(Closed) Making a choice about having kids…

posted 4 years ago in Finances
Post # 2
Member
13906 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I feel you.  I love in NOVA in one of the most expensive counties in the region.  My neighbors have told me they spend approximately $3k per month on childcare, and I found out by talking to other friends/colleagues with kids that the $3k figure is a rough estimate, but pretty accurate as a median. 

We have a mortgage and student loans as well.  We both have good salaries, but I’m at a loss for how someone affords childcare.  I think that’s why most of my neighbors and friends with kids didn’t have them until mid-30s…because it’s honestly an enormous financial burden for someone in this area to juggle along with student loans and other responsibilities.

I have no real advice for you, but wanted to share a commiserating experience.

Post # 3
Member
4251 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

Wel lived in Vancouver, which has a crazy high cost of living.  And I wanted to be a Stay-At-Home Mom, so we moved.  I know you say it isn’t an option, but it is always an option.  There was no way I was not having kids just because of money.  Do I LOVE where we live now?  No.  But I like it, and my kids love it, lol.  And we can afford to live here on one salary.

That said, kids are bloody epensive!  When they aren’t in daycare they are in extra-curricular things that cost a lot, and around that time they start to care about clothes, and constantly need new shoes, and dental appointments, and you want to take them to the zoo or camping… and it really just never stops.  So how do people do it?  I am not sure, but my husband and I buy very select things for oursleves or go out to eat.  And we have not gone on a vacation that we fly to in 5 years.  Who would want to take 3 kids on a plan though anyway, lol.  

 

Post # 5
Member
9841 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Home daycares are sometimes a little less, or if you have friends with children maybe you could nanny share? But yeah, child care costs suck. If your DH won’t leave the area I guess that it would be time for some hard conversations.

Post # 6
Member
9126 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

Also keep in mind that while kids add some expenses they also mean you’ll be giving some up. You’ll be eating out less, vacationing less, you can cancel cable since you don’t have time for it anyways, and probably a few other things. I’m in Boston and our friends spend more on daycare than their mortgage and none of us are wealthy. 

Also remember babies don’t need as much as marketers would want you to believe and MANY things can be found in great used condition for a low cost (or even free) if you tap your networks and community. 

Post # 7
Member
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

How old are you?  Do either of your jobs have opportunity for pay increases?  Can you wait and save up for a few years?

Post # 8
Member
4027 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
sushiroll84: 

How much do you owe on your student loans? Is it possible to accerlate payments to get rid of them faster?

Also, if you cannot afford child care, my guess is that adoption would be out of the question, given it is so expensive (unless you do foster-adopt).

If you aren’t willing to move, then I would suggest considering the following:

  • Both getting second jobs to stock pile as much money as possible for 1-2 years
  • Cut your budget as much as possible to save 6-12 months of child care expenses before event starting TTC
  • Changing careers to make more money (or asking for raises)
  • Looking in nanny shares to save on child care–or consider becoming a nanny so you can make money and watch your child at the same time
  • Ask if family members or friends can maybe help a few days a week with lower cost child care
  • Selling your current home and moving to a cheaper place (or keeping first place as a rental if possible)
  • Refinancing your student loans to get a lower interest rate or payment

Also, take into account that there are some “start up expenses” depending on your insurance. For example, out of pocket max and birth expenses. For my plan, the estimate is $2,700 out of pocket (after a $500 deductible).

FWIW, child care in our area cost about $900-$1,200 a month. Our plan is to save up $5,000 before we even TTC. That will cover out of pocket max, nursery and for some child care.

Post # 9
Member
7308 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

There is a reason why the average age to have a first child in this area is 30-35. People agressively pay down student loans and put off having kids until that bill has been eliminated. 

We live in the DC area and pay $1700 per month for infant care.

Post # 10
Member
1887 posts
Buzzing bee

Well, if you can’t lower your expenses, the other option is to try to make more money. Can you take on some tutoring after school or summer work to supplement your income and build up a nest egg? Is there a cheaper area in your general region where you could move, maybe a little further out?

Have you looked into actual daycares in your area—not just prices quoted in an article, but what are the actual costs quoted by providers you might use? Since his family is close, could they help out with childcare?

Post # 14
Member
4027 posts
Honey bee

View original reply
sushiroll84:  What type of student loans do you have? Federal or private? I have never heard of them doing anything different when you have children. It is usually all income based. You can usually refinance through private sources or through the government, or apply for an income based repayment plan. 

 Do you teach K-12? If so, you should look into loan forgiveness programs if you teach in Title 1 schools or certain subjects (math, science, SPED). Also, I am genuinely curious, why did you get so many degrees to teach? I hire lots of teachers at our school and have never seen someone with that many degrees. 

Also, if you are working 14 hour days now, from a logistics and practicality stand point, when would you have time to raise a child? Do you both work that much? I say this as someone who runs a school and works 14-16 hour days, but my husband plans to lower his work hours to balance things when we have a child. You cannot leave a child in daycare for more than 12 hours (if it’s at a licensed facility). 

Lastly, here are the facts:

If you arent willing to move, change jobs or save up money for a few years or make other compromises…then nothing is going to help you. You made the choice (for better or worse) to pursue multiple degrees and enter a lower paying field. Do teachers deserve higher pay? Absolutely (I fight that battle daily), but the reality is that it isn’t there yet. You are also choosing to live in a certain location. So you are defining your destiny.

You either have to make a drastic change (financially, living wise, etc) or not have children. You could just, have a kid and figure it out, but if that means taking on more debt, that doesn’t seem to be a very good choice…but you could do it.

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