Author Topic: Book rec request: planning financially to have kids  (Read 1730 times)


  • Stubble
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Book rec request: planning financially to have kids
« on: August 22, 2017, 07:20:06 PM »
I have a recommendation request... if this is the right place for it.

Are there any books that talk about financially preparing for kids if you're taking a semi-mustachian approach? Neither of us is going to FI soon, but I am non-negotiable on taking all unpaid FMLA and working part time for a substantial stretch of time, like 3-5 years. And am kind of at a loss for how to even start planning for that.

Everything I'm finding on an internet search is like "well crap, you're having a kid in 7 months, here's what you need to get together", but that's not my situation... or they include things to plan for that are completely ridiculous like ... your baby is going to need all the plastic shit toys so you'd better plan to buy all those! And all the books I'm getting are "how to teach your kids about finances", which is cool and all but we don't have any kids yet...And other books on general preparing only cover vague things like "you should discuss if one of you wants to stay home", but not a way to discuss... the actual *things* that need to happen financially for that to be a possibility.

Thanks in advance!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Age: 32
Re: Book rec request: planning financially to have kids
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2017, 12:29:24 AM »
Kids cost can vary. We have 3 kids, biggest cost...Dipers. Some people do the cloth dipers which is a higher upfront cost, but lower over all. Some kids don't breast feed well and they have to get expensive formula. Some kids will never sleep in a swing, some kids love to sleep in a swing. Do you buy a swing? Up to you. Everyone's insurance is different, but my wife had one normal delivery, one emergency c-section, and a planned c-section after that, you may incur unexpected costs with the delivery. So many unknowns, if you try to figure it all out on paper you will go crazy. Do some rough numbers of a budget and have faith you will make it work when the world changes all your numbers around.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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    • Manly Father
Re: Book rec request: planning financially to have kids
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 12:35:38 PM »
Plan on breastfeeding (or pumping) to avoid paying for formula.  If you use disposable diapers like we do, your per kid monthly cost is at most, $300 per month.  Currently, our 3 month old little dude costs about $150/month, which includes diapers and a few other misc stuff.  My wife hangs out with the baby all day while I'm at work.

As long as one parent can cover the cost of your expenses, while still capturing the sweet, sweet 401k match, then you can totally work however much you want to.

If you are non-negotiable on the max FMLA and working part time, you should consider ensuring your expenses are as low as possible - which includes moving to a less expensive residence and/or giving up the 2nd car (if you have one).

However, without more information about your situation, you won't find much meaningful help here.  As for finding books on your topic - good luck!  You may only be able to find blogs that address a scenario similar to yours, just make sure you read/adhere to what the smart/best blogs say, and not the ones with affiliate links to plastic shit sold on amazon.

Michael in ABQ

  • Bristles
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Re: Book rec request: planning financially to have kids
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 05:17:20 PM »
There's a lot of stuff to think about but financially the big costs for kids are caring for them and requiring more stuff. Caring for them either means one parent stays home and you're looking at lost income, or you pay someone else to watch your kids for you. My wife and I wanted to have multiple children and we planned before we even got married that she would stay at home with them and we would homeschool so there was never really any lost income to think about or costs for daycare. Daycare can be quite expensive from what I've read and in some cases if one spouse isn't making much then their entire paycheck can basically go to daycare which obviously doesn't make a lot of sense. You would get some tax benefit as there's a childcare tax credit equal to 20% of the cost up to a maximum of $3,000.

In addition to necessary items like food (free if you're breastfeeding and still relatively cheap once they tart weaning), clothing, and some minimum baby equipment (car seat, high chair, swing or seat, crib, etc.) diapers are a big ongoing expense. At one point I built a very detailed spreadsheet comparing prices by size, brand, etc. but for years we've just bought the large boxes at Costco along with their wipes. We did cloth diapers with some of our kids for a few years but it's a big upfront cost and a lot of time/effort for not a huge savings. Of course, with three in diapers at one point it was a lot more effort than just one would be.

With one child you can probably get by with your current vehicle and current housing situation, at least in the short-term. A studio apartment with a newborn would probably still work but would be a lot harder with a 3-year old. This is where the costs can really add up if you went from a studio or 1-bedroom apartment to a 2-bedroom apartment. As kids get older the expenses for other things will go up as well. You can save a lot if you buy some things used and if you have friends or family that had a baby a year or two before you they may just give you piles of clothes, bibs, equipment, toys, etc. A co-worker recently had his first child and he said friends of his would drop off piles of baby items at his doorstep.

On the plus side you will get some tax savings. Child tax credit is currently $1,000 (fully refundable) and if you make less than $45k you're eligible for the earned income tax credit which can be a few thousand dollars for one child. You'll also get another personal exemption of $4,050 so if you're married filing jointly with the standard deduction the first $24,850 in income is basically tax free.