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!
- Feeding your baby for pennies a month
- Diapering your baby for pennies a month
- Dressing your baby for ... well... you get the idea.