Author Topic: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?  (Read 6394 times)

EconDiva

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Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« on: April 29, 2017, 12:04:11 PM »
Did you decide primarily because of the expense of having children not to have them?

epower

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2017, 01:23:23 PM »
I'm about to start a family with my wife and in all honesty I'd rather be broke living on the bare bones than not have any kids. Sometimes life (even though I think about it constantly) isn't always about money.

pigpen

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2017, 01:42:01 PM »
My wife and I didn't want to have kids anyway, but the financial perks of not having any certainly weren't lost on us. I would say that if you really want to have kids, have them. You might also consider that if you're having to list pros and cons to make the decision, maybe you're not ready for other reasons as well, or maybe you're just not called to parenthood (I don't mean this in a religious sense, but I think the language works well here.) It's really ok to not want to have kids.

Finally, I would remind yourself that if you're like 50/50 or 60/40 about having a kid, that kid will have to live with your ambivalence about his/her existence for the rest of his/her life. It's not a cat that you can give to your friends if you decide later that you're just not a cat person. I'm not saying that you think of it like this, but I've talked to LOTS of people who sound like they're trying to talk themselves into having children because, hey, that's what people do.


KungfuRabbit

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2017, 02:49:38 PM »
Like the above.

Probably not having kids, and saving money is not a reason not to, but it certainly is a bonus....

We've talked about fIREing when we're 40, have a paid off house and 2-3 million, and then adopting older kids (older kids need love too!). We'll see I guess :)

Maenad

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2017, 02:55:48 PM »
I know my parents stopped at two because of cost. I've always respected their ability to recognize that growing up in poverty is stressful, and deliberately doing that to your children isn't OK.

Rowellen

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2017, 03:43:19 PM »
Cost was one of several reasons we stopped at 2. If we had 3, we'd have needed a bigger car to fit 3 seats, more time out of work for both of us, potentially a bigger house, then the costs of pregnancy and birth, schooling, clothing and feeding an extra kid - it all adds up. Had that been the only reason, I probably would have regretted it. As it is, I don't regret it and the cost savings is a bonus.

doneby35

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2017, 04:01:17 PM »
The planet is overpopulated already, unless you really really want children, and not because you feel obligated to have kids because everyone else is, then don't. Cost comes second.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2017, 04:13:38 PM »
I am the eldest of 4 children.

There is a significant cost in that 4th kid. Everything becomes more complicated. Finding plane tickets is harder with every additional family member. You can't just rent any car on vacation. You realistically will need a 4 bedroom home, not the standard 3.

You will most likely have the kids spread 3 different schools with different schedules. Coordinating anything becomes a logistical challenge. Finding things that are interesting to your expanded age range is tougher.

Cranky

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2017, 04:40:13 PM »
Actually, it's the 3rd kid that breaks the mold - not only is everything designed for a family of 4, with 3 kids the adults are outnumbered.

Yes, I have 3 kids. And I'd rather have raised the kids than saved the money, but it's definitely a lifestyle. (And 3 kids is a HUGE family for academics. People asked if we were Catholic - they were genuinely bewildered.)

These are troubling times. The future is more than uncertain. Those are reasons to worry about having kids. Money, not so much. But everybody gets to make that choice for him/herself, at least so far.


11ducks

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2017, 05:43:22 PM »
Cost was definitely a factor in my deciding not to have a second child. Well, cost, and work/life balance.

I had DS young and single, and worked and studied nights to get us out of poverty and into a good job where we have a decent middle-class life with a great life/family balance. I don't regret it, and am super grateful for my secure job with decent pay (after 7 years) and great hours  that allow me to spend a lot of time with DS, who is a wonderful young person. However, I don't particularly love my job. DS has 5.5 years left of schooling. Once he is grown and out of the house, I'll be 40, then I'm free to find a job that I like, that will likely pay less. I'm saving like crazy to ensure that I'll be able to have enough saved so that this is an option.

I love babies, and children.  In a different  life, I'd have a million, and home-school them and rock a bates/duggar lifestyle (without the creepy religious overtones). But, I'm tired, and worn out. I want to do something for me. I wouldn't choose another 20 years of working in a job I don't like to provide the best I can for my child. I don't regret my son, he is the best thing in the  world, but, for me, the price I pay to parent in the way I want to, means that i'm restricted from making other choices. I've accepted that for the amazing child I have, but after he is grown and gone, I'd like to focus on me.

spjulep

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2017, 06:39:25 PM »
My wife and I didn't want to have kids anyway, but the financial perks of not having any certainly weren't lost on us.... I've talked to LOTS of people who sound like they're trying to talk themselves into having children because, hey, that's what people do.

Thanks for this post, I liked it! Weirdly (or not), once I stopped watching so much TV, I felt less societal pressure to have kids. There is always that moment in the drama when you find out AND SHE'S PREGNANT and then it is all special and everything works out great.

It doesn't feel PC to say, but if a person can't afford kids (feed/clothe/school them), that's a good reason not to have them. If it's the difference between retiring at 38 vs. 48, that's another issue and will depend a lot on you personally.

I can't tell from the post whether you're looking for permission to be happy about not having kids because of the cost, or want to have kids and are worried about the cost. If it's the former, go for it. If the latter, try to avoid the baby industrial complex. I think if you decide "primarily" based on the cost, you will be unfulfilled. It's such a huge life decision.

meghan88

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2017, 06:56:25 PM »
Having kids is an intensely personal decision if there ever was one, and (if you're polling) we decided to never have kids because:

- Humans are destroying the planet
- I've never had any interest at all in being a mother (I'm 57 BTW)
- They cost way too much
- We just plain don't enjoy interacting with kids
- We like to travel, and kids are a huge burden and make it all that more expensive
- There's no guarantee that they won't turn out to be crack-addled psychopaths

MoonLiteNite

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2017, 07:17:13 PM »
Main reason for me was sucky health and super health in parents/grandparents.
Money was a 2nd reason.... plenty of kids to help out in the world without adding my own genes into the pool :D

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2017, 07:34:12 PM »
I have one kid, who I raise and support solo. I had hoped to have more kids -foster, adopted, step, or bio- but limited money has prevented me, yes. Mine hardly even costs anything in terms of normal stuff, but I live in an area that bans children from many housing complexes, in which housing costs are high, public support services are non-existent, child care starts at $15/hr, and so on, so I had to look at this realistically. It's too bad. Like others here, I do hope to be able to support other children in other ways as time passes, though.

farmerj

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2017, 07:58:14 PM »
Did you decide primarily because of the expense of having children not to have them?

There's probably a significant difference between expense of second (or third or fourth or...) child or expense of having them at all, which I think is what you are keying in on.

Some of the cost savings from not having a child have to be paid out when one is old to achieve the same quality of life.  It's certainly true that there are old people out there with ungrateful brats who never call, never write, but there are also an awful lot who either get direct - or indirect - care from their children. Age takes a great toll; having someone to convince you not to plonk your savings in penny stocks or lets the workers at the Old Fart's Home know that someone is watching is very valuable, and difficult to buy.

former player

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2017, 05:02:15 AM »
Did you decide primarily because of the expense of having children not to have them?

There's probably a significant difference between expense of second (or third or fourth or...) child or expense of having them at all, which I think is what you are keying in on.

Some of the cost savings from not having a child have to be paid out when one is old to achieve the same quality of life.  It's certainly true that there are old people out there with ungrateful brats who never call, never write, but there are also an awful lot who either get direct - or indirect - care from their children. Age takes a great toll; having someone to convince you not to plonk your savings in penny stocks or lets the workers at the Old Fart's Home know that someone is watching is very valuable, and difficult to buy.
While I agree with the irreplaceable value of having a next generation who will care for you in old age (I did this for my mother and an aunt), the logic is probably against this in "western world" society as it is currently set up -

- there are high financial and opportunity costs in raising successful kids (and even higher ones in raising unsuccessful kids)
- the kids may not grow up to be healthy and self-supporting, however good their start and however much input goes into the parenting
- even if the kids grow up healthy and self-supporting, they may move to the other side of the world, or have their own problems, or hate their parents
- you may drop dead before you need their support, or alternatively your needs may go past what a child can provide without wrecking their own life

There have always been some parents who raise one or more kids with the specific intent of keeping them home to help out: typically a daughter who ended up single and living with her parents until they died when she was in her 50s or 60s, but that's probably not the viable strategy now that it was 70 or 100 years ago.

There is no next generation to look after me.  I'm working on the basis that I've got enough money and friends to see me through most things.  If my needs get greater than my money I'll be past caring about the money.  And I'm pretty sure (I've seen it) that if things get bad enough it's possible to give up on life without the need for drastic intervention.

BeanCounter

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2017, 05:30:55 AM »
For me, there was never a question about having kids. I have always known that I wanted children. I married someone who felt the same way. We only needed to figure out when and how many.
Money was considered when we decided not to try for a third child. We were happy (and tired), and felt that we could provide a great life for two kids, but that a third would make everything for complicated and expensive.
Our dinner table feels complete.

kayvent

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2017, 05:44:09 AM »
There is a body of academic work that suggests for the typical couple, on average there is little to no financial cost to have the first child. Lifestyle changes (ex. eating out less often) offset some of the costs and other costs are negated by existing resources (ex. many couples have four-person cars which means they don't need to upsize to fit a kit).

Another canary that affects this cost relationship is that people with children vote. And what do politicians do for people who vote? Try to bribe them with social programs, tax credits, tax benefits, tax writeoffs, and so forth.

My income in 2015 was 45K CAD, it was signicantly more in 2016. Single parent. Canada. In 2014 I noticed that I qualified for a bizarre quantity of programs automatically and I wondered how much my child was actually costing me. In 2015 I started tracking expenses and benefits and noticed that my child was net positive a few hundred dollars a month. Shocked. When I ran the numbers for 2016 she was a few dozen dollars negative a month.

A second child or especially third do no have these nice economic parameters. I myself hope to maybe possibly one day if I am lucky have five or six children. Being single and a full-time parent makes that difficult. lol

EconDiva

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2017, 08:07:46 AM »

I can't tell from the post whether you're looking for permission to be happy about not having kids because of the cost, or want to have kids and are worried about the cost. If it's the former, go for it. If the latter, try to avoid the baby industrial complex. I think if you decide "primarily" based on the cost, you will be unfulfilled. It's such a huge life decision.

Without going into too much detail, for most of my life I haven't wanted kids and have never been drawn to them.  It's hard as a woman because my friends cannot relate. 

I've only felt the slightest desire to have them when I've been in love.  So I figured it was the lovey dovey feelings 'getting to me'.  I cannot 'see' my life with kids.  When I think about having them I think about all the things I won't be able to do with my life anymore since they would be number 1 priority.  And I think about having to commit myself to a job making a decent income which gives me the 'caged bird' feeling.  If I don't have kids and chose to up and leave a job it would be much easier without a little one being impacted by my choices.  Plus the extra money for child rearing likely means a delayed retirement which is very important to me.  One of the things I value most in my life is time and I feel like having a child means more time working...I've kinda been over working for a while :)  I would never want to be one of those parents that is always working and rarely has meaningful quality time with their child.

Anyways, I'm 38 and not married or engaged right now anyway, so considering my age it may very well end up being a non issue for me.  But I have also met/dated a few men over the past 2 years that still didn't have children and wanted them.  The last one I ceased contact with after realizing how much he wanted them. 

EconDiva

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2017, 08:09:42 AM »
I'm about to start a family with my wife and in all honesty I'd rather be broke living on the bare bones than not have any kids. Sometimes life (even though I think about it constantly) isn't always about money.

That's great that the both of you know that that is what you want in life.  I know you can't put a price on something like having family when it's what you desire to do; the value is immeasurable (is that a word? :)).

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #20 on: April 30, 2017, 08:11:28 AM »
It is not only a monetary cost but also can be a cost on a marriage.  Suddenly there is someone else taking your attention away from your spouse.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #21 on: April 30, 2017, 08:15:14 AM »
Quote
I cannot 'see' my life with kids.  When I think about having them I think about all the things I won't be able to do with my life anymore since they would be number 1 priority.  And I think about having to commit myself to a job making a decent income which gives me the 'caged bird' feeling.  If I don't have kids and chose to up and leave a job it would be much easier without a little one being impacted by my choices.  Plus the extra money for child rearing likely means a delayed retirement which is very important to me.  One of the things I value most in my life is time and I feel like having a child means more time working...I've kinda been over working for a while :)  I would never want to be one of those parents that is always working and rarely has meaningful quality time with their child.

Wise, grounded, intelligent, aware.

Yours are excellent reasons to not have kids, when one does not have a craving to anyway :)

Yeah, I've known lots of men who desperately wanted to become fathers but kept falling for women that didn't want to become parents. Hard. I agree it's right to separate on that count.

EconDiva

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2017, 08:20:52 AM »
Finally, I would remind yourself that if you're like 50/50 or 60/40 about having a kid, that kid will have to live with your ambivalence about his/her existence for the rest of his/her life. It's not a cat that you can give to your friends if you decide later that you're just not a cat person. I'm not saying that you think of it like this, but I've talked to LOTS of people who sound like they're trying to talk themselves into having children because, hey, that's what people do.

I read an article the other week that stated a survey was done on people that originally didn't want children who decided to have them.  They were asked if they had to do it all over again if they would have.  Over 70% said no.  Now, while I don't have the details of the survey, that is a LOT.  I don't know what stage of child rearing these people were in or how old they were or how financially stable they were or not or if any of them were single parents, etc. etc., but I would have expected the majority to state the opposite - that they didn't regret their decision.  Again, without more information about the 'research' it's hard to form opinions.

To be completely honest I see my mother as one of those people who shouldn't have had children.  She barely scraped by in being able to support my brother and I financially and we did all live with her parents (my grandparents) for some time.  She only made more than minimum wage her last say 10 years of working.  I know she loved/loves us in her own way but she is also not equipped with the proper emotional skills to have been successful at rearing kids.  Even if money were not an issue, she has never been able to fill that 'mother' role in a normal way for us (without going into a lot of detail...she's just not your average person emotionally/mentally and never will be).  Part of the reason my brother doesn't even talk to her at all...it's like there is no bond there.

Anyways, what you wrote is very true and trust me...it resonates deeply with me.

Disclaimer:  I love my mother and appreciate all she has done for me.  As an adult I just looking at things rationally/objectively, trying to learn from her mistakes and understanding how impactful this type of decision is on not just my life but the lives of those around me (i.e. other family members, etc.).
« Last Edit: April 30, 2017, 08:53:18 AM by EconDiva »

EconDiva

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2017, 08:27:22 AM »
It is not only a monetary cost but also can be a cost on a marriage.  Suddenly there is someone else taking your attention away from your spouse.

I have thought about this a lot lately as well. 

I am not sure how many people really think about how the relationship will change after having children...? 

When you think about it that can translate into bigger costs as well (meaning, if the spouse getting less attention starts to do other things to make up for the lack of attention that require money...whether that be spending more time out eating/drinking with friends, funding an affair, seeing a therapist or whatever.....).

Are people ever really 'ready' for how children will change their relationship with each other though?  I mean...you don't know exactly how things will be until it happens.  I think that's something else that scares me...you can't predict how things will change once you introduce children into the mix. 

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2017, 08:33:17 AM »
For all the reasons you state, especially the last one (nonpredictability), I really think it's wise to only have a kid if one feels 100% up for unpredictability, total absorption in another activity, a total redirection of life, disability in child at any point between birth and death, etc.

It's a big deal to have a kid (if we want to parent well, in a society that doesn't really support raising kids). If someone is up for it and wants to, they should go for it. Otherwise, they are awesome to not to.

Rowellen

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2017, 03:44:08 PM »

Without going into too much detail, for most of my life I haven't wanted kids and have never been drawn to them.  It's hard as a woman because my friends cannot relate. 

I've only felt the slightest desire to have them when I've been in love.  So I figured it was the lovey dovey feelings 'getting to me'.  I cannot 'see' my life with kids.  When I think about having them I think about all the things I won't be able to do with my life anymore since they would be number 1 priority.  And I think about having to commit myself to a job making a decent income which gives me the 'caged bird' feeling.  If I don't have kids and chose to up and leave a job it would be much easier without a little one being impacted by my choices.  Plus the extra money for child rearing likely means a delayed retirement which is very important to me.  One of the things I value most in my life is time and I feel like having a child means more time working...I've kinda been over working for a while :)  I would never want to be one of those parents that is always working and rarely has meaningful quality time with their child.

Anyways, I'm 38 and not married or engaged right now anyway, so considering my age it may very well end up being a non issue for me.  But I have also met/dated a few men over the past 2 years that still didn't have children and wanted them.  The last one I ceased contact with after realizing how much he wanted them.

I think you have your answer. I also didn't really want kids, don't really like kids but OTOH couldn't see my life without them. I have 2 kids now and I love them and wouldn't change anything BUT I absolutely hate being a mother. Hate it. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids and do my absolute best to care for them and give them everything they need. I'm just counting down the years until they are more reasonable, logical adults lol.

As an aside, anyone who starts an affair etc because they aren't getting enough attention is a selfish git, more childish than a toddler. Take the kids of the others hands. Lighten their load by doing extra housework and childcare. Then arrange a babysitter and then get your attention. Ugh.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2017, 03:51:33 PM »
Loved your honesty, Rowellen!

englishteacheralex

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2017, 04:43:00 PM »
I read a thought-provoking book recently called Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. The gist of the book was that kids don't have to be as expensive and time-consuming as American middle class white people tend to make them, and the benefits of having them can outweigh the costs for people oriented towards family life.

We have two and I'd love to have a third but I'm 37, can't afford to keep working with three kids in daycare, and therefore to have a third while the first was in kindergarten would put me pregnant at 40 and that sounds very unappealing to me. I don't want to quit my job because I love it. Our family doesn't feel complete to me, though.

Right now I'm thinking about the possibility of becoming a foster parent as a long term plan. My husband is a social worker who worked with foster kids a few years ago; he's pretty realistic about the challenges involved but we're still leaning towards it as a strong possibility. Fostering has different financial implications, I think.

I think if I had gotten started younger with having kids I'd probably have three (and probably still had a desire to foster). Money is definitely a consideration, but having a relatively large family is my idea of a wonderful way to spend money.

So yeah...for me, having kids has been a very, very high priority (this was just a hunch before kids, and has been strongly reinforced by having kids--I thought I'd love being a mom and I actually love it more than I thought) and finances have mostly taken a backseat. But I can't say finances don't play into my decision at all, because I'm probably not going to have a third kid and it's mostly because of timing and finances.

RunsWithMoney

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2017, 05:21:50 PM »
If you don't want children, for whatever reasons, don't beat yourself up.  I am a female in my mid thirties who will never have children.  I was always honest with my husband that I didn't want kids, and he was fine with that decision.  We are also very fortunate that in a decade of being together, our families have never put pressure on us.   Yet around 32-33 years old, I became very insecure about not wanting kids.  I felt  "broken" for my lack of interest, and began wondering if I would regret never having children..  My husband and I were the in the right place to have kids, and if we were going to, we should start then.  My husband is a bit older than me, which I allowed to add pressure to myself.  I kept the emotions to myself for awhile, but eventually opened up to my husband.  His response was clarifying, "If you really want to have kids, I'm open to it, but I don't need for us to have children, so don't worry about me.  I'm not hearing you actually express the desire to be a mother, which is the most important part of that decision."  Shortly thereafter, one of my best friends became pregnant, and I was thrilled to hear the news.  That I felt no jealousy or other complicated feelings was the defining moment that I am not meant to be a mother.  Five months ago my husband had a vasectomy, and there have been no feelings of regret.  We also started opening up to more people that we are not having children.  I'm sure there are some who find it odd, but no one openly shames us, and many are supportive.  I think it helps that I am genuinely supportive of them as parents.  You won't find me baby sitting, but hell yeah I want society to provide better support to families, kids, and schools.

As to your original question, there are many reasons why I view being child free favorably, including money, but ultimately it comes down to my husband's point: I have no desire for motherhood.  I still fear getting old and lonely, and I find it a odd that I lack a desire expressed by most women, but I can't make a lifelong decision to be someone I'm not.

NeonPegasus

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #29 on: April 30, 2017, 06:22:24 PM »

Without going into too much detail, for most of my life I haven't wanted kids and have never been drawn to them.  It's hard as a woman because my friends cannot relate. 

I've only felt the slightest desire to have them when I've been in love.  So I figured it was the lovey dovey feelings 'getting to me'.  I cannot 'see' my life with kids.  When I think about having them I think about all the things I won't be able to do with my life anymore since they would be number 1 priority.  And I think about having to commit myself to a job making a decent income which gives me the 'caged bird' feeling.  If I don't have kids and chose to up and leave a job it would be much easier without a little one being impacted by my choices.  Plus the extra money for child rearing likely means a delayed retirement which is very important to me.  One of the things I value most in my life is time and I feel like having a child means more time working...I've kinda been over working for a while :)  I would never want to be one of those parents that is always working and rarely has meaningful quality time with their child.

Anyways, I'm 38 and not married or engaged right now anyway, so considering my age it may very well end up being a non issue for me.  But I have also met/dated a few men over the past 2 years that still didn't have children and wanted them.  The last one I ceased contact with after realizing how much he wanted them.

I think you know your answer.

No, I don't think most people decide whether to have children solely based on finances. Family size, yes, but not whether to have any at all.

You have listed many reasons why you don't want kids and an overall lack of desire for them. I would stay true to yourself.



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Rowellen

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2017, 12:11:50 AM »
Loved your honesty, Rowellen!

I read an article written by someone who felt the same way. She got totally destroyed in the comments. But I got it. It was a light bulb moment for me. I thought something was wrong with me but now I realise I'm fine. I think she was incredibly brave to speak out given how nasty the perfect mum brigade can be. If more people spoke out, the question asked in the OP wouldn't even need to be asked.

The Money Monk

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2017, 12:14:22 AM »
Did you decide primarily because of the expense of having children not to have them?


I am just not willing to give up that much of my life and deal with all the stress. The cost is a huge negative factor for me, but I can't honestly say its the #1 primary reason I don't want kids.

limeandpepper

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2017, 03:23:38 AM »
The primary reason my partner and I are not planning to have kids is because neither of us feel a clear desire to have them. When we first got together my partner asked what I thought, and I said it would depend on whether the person I ended with wanted children or not, because I don't feel strongly either way. He was the same. Then gradually over the years we kind of decided that we're probably not going to have any. We are still allowing for the possibility of change of mind, even though it seems unlikely.

However, somewhat related to the original question, one thing that has come through in our discussions is that if we were wealthy, we might be more easily swayed by external pressures and encouragement from the pro-kids brigade and give it a go. Because if we end up loving it, then great; but even if it turns out to be not our thing, being rich makes it easier to deal with that, because you can afford lots of hired help for babysitting, household chores, etc.

Yet around 32-33 years old, I became very insecure about not wanting kids.  I felt  "broken" for my lack of interest, and began wondering if I would regret never having children

I went through a similar thing, except I was a fence-sitter who wished I felt more strongly about wanting or not wanting kids - I was worried that I would regret having children and also worried I would regret not having children! I envied people who knew exactly what they wanted, whichever option it was. Now I have sort of floated more towards "nope", I am more at peace. :)

If more people spoke out, the question asked in the OP wouldn't even need to be asked.

Thank you for speaking out! :)  I think it is important to hear about all sorts of experiences.

Mega

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #33 on: May 01, 2017, 06:04:39 AM »
This is a very long post with lots of valid replies. Here are my two cents.

Children are the biggest commitment you will ever make in your life, period. You will always be a parent to that child. They are very "high cost", but also very "high reward".

Financial costs:
1 - all those purchases of stuff (crib, clothes, etc). Very highly variable and are completely under your control. By used from other parents.
2 - Childcare... absurdly expensive. The only option to save money here is if you live with a retired relative. (E.g how most of the world actually lives, multi-family / multi- generational housing.)

Time costs:
1 - You thought you were busy before. You ain't seen busy. You will get maybe 1-2 hours of one to yourself a day. Again, see number 2 above for ways to address this challenge.

Financial rewards:
1 - In most of the world the children take care of the parents after the parents can no longer work. While this direct relationship is not as present as in the past, it is still factually true from a financial perspective (e.g social security, government healthcare costs, pensions, even stock market returns, etc)

Time rewards:
1 - People with strong family ties live longer, healthier lives. So what you say, I have lots of friends. Sadly, if you live long enough, eventually all of your friends will be dead. The only people left will be much younger than you, such as your children.

Mental rewards:
1 - There is something very rewarding about seeing you child grow up.

So, there you have it in very clear terms.

FLBiker

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #34 on: May 01, 2017, 08:39:21 AM »
Finally, I would remind yourself that if you're like 50/50 or 60/40 about having a kid, that kid will have to live with your ambivalence about his/her existence for the rest of his/her life. It's not a cat that you can give to your friends if you decide later that you're just not a cat person. I'm not saying that you think of it like this, but I've talked to LOTS of people who sound like they're trying to talk themselves into having children because, hey, that's what people do.

Just to provide another perspective, this was absolutely not our experience.  DW and I were very undecided about having kids.  Our primary reason wasn't cost, more cultural (leery of where we're heading) and environmental.  Personally, I was also afraid I was too selfish.  We had a daughter over two years ago, and are both 100% about having her.  That ambivalence didn't last a moment.

Laserjet3051

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #35 on: May 01, 2017, 09:45:33 AM »
After having our 2nd child, we really wanted a third one. Cost was the sole reason we abandoned that objective. Of course, our 2nd child (and the decision to stop) came right as the market collapsed in 2008/2009, I lost my job and my house to foreclosure, and economic prospects for the future were fading for me.

9 years later, I can now say, it was a judicious/prudent decision to stop at 2 kids.

Mrs. S

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #36 on: May 01, 2017, 09:49:50 AM »
We are planning to have a kid soon (if it happens). We are in our early 30s and we never wanted to be in a situation where our finances would govern what we can or cannot do for our kid. Currently we believe we have saved enough to last more than a couple of years if we both lose our jobs.
Financial capability was one of the deciding factors of us not having a kid in over 6 years of marriage. Another was simply being disinterested in the idea of taking care of another person solely dependent on you.
In India childcare is relatively cheaper and would amount to less than 10% of my net income after taxes. we also have the option of requesting our parents to come and live with us for a few weeks and tide us over the 1 year mark after my 26 week maternity leave ends (no reason for the timeline totally in my head).

We have been back and forth about the idea and for the first time finances have taken a back seat.

MrsPete

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Re: Anyone decide not to have children based on cost?
« Reply #37 on: May 01, 2017, 07:32:39 PM »
Did you decide primarily because of the expense of having children not to have them?
Cost is one of the reasons we chose to stop at two.  The other reason is time; we wanted to raise two children WELL rather than four children poorly. 

but I've talked to LOTS of people who sound like they're trying to talk themselves into having children because, hey, that's what people do.
Sounds like a case of Confirmation Bias. 

Actually, it's the 3rd kid that breaks the mold - not only is everything designed for a family of 4, with 3 kids the adults are outnumbered.
I totally agree that the world is made for families of four.  From a box of Rice-a-Roni to seats on a roller coaster, average is easier. 

It is not only a monetary cost but also can be a cost on a marriage.  Suddenly there is someone else taking your attention away from your spouse.
Disagree.  Our children have brought us together and made us a stronger couple.  We found the first two years (when they need so much hands-on time) tough, but even during that time we found that the children solidified us in a way that I wouldn't have anticipated. 

Children are the biggest commitment you will ever make in your life, period. You will always be a parent to that child. They are very "high cost", but also very "high reward".
Agree.