06 Apr 2011 2 Comments
We’ve all heard the saying – it costs $$$ a year to raise a child. Admittedly, Michael and I were apprehensive about the costs of raising children before I was pregnant with Jordan and almost worried ourselves sick when talk of the economic crisis started surfacing. But as some awesome parents I know have told me, priorities change and you simply make do – whether they cost over $10,000 or $1,000 a year.
When it comes to having kids, so many of us keep waiting until we are financially ready, or until we can buy a bigger house that’s more suited for a family. But what I realized is that you will never truly be ready until you decided that you really want a family and you wouldn’t have such a hard time giving up some of the extras.
Michael and I waited 4 years before we decided to have a baby and though we have no regrets, we totally could have started a family a lot sooner. We enjoyed our time as a married couple, we got to travel quite a bit and we got to do a lot of things that would have been a little hard if you a have a baby in tow. Also, we were thinking that we weren’t financially ready – even with a balanced household budget, we were afraid that we would not meet all the financial obligations that comes with having kids since they are very expensive (so as we thought)!
However, after having Jordan, I realized that kids are not expensive, lifestyles are. I can honestly say that we could have really afford having children 4 years ago if we weren’t too caught up on the high costs of having a baby. I can say that the offset in us doing less travel, buying less not really a necessity high-end stuff more than covers the increase in cost of things like diapers, clothing, baby gears, extra food, and putting money in college fund for our Small Fry.
I know that daycare is expensive but other than that, I wish people talk more about how children add to our lives. How they bring immeasurable love, joy, happiness and fun. Though I admire a couple who are truly responsible and wait to have kids until they are financially ready, I honestly do secretly protest when they tell me that money is the only big reason why they’re not having kids yet I see them having all the luxuries in life – nice cars, luxury apartment, designer clothes, grand vacations, etc. I know, I know… I’m judging a little here but all I’m saying is if you and your spouse are both emotionally and spiritually ready (and really wanting) to have a child, then I really don’t think there’s a wrong time to have one. I know that there are too many statistics out there that scare us all about the yearly costs of a baby being 10k or so a year, and yes, babies are definitely an added expense, but as long as you live within your means and you are not going through a “special” financial situation, then I say, “Go for it!”