44 answers

What If You REALLY Can't Afford Another Kid?

We are considering kid #2 and I just did some math and it ain't pretty! We literally can't afford another kid because of day care costs. Even if I quit working, we'd be short. We are already fairly frugal and have a pretty modest lifestyle for where we live. Has anyone else ever had this happen to them? Did it stop you from having kids or did you work around it somehow?? I'm so sad to think that it would be money that would keep us from having another :( Or to have to wait until we were able to maybe move somewhere cheaper or something... I'm 37 and our first will be 4 in December, so the clock is ticking so to speak.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you! Wow, I’m overwhelmed with all the genuine and thoughtful responses. Overwhelmed in part because I hate to think of so many Americans stressing and struggling to afford a simple family of FOUR -- just not right.

Reading all the responses I think our best options include
1) getting creative with income
2) wait until our first is in kindergarten
3) MOVE (ideal option)
To address what many of you accurately commented on, we do live in a notoriously expensive place. Knowing that we aren’t ever going to be wealthy enough to “fit” here, last summer we decided to move to Oregon. Just a matter of finding work there in this economy.

Bottom line is that it would be difficult (and riskier from a fertility perspective) to wait for options 2 and/or 3 to happen, but certainly not the end of the world.

And I 100% agree and know all too well that you can do all the planning in the world but still can’t be protected from life’s unexpected, ugly curveballs. I have to say, even with having our first child “in the worst of times” – during a recession and right after my husband was laid-off (he’s been part-time and in school since) – it’s made me realize how much more fulfilling life is with a child in our lives.

Again, thanks to all – it’s the exact kind of input I needed. I’m grateful for the support even while I worry that there are so many people dealing with this.

Featured Answers

We simply stopped - it does not make sense to us as a couple to bring in a child we can not affoard, it was a fairly easy decision to come to for us.

7 moms found this helpful

We moved to a cheaper city and home and did it! Gave up eating out and just about everything else. I quit work and worked part-time on occasion to help.
After a couple of years my husbands career took off.

7 moms found this helpful

I think it's incredibly irresponsible to bring kids into the world if you know ahead of time that you can't adequately support them.

6 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Well, depends on how you look at it. Are you talking that you wouldn't be able to feed the child without govt. assistance or are you saying that you wouldn't be able to dress the child in Ralph Lauren Baby. If you can afford the basics...i.e. food, electricity, a place to live, then I say go for it.

10 moms found this helpful

You know what? I think the greatest gift you can give your child is a sibling. Even if that sibling has to wear hand-me-downs. A brother or sister support all through life, even when parents age and die. Family and support is so much more important than money and pretty dresses for school.

Even if you can't afford to send them to the private school of your choice, parents can give them just as good an education without the money. My children visit art galleries, the library, take beach excursions, learn to swim, play music etc all without money.

10 moms found this helpful

We always made them and then did the math. :p

I was already a stay at home so adding another to the mix didn't add much to the budget in the beginning.

If I was working day care would be a huge cost but then you can find people that watch kids out of their homes pretty darn cheap. Or you could watch other people's kids for an income supplement instead of your current job. Really there are so many options out there money shouldn't be a reason to not have a kid.

When my kids were younger I used to watch kids every now and then. God knows why but people trusted me with their kids more than some day cares. Either that or the money they saved caused them to turn a blind eye. Hum, I wonder how old my minions are now. :p

10 moms found this helpful

I would rather be able to care for the one I have, then have 2 and not be able to care for either.

In my opinion, we don't NEED children. We need food, shelter, opportunity, water, etc. People have this idea that we NEED more then one, our child NEEDS a sibling (I'm not close with any of my siblings and never have been, even though we were raised right. I definitely don't NEED them. There is no guarantee they will like each other.) I know only children who love being only children. I know some who hate it. I know some who hated having siblings, and some who love it. (To be very honest, I know MORE people who don't like their siblings and don't lean on them, then do.) What we should NEED to do, is provide for the children that exist...rather then pine for the ones we don't have, and can't provide for.

I have WANTED all kinds of things in my life. We all do. That doesn't mean any of those wants are needs. You might want a child, your body might. That's nowhere near a need. Just my .02

9 moms found this helpful

This is one of those questions that's just... I don't know. What exactly are you looking for? We had our children because we wanted them and were able to afford having children and then guess what happened? My husband lost his job. Right now, I'm a SAHM and my husband just lost his job while I was already looking for another. We can't afford any of our kids or our cats even though when we planned our family, we were able to afford everything.

We still manage and we're both still looking for jobs. That's life. We cope. We work around it. We budget.

8 moms found this helpful

We simply stopped - it does not make sense to us as a couple to bring in a child we can not affoard, it was a fairly easy decision to come to for us.

7 moms found this helpful

I have one child. I think it's irresponsible to bring children into the world without a plan to support them. Unless you can find a way to live more cheaply, or to make more income, you already have your answer, IMO.

7 moms found this helpful

Well, unplanned pregnancies do happen... That is just what this made me think of.

I have four kids. If we did the math beforehand, I doubt we'd have any. LOL. We have made it work... Since our first my husband has gone from working for someone to owning his own business and upping his price. I did work part-time, but quit cause I really wanted to be with the kids (I'm bad- my husband was home when I worked, and he's a great dad...). We get by, but barely. I sell paintings on the side, and at $500 bucks a pop, that isn't so bad, but happens infrequently. UMMM... We've just made it work. They weren't all "planned", but we knew we wanted a certain number (4), but just the timing was not particularly planned and such. We went by our desire to have more. My desire immediately stopped at the 4th child, so he had a vasectomy.

I say, you only live once, if you want a second child go for it. Money to me is so much less important than family. Necessary? Yes. But it seems like we have always found a way...

7 moms found this helpful

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