Author Topic: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"  (Read 13080 times)

Kyle Schuant

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #50 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.

VaCPA

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #51 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.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #52 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.

VaCPA

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #53 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!)

Kyle Schuant

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #54 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.

VaCPA

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #55 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.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2018, 08:15:26 AM by anorman79 »

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #56 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.

talltexan

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #57 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?

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #58 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.


Jrr85

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #59 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.

StockBeard

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #60 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!

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #61 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.

ReadySetMillionaire

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #62 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.

Jrr85

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #63 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.

 

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #64 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.

talltexan

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #65 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.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #66 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."

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #67 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.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #68 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.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #69 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.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #70 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.

Prairie Stash

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #71 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?

Jrr85

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #72 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.