Author Topic: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?  (Read 10679 times)

RavensBrew

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Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« on: July 24, 2014, 11:12:52 AM »
My partner and I have been together for 12 years and we don't want kids. It seems like not having children would be a tremendous advantage financially. Maybe that is just my perspective because if I did have kids I would probably spoil them with lessons, classes, non-embarrassing clothes, family trips, college tuition, their first car, etc. Basically everything I felt I didn't get growing up.

iamadummy

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2014, 11:15:05 AM »
Really don't even need to spoil them, and it could still be a big expense

GGNoob

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 11:25:34 AM »
I don't think wouldn't spoil my kids, but not having kids will certainly save my wife and I a lot of money. We still aren't 100% positive we won't have kids, but money is just one of the reasons I don't want kids.

CestMoi

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 11:31:07 AM »
My decision not to have kids wasn't financial. I just didn't have a strong desire to be a parent.

But I would imagine there are frugal, reasonable ways to manage the expenses of kids. And there are tax breaks involved.

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2014, 11:35:26 AM »
My decision to not have kids was because I didn't want to raise kids.  The money was just a nice bonus.

GuitarStv

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2014, 11:38:56 AM »
Kids cost a tremendous amount of money, and are a remarkable drain on your good spirits.  The baby stage is like taking care of a retarded puppy that can't be potty trained for several years, and barks incessantly at all hours of the day and night . . . and can't ever be left alone.  If you're not sure you want one, then you're making the right choice by remaining childless.

Full disclosure - We have a baby and made peace with the above before deciding on going this route.

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2014, 11:43:27 AM »
I think kids are a very rewarding experience - my parents really seemed to enjoy me and my siblings, even if we were difficult sometimes. I'd be willing to have some, even if it costs something (remember, it doesn't cost MMM too much).

The problem is, I've yet to find a girl with which I could raise said kids. Will have to get past that one first...

NoraLenderbee

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2014, 11:47:23 AM »
You do save a lot of money by not having kids. That said--the desire to have children is not equivalent to the desire for a new car or big house. People decide to have kids (or not have them) based on non-financial reasons primarily.
(I don't have kids.)

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2014, 11:54:04 AM »
Currently planning to be childfree, but mostly because I don't like children. Better finances is just a perk.

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2014, 11:57:10 AM »
Kids cost money, but that can be managed downwards to some degree.  What cannot be managed downwards, if the job of raising them is to be done properly, is the time involved.  Kids need parents to be around, to be available and to be involved, and that is enormously time-consuming.  If you like or need lots of time to yourself/yourselves, not having kids saves that time.

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 12:04:57 PM »
Having kids when quite poor is what taught us to be mainstream frugal. We'd have likely spent more and worked longer if we were DINKs because we could spend the very last penny without thinking of mouths to feed other than our own. We might have eventually found the concept of FIRE and living more responsibly, but I'm not sure.

That said, like GuitarStv said, don't have kids if you're not absolutely sure you want them. The world is way too full of irresponsible and overextended emotionally parents as it is.

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2014, 12:08:12 PM »
If that's the only reason and you would otherwise want kids, I don't think it's a good idea to not have them. Could lead to a lot or regret and sadness in the future.

Personally, I'm not having kids because I hate kids.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 12:10:09 PM by Zikoris »

MoneyCat

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2014, 12:16:53 PM »
We chose not to have kids because we like being free to do what we want.  The financial savings just turned out to be a great bonus.  We have two cats instead, so we get all the fun of taking care of another living creature without anybody calling the cops on us if we leave them alone at home all day.

smalllife

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2014, 12:29:52 PM »
My decision to not have kids was because I didn't want to raise kids.  The money was just a nice bonus.

+1

uspsfanalan

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2014, 01:10:43 PM »
My wife and I recently decided not to have children but it wasn't because of money.

She was completely indifferent about having children and was willing to have only one child if I had to have one. I had always assumed that I would have children but was surprised to find that I was lukewarm to the idea of being a father. To figure it out, I gave kids a test run of sorts, I volunteered to tutor at my local elementary school and was a Big Brother with Big Brothers Big Sisters for two years. After spending a few hours doing fun things with my Little Brother I was always glad to give him back. I never came home and said, "I need one." It was always a might be nice someday sort of thing. 

I also spent a lot of time observing parents and when I was out in public. We had a game, every time we noticed a child being good or cute I got a point, when they were being bad my wife got a point. We didn't really keep score but after about 3 weeks, I knew my side was losing so badly there was no coming back.

The decision really jelled for me after I read about being childfree vs being a parent. The best book I found was The parenthood decision - it was the most fair of all of the books I read. Lots of books are about being childfree but they're not great at helping make the decision. Too much cheer-leading. Though this is one of the older books on the topic the exercises are quite useful. It doesn't tell you should have children or not but helps you to see your own assumptions. I also thought it was very fair to men and women, who often have different motivations and thought processes about becoming parents.

http://www.amazon.com/Parenthood-Decision-Beverly-Engel-M-F-C-C/dp/0385489803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1406227679&sr=8-1&keywords=parenthood+decision

I'm still a little sad that I didn't want to become a parent but I made the best decision I could with as much information as I could, so I try not to let my monkey mind dwell on it. I do envy people that just know 100% one way or the other. Meh, maybe my role is to be a fun uncle.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 01:12:17 PM by uspsfanalan »

angelagrace

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2014, 01:22:44 PM »
I don't think you should ever decide whether or not to have kids based on saving money. Here are my thoughts:

1) Kids do cost some money (although as previously mentioned, you can be frugal about it), but you're bringing a human life into this world and nurturing it, which is worth more to me than saving a few bucks.

2) I don't think most people know how much they would love their own children until they have them.

3) Most people fail to realize that while you do spend money on kids as you raise them, they probably will help you when you get older and need some assistance. To me, that's kinda the deal--my parents took care of me when I was young, and as they are getting older, I will help them in ways they need. For example, my husband started cutting my father-in-law's grass and weed-eating because he has shoulder problems now. You can also teach kids to help around the house when they are fairly young. Just something to keep in mind :)

That being said, if you don't want to be a parent for other reasons besides money, more power to ya :)

yandz

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2014, 01:25:04 PM »
Yes to nearly everything that has been said thus far:
-Decision was not financial, but finances are a great bonus
-If financials are the sole driver of such a major decision, you shouldn't make it yet. Keep considering
-The book that I loved was "Two is Enough" - surveys on the decision making process of 179 couples and interviews with many. Love it.  Made me realize my 50/50 stance on kids was actually, "I don't want them, but am scared to say it out loud" Talks about ideas of legacy, etc. and really gets you thinking about facets of your desires and motivations surrounding the topic.

Daisy

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2014, 01:32:52 PM »
Can't have children, love others' children (well, some of them), realized many years later after a lot of grief that it was a financial blessing in disguise. :-)

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2014, 01:38:29 PM »
"The baby stage is like taking care of a retarded puppy that can't be potty trained for several years, and barks incessantly at all hours of the day and night . . . and can't ever be left alone. "

I have two kids, so I'm a bit biased here, BUT this is a really really negative view of raising a baby. There are tremendous amounts of daily joy involved with a newborn and baby and then toddler and then school aged child, regardless. Babies around the world are potty trained as infants.

So I'm not sure if this post is meant to convince you otherwise, but I agree with another poster that mentions that you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%. A lot of deciders focus on the negatives of raising a child, when it is one of the most rewarding things my husband and I, and friends with kids, have done. Hard? Sure. But that does not at all outweigh the positives.

As for money, while you should have enough resources to take care of yourself and kids, it's definitely not a decision to be made on that. Have a kid because you want one, not because of your bank account (many many poor families have children around the world). Also, try to curb the thoughts that you would do everything your parents didn't. That's also bad for the kid. All in all, it's one of those amazing life experiences that, if I sat around a mulled the decision (with all the negativity out there) I probably wouldn't have jumped in. Jumping in was the best decision, because I faced my fears.

Best of luck with your decision.



Undecided

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2014, 01:51:19 PM »
"The baby stage is like taking care of a retarded puppy that can't be potty trained for several years, and barks incessantly at all hours of the day and night . . . and can't ever be left alone. "

I have two kids, so I'm a bit biased here, BUT this is a really really negative view of raising a baby. There are tremendous amounts of daily joy involved with a newborn and baby and then toddler and then school aged child, regardless. Babies around the world are potty trained as infants.

So I'm not sure if this post is meant to convince you otherwise, but I agree with another poster that mentions that you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%. A lot of deciders focus on the negatives of raising a child, when it is one of the most rewarding things my husband and I, and friends with kids, have done. Hard? Sure. But that does not at all outweigh the positives.


I have two kids, too. I suspect GuitarStv was at least somewhat joking, but don't dismiss that fact that some kids are much easier than others, and some people are much more capable of parenting than others. Perhaps his baby is really difficult and/or he's just not very good at handling it. (Although I think that the average baby is much less of a burden than people make him or her out to be.)

suntailedshadow

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2014, 02:00:38 PM »
2) I don't think most people know how much they would love their own children until they have them.

I had very little tolerance for other peoples kids before I had my own. I still am not jumping for joy when I need to help watch other peoples kids. I have found, however, that I fall more in love with my little girl every day (18 months), and would do it all again in a heart beat (even at double the cost (financial, emotional, etc.)). This all despite the fact that she can sometimes be a little "Goblin" as was mentioned before. Money was never part of the equation for us.

Spartana

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #21 on: July 24, 2014, 02:18:02 PM »
My decision to not have kids was because I didn't want to raise kids.  The money was just a nice bonus.

+1
+2  The decision to not have kids had nothing to do with money. It was more based on having a somewhat unconventional job I loved and couldn't do if I had kids, and I didn't want to give it up - as well as just never having a strong desire to have or raise kids. Although they ARE adorable little critters :-)!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 02:21:11 PM by Spartana »

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #22 on: July 24, 2014, 02:25:33 PM »
"The baby stage is like taking care of a retarded puppy that can't be potty trained for several years, and barks incessantly at all hours of the day and night . . . and can't ever be left alone. "

I have two kids, so I'm a bit biased here, BUT this is a really really negative view of raising a baby. There are tremendous amounts of daily joy involved with a newborn and baby and then toddler and then school aged child, regardless. Babies around the world are potty trained as infants.

So I'm not sure if this post is meant to convince you otherwise, but I agree with another poster that mentions that you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%. A lot of deciders focus on the negatives of raising a child, when it is one of the most rewarding things my husband and I, and friends with kids, have done. Hard? Sure. But that does not at all outweigh the positives.


I have two kids, too. I suspect GuitarStv was at least somewhat joking, but don't dismiss that fact that some kids are much easier than others, and some people are much more capable of parenting than others. Perhaps his baby is really difficult and/or he's just not very good at handling it. (Although I think that the average baby is much less of a burden than people make him or her out to be.)

Given his sense of humor, don't read too much into that. Every parent knows how difficult the first few years are.

To the OP, no need to tiptoe around the question. Kids cost a boatload. I say have a kid because you want a kid, and to simply be aware of the significant costs with eyes wide open.

savedough

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #23 on: July 24, 2014, 02:53:15 PM »
I would kind of equate having kids to FIRE:  It looks like hard work, you sacrifice what isn't important to you and the rewards are amazing.

There are days not buying my lunch stinks.   There are days line drying clothes is a drag.  There are days I just want to drive a damn car.    But the end game is worth it.

Same with kids.  There are days that I don't want to give my dessert to two hungry little boys with big eyes.   There are days I am tired of cleaning up body fluids that aren't mine. There are times I want to go to happy hour for more than 20 minutes.  But the rewards of being a mom are worth all of those small annoyances and many more.

That being said, I can't really relate with the perspective of not wanting kids.    I can understand not wanting kids now, but it is so hard for me to imagine not wanting kids ever.   I can't walk a mile in your shoes, but I do respect your decision.


Philociraptor

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #24 on: July 24, 2014, 03:02:37 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

Beric01

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #25 on: July 24, 2014, 03:06:16 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

I have to agree. "Best of luck with your decision," but you won't know true love unless you have kids. Sounds elitist.

Eric

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2014, 03:46:24 PM »
Unlike others, I specifically decided not to have kids to save money.  Not having to change dirty diapers or get up at 6am on a Saturday is just a bonus.  :)

Cap_Scarlet

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #27 on: July 24, 2014, 03:52:10 PM »
I have two children aged 22 and 18 and whilst they have cost an absolute fortune I can honestly say my life would be a total waste of time without them.

solon

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #28 on: July 24, 2014, 04:34:27 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."

GGNoob

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #29 on: July 24, 2014, 04:42:05 PM »
Personally, I'm not having kids because I hate kids.

Haha! +1

Spartana

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #30 on: July 24, 2014, 04:43:03 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."
Yes and all those people who beat, abuse, and kill their kids are "complete" and know that "perfect" love. Glad they have been validated.

smalllife

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2014, 04:44:32 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."

Of course, that means your children can't fully love you because they themselves aren't parents ;-)  Because their concept of love is incomplete and any feelings they might have on the matter are invalid.  Just saying.

Philociraptor

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2014, 04:45:49 PM »


you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."

Wow. Just, wow.

PeteD01

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2014, 04:52:26 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."

Thus speaks the expert on love.
Are you being sarcastic or do you mean it?

BlueMR2

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2014, 05:03:16 PM »
Currently planning to be childfree, but mostly because I don't like children. Better finances is just a perk.

Same here.

solon

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2014, 05:04:11 PM »
Definitely not an expert on love. But my understanding of it changed about 1000% percent after my first child was born.

Eric

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #36 on: July 24, 2014, 05:13:54 PM »
Definitely not an expert on love. But my understanding of it changed about 1000% percent after my first child was born.

Maybe your love meter was just out of whack before and the kid is what jolted it back to regular position.  Those of us with properly calibrated love meters don't need extra adjustments.  Just a theory to kick around.

PeteD01

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2014, 05:22:38 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."

Thus speaks the expert on love.
Are you being sarcastic or do you mean it?

Definitely not an expert on love. But my understanding of it changed about 1000% percent after my first child was born.

There are definitely people who won't understand and won't experience love unless some biological processes and the realities forced upon them by their own biological offspring compel them to experience love. To the extent that biological offspring are actually needed to experience and do the work of love, I would object. I instead opine that the inability to experience the work of love in all its grandeur without biological offspring points to a certain developmental deficiency an adult human being. After all, as social animals, our love is not quite as restricted as the motherly love of, for example, grizzly bears.

pablo suarve

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2014, 05:25:41 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."

Feelings invalid?  Hahaha!!  So only parents have valid feelings.  How 'bout we turn that around and say only DINKS have valid feelings.  Now how do you feel?  Brilliant, Sherlock, truly brilliant...

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2014, 05:34:32 PM »
By the time I had met a woman who I actually would consider having children with, married her, and had a fun few years together we just felt it was too late to have them. We DID NOT want to have kids in the house in our 50's. So, here in our early 40's, my wife and I are very much FI, and ER about to happen for myself in about 30 more work days... this would not have happened with kids - the need for a larger home in which to raise kids alone probably would have forced me to work another 10 to 15 years.

Kids can be great, I enjoy the heck out of a passel of nieces and nephews - but also nice is that when they start to go off the rails my wife and I can just slip out quietly and return home, leaving the chaos behind. ;) Perhaps we were never parenting material to begin with.

I don't deny that regrets may occur sometime in the future - but right now, with absolute lifestyle and financial freedom in our hands I am very happy with the path we have chosen for ourselves.

Undecided

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2014, 05:58:49 PM »
you never know what kind of love you are truly capable of until you have a child, 100%.

Just FYI, statements like this are unbelievably patronizing when said to people who have decided not to have kids. It may be how you feel, but it invalidates their feelings by saying their concept of love is handicapped.

It's not patronizing. It's a statement of fact. Your feelings ARE invalid. Your concept of love is incomplete.

And it's not elitist either. It's the exact same sentiment an auto mechanic would use looking at your engine. "Well, there's a problem here... and a problem here..."

Of course, that means your children can't fully love you because they themselves aren't parents ;-)  Because their concept of love is incomplete and any feelings they might have on the matter are invalid.  Just saying.

I don't think this is the mental jujitsu you might have hoped for---I would expect most parents to acknowledge this!

cmk

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2014, 06:10:01 PM »
I'm 58 and have two sons, 21 and 18 years old, who will both be college students this fall.  We are helping them with college, and they are helping themselves too.  Kids are not intrinsically materialistic, they get that through society or parents.   Our sons were taught to beware of how advertising targets children.  We gave them adventures, vacations and fun outings, memories we all cherish. Not stuff.  They didn't have expensive taste in clothes, etc.
Being an older mom with teenagers is challenging at times, but I like to think it keeps me young. 

swick

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Re: Anyone decided not to have kids to save money?
« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2014, 06:27:25 PM »
MOD NOTE:

After receiving complaints that this thread has gone to far I am locking it.  Seems there are some topics that breed anger and disrespect and get in the way of thoughtful discourse and opportunities to learn from and acknowledge different life views.

As this thread has devolved into personal attacks it will be locked. A reminder that while everyone has different ideas/circumstances/beliefs, the best way you can get your point across is calm, rational discussion.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 06:31:17 PM by swick »