Can We Afford Another Baby?

Apparently I struck a nerve when I posted my open letter to Suze Orman yesterday about whether or not a young couple can afford a second baby.

I objected to the notion that bringing a second baby into a family would cost an additional $700-1000 each month in daily expenses. Now, this does not include daycare costs because the woman who wanted a second baby also wanted to be a stay at home mom.

Let’s look at this more closely.

  • A second baby doesn’t require a new car, because every car can hold 3 passengers can probably hold 4.
  • A second baby doesn’t require a new home, because every home can accommodate 2 adults and 2 small children.
  • A second baby (in the case discussed above) wouldn’t require a new infant car seat, because the first baby would have outgrown it.
  • A second baby can sleep in an outgrown cradle or crib from the first baby.
  • A second baby can wear the same clothes and shoes the first baby wore if they are the same gender.
  • A second baby doesn’t need any food other than mother’s milk for the first year.
  • A second baby can be added to [most] health insurance policy at no additional charge.
  • A second baby doesn’t require any more heating/cooling than you are already providing for the first one.

So far, we have a second baby (if a different gender) needing a few clothes, which can be purchased at a thrift store, and diapers, which can be purchased most inexpensively if they are cloth. If you prefer disposable diapers, those will run you about $50 a month. If the mother can not breastfeed, then formula costs would be added to that.

Also, in the case from my original post, the mother wanted to quit her job and be a stay at home mom. That would actually cut gas costs, daycare costs, professional wardrobe costs, and eating out costs.

The bottom line is that adding a second baby does NOT HAVE TO COST anywhere near $700-1000 each month. Of course, if you put your mind to it, I suppose you could justify spending that much (although I certainly couldn’t), but it needn’t be so.

If you are in debt and are wondering if you can afford another baby, cut out all unnecessary expenses and begin paying off your debt. (Check my post on needs versus wants if you aren’t sure what is unnecessary.) Stop living a lifestyle you haven’t earned and pay back what you owe.

If you do those things, you can afford another baby. They simply do not have to be that expensive. Trust me. I know this from experience.

Stay tuned for more in this brand new series, written by an expert researcher in the field of family affordability! Hey, We support 8 kids on one middle class income. No debt. No government assistance. Research done. BAM!

Coming soon:

  • Feeding your baby for pennies a month
  • Diapering your baby for pennies a month
  • Dressing your baby for … well… you get the idea.
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Comments

  1. Good for you for taking on Suze. :)

  2. Love it! Thanks for pointing out a different view. Hopefully some of the people who *need* to read these *will* read these! :)

  3. With our employer offered insurance, if we were to have another child, it would cost us around $200 more for insurance per month… But we still wouldn’t reach her amount! {They changed it up & it was either go with it or risk having none (with an immune deficient child). They only gave us 7 days to decide and fill out the paperwork… Luckily, we have all year to find a new policy for the next year!}

  4. I believe that you are right! I just don’t understand where “they” whoever “they” are keep getting their numbers…. And it just seems sad – to make your finances – an excuse – for why someone doesn’t have any more little blessings…

  5. I mostly agree, it’s just not with the insurance thing. I’ve never heard of adding a child at no cost. It cost more with both of our children on different insurance policies each time.

    • zekesmom10 says:

      My husband’s insurance was individual, couple, family. Adding one child made it a family policy. Once it was a family policy, we could have added a dozen kids with only the regular premium increases seen anyway.

    • Yeah, our insurace is the same way. One child or twenty children is the same premium. My sisters insurance is the same way. I think it’s pretty common. :)

      That stinks that your insurance cost more for each child!

    • Linda G. says:

      The insurance through my husband’s previous job had him and then my daughter (I can use the Veteran’s Administration hospital at no cost but co-pay when I need to go) and their policy added extra children at no additional cost. Our second child didn’t cost any extra then. We have since had to switch policies and have to pay about $100 per child, per month which I heard is good compared to other prices.

  6. I agree with you, and I hope the couple on the Suze Orman show find out the truth too.

    Did I miss the announcement of the Vision Forum winners?

  7. Our insurance doesn’t change for the addition of a child. The options are “You” “You & Spouse” or “You and Family.” Family doesn’t change depending on # of kids! I am thankful =)

  8. You are so right! My husband and I are Missionaries living on around 2800 a month and we have 3 children…We have all the normal expenses (We live in Ecuador so our expenses are about the same as if we live in the US…plus we keep stateside health insurance…) We started out our married life without any debt and on just this income, we have provided everything our kids need as well as being able to save a good portion so that we can be able to buy a home soon. I think one major factor to providing for a family of any size is living in your means.

  9. It is appalling what kinds of things new parents are being told these days! Friends of ours had their first baby this year, and I cringed constantly listening to them talk about the information and instructions they were getting from what most people consider reliable sources – their pediatrician and parenting classes.

    They bought disposable diapers, formula at 3 months and rice cereal at 4 months. Tons of unnecessary paraphernalia and more brand new clothes than a fashionista would need – for an infant!

    Not having children myself I am generally considered “unqualified” to speak to such decisions, so I am very grateful for mothers who will speak out for common sense – thank you!

  10. What a great series! We just had our seventh, and I get asked regularly when we are out and about how we can afford so many kids. I’ve actually seen looks of shock when I say that we rarely eat out, cook from scratch etc…. People don’t seem to be aware that one CAN live this way, let alone enjoy it.

  11. Bravo, Connie! Someone needs to write this series and set the record straight!

    I think there *is* an element of “we could never live that way–that’s nuts!” that keeps people from making some of the lifestyle choices we embrace (cloth diapers, cooking from scratch, garage sale clothes). On the other hand, one doesn’t need to be *that* careful to *not* spend $700 a month on a baby. Unless I put it all in a savings account or had serious medical expenses to contend with, I’m trying to figure out how I *would* spend $700 a month on a baby ((scratches head))…

  12. As a friend of mine pointed out, there ARE plenty of people out there who “can’t afford” to have a baby/another baby. But, the “people” she was referring to are the ones who live in government housing, are on welfare (meaning, we’re providing their “income”), are totally irresponsible, and well, you get the idea. I do believe that irresponsible people who, seemingly behave like cats and dogs who simply multiply b/c that’s what happens … and then the poor kids end up dumped into every social service/government provided care and systems, probably “can’t” afford to have a child or more children.

    But, for people who want to have babies, want to love them, want to take care of them, and want to be mommies and daddies… there is every way possible under the sun to afford a baby or another baby. There is no way I would let our finances stand in the way of having another baby if it meant eating beans and rice and rice and beans for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sure, it would not be fun. I would probably cry once in a while b/c I wanted something other than rice and beans. But as long as I love my baby, want my baby, and provide shelter, food and clothes for my baby, all the money in the world or lack thereof, cannot make a difference.

    Thanks for starting this series, I’m eager to read more :)

    ~Happy Mama to 1 born and 1 on it’s way, very wanted, very loved babies living in 1 miniscule house with no debt, 1 lower-middle-class income, using disposable diapers :)

    • I LOVE your first paragraph! Now I have PROOF that I am not the only one!
      “Can’t afford” could be replaced with “shouldn’t burden their neighbors when they aren’t responsible/managing/contributing”. Rant over… :)
      Happily, I feel that in this discussion, all fit into those who “can afford” or “choose to afford” class.
      Thanks again for telling it like it is!

  13. Good for you. I wish there was a way to share this blog with that unhappy couple.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

    • Linda G. says:

      I wonder if the names of the couple were given on Suze’s show. Most people are on facebook. I would so messaged them the articles and links if I had I clue who this couple was. Shame on Suze for so telling them such things!

  14. You go girl!

  15. Preach it please! Our insurance staid the same when we added #2 and #3. Our costs, since I am a sahm have been small, i cloth diaper, but need a new stash, my old one’s are not holding up, maybe $100 in new dipes, I make my own baby food so ???? no idea but pretty small less than $10 a month. Clothes, between hand me downs and gifts, she is almost 10 months spent less than $30 in clothes so far, big gap in kids so needed a new car seat and crib, less than $200.
    People who throw out huge numbers like that must make tons of cash, or jsut believe each kid must have everything expensive and brand new with each kid? I don’t get it either.

  16. As I wrote in yesterday’s post our new little one did cost us about $700 a month for the first year, on top of that my hubby get’s a pay cut, the only way we’ve been able to do it is getting rid of the wants. I just finished reading your wants vs needs post and you are spot on! This series will be such a blessing to those trying to make do on less.

  17. THANK YOU for this series connie! i only have 5 kids but people (even family members!) act like we must be loaded! seriously?! and then there are the people who act like the sky would fall on us if we had another. “where would you PUT another baby” was a question recently posed by a fellow church member! thank you again for these posts. i am sharing them on facebook and hoping people get educated about the blessings of a bigger family.

  18. Thank you for your expert opinion! I am so glad you and your husband didn’t fall prey to the lies of being able to “afford” more children. Praise God who supplies all our needs!

  19. I am just shocked on what kind of nonsense people are told. I am a stay at home mom of 4. I decided to quit my job (very well paying job) when I was about 7 months pregnant. It was a shock to the system and the wallet. We had to make cut backs. The heat in the house was adjusted. I learned to coupon shop with when I was pregnant with #3. I stopped running around all of the time. I ran all errands on the same day. Eating out became a treat. Nice expense clothes were a thing of the past.
    We didn’t go out and buy brand new cars, or a new house or any of that other stuff matter of fact the only time we did buy a new to US car was when I got pregnant with #3 thank goodness we did because #4 came 10 months later.
    We haven’t noticed honestly that much of a cost increase if anything with coupons and all of the cut backs we have made of the years we have noticed a DECREASE in our bills since having kids. People just need to learn to spend more wisely. Lower your dept. Spend less than what you make and save. DONT give away your money to HIGH interest payments and late fees. Coupon shop. Very basic stuff that people just don’t do.

  20. Since our insurance is a high-deductible, no-frills plan, $7000 of our maternity care costs (which would be about all of it unless there’s an emergency C-section), I can attest that we’re paying a lot to have another baby. BUT, I wrote what I think about those costs and the cost of having children in general here: http://getalonghome.com/2011/10/economy-children/

    We’ve planned for these expenses, but even if we hadn’t, having to pay some doctor bills is not much of a reason to prevent people from existing. We can always raise more funds, ask for help from our friends and family, or set up a payment plan with the doctors and hospitals.

    Hope you don’t mind my leaving a link. I really don’t feel like re-writing right now. ;0)

  21. Oh, and let me add that having mom stay home nearly always makes economic sense. I can think of exceptions, but most of the time a second income costs so much that you can easily make up the difference by learning to be frugal at home.

  22. Elizabeth S says:

    Well I disagree with you. We are having our third and there are expenses and i can see how they would average 700 per month over the course of a year. There are insurance co pays on delivery and visits. that with may policies is in the thousands. You at least are making payments. There are diapers. It is a poor assumption that you will breastfeed. Things happen. I have nursed mine but I know my sister could not. That is a huge expense that you better be able to afford in case you need it and do not qualify for WIC or other assistance. There are clothes that the child is going to grow out of. There are burp rags and blankets. I know that we did not save all our baby stuff for the past 4 years. And car seats are only good for 5 years so it would be reasonable to add a car seat to the expenses. This does not include a swing, pack and play crib etc. We have never had any help buying those things so if theywere in our shoes the first year expenses add up fast! Picture this- Insurance copays for visits and delivery $3500 per year. Diapers $$600 per year. Formula $2160 per year (9 cans at $20 per can which is average in Missouri and what WIC provides). Wipes $100 per year. Car Seat $150. Crib and Mattress $175. Blankets and other non consumables Sheets etc $100 . This figure includes none of the wants like a swing etc. It also plans for the worst that you cannot breastfeed and includes no childcare. This comes to $6785 during the first year. Though some is up front that makes the monthy total $565.42. And if you add in any of those other wants or a child that needed special formula you could easily reach the number Suze Orman said. You are feeding people the best case most thrifty manner and that is not always realistic!

    • being frugal is ALWAYS a choice. Even if you can’t reuse a car seat, or crib, 90% of the must have’s on the buy list are really optional. Babies don’t HAVE to have a playpen, they don’t HAVE to have a stroller, they done HAVE to have a swing, or bouncer, or highchair. and all of those things can be found cheaply or free at resales, yardsales, or craigslist. They don’t HAVE to have 12 outfits or burp clothes, or 10 blankets. You can make do with 6 sleep and plays bought second hand, or ask around and get them free, same with blankets. Hospitals will work with you to make your payments affordable monthly, in fact most are happy as long as you make some sort of payment every month and don’t skip it. Even disposables don’t HAVE to cost $50 a month, and all the formula companies put out programs to help with the cost of formula, most OB/ and pediatrics will also give you lots and lots of samples if you ask, not to mention a big supply from the hospital if you let them know you don’t get wick and you could really need it. Oh, and formula companies also put out coupons, I tell my pregnant friends to start stocking up on free formula before the baby is born so that if they need to switch or nursing just won’t work, they have already started reducing their costs.
      Sorry for the long post, but saying that not everyone can be frugal sets me off!

    • Woooaaahhh! My son is 11 months old now, my milk dried up unexpectedly when he was only 3.5 months old and has been on formula ever since….he has NEVER taken more than 5 big cans of formula per month and I (your neighbor in IL) pay $18.99 for each of those cans! Now he is down to 4 big cans/mo. because he eats many solids also. His pediatrician calls him “the picture of perfect health” And I have always used disposable diapers, LUVS, I buy the box of approx. 100 diapers…I never spend more than $40-50/mo on diapers AND wipes! We do not own a crib, we co-sleep. We purchased his carseat/stroller combo brand new w/coupon for $150. And everything else he “needed” was found CHEAP on craigslist or at Garage sales and Thrift stores! It does NOT have to cost so much…I suspect the figures of $700-1000/mo include something like a college savings plan and other unnecessary costs…

  23. I believe this is just another example of good seeming bad and bad seeming good in our world. The real issue is The Lie the evil one wants us to believe, not just Suze’s “lie”. Satan has played on our selfish sinful nature to make society believe that children are an inconvenience-financially, socially, emotionally, physically, sexually, etc. That we would have to sacrifice the things we want to have more children. Yes, there is sacrifice. But if done with much prayer and a happy heart, God can make it a sacrifice we actually enjoy! Lol…Thank God that Christ made “THE” sacrifice!

  24. Loving it! Thank you so much.

  25. I think the step from 1 to 2 babies isn’t that big financially, but the third could be more so. Our car could barely hold 2 babies (it’s fairly compact) and when we moved to a new city and needed two vehicles, we opted for that second one to be a minivan since we were trying to plan ahead.

    But for a car-only family, going to three kids does usually mean a bigger vehicle.

    We used cloth for a time, but lately we’re in disposables (for two kids…ugh!) and it’s not even $50/month. It’s more like $30 I think, thanks to the big box deal on Amazon and Luvs. Maybe $35. Still, not that bad.

    My kids are still really little and inexpensive but I do know it’s going to get more expensive on down the pike, and that’s ok! Money isn’t everything.

    • We have 3 kids and 2 tiny cars (mazda protege and a hyundai elantra). It’s a tight squeeze, but we can’t afford a new car right now so we’re making do.
      It’s not ideal but it can be done.

  26. Amen! Love this post!

    Made me laugh about the cost (700-1000$ monthly) because if that was the real cost we would be in serious trouble (we are expecting our forth!!!) Seriously being a SAHM and frugal with our spending, we are not lacking anything but are not rolling in luxury! We all have our need met and we are together, living, playing, prayer as a family :-)

  27. Thanks, Connie. I think that it is very difficult to put in numbers what is the cost of a second baby, it depends on so many circumstances… But it is true that sometimes it is less money that we think, and it is very sad that someone decides not to have another baby because of the “incomes”. I have three children and we have now one work, and when we were just married worked the two members of the couple. When one just leave the work the expenses decreasing then I encourage the couples to have another baby…

  28. I typically just follow along via my email feed, but I had to come here to comment today :) Thank you so much for putting this out there. I get so frustrated to hear of all of the costs associated with having more children. Yes, they cost money, but there are definitely ways to cut back in all areas of spending. Several years ago I stopped going to the salon to have my hair cut and colored, most recently I’ve given up my favorite brand of makeup. I cannot recall the last time I bought an item of clothing for myself. There are sacrifices, but in the grand scheme of things, I’m so willing to make them! And I’m a mama to four girls. Hand-me-downs are such an enormous blessing! Even with medical expenses, I cannot imagine spending $700/month on one child.

  29. I think some have answered here, but can you please explain the “no additional charge” to be added to insurance. I just had my third, and to add him to our children’s insurance would have cost me an additonal $900 a month, so we had to get him his own insurance policy. Still, more money out of our pocket:( That is really the only big expense of adding an additional child. We have been blessed with clothing galore from dear friends since this baby would be our first boy. Otherwise, we have saved all of our girl’s clothing. We tend to save things around here. There is a 7 year gap between #1 & #2, but when our 2nd came around, we still had all of our baby furniture & most clothing. There was really no big expense there.

    • I think this is a case of everyone’s insurance can be different. Sorry yours is so expensive :(

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Monica, Have you checked into Samaritan Ministries? We pay $350/mo for our entire family.

      • I love the idea of Samaritan ministries (I just heard about them recently) unfortunately I am diabetic and that is pretty much my only health care expense, since I am otherwise basically healthy, and they won’t cover supplies for “preexisting” diabetes…even if I am well controlled and not on medications or insulin. So disappointed :( We are on an individual plan, not an employer policy, and so each of us has our own premium and copays. I haven’t checked in a long time, but adding our 2nd son in November will cost us an additional $115 a month…probably a little more now, since the last time I checked was about 3 yrs ago. But when I worked for a large bank, we had an “employee + family” option, so I could have added my husband and up to 4 children all for the same premium rather than adding $$ for each additional family member. Having me and our kids on the individual plan will still cost us less than adding us all to my husband’s employer policy.

  30. I’m loving this! Financial strain seems to be the biggest excuse people give when explaining why they *can’t* have more children. I’m completely fed up with the way our society views children as a burden rather than a blessing.

    http://supermommyornot.blogspot.com/2011/11/priceless-treasure.html

  31. We have 6. Ages 6, 8, 12, 13, 16 and 18. We homeschool and the oldest is in college. I am a certified lactation consultant and Lamaze instructor although I do not work outside the home. It is so common for women to say they can’t breastfeed when they, in reality, can but don’t want to or don’t feel comfortable w/ it. Anyway, we are on one income and do pretty well. It wouldn’t be worth it for me to work. We also are very careful, seldom eat out, use coupons and use hand me downs.

    It all depends on what your priorities are!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Thanks for this discussion! I agree with all points except the health insurance/not including birthing expenses.
    Reality is that not everyone is able to homebirth, have awesome insurance or feel morally right about receiving government assistance to add to their family.
    In our 4 years of marriage we have researched ALL insurance plans available to us and all of them have a $5000 deductible. Soo….it’s expensive up front for many! (I mentioned in the previous post…w/o insurance, $11000-13000 for a birth in Utah!)
    Also, regarding the second to last point…it does cost money for many to add a child to insurance ($75/mo in premiums for us).
    Healthcare costs really irritate me, and I don’t think they should hold anyone back (nor do I agree what-so-ever with govt. assistance to add another little one!) but, birthing expenses are a reality that has to be accounted for by many!
    Expenses AFTER our baby #2 is here will be small ($100/mo including insurance premiums), but boy is $5000+ in 9 months difficult to manage!

    • I have to agree with you here. Once our son is born in November, our cost of “upkeep” will be minimal, but with our current insurance policy, his prenatal care and birth will cost us around $10000. I am diabetic and thankfully my policy covers my perinatalogist as a “complication of pregnancy” but only after I meet my $2500 deductible. So $2500, plus $2900 for prenatal care and surgery (due to history of big babies and diabetes, I probably will have to have an “non-covered” non-emergency but medically necessary c-section) & $4500 hospital stay (includes circumcision, that my insurance policy also does not cover). So while our little man won’t be terribly expensive after he’s here, wow! it is expensive “expecting” him.

  33. Wait. Does Ms. Orman even have children?

    I honestly can’t figure out how anyone could spend upwards to $1000 a month on a baby. Designer clothes & diapers, maybe?

    Good post!

    • I know a couple who spend $21000.00 a year on daycare for their children. Just daycare. That is not counting anything else. But they are otherwise quite frugal (they furnished their daughter’s nursery solely on garage sale finds, and it was CUTE!) and both husband and wife each make close to 6-figure salary (so definitely 6-figure together). They also use groupon for all of their vacations and family outings, as well as they like camping so no wasted money on hotels. So I can see where the costs can be high for some people…but I can also see where the “average” family can lower those costs significantly. We live tight from month to month on my husband’s salary, but we could certainly curb our spending and live well.

  34. “Stop living a lifestyle you haven’t earned and pay back what you owe.”

    BEST. LINE. EVER.

    People are shocked that we’ve stayed in our 2-bedroom townhouse even though we just had our 4th child. Hubby and I have the smaller “kid” bedroom, and we put the kids (we have all girls) in the larger “master” bedroom with a bunkbed/trundle and the crib. It’s getting to be a tight fit but as long as I keep the STUFF factor down and get rid of unnecessary things, we’re fine. Every adult does NOT need a master bedroom suite larger than a lot of apartments, and every child does NOT need their own room.

  35. I just wanted to say; even though I didn’t watch the program, Suze makes her decisions based on how much the family spends. The baby itself isn’t going to cost $700/month, but the loss of the wife’s job will cost the FAMILY $700/month. The wife will drop her job, but their lifestyle isn’t going to change. If they don’t want to be frugal, then a change from two to one income will cost that much.

    Suze is not a family counselor, she is a financial advisor. Just like us, she doesn’t want Americans living in debt. It’s not her job to say, “God will provide.” It’s her job to analyze the family’s spending and give them an answer based on that. People who are denied by Suze often change their habits and come back and say, “I got what I wanted after I a, b, c…”

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      Heather, Did you watch the clip? I linked to it in my original post. Suze said the monthly expenses for the baby for “diapers and this and that” would total $700-1000 every month. She wasn’t counting anything else in that number.

      • Oh, I didn’t see that link before. I just watched it and I’m shocked. I live in the suburbs of Chicago and I don’t understand how their expenses are so high. Maybe it’s the car payments and mortgage. (I’m so glad that we bought a cheap $2000 van for cash and our last car payment will be one year from now) I know Suze is limited to air time, but I never heard her mention the drop in expenses if she stayed home. I did see remorse in her decision, but I hope Suze laid it out from them how she came about her decision. I still can’t believe that they’re expenses are $6500/month and they live at bare minimum!

  36. I agree with you wholeheartedly, but…. we do have to pay more for each dependent on our health insurance. I’m guessing it’s different for everyone depending on your circumstances. :-)

  37. I am enjoying this series so far! I had my first child three months ago and the only monthly expense that has gone up for us is insurance. I love having my baby boy and look forward to all that God will bless me with!

  38. Love it :) Especially that you pointed out what money will be saved with the loss of Mom working! Many people don’t take that into consideration!

    One thing that I’ve noticed (and we did it, ourselves) is that especially with a 3rd child, it’s automatically assumed you need to buy a van. We were praying about it, and time was getting short, and we didn’t feel led to a van..they were all too expensive. We just have a small compact car, a Kia Rio.

    It turns out there is a brand of carseat that is made out of metal so it’s much more narrow than regular car seats (since it doesn’t need more bulky plastic for protection) that goes from 5lbs and up, that is designed to fit 3 in a row for most cars..even our tiny one! The seats are expensive, but cheaper than a van plus a 2nd vehicles extra expenses! And yes, while it is hard to be stuck at home with 3 kids and no wheels, it’s what God has given us and I’ll take it gladly! It’s better than the financial stress of a vehicle we couldn’t afford! Funny how God provides “out of the box” :)

  39. Totally agree, with the exception of the clothes: Baby #2 can wear hand-me downs if both babies were born in the same season. My first was born in Dec; my 2nd in August. They weren’t able to share anything.
    BUT you can great baby clothes at the thrift store for $1-3 easy!

  40. I also agree with most of what you said except for the health insurance issue. My husband’s job gives not allowance for spousal or children’s coverage. Adding me to his insurance (just me) is about $600/month. One child is $400 a month and for 2 or more children is $800/month. So we would easily hit that extra amount she predicted not including anything else (and we live in OK–one of the lowest cost of living states in the country).

    Because of that, and as you know the job market isn’t so great, we do rely on government assistance for our children’s health insurance (and mine when I was pregnant with our second). God has different plans for everyone and we have no right to judge someone else’s decisions. We do what we feel best about for the season of life we are in right now and while I would LOVE to not have to rely on state health insurance, I’m not vain enough to go without healthcare coverage for my children out of pride.

    Not everyone who uses any form of government assistance is lazy, it’s there to help people in difficult circumstances. Yes there are people who take advantage of the system, but don’t vilify all of us because of the bad ones.

  41. i’m catching so much crap on my facebook wall for posting (and wholeheartedly agreeing with!) this. https://www.facebook.com/#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=189948647762134&id=1036155761&notif_t=like

  42. While I agree with your overall point, I do think there are other costs that you didn’t account for – like saving for college educations, life insurance, etc. Where you live makes a major difference too. Numbers from financial advisers are usually an average per month cost based on the child’s first 18 years of life. So, costs from later in life (a sport team fee, birthday gifts for friend’s parties, a mission trip, etc.) impact the monthly costs that you are associating only with the baby years.

    Also, it only takes one child with special medical needs to blow all these numbers out of the water. I have three healthy, low cost kids myself, but I know my sister and brother-in-law have to pay over $25,000 in out of pocket medical costs each year (this is above and beyond their premiums). As I said before, I agree with your overall point, but I think it is much more nuanced that you set forth. I think adding a child to a family is a wonderful thing, but considerations for different people are just different. When possible the decision should be made prayerfully, with consideration and faith.

  43. I love Suze Orman, but in this case she was just wrong. Looking at the comments of others it really boils down to personal choices. My first pregnancy resulted in $304,000 in medical costs before my baby came home from the hospital. Luckily I chose my health insurance based on what I thought my family would need—maternity costs, sick visits, pharmacy etc…and MOST importantly a catastrophic cap. We paid $5000 out of pocket, plus our premiums that year and it hurt, but it was enough that I could do the medical claim on my taxes for a little relief. Had I chosen to go with substandard insurance to save $30 a month we would surely never have recovered. We are saving for college, but I have NO intention of providing my kids with every electronic gadget they could dream of or their own car. We live in a yucky neighborhood so my husband can walk to work dramatically reducing commute costs and his time away from home. Would I love my dream home? yes…but I love my second son more.

  44. This is just ridiculous. I’ve seen her give similar advice to other couples. I wouldn’t listen to her for anything.

    The world is so mixed up it’s ridiculous. In the last two days, I’ve read an article about a SINGLE woman in her 50s(a widow) who had to give up her small apt in NYC b/c she could not afford it and move in with friends. They kept going on and on about her ‘meager’ income. They moaned and whined that she had to pay her two ADULT children’s student loans, and she had several credit card bills in addition to her living expenses and she simply couldn’t survive on such a SMALL income.

    Then they listed her income. I was in shock. The woman makes the same amount of money my husband does and we have a large home, an acre of property, and six children.

  45. JoAnn in CO says:

    We have busy lives with six children, six pets, homeschooling, and caring for an elderly grandmother. Yes, one income (and it’s decent, as hubby has a good job). I am not the least bit envious when I see people out w/their 2 kids, frazzled and harried after a long day of work (for mom), school (kids), and they’re picking up takeout food, and/or shopping for groceries or things at Target, obviously overworked, overtired, and probably spending too much….Yes, I get frazzled from the busy schedule of our big family, but we typically eat at home, enjoy our group activities, and just get a lot of enjoyment out of being together at home most evenings. We can’t control the emergencies that pop up, but I am thankful we can take care of the kids, pets, and grandmother by ourselves! We are not delegating our care to others because we are too “busy” to manage our lives and family. I think there’s a lot more going on here than financial cost of families. People are so caught up in making more money, spending more money, having more STUFF, that it’s impossible to have any meaningful quality of life. Our motto has always been “people before things,” and I hope my children have embraced that to pass it on to their children. We are grateful for the gifts we have — the many blessings in our lives — but we try not to want MORE (stuff!). I wish we had more children! The clock has run out for me, but I look forward to grandchildren someday….

  46. I was a former teacher, now stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls, ages 2 years old and 4 months. Without detailing all of the sacrifices we have made to be able to have me at home, (the house and one car is all that’s left and we are working on those!) the Lord has provided!

    Although I also don’t agree with the 700-1000/month figure, I do think Suze was right in that the family needs to figure out how they will pay all of their bills on one income before the mom quits her job. No financial planner (or rational person) would recommend cutting income when a family is already adding to their debt monthly. Yes, the Lord provides and we have seen that in wonderful measure, but He also calls us to steward what He gives us well.

    Part of how we make it work is working from home. I run a daycare in my home and am the one receiving that childcare expense that working moms pay. I still am able to play with my daughters, be there for them, do fun things, and raise them as I want. We get the added bonus of playmates and learning to share. It has been a blessing. I would not be able to stay at home without this–the numbers just don’t add up (believe me, we figured every possible way). Part of that is attributed to two private college educations and resulting loans–which was before we got smart about money! We also take on any odd jobs we can find—especially ones we can do as a family/couple. All of my husband and my dates now are either free or making us money.

    Bottom line, it can be done…. it’s a matter of what you are willing to give up and/or do to make it happen. However, a family does have to do the math and either creatively decrease expenses or add income if it doesn’t work out. Being with your children and being the one to raise them is SO worth it!

  47. I meant to post this on another article on this blog. Sorry if this post is not relevant!

  48. I totally agree with you Connie!. I actually only spend $20/mo on target brand diapers (which I prefer to pampers) and a few dollars a month on Costco or generic wipes. I will say though that with every baby we end up meeting our out of pocket healthcare max which is $3000/year between hospital costs, OB GYN fee. We have blue shield ppo –so good insurance– and each additional child is free on our family plan … but it’s 80%/20% coverage (we pay 20% until we meet our annual max of $3000). But even that doesn’t stop us from having more kids with me being a SAHM. We just budget to have a lot of medical bills every two years or so.

  49. Interesting post and comments! In June, my family relocated to another state for a job opportunity for my husband. Prior to our move, I was working full-time and now I am staying home with our two kids, 2 1/2 & 1 year old. Our net income has been cut by more than half and we have had to change our lifestyle dramatically, but we did it because it’s important that I stay at home with the kids right now. We do not go to the movies, go out to eat, we don’t buy new clothes, we don’t go on vacation, we don’t have smart phones, but I can honestly say we are much happier now than we have ever been. When I was working, we had much more money for “fun” things, but I was so stressed out that I really could not enjoy the time with my family. We also ate a lot of unhealthy take-out because I was too tired and busy to plan meals, cook, and grocery shop. I lost the rest of the baby weight once I starting cooking all our meals at home, and I have rediscovered how much I love to cook. It’s a lot easier to live on 1 income than most people think, IF you are willing to make sacrifices and take a good look at your priorities and make adjustments.

  50. Hi we live in Canada where our health insurance is paid for by the Province, I didn’t realize what a blessing this was. We had a baby born at 24 weeks and other than gas to go see him about an hour away if was totally free, so were my 5 c-sections. Even our formula was paid for by the government, although we could have afforded to pay it ourselves it wasn’t even an option. I just wanted to comment on a couple of comments. We have 6 kids and it is funny when my mother in law asks who will pay for their college edu. because she didn’t pay for my husbands college he did, and he worked his tail off at college because of it! We always buy used, our household budget for clothes is 100./year for eight of us. Bible’s For Missions sells a bag of consignment clothes for 5.00 on Tuesday’s. Facebook has mom to mom sale pgs that are great for baby gear cheep, I haven’t paid more than 50.00 for a stroller, swing, ect in like 4 kids! And garage sales what a blessing they can be, clothing for quarters, strollers for dollars, cloth diapers by the dozens! Lastly when considering moms income lets think of a second vehicle, gas, car insurance, car maitence, clothing, make up, beauty products, lunch, take out after a long day, dinner party’s, daycare, reduced child tax credits, increased tax brackets for husbands with less dependants, taxes mom pays on income, employment insurance premiums, pension premiums. I bet moms don’t make nearly as much as they think they are. Oh and lastly (no really I promise) is it really beneficial to pay 1400./month for insurance that you don’t use 1400./month of. Would it not be better to open a high interest savings account and bank that money to pay for unforeseen med. costs than to hand it over every month not knowing if you will use it or not??? We use about 300. worth of my husbands medical insurance through work per year. Just asking! (just one more thing) When my husband was laid off two years ago we learned that our money doesn’t come from his work, it comes from our Heavenly Father who promises to take care of our needs, so dear friends don’t toil and spin you will only make yourselves tired, trust and pray instead you will be much happier in the end! He knows how you will afford that child after all it is His heritage!

  51. Hi, def agree with you, about kids not having to cost that much. With hubby we just talked tonight about how most of the people in our society who “can’t afford” to celebrate Christmas actually just can’t afford to celebrate the kind of Christmas that corporates would like to have us celebrate….obviously most people can cut down on the consumerism and focus on sipmpler things right?! Anyway, just wanted to add a not about a book that gives lots of tips for making the switch to one incom “miserly moms”, it’s a few years old. And sorry if you or someone already mentioned it somewhere, I havn’t read al the comments ;) Merry Christmas to you :)

  52. I am appalled that she would say this. First to say it costs that much is ridiculous. More important it isn’t as if they wanted a fur coat or a fancy car they wanted a baby and whatever financial sacrifices we made to afford our babies were not sacrifices at all when I look at my little munchkins faces. So what if I don’t get my hair blown out or my nails done anymore. So what if we don’t eat out or take fancy vacations, and if date night is watching pay per view. I wouldn’t hesitate for a moment – I just hope someone counters Suze and lets this young lady know.

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  1. [...] and are wondering whether it is financially feasible to have more children. The first piece is “Can we afford another baby?” [...]

  2. [...] 1: Kids are a financial liability. I’ve addressed this lie briefly, and Connie, my hero at Smockity Frocks, is taking it on in detail. Check those links for the truth about money and [...]

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