could. I just don’t see why you would willingly live that kind of life. Get an education, get a job and then have a kid.

Post # 92
Member
1462 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2015

I think that people are forgetting that when all your money is going towards raising kids, you might not have enough left over for your own retirement, especially if you live in an expensive area. I grew up in a Stay-At-Home Mom household, my dad made close to $200k at the peak of his career but due to our living in a high cost of living area, they sacrificed their own savings and retirement so that we could have a good childhood. Regular music lessons, tutoring, summer camps, etc. Both our college educations paid in full without loans. But I know my parents lived paycheck to paycheck as a result. We lived a middle class lifestyle – 3 bedroom home for a family of four, old mismatched furniture, eating mostly at home, no fancy vacations, cars kept for 10 years plus. My dad is over 65 and he is still working to pay off the mortgage and save more for retirement. On the contrary, my fiance grew up in the Midwest, similar background with a Stay-At-Home Mom and a middle class upbringing with college paid for, and his parents have saved soooo much money as a result of their frugal lifestyle and living in a very inexpensive area.

 

Post # 93
Member
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

Jewelieee:  I agree with you.  You absolutely are not saving for retirement if you are living on $30K a year.  I have a hard enough time doing it on my salary, but I do.  I have a small pension, and I set aside about 11% of my income. Even at that, if I didn’t have my husband also contributing, I would have a hard time saving enough to fund a decent retirement.  As soon as we are down to 1 mortgage, I am upping my saving.

The real issue is do you want to be a Stay-At-Home Mom so much that you are basically willing to live in poverty to do it?  As for me, I am not.

Post # 94
Member
2814 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I realize that every familiy has different priorities in life, but for me, I could not fathom purposely bringing a child into a situation that was financially challenging. I personally equate it to bringing a child into a family that is not emotionally stable.

When I was a child, I was born into a family which was very financially secure, but also not responsible in saving money “just in case.” My dad lost his job and my parents separated when I was 8 and we instantly became the family on welfare, assistance, and were struggling to make ends meet. I had to grow up SUPER fast, becoming “mother” to my other sibling while my dad worked. It was so hard to be the kid that was getting charity lunch and school or wearing my dad’s old sweaters because we couldn’t afford new clothes. I never had the chance to participate in activities. Going through that experience really makes me sensitive to those who choose to bring kids into the world when they are already financially struggling. It’s so unecessary.

I get the strong urge to want to have kids, I absolutely do. I waited quite a number of years before we became financially stable and were in a good place to have kids. It was tortuous, but my goodness, I am so glad that we waited until then. Yes, the first year of life for a baby is relatively low-cost if you breastfeed and cloth diaper, but there are so many unforseen variables. I have a cousin whose baby was allergic to dairy/lactose and could not be breastfed. The special forumla he had to eat was enormously expensive.

I have an (almost) 3 year old now, and I can tell you that the costs are just mind boggling sometimes. I feel like I am forever needing to buy things for her, and I am not somone who buys a lot of stuff “just because.” She grows out of clothes and shoes so fast. She needs a new bed, bedsheets, pull ups, potty for training, foot stool for hand washing, toys to play with for outside, medicine, jacket, bathing suit, etc etc. It all adds up (and even with our comfortable earnigs, I still shop majorly at consignment shops!) This isn’t even taking into the fact that she also goes to daycare so I can work (which is $150/w) and the fact that we have “free” healthcare in this country and most health costs are not something I need to consider (we do still have to pay $250 for a drug/dental plan).

There are so many unknowns that we could never be prepared for in our life, but there are just as many that we can be prepared for. Health insurance, Life insurance, savings for emergencies, etc, are necessities in my opinion. <br />Bringing another human being into the world, for me, is just as much about them as it is for me. I get the joy of being a mom, but also the responsibility of giving them the best life possible (filled with love and experiences). Furthermore, I want to make sure that they have the means to attend college (if they choose) without undertaking the enormous financial burden that I had to, because my parents never saved anything for me. I don’t want them to have to worry about looking after me and my husband as we age, and once we die, I actually want to have something to leave to them.It would be selfish, in my opinion, to not be able to provide my kids with more than just the basic needs for survival.

Yes, you can absolutely make things work on a small wage, but you need to take a good look at whether that is fair to your future child.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  urchin.
Post # 95
Member
213 posts
Helper bee

babeba:  I was about to post the same thing about the value of 30k today. 30k when I was born (1988) would have been a much more comfortable salary than the same is today. I think a lot of people overlook inflation. I also think a lot of peopl honestly have little idea what their parents made in the 80s.

I agree with many people saying that there is no way to raise a family on 30k, that is true in much of the country. However I would urge every one saying that they could not afford to raise a child on 100k (or more) to qualify their answers. I understand wanting to maintain a 6 figure income to maintain a lifestyle after children are in the picture, but you can certainly raise children without sacraficing their childhood on far less. My parents where far from the salary level equivalent to 100k today, and we were never left wanting anything as kids. We didn’t get to go on extravegant vacations all the time, and we never got rid of a car before it was 10 years old with 200k miles, but we played sports, played instuments, took classes we wanted to take, and all grew up to be successful (Engineer, Pharmacist and Special Ed Teacher.) My Fiance and I are fortunate that we will not have to make huge sacrafices financially when we have kids, but just because you can’t, or won’t do it on your combined salaries, doesn’t mean others can’t. Those that list student loans, and go out to eat weekly are looking at a different financial picture than the OP and others who want to SAH at a “low” income. Unless you are in NYC, or the Bay area then 100k a year is pleanty to live off of, including saving, unless you have a ton of debt. If you feel you would have to cut savings to have a baby I would suggest you look at your other expenses first.

Post # 96
Member
6015 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

What’s wrong with being the Mom that stays home with the kids?  So what if they are  “the poor” kids?  From one of “THE POOR” kids whose mom CHOSE to stay at home, I’d say I wasn’t poor in time spent with my parents, we had vacations, we had things, we grew up knowing the cost of things, we grew up going to the museums, plays, movies, we even traveled out of the US.  I’d say I wasn’t poor in the important stuff… just poor in STUFF. 

Post # 98
Member
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Another consideration that I’m not sure has been mentioned (it may have and I missed it) is that sometimes for those who make less, after paying for childcare to continue working you wouldn’t be taking home very much money. So you have to consider whether it would be worth working and paying for childcare but not making $$ or sacrificing the little $$ for the opportunity to be home with your children.

i don’t have kids and my family will never see 6 figures. 

Post # 99
Member
14977 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

MakingHerWait:  This is why 100k wouldn’t get us very far.  100k after federal and state taxes is about 80k. 

  • Mortage + property taxes = 30k/year leaving 50k. (Avg house in a decent to good area is no less than 500k)
  • Day care is about 1500/month (18k/year) leaving 32k. 
  • Groceries @ 500/month leaves 26k
  • Utilities @ 500/month leaves 20k. 
  • Gas @300/month leaves 16.4k.
  • Car payments on 2 cars @ 500/month leaves 10.4k

Any sort of decent savings/retirement wipes that out and leaves you basically living paycheck to paycheck nevermind vacations and any extras.  It’s doable, but 100k is far from easy street with no financial worries.

Post # 100
Member
213 posts
Helper bee

pinkshoes:  It seems like you missed my qualifier about this being the case in most of the country. There are pleanty of places you can live in a great neigborhood/community for well under 30k a year. I can buy a new build 4 Bed, 3 bath home with a yard in a nice development, in an area with a good school system for 200k, easily in my area. That saves 60% of your housing allowance, or 18k. On top of that, good planning can easily leave you with 1 or 0 car paymens, cutting 3 to 6k. You can easily raise a baby for 21-24k/year.

 

Yes it is possible to have financial worries at 100k, it is also possible to live comfortably on half of that.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 5 months ago by  MakingHerWait.
Post # 101
Member
14977 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

MakingHerWait:  Oh it’s definitely more than possible for most to be comfortable on much less.  It just seems like a lot of people (not you specifically, I just happen to respond to your post) just cannot fathom how 100k is not living the life of luxury and how it actually is not a lot to some so I just wanted to give a breakdown of it.

Post # 102
Member
2847 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

 

pinkshoes:  I am right there with you.  It doesn’t go that far….

Post # 103
Member
110 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

FutureMrsB123:  I think your intentions are great, but adding someone to your family who cannot support themselves (child, cat, dog, elderly parent) – can bring a lot of unknowns into the financial situation, and you need to make sure you have enough savings / money coming in to handle those unknowns.   It’s well and good that you intend on working until you give birth/breast feeding / using clothe diapers.. but with a baby you never know – you might end up having to be on bed rest the last 3 months of your pregnancy, or maybe the baby doesnt take to your milk, or maybe the baby gets a really bad rash from clothe diapears, along with a ton of potential medical issues that can occur to your and the baby which your husbands insurance may not cover 100%.   Regardless of what you and your hubby make, I think it’s responsible to be in a place in your lives where you’re not living paycheck to paycheck and have a pretty decent emergency fund to deal with any issue that can occur. Just my 2 cents.   

Post # 104
Member
2878 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Echoing PP:

This is why 100k wouldn’t get us very far. 100k after federal and state taxes is about 65k in San Francisco, California, thanks to the higher tax bracket.

  • Rent (hahahahaha affording a mortgage) = 21.6k/year, leaving 43.4k (at rent control). (Avg. 2bd/1ba, 950 sq ft house in my current neighborhood is no less than 1.2M, and rent in my building is now 30k/year)
  • Day care @ 2000/month (24k/year) leaving 19.4k. 
  • Groceries @ 500/month (6k/year) leaves 13.4k
  • Utilities @ 250/month (3k/year) leaves 10.4k. 
  • Gas, insurance and bus / transit passes @ 300/month (3.6k/year) leaves 6.8k.

We haven’t even touched health care, emergency savings, or student loans. Forget vacations and what not. 

If we didn’t have rent control, we wouldn’t be able to afford our current 1bd apartment (see: 6.8k left over vs. 8.4k difference in current vs. market rate rent) and as it stands, we can’t afford to leave the city since Oakland is getting more expensive too. 

So yeah, assuming Fiance and I make $100k HHI, we still can’t afford to have a kid in SF because day care is so pricey + we still have student loans to pay. It sounds stupid to say that we’re struggling, but we will once you throw day care into the mix. We don’t have family to help, so we would need day care. 

Everyone says move out of SF Bay Area, but the jobs that we’re qualified for just don’t exist anywhere but SF, NYC, etc. where 100k can’t support a family of three. 

Post # 105
Member
213 posts
Helper bee

bitsybee:  Out of curiousity, what line of work you are in that the only market is in NYC or SF?

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