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The cost of a new baby - I'm not sure when I will be ready?
When is it the right time?


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#1 themrsw

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:21 PM

Hi!

I am new to this forum as I am seeking some advice on having a baby.  I don't really have anyone in my life in a situation that I am, so I am hoping that somebody here can help alleviate some of my stress and worry!

I am turning 28 in a few months and my husband will be 31. We have been married for 2 years and own (well paying a mortgage) our own home.  We have done a lot of travelling and I am really starting to begin enjoying a move up in my career after a lot of hard work.  
I want to become a Mum and start a family with my husband, he will be a great Dad and I am starting to feel that parental urge.  But I also have a lot of fear and am scared that once I have a child my career and our lives will be so different.  I think the fear stems from the fact that I have no family in this State and my husband's parents are busy with his sister's children and will not be able to assist us in any way with child care.  

We are both on good money with a houshold income of around $150,000 a year with a mortgage that is just under 500k.  We are very comfortable on both incomes with a good life, being able to do lots of fun things and slowly renovate our home.  

I simply have no idea as to how much child care will cost me if we choose to start a family and is it that high that I will have to go to work full time?  I don't know how much the government gives you back?  

I am also very career focused, I love my job and always have had aspirations to be someone high up.  But I am also very family focused..But I keep being told I am getting old and my husband is older and I need to think about children...

Am I getting too old?  Can we afford to have a baby without having any family assisted child care?  Will my career be over if we start a family?

I am sorry, so many questions, but I have this awful pang of anxiety when I think about having children.

#2 caroldiem

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:31 PM

don't wait start now in my opinion your at a great age to have kids if u wait till everything is in order it might be too late u don't know i mean you could be lucky and u could fall pregnant very quickly or it might take years

start now!!!

#3 miss*k

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:32 PM

You'll always find excuses not to have children, it's not the right ime etc etc.  We just jumped in and did it. You find a way of making things work. Yes your life does change. We don't go out as much as we used to and we do more family orientated things these days.  I went from going fulltime to part time because I wanted to. There are plenty of mums who still work full time. There are mum's who are SAHM.  You just need to do what works for you. Childcare is expensive but the government provide a rebate where you get 50% back of what you have paid out every 3 months.

I guess you just have to really work out what is more important to you. You can have both.



Dive in!!!!!

#4 Satay Chicken

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:40 PM

OP - I could have written your post a few years ago.  I was so pre-accupied with the cost, loss of freedom etc..

I look back now and think how foolish I was, it takes TTC to know how much you actually want a baby - to me anyway.  I'm now on my 26th cycle TTC and facing IVF in July - its been a very difficult couple of years financially (medical costs) and emotionally.  If I had my time again I would have definately started TTC sooner, maybe it would have been easier, maybe not, but at least I would not be struggling at 36 wondering if I ever might ever be a mother.

Give yourself the best chance to conceive, if its now, fabulous, if it takes time, at least you know and will have time on your side to do something about it.

All the best...

#5 knittingkitten

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:45 PM

On a practical level, I'd suggest:

1. Mortgage- put as much of your salaries into your mortgage as you can.
Not only will it reduce the payments for when you do have a baby but it will also be available as a redraw if you need it.

2. Pay your insurances upfront for the year- see if you can get a discount for doing so.
See if you can pay anything else upfront- mobile phone, internet etc.

3. Be open to secondhand goods.
A secondhand cot, pram etc can reduce costs, or your/his parents can make that the baby gift.

4. Keep in good with your employer. They'll be more likely to offer you part time or flexible hours when you want to return if you are a good employee.

5. Planning on any renovations? Do them now before kids.

6. Check your health insurance policy. Does it cover fertility treatments? Hopefully you won't need it.

And then just jump in. It may take a while to get pregnant (like with my first- 18 months!) or it may be fast (like my second- one month!).
Good luck. original.gif

Edited by knittingkitten, 29 February 2012 - 02:46 PM.


#6 mm1981

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:47 PM

Yes, your career will likely suffer (it doesn't have to but) because once you have a family you find that becomes more important than climbing the corporate ladder. In my experience, I found that it hasn't bothered me (and I was and still am in many ways obsessed with my job.)

I figure while my kids are young, I prefer to spend time with them, when they are older and at school I will go back to focussing on my career.

Child care costs me $75/day per child however I receive 50% back as the child care rebate. This is in sydney. I believe inner city child care is more expensive, around $100/day.

Really, you'll always find excuses not to 'be ready' to have children. If you and your partner want them now, then have them now. You'lljust make it work. I had my first at 28 and I think it was a great age. I had lived enough of my own life but was still relatively young.

Good luck with your decision.


#7 Missmousie

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:53 PM

Hi OP, I could have written your post myself!

I am your age, similar financial and career position, and having all the same sorts of thoughts...and I also have no one I can talk to about it. I don't have any advice at all for you, but feel free to PM me...it would be nice to talk to someone about it.

#8 Roselet

Posted 29 February 2012 - 02:55 PM

You're definitely not too old. Many women these days are over 30 for their first baby, quite a lot are over 35. I would suggest that if you have this much anxiety about it, start the preparation but not yet the TTC.
First step would be to talk to your husband and work out what your opinions are about children. You say you are very career focussed - so don't assume that you should be the one to choose between going back to work or not. You BOTH have to make that decision, OK he can't breastfeed, but that matters for about 6 months, then you will be introducing solids and can probably manage with expressing (or formula if you want to go that way). My husband and I always agreed that after the BF period, he would be primary carer and I will go back to work. Would both your workplaces allow you to go back part time? If you can both do a 3 day week then you only need 1 day of childcare.
Second step - get health checks for both of you. Not the full suite of fertility checks, but are either of you carrying an STI that needs to be treated, are your vitamin D levels good, are your vaccinations current, have you had a recent pap smear, are you both a healthy weight with good blood pressure and blood sugar levels? If you have any of those problems, they take a while to fix and it's better to have them sorted before you start TTC.
Next, review your finances. You are earning well and truly enough to be paying off your mortgage well above the regular repayments, a quick calc on a bank website calculator tells me that $1000 per month extra would be achievable for most people with that income. If you can put it in an offset or redraw, then it cuts down your interest but can be taken out to cover expenses during maternity leave if needed. If you do this for 2 years, you'll have put in an extra $24k, and you'll be $26k ahead in the mortgage. So you'll be about where you would have been after 6 years of paying it off normally. You then have options - yu can reduce your repayments, or even freeze them for a while, or redraw some of the extra, and not come out worse over the long term because you've already put in the extra. You'll also get used to living on a smaller income, which you will have to do whether you drop hours or have to pay for childcare.
Finally, if I had planned better (currently pregnant with first who came along a bit earlier than planned) we would have done a last big holiday before falling pregnant. Travel is important to me and I know it will be limited now for a fair few years.

Forgot to add - cost of setting up nursery - we had very generous MIL give us money on the understanding we were to buy new, best safety rating, good quality stuff. Between the cot, bassinet, pram, car seat, high chair, safety gate, play pen, chest of drawers/ change table, glider chair, book shelf, bath, about a dozen MCNs, I'm up to around $4.5 k. If you buy things second hand, you can easily cut that to a quarter or less if you shop around. Gumtree is wonderful, and just asking around friends and family you'll find people wanting to offload stuff that is now just clutter.

Edited by Roselet, 29 February 2012 - 03:05 PM.


#9 PurpleChicken

Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:24 PM

Like the OP have said, you'll never really be "ready" for children.  If you keep waiting for the right time you may miss out altogether.  We aren't financially ready for this bubs, but we're doing it anyway because we want to.  We'll figure the rest out as we go (and BTW, you and your husband earn WAY more than we do original.gif).

In saying that though, you're not too old yet wink.gif.  I was 31 when I had DD and will be 33 when we have #2.

Edited by PurpleChicken, 29 February 2012 - 04:25 PM.


#10 liveworkplay

Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE
But I also have a lot of fear and am scared that once I have a child my career and our lives will be so different.


It will, no matter what you do. This does not necessarily mean in a bad way, it just will change, LIFE will change.

A baby, IMO, costs very little. It's when they get older (school age) that the cost increases. Many, many people survive without family help raising a child.

#11 Peridot

Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:44 PM

I agree with the other posters who said to try now!!

I was 21 and DH was 19 when I fell pregnant with our first! So as you can imagine, nearly flat broke!! Hardly any family support and no child care, but here we are three years later, with two under three, and we're in a position now to save some money to buy a house in the next few years original.gif



#12 bluebird84

Posted 26 April 2012 - 05:57 PM

I can sympathise with your feelings on this one, I think everyone probably goes through that when they are choosing to have a baby. Personally DH and I decided over a year ago that we wanted to start trying this year, and it's really not great timing as I am finishing a fixed term (very low paid part-time) position this week, and his job is not secure as it is temporary government work which may be changing in the next few months. Also our total earnings on two wages is only just over half of yours, and we are renting so no prospect of saving for a house and having a baby. Not having a whinge, just saying that we really want to start a family and believe that we will make it work somehow, and that these things will probably sort themselves out eventually. I say go for it!

#13 bonnybabe

Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:05 PM

There is childcare benefit, which u likely wont revpceive and childcare rebate. The rebate gives u back 50% of your expenses but cuts off at 7500, which for us is one third . We pay 89 a day which is 21000 a year, with 7500 back quarterly. That is in canberra. In sydney i have heard of rates as high as $120 a day.

Family daycare is quite a bit cheaper.

Get yourself on the waiting lists now, you dont have to have conceived yet.

#14 dae-gu

Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:08 PM

My advice - start trying sooner rather than later. I was 27 when we started TTC. I am now in my early forites and mum to a 7yo and 3 yo. The path to these kids was loooong, TTC naturally, then IVF and thankfully then intercountry-adoption (which takes yrs longer now than it did when we went thru).

You never know what you may face TTC. I am so glad we started when we did, and had still had some time on our side. Good luck!

#15 WinterIsComing

Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

Mortgage around 500k, so repayments around $3000?

On a combined income of $150K, I assume you get about $9000 in hand each months (combined).

If $6000 left over after the mortgage is not enough to put away 1.5-2K each month for the baby for a year, what is?

Definitely build a safety net (redraw). I once was in a similar financial situation, and managed to save around $25000 in a year, while having a reasonably good life. Plus, you will have 9 months of pregancy to save extra, and end up with a sizable redraw by the time you give birth. Don't forget the government will pay you around $10000 as paid parental leave.

All in all, you are in a good position to have a baby. Babies can take time. For example, it could take around a year to conceive (average for couples 12 months), then 9 month of pregnancy....if you start preparing for the baby now, you might be in your 30s by the time you have your first.

#16 DarkestNight

Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:25 PM

I took a long time to think about when I'd be 'ready' to start TTC. DH and I were talking about it for about a year, then we'd set a start date, then move it further away. In this sort of position, you're never fully 'ready' to have a baby, but sometimes you just have to jump in.

I knew if I didn't then I never would. We've been together almost 7 years, coming up on our 4yr wedding anniversary. And we definitely aren't in the same financial situation as you, but we are comfortable, have savings and we're slowly getting the things we'll need of when the baby comes.
Even now I can look at my belly in the mirror and get the pang of uncertainty; can we do this? will we be good parents? will we make the right choices? will we have enough money while I'm off work?
But you just have to jump in sometimes. Start with the pernatal vitamins and take it from there.

Good luck, you'll make the right choice xo

#17 BBV

Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:30 PM

Lots of great advice here. I say go for it...are you on the pill? It can take awhile for your cycles to get back to 'normal' so you could look at coming off that and doing all the planning things like health checks etc.

I'm a couple of years older than you and sometimes I wish we had started TTC earlier but it was the wrong time for my career. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

#18 julia*v

Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:40 PM

QUOTE (BBV @ 26/04/2012, 04:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lots of great advice here. I say go for it...are you on the pill? It can take awhile for your cycles to get back to 'normal' so you could look at coming off that and doing all the planning things like health checks etc.

I'm a couple of years older than you and sometimes I wish we had started TTC earlier but it was the wrong time for my career. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.


I don't mean to hijack your thread OP - but am in a very similar position. I don't think we are ready just yet - but am worried about age and the associated risk factors the older you get. What sort of things can you test for? As far as I knew, you had to be trying for a year before a Dr would run any type of 'pregnancy/conception' tests for you?

#19 bonnybabe

Posted 26 April 2012 - 07:32 PM

you test for immunity to things like chicken pox etc, if you dont have immunity they give you a booster.

#20 Goggie

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:25 PM

2 years ago, I could have written your post!
I hit that am I ready point around 30 and at that time, I really wasn't ready. I was in a job that I liked but didn't have long term potential, had a house but couldn't see us living there more than a few years and emotionally although having that pull to have kids, I wasn't quite sure or ready to give up our life and creature comforts like weekends away, social life and my growing shoe collection.
I used the time between then and now to plan and save. I changed jobs to a better paying job with the opportunity to progress but also one that had the potential to be done part time, bought and sold a house, and saved heaps of money (put it all on the mortgage, now sitting in redraw). Then a year ago, I went off the pill, started eating better and taking cate of myself, did all the pre pregnancy health checks, got booster injections if required, started tracking my cycle, saw an acupuncturist to get my cycles in order and boost fertility and then I was ready to go!
I am by nature a planner so jumping in and deciding to just start trying wouldn't have worked for me. I envy people who can, but I would be so stressed!
You aren't too old. You aren't too young either. But you don't sound quite ready in your post so start trying to save more money and get your health in order so when you are ready, you will have less to worry about. It may take you a while, it may happen quickly like it did for me. The question I kept asking myself was if I start trying now, would I be ready to have a child in 9 months? It was only a year ago that I finally thought yes I am.
Good luck, it is such a hard decision to make but well worth all the consideration as when you do make it, it feels good!


#21 cordyline

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:43 PM

I agree with PPs, start trying now. You are well placed.

We started trying when i was 26 (I wasnt sure then if I was ready) and I am now 30 and multiple IVF cycles and a couple of miscarriages later I dont know if I will ever be a mum.

Even now - I have fears about how life will change, how will my career be affected, finances etc. Ironically, even though we dont have a baby 4.5 yrs of TTC/IVF etc has affected my career, our finances, our relationship etc. Not in a bad way - just life is different. Guarantee that TTC and a baby will change your life, your perspective on things. But is that a bad thing - isnt this why some of us that innate desire to have a family?

Good luck.

#22 sharkie81

Posted 26 April 2012 - 08:51 PM

I also could have written your post OP.

But I can assure you that your career can continue to be fulfilling and progressive. I left a management position when my maternity leave ended (had been in the role for 6+ years and wanted a change). Moved over into a government position and have climbed the ranks again over the past year or so. I'm now planning to start TTC our second child.

My advice: start living on one income now and save the extra. That way, when you do need to have one of you out of work, it won't seem like much of a change and you will still have plenty of savings. We saved enough to pay our mortgage for a year as we each spent 6 months at home during DS's first year of life. It meant we could use the one income for living expenses. We plan to do the same for our second baby.

There is never a right time to have a baby. You could always do with more money, or be in a slightly better position- but you seem well set up already. Your career bounces back. Good luck with it!

#23 libbylu

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:02 PM

The baby itself doesn't cost anything (if you use the public system).  The main cost is in lost earnings for the time that you spend at home and the time you go back part time.  
Childcare is not a huge issue if your income is reasonable, as the government gives you 50% back.  So if you are on $70,000 a year you will be earning about $250 a day (before tax).  An expensive childcare centre is $100 a day, you end up paying $50 after the rebate.  So while it is a significant cost, relative to your income it is okay.  You will also be entitled to some family tax benefit, which is not much, but helps a little. Getting a place in childcare can be an issue as there are long waiting lists in some areas.

The main thing to work out is how much money you can live off, how much time you want to take off and how many days per week you might want to go back to work when you do return.  Returning full time in the first 12 months would be extremely difficult physically and emotionally for most people and in case you or your baby have health issues (unlikely of course) it is good to be able to have a bit of time up your sleeve.

As for your career concerns, well do you have a mentor in your industry/company? It's often good to have a chat with someone experienced in your area.


#24 Lainskii

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:13 PM

Childcare costs vary depending what kind of care you want and where you live.

Family day care is generally cheaper but there may not be one near you (there isn't one anywhere near us). Long Day Cares range in price from around $50 in some areas to the $150 dollar mark in sydney/north shore. Nannnys/Au Pairs range in price as well but would be the most expensive option because currently you don't get the childcare rebate.
The best idea would be to research your area and ring a few places and just enquire about their rates. You don't need to see them yet but you'll get a feel for the cost. Add about 10% because by the time you need to use them I'm sure their prices will have gone up.

Will your career suffer?  - depends on what you want in life. There are women at my work who came back after 3 months, full time and no their career hasn't suffered. Others (like myself) have opted to work part time and I have to say that at the moment my career is suffering, not badly but I can't move up or get involved in things I did previously from the sheer fact that I currently don't want to work 5 days a week. It is a decision I've made at this point in my life. I figure that I'll probably need to work until I'm 80 anyway so I'll have plenty of time when the kids are older.

For money - put away as much as you can now and try and get any major renovations done (having no kitchen when coming home from the hospital wasn't much fun). If you have a mortgage that allows redraw, put as much extra in there as you can now. Work out how much time you would like at home and then draw up a budget to see how much you'll have left over with DHs salary (or yours if DH stays at home) after mortgage repayments and bills. You'll then need to factor in things like nappies (disposables are more expensive but cloth can be time consuming), formula (if you can't breastfeed or have issues), clothes, furniture (and other bits and bobs that a baby needs).

Health wise - stop taking the pill if you are (and use other contraception if you don't want a baby straight away) and go to the Dr and tell them you are thinking of TTC. Get a blood test done to see if your immunity is up to date and then start taking multivitamins that have folate (you should ideally be taking these 2-3 months before TTC).
Check your health insurance covers pregnancy (if you want to go private).

Good luck OP, it is a hard decision. I waited a bit longer than you as I wanted to try and make a dent in our mortgage before TTC as I knew that I didn't want to go back to work full time.




#25 Done

Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:01 PM

QUOTE
The main cost is in lost earnings for the time that you spend at home and the time you go back part time.


This isn't really a loss, it's an opportunity cost. The fact is having children does cost money and you will never recoup that but what they give you back will more than repay it.


Am I getting too old?  
I think for a first baby, your at a great age. Gives you time to conceive and if there are problems, then it gives you time to follow up and take the path you need to have the family you want. If all goes well and you conceive easily it gives you time to have either another child or another 2,3,4 or however many would be best for your family


Can we afford to have a baby without having any  family assisted child care?  
Yes you can! As pp have said you can be looking at around $130 per day in Sydney, but you do get 50% back, capped at $7500.

Will my career be over if we start a  family?
Depends. What is your employer like? Have you seen other women in your workplace return to work after children? How have their careers progressed and how were they treated by the employer?

I simply have no idea as to how much child care will cost me if we  choose to start a family and is it that high that I will have to go to  work full time?
If you have to work full time will probably be dependent on what hours your employer will be happy for you to come back and how you want your career to develop

I don't know how much the government gives you back?  
http://www.familyassist.gov.au/payments/
have a read through here - it can be confusing. most payments are based on an annual family income, so depending when you have your baby, you may not be entitled to much if anything if you and your partner have earned good money that financial year.

I would start tracking where your $150k is going and start budgeting now to be able to live on one income. This means that you will have paid down some of your loan before baby arrives and be able to redraw if need be. It will help you work out how much time you and your partner can take off work. and if you decide for some reason that you or your partner aren't going to return to work, then it gives you that choice too.


If  you pay $3.5k a month in mortgage, that means you need $42k to cover your mortgage a year. Then you have insurances, rates, food, electricity, gas, water, phone, internet, cars, fuel etc

mortgage 42k
car fuel, insurance, rego etc 5k
food $10k
rates/strata, elec, water, gas $8k
phone, mobile, internet $2k
life insurance, health insurance, house insurance etc $3k
plus the extras that make life good and those that can pop up! entertainment, eating out, clothing, shoes, doctors visits, medicines, dentist, haircuts, grooming, cosmetics, sports/gym, newspapers, mags, foxtel, gifts, going to weddings, new lounge, tv's, urgent household repairs, holidays etc say $5k
so probably you need in total to live comfortably a take home pay of $75k.

You will have to add the child care to this of course if both you and your husband return to work.


All the best with what you and your partner decide to do.


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Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reactions to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

Weird pregnancy products

Some pregnancy products come to market and are just awesome. Others just leave you scratching your head.

Carers admit to force-feeding children

Two children who were given to the wrong families at birth will soon learn if they will be returned to their biological parents.

 

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.

 
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