Posted in Blog, Featured, Just for you, Life as a mom, Love and marriage, Money, Rebecca, Wife, Woman

What role do finances play in having kids?

I know we’d all agree. Money isn’t everything, but is sure is important.

I remember having a ton of different conversations with my husband before we started our family. We talked about what we believed in and how we’d raise our kids. Did we agree on discipline? Would we pay for our kids to go to college? What schools did we want our kids to go to? What kind of parents did we want to be? And then of course, money.

We didn’t specifically plan to talk about whether or not we could “afford” to have a baby, but that’s pretty much what the conversation ended up being. Of course, we wanted to make sure we could provide for our family. Not that we had to buy the most expensive things for our kids, but babies do come with certain expenses. Health insurance, furniture, diapers, food, etc, etc.

We own a business and honestly, it’s really been slow and struggle to make ends meet for 2 years now. My husband works hard to provide for us and we’ve made it through the recession. Now that my son is 19 months, we are talking about having our second baby, but my thoughts are not always positive.

Business has been slow and even with just one kid, we’ve had a hard time financially for a few years. I don’t want to wait until it’s “the perfect time” to have another kid. How do you even measure that? It’s never a perfect time to do anything. You just do it and make it work.

But when is it irresponsible to have another baby not knowing if you’ll be able to provide? I mean, owning a small business is tough. We don’t know how much money we’ll make this year exactly. That’s just how it is. Sometimes money is abundant and sometimes it’s scarce. Even with a 9-5 job these days, it’s not even 100% secure.

I hear various financial advisors talk about this and I’m not sure how I feel about what they are saying. Here’s one thing I heard.

“You are not OK unless you have $0 debt, a 9 month emergency fund, and money in your checking account. If you aren’t here, then it’s absolutely irresponsible to have another child.”

SERIOUSLY? Now raise your hand if this is you. Well it’s not me. We do have debt, mostly business debt, but it’s there. We have no emergency fund. We’re paying all our bills on time and we extra for things here and there. It is definitely a goal of ours, to get out of debt, but can they really think this is true?

If I want until I get all my ducks in a row, I’ll probably never have another kid. You could say I probably shouldn’t have had my first. But who would ever tell me that? Apparently the financial advisors would. Are they only looking at this on paper? I think so. Of course, it IS the ideal situation, but come on.

After I heard that, it really made me think. It’s not like I’m gonna have 7 kids and go on welfare if I can’t afford all of them. It’s not like I’m thinking that I have a right to do whatever I want even if I can’t afford it. Trust me, I do want to provide certain things for my children.

So I ask. Where does the responsibility lay? What about my dreams? Dreams of a family and not just raising an only child. Or is it irresponsible to my child that’s been born already to have another when the financial situation is compromised? How do you put a price on a child?

I could say, “well when we have (insert amount here) in the bank, then I’ll feel ok having a baby.” Can you really even measure security in terms of money? See, for me, I don’t care that much about money.

If we lost our house, our car, all our possessions, and it was just our family, I’d still be ok. I’d be happy. I’d have my husband, my son, and God. Material things come and go. But I want to raise my children putting value in things such as love, compassion, kindness……not a $$$ in the bank…not valuing the possessions in their house.

It’s interesting to think about all of this. It’s thinking about where our values are. What do we base our decisions upon? Not only is this good to think of ourselves, but it’s what we will teach our kids.

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