Too expensive to be worthwhile.
Not expensive enough to avoid zealously.
Kids are expensive, any way you look at it. However, I'm not sure the financial part should be the primary concern. Kids will have a huge impact on your life in general. They will take up an enormous amount of time, and require constant care for many years. It's a lifestyle choice. As my wife and I said before deciding to have kids, do we prefer being wealthy and travelling the world (DINKs) or do we prefer to leave a legacy to the world (our two kids)? It's a deeply personal choice! I think most parents will tell you that having kids is extremely fulfilling, and changes your life in a good way. There are ways to reduce the costs dramatically. You don't need everything the media and toy companies lead you to believe you need, and secondhand stores are a treasure trove of affordable clothing, etc.
I have taken unpaid leave so that I may stay at home with our daughter until she's 3, at which time she will go to daycare for 1 year before going to school. I think it's important to enhance socialization in a daycare setting before school. There is opportunity cost, of course, in the form of lost salary. Our combined leaves will have cost us about $150K over three years. But not everything is about money. Some people make $50K a year and raise their kids just fine, others make $150K and can't seem to make ends meet.
Notwithstanding the various pros and cons, I think you just "know" if and when the time is right. That was our case.
Again, it is a lifestyle choice more than anything. If you maintain all your current spending plus add kids, it will bankrupt you. On the other hand, if you replace your bar-hopping night with friends with kid's sports it won't be as big of an impact.
What I hate are new costs that arise now. Constantly being hit up for school, sport or club fund-raising is the worst!
As far as RESP's go, we max out the grant for the automatic 20% return and then save elsewhere. I've already told my daughter that we will pay for tuition but only for good grades: get over 75% and I'll reimburse for the course costs; get 74% and that bill is all hers.
DrStan, i just want to address one of the point in your post: You don't have to have children to leave a legacy to the world...there are other things a childless couple (by choice or otherwise) can do to make the world a better place. A few things come to my mind such as: adoption, volunteer and charity work.
Different folks have different reasons to have kids or not to have kids and I think we can all respect everyone's choices.
Absolutely. That wasn't formulated very well; I just meant that living only for ourselves by travelling and blowing all the money would not be as fulfilling as kids, in our opinion. That's it. I should have said "our unique legacy" or something to that effect.
Originally Posted by canabiz
Originally Posted by DrStan
Married at 21 in 1968, the first 10-years were spent travelling, education, working, saving & investing
In our case we were married 10-years before having our first and then 8-years later the second one, at which time were both hitting 40-years old.
After the first child was born my wife stopped working totally altogether outside of the home
It all worked out in the end
The kids were put through college & university - paid for by us
During the mid-early (what we considered to be the formative years) when the the kids were needing the most of us (I was in my early 40's) I dropped out of working life (by choice) for several years to be at home with my family.
I considered this to be the best time time of my (our) lives and it brought a sense of sanity to my mid-life wellbeing
Its not everyones plan & sometimes you cannot plan when or if you will ever become parents
The value of the kids goes way beyond any monetary value, and even now since they've left home, both are single - they are a pain in the backside at times, but we love them - they are ours
Last edited by ethos1; 2009-04-23 at 01:03 PM.
Reason: added some
Originally Posted by ethos1
This amazes me - you must have had considerable savings for your wife to quit working in her early thirties and you to stop in your early 40s. How did you finance this? Did you end up going back to work? This is ideally what I'd like to do but there's no way we can afford it - one of us will have to work.
First off we were 31 (both born the same year) at the time when my wife stopped working when the first child was born, we were mortgage free at that point
Originally Posted by Mintycake
I continued to work till 44 (1991), that is when I dropped out, at which time we lived off life savings & the RRSP's, which was zero when I went back to working life.
At the time I dropped out in 1991, I was earning $60k/yr gross
We had a small amount of passive income from a rental property.
I went back to school and dabbled PT doing bits of this & that for grocery money,then went back to active working life in 1994.
BTW, the day we got married in 1968 we had $500 in the bank, that was all the cash we had in total, us thinking we were rich at that time
Some would say we were lucky to be in the right place at the right time & of that generation without all of the toys, bells and whistles and no car till we were 27 years old. We took public transit everywhere
Hope this answers the questions and helps others
Last edited by ethos1; 2009-04-23 at 01:26 PM.
Reason: added more
Thanks - that clears it up. I thought you left working life in your early 40s and never went back.
We are in the position where our RRSP's are maxed out, we have about $100K in non registered savings and investments (half of that is in cash for a rainy day fund) and we are mortgage free. We make gross $125,000 a year but once we go down to one salary we will make $55K a year. We currently spend approximately $48K a year so technically we bank one salary at the moment anyway.
I do plan to eventually return to work but I don't think I will be making near the amount of money I make now as it will be part time.
Originally Posted by ethos1
How do you differentiate between the pros and cons of paying for your child's tuition v. having them pay it themselves v. somewhere in the middle where the child pays for a portion?