Author Topic: Help... do I have one more kid or get my financial life in order first?  (Read 4425 times)

nairnejay

  • Guest
Edited. Too much identifying information was posted.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2018, 08:19:46 PM by pinecones »

joonifloofeefloo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5128
  • On a forum break :)
In my view, it's almost* critically important to have reasonable financial resources in place before bringing another kid in (whether one's first or fourth). In my country, people have had to place older children in foster care or for adoption, or ended up with the entire family absolutely homeless, because of shortage of finances. Insufficient funds can mean a family lands in a position where a child is being neglected (lacking required support or supervision) or undernourished. If an existing child develops a medical condition or a disability, what's the plan? If the next child is born with one?

Please put finances in place so that you can support your existing children well, and then perhaps another one. You're wise enough to see the situation and to ask the question. That's good! Your soundness of mind positions you to care very well for your existing children, and possibly a future one as well. Run with that.

*Almost because some people do manage to turn things around in time, but not everyone, and it can be very stressful to pull it off, with big impacts on each family member along the way.

DreamFIRE

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1596
Enough kids already.

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3002
  • Age: 36
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
Didn't read body, just subject: get financial life in order first :)

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Mississippi
We literally have $300 in savings.

This is a no brainer. You shouldn't have any kids.

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8931
  • Location: Canada
My comment is made with your family (and future fourth child)'s wellbeing in mind.

Please wait before having more children.

Three years ago your family had $10,200 in debt and a plan to clear it by 2016.  It's now 2018 and you have $27,100 in debt (only $7,700 of that is taxes owed, the rest is consumer debt).  In three years you've borrowed even more and are that much farther from being debt free.

You're about 32 years old now.  You are young enough to take a few years to get the family finances in order and then have more children.  As strong as your emotional desire may be for another baby in the near future, you are courting financial disaster with how little savings you have, how much you owe, and that you haven't developed the systems and habits that will get you to stable financial footing (your family is sinking deeper into debt.  You are not making progress.)

You mentioned in an older post that you could call on your father to bail you out of a financial jam.  Is that the backstop that makes it seem like another child next year is doable?  Would your father agree with your reasoning? 

I have children so I know the joy they bring, but love is not enough to raise a child.  They deserve adequate resources and stability.  Take some time and get that in place.  It will be a kindness to all of you.

Hi all. I am (nearly) 30, married, mother of 2 (with one on the way) and in debt to the tune of $10,200.

I only recently stumbled upon the blog of MMM, so forgive me if my brief introduction already dismisses me as antimustachian.
But, I think what really matters is what I'm going to do, now that I have grasp of the trove of wisdom contained in the MMM blog.

Of course, the first thing to do is get out of debt ASAP. Considering my low income, I plan to have it paid off in early 2016.

DH and I have been in debt the whole time we have been together (9 years, 7 of them married) and made some poor financial decisions over that time, but we've also learned much about being frugal, and I think that actually puts us in a great position to tackle life after debt. The key is not going back to being spendy as soon as we are debt free... oh no, now that I have found this blog and forum, I am going to be learning more about investing (just found out today they have Vanguard in Australia!) and of course, once the kids are older I'll be able to work more and increase our income.

So, just a quick hello, really.

Mrs. S

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 112
    • Royally Frugal
Always financial life first. Pregnancy and birth come with their own set of expenses which nobody can predict. All it takes is one discovery that can affect both your possible earnings as well as expenses. It is far more important that you make sure that the kids you have today are well provided for and  there is no real threat of going without necessities. I am sure many here would be happy to help you find room in your monthly budget if you post a case study.

marty998

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6493
  • Location: Sydney, Oz

The tax debt is annoying, we got it because we apparently earned $40k from DH's share of the business last year. Too bad it's all tied up in inventory and we actually only got about $4k in our pockets. It's still owed to us on paper and I guess one day we'll get it paid to us, but in the meantime we have this debt. After tax time (June 30 here) there will probably be more tax debt, though we'll also have more dividends owed to us - not sure yet how much, perhaps $50-70k.


Business is set up as a partnership? That seems to be the only way you can have a tax liability without having the cash in hand.

A Company/Trust structure would have been better, depending on the nature of the business.

former player

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4615
  • Location: Avalon
It was just a couple of guys working out of their garage back then... I don't think they imagined it would grow the way it has.
I don't know the accounting side of things, nor whether it's set up the most effective way :/
As a married mother of 3 (your description) you need to do better than this, for your husband, for yourself, for your kids and even for your husband's partner.

You don't say what your income is, or what your expenses are, except that it is obvious from the amount of recent consumer debt that more money is going out than coming in.  So you need to do two things: maximise the money coming in and minimise the money going out.  Given that at least some of the money coming in comes from self-employment by your husband you and he, as a married couple with combined finances, both need to understand the money and structure side of his business and make sure that both are optimised.

So arrange a time to talk to your husband about this, make sure that both of you understand where you are, and take advice if necessary (the unexpected tax bill suggests it is necessary) on the best way to set the business up for the future.  Once you've done all that, and implemented it, and had a year of more income than expenditure, and of paying off debt, and with a solid plan for the future and evidence from the taxman that you have your taxes in order, then start thinking about a fourth child.  (And have a plan sorted in case that fourth child is twins, or disabled.)

Good luck.

elliha

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 431
Finances first. Your responsibility to the children already existing is always greater than to the ones that are not yet yours. Set up a plan both for your finances and your fertility. Look at how long it will take to pay down your debt and see where that leads you in terms of when to have a baby. How long does it take to have at the very least an emergency fund? Can you start up saving more long term?

I am a mom too. I would love more kids but until we are more financially stable that will just have to wait. I am 36 this summer so I don't have a lot of time to wait and after some deliberating I have realized that this is fine. We have two kids and they are important, more important than more kids can ever be. If we can build a life that is much more stable in 2-3 years time we might actually try for another kid but that will be a bonus. Sure, many people are worse off than you but there is possibility to be much better off too. Most women are relatively fertile until they are 40 and you can probably manage to be in a better position before 35 already, you have time to take care of your finances and have a baby.

LadyMaWhiskers

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 131
  • Location: SF Bay, peninsula
Do you work outside the home? That would seem to be a big factor, as the expense of a newborn is mainly lost income and childcare. A fourth child can’t add too much to housing, food, clothing, etc.

At 32, and wanting to try next year, I think you can do both. Personally, I would not forgo another child for money, within reason. I actually know someone who did just that and clearly regretted it when I knew her (in her 60s). They were wealthy by then, but seemingly devastated to have not had a third child.

 Perhaps post a more complete case study for guidance on the financial part.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4882
What's your monthly income?

The answer to "can you get your financial life in order at the same time as trying for a kid?" depends a lot on whether you make $50k or say $150k.

But @okits makes a really good point - it'd be worth understanding how/why you got to this place before anyone can really give good recommendations.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4019
If you are going to spend the business payout on more inventory, why even pay it out? Why not keep it in the business?

I'd question your H hard on that and make sure he understands that a new baby can't happen until you have the payout to pay off debt and fund a bigger refund so you don't go right back into debt.

MommyCake

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 192
  • Location: NJ
You can get your financial life in order, and then try to have another baby.  I have a different opinion than other comments and I am going to try be both honest and kind. 

I think the main problem is that you do not have a clear and honest picture of your finances.  I think you should sit back and reflect on your financial situation.  Some points to consider: 
Debt has been lingering and increasing over time.
Your emergency plan is to have $1000 in savings for a family of five. 
You currently have tax debt and are not considering future debt (future as in, next month) into your budget.   
You consider 2 points of interest to be "so small"
You "apparently" earned 40k from husbands business.

If you are going to be responsible for your family's budget and finances, it is so important to have a very clear knowledge and understanding of what is going on.  I kind of get the sense that finances are handled sort of casually, and this is not good when there's debt and children.  Get a clear handle of the income and expenses first.  Then you can come up with a plan to tackle the debt and emergency savings.  In regards to the 2% interest difference:  Your car loan is accruing over 125/mo in interest while the personal loan is accruing about 66/mo interest.  I think it would be best for you to re-review your financials as a whole, and perhaps see an accountant to clarify the business/taxes end of things.  Babies are great, I have two myself, but it is important to be stable beforehand if at all possible.  Good luck!

ysette9

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5407
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
    • Insert Snappy Title Here (Journal)
As someone who has suffered pregnancy losses and infertility, I completely understand that the heart wants what the heart wants when it comes to babies, and that isn’t necessarily rational. However we are more than just our emotions and biological drives; we have rational thinking that most layer on top.

When we were discussing our options I was ready to move heaven and earth to have my first baby and I am beyond grateful to this day that we have her. When we couldn’t seem to get pregnant for a second baby we had several hard discussions about how far we were willing to go with medical intervention because we wanted to make sure we were not putting this hypothetical second baby ahead of our real, loving child, our marriage, our finances, our mental health. I am very grateful we were able to have the second, but then we also agreed that we would draw a line in the sand and if having that second baby was going to be too costly (time, emotion, physical health, etc) then we would have stopped and been happy and thankful for the child we did have.

You don’t seem to have baby-making infertility as an issue to contend with but you are financial infertile. Unlike the whims of Mother Nature, your finances are entirely within your control. I know you want to be the mother of a fourth child, but today you are the mother of three, and your PRIMARY responsibility in life is to raise them warmly, lovingly, securely. That means you have to get your financial shit together.

You have time and the means. Dangle that fourth baby out in front as motivation to both of you. Diagnose your spending issues and tackle them. Understand your husband’s business financials. If he isn’t pulling in a good income from it, then it is a hobby that needs to be dialed back in favor of lucrative work for the betterment of your family. Scrub your spending. Get income up. Stop accumulating debt and get rid of what you have. Your father/relatives are not a financial plan and should not be your safety net barring catastrophic accidents. Good luck.

joonifloofeefloo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5128
  • On a forum break :)
Re: free medical

Delivering a baby may be covered (as it is for many people in Canada), but that doesn’t mean all medical or disability costs are. On the forum we have several people who live in countries with “free health care”, including residents of Australia, who spend hundreds or thousands per year on medical and disability costs not covered by their “free health care” system. I’ve known people in Canada to face up to $400,000 in health care costs, because their life-threatening need wasn’t on a list. (I don’t know if Australia has this level of this issue. Many in Canada aren’t aware of it here.)

If all your family’s symptoms have fallen within the list of covered items so far, this is great luck. But your finances need to be able to cover health, medical, and disability costs not covered.

ixtap

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1514
In general, if you are asking the internet about whether or not to have a kid, the answer is no.

ToTheMoon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 537
  • Location: BC
In general, if you are asking the internet about whether or not to have a kid, the answer is no.

This isn't what she was asking - please read before posting so rudely.

With regards to @jooniFLORisploo 's comment, even with free healthcare things can come up that you aren't prepared for.  I am a healthy, active, mom of 2 primary school aged boys.  Just over a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer.  While all of the testing and chemotherapy were covered by our free healthcare (Canada) there were SO many other expenses that were not.  Travel to appointments, hotels, anti nausea drugs, more prepared foods as my DH and I struggled to keep the household functioning.  Everything adds up.  I was lucky to have 16 weeks of employment insurance, but I was out of work with tests and treatment for 8 months.  Our costs were just shy of $10,000 by the time all was said and done, and that is not including the loss of income for my DH - he couldn't work his regular job as I was incapable of caring for our kids for a lot of the time.

All that to say - you never know what is coming, and you REALLY need to get your finances sorted and get a MUCH larger emergency fund in place.  $1000 for a family of 5 is no where near enough at this stage of your life.

Keep posting, and use the knowledge of this forum to dig in and get some traction to get heading in the right direction.  I would start by using YNAB (my favorite) or Mint to start tracking.  Once you have a better idea of your day to day and month to month we can help you with a plan.  Then it's up to you and your DH to make it happen.

Best of luck


BuildingmyFIRE

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 94
  • Location: North of the Wall
I give you credit for putting yourself out there on this question.  But I don't think this is a question any of us here can answer.  Its something you need to figure out for yourself.

Have you gone through the exercise of creating a realistic budget, including all income and monthly expenses? 
Have you calculated your monthly burn rate, multiplied it by six or twelve, and set that as your emergency fund target amount? 
Have you spent a month or two (or more) tracking where your money is going?
Have you calculated how much monthly income you have leftover, and created targets for savings (including retirement, education, etc), and determined whether you can realistically meet those targets if your circumstances do not change? 
Have you created a definite plan, and began implementing that plan, for getting your debt under control?

And then, after all of that is done, have you thought about how the addition of a fourth child will affect all of the above?

In order to provide for your current family, including yourself and your husband, you should go through these steps first.  As the saying goes, a failure to plan is a plan to fail.  Now is the time to make your plan and start to execute that plan.  If you haven't read Your Money or Your Life, and the Bogleheads Guide to Investing, you might want to start there. They both lay out solid financial planning advice that it sounds like you could use. 

If you go through the exercises and it seems bleak and you find yourself saying "we'll never be able to afford to have a fourth child at this rate!" you'll have to decide what to do with that information.  How close to the wire are you comfortable living?  What risks are you willing to assume in order to have that child?  We can't answer that for you.  But you lose nothing from going through these exercises and informing yourself of your true financial position and letting that information, in turn, inform your decision.

Good luck.

Maenad

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
  • Location: Minneapolis 'burbs
Personally, I would not forgo another child for money, within reason. I actually know someone who did just that and clearly regretted it when I knew her (in her 60s). They were wealthy by then, but seemingly devastated to have not had a third child.

I'll see your anecdote and raise you my own parents - they stopped after having me because they couldn't afford more than 2 children. They're very happy with just me and my brother.

In general, if you are asking the internet about whether or not to have a kid, the answer is no.

This isn't what she was asking - please read before posting so rudely.

I didn't see this as rudeness, just the reality of asking a bunch of internet strangers what to do - odds are they're gonna say "don't have another kid". Whether that's the question asked or not!

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2440
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
I'm a bit concerned about the business. Having profits roll into growth is one thing, but not being able to take enough cash out to pay the taxes by the time the next year's taxes are due seems like a huge red flag (It is nice that the tax debt is at 0% though). I certainly think you need to get a better idea of how the business is operating financially and see if there is a way to get it to support the cash flow your family needs. I wouldn't try for another kid until you're projecting eliminating the high interest loans and having at least 2-3 months expenses in the emergency fund within 6 months.

Laserjet3051

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 755
  • Age: 91
Shooting for a $1000 EF for a family of 5 seems very risky. I don't know know your risk tolerance, but I would recommend establishing a more secure EF before venturing into increasing your family size and hence expenses. We are a family of 4 and our EF is $30,000. I wont sleep well at night until this # is substantially higher. A $1000 EF could vaporize in a nanosecond.

JoJo

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1393
Is there anyway you can collateralize the business and refinance those two high % rate loans? 

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2323
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
So I've been debating whether to respond, since my advice is the same as everyone else's, but I do want to go a little big-picture.  I get the impression of things being sort of out of control and overwhelming -- you have three small kids, which is basically a full-time job in and of itself; and on top of that, your family runs its own business, which provides what sounds like a good income ($40-50K just in dividends?), and yet you have almost no emergency fund or ready cash; you have and multiple debts at high interest rates, and that debt load is actually increasing over time; and you have tax debts and basic questions about the company's structure that tell me you don't actually know what you're bringing in.  And yet you seem so calm writing it, as if all that's just sort of normal!  It's like the synchronized swimmers who look so perfect and calm above the surface, while underneath their legs are just thrashing like mad to stay afloat.

So my advice is to breathe.  You have time.  Do not put some vision of what your life "should" be ahead of dealing with what you have now -- you need to adapt to your current reality so you can be in control and in charge before you add still more craziness to the pile.

First thing:  it sounds like you guys largely rely on your husband's business.  But if you are going to stay on top of the finances, you need to know that, too (I mean, he's already pretty much proven that he doesn't have a handle on the business structure, income, or taxes, right?).  Find a CPA or a lawyer.  Make sure it is structured properly, and that you are withholding/paying the appropriate amount of estimated taxes.  You need to spend a little money to get your arms around this business so that you can maximize your income and plan for the appropriate tax hit.

While you are doing that, begin tracking all of your expenses, religiously.  Again:  the continued debt creep suggests that whatever budget you are following, it is not accurate.  So watch and account for everything -- income from the business, the associated tax hit, all of those kid- and school-related expenses, the coffee/lunches your DH picks up while at work, your entertainment subscriptions, everything.  If it comes in or out, write it down.  Only after you do that will you be able to tell what you have to work with.

Then you can make a budget and evaluate how quickly you can pay down the loans and what kind of a lifestyle hit you are willing to take to do so more quickly.  I bet you that when you write down everything you're spending, you will be shocked at what is going into things like takeout -- when your life is out of control, the immediate temptation is to outsource and treat yourself, you know?  But when you assert control and see how little enjoyment you actually got for how much money, you will likely be able to find more "easy" cash to throw at the loans.  But even if that doesn't happen, at least you will have a real budget with some real certainty about when the loans are paid off, so you won't always be resorting to CC2 to pay of CC1 and the like.*

Finally, when the loans are gone and your EF is up to a couple of months' expenses, then you can think about having another baby.  Think of the baby as the reward for all of the effort you put in to get to that point.  :-)  You can do this! 

*It also sounds like the business income may be up and down.  That's ok.  Then you just plan for a minimal income, based on the historic lows, and you design your budget around that, even if it requires some cuts.  And then when you have a month that brings in more, you can throw extra at the debt and give yourself a little treat here or there.  But you will feel more confident and comfortable because you know you have the basics covered no matter what.

bogart

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1054
Huh.  So I'll go against the flow of replies -- totally unaddressed here is the question of how old you are?  Should you have another child soon, or wait?  Clearly there are good financial arguments for waiting.  But I'd throw in the "regrets" issue -- if you wait and *do* have difficulties, will you regret having waited?  If you try soon and succeed, will you regret your financial circumstances as you welcome your 4th child? 

Of course your age affects the likelihood of difficulties, so you should factor that in (and that's why I ask).  But how much you'll regret what problems might arise also matters, which is why I ask about that.

Full disclosure:  I write this as a mom who delayed infertility treatments in part for financial reasons and ended up with 1 kid when I wanted 2.  I'm phenomenally grateful for the one I have, and don't dwell on what might have been, but all the same.


SavinMaven

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 89
Health and fertility can't be taken for granted. If we assume both will occur - financial security, and a fourth child - and the question is just in what order, it's a no-brainer to fix your finances first and grow your family later. But there is no way around biology: the older women get, the harder it becomes to conceive and carry to term. No matter what pop culture wants us to believe, 35 is still considered an important milestone by fertility experts. Be aware of that, and prioritize accordingly. Good luck.

CanuckExpat

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3002
  • Age: 36
  • Location: North Carolina
    • Freedom35
And since it's the forum, related articles from the blog:
Great News: You’re Allowed To Have Only One Kid!
Great News! Dog Ownership is Optional!

(Sub in the type or number of small mammal as needed to make relevant)

calimom

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 989
  • Location: Northern California
Having babies can be a real visceral, hormonal thing for women. A couple of years ago, approaching 40, I wanted a new baby in the very worst way. Never mind that I am a single parent with 2 growing biological children, and an adopted daughter already on her own. I wanted a baby.I wanted the squishiness of it, I wanted a little human completely dependent on me, I wanted the attention of others when I showed up at the schoolyard to collect my other children. "Oh is that the new baby?" they'd ask. "No, I'm baby wearing George Clooney". It passed.

OP, do you work? Do you work full time? If not, you might consider it to dig out of the debt hole you are in. Does you husband have insurance? What would happen if were to become redundant in his job, disabled, or even worse, died? Do you have enough resources (besides hitting your father up for cash) to weather such storms? Have the family you want, but be responsible about it. Please.

SimpleCycle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 910
  • Location: Chicago
I think you should do a really honest assessment of what you can accomplish in the rest of 2018.  Can you cut your debt by half and also live within your means?  Then by all means, try for a fourth child once you've done that.  Are you adding more debt every month and not sure how you're going to turn it around?  Then I'd probably wait.

I don't think the important part is that you've accomplished all your goals before adding another child to the mix, but that you are heading in the right direction.

People tend to be harsh in these discussions, and I understand why if you're looking at it as a pure mathematical calculation.  It's a no brainer that not having a kid is almost always the better FINANCIAL decision.  But as someone who is trying to decide about a third myself, even knowing that every logical argument points to stopping at 2, it is not something I can just wish away.  How and when you construct your family is a very personal choice that is beyond just a financial decision.  Weigh your options, get moving in the right direction, but after that, make the best choice for you.

robartsd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2440
  • Location: Sacramento, CA
I think you should do a really honest assessment of what you can accomplish in the rest of 2018.  Can you cut your debt by half and also live within your means?  Then by all means, try for a fourth child once you've done that.  Are you adding more debt every month and not sure how you're going to turn it around?  Then I'd probably wait.

I don't think the important part is that you've accomplished all your goals before adding another child to the mix, but that you are heading in the right direction.
100% agree. To me it sounds like the business is growing like crazy, but short on cash flow. This problem needs to be fixed one way or another. If the cash flow problems can be fixed in a few months, your family should be able to get the rest of your finances pointed in the right direction by the end of the year. Understanding the business cash flow problems seems to be the key thing to work on right now and ought to be fully understood before trying for another baby.

jlcnuke

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 887
Simple answer: Get your financial life in order first.

Laura33

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2323
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
If we assume both will occur - financial security, and a fourth child - and the question is just in what order, it's a no-brainer to fix your finances first and grow your family later.

The problem is that you cannot simply assume both will occur.  Financial security doesn't just "happen."  We have a family here whose debt has ballooned from $10K to $27K over just a couple of years, who has no emergency savings or safety net, and who already has three children who rely on those parents to keep them fed, clothed, and safe.  They don't seem to be able to afford their current lifestyle with the three kids they have; how will they manage a fourth?  Answer:  they will run up even more debt, and be back here in 2 more years $50K+ in the hole.

But, really, this is OP's life, and if it does come down to an either/or, she is the one who will need to live with whatever decision she makes.  OP:  one thing I would suggest is to talk to your doctor and see how things are looking -- there are tests that you can run to evaluate the relative "age" of your eggs, which could give reasonable insight into how much longer you have.  I suspect you are in good shape given your success having kids to date, but that might help you feel a little more comfortable waiting a year or so while you get a better handle on the money side of things.

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8011
  • Location: United States
If your family is not complete, then I would not put off having another child. Children aren't something you can do whenever you get around to it. There is a biological time limit.
If everyone waited for everything to be perfect to have kids, almost no one would have them. 

If it's a "hmm...maybe"- I'd say your finances are such that a 4th child is going to be really rough.  I'd get them in order.  I'd worry about the future of the 3 kids I had if I brought another child into the family in the situation you describe.




Slow2FIRE

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 246
Someone else already said this I'm sure (I didn't read past the third or fourth comment):

You need to take care of the three you already have first.  Pay down debt and get that emergency fund built up.  Sure, you *can* make it with another child - but the parental stress of such tight finances (no e-fund, very high interest debt) will affect the quality of life of your current children especially adding in another child (and medical costs of having another child and all the first year of checkups, vaccinations, etc).

Hopefully you have plenty of old furniture, clothes and other items from the other kids for a potential fourth kid.  You also probably have an excellent grasp on the costs for the family budget of a fourth kid - can you see how to pay down debt, build emergency fund and save for retirement (and/or college) with another child to care for?

RWD

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
  • Location: Mississippi
Ok I'm back as it seems there have been more replies to this post, and perhaps I can continue to clear up some things.
[...]
I forecast that we will be debt free within 18 months, depending on how tax season goes. That is without factoring in any dividends we may receive from the business at any time.
This is also within the time frame I am hoping to fall pregnant.

So you're really just here to get validation for the decision you've already made and not really for the advice, huh?

But here's my opinion for you to ignore again: the point at which you become debt free is when you should consider having your first kid, not your fourth...