Author Topic: Having More Than One Child?  (Read 7618 times)

darkelenchus

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Having More Than One Child?
« on: May 28, 2012, 08:54:00 PM »
I've heard from a number of people that having a second child doesn't raise expenses much, since you'd already have many of the things needed after raising the first child. For those who have two or more children, is there much truth in this? 

Jake D

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 09:18:23 PM »
No new purchases, sure. But with only one child it was quite easy for my wife to find a babysitter and go to work for a day or two when we needed the extra cash. Having a second child has basically rubbed that one out. Who wants to look after a 2 year old and a 6 month old for free?

I imagine the argument continues to paid child care, too, if that's required.

gooki

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2012, 09:41:51 PM »
I'll be able to let you know in 6 months time.

But yes we're planning to spend less this time around (although looking back the first one isn't costing a lot either, other than the loss of one salary).

Our first born is already in her bed, so we have a bassinet ($100) and cot ($450) and a bed ($250 part of a bunk set) ready to go. On top of that we already have a car seat ($150), pram and capsule ($450), bouncy chair ($50).

So yeah of the top of my head that's $1,500 we won't have to spend again. Clothes, bedding, books, toys, could easily add another $500. And this is just the first two years.

arebelspy

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2012, 09:50:42 PM »
Same gender helps for reusing clothes.

Though a Mustachian would likely already be getting a ton of free and cheap baby items from relatives, friends, FreeCycle, etc.

I've also heard a second child costs significantly less than the first.  We're thinking about having two (currently at 0).

My spreadsheets include projections for spending 1200/mo for the first kid.  I think it may come in less (hopefully quite a bit less), but I'm trying to overestimate and be pleasantly surprised.  I think the national average is around 1200/mo., so I figure a Mustachian can beat that.

And then I'm estimating an additional 600/mo for the second kid. 
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gooki

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2012, 10:22:00 PM »
If you're not paying childcare you'll be well below those figures. Other than the capital costs I listed above (some of which was given to us by relatives), we're running at around $200 a month with a single toddler.

arebelspy

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2012, 10:36:19 PM »
If you're not paying childcare you'll be well below those figures. Other than the capital costs I listed above (some of which was given to us by relatives), we're running at around $200 a month with a single toddler.

Yes, my assumption includes child care. Then when we ER and don't have any child care costs, we'll have health insurance costs which will offset that savings.

If you already have child care and health care covered (I.e. one working parent) your costs will be even lower still.
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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twinge

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 05:54:11 AM »
We have two kids, boy and girl:
Childcare costs were the biggest increase.
Health insurance monthly fee didn't change but health care expenses were doubled. (In our case, far more than doubled as our second had more health issues).
Some basic "gear" had to be repurchased (i.e., car seat, crib, cloth diapers, stroller) because there was a while between our kids and our first really wore things out (e.g., crib was broken, stroller destroyed) but this expense was pretty minimal for both our kids as we used hand-me-down, craigslist, gifts.
Haven't noticed much change in food expenses related to adding children.
We used to fly places when we just had one child (all our family live far away) but now we try to make our travel driving trips but flights would add cost.
As kids get older, though, there are different kinds of expenses--for instance,  classes/camps or equipment to support their interests.  That's all "optional" but we find we want to do some of it.
College, if you choose to pay for it is a big one.

bdub

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 06:05:07 AM »
If you can make sure the 2nd one is the same gender as the 1st, that will help!  I believe the 3rd one is the one that can really add costs depending on your lifestyle.

Our kids were pretty close together so we had to buy a 2nd of a lot of the upfront basic items.   That being said, little kids are pretty cheap.  Once they get to 16 and older, that is when the costs could really increase. 

ferfischer

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 07:17:54 AM »
I didn't get to go from 1 kid to 2 as planned, instead, I had twins for my second pg, and we jumped from 1 to 3 kids.  We did need two of certain things, but in general, it didn't cost that much more to have the twins.  I cloth diapered and we had the same equipment, and other than childcare and schooling costs, it wasn't that much.   We're about to have #4 in a month or so, and I've spent ZERO money getting ready for this one, even though we have no clothes for it (we don't know gender) I know we'll be able to pick things up cheap enough, and all the equipment I got used from friends looking to clear out their houses of kid stuff!    With more kids, the costs are not in the equipment/clothing, but in the costs for "maintenance" so to speak - medicines, copays, childcare, etc, but when those are minimized then it's not that much more.  LIke I said, I don't know how it is going from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3, but for us it wasn't that terrible until we had some major health issues with one.

darkelenchus

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2012, 07:29:21 AM »
With only one child it was quite easy for my wife to find a babysitter and go to work for a day or two when we needed the extra cash. Having a second child has basically rubbed that one out. Who wants to look after a 2 year old and a 6 month old for free?

Interesting. I'm sure the people I've heard from didn't take into account opportunity cost. Though I'd imagine this cost is mitigated quite a bit if one works at home and can pull off "double duty."

So yeah of the top of my head that's $1,500 we won't have to spend again. Clothes, bedding, books, toys, could easily add another $500. And this is just the first two years.

Yeah, so that's quite helpful not having to buy all that stuff again!

Same gender helps for reusing clothes.

Yeah, if we decide on having two, we were thinking mostly gender neutral clothing would keep costs down, too.

Health care expenses were doubled...

Haven't noticed much change in food expenses related to adding children...

As kids get older, though, there are different kinds of expenses--for instance,  classes/camps or equipment to support their interests.

Okay, so the added expenses mostly seem to come from healthcare, childcare, hobbies, gifts, and education.

We're not saving for education, per se, but will put money aside as an investment for early adult ventures. We'd want to set aside equal amounts, but that doesn't necessarily mean the "expense" would double. We could set aside less per child (say $30,000 per child) compared to what we'd set aside in an only child scenario (say $50,000).

We like the idea of "one gift" birthdays & other holidays, and instead doing something fun and low cost that they love to do.

As far as hobbies are concerned, when younger they can support it financially through the money they earn from household chores and, when older, through salary from their job(s). We'd support them in their hobbies in other ways by offering our our attendance, attention, and assistance.

Childcare shouldn't be an issue with us, but I'm stumped when it comes to healthcare (don't want to forego it; seems too risky).

What do you guys think of these? Do you have any other suggestions?
« Last Edit: May 29, 2012, 07:31:25 AM by darkelenchus »

tooqk4u22

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2012, 01:40:02 PM »
Childcare is directly proportional.
Re-using exisitng baby stuff - no cost.
Housing costs don't change if you don't move.
Healthcare premiums may not increase but deductibles and copays do.
College is optional so could or could not increase your cost as you see fit.

Adding a baby or two doesn't add much to the bottom line, but adding a toddler or two definitely does for mostly "Wants" and some "Needs".  The Wants are hobbies, sports, entertainment, travel, pre-school, etc - this is also the part that makes FI harder, I want my kids to play sports, learn music, go to the zoo and musuems, and whatever, but it all costs money and is part of my budget.  The Need is basically food and clothing - my boys seem to eat more and more every day, it is impacting the grocery budget, but what can you do as all they do is run around all day and grow.  Past a certain age clothing gets too beat up to be handed down. 

bogart

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2012, 09:14:17 PM »

As far as hobbies are concerned, when younger they can support it financially through the money they earn from household chores [...]

Your kid(s) may be a lot more talented than mine a lot younger, but mine's 6 years in and definitely not generating revenue.  Who exactly is going to pay yours to do household chores?  I'm not saying this is going to be a major drain on your household finances, but it's going to be a negative number, not a positive one (or zero). 

For reference (and entirely ignoring childcare/preschool -- none of what's listed has served that purpose) we've paid for an annual pool membership ($400/year for the family, public, fabulous value for the money but not free), swim lessons (pricey in our area to get decent ones and we haven't bought lots, but have found the ~10 we've purchased, $30 per half-hour, helpful), one round, so far, of team soccer (great value, $80 for the season), and assorted bits of biking gear (I'm fine with buying bikes used, but not helmets).

(I'll also note that having a kid has really increased my desire to travel, and the associated costs, and having 2 would definitely exacerbate that problem.  But our circumstances in that regard (much of the family resides across an ocean), while not wildly ususual, probably aren't typical.)

darkelenchus

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 10:30:31 PM »

As far as hobbies are concerned, when younger they can support it financially through the money they earn from household chores [...]

Your kid(s) may be a lot more talented than mine a lot younger, but mine's 6 years in and definitely not generating revenue.  Who exactly is going to pay yours to do household chores?  I'm not saying this is going to be a major drain on your household finances, but it's going to be a negative number, not a positive one (or zero). 

We don't have any kids yet. Some of the money will come from us, i.e. they'll earn money from doing chores. Starting when I was around 8-9 years old, I used to earn money helping neighbors and family members with indoor cleaning and with yard work. I don't see why my kid(s) can't do that, either. So some of the money will come from outside our household. We won't profit from this approach financially1, but we're not taking on the added expense of paying for chores and financially supporting their hobbies. I should have been more clear originally. Anyway, this is what I meant.

Keeping swimming at a cost of $0 or near $0 shouldn't be a problem. We live literally a mile from some nice beaches on the Lake Michigan shoreline and there are a couple of free public pools within walking distance. My wife is an avid swimmer, so she can introduce the kid(s) to the water. Soccer, especially at that low of a price, can be managed by the kid(s) earnings from chores, if they're in to that. Thanks for bringing up the biking. We'd pay for that in full for the basics. I'm tempted to classify it as a transportation expense. It's training for a mustachian staple, after all, isn't it? :-)



1. Unless, of course, he/she gets in to basketball, becomes the next Lebron James, and gifts us a bunch of $$$.

$_gone_amok

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 01:34:08 PM »
I've heard from a number of people that having a second child doesn't raise expenses much, since you'd already have many of the things needed after raising the first child. For those who have two or more children, is there much truth in this?

We have 2 boys. When the second one was born we don't have to buy all the baby stuff again so we saved $2K. However, we still need to buy diapers, food, pay for day care and etc so the cost is almost 2X when you have 2 kids under 4. 

However in the long run I think raising 2 kids when their age are closer to each other is cheaper than raising 2 kids aged further apart.  I don't have any numbers backing up my claim tho.


CeciliaW

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #14 on: May 30, 2012, 03:13:20 PM »
Well, I just recently found out that I'm going to be a Grandmother for the third time.
Seriously? I thought they figured out what caused this after the first one. (insert wry smile here).
While it is totally not the path I would have chosen they seem to be content.

Chemistay

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2012, 10:21:54 AM »

Same gender helps for reusing clothes.

Yeah, if we decide on having two, we were thinking mostly gender neutral clothing would keep costs down, too.


You should do this anyway! At the risk of becoming this forum's resident 'raging feminist' I would encourage everyone to avoid gendered clothing for their children. Genderization begins from day 1 where studies show that parents of a son describe their 5 minute old infant as 'strong' and 'curious' while a female baby with the same weight and dimensions is considered 'fragile'. Putting your child in pink or blue clothing with bows or trucks tells others how to 'talk to' that infant and again, people tend to baby little girls and encourage little boys to be strong and interested in 'boy things' from birth all the way up through the rest of life. Clearly there are many strong, successful females on this forum and there are many 'un-macho' male members but I think a commitment to raising your child with as few gender pretenses as possible (and putting them in gender neutral clothing!) is only going to help your (future) kid. Ok, mild rant over...I'll try to keep the feminism contained for a few more days ;-)

mm1970

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2012, 11:17:47 AM »
Well, if you go for a 2nd kid and you want to make it mustachian, don't do what we did - which is get rid of everything and have a 2nd baby (soon, anyway) 6 years later.  Everyone says "oh, a 2nd boy, you've got all the stuff already!"

Uh, well, no we don't.  And with a small house, we still aren't saving stuff.  I don't want to hold on to clothing for 6 years.  I need the space.  But I do get a lot of used items and hand-me-downs for clothing, and we've passed on a lot of items too...call it the "circle of children".

We've saved a bunch already this time.  I have several friends who are purging, so we've gotten bouncy seats, a tub, co-sleeper (to borrow, not keep), a breast pump, clothing, blankets, a maya wrap.

The only things I expect we'll purchase are a carseat (I don't mind used carseats, but I personally draw the line at expired, and the only one I got as a hand me down was expired), new parts for the breast pump, and a few other incidentals like nursing extras (milk bags, lanolin, etc.).

I was enjoying the past year of low/no child care costs though.

Bethany J

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2012, 11:52:17 AM »
When I had my kids (boy 8 and girl 6), I was not frugal at all about it, so it did increase costs quite a bit. They are 20 months apart and different sexes, so everything was basically purchased twice. Add in formula, diapers for both, etc. I have never had them in childcare, so not sure how much that adds. Everything was purchased new as I did not want my babies in anything used. I would have saved thousands if I was in the same mindset then as I am now.

On the plus side, having 2 kids has helped us with financial aid for their private school. Also, I would guess we get more of a refund at tax time for more dependants. They bicker quite a bit, but they are friends and it has helped them as people, I think to have to share and think of their sibling. My husband and I grew up as only children and I felt lonely. My husband never did, so everyone is different.

As to the "gender neutral", anyone who has kids of different sexes will tell you boys and girls are different from the minute they are born. Wouldn't matter what color I tried to put my son in (he likes "boy" colors and refused to put on a pink shirt at age 3 for pig day at preschool) or if I gave him a doll to play with (he would find a way to launch it or blow it up). Why would we want to be neutral anyway?

sol

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #18 on: June 02, 2012, 12:02:47 PM »
if I gave him a doll to play with (he would find a way to launch it or blow it up). Why would we want to be neutral anyway?

Some feminists think parents should be neutral with respect to children's activities because they believe inadvertently influencing a female child to embrace traditionally female roles somehow weakens or demeans the child.

That point of view was very popular several decades ago, but most modern feminists have outgrown the idea that women are inherently inferior and thus should avoid traditionally female activities or accoutrements because they have recognized the sexist assumptions on which that belief is based.  Instead, they try to celebrate the diversity of individuals regardless of gender, even if that means adorable pink dresses, in a way that does not value one sex over the other.

mm1970

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2012, 06:20:00 AM »
if I gave him a doll to play with (he would find a way to launch it or blow it up). Why would we want to be neutral anyway?

Some feminists think parents should be neutral with respect to children's activities because they believe inadvertently influencing a female child to embrace traditionally female roles somehow weakens or demeans the child.

That point of view was very popular several decades ago, but most modern feminists have outgrown the idea that women are inherently inferior and thus should avoid traditionally female activities or accoutrements because they have recognized the sexist assumptions on which that belief is based.  Instead, they try to celebrate the diversity of individuals regardless of gender, even if that means adorable pink dresses, in a way that does not value one sex over the other.
I sometimes wonder about parental influence.  I have a boy, and he's a boy.  Likes to pretend blow things up and play with legos and such.  But I don't force it on him.  If he sees me paint my toenails blue, and he wants blue toenails too, I paint them blue for him.

I have one friend with two girls, and they are girly.  Princess dresses and all.  But their mom is kinda like that too.  Very nice woman but also a nice dresser, etc.

I have another friend with 3 girls.  They wear pink and purple, but they prefer to play with my son's toys.  I don't think they have any traditional "girl" toys like dolls, not that I've seen anyway.  Is it their personality, or their parents?

twinge

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Re: Having More Than One Child?
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2012, 10:11:01 AM »
Chemistay's points about gender are key...
It's not the pink dresses vs. rockets that are important, it's that research consistently shows that parents, teachers, and others who interact with children subtly and often subconsciously reinforce more limiting sexist stereotypes.

For instance, there have been studies of parents -- including those who want to raise their kids in an even-handed not overly gendered way and who believe they treat their male and female children equally--that, on average, say in a situation where parents are supposed to teach their children how to play a game in a lab, parents will do things like encourage more risk-taking and autonomous decision-making in their sons and encourage more advice-following, rule-oriented behavior in the daughters.  And they will allow the son to make more decisions and "fail" whereas they are more likely to hover and continually try to control the game-playing of their daughters. And when the parents are debriefed afterwards they are unaware of any bias in their ways of "teaching the game."  This parenting pattern tends to hold on average regardless of the individual child's own tendencies (e.g., a boy who tends to be highly compliant vs. a girl who tends to be a risk taker).

While there's nothing "wrong" with femininity (and plenty "right"!) -- SOME of the traditional gendered ways of parenting are associated with reinforcing sexist patterns-- such as the example above about making girls more compliant and dependent than boys.