You Can’t Afford Kids

Posted by Mrs Money on February 23rd, 2010


Aunt Julie
Creative Commons License photo credit: Johnath

I was talking with someone the other day about trying to get pregnant, and they ended up telling me “You can’t afford kids.” After I picked my jaw up off the floor, I asked them why they thought that was the case.  They said that kids are so expensive, and they know how frugal I am and that if I have kids they will probably have me stressed out all the time about money.

To be honest, one of the reasons we’ve waited to have children is because of money.  We wanted to make sure that we had stable footing before adding a child into the mix.  I don’t think that’s silly, but maybe other people do.  At one point, we had over $36,000 in student loan debt, my husband was in culinary school, and I wasn’t even making that much in a year while supporting us! To get pregnant would have been a strain on our marriage, finances, and sanity.

I know that we’ll never be truly 100% ready to have kids, but I want to do the best I can with what we have now to prepare.  I want to get as much debt paid off that I can, save up enough money to take a year off work to stay with the baby, and have a healthy emergency fund just for peace of mind.  I don’t think that having a baby is a decision to take lightly, and everything I can do to prepare will make it so much more worth it in the end.

To be honest, I don’t know if anyone can ever afford to have kids.  I think that you make sacrifices and deal with the cards that you’re dealt.

Do you think we’ll be able to afford kids?

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63 Responses to “You Can’t Afford Kids”

  1. Simply Life says:

    Great post and so good to learn from others!


  2. I wanted to be as financial stable too before having kids, and if my wife didn’t kick me in the butt, we would just be starting today (which would have been horrible)!

    You seem like a very smart lady! I think you and your husband will do fine, even if kids are a bit price today.

    Money helps with raising your kids! It cost money to have your kids play sports, swimming lessons, and nice vacations! So it is wise of you to think about this, but you are frugal, so you’ll do fine!

    I love my kids more than anything, and I’m sure you will too!

    Every year passes, and I wish I could freeze time… but the kicker is every year that passes it keeps getting better too… We’ll see if I feel the same way when my kids are teenagers! 😉


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Money Reasons- Thanks again for the post and for the nice comments! I think we need to just go for it and see what happens. We’ve got a good amount saved already. 🙂

    I hope you continue to enjoy your kids, even when they are teenagers! 🙂


  3. Ted says:

    Both our kids were little surprises (woo hoo!). The biggest expenses for us are/were doctor bills and diapers. We used Target formula (great stuff- and cheaper) and got lots of clothes from friends. Make sure you have stellar insurance- that will ride the wave of the first year the best. Plus, you have to keep your house a bit warmer in winter and cooler in the summer. Frugality helps to keep the costs down as you wont run out and buy 900,000 brand new toys!


    Mrs Money Reply:

    Ted- I think I’d like to have a surprise! That would be fine with me. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that this year is the year I get pregnant. 🙂


  4. Kids change your lifestyle so much, you can’t compare the way you live now with the way you live after kids. Also, different parents have different ways of raising their kids. Some focus on giving them experiences (trips to the library, time with grandparents, walks in the park, etc.) and others focus on giving them things. The “things” route is much more expensive. If your friend has kids, look at how they parent–they may have a very expensive style that you don’t to mimic.

    Make sure you have some type of insurance though–even if it has a very high deductible. Our second child ended up costing over $350,000 and 5 weeks in a hospital that wasn’t near our home so we had to stay in a hotel. Without insurance, it would have wiped us out. We ended up paying about $10,000 out of our pockets over some time. Obviously this was a big expense, but nothing compared to what it could have been.

    If you have a big deductible, you may want to try to time getting pregnant so the frequent prenatal appointments and childbirth are all applied to the same deductible. We tried to do this, but it turned out our insurance year ran from October to October instead of January to January. So we hit the deductible once for prenatal care and once again for having the baby. (Who is doing fine now and is in good shape.)


    Mrs Money Reply:

    $350,000?!? You are not helping me want to have kids. 🙂 just kidding! I am glad your baby is doing well now!

    I am the type of person that would rather give experiences. I have a friend that gives her kids everything and it just makes me sad when I’m around them because I know I’ll never be able to give them that. 🙁

    Thanks so much for the comment!


    H Lee D Reply:

    Don’t be sad that you can’t give them that. Be sad that her kids get stuff and not time. Any ol’ jerk with money can buy stuff. Not everyone will give time.



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