Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oh Baby

Everyone that I know is having a baby.
If you are my friend, you are probably having a baby.
If I read your blog, you are probably having a baby.
If you have girly bits and are over 25, you are probably having a baby.
I admit that i'm overgeneralizing but it certainly feels like I'm in the baby baking minority.
I really would like a baby. The hubs really, really, really would like a baby.
One small problem lies between us and our baby making dreams: stupid decisions that we made in our early 20's- otherwise known as debt.
We are heading in the right direction and cut up all credit cards years ago, but there isn't a spare cent in our budget for day care. Okay, maybe there is a cent, but there is no more than 200 dollars in our budget that could go towards daycare. Daycare = expensivo in the DC metro area. Obviously day care is a given. If I can't afford daycare, I certainly can't afford to quit my job.
I can't even tell you how bad I wish that 20 grand would fall from the sky.
So my question for you-- just how prepared were you for your baby? Did you have a lot of savings or were you poor and just went for it? At this point, I feel like we're in a hole that we can't get out of for at least 3 more years (unless we have a secret inheritance or thousands of dollars fall out of the sky). Is it worth waiting three years or is it worth risking? My friend says that tax break will help, but be straight with me-- how good is this tax break?
Please weigh in.

17 comments:

Erica said...

OMG Mom had a Great post about this not too long ago. http://omgmom.blogspot.com/2010/02/is-it-expensive-to-have-baby.html
Keep in mind that she didn't have insurance for a while...

Go ahead and price out some daycares, you might be surprised. And, do you have any desire to be a SAHM? Because if you do, try living on just hubs' salary for a few months, just to see how many more corners you can cut.

J and I toss this around frequently, but while we know we can financially handle a baby, we just aren't to that place yet in our marriage.

Hope this helps!

AQ said...

My daughter (who is now almost two and a half) was completely unplanned and we had her within the first year we were married. My husband are both teachers so it goes pretty much without saying that we don't have a ton of money and cannot afford to not live by way of a strict budget. Still, somehow, it has worked out for us and we live comfortably enough. She has gone to daycare since she was a little more than three months old (licensed home daycare) and we're getting ready to send her to a Lutheran day school for all day preschool/daycare purposes. Everybody has always told us that if you plan kids by way of waiting for certain variables to fall into place, you will easily wait forever. I can say that I absolutely don't want for anything more. We live just outside of DC (on the Maryland side) and it's worked for us nicely.

hotpants™ said...

In the early years, my mother-in-law kept my kids when either of us had to work. That was nice. Had we been paying for daycare, I don't know how we would have made it. We're not rich. We're not poor. We're somewhere in the middle with some debt we're working to pay off. Personally, I don't think there's ever a right time. You'll always find a reason not to do it. Obviously, I don't think everyone should run out and have a kid without thinking it through, but you know what I mean.

LuLu said...

Um...our baby was a HUGE surprise. I mean "baby" wasn't even in our vocabulary!!! Annnd...we hadn't saved a dime! Luckily, we do have good jobs and honestly-we might not have ever been ready if we had waited until we were ready! In the end, we've made it work and can't even imagine not having him!!

Preppy Girl Meets World said...

If it makes you feel any better- I'm 27, read your blog, am not pregnant, and it is not in my foreseeable future.

brandilicious said...

Honestly, it's smart to tackle your debt now but to wait for the perfect moment...well, there's never a perfect moment.

I keep thinking of my parents, who found themselves pregnant with me when they were 19 and somehow scraped by and bought a house when I was a 6 months old and had a mattress on the floor for themselves and their food in a cooler until they could afford a new fridge. You make the sacrifices you need to to get by. Kids bring so much joy to your life that it's all worth it in the end :)

Yellow House said...

I am not pregnant! (There, now you know one 25 plus-er who isn't knocked up). It's hard being a teacher and not only considering the $$ impact of having a baby, but also the element of time. I have such a hard time imagining what it would be like to work all day with children, then coming home with enough patience and love for your own. Good luck figuring it all out. When you do, please share your wisdom with me!

Nat said...

Like others said I don't think there is ever a "right time" but at the same time I've heard from a lot of my friends that they are glad they had their finances in line (not perfect but good shape) b/c the whole shock of life changing after the baby would have been even harder if they were constantly stressing about money.
Also I'm 28 going to be 29 in 4 mths and I have no plans of having kids in the next year or so. I'm not ready to give up my freedom yet!

The Wife In Her New Life said...

we are NOT in any way shape or form in a position to have a baby. I dont' even know that I am ready for that yet...that may have to do with the situation we are currently in financially, but at this point, the thought of it kinda scares the crap out of me!

Dancy said...

Ok, so I'll be the "grandma" that rings in here cuz I think I'm the oldest posting. LOL I'm 32, married just over 2 months and while we obv want kids in the next couple years, it's still a long way off.

I agree with the others - f you wait to be financially stable, it'll never happen. You should check into what your benefits cover. One of my coworkers said all she had to pay for out of pocket was her copay for appointments & the prenatal vitamins. I know our company has a daycare center too but they only take kids who are potty-trained. Look into home-run daycare centers too. I went to one when I was little and loved it.

Sonya said...

I sort of feel like you do that everyone I know is pregnant! I just turned 31 this year and we were actually thinking about having kids until my husband decided to quit his job and go back to school. Instead of our savings being for when I take time off to have a baby, it's now our money back up for my salary! We've put it on the backburner until my husband at least has some sort of job. I'm lucky that I teach in a school where I can take the full 12 weeks off, but I can't afford to take it now and not be paid! I'd be interested to see what you learn about the tax credit. I know that no one is ever completely financially ready to have kids, but at the same time I think there is a way to be smart about it. Or maybe it's just age and I don't take the risks I might have when I was younger!

Kids, Canines, and Chaos said...

I agree with your sentiments on EVERYONE being pregnant. Seriously, I know 9 people (and not just friend of a friend) who are pregnant. 9. Everyone I know is pregnant, just had a baby, or trying for a baby. I even had a dream (nightmare?) that I had a baby. Baby fever is all around.

But you can put me on the list of friends who aren't pregnant.

Well.. not that I know of. Kidding. I'm not.

But I would love it if you were! :)

Steph S. said...

I just hit 27, married for 5 years, and i'm not on the baby train yet. I can't begin to imagine it until my husband finishes Grad School at the end of this year, and we finally relocate and settle. I feel like you, though - everyone is having babies. I love reading about it, seeing photos - but i hate the pressure that's put on by family. I don't think there's ever the "perfect" time - i'm sure all moms will agree with that. I don't know how I will feel when i'm finally ready, but I guess my husband and I will just kind of know! Good luck :)

Debbie said...

I'm sorry, I guess I'm one of those. Honestly, I'll say something that's so cliche, but, it's also so true. You're never going to be as "prepared" as you think you should be. Either I built it up way too much, or it really isn't as bad as you think it will be. Financially it hasn't been as big of a blow to us as we originally anticipated. But, we also cut back in a few areas. Then again, Texas is a lot cheaper than DC. But, I'm sure if you guys were ready....you could definitely make it work. :)

Ashley Paige said...

i love what Erica said about attempting to live off of your husband's salary- regardless if you'd like to stay at home, or not! of course, i could echo everyone else's sentiment of "there's no perfect time.." but you also have to look at your priorities and where you're at now. are you "done" being newlyweds? and vacationing without a care for a bit? (ie: a fabulous 9 day cruise?) of course im not saying "forever.." but, for us.. it will be a while before we get back on a plane and spend a week in Turks, or two weeks in Hawaii. Get all of that out of your system. be young, be reckless, travel.. if you have the means! having a baby changes everything (and im not saying that its a bad change!) suddenly your world is different and revolves around this itty bitty baby and no longer yourself or even yourself and your husband. it's a true sacrifice (i believe!) but worth every minute.. if you're "ready" for that.. then i say, GO FOR IT! we laid out several different "budgets" that consisted mostly of putting away extra savings to take care of bills and "wants" during the time that i would be out of work.. just making sure you'll be "financially comfortable" is something i would look into! :)

Hilary Lane said...

As much as debt/money isn't "supposed" to affect a relationship, I definitely think it was a straw that helped break the camel's back in my marriage. I wanted babies sooner, rather than later. He wanted babies, too, but with a student loan payment that was almost 3x our mortgage, there was no way babies were coming around anytime soon. And now that we've split up, I'm sure I won't get babies any sooner, but at least I hope I can afford them when I'm ready!

klada61 said...

This is a really good question. I agree with everyone that there is no perfect time and you will never be totally financially ready. I am lucky that my husband is very financially responsible (I am a reformed debtor), so we were at least fairly secure financially when we decided to have a baby. Though there definitely were sacrifices in terms of vacations, clothing, going out to eat, saving for retirement... I feel blessed to be able to work part time (though I would not want to be a stay at home mom, I couldn't handle it), but I digress. I think that if you are sure that you can be out of debt in a certain and reasonable time frame, it might make sense to wait. Daycare in this area is expensive - easily $250+ a week with most places charging every week (including vacation time). That adds up quick. And there are other expenses too - diapers, formula, baby shoes (they cost as much as adult shoes!), college savings, etc. I was no longer capable of cleaning my own home after having a child, so that was another expense incurred during infancy! But the main reason that I say wait if you can is that financial problems are STRESSFUL. Babies are STRESSFUL. If you can only have to deal with one stressor at a time, it is much more manageable...especially if a debt free time is within your reach. But when you do get pregnant, whenever it is, you will make it work with your budget. And you will love that baby so much that he/she will be worth it at any cost. On the plus side, the longer you wait, the more vacation time you can save up to cover a nice long maternity leave!