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Around the Internet => Antimustachian Wall of Shame and Comedy => Topic started by: ducky19 on January 11, 2018, 08:55:43 AM

Title: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ducky19 on January 11, 2018, 08:55:43 AM
http://time.com/money/5095550/money-makeover-baby-costs-hicks/?utm_source=money.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-money&utm_content=2018011113pm

So I was reading this article about a couple wondering if they could afford to have a baby - fairly reasonable question. I had a hard time getting past the 4th paragraph, though (emphasis mine):

“We worry we’ll blow right through our savings,” adds Warren Hicks, 30. “I think about how much we make and how adding an expense of, say, $1,200 a month just to keep the baby alive would affect us—especially if Lauren takes time off work.”

Wait... what??? I mean, what. the. everloving. fuck??? Don't get me wrong, I have three kids of my own so I'm not blind to the fact that children come with expenses. But $1,200 a month just to keep your kid from dying is ridiculous - if that were true, there would certainly be a lot fewer kids running around the neighborhood.

For being in their late 20's and earning $170k/year, they are really in good shape financially. I do agree with the financial planner that they should beef up their emergency fund to supplement what her employer will pay while she's off. That's about as far as I can agree with the financial planner though.

"The Hicks have already stored quite a bit away in a mix of 401(k) and Roth IRA retirement accounts. That’s all great, says Hamilton, who estimates that if they keep saving at the current rate, they could both retire at 65. That would give them $84,000 to spend per year, after accounting for taxes and mortgage payments, provided they also downsize to a condo when Lauren reaches 80."

I have always struggled with planners who think they can plan things down to a gnat's ass (moving into a condo when she turns 80?) when there are a thousand variables that could derail that plan (home values tank, less than optimal returns, etc).

"Given the couple’s current spending and other goals, Hamilton thinks the Hickses can plan to pay 60% of the estimated college costs for all three future children—if they all go to state schools, such as the University of Texas. (The rest of the money will come from scholarships or student loans.) To get there, they’ll need to open and begin funding three 529 accounts right at the birth of each child, cutting back on some day-to-day expenses, and diverting a bit of the money they’ve been putting into everyday savings. Hamilton likes the 529 plans offered by the state of Utah, because they offer low-cost investment options from Vanguard and DFA and are easy to use."

While I applaud the planner for suggesting they start 529 plans at birth to plan for college, recommending they divert money from savings vs. making budget cuts made me cringe. They earn $170k/year and have no debt outside of their mortgage! What the hell are they spending their money on??? Their mortgage (even with taxes and insurance) should be between $1500-$2000/mo. depending on 15 or 30 year mortgage, and they're only saving 10% in their retirement accounts. They should still have at least $6000/mo after taxes to live on! I can't even imagine a burn rate that high...

I'm really going to have to stop reading financial articles on the internet - gets my blood boiling too much.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 11, 2018, 09:01:19 AM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Jrr85 on January 11, 2018, 09:26:47 AM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.

If both parents are planning on working, depending on cost of daycare/childcare where they live, it'd be pretty easy to hit pretty close to $1200 a month in daycare, formula, and diapers.  Yes, they could breast feed and use cloth diapers, etc, but it's not like they are walking about gucci baby clothes prices.  We live in a pretty low cost of living area and just our childcare averages about $733 per child per month. 
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 11, 2018, 09:51:48 AM
If both parents are planning on working, depending on cost of daycare/childcare where they live, it'd be pretty easy to hit pretty close to $1200 a month in daycare, formula, and diapers.  Yes, they could breast feed and use cloth diapers, etc, but it's not like they are walking about gucci baby clothes prices.  We live in a pretty low cost of living area and just our childcare averages about $733 per child per month.

Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   Like the people in the article, the opportunity cost of lost salary and lost time in a competitive career field make it more than worth it.  (You also can't BOTH worry about the high cost of daycare and dealing with lost income from Mom not working. If she's not working, baby shouldn't be in daycare.)

We also don't cloth diaper, but it was easy to find those as hand me downs or cheap used, so again, not a cost to "keep the baby alive".   And disposables aren't exactly pricey if you find a good store brand (we use Up&Up, and combine the already low price with 15% off for having a red card.)

I only use a small amount of formula, but having collected tons of coupons, I often get it free for the month (walmart routinely sends out $20 coupons, and their formula costs $20).  The name brands are always sending coupons, and if you collect them from other moms and combine with coupons, it can be really cheap.


If they said "the cost to raise the child"; yep, there are lots of little things that add up, especially if you aren't a frugal mindset.  It's the hyperbole of the article that was ridiculous.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Jrr85 on January 11, 2018, 12:04:25 PM
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then). 

Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: honeybbq on January 11, 2018, 01:49:37 PM
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).

what???
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ducky19 on January 11, 2018, 04:09:43 PM
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).

Chicago Public Schools? Dear, lord I hope not!
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 11, 2018, 04:34:18 PM
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).
Tons of people manage without paying for daycare or abandoning a baby.

Trade shifts with a spouse, barter with a neighbor, move in with a grandparent.

Babies can be kept alive, a bare minimum standard, without it.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: MgoSam on January 12, 2018, 09:26:20 AM
Haven't read the article but it is a saddening fact that raising a child is extremely expensive here in the United States. This task is made harder if you are unfortunate to be near family members or others that can help care for your child. My sister and brother both find it difficult to do so and they have plenty of financial resources and community support to do so. This makes me very scared for parents and children that are not fortunate enough to have such resources.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: kaypinkHH on January 12, 2018, 09:58:29 AM
Whoa, what an article.

What is clearly stated in the beginning of the article is the 1200 additional a month assumption is with the wife taking time off work.

Quote
“We worry we’ll blow right through our savings,” adds Warren Hicks, 30. “I think about how much we make and how adding an expense of, say, $1,200 a month would affect us—especially if Lauren takes time off work.”

$1200 a month INCL day care is good ball park price for a baby. (I'm not in the states, so not sure how much medical costs would be first few months for a baby, but I'm assuming with their jobs they would have decent medical coverage).

Main pet peeves from this article: As ducky19 pointed out...WHERE IS THEIR MONEY GOING???

I also agree with MgoSam, if people making 170k a year can "just afford" to have a few kids and maybe retire at 65, there are some serious systemic issues going on.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kimera757 on January 12, 2018, 05:11:49 PM
I have a family member paying that amount (in Canadian dollars) for a child too young to go to preschool. It sucks, but it's only a few years.

I read a thread on Reddit (this is an anecdote) where a perfectly healthy 10 year old child had to be taken to school by an adult. If not, the school would call the parents. It's almost literally insane. They essentially demand that every family have a homemaker or someone who works part-time (or odd shifts) because letting a ten year old walk to school is "dangerous". Kids today are expensive, and it's not always the parents just wasting money.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on January 13, 2018, 01:39:40 AM
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid. When my oldest starts next yearI hope she'll be proud of her independence when she gets comfortable enough to walk herself.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Syonyk on January 14, 2018, 10:02:11 PM
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid.

Oh, man.  Walking to school?  That's terribly unsafe.

http://www.fox26houston.com/news/schools-new-policy-bans-parents-from-walking-children-to-school

Quote
Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year. The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Dicey on January 14, 2018, 10:34:04 PM
Yeah, I stumbled across this article the other day. It was the they could both retire at 65 part that had me rolling my eyes.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: clarkfan1979 on January 14, 2018, 11:07:46 PM
We have an 8 month old and I think he costs us about $300. When you consider the tax deductions, it's much less. 
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: RetiredAt63 on January 15, 2018, 08:22:20 AM
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid.

Oh, man.  Walking to school?  That's terribly unsafe.

http://www.fox26houston.com/news/schools-new-policy-bans-parents-from-walking-children-to-school

Quote
Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year. The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

That is freaking weird.  I walked to school from grade 1 on (not kindergarten).  It was 0.9 km and I did it 4xday.  There was a crossing guard at the one busy intersection.  Same for HS, I lived too close to be allowed to take the bus and my route was a major suburban street, lots of traffic.  Those of us who lived close enough to walk, walked.  On really bad weather days we might get a lift to school, so maybe once or twice a year? 
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: StarBright on January 15, 2018, 08:31:27 AM
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid. When my oldest starts next yearI hope she'll be proud of her independence when she gets comfortable enough to walk herself.

Our school has the "adult must drop off child" rule and if my work schedule ever changes our neighborhood is going to be in trouble :) Right now I walk my own child plus another 4-7 to school every morning. I'm saving three other families a ton of money in childcare every month (otherwise these kids get dropped off at a daycare that offers "pre-care" and the daycare busses them to school).
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kimera757 on January 15, 2018, 05:43:53 PM
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid.

Oh, man.  Walking to school?  That's terribly unsafe.

http://www.fox26houston.com/news/schools-new-policy-bans-parents-from-walking-children-to-school

Quote
Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year. The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

So crazier than a required escort? And here I thought that post I had read earlier that I had mentioned was the craziest thing I heard about childcare this year. So now parents must be drivers or spend money on the bus? The article didn't say what happens if the kid walked to school by themselves, however.

When I was in grade 1 I walked 0.9 km to school per day (and back), but only twice per day. Less exercise than RetiredAt63 had. Not only did I never get hurt, it even gave me a little bit of exercise.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Jrr85 on January 16, 2018, 12:01:39 PM
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).
Tons of people manage without paying for daycare or abandoning a baby.

Trade shifts with a spouse, barter with a neighbor, move in with a grandparent.

Babies can be kept alive, a bare minimum standard, without it.

Tons of people may, but most people can't manage to take care of a baby without either paying for daycare or having a spouse stay home.   

Lots of people don't have jobs that would allow them to avoid overlapping hours with their spouse.  And bartering with a neighbor?  Daycare workers where we live already tend to be low wage workers, so there aren't a lot of neighbors that want to keep a kid during the day for the cost of daycare.  Nor does everybody have grandparents or parents they can just move in with.   

The lack of perspective here is perplexing some times.  Yes, people spend a lot of money and generally more than they need to.  But there are actual resources consumed by living.  If a person or couple has a child, somebody is going to have to spend some of their time watching that child.  And while many people are fortunate enough to have family to help for "free" or to be able to find an alternative arrangement (like a stay at home mother looking to make a little money watching an extra child for much cheaper than daycare cost), people paying for daycare or staying home from work to take care of their children are not usually morons (or at least not morons because they can't figure out a way to have their kids watched without them quitting or scaling back work or to have somebody else watch them for way less than the cost of daycare).  It's just that somebody has to watch infants, and there is a cost to devoting somebody's time to watching an infant that is not cheap (whether it's because somebody is getting paid to do it or because a parent is giving up income to do it).     
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 16, 2018, 12:29:42 PM


The lack of perspective here is perplexing some times. 

If people want to bitch how much money it costs to raise a child with even a frugal standard of living, fine.

But I am talking with the perspective of "just to keep the baby alive".  That was the phrase I took umbrage at- the hyperbole of it.  It absolutely does not cost $14,000+ a year to meet that level of care.
It cannot get more bare minimum of "just to keep the baby alive".  Daycare is absolutely NOT part of "just to keep the baby alive."  Especially if the mother is taking time off work, as the article mentions.

I myself pay nearly $14,000 in daycare a year- but I also am trying to hit a higher standard than just keeping her alive.

Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Cowardly Toaster on January 16, 2018, 05:20:30 PM
Not including the medical bills, our 1.5 yo boy costs us little more than $1200 a year. Granted his grandparents supply quite a few toys and clothes as presents.

Still.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Jrr85 on January 17, 2018, 10:29:20 AM


The lack of perspective here is perplexing some times. 

If people want to bitch how much money it costs to raise a child with even a frugal standard of living, fine.

But I am talking with the perspective of "just to keep the baby alive".  That was the phrase I took umbrage at- the hyperbole of it.  It absolutely does not cost $14,000+ a year to meet that level of care.
It cannot get more bare minimum of "just to keep the baby alive".  Daycare is absolutely NOT part of "just to keep the baby alive."  Especially if the mother is taking time off work, as the article mentions.

I myself pay nearly $14,000 in daycare a year- but I also am trying to hit a higher standard than just keeping her alive.
 

Again, it's overly dramatic phrasing, but not necessarily hyperbole depending on where they live and the market for daycare.  And taking two months off for work doesn't change the need for childcare/daycare (other than reducing it by two months, but at a greater cost because the mother is making $75k). 

I live in a relatively low cost area, and even using an unregulated child care provider (who can have up to 4 children in their home) costs just slightly less than the regulated daycares.  So that's still over $7k per year before you talk about anything else.  I'm sure there are some illegal daycares that are cheaper, but they don't advertise for obvious reasons, and I'm not sure how to track them down.  Maybe daycare isn't that much higher where they live, but it would not shock me if it were.  I certainly know friends in other non-coastal areas that pay $12k per year per kid in daycare.  Maybe unregulated daycares in those places do cost significantly less than the regulated ones; not sure. 
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ProxyRetired on January 17, 2018, 01:16:20 PM
Quote
Lauren currently brings in $95,000 a year as a senior marketing manager; Warren earns $75,000 a year working in pipeline logistics for an oil company. Being the higher earner creates a lot of pressure, she says: “I feel I carry more responsibility for the household because I earn more,” she says. “I’m just anxious … If I’m out of work and we don’t have my salary coming in for two months, what will that mean for us?”

Well, sweetie, then you get to stay home with your kid until you find a new job. Your husband will still be making more money then many Americans.

Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: brute on January 17, 2018, 02:00:52 PM
This just in. My wife walked and took the subway to school starting when she was 11. In north philly. Next person that tells me their kid can't possibly walk 3 blocks in the 'burbs get's facepunched.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Gin1984 on January 17, 2018, 02:03:57 PM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 17, 2018, 02:33:05 PM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Gin1984 on January 17, 2018, 09:21:57 PM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: kimmarg on January 17, 2018, 09:35:30 PM
My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.

Guessing this varies a lot by person. I was constantly starving while nursing and the only snack I didn't eat was the ones I couldn't reach from under the baby. YMMV :)
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Syonyk on January 17, 2018, 10:36:12 PM
This just in. My wife walked and took the subway to school starting when she was 11. In north philly. Next person that tells me their kid can't possibly walk 3 blocks in the 'burbs get's facepunched.

I mean, if that person is the principal who will call the police if a kid walks off alone or a parent walks in to collect them... :/
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Wexler on January 18, 2018, 11:12:00 AM
I think this couple is awesome, and I think the whole world would be better of with more people stressing the $$$ before making big decisions.  They just turned 30 (or close) and have over 200k in retirement funds and about 35k liquid. They own a home, and their only debt is mortgage debt.  I'm pretty sure this would put them in the top 5% in savings for the 30-40 year old band (I just pulled this out of my ass, but I'm pretty sure an MMMer will correct me if I'm too far off).

It's not that they can't afford a baby.  It's that they are used to putting a lot away and want to be able to continue to do so.  The good news for them is that a brief intro to MMM would change their lives.  They are already doing really well, but I bet their budget has tons of fat. 

If only every person on the Wall were more like this couple!
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Mississippi Mudstache on January 18, 2018, 11:32:43 AM
I had to laugh when I saw the title of this thread in the Antimustachian forum. We have a son with spina bifida. His catheters cost $720/month, and he has titanium rods in his back that are worth more than our house. Luckily, his medical care doesn't cost us $14,400/year thanks to out-of-pocket maximums.

We have two other kids, and they don't even come close to costing us that much in excess of our normal expenses. They have, however, represented an opportunity cost well in excess of that, given that my wife has been a SAHM for the past six years, giving up a ~$40K/year salary in the process.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Just Joe on January 18, 2018, 11:54:35 AM
This just in. My wife walked and took the subway to school starting when she was 11. In north philly. Next person that tells me their kid can't possibly walk 3 blocks in the 'burbs get's facepunched.

I mean, if that person is the principal who will call the police if a kid walks off alone or a parent walks in to collect them... :/

What they need is a parent to bicycle/walk to the school and call the police when the principal won't give them their child. Then the cops can sort it out on the evening news. What a ridiculous situation. Why is the USA such a circus all the time?
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 18, 2018, 11:57:32 AM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Gin1984 on January 18, 2018, 12:06:23 PM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 18, 2018, 12:27:06 PM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Does your area have ebay?
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Gin1984 on January 18, 2018, 02:14:14 PM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Does your area have ebay?
Ebay is not free....
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 18, 2018, 02:27:13 PM
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Does your area have ebay?
Ebay is not free....

Buying in lots is "close to free".  There are things on there that are less than a dollar for an outfit.

You do NOT have to spend a lot of money to keep a baby alive. 

Having kids at an "average American" standard is very expensive. Heck, even a single retail outfit for baby clothes is expensive.  The pair of Uggs my mother bought my daughter is more than I spent on 9 months of clothes for her, many of which she didn't even rewear I had so much.  But to argue you have to pay that is absurd.

Go ask the Frugalwoods how much they spend on their daughter. It's even less than I have.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 18, 2018, 03:48:44 PM

Why wouldn't you include medical expenses? If you arbitrarily exclude medical care, why not arbitrarily exclude it from your FIRE budget for yourself? I include medical for every person in my house, its pretty important to keeping people alive.

You also claim housing was free, I assume you budget housing for yourself. By that rationale, my spouse's housing costs are $0, she moved in with me and the housing costs didn't increase at all. Most would agree that's a pretty big stretch, to say only one of the adults in the house has associated housing costs.

Will you still claim your child has $0 in housing costs if they're 20 and living at home? At that point they'll be an adult, like my spouse. Are you arguing that only the person on the title has housing costs? At what point do you ascribe housing costs to a child then? Some children live at home till 30 and beyond, some people inherit their parents house and live their whole lives there.

I agree with most of what you say though. The housing one is hard for some people to agree on though, I'm curious on your perspective if it holds up as the child ages and if it stays constant at all ages (children get free housing budgets even as adults). Its a fun thought experiment.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: AnnaGrowsAMustache on January 19, 2018, 05:03:42 AM
Daycare is a hell of a lot cheaper than one person leaving their job in a two income household. I don't why you wouldn't include that a cost in literally keeping the baby alive. Not everyone has family or the kind of circle that will look after a very small child. It would hardly be appropriate to leave the child with very elderly relatives or very inexperienced friends, even if they were willing.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 19, 2018, 06:58:10 AM

Why wouldn't you include medical expenses? If you arbitrarily exclude medical care, why not arbitrarily exclude it from your FIRE budget for yourself? I include medical for every person in my house, its pretty important to keeping people alive.

You also claim housing was free, I assume you budget housing for yourself. By that rationale, my spouse's housing costs are $0, she moved in with me and the housing costs didn't increase at all. Most would agree that's a pretty big stretch, to say only one of the adults in the house has associated housing costs.

Will you still claim your child has $0 in housing costs if they're 20 and living at home? At that point they'll be an adult, like my spouse. Are you arguing that only the person on the title has housing costs? At what point do you ascribe housing costs to a child then? Some children live at home till 30 and beyond, some people inherit their parents house and live their whole lives there.

I agree with most of what you say though. The housing one is hard for some people to agree on though, I'm curious on your perspective if it holds up as the child ages and if it stays constant at all ages (children get free housing budgets even as adults). Its a fun thought experiment.

Most healthy babies have very minimal medical costs.  I mentioned in my first post how much I've spent on mine- a few dollars in antibiotic, one $25 copay, about $3,000 in hospital bills.
 When I went to read the article, based on the idea that it would take $14,400 to keep a baby alive, I assumed this baby had a medical condition or special needs. It's a hypothetical baby and they weren't yet planning astronomical medical costs.

I also don't think a 20 year old is an infant, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. My housing costs didn't change in any way when I had an infant, so it isn't a cost of having an infant. I would ascribe housing costs to a child when they increase from pre-child levels due to the child.  A 20 year old also isn't a child, it's an adult; but if my adult-child lived with me, while I would make them pay a share of my living costs, if my costs didn't actually increase from pre-child levels, I wouldn't ascribe the costs as an expensive of having them. They don't get free housing, but I'm not paying more because they are there. (I'd assume an adult takes more resources than an infant though; grocery budget, utilities, etc- so possibly the expense goes up. But with my infant, it has not.)

For a healthy INFANT- the only true major expense is daycare (or maybe insurance premiums depending on your plans)- and daycare is just not necessary "to keep the baby alive". 

If the article was $14,400 a year to raise a baby; sure, that seems reasonable.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 19, 2018, 10:06:14 AM

Why wouldn't you include medical expenses? If you arbitrarily exclude medical care, why not arbitrarily exclude it from your FIRE budget for yourself? I include medical for every person in my house, its pretty important to keeping people alive.

You also claim housing was free, I assume you budget housing for yourself. By that rationale, my spouse's housing costs are $0, she moved in with me and the housing costs didn't increase at all. Most would agree that's a pretty big stretch, to say only one of the adults in the house has associated housing costs.

Will you still claim your child has $0 in housing costs if they're 20 and living at home? At that point they'll be an adult, like my spouse. Are you arguing that only the person on the title has housing costs? At what point do you ascribe housing costs to a child then? Some children live at home till 30 and beyond, some people inherit their parents house and live their whole lives there.

I agree with most of what you say though. The housing one is hard for some people to agree on though, I'm curious on your perspective if it holds up as the child ages and if it stays constant at all ages (children get free housing budgets even as adults). Its a fun thought experiment.

Most healthy babies have very minimal medical costs.  I mentioned in my first post how much I've spent on mine- a few dollars in antibiotic, one $25 copay, about $3,000 in hospital bills.
 When I went to read the article, based on the idea that it would take $14,400 to keep a baby alive, I assumed this baby had a medical condition or special needs. It's a hypothetical baby and they weren't yet planning astronomical medical costs.

I also don't think a 20 year old is an infant, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. My housing costs didn't change in any way when I had an infant, so it isn't a cost of having an infant. I would ascribe housing costs to a child when they increase from pre-child levels due to the child.  A 20 year old also isn't a child, it's an adult; but if my adult-child lived with me, while I would make them pay a share of my living costs, if my costs didn't actually increase from pre-child levels, I wouldn't ascribe the costs as an expensive of having them. They don't get free housing, but I'm not paying more because they are there. (I'd assume an adult takes more resources than an infant though; grocery budget, utilities, etc- so possibly the expense goes up. But with my infant, it has not.)

For a healthy INFANT- the only true major expense is daycare (or maybe insurance premiums depending on your plans)- and daycare is just not necessary "to keep the baby alive". 

If the article was $14,400 a year to raise a baby; sure, that seems reasonable.
The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: abhe8 on January 19, 2018, 10:24:14 AM
Yes... Daycare is required for an infant. Sorry, the baby cannot be left alone. Either you pay someone else to do it or you give up your own wages and care for the baby yourself. Either way it costs money.

Other essentials are generally thought to be food, diapers, clothes, shelter and for most, a car seat. You can breastfeed, but for most people that will required an increase in calorie consumption. Shelter is likely a negligible additional expenses, assuming parents have home. Diapers and clothes can be easily had for free or for pennies, when buying used. Expensive car seats are expensive for the same reasons steak and BMWs are. Status and luxury features. you can have a new perfectly safe option for $50.

Babies cost money, but not a lot. By far the biggest expense will be their daily care, be it daycare or someone staying home with them.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 19, 2018, 10:38:11 AM

The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.

We did not buy our house with children in mind. When we bought our house my husband was firm that we were not having children. We'd been married nearly 10 years, so that seems pretty reasonable. We've been in the house 5 years now, most without children, as the baby is not yet 1. We bought it with garage space in mind for his woodshop.  It's hard to find 3 car garages in this area without excess bedrooms.

None of our housing costs changed due to having a baby.  Who cares how we "allocate" it- the actual cost didn't change.

Babies do not have to be expensive.  They CAN be expensive, but keeping them alive doesn't have to be. 

I'm done with this thread, it's boring me.  But feel free to think your child would die if you and your husbands traded shifts to not need to use childcare, or if you swapped babysitting with a neighbor who works weekends, or if a grandparent moved in, or if you stayed at home (the opportunity cost is clearly huge for this particular family though), or if your college aged cousin cared for the baby during the day in exchange for a free room.  There are lots of ways to not use daycare.  I don't take advantage of any of them, as most are a huge hassle and I'd rather spend the money.   But I'm also not just trying to keep my baby alive; I'm trying to keep my baby alive and also continue to live my comfortable lifestyle.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 19, 2018, 12:39:21 PM

The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.

We did not buy our house with children in mind. When we bought our house my husband was firm that we were not having children. We'd been married nearly 10 years, so that seems pretty reasonable. We've been in the house 5 years now, most without children, as the baby is not yet 1. We bought it with garage space in mind for his woodshop.  It's hard to find 3 car garages in this area without excess bedrooms.

None of our housing costs changed due to having a baby.  Who cares how we "allocate" it- the actual cost didn't change.

Babies do not have to be expensive.  They CAN be expensive, but keeping them alive doesn't have to be. 

I'm done with this thread, it's boring me.  But feel free to think your child would die if you and your husbands traded shifts to not need to use childcare, or if you swapped babysitting with a neighbor who works weekends, or if a grandparent moved in, or if you stayed at home (the opportunity cost is clearly huge for this particular family though), or if your college aged cousin cared for the baby during the day in exchange for a free room.  There are lots of ways to not use daycare.  I don't take advantage of any of them, as most are a huge hassle and I'd rather spend the money.   But I'm also not just trying to keep my baby alive; I'm trying to keep my baby alive and also continue to live my comfortable lifestyle.
That's fair, we can agree to disagree. I'm getting my information from the USDA, I was only interested in letting you see how others do it. The allocation comes from the USDA, its nothing more than a metric to compare family expenditures, to see how you relate to the average, that's the biggest group who cares, the people who collect the statistics. If you think you spend less than the average, you should know that the average expenditure includes housing as I described it. It only matters to you, not anyone else, if you spend more or less than average, I know where I stack up; on the high side actually - I'm way over average on daycare and education.

I tried, I'm sorry you feel this was a waste of time. You can lead a person to knowledge, you can't force them to learn.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ShoulderThingThatGoesUp on January 19, 2018, 01:19:12 PM
Normally this forum is better than to dogpile somebody with pedantry. We all know what iowajes meant in her initial post.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on January 19, 2018, 01:29:14 PM

The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.

We did not buy our house with children in mind. When we bought our house my husband was firm that we were not having children. We'd been married nearly 10 years, so that seems pretty reasonable. We've been in the house 5 years now, most without children, as the baby is not yet 1. We bought it with garage space in mind for his woodshop.  It's hard to find 3 car garages in this area without excess bedrooms.

None of our housing costs changed due to having a baby.  Who cares how we "allocate" it- the actual cost didn't change.

Babies do not have to be expensive.  They CAN be expensive, but keeping them alive doesn't have to be. 

I'm done with this thread, it's boring me.  But feel free to think your child would die if you and your husbands traded shifts to not need to use childcare, or if you swapped babysitting with a neighbor who works weekends, or if a grandparent moved in, or if you stayed at home (the opportunity cost is clearly huge for this particular family though), or if your college aged cousin cared for the baby during the day in exchange for a free room.  There are lots of ways to not use daycare.  I don't take advantage of any of them, as most are a huge hassle and I'd rather spend the money.   But I'm also not just trying to keep my baby alive; I'm trying to keep my baby alive and also continue to live my comfortable lifestyle.
That's fair, we can agree to disagree. I'm getting my information from the USDA, I was only interested in letting you see how others do it. The allocation comes from the USDA, its nothing more than a metric to compare family expenditures, to see how you relate to the average, that's the biggest group who cares, the people who collect the statistics. If you think you spend less than the average, you should know that the average expenditure includes housing as I described it. It only matters to you, not anyone else, if you spend more or less than average, I know where I stack up; on the high side actually - I'm way over average on daycare and education.

I tried, I'm sorry you feel this was a waste of time. You can lead a person to knowledge, you can't force them to learn.

I didn't realize the USDA had "minimum spending to keep a baby alive" data.
I thought they had average amount spent to raise a child. 

I think most parents shoot for a hell of a lot more than keep a baby alive.  I think the parents were being absurd in phrasing it that way.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Prairie Stash on January 19, 2018, 02:44:18 PM
I didn't realize the USDA had "minimum spending to keep a baby alive" data.
I thought they had average amount spent to raise a child. 

I think most parents shoot for a hell of a lot more than keep a baby alive.  I think the parents were being absurd in phrasing it that way.
The parents phrased it as:
"We worry we’ll blow right through our savings,” adds Warren Hicks, 30. “I think about how much we make and how adding an expense of, say, $1,200 a month would affect us—especially if Lauren takes time off work.”

That would be known as a misquote. Apparently the parents had it corrected after it was initially published. Most would agree its reasonable to save for a baby. The $1200 is just an estimate of their costs used for demonstration purposes only. I tend to use conservative values when estimating expenses, how about you?

As for the USDA, I agree its the average, the minimum doesn't exist. The USDA says medical is a common expense, which makes it impossible to prescribe a minimum. The minimum for a sick child is different than a healthy child.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Ann on February 07, 2018, 08:45:42 AM
I think criticizing people for including day care costs (or the opportunity cost of a stay-at-home or reduced-hours parent) because one could have a relative work for free is about as fair as criticizing them for including car costs in their budget when they could just have their parents buy their vehicle for them.  Sure, this is the MMM forum and you don't have to have a car -- but you don't have to have a kid, either!  Ride a bike/be a DINK.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: VaCPA on February 13, 2018, 09:12:20 PM
Daycare is a hell of a lot cheaper than one person leaving their job in a two income household. I don't why you wouldn't include that a cost in literally keeping the baby alive. Not everyone has family or the kind of circle that will look after a very small child. It would hardly be appropriate to leave the child with very elderly relatives or very inexperienced friends, even if they were willing.

A lot of people on here are wizards with their IRAs and know jackshit about raising kids.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 14, 2018, 04:13:20 AM
Not thinking of our 6yo lad, our spending on our (almost) 2yo is,
That keeps her alive and clean. We haven't noticed any increased in utilities bills since she was born; logically with more lights and heating and so on there should be a difference, but the variation we get from the weather (eg particularly hot summer vs an ordinary one) is much greater than any difference she makes.

She does childcare one day a week, it costs $114 but government subsidies take it down to $60, which will drop further from July, but at the moment it's $240pcm. But this is not necessary to keep her alive, it's just convenient allowing me a day off and my wife the chance to work from home once a week, and we can have lunch without kids around.

I've seen people spend a fortune on clothing, but honestly you just get a few basic things and people will enthusiastically give you a lot more. Once you're a parent, between mother's group and childcare and kinder and school and your normal social circle, you find everyone and their dog wants to give you their old kids' clothes. Now if you simply must have that dress or whatever, then yeah it'll be big spending. But if you just want them in clean and intact clothing right for the weather, it's no problem.

Toys, honestly you should never get them anything - everyone else is going to go all-out on every birthday, Christmas or Hannukah, and give the kid so many toys that by the time they're four whenever you write birthday party invites you're adding, "no toys as presents, please." Plus however much junk they have, all they ever play with for more than ten minutes is,
seriously, that's it. They could probably get by just with the last 3 of these. Obviously there is no upper limit on how much you can spend on these things, but you can get all of these things from a cheapie shop for not more than $100 in all - and the biggest expense would be official lego/duplo (there are cheap Chinese copies of lower quality) - and that's basically the kid set until they're five years old or so. You might be tempted to get them things with buttons that go click and ding, but they tend not to be played with for long. And no, they don't need anything with a screen until they're in high school.

I consider books a necessity for children, the ones for young kids are mostly pretty cheap, but anyway you can join your local library and have them for free. And most people offering toys can be persuaded to do books instead.

Once they go to school the flood of second-hand clothes and unwanted toys slows down, and even state schools will have some expenses, but these are usually not great, on the order of a few hundred dollars for school uniform, some token fees and donations to support the library, that sort of thing.

There are other things like blankets and prams and cots and child seats for cars... but those are one-off expenses and hugely vary in cost (I wouldn't go cheap on car seats, but the other stuff? why not).
Babies are the same as anything else, you can always spend more if you want to... but really it's because you decided to, not to keep them alive, and I would add, healthy and happy.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 14, 2018, 02:28:04 PM
Another thought occurred to me.  The woman earns $95k, the guy earns $75k... yet she's the one planning to take time off work. Physically most women can return to a sedentary job in a few weeks, or several weeks if they had a caesar (which happens more often with high-income women). If she's breastfeeding technically she can express and someone else can give the child bottles while she's at work, but that's a big hassle and most women will just stay at home. Past 6 months most parents start giving some solid food so less breast milk is needed, and in terms of health benefits of breast milk, most doctors suggest the first 6 months is what matters, so if the woman wants to, they can start weaning the child off and giving them formula. Some women can't breastfeed and some don't want to, I'm just speaking of what we see most commonly in our little community of parents. So in practice, the mother may need to be at home for the first 6 months, but after that anybody can be looking at the child.

If money is most important to them, then the parent who earns the most should be the one at work, and the one who earns the least should be at home. Since in this case the woman earns $20k more than the man, she should take 6 months of maternity leave (depending on where she is, this may be unpaid), or if she gets fired for having a baby (legal or not in your particular area, it does happen), after 3-4 months she should start looking for a new equivalent job, so that by the time 6 months rolls around she's ready to start her new job. Then the man stays at home with the kid.

The difference between their incomes, $20k, is greater than the $14,400 they imagine the cost of a child to be. So by their own spendy reasoning, the man should stay at home. Her income minus $15k is greater than his income with no extra expenses.

Because I am the stay-at-home parent for our two kids, I take this for granted sometimes. But the unstated assumption in the article,  as in many such discussions, is that the woman will be staying at home. This is a bad assumption, and if we take that assumption away then it reduces their money concerns.

Now obviously there are concerns other than money. Some people just prefer to be with kids, others can't stand it. I earn less than my wife, but even if I didn't I'd still be the one at home because she's an intelligent woman who needs mental stimulation, which kids don't provide. But the article was talking about money, and if money is what matters to them, then the man should stay at home with the kid past the first 6 months or so.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: VaCPA on February 14, 2018, 09:27:23 PM
She does childcare one day a week, it costs $114 but government subsidies take it down to $60, which will drop further from July, but at the moment it's $240pcm. But this is not necessary to keep her alive, it's just convenient allowing me a day off and my wife the chance to work from home once a week, and we can have lunch without kids around.

But this is the part so many people are missing. Having someone watch your kid is necessary to keep the kid alive. Some people are lucky and have a relative do it for free, so both parents can still work. They truly have minimal cost but everyone else is either paying $$$ for childcare or having a parent not work to watch the kid. The parent not working is paying $$$ in opportunity cost. Why does that not count but getting a job and peeling off some of that earned income to a daycare facility does.

You pay way more than $114 for childcare when you factor in the lost income from watching your kid and not working.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 15, 2018, 06:40:06 PM
Yes and no.


You can keep your child alive without childcare by your staying home, it just costs you money. Note these are two different goals: looking after my child, and making money. Let's start by saying that in the Western world, there are no legal ways to make having children profitable. It'll always cost you money.



In my case, as I'm a trainer, most of the work is outside business hours anyway - people want to train before or after their 9-5 jobs. So I can be with my children all day, wife comes home and we change over, and then I work. Many couples do this sort of thing, the classic one is a day and night shift couple. In this case, no childcare is necessary and both can work, though less time as a couple doesn't help the marriage. But this sort of shift work's not always possible, so let's assume a couple works more or less the same hours.


Now, paying childcare of $X is, at first glance, financially worth it so long as your day's work earns you at least $X+1. And there are other factors too like not stepping out of the workforce and having some continuity to your career, and so on, where it might not seem a good deal financially today, but is good long-term.


But there are other factors, too. When working at a globogym, I filled up my car every 10 days; now I fill it every 60 days. Each fill is about $50, so my petrol bill has gone from $1,800 to $300 a year, that's $1,500 a year saved. And this also means less maintenance on the car and so on. And being home more means someone can cook, which means less going or ordering out for dinner, and so on. There are quite a lot of savings to having someone at home, whether full or part-time.


For a professional couple this is more so. The sort of people who earn $90k tend to have house cleaners, dry cleaners, gardeners and so on. I mean, this is the original 19th century definition of "middle class": wealthy enough to hire servants. Nowadays not many people have Jeeves making them lobster bisque, but they do have part-time contractor servants in the form of the local dry cleaner or whatever. Having someone at home means you can do away with much of that.


Thus, while there is a financial cost to having a stay-at-home parent (again, this can be part-time rather than full), there are many financial benefits which few consider.


And there are other benefits, too. We see that dual-income families always rushing around to and from childcare are constantly stressed and feeling they're not spending enough time with their kids. So not only do they spend on childcare, they end up spending a lot on ski trips and piano lessons and all that to prove, "Yes Junior I really do love you." And I've seen a lot of kids from high-income families have the "poor little rich kid" thing going on, where they're spoiled and lonely. So you worked very hard and spent a lot of money and now they hate you.


So it's not just about money. But even if it is, in the case of person A earning $75k and person B earning $90k, if one of them stays at home with the kids, it should be A. In this article, that means the man should stay at home. This was not an option presented in the article.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: VaCPA on February 17, 2018, 07:15:04 AM
If you're trying to tell me that there is zero opportunity cost to you because you make just as much money as you would without watching kids, then fine. I'm not going to debate you on your situation which you know better than me. The point is people like that or people who have a relative watch their kid for free are the exception. For the vast majority of people, their options are paying for childcare, or not working and watching the kid(paying in opportunity costs of not working). And it will cost them well north of $10k per year to keep the kid alive. The point is the original article people are trying to shame is not off base. I see a lot of threads in this section trying to grasp when it comes to talking down to other people on their spending, like the one about the guy getting rid of his 15 year old rear projection tv he paid $3k for(omg the humanity!)
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 17, 2018, 02:01:54 PM
Look, if you don't want kids, don't have kids. Nobody cares. But don't try to claim they're inevitably some huge financial cost. You just need your shit together, same as all the other financial stuff here.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: VaCPA on February 25, 2018, 08:12:45 AM
Look, if you don't want kids, don't have kids. Nobody cares. But don't try to claim they're inevitably some huge financial cost. You just need your shit together, same as all the other financial stuff here.

We'll agree to disagree I guess. I don't know how anybody can claim with a straight face that kids don't cost a lot of money to raise/keep alive. You lost me at trying to say daycare is optional and/or not counting the lost wages of having to give up a job to do it yourself.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on February 25, 2018, 09:17:57 AM
Just read this thread for the first time, and my observation is that the people clamoring that kids don't cost a lot of money are those who (a) have some sort of resource for free daycare, and/or (b) their children have not yet reached an age where the expenses really start to pile up.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: talltexan on February 26, 2018, 07:12:45 AM
Everyone is complaining about the cost of children when the real problem with this article is that it recommends a 30% bond allocation to a woman who is 29 years old. Is this a financial planner for grandmothers?
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on February 26, 2018, 07:44:37 AM
Look, if you don't want kids, don't have kids. Nobody cares. But don't try to claim they're inevitably some huge financial cost. You just need your shit together, same as all the other financial stuff here.

We'll agree to disagree I guess. I don't know how anybody can claim with a straight face that kids don't cost a lot of money to raise/keep alive. You lost me at trying to say daycare is optional and/or not counting the lost wages of having to give up a job to do it yourself.

There are lots of things that can be done to avoid daycare costs. Most aren't easy or convenient.  I have a coworker whose husband switched jobs so he could work overnights instead. His original job didn't have this option, so he made a change.  They never see each other.  To me, that's not worth $13k a year in savings (and they are both highly paid professionals)- but I guess it is to them.   Another coworker now works three 12 hour days, and her husband works opposite days at his job.  Most everyone in our office works from home on the days that our local schools have early dismissal to not use aftercare.   My husband and I both work days, I could easily say "we can't do that"- but I also could change jobs. I could leave my office job and freelance instead, for instance.

I know a number of people who have moved closer to family to be able to have free childcare.  Again, not an easy or convenient choice.   I live thousands of miles away from my parents; it would be easy to say "I can't have family care for her"- but I could also do something about it. I could find a job closer to them, I could convince them to move in with me (hahaha), I could swap childcare with a neighbor who works a different schedule. 

So, I still don't think daycare is needed to keep a baby alive.  The baby could survive with alternate arrangements. I'd just prefer to be able to sleep, see my husband, keep my comfortable work schedule.  It's all choices.  The $13k a year I spend in daycare is well worth it to me. But it isn't mandatory.

Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Jrr85 on February 26, 2018, 10:14:31 AM
Look, if you don't want kids, don't have kids. Nobody cares. But don't try to claim they're inevitably some huge financial cost. You just need your shit together, same as all the other financial stuff here.

We'll agree to disagree I guess. I don't know how anybody can claim with a straight face that kids don't cost a lot of money to raise/keep alive. You lost me at trying to say daycare is optional and/or not counting the lost wages of having to give up a job to do it yourself.

There are lots of things that can be done to avoid daycare costs. Most aren't easy or convenient.  I have a coworker whose husband switched jobs so he could work overnights instead. His original job didn't have this option, so he made a change.  They never see each other.  To me, that's not worth $13k a year in savings (and they are both highly paid professionals)- but I guess it is to them.   Another coworker now works three 12 hour days, and her husband works opposite days at his job.  Most everyone in our office works from home on the days that our local schools have early dismissal to not use aftercare.   My husband and I both work days, I could easily say "we can't do that"- but I also could change jobs. I could leave my office job and freelance instead, for instance.

I know a number of people who have moved closer to family to be able to have free childcare.  Again, not an easy or convenient choice.   I live thousands of miles away from my parents; it would be easy to say "I can't have family care for her"- but I could also do something about it. I could find a job closer to them, I could convince them to move in with me (hahaha), I could swap childcare with a neighbor who works a different schedule. 

So, I still don't think daycare is needed to keep a baby alive.  The baby could survive with alternate arrangements. I'd just prefer to be able to sleep, see my husband, keep my comfortable work schedule.  It's all choices.  The $13k a year I spend in daycare is well worth it to me. But it isn't mandatory.

All of these pretty much boil down to the equivalent of it's easy as long as you have rich parents that can pay your child care for you.  Lots of people do not have relatives able or willing to take care of children.  Lots of people do not have jobs that they could shift their schedule without a drop in pay greater than the cost of daycare.  And moving to a bartering system doesn't change the actual costs.  Daycare workers are already low earners typically, so most alternative situations are still going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of what low end daycare costs.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: StockBeard on February 26, 2018, 10:45:18 PM
Our school has the "adult must drop off child" rule and if my work schedule ever changes our neighborhood is going to be in trouble :) Right now I walk my own child plus another 4-7 to school every morning. I'm saving three other families a ton of money in childcare every month (otherwise these kids get dropped off at a daycare that offers "pre-care" and the daycare busses them to school).
As someone who's had to rely on the kindness of friends/neighbors to help us for months with things like this, around the time our 3rd kid was born, I want to thank you and people like you. Hopefully your neighbors don't take your support for granted, and I'm sure they're grateful for your help even if they don't express it regularly.

I hope that once I'm RE, I will be able to support my community in similar way. Gestures like this might not mean much for someone who has a lot of free time, but for working parents, or people struggling for other reasons, it's a huge help!
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on February 27, 2018, 02:33:18 AM
Look, if you don't want kids, don't have kids. Nobody cares. But don't try to claim they're inevitably some huge financial cost. You just need your shit together, same as all the other financial stuff here.

We'll agree to disagree I guess. I don't know how anybody can claim with a straight face that kids don't cost a lot of money to raise/keep alive. You lost me at trying to say daycare is optional and/or not counting the lost wages of having to give up a job to do it yourself.

There are lots of things that can be done to avoid daycare costs. Most aren't easy or convenient.  I have a coworker whose husband switched jobs so he could work overnights instead. His original job didn't have this option, so he made a change.  They never see each other.  To me, that's not worth $13k a year in savings (and they are both highly paid professionals)- but I guess it is to them.   Another coworker now works three 12 hour days, and her husband works opposite days at his job.  Most everyone in our office works from home on the days that our local schools have early dismissal to not use aftercare.   My husband and I both work days, I could easily say "we can't do that"- but I also could change jobs. I could leave my office job and freelance instead, for instance.

I know a number of people who have moved closer to family to be able to have free childcare.  Again, not an easy or convenient choice.   I live thousands of miles away from my parents; it would be easy to say "I can't have family care for her"- but I could also do something about it. I could find a job closer to them, I could convince them to move in with me (hahaha), I could swap childcare with a neighbor who works a different schedule. 

So, I still don't think daycare is needed to keep a baby alive.  The baby could survive with alternate arrangements. I'd just prefer to be able to sleep, see my husband, keep my comfortable work schedule.  It's all choices.  The $13k a year I spend in daycare is well worth it to me. But it isn't mandatory.

All of these pretty much boil down to the equivalent of it's easy as long as you have rich parents that can pay your child care for you.  Lots of people do not have relatives able or willing to take care of children.  Lots of people do not have jobs that they could shift their schedule without a drop in pay greater than the cost of daycare.  And moving to a bartering system doesn't change the actual costs.  Daycare workers are already low earners typically, so most alternative situations are still going to cost somewhere in the neighborhood of what low end daycare costs.

What part of change jobs had to do with rich parents?
There is both low pay and high pay overnight work available.

I sure as hell wouldn't do it, but it's available.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ReadySetMillionaire on February 27, 2018, 08:09:02 AM
There are lots of things that can be done to avoid daycare costs. Most aren't easy or convenient.  I have a coworker whose husband switched jobs so he could work overnights instead. His original job didn't have this option, so he made a change.  They never see each other.  To me, that's not worth $13k a year in savings (and they are both highly paid professionals)- but I guess it is to them.   Another coworker now works three 12 hour days, and her husband works opposite days at his job.  Most everyone in our office works from home on the days that our local schools have early dismissal to not use aftercare.   My husband and I both work days, I could easily say "we can't do that"- but I also could change jobs. I could leave my office job and freelance instead, for instance.

I know a number of people who have moved closer to family to be able to have free childcare.  Again, not an easy or convenient choice.   I live thousands of miles away from my parents; it would be easy to say "I can't have family care for her"- but I could also do something about it. I could find a job closer to them, I could convince them to move in with me (hahaha), I could swap childcare with a neighbor who works a different schedule. 

So, I still don't think daycare is needed to keep a baby alive.  The baby could survive with alternate arrangements. I'd just prefer to be able to sleep, see my husband, keep my comfortable work schedule.  It's all choices.  The $13k a year I spend in daycare is well worth it to me. But it isn't mandatory.

I know your whole point is based on outrage towards the hyperbole of "keeping the baby alive," but I still don't understand how you see that there is *some* sort of opportunity cost to make sure the baby is taken care of, and that is, in a sense, necessary to keep the baby alive.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Jrr85 on February 27, 2018, 08:19:19 AM

What part of change jobs had to do with rich parents?
There is both low pay and high pay overnight work available.

I sure as hell wouldn't do it, but it's available.
[/quote]

Some people can shift to overnight work without taking a major financial hit (even if you ignore the non-financial costs of doing it), but many people can't.  The only night job I can think of that could replace my salary would be as a medical professional, maybe one of the nursing specialist such as nurse anesthetist or nurse practictioner could take a graveyard shift, but at minimum you're talking about four years of additional schooling, where you wouldn't recover on the opportunity costs until well after the kids are gone, if ever.  Maybe engineer working a night shift at a nuclear power plant?  Maybe a plant manager at a plant running three shifts? 

Again, saying "why don't you just arrange for childcare where you don't explicitly pay for it" is not much different than saying, "why don't you just have rich parents that pay for it?"  Plenty of people can do it, and that's nice for them, but it's not an option for everybody and short of arranging their life from sometime their in their late teens, they can't just go out and make it happen.

 
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: I'm a red panda on February 27, 2018, 09:20:33 AM
But if we are talking about a minimal cost to keep a baby alive; the idea of keeping your high salary is silly. (Although in all the cases I'm thinking of people kept their high salaries- chemists, engineers, nursing, pharmacists; or for the refugee population I tutor, they actually make more on night shift then they would at day shift jobs. Most of the refugees I work with do alternate shifts with their spouse because they cannot even come close to affording childcare in our area. Factory night jobs can often pay $20+ an hour, with no English needed, instead of the minimum wage jobs available during the day.)

It doesn't cost more for a rich person to keep a baby alive than a poor person.

To "raise" a child; that's different. Most people want to raise a child in a standard of living close to the one they are used to. I'm annoyed at the semantics and hyperbole.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: talltexan on February 27, 2018, 01:06:42 PM
While the costs of goods/ services that are bought for a child do not change whether a family is high-income or low-income, the cost of the parents' time is higher for families with a parent (particularly a mother) who could generate high income. So that particular cost (and childcare is a proxy for that) does indeed go up with income.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 27, 2018, 05:36:35 PM
It doesn't cost more for a rich person to keep a baby alive than a poor person.
I have been wondering, through this thread, how is it that poor people manage to have so many children and keep them alive.

Perhaps some poor people could offer some budgeting seminars for the rich people. Charge them $5,000 for the weekend, and introduce the seminar by saying, "First up, don't spend $5,000 on a seminar."
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Prairie Stash on February 28, 2018, 09:56:09 AM
It doesn't cost more for a rich person to keep a baby alive than a poor person.
I have been wondering, through this thread, how is it that poor people manage to have so many children and keep them alive.

Perhaps some poor people could offer some budgeting seminars for the rich people. Charge them $5,000 for the weekend, and introduce the seminar by saying, "First up, don't spend $5,000 on a seminar."
I can answer that, I've been in both worlds. Rich people generally spend more on daycare, since their job will more than cover it. Poor people spend less because daycare costs more than their job. People are concerned on this thread with spending vs. NW. Some take the view that NW should be considered, others are arguing that total spending is what matters.

Personally, I see $14,000 as reasonable if it coincides with my personal philosophy and increases my NW, I currently spend about $12k/year on daycare. Some are taking the view that its silly to say a baby costs that much because it can be done for much less. It's absolutely right, poor people can spend less. Some of us higher earners though are concerned with NW more than spending.

Weird personal anecdote time. My Savings Percentage would increase if my spouse stayed home full time, just like many have pointed out I could raise my children for well under $2000/year. My total Absolute savings would drop. What would you rather have, a higher percentage or more dollars in the bank? Personally I like having a massive absolute savings, I don't care about bragging rights that come with a high %. Does that answer the question? In our case the decision also allows us to FIRE several years earlier and spend more time with our kids overall. Its weird to consider that daycare allows us to have more time with our kids, its our situation.

Not you Kyle, but a lot of this thread has turned to browbeating, people are telling others to do stuff they wouldn't do themselves. For most people, daycare is a mathematical equation with some personal preference tossed in. I personally found the lowest cost solution, that suited my moral code (skipping over daycare factories), that allowed the maximum  NW gains. I can't really say anyone else doing the same is wrong. Notice how I looked at cost and NW, I never separate the two which happens when you only look for lowest cost solutions.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: ABC123 on February 28, 2018, 11:09:06 AM
It doesn't cost more for a rich person to keep a baby alive than a poor person.
I have been wondering, through this thread, how is it that poor people manage to have so many children and keep them alive.

Perhaps some poor people could offer some budgeting seminars for the rich people. Charge them $5,000 for the weekend, and introduce the seminar by saying, "First up, don't spend $5,000 on a seminar."

I think this very issue is part of what is causing the income divide to widen in the US.  If you are making minimum wage, you just can't afford to put your baby in daycare.  So you quit your job to care for the baby, losing even that minimum wage you were getting, which puts you even further down the income scale.  And you lose those years of experience, making it even harder to move up later.  If you are middle or higher income, of course you lose that money being paid to the daycare, but you keep your job and keep the raises and possible promotions, so when baby finally moves out of daycare you aren't starting all over.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Kyle Schuant on February 28, 2018, 04:28:06 PM
Not you Kyle, but a lot of this thread has turned to browbeating, people are telling others to do stuff they wouldn't do themselves.
Sure. I don't care what people choose, so long as their choice is an deliberate choice. Like when I worked at the globogyms, most mornings I went and got a coffee, and about half of them I got something from the bakery, too. It worked out to $30 or so a week, $1,500 a year. Hey, that's an interstate holiday for a week or so, or in ten years that's enough for a year of university education for one of my kids, at current rates. But... the coffee and bun helped me get through the 5am starts, kept me chirpy which would make a difference to getting and keeping clients - nobody wants to start their day with someone grumpy. Plus it just made my day nicer.

I decided to keep having my coffees and buns. It was a choice. But until I wrote down how much I was spending and thought about it, it wasn't a deliberate choice - I hadn't deliberated on it, thought about it.

So this is my comments here, too. No, it does not cost $14k to "keep a child alive." There are choices other than two full-time professional jobs and the kid in childcare. Obviously, circumstances restrict choices, too, not everyone can get a professional job - I can't. I had part-time casual work, I got $120 for a shift and we paid $60 for childcare. Then the shifts became uncertain so I binned that day of "work" and looked after my boy for the day.

Everything has a cost, and a benefit. But it's not all about dollars. Dollars are just a tool to get us the life we want to have - if we can have it without those dollars, all well and good.

Deliberate choice.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: TheGrimSqueaker on February 28, 2018, 05:19:54 PM
It doesn't cost more for a rich person to keep a baby alive than a poor person.
I have been wondering, through this thread, how is it that poor people manage to have so many children and keep them alive.

Perhaps some poor people could offer some budgeting seminars for the rich people. Charge them $5,000 for the weekend, and introduce the seminar by saying, "First up, don't spend $5,000 on a seminar."

I think this very issue is part of what is causing the income divide to widen in the US.  If you are making minimum wage, you just can't afford to put your baby in daycare.  So you quit your job to care for the baby, losing even that minimum wage you were getting, which puts you even further down the income scale.  And you lose those years of experience, making it even harder to move up later.  If you are middle or higher income, of course you lose that money being paid to the daycare, but you keep your job and keep the raises and possible promotions, so when baby finally moves out of daycare you aren't starting all over.

The other commercially available options sometimes include nannies and babysitters. But the fact they exist doesn't make them available to everyone or even necessarily the best option.

Most of the minimum wage earning parents I've met tend to work part-time while their kids are little, or if they really need money they make use of a relative or friend to watch their kids. The down-side is that a friend, sister, or sitter isn't as reliable as a commercial daycare, so if Sis is unavailable at the last minute the parent has to miss more work due to child care problems. That leads to missed promotions, more job losses, more hours cut, and less job stability. It can turn into a vicious cycle pretty quickly.

The low-income parents who do best at providing stable, loving environments for their kids are the ones who have outstanding social and interpersonal skills. Those are the folks who can maintain, say, a marriage with a competent breadwinner or a network of people who exchange labor. Many such parents have other skills such as baking or hair cutting that they can barter with in a kind of underground economy. These are definitely things that not everyone can do: a person raised in a nuclear family that emphasizes independence generally doesn't have the social skills, and a kid brought up without practical skills is at a distinct disadvantage.

Stability, consistency, social skills, interpersonal communication skills, and practical skills also tend to lead to employment that pays more than minimum wage.
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Prairie Stash on March 01, 2018, 07:51:21 AM
Not you Kyle, but a lot of this thread has turned to browbeating, people are telling others to do stuff they wouldn't do themselves.
Sure. I don't care what people choose, so long as their choice is an deliberate choice. Like when I worked at the globogyms, most mornings I went and got a coffee, and about half of them I got something from the bakery, too. It worked out to $30 or so a week, $1,500 a year. Hey, that's an interstate holiday for a week or so, or in ten years that's enough for a year of university education for one of my kids, at current rates. But... the coffee and bun helped me get through the 5am starts, kept me chirpy which would make a difference to getting and keeping clients - nobody wants to start their day with someone grumpy. Plus it just made my day nicer.

I decided to keep having my coffees and buns. It was a choice. But until I wrote down how much I was spending and thought about it, it wasn't a deliberate choice - I hadn't deliberated on it, thought about it.

So this is my comments here, too. No, it does not cost $14k to "keep a child alive." There are choices other than two full-time professional jobs and the kid in childcare. Obviously, circumstances restrict choices, too, not everyone can get a professional job - I can't. I had part-time casual work, I got $120 for a shift and we paid $60 for childcare. Then the shifts became uncertain so I binned that day of "work" and looked after my boy for the day.

Everything has a cost, and a benefit. But it's not all about dollars. Dollars are just a tool to get us the life we want to have - if we can have it without those dollars, all well and good.

Deliberate choice.
Agreed,the article in question actually applied that exact rationale. They decided that in the future when they have kids its optimal for their family to have 2 working parents (earning $75k and $90K). There was a giant unwritten statement saying that if you choose to have two parents working, it will cost money; as you personally found. In their case, in their location, that cost was $14,400 (pretty much $60/day). Just like you optimized your own situation, everyone else should as well. In some cases the optimal situation is to spend money, it might not be fair or equal but everyone has to deal with their own situations. Remember, in this case this thread is talking about a specific baby to a couple that has high earning potential, its not the baby of a generic couple, its a very specific case study. I agree other choices exist for other people, but this thread isn't about other people. I'm advocating people reread the article, in their situation what would you do different? If this was a case study, would you tell them to quit a $75k salary job to save daycare?

In the Hicks case, they are making a deliberate choice even before the child is born, its hard for me to criticize someone who plans future expenses...on the MMM forum. In what bizarro world is it bad to set aside money for future expenses and then look for cheaper alternatives when the time comes? There's a lot of indignant outrage at how much they set aside for future expenses, what should they do with the money instead, spend it?
Title: Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
Post by: Jrr85 on March 01, 2018, 09:45:10 AM
It doesn't cost more for a rich person to keep a baby alive than a poor person.
I have been wondering, through this thread, how is it that poor people manage to have so many children and keep them alive.

Perhaps some poor people could offer some budgeting seminars for the rich people. Charge them $5,000 for the weekend, and introduce the seminar by saying, "First up, don't spend $5,000 on a seminar."

They are basically giving up a close to minimum wage job (or potential for a close to minimum wage job) once.  Once you are committed to not working, the marginal costs are not that expensive.  But even for a poor person, assuming they are not unemployable, are taking a hit somewhere in that $10k to $14k range depending on how much they can work, whether they get EITC, etc.