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Double J

Two issues about having fourth child-advice needed please.

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jgirl7

 

 

My husband and I have never been on a holiday out of the State and furniture and clothes are from op shops, yard sales or second hand. Aside from mortgage for our average house and one car, it is childcare costs that are burying us.

We don't smoke or drink and never go out as a couple because we don't have a babysitter in terms of family....

 

I am just sad as I adore the kids and having a big family would bring us so much joy. We are prepared to make the sacrifices lifestyle wise but aside from selling the house and renting (which we won't do) we are stuck.

 

I understand your longing for a larger family, many children buzzing around is a lovely experience. However in your situation I would sit down and make a long-term financial plan. Eventually your car will need major repairs or need to be replaced down the track. Childcare costs do end once the children start school but then you are faced with ongoing costs associated with schooling. Even public schools have uniform, excursions, fees, extracurricular activities, which only increase over time. Once children reach high school the additional costs can become astronomical, think braces, school camps, uniforms, subject fees etc. Children may not be happy with op-shop clothing all the time. Maybe you will want a nice holiday interstate or overseas, children see their friends having these holidays and will ask for them. It is important to also build up an emergency/buffer fund for unforeseen medical expenses, new major appliances, house repairs etc. Just a few things to consider, only you can really weigh up the pros and cons.

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Double J

Morning everyone,

 

Thanks for the further replies overnight. I have a few suggestions that I will explore further now as a result of your comments.

 

Many of you have raised the valid issues of costs of children as the grow older, particularly teenagers yet many of you have four, five, six or more children. Can I ask how did you do it? What I mean is, how do you afford it? Do you rent rather than own (mortgage) a house, have tiny houses, state funded kindergarten and schools, does one parent stay at home to avoid childcare? I am really interested to know your stories and how you all successfully achieving it within budget and no debt. Amazing stuff and a credit to you all.

 

As I have said previously, we don't do holidays, don't shop retail (other than kmart for kids clothes, undies, socks etc), don't go to hairdresser other than $15 cuts and rarely if ever eat out. So the two stressors for us that eat into our good incomes are mortgage and childcare costs.

Edited by Double J

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Karlee99

We have 4 children, now aged 10-19. I gave up work 3 weeks before our first was born and was a stay at home Mum, then 2 years later when our second was 4 months old we started our own business. Because I was doing the admin it meant I could (and still do) work from home and was able to fit it in around what was going on with our family. It also sometimes meant working at night or weekends when Dad was home. We also resorted to a part time Nanny for a while and then a 5 day fortnight at kindy for our two youngest, which cost just over $1000 per school term, so not a huge expense.

 

We bought our first home when our firstborn was 3 months old - it was shabby and tiny but it was ours and we slowly renovated it ourselves and upgraded to our current home when we started overflowing the old one. This is our long term home, we may look at something else down the track when the kids are all grown. We live fairly simply, mostly home cooking as we live rurally so takeout is not convenient at all and holidays are mostly camping or visting my family interstate.

 

I just never had it in me to fork out all that money on childcare, but I have to admit I am not terribly ambitious nor have I worked hard to earn a career, which puts a whole other spin on things so I not sure my opinion/experience is really worth much.

Edited by Karlee99

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Soontobegran

 

As I have said previously, we don't do holidays, don't shop retail (other than kmart for kids clothes, undies, socks etc), don't go to hairdresser other than $15 cuts and rarely if ever eat out. So the two stressors for us that eat into our good incomes are mortgage and childcare costs.

 

As a mum of 5 who stopped then only due to financial issues I think you need to take what you've said here very seriously .

 

I understand the 'need' to have a child, I understand that being wealthy is not necessary however you must not underestimate the costs of your children getting older.

 

Saying there is no retail, no holidays, no haircuts etc is fair enough ( although difficult to maintain as they get older ) but healthcare, schooling, extra curricular activities.......they happen. It is MUCH more expensive to have older children and whilst CC fees will not be a problem there will be others and school will take over this cost to you.

 

If your 2 high incomes do not allow any holidays, meals out, hairdresser visits now it will not get easier if you have another baby.......I would say no more babies as sad as that is.

Good luck.

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TruffleFlakes

Hi OP,

 

I am soon to be a mum of 5 children. My children are 5 (in october) just turned 3, just turned 2 and twins due in November.

 

I am a SAHM and my two oldest go to daycare two days a week. My DH works FIFO and has an income of over $250,000 so we are in a good financial position regarding one income.

 

We have a mortgage that is reasonable, Our mortgage is cheap at only $150 a week more then the average rent for a house of the same size in this area.

 

We also have an investment property DH purchased when he was 18 that is now paid outright (DH then I have paid this off the last 10 years) again it was a cheaper 3 bedroom house for only $140,000 worth much more now so all income from that property is a bonus for us.

 

We have one car on finance and no credit cards or personal loans.

 

My parents live 5 minutes down the road and help out a lot and for that I am truly grateful for. We still do date nights etc.

 

Good luck in your decision OP.

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Freddie'sMum

In your shoes OP - my answer would be 'no' I would not have any more kids.

 

Even when we had both girls in daycare - and those fees were eye watering - we stupidly thought "ok when they get to school our costs will come down".

 

Here's the deal - kids get more expensive as they get older. Not going into private v public (school fees argument) they just get more expensive. Their clothes and shoes get more expensive. Their school uniforms get more expensive. Their doctors and dentist bills get more expensive. If they play a sport or do a hobby - that gets more expensive.

 

If you have any issues with your kids - any kind of special needs / additional needs - you either go public and wait X time until you get to see a specialist or you pay Y amount of $$ to see an expert in the private field.

 

For us we have seen (for both kids) paed, specialist paed, child psychologist, counselors, speech and OT therapy, we have been part of a university study for Miss 11 with regards to her anxiety and shyness. Both our kids wear glasses and need braces. We may as well sell both our kidneys now just to fund that !

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Hollycoddle

No-brainer for me - you're already in debt sustaining this arrangement so it would be a definite no, you can't afford it.

 

The only other option would be if you were able to be a SAHM for a couple of years. When I had my second child it was a struggle to have 2 in care for the few years it had to happen, if we had gone for a third child it would have worked out cheaper for one of us to stay at home. And that was with both of us being on OK incomes.

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FuzzyChocolateToes

I work p/t in an industry where p/t work is easy to get. However I have early starts, which means we rely on a nanny to get the kids to and from school. I only need 2 days of child care, so get CCR all year. We used to get lots of family help with child care and kinder pick up so that saved us a lot of $$.

 

The older kids go to public school. They will go to public high school too. We own one car and dh uses PT to travel to work.

 

We haven't had a holiday for a while as we are building a house. For now we are paying rent and mortgage. We are pretty risk averse, so we don't buy stuff on credit.

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Awesome101

Not a chance. Hubby and I wanted a 4th because we love having a house full of kids. We both work, both love our jobs and are both very busy. Financially we would be fine but we both felt that we would be too stretched to give our 3 children the time and attention they deserve. I couldnt imagine going in 4 different directions for sports, kids parties, school committments etc You have all of that PLUS the financial issue.

 

Morning everyone,

 

Thanks for the further replies overnight. I have a few suggestions that I will explore further now as a result of your comments.

 

Many of you have raised the valid issues of costs of children as the grow older, particularly teenagers yet many of you have four, five, six or more children. Can I ask how did you do it? What I mean is, how do you afford it? Do you rent rather than own (mortgage) a house, have tiny houses, state funded kindergarten and schools, does one parent stay at home to avoid childcare? I am really interested to know your stories and how you all successfully achieving it within budget and no debt. Amazing stuff and a credit to you all.

 

As I have said previously, we don't do holidays, don't shop retail (other than kmart for kids clothes, undies, socks etc), don't go to hairdresser other than $15 cuts and rarely if ever eat out. So the two stressors for us that eat into our good incomes are mortgage and childcare costs.

 

We've both worked since we left school, bought land and built a house in a good area, 6 years later sold the house, made a huge profit and bought a bigger house with a tiny mortgage. Used the equity and extra cash flow to buy investment property etc Had 3 children through out this with very little maternity leave (4 months, 5 months and 2 weeks) before going back to full time. No credit cards, kids in day care and private school.

 

I think through all of this it has really helped that we work really well together in the parenting and housework department so I've been able to follow whatever work opportunties I've wanted and vice versa for hubby. We both thrive on being busy so there is not a lot of TV downtime, sleeping in on weekends etc. We are busy, but happy.

Edited by Awesome101

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CrankyM

Morning everyone,

 

Thanks for the further replies overnight. I have a few suggestions that I will explore further now as a result of your comments.

 

Many of you have raised the valid issues of costs of children as the grow older, particularly teenagers yet many of you have four, five, six or more children. Can I ask how did you do it? What I mean is, how do you afford it? Do you rent rather than own (mortgage) a house, have tiny houses, state funded kindergarten and schools, does one parent stay at home to avoid childcare? I am really interested to know your stories and how you all successfully achieving it within budget and no debt. Amazing stuff and a credit to you all.

 

As I have said previously, we don't do holidays, don't shop retail (other than kmart for kids clothes, undies, socks etc), don't go to hairdresser other than $15 cuts and rarely if ever eat out. So the two stressors for us that eat into our good incomes are mortgage and childcare costs.

 

I don't have four kids but I have two. And they are not even teenagers yet. But where the costs are is that we don't have to pay as much for day care but this gets spent on the kids for others things. I look back on the years where they went to daycare and it was so much easier budget wise.

 

Our shopping bill is huge, I easily spend $200 a week just on food (I have two kids who are selective eaters), I spend $60 a month on one child's medication, my kids outgrow shoes and clothes quickly and now we are into the "big kid" section the prices are much higher, nevermind when they hit adult size clothing. OMG the shoes even, my oldest is almost in adult sized shoes. There are the costs associated with school and that isn't even if you choose to go private. It was a shock at how much just have a kid go to a public school could be. We easily spend $3k between the two kids a year just for school stuff (uniforms, shoes, bags, book lists, excursions, incursions, etc.). Add in when they need a computer and access to internet for school work. Then add in if they want to learn an instrument, of they want to play sport, or go to martial arts. If they need tutoring or academic support outside of school. And.. if it turns out one of your kids has special needs? Well, the time and effort that goes into that is exhausting. Nevermind the cost. Babies and young kids are cheap in comparison even with child care.

 

How to we afford it? Well we are lucky. We had a small mortgage compared to others in the area we live. We live in a house that is liveable and small but could do with work (the floors are unfinished, the bathroom needs to be completely overhauled and the kitchen needs to be finished). Circumstances changed and now we have no mortgage. I picked up more hours and after school care is cheaper then daycare though vacation care can bite the budget hard. Some years we just keep plodding a long until tax time and I get money from CL for childcare. I literally just received over $2000 in bills and I only paid $800 for kid related bills last well (music, martial arts, therapy program). We also makes sure that any money we have left over when we get our next pay is put away into another savings account. When it gets to a certain level we will look at an investment property. Its about making sure that where we are right now financially won't put us behind. When the kids were little I was home (not due to choice, I was made redundant when on maternity leave with child 2). And when I went back to work, while my income was eaten completely by daycare fees we knew that if something happened we could survive on one income and not lose our house.

 

If you are feeling the strain now then I would seriously recommend seeking the assistance of a financial counsellor. Look at what options you have regarding minimising the costs you currently have. Would compacting your hours help with the childcare cost outlay even with the addition of after school care? Usually when you add another child to care arrangements your CCB % goes up (i.e. we get 31% for 1 child but 45% for 2). Would it be possible to move somewhere that is cheaper to live? I don't want to sound pessimistic but with this level of debt where would you be if you or your husband lost your jobs? How long would it take before you lost your house? This would actually be concerning me a lot more then the thought of another child.

 

And I do get that angst for another child. You want to raise another human being and see them grow from a tiny baby to an adult. I would love another, I think of it often and some months wish to god that my monthly would not turn up and it would turn out I was pregnant accidently. I want to see another child grow, see them explore the world, argue with them and learn new things. Unfortunately it will likely never happen for me. As much as I would adore another and think there is someone missing in our family my mind says no. It wouldn't be right and it wouldn't be fair for our family. (This is due to a number of other circumstances. We are in an alright situation financially, however I have two kids with additional needs. Statistics to me say that we would have a high likelihood of having a third with additional needs. And I honestly don't think my marriage or our children could take another child with myrid appointments, with therapy and more therapy and more therapy and more therapy. With worries that there is a chance that one of my children might not ever be independent enough to hold down a job and all that comes with that.)

Edited by mayahlb
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namie
Hi FeralZombie, Thanks, I appreciate your response.Despite working school hours, childcare charges for the full day, no option for short hours at the centre or where I live for that matter for the ages of children I have. :mellow:

This is the reason I moved from 24 hours over 5 days (which I had requested upon returning from mat leave so my eldest in FYOS didn't have to attend OHSC), to 24 hrs over 3 days.

 

Moving to 3 days meant I had to utilise OHSC 3 days a week, but the cost of that (approx $30 per day excl rebates) was nothing when I saved on:

 

- 2 days of daycare for 2 children ($200 per day excl rebate)

- 2 days of parking at work ($8.50 per day)

- 2 days of petrol driving 70 minutes in to work each way (approx $15)

- 3 days less in transport costs for DP as he could travel with me and walk to his work ($22.50, not a consideration for everyone I know).

 

I'm fortunate that my employers had that flexibility for me. It meant the same salary, the same hours of employment so had no impact on them, but I then had far less expenses over all so I had more money in my pocket.

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**Xena**

In answer to your question we have 4 kids and planning number 5. I'm a sahm and my husband earns a lowish income (56k). Our mortgage is very small though which helps a lot (under 120k). Our house is small (3 bed. 1 bath) but we fit. The two boys share and the two girls share and then Dh and I have the smallest room. None of our kids have any medical issues and they don't do any expensive extra curricular activities. All go to public school. We don't have any credit cards or debt apart from the mortgage.

Edited by **Xena**
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Lauren59

We have 5, ranging from 7months to almost 11yrs, two of which are at public primary, 1 in preschool. I'm a sahm and have been since our eldest was born, this is exactly the plan we had and what I always wanted to do, I have no interest in any paid work until the youngest is at least in preschool.

 

We have no credit cards, the only exception being three things (fridge, washing machine and bunks) that we have bought on interest free over the years and paid off before the interest period kicked in. We have a reasonable mortgage (about 400k) but bought our first house together when we were 20 for 160k and sold it 9 yrs later for a 300k profit, so that is pretty much the only reason we can have five kids and only one reasonable income (under 100k) while I stay home.

 

We budget every fortnight, pay bills first, limit extra curricular activites to one each atm, I'd love for them to do another hopefully next year but only when I'm confidant that we can maintain it. We do have a holiday about every 12/18 months but only a half days drive away and we don't go nuts spending money while we're there. Xmas is budgeted for with money put away each f/night, the kids don't go to any and every kids bday that they get invited to - only their immediate friends, and they're happy with that. We don't do bday parties for them anymore either, we now allow the kids to pick a family activity to do when it's their bday. Groceries are easily $700-$750 a fortnight and that's shopping at Costco too! Clothes and shoes do get much more expensive as they get older as well.

 

I completely get the wanting another baby and a bigger family, and without knowing much about your pregnancy risks, I know I'd still be tempted...but finances are a big consideration too. I hope you can make peace and move forward whatever decision you make x

Edited by Lauren59
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c.sanders

Probably in your position I would say no. but if you really want to do it my suggestions would be to insider taking kids out of childcare and possibly getting a nanny instead? do you think it would end up costing the same?? or cheaper? I'm not sure how much you are paying now. how about family daycare? otherwise could you wait until your other kids are in school and you have had a bit of time to get your finances sorted and less kids in childcare? I know you will be a bit older but it will also give you a chance to really consider your options and people do have kids in their 40's.

 

Goodluck op

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c.sanders

otherwise could you change your hours so you do longer hours on less days. it would still be cheaper even if you are using before and after school care.

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CallMeFeral
Many of you have raised the valid issues of costs of children as the grow older, particularly teenagers yet many of you have four, five, six or more children. Can I ask how did you do it? What I mean is, how do you afford it? Do you rent rather than own (mortgage) a house, have tiny houses, state funded kindergarten and schools, does one parent stay at home to avoid childcare? I am really interested to know your stories and how you all successfully achieving it within budget and no debt.

 

In our case (only 3 children), we bought and paid off most of our house before children. We were both pretty high income earners at that point - now I'm part time and DH is trying to start a business, so income is very unreliable, but not having mortgage/rental stress was probably the biggest difference.

 

That said, that was only achievable because we had children quite late and DH is older than me, so we had accumulated a lot of savings, including a period where DH had been getting an interstate allowance for work.

 

I do also have a tiny house - we are in a 2br what would be described as a 'cottage', with 3 children. If we had upgraded house and size, with Sydney prices, we would have debt. We converted our garage to a living space to gain a little extra room, but are really struggling with the space and don't really have room to entertain indoors.

 

The kids go to public schools. They do do a LOT of activities though, that's our real standout expense apart from childcare - plus the cars. We buy second hand cars but the running costs are a killer.

 

The years we had 2 in childcare we went backwards financially, and ate into our savings. And this was with me doing part time work so I didn't exceed the 50% rebate amount by much.

Now that it's only 1 in childcare it's not so bad, but it still does depend on DH getting contracts - when he gets them they are pretty highly paid, but we never know when the next one will be, so it makes it hard to commit to higher ongoing expenses like an additional mortgage.

 

I don't think we are as frugal as you, so I'd put most of it down to a high level of savings before children, and living in a tiny house.

Edited by CallMeFeral
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But seriously

You may be happy to live an ultra frugal life but subjecting your kids to it because of your selfish desire to have lots of kids. Nope. And what if something unexpected happens? You have no financial room to move

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JRA
These are the only two issues stopping us, would you go for it?

 

No

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Harmonica

In your position, not a chance.

Kids continue to cost money and at the moment you are happy with sacrifices that you and your DH are making but will you be ok with having to sacrifice activities, interests, etc. the kids want to do when they are older because you can't afford it?

 

I guess you also need to consider the type of lifestyle and experiences you want to be able to share with the kids for the next 18 years.

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c.sanders

You may be happy to live an ultra frugal life but subjecting your kids to it because of your selfish desire to have lots of kids. Nope. And what if something unexpected happens? You have no financial room to move

 

That's a really horrible thing to say. millions of kids live frugally. millions of people live pay check to pay check.

people do a lot of selfish things like abandoning their kids. the op loves her kids and wants a big family but is still considering her options because she knows it's a big decision. I don't think that's selfish and actually quite considerate of everyone it affects.

Edited by c.sanders
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lurfest

That's a really horrible thing to say. millions of kids live frugally. millions of people live pay check to pay check.

people do a lot of selfish things like abandoning their kids. the op loves her kids and wants a big family but is still considering her options because she knows it's a big decision. I don't think that's selfish and actually quite considerate of everyone it affects.

 

The problem is that the OP is already living frugally and falling further and further into debt.The difference between living frugally and losing your house because a parent suddenly loses their job is quite large.

 

I've known people whose parents had their houses repossessed when they were children. In every case it's been a completely devastating experience, and not at all comparable to shopping at Aldi and wearing clothes from Kmart.

 

OP, I'm going to be frank; lots of people stop having kids for financial reasons. The decision just hurts some people more than others.

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c.sanders

 

 

The problem is that the OP is already living frugally and falling further and further into debt.The difference between living frugally and losing your house because a parent suddenly loses their job is quite large.

 

I've known people whose parents had their houses repossessed when they were children. In every case it's been a completely devastating experience, and not at all comparable to shopping at Aldi and wearing clothes from Kmart.

 

OP, I'm going to be frank; lots of people stop having kids for financial reasons. The decision just hurts some people more than others.

 

While I agree it might not be a good decision for op. the previous poster was quite harsh and rude which I think is uncalled for.

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IkeaAddict

Not sure if anyone else has mentioned this but if you are stretched at three and think you could potentially manage 4 then consider what might happen if you end up having twins. Or if a child that you have ends up having expensive medical needs....of course this doesn't take away from your love of kids and wanting a big family but could you handle the extra expense if it weren't as simple as "one more child". Would one more child be enough. If you had one more and then wanted another. Do you think there is a point where you would want no more? Or even worse, with your pregnancy issues (placenta accreta etc) if you didn't survive the pregnancy and all kids were left without a mother.

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lurfest

 

 

While I agree it might not be a good decision for op. the previous poster was quite harsh and rude which I think is uncalled for.

 

I would absolutely agree that there is a certain amount of brevity in sandgropergirl's posts :)

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CallMeFeral

OP, I'm going to be frank; lots of people stop having kids for financial reasons. The decision just hurts some people more than others.

 

True. I think it's a balancing act with what you want for your kids, and how many kids you can afford it for.

 

A friend of mine stopped at 1 because they could only afford private school for 1, and they believed that you give a child the absolute best of the best opportunities possible, and for them this was only affordable for one child.

 

We were happy to sacrifice private school, so we had more children. In their eyes that could be seen as "subjecting my kids to public school because of my desire for more children" - which sounds ridiculous on here but for someone whom private schooling is what they feel they NEED to do for their child - that would make sense.

 

Basically the more children you have, the less material resources and parental time each gets. People draw their own lines on that trade-off.

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