Author Topic: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids  (Read 32773 times)

termetgirl

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #100 on: February 10, 2016, 08:05:13 PM »
I am loving this thread! I have three kids, ages 5, 3 and 10mo. Hoping for more. I'm 33 and DH is 33 too. We live in Canada and have a 10 acre hobby farm 25 minutes from a major city. We raise all our own meat and eggs. Beef, pork, chicken. This was the first year for beef actually. We have a diet with minimal grains and processed food so having our own meat supply is amazing for cost savings not to mention th health aspects of totally clean etc. Our 100% grass fed beef comes in at $2 per pound including everything. I make huge batches of broth every week from our chicken bones and use this for soup all winter. We heat with wood, and this winter has been pretty mild but the last two were consistently -20 degrees Celcius and colder day and night. We buy truck loads of logs and my husband cuts and splits it all so it comes to $40 per cord this way as opposed to $100 delivered and split by someone else. We use up to 15 per winter but our furnace literally never comes on unless we are out of town for a night or two. We have two super high efficiency wood stoves. One on each end of the Building. We put these in ourselves so the upfront cost was huge but we are planning to stay here till we are old, haha.

Our kids are still pretty little so activities are minimal. We go to church every Sunday. We will not let any activity in the future usurp that, even hockey ;) oldest child takes piano and excels at it, and next child will start in Sept and will see how it goes. No sports yet but it's coming as my husband was a super athlete through high school and university and sports are very important to him. we did swimming lessons at the local outdoor pool in the summer. Will do that again this summer. Swimming and skating are skills we want all our kids equipped with, but other than that, we don't know how exactly we will manage extracurriculars.

We are nowhere near FI. Our goals for 2016 are to buy no meat (it's already all in the freezer it just takes planning, you know?), and keep groceries under $600 a month. Are you laughing?? And if so, because that's low or high?? Haha. Out biggest expenses are food and fuel. Our house is paid off. But we have nothing saved aside from an emergency fund and a chunk in an education savings account that was gifted by family. We have been renovating our home since we moved in 2.5 years ago and it's now DONE so we are planning to ramp up savings this year. I am working on numbers and projections and it's really all very exciting!!

hoping others come along and keep this thread going because it's interesting to learn from other families that are still growing or have more than the usual 1 or 2 kids and are into the teen years and beyond....




MoonShadow

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #101 on: February 10, 2016, 10:03:02 PM »
15 cords!  Wow!  Even with two woodstoves, you'd have to almost be burning constantly to achieve that, wouldn't you?  I burn through 2-3 cords & 600 gallons of propane in a Louisville winter, but I don't make much effort to burn overnight.  I just have the thermostat set rather low, and everyone has electric mattress pads.  Waking up is hard to do, and my wife will just turn up the thermostat in the morning when she is cold; but it's a programmable that will return to the program after 2 hours or so.  Our 3 year old is the only one without a heated mattress pad, because no one makes one for a toddler bed, but if she gets cold she will just come cuddle with Momma anyway.

Greenly Spirits

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #102 on: February 16, 2016, 06:54:59 PM »
Well, we're not, yet :) We have 12 month old twin boys, but want two more kids, so I'm very curious about other large and frugal families.

termetgirl

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #103 on: February 18, 2016, 06:29:20 PM »
Yes, 15 cords! Not this year, maybe on the 8th or so by now, so won't get to 12 even, but at -20C average most of all of the last two winters and not using any other heat sources, we did burn that much. We have an oil furnace I think I mentioned but it only comes on when we're away in the winter. Oil also fires the hot water tank. I use the child gate around the stand alone wood stove to dry a lot of things. I mean aside from the obvious snowsuits, gloves, boots etc for kids. I use it like a winter clothesline and sometimes set up other drying racks in the room overnight too. We run a ceiling fan in the vicinity of both wood stoves to push the warm air around the house. I have electric baseboard heaters just in the two kids rooms but I only turn them on about 2 or 3 nights all winter - usually only if we've been out for the afternoon on a really cold day, so the fires haven't warmed the upstairs yet by bedtime. The kids have duvets and footed pyjamas and my husband and I like sleeping in our cold room :-)

MoonShadow

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #104 on: February 18, 2016, 07:05:32 PM »
I strongly recommend the electric mattress pads.  I have a matched set made by BeautyRest, so that the controllers are interchangeable, because the mattress pads themselves only last about 3 winters.  They max out at 25 watts or so, so not exactly high cost, and I usually only keep my side on for about 20 minutes while I'm getting ready for bed.  My wife will keep her's going all night long, at about 15 watts, but she is cold blooded.  They make climbing into a warmed bed from a chill room downright luxurious.  I originally bought them because my daughter's room was freezing, as it is the farthest from both the woodstove and the central furnace.  I had been keeping a portable electric heater in her room, and was looking for a cheaper solution.  After I got it for her, my daughter started complaining that my wife was taking naps in her bed; so I bought a queen mattress pad for our bed (two controllers on that one).  Then my teenaged son complained that his room was cold also.  Now the complaint is that their rooms are too cold to get out of bed in the mornings.

queenie

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #105 on: March 02, 2016, 12:50:48 PM »
Hello! 

We are a family of 6 with 4 boys (ages 13, 10, 6, and 3).  DH came from a family of 6 and I came from a family of 9.

It seems like a lot of larger families home school and are Christian!  Am I imagining it?  My kids go to public school, and this fall our youngest will enter JK.  I know that we have been lucky to have the option for me to stay home with the kids, but I am looking forward to a life outside the home soon.

We have 2 mortgages on 2 properties.  The first was our starter home, which we bought in 2013.  That mortgage/property tax is paid by the tenants and is currently scheduled to be paid off in about 17 years (although we plan to make some lump sum payments to accelerate that).  At that time we will determine if we want to retain the property as a passive income, or sell and pay off the mortgage on our principle residence and/or pad our retirement.

We have never done allowances, though our oldest just took on a paper route and is funneling all of the money directly into a savings account.  He is very money-conscious and frugal, and is highly motivated to save for post secondary education.  We took our oldest two to the bank last month to open their own savings accounts.

We had paid off all outstanding debts outside of our mortgage this month.  Finally!  We are a single income family, although I have a side hustle and recently took on some very part time work.

DH previously had a great pension, but switched positions and doesn't have it anymore.  We started an RSP this month using our LOC, so once we pay that back down we will be contributing as aggressively as we can to our retirement savings.

We are still fairly new to MMM, and I am more mustachian then DH.  He is actually not very mustachian at all, but I am trying to work on him.

MoonShadow

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #106 on: March 02, 2016, 01:07:22 PM »
Hello! 

We are a family of 6 with 4 boys (ages 13, 10, 6, and 3).  DH came from a family of 6 and I came from a family of 9.

It seems like a lot of larger families home school and are Christian!  Am I imagining it?

That is definitely not your imagination.

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 though our oldest just took on a paper route and is funneling all of the money directly into a savings account.


Open a Roth IRA in his name immediately.  Have him put everything he would like to save, and not spend this year, into that account, and I do mean everything.

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DH previously had a great pension, but switched positions and doesn't have it anymore.

Wait, what?  Are you saying he lost it?  How?

SomedayStache

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #107 on: March 09, 2016, 10:52:19 AM »

Kid finance: We pay performance-based allowance every week: behavior, chores, school. They bank half into Vanguard, pay for their own clothes (yes!) and can spend the rest. At age 6 they know the value of a buck.


I'm going to put in a second request for a detailed breakdown of this.  (Maybe on its own thread - but post back here so we get notified?)

THANKS!

srob

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #108 on: May 16, 2016, 11:16:33 AM »
We have 7 kids from ages 3 to 15, I'm 39 and my wife is 37. It is great and tiring at the same time! The kids are a lot of fun and I wouldn't trade any of them. 

But has anyone retired early with a lot of kids at home? I would like to hear how you did it. I think that we could almost do it within 2 years, but our life is incredibly expensive and I am almost too anxious to consider it. Most kids that are old enough play an instrument and participate in sports=$. Seems like someone is always getting injured=$ (broken foot last week, broken scapula 2 months ago, etc) Future college=$$$. Some gluten free kids=$. We buy organic/raw/natural foods=$. Health insurance without my job would be very expensive. We try to raise some of our own food but we are terrible gardeners! Nothing seems to grow except for lettuce, cucumbers and tons of weeds. My wife doesn't want to use non-organic fertilizer--only the real stuff and I don't have connections to get manure. :( I know I'm a waaa waa complainy-pants.

Now for the good: Overall I think we are pretty careful. Our 3 cars have 610k miles between them and a collective value of <10k. I do most of the car maintenance and have been teaching our older kids how to do it. Our house is big but utilities aren't bad and the mortgage payment is less than our grocery bill.

We have the kids doing most of the cleaning around the house as part of a regimented chore system. They do all the dishes! We have also been using an allowance based incentive system that my bro-in-law came up with. It has different levels of allowance and privilege that the children can attain based on behavior and chore completion. It is amazing to see kids doing chores without having to nag them.

I have a well-paying job and have been able to acquire some rental properties that could almost finance our living at this point.

     

serpentstooth

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #109 on: May 16, 2016, 11:43:20 AM »
It looks like most of your kids are in the "old enough to be useful stage, which is great." Can any of them start side hustles to earn money to pay for their own extracurriculars? Lawn mowing? Snow shoveling? Babysitting? What are you trying to accomplish with the activities? Socialization? Preprofessional training? Developing a nice hobby and spending time with friends? Private piano lessons are nice, but if you want an inexpensive, portable and fun hobby, between youtube and books, you can teach all the kids eight and up pennywhistle, and that would be a cheap way to get some music into their lives. Does your town's park and rec offer cheapie soccer, perhaps played locally and non-competitively? The oldest child might be eligible for pickup or recreational leagues with adults. Are you doing equipment intensive sports? Distance running can be a lot cheaper than hockey, for example.

Are your kids helping cook? With that many children over 10, you could probably put them to work and eliminate buying all processed food entirely, and particularly for the gluten free stuff, that's a real money sink. Can you and the older kids put in a garden?

srob

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #110 on: May 18, 2016, 10:25:13 AM »
Good ideas serpentstooth! The sports are not expensive--they only do school sports like bball/football/track. We want them to be involved in these activities mostly so they strive to do something hard and learn new skills. Otherwise it seems they stay at home lying around and reading fantasy/other fiction books that they pick up from the school library, which is not a bad thing but they will read all day if we let them. It is hard to get to any away games though bc of all the different activities. The oldest two have started to work mowing lawns and doing other odd jobs for people, helping to pay for their own stuff, and that has been helpful. Piano lessons are something that we have always wanted to provide and it is going well but it is kind of pricey. One problem that we have with online learning in our home is that it always quickly degenerates into endless time-wasting youtube viewing, things like dude perfect, funniest fails, etc etc etc.  We plan to have the kids doing some online learning this summer with khan academy when school ends though.

We have all breakfasts and school lunches assigned to be cooked by kids, dinners usually cooked by mom. Processed food is already out of the question for the most part. But even the good bulk gluten free stuff is incredibly expensive--have you bought bulk almond flour lately? yikes! We do a garden every year, but it is difficult for us to get good results. I think it comes down to not only a lack of skill but not having enough time to dedicate to it for the most part...