Author Topic: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids  (Read 36726 times)

teen persuasion

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #50 on: March 31, 2014, 07:52:20 AM »
We have 5 kids: 23, 21, 18, 15, and 9. The oldest is graduated from college and has joined the navy to further her education. Two are in college now, and two left at home. I am beginning to think seriously about downsizing - we bought a big old farmhouse/4 unit, and took back apartments as they went empty until we had one big single family home, somewhat still in unremuddling.

Our kids are much more involved in music/drama, but still do sports, too, so we seem to always be running around.  We don't do many activities outside of school, except for summer sports and summer drama club at the library.  They are quite busy enough with just school stuff - we just finished "hell weeks": the two weeks that overlap between the beginning of track season and the end of musical with 4 hour practices everyday or performance nights. I struggle with limiting the kids interests; they tend to emulate each other and get involved in the same things, but because of the age differences there is still not enough overlap ( e.g., a few years ago when we had kids in all the district schools, we were attending 4 concerts multiple times a year - ES, 5/6, 7/8, HS).

We are homebodies, so vacations in the past were mostly tent camping weekends.

I was a SAHM (breastfed, cloth diapers, etc.) until the youngest hit school age, when I began working part time. That was also about the time we paid off the mortgage and the oldest began college. Large families are helpful, at least with relatively low income, for financial aid purposes. I keep up on how the fafsa is calculated so I don't inadvertently make a financial move that would hurt the kids' aid.  It changes all the time, usually for the worse.  I am concerned about whether DS4 and DS5 will have a harder time getting aid than their older siblings as part of a now smaller family, and how approaching RE will affect it (like funding a Roth pipeline may increase our apparent income and thus increase our EFC).  It is all about the tradeoffs.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #51 on: March 31, 2014, 08:31:18 AM »
For people with teens if you haven't you got to read the book    Yes, your teen is crazy   by Michael J. Bradley   just throwing that out there.

I have two now that are teens and soon 2 to be and What insight this book is.

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2014, 04:54:44 PM »
This Saturday, we have three locations at the same time (bee class and two soccer locations). I am not sure how to do this. How do you guys do this?!

Carpooling with other people.  Especially if you can reciprocate, people will often be happy to pick you kid(s) up and/or deliver them back.  This does assume you live somewhere in a reasonable vicinity to the other family.  Soccer team parents would be our first bet.

CanDo(r)

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #53 on: April 10, 2014, 12:03:00 PM »
Wanted to chime in from Canada with four kids 6 years & under!

Since we had the fourth kid (still an infant) what has been a lifesaver is meal planning.  Simple sheet we print out each Sunday and write down at least five meals for the week--there's a column for what ingredients we need to shop for, and I take it grocery shopping with me.  I also write husband's schedule on it so I know what nights he'll be home for supper, home to help me prep, or not home (he has a varying retail schedule).  I also throw on the list any other pantry staples I'm out of so I know to be looking for those on sale. 

Some other points:
*Always ALWAYS buy meat on sale, usually I buy enough for three or four meals, will make two meals from that meat for the week and throw the others in the freezer (kids complain when we have chicken five nights in a row).
*We make the best pizza in the universe.  It's not cheaper than ordering it from up the street, but we make it whole wheat crust from scratch (I love LOVE to bake), customize each quarter of the kiddos' pizza so nobody's picking off toppings, and pile on veggies and meats galore.  BUT it's a lot of work, so although it's probably the most expensive meal we make, it happens at most once a week when hubby's home to help slice & dice, and there are leftovers for lunch the next day.
*Both of us eat leftovers as lunch at work.  Really a no-brainer when you love to cook and cook what you love.
*Canada has a beautiful thing called maternity leave......which has enabled us to breastfeed all the children to 14-22 months old, and cloth diaper until they're potty trained around 2 years old.
*We both have irregular schedules, mine unchangeable but hubby has control over his, so we try to have at least one day off together per week and try to stagger our shifts so the kids aren't in childcare 10 hours a day.  We have had a patchwork of wonderful friends and neighbours watching our precious kids anywhere from 5-40 hours per week (we pay them hourly; traditional daycare won't work as there are evenings & weekends to also cover for us).
*Used vehicles.  We've been driving our "commuter" car for 10 years as of July, a compact 4-dr that we made do with a single vehicle until I returned to work after our firstborn and was expecting again.  At that point, it was too crazy paying for two extra hours of childcare so I could ride the bus to work (we have a crap bus system here, but used it to the best of our ability until it was costing sanity points).  Again, bought a used minivan with cash, and it's 11 years old now and some minor repairs here and there keep it going.
*Bought a house close to everything: the park, the bank, the library, the bus route, the grocery store, the trails by the river.  As soon as the snow is off the sidewalks we're walking pretty much every afternoon or evening after supper.  That first mat leave, I would strap my babe in the carrier or the stroller and spend all day walking to the library, the bank, the post office, load up on groceries.  Probably why it was so easy to get back into shape! (That's another topic)
*No body's in hockey.  Pretty sure we're the only Canadians who haven't put our offspring in peewee (or whatever it's called at this age) hockey.  Neither of us consider it worth the expense or time/sanity.  We go to the Y for swimming lessons, and when they're a bit older we might do Judo there.  Mostly we go to the park, play baseball in the backyard, have the neighbour kids over for soccer, and shoot hoops with Dad.  And bikes!
*Saving for higher education: I opened a family RESP when my first was a baby.  My income was low enough to qualify for a government grant, and none of  my other kids qualified after that.  Still, gov matches 20% of what I put in.  So I've been taking the baby bonus & universal childcare cheques they send us and put it in the RESP.  (Advantage to the "family" RESP is if one of my kids opts not to get higher education, brothers & sisters can use the money originally allotted for that child.)  Basically, Canada will pay for my kids' university costs.  Anything not covered by the RESP they can get a job to pay for.  I hope they make sure they know what they want before they go.  To that end, I will encourage international travel/volunteer work (like their mother did) BEFORE signing up for a major at university/college.  I found my true passions abroad, then when it came time for university I didn't mess around with the drinking/partying crowd, I got credits for what I had already learned abroad (language, maths), and worked 20 hours/week on top of a full load to pay for my car and anything else.  My parents paid my very low local tuition and books; I have X amount I hope to have set aside for each kid in the RESP when it's time, and they will be free to get scholarships/jobs/internships to make up the difference.
*We have one pay-as-you-go cell phone for emergencies.  None of my kids have any electronic devices (iphone, ipod, tablet, laptop).
*We bought a house when we were already expecting our first based on my husband's salary & 1/2 of mine (what I would be paid on mat leave), not based on our great credit scores.  Since we bought the house, we've both been promoted to higher-paying positions and have had four kids & four maternity leaves.  It's an easy decision when we want another child because we know in advance we can afford the year off, since all expenses except groceries are essentially in 2007 dollars.  We bought a house with enough room for the kids we wanted (5 bed/2 bath) so we wouldn't lose all our equity in realtor fees by upgrading every third year.  It's not perfect, but we are ever-so-slowly redecorating it to our taste and maintaining the essentials. (And we're not replacing the white carpet that it came with until.........the kids mostly don't spill on it anymore.)

Our progress toward early retirement is certainly slower than if we had only one child, but our life is very full of joy.  We are making steady progress, and that's what counts.  I've been paying into my company pension plan for the past six years, but only in February opened my first RRSP.  My husband just started with his company pension plan last March.  We have some catching up to do, but we have a solid foundation.  I'm hoping to pay off our mortgage in 15 years, and move on to the next phase of what our life will be like then (three oldest would be university-age).  That timeline could alter based on if we have any more children.  Pregnancy is getting harder every time, so for now we'll leave it as a question mark.  I only know two other women at my job who have four kids; everyone else thinks I'm certifiable (I'm also one of the youngest there).  They know what fun (and laundry! oh the laundry!) I go home to every day.  In our other social circles, we have several friends with four or more, so I don't feel like an outlier except at work.  And when the old ladies at the library start counting kids and ask if they're mine or daycare kids.

Rambles!  Thanks for starting this thread.  We're all in this thing together.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #54 on: April 10, 2014, 07:09:13 PM »
Quote
It's not perfect, but we are ever-so-slowly redecorating it to our taste and maintaining the essentials. (And we're not replacing the white carpet that it came with until.........the kids mostly don't spill on it anymore.
Heh, I feel the same way about our house--we won't replace the carpets or refinish the hardwood floors until the youngest is at *least* 7 years old.  Same will probably apply to the paint.  We're also taking the slow-but-exactly-the-way-we-want approach to decorating and furnishing our home.

happy

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #55 on: April 19, 2014, 07:30:59 PM »
Saturday, we had major scheduling issues:two soccer games (same location), friend's birthday party, bible quizzing for one, and piano competition for another. Four locations at the same time.

This Saturday, we have three locations at the same time (bee class and two soccer locations). I am not sure how to do this. How do you guys do this?!

This is the main reason I want to have a teenager car starting when the oldest is 16-so we can get everyone where they need to go.

Yes I've been through more than a decade of this. If you are an out- there networky kind of person, then you can try to organise lifts. I'm not, and felt anxious I would not be able to reciprocate, and all the extra organising this involved often put me over the edge. I was just careful about what activities we chose, and put limits on. If it was impossible then I used the word "no", but explained why. Tried to keep it fair. Sometimes we cut time at activities in half, so both could go to a portion (obviously this doesn't work for everything) . If they are performing see if they can be first or last. Sometimes they had to sit out each others activities. Sometimes I could drop one, then take the next one on, then double back to pick up  the first one etc. My kids do their fair share of whinging and whining, but they by and large respected that it was impossible for me to be two places at once.

The greatest improvement in my quality of life has come with the oldest having his own car. He pays for all costs. I no longer have to ferry him around, and if necessary he can help out transporting his sister.

We rarely eat out, and as you guys would know taking lots of family out is really costly. I only recently realised that if I saved up my weekly sanity money for a meal out (I'm a bit of a lapsed foodie) and went without the kids, the bill at our local cafe for one person was doable as a special treat. I've been toting these kids around for so long, I'd forgotten to even think about doing things on my own.

Castoral

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #56 on: April 22, 2014, 09:41:29 PM »
Hi all! We are a family of 6. DH and I are both 30 and our children are DS 6, DD 4, DS 3, and DD 9mo. We currently both work technically full time. I work for the federal govt (AF civilian) in finance and my husband works for UPS/cuts grass on the side. Having our schedule set up that way has helped us tremendously. My husband works at UPS unloading semis from 4am-8am. The pay is pretty good after 10 yrs ($18/hr) but the benefits are incredible. He *should* receive a pretty darn good pension after just 30 yrs (age 49) and the healthcare costs us about $400/yr out of pocket. Daughters $266 diaper rash prescription just cost us $0! Don't know how much longer we'll be able to ride that gravy train but it's a huge savings for us. My mom then comes over for a few hours till hubby gets home and on MWF stays with the kids all day for free. Thankfully she only charges in love, jk! DH takes care of their 1 acre property, I help my mom save money, and we feed them meals fairly often. Hubby is able to cut grass on the side three days a week and then stays home with the kids two days. It's not always pretty but to think about the amount we have saved in daycare is considerable.

Another big saver for us is annual consignment sales in our area and ebay. I volunteer for a group that raises money for the local childrens hospital. We have a sale in the fall and sale in the spring. I sell most of our stuff through these sales making around $500 each sale. I can then also find great deals on things we need (clothes, games, books, sporting equipment, Christmas presents even). I've scored deals like $100+ magnatiles sets for $7, bags of automoblox cars for $5, DDs beloved Kelli Kelly shoes. Rand new for $10! Anything nicer like ugg boots I bought my daughter at a garage sale for $10, wore for a year and then sold on ebay for $40. I make about $1200/yr selling their used stuff on ebay.

Our house fits us just right....4 bedroom, 2 bath ranch with a finished basement. We recently put a third full bathroom in the basement. DH did like others mentioned and jack hammered up the floor himself to plumb for it. We'll eventually finish the connecting room as our oldest decides he wants his own space. Probably cost $1k between drywall, carpet, and an egress window. Other than that our home is 100% remodeled as we've done slowly over the last 8 years here. Owe about $80k and it appraised at $209k before third bathroom, so maybe $215k now.

We also have 2 rental properties (so far) which have kind of been our college back up plan for the kids. The first one kind of fell into our laps as my mom is a realtor and the small local bank that owned it was begging to get it off their books. Second one popped up a year later. We figured if we had them on 15 yr mortgages, they'd be paid off by the time our oldest 2 went to college and would be outputting around 80% profit. We are still putting $125/kid in a 529 each month though and have for each kid since birth...

I feel like overall we live a pretty simple lifestyle.....eat out. Anne 2-3x/month now, buy half cow per year for $2.50/lb (grass fed), groceries around $100/wk, paid cash for 2007 suburban, 2012 ford f150, and 2003 Honda accord, don't really drink alcohol as it's too costly, very minimal cable ($43/mo) only because my mom doesn't know how to operate Apple TV), $50/yr magic jack, $20/mo high speed internet through AT&T, etc. our biggest expense though is the kids. Oldest son does some type of sport in the fall (either soccer, tennis or football), two sessions of YMCA basketball from oct-March), lacrosse in spring and swimming in the summer but he also does a father/son program through the YMCA hoping it would improve his behavior (one on one time) as well as destination imagination that they harp is so good for their development (and free due to me coaching). My oldest daughter does comp cheerleading and is going into her second year. It's a whopping $2800/yr though which is crazy. She loves it though and it's given her such self confidence where she started off soooo shy and now can stand in an arena with 5,000 watching her. We recently switched gyms though as the new one has some incredible fundraising opportunities (local aaa baseball games net about $100-$200/game/person, casino nights, bowling nights, spaghetti dinner, etc) so hopefully that can bring down cost. We also pay a lump sum at the start to save 10%. She also does soccer through YMCA and next year wants to do dance and Girl Scouts instead of soccer. Youngest DS is just starting YMCA soccer at 3. He's dying to be like the older kids so for $68, I guess.

We also take the kids to as many free learning opportunities as possible. We have an incredible park district, so the kids take some type of free class at least once per week. This week there was a parent and me class for the baby, a skunk walk for my 3 yr old, tennis for my 4 yr old and the oldest went to outdoor rec and made his own kite today. We ALS have one of the top libraries in the country so the kids go there to play education games, check out their activities, go to story hour, and of course check out books/movies/video games/CDs. We buy a museum family pass to go to often and also use reciprocating membership on other museums/zoos.

We do take a bigger family trip per year. This year is disney staying on property/ flying /food / souvenirs for $4k for 9 nights (pretty thrifty sadly enough) but normally we go to destin fl in sept. We split a condo with both sets of parents and it cost us all about $400/couple for the week. We drive and make most meals at the condo and bring along craft activities to do rather than spend $300 going to build a bear lol!

We camp in between trips to keep our sanity. This is also DH and I's date night a lot as we put the kids to bed about 8:30 and sit around the campfire talking till all hours of the night. We bought a pop up (with all the bells and whistles) for about 60% of what it was worth and paid cash. Figure we can use it a couple years and sell for what we paid.

As for cars/cell phone once the kids get older, DH is a big fan of paying for everything themselves. He started cutting grass at age 10 to pay for things and expects the same for our kids. He also bailed (sp?) hay on the weekends. He sometimes had to pay his parents bills to keep lights on, but he also bought a car, paid the insurance, paid for gas, paid for his clothes/activities/sports/school fees. So he's a big believer in the fact that if he could do it, so can they. They also have been taught from birth that 50% of all money they get goes into savings, 25% goes to charity, 25% to spend. Just using this principal they have about $8,000 combined. I'd personally like to use what they have saved together when oldest needs a car, we'll match what they have, and then all 4 have to share and work out a schedule. Teaches them respect, sharing, communication. But someone also pointed out to me that they could all 4 be in a car during an accident too, so I don't know what the answer is. I like the 3.6 gap or you don't drive idea!

Probably my biggest battle right now is spending money on myself. I'm a mother of four and only 30 yrs old. I spent $40/mo on weight watchers for 9 mo and dropped almost 30 lbs. none of my clothes fit and I'm living with the same three pairs of pants and maybe 10 shirts. I have no jewelry left the kids haven't broke. I have no makeup that wasn't expired and needed tossed. I'm sick of my hair being cut only twice a year. I keep reading frugal fashion blogs and makeup blogs and want to go out and buy it all. Thankfully with our schedule I don't have time to buy much, but still.....it's an area I want to spend more in but I know I really can't/shouldn't to meet our financial goals.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #57 on: May 03, 2014, 08:38:01 AM »
One small tidbit i have started doing is my oldest son is my size now so have been giving him all my nicer hoodies and stuff and going to goodwill or getting the free stuff from our Soccer club. More and more small things like this I am discovering to do. And its not about affording it as much as it just make sense. I am comfortable in sweat pants and a flannel shirt or shorts and a t-shirt. They get the nicer stuff that i get and to no hurt to me.

ruthiegirl

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #58 on: May 03, 2014, 10:21:44 AM »
One small tidbit i have started doing is my oldest son is my size now so have been giving him all my nicer hoodies and stuff and going to goodwill or getting the free stuff from our Soccer club. More and more small things like this I am discovering to do. And its not about affording it as much as it just make sense. I am comfortable in sweat pants and a flannel shirt or shorts and a t-shirt. They get the nicer stuff that i get and to no hurt to me.

My son and I are doing this now too.  He outgrew his Keen water sandals.  They are still in good shape and fit me perfectly.  Score!

soccerluvof4

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #59 on: May 09, 2014, 08:46:16 AM »
One small tidbit i have started doing is my oldest son is my size now so have been giving him all my nicer hoodies and stuff and going to goodwill or getting the free stuff from our Soccer club. More and more small things like this I am discovering to do. And its not about affording it as much as it just make sense. I am comfortable in sweat pants and a flannel shirt or shorts and a t-shirt. They get the nicer stuff that i get and to no hurt to me.

My son and I are doing this now too.  He outgrew his Keen water sandals.  They are still in good shape and fit me perfectly.  Score!



I just got a pair of his like NEW tennis shoes. Hes a size 13 now and I am 11 so he gave me his 11.5's. Gotta love it!

momo5

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2014, 02:15:18 PM »
we've got five kids, my biggest money saver is that I'm so busy I dont have time to shop for anything unessential. sometimes I wish I had more time to buy nice clothes or furnishings or get my hair/nails done, but for the most part I'm fine without it. doesnt help that most of my friends/relatives/neighbors spend the bulk of their time/money on appearances. I think I need to move. or get new friends.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #61 on: May 13, 2014, 04:29:52 AM »
we've got five kids, my biggest money saver is that I'm so busy I dont have time to shop for anything unessential. sometimes I wish I had more time to buy nice clothes or furnishings or get my hair/nails done, but for the most part I'm fine without it. doesnt help that most of my friends/relatives/neighbors spend the bulk of their time/money on appearances. I think I need to move. or get new friends.


I can relate to that! Enjoy your kids, let them waste money on things that are superficial. You will never regret the time spent with your kids!

homeymomma

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #62 on: June 15, 2014, 08:52:09 PM »
Following.

Only have one, and one on the way. But hoping for a large brood someday! :)

Cassie

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #63 on: June 15, 2014, 09:04:04 PM »
I never regretted the time I spent as a SAHM. The time went fast & I still had plenty of time for my career, etc.  My pension is much smaller then some of my friends that kept working but it was worth it.  I have 3 kids that all are grown now.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #64 on: June 16, 2014, 08:04:43 AM »
well now that school is over I will officially have 2 in High School coming up (a Freshman and Sophomore) then a 5th and 3rd grader! The High School years though fun in many ways gets cancelled out so much by the teenager " I know more than you" attitudes.  Fortunately so far they are good students! and there good at everyone elses house just not ours! lol

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #65 on: June 17, 2014, 06:12:05 PM »
We have three kiddos (6,5,3) and I'm not sure we're actually "doing it" but I'm trying. :) It is so inspiring to see bigger families that are achieving FI/ER.

Lady from Joppa

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2014, 09:07:43 PM »
Where we are from our family of 6 isn't large. I have friends with as many as 13 children but most have between 6-8. :)

Anyway we have 4 children ages 20 , 6, 4, and 2. I'm a SAHM and we homeschool too. My DH is in the military but will be getting out soon due to medical retirement. I've always been a frugal person by nature and my DH not so much. We live in a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath 2100 sq ft home. Sadly the layout isn't right for us but there is plenty of room for us all to have space without being on top of each other all day. My younger children aren't in any activities as life seems to center around our home life and therapy 3 times per week for our 4yo son who is autistic and mostly non-verbal.

We are helping to foot the bill for our oldest to attend a private college but we play around $2500 a semester. The rest is covered by a partial scholarship, grants and student loans. Basically we pay whatever is left after all of that has been applied to her account. We have told her that since she choose a private out college once the money in her college fund is gone she will need to pay the rest herself through more loans or working during the school year not just during the summers for her spending money.

We are saving now for our younger 3 children but that money isn't just for college. It's also for more expensive things they may want to do when they are teens and for braces. We don't pay for cars, insurance, cell phones, or give spending money...well unless there has been some type of emergency and help is needed.
 

soccerluvof4

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #67 on: July 07, 2014, 05:09:29 PM »
Where we are from our family of 6 isn't large. I have friends with as many as 13 children but most have between 6-8. :)

Anyway we have 4 children ages 20 , 6, 4, and 2. I'm a SAHM and we homeschool too. My DH is in the military but will be getting out soon due to medical retirement. I've always been a frugal person by nature and my DH not so much. We live in a 4 bedroom 2.5 bath 2100 sq ft home. Sadly the layout isn't right for us but there is plenty of room for us all to have space without being on top of each other all day. My younger children aren't in any activities as life seems to center around our home life and therapy 3 times per week for our 4yo son who is autistic and mostly non-verbal.

We are helping to foot the bill for our oldest to attend a private college but we play around $2500 a semester. The rest is covered by a partial scholarship, grants and student loans. Basically we pay whatever is left after all of that has been applied to her account. We have told her that since she choose a private out college once the money in her college fund is gone she will need to pay the rest herself through more loans or working during the school year not just during the summers for her spending money.

We are saving now for our younger 3 children but that money isn't just for college. It's also for more expensive things they may want to do when they are teens and for braces. We don't pay for cars, insurance, cell phones, or give spending money...well unless there has been some type of emergency and help is needed.


I just informed my two oldest yesterday(because they often talk about going to a private college in our area) about even after what we are willing to pay how much more there debt would be. We have great State Schools so hopefully as the get just a bit older they will see the light. I only say that because our State School really is a better school than the private school the keep talking about and half the price.

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #68 on: August 15, 2014, 08:46:27 PM »
Still have not convinced the on the whole mmm thing.  Saving money has Been second nature to me.  As a compromise my children has agreed to a cheaper vacation(tent camp  by 1 hour from home) and also going to deluxe theatre on Tuesday where seats are 5 dollars.  But hey 10 dollars at a time right?  I buy my cars used off craigslist for cash.  Had all the kids while the US health insurance was good. Luckily no complicated pregnancies or health issues.  The house we bought was not a great buy but we can walk/bike to the major places we need to get to (library/bank/grocery/Cvs).  Buy the kids clothes mostly at kohls when they are 80 per cent off and then get addled 20 per cent off with coupons.  Cheaper than most places and the two kids can wear the same stuff.  Also bought a cow from local butcher and csa share and shop at Costco.  Try to always get gas there too. Buy food sometimes from fare for all.  Try to get scholarships for activities where I can.  Free kindle books.  Making kids brush teeth so no high dental bills.  Good hygiene goes a long way.  Getting deals on Amazon for bedroom furniture for daughter.  Cooking at home.  Using restaurant.com for eating out when we do go out.  Doing our own yard work but paid for lawn service ( actually was cheaper than fit). Keeping what we do have in good shape.  I am going to try the laundry line this week.  I usually try to do all the loads consecutively so the dryer doesn't need to heat up again.  Getting my corporate discounts when I can for tickets to water park, going on the cheap days to these things, using lottery system for chance at free concert tickets to local orchestra.  It all adds up.  Don't pay interest other than mortgage. Zulilly for deals on soccer gear.

ltt

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #69 on: August 17, 2014, 07:22:57 AM »
We have four children--teens on down.

I'm a SAHM.  We're doing okay financially, nothing to complain about.  Our children are interested in music, dance, and scouting.  We have one child who is interested in sports, but we refuse to continually run her to play sports due to practices, games, etc. interfering with our home life, eating meals together, etc.  She can play one sport.  She seems to be of the impression that this is a way to hang around with her friends and try and look pretty. :)  We dislike organizations (government, religious, business, or otherwise) that continually try to break up families by "taking" family time away from families.

We cook meals at home--mostly from scratch.  We shop sale items and stock up.  We like Costco and shop there occasionally. 

We have a four-bedroom older home that sits on an acre of land.  It is paid for. 

We have three vehicles--paid for and run great.

We have two special needs kiddos.  One has some fairly high medical bills.  Our insurance, for the most part, is pretty good.

The one thing I cannot give up is travel.  We love being at home, but enjoy having a week elsewhere.  But, as I mentioned in another post, our culture is "made for four and no more" (in all areas).  So, when we travel, we typically need to split up into two rooms if staying at a hotel.  We are taking a trip to Disney within the next year.  We would not be going if we didn't have the money saved for it.  We also went to Disneyland last year--loved it.  A few years back we travelled to Hawaii.  Travel as a family is one of our largest expenses.

As far as college, we have some saved up for each child, but not fully funded.  Our children will need to contribute, plain and simple.  Neither my husband or I believe in just handing them an education.  They are all capable and will need to contribute. 

We love having a "large" family.  I would of gladly had more, but hubby said he would like to retire someday--hahahahaha.



 

homeymomma

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #70 on: October 19, 2014, 05:37:46 PM »
Thought I'd put it to you all, who really know how it is with many kids-

We have a just-barely-two year old. Our second is due in 1 week!

We have to buy a second car (it will take the place of a borrowed family car). We already own a 2012 Hyundai elantra sedan.

We'd like a third and probably fourth child eventually, with probably not too much more than 2-3 years between each one. (I want a fifth someday but shhhh...).

Should we make do with the Hyundai for now, and buy a small, cheap-as-possible commuter for my husband, or buy the larger "family vehicle" now, before we actually have a true need?

The mpg of minivans (we'd look at a honda odyssey probably) is horrifyingly low, but it would last us through as many kids as I can imagine having. Also: sliding doors, omg.

A prius would be perfect for my husbands commute now (over an hour) and could potentially squeeze in a 3rd car seat down the line to extend the time til we HAVE to get a big car.

I'd love an a SUV but they still have a three-seats-across issue and Mpgs are not great, especially for the larger ones which would have a 3rd row option. Not to mention they are generally out of our price range.

I wish we were facing this decision in a year or two, but we have to buy a car now. I can't see through all the factors to see what makes the most sense. Help!! Very frustrated having to make such a long-term decision when we are in a transitional time with our family, and all our projections for our future family are just plans/hopes/dreams.

1967mama

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #71 on: October 19, 2014, 07:36:15 PM »
I would say to definitely wait until you have a genuine need before buying a bigger vehicle. Buy something little and inexpensive that you can resell later, when you've actually given birth to future hoped-for children :-)

homeymomma

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #72 on: October 19, 2014, 07:40:38 PM »
I would say to definitely wait until you have a genuine need before buying a bigger vehicle. Buy something little and inexpensive that you can resell later, when you've actually given birth to future hoped-for children :-)

Thanks, 1967mama! I admit this is my instinct, it just feel weird to buy a car that we will have to turn around a sell again in 2-3 years. I have always seen car purchases as long term things, but I guess I just have to get over that!

1967mama

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #73 on: October 19, 2014, 07:51:16 PM »
You're welcome! And I should have added "used" to little and inexpensive <wink>.  We have moved up, up, up in cars from a Civic, to a minivan, to a suburban to a 15 passenger -- yep, big family!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #74 on: October 20, 2014, 09:37:28 AM »
I would say to definitely wait until you have a genuine need before buying a bigger vehicle. Buy something little and inexpensive that you can resell later, when you've actually given birth to future hoped-for children :-)
Agreed with this.  Get the cheap commuter now, and in 2-3 (or 4-5) years, sell that and get a minivan.  Let someone else pay for the depreciation :)  Oh, and it's hard to go wrong with a Honda minivan (we've owned two!)

(we just had our 6th a few weeks ago)

Alchemilla

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #75 on: November 01, 2014, 11:58:41 AM »
Hello. We have an 11, 7 and 3 year old.

The eldest does a lot of riding (cue clown car for towing)
The second does ballet. 1 and 2 learn piano at school.

The littlest doesn't have a hobby yet apart from dismantling the vacuum cleaner.

They have a bedroom each, I am trying to convince DH we should sell up and live in a mobile home but so far no luck.

We both work full time.

ubermom4

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #76 on: November 27, 2014, 05:06:41 AM »
Thanks for starting this thread. It's really helpful for larger families to share tips. I am a long time lurker and new poster. We have 4 kids (18,17,14,13 years old).  We move every 3 years or so which is good for the kids and hard on them. Sometimes our houses are larger or smaller. Interestingly, sometimes our family is perceived as 'rich' and other times our family is perceived as 'poor' depending on where we are living. It is good for the kids to think about this and talk about it. They have different and varying amounts of outside of school activities -- each has different needs and personalities. Their needs for stimulation have changed as they have aged. Here are some things that we have done to improve family life and save money...

--we go to a lot of museums/field trips on the weekends. As a 'Friend of the Public Library'  (cost $15) we get  museum passes for free.
-- we spend a lot of time outside together. Going to the beach (we live in Mass.) in all seasons and walking in the woods. When kids were little the wee ones were in the backpack
-- cooking from scratch and seldom eating out. Sometimes takeout. Homemade pizza is cheap but it is also easy to do with store bought pizza dough (which can live in the freezer for a bit)
-- kids generally have one activity at a time and we carpool if possible. In one town the kids were able to walk to their activities. That was completely awesome and to be recommended!
-- we have 2 getting their drivers licenses now. We have told them that we would like them to 'buy' into the 2nd car -- $1000 for each kid. Kids have saved allowance money/birthday money, etc. I think they will take better care of the car if they have skin in the game.
-- Very interestingly, DH wanted to get our older son his own Playstation. I was adamantly against this for several years. Quietly, this topic kept resurfacing so finally I suggested that if our son really wanted this machine, he should pay $300 in to it. Hubbie thought this a good suggestion and offered it to our boy. No Way! That killed the requests. We have learned a good lesson here with this child.
-- Also interestingly, my brother in law has a teen daughter who is always late in the morning (teens should have their own thread!). Anyway, one morning she missed the school bus and her Dad drove her to school. He was livid but quiet. He is self employed and told her that this drive was wasting his time and costing him money. He needed her to pay him $10 (big money to a 15 yo). She was outraged -- part of his fatherly duty, unfair, she didn't know, etc. She paid him right then and she has never missed the bus again. Sometimes it is easier to reach kids through money, it's very interesting.
-- College saving -- we are going to pay for it and have saved almost 2 years of tuition for each kid. Will cashflow the rest.

Thanks for starting this thread. Since it's Thanksgiving morning, I have to get going with the kitchen faerie routine. I hope everyone has a great day.

Zarya

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #77 on: December 01, 2014, 12:48:42 PM »
We've got three girls (15, 12, and 5) and I don't think of us as a "large" family but we officially qualify as one in Slovenia, where we live. Our condo is only 72 m2 (roughly 800 ft2) of living space and all three kids share one bedroom. The master bedroom is dual purpose and serves as a home office too. We do have a garden, a garage, and storage units in the basement, so our living space isn't as cramped as you might think. It does keep us from buying useless junk.

I agree with the poster above who mentioned meal planning: we go even farther than that and print a weekly schedule that has everyone's work times, school times, activity times, extra events (dentist appointments, concerts, etc.), and who's taking the little one to school and picking her up, as well as who's cooking dinner each night and what the menu is. All of this planning takes me around 2 hours every Sunday, but it sure makes the week more pleasant. Both parents work outside the home part-time and do consulting work from home; both of us cook and both of us do kid pickups as necessary, so we just plan a schedule that works best for everyone.

Because we live in a compact European city the older two get themselves around by bike, bus, or scooter (the non-motorized kind!). So do the adults -- we use our single car, which is a Toyota Verso (a roomy hatchback somewhat like a Mazda 5) sparingly (mostly for trips).

-Z

queenie

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #78 on: December 10, 2014, 10:24:38 AM »
We have 4 boys (11, 8, 5, 2).

We live on a single income, though I have started turning a hobby into a small income-generating business.  It is slow going, since I am often solo-parenting and don't have a lot of time for it at the moment.  DH works long hours and has been out of town for the last couple of months (talk that he won't be home until March).  He now makes a good income after investing a few years of labour, but his job wears on him.

We have a small 3 bedroom home and our mortgage is around $150,000.  We just purchased in 2013.

We have two vehicles (one is definitely surplus and unnecessary) and a motorcycle.  One vehicle and the motorcycle we own, but the unnecessary vehicle is financed.  We purchased it as a commuter vehicle for DH shortly before he was promoted to a position that included a company truck.  We still don't see eye to eye about what to do with the car.

Frankly, I'm tired.  I see people with four+ kids doing a much better job than I am doing and I feel inadequate.  I've been parenting for almost 12 years, but I still feel like I'm not doing it right.

Financially, we have very little prepared for them at this time.  $2,500 in a group RESP.  I would like to be able to pitch in for their post secondary, but they are aware that they are expected to work and save for a bulk of their education as well.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 10:30:31 AM by queenie »

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #79 on: December 10, 2014, 04:03:08 PM »


Frankly, I'm tired.  I see people with four+ kids doing a much better job than I am doing and I feel inadequate.  I've been parenting for almost 12 years, but I still feel like I'm not doing it right.
You know what?  You're a parent.  You'll always be tired! :P

My wife thought she was drowning when she had 2 kids.  Now she has 6 under the age of 10, and is homeschooling the oldest four.  It seems our capacity increases to the level which is required.

queenie

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #80 on: December 10, 2014, 04:56:02 PM »


Frankly, I'm tired.  I see people with four+ kids doing a much better job than I am doing and I feel inadequate.  I've been parenting for almost 12 years, but I still feel like I'm not doing it right.
You know what?  You're a parent.  You'll always be tired! :P

My wife thought she was drowning when she had 2 kids.  Now she has 6 under the age of 10, and is homeschooling the oldest four.  It seems our capacity increases to the level which is required.

I AM tired!  I just read that as "You know what? You're pregnant."  Not "You know what? You're a parent."

And my heart.actually.stopped.  LOL

As though it was possible, and as though you would know before me!  Still, gave me a fright.

homehandymum

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #81 on: December 10, 2014, 06:36:41 PM »
Frankly, I'm tired.  I see people with four+ kids doing a much better job than I am doing and I feel inadequate.  I've been parenting for almost 12 years, but I still feel like I'm not doing it right.

I hear ya.   I think most of us feel this way at least some of the time.  Personally, I'd stop looking at those 'other people' who seem to be doing 'better', because you never really know.  Sure some of them might be doing better in some ways, but none of us lives 100% the same lives as each other, so we're never comparing apples with apples.

For instance, my SIL works insane hours and runs marathons, continuing her sports through two pregnancies, including one with complications.  I could look at her and go 'shit, what am *I* doing with my life?'  But because she's my SIL I'm privy to other parts of her life that make me go 'well, at least I don't have to deal with that'.  Conversely, I'm certain she looks at my life of SAHM, homeschooling, self-directed days, and no external motivators like bonuses or employee of the month awards, and considers that she is the one who dodged a bullet :-)

But even on a lesser scale, if I look at my friends who are doing essentially the same job as me during the day, we all have different things that we do 'well', and different priorities, and different strengths.  There's the mum who doesn't even have internet at home and whose children are always impeccably groomed and can all cook meals and clean house, but whose kids all need to follow a set curriculum because she struggles with the 'creative learning' stuff.  There's the mum who always seems to be doing great art projects, but whose housekeeping is... erratic.  There's the mum who always bakes fresh bread, even with a kitchen renovation project underway, and provides home cooked meals every single night, but who severely limits extra-curricular activities because she can't keep up with them all.  There's the mum who finds that she can pick 2 out of the 3 main tasks she has to do well (homeschooling, cleaning, cooking) and the other 1 just has to wait until next week, and some days just ends up on facebook wishing they'd all go away :)  (that's me - can you tell?).

And we all have a tendency to compare our own weaknesses with another person's strengths, because those things are visible.

Honestly, if you're raising 4 boys with a mostly absent husband, and you're all still alive at the end of the day, you're doing a great job.

that turned into an essay, but the tldr is - you're doing ok, have an internet hug {hug}

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #82 on: December 11, 2014, 11:01:27 AM »

Honestly, if you're raising 4 boys with a mostly absent husband, and you're all still alive at the end of the day, you're doing a great job.

Story of my wife's life lol!

Everyone slept through the night last night, including the baby and the two sick boys.  We're all feeling *much* better today!

abhe8

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #83 on: December 11, 2014, 01:44:49 PM »
what a fun thread!

We are a family of 6, with children ages 7, 6, 4 and 18 months. We live a pretty mustachian lifestyle, if not moreso by necessity then choice.

i work OTH FT and DH works from home. he has a small farm, with sheep, chickens and a large (1 acre) garden. Kids are homeschooled. I have had several extended maternity leaves (was in school when dd1 was born, so she came with me to class for 4 months, then I took a year off to be at home), but with that is a ton of SL debt. I'm lookng forward to my first "real" job this spring and getting those loans taken care of. Our plan is to live small, kill the loans and then live small another year to jump start the savings.

We love the more rural, homestead kind of life. Kids play and work outside every day. we have just a very small farm (more of a big yard, really) at 2.5 acres but for now its enough. we have done the usual breastfed, cloth diaper, used clothes, meals from scratch, meal planning, used and paid for cars, no cable, lots of library books, zoo passes for christmas gifts and travel is limited to visiting family. (although, they live in beautiful places, so I can't really complain.)

Food is a big expense (our small midwest town is very low COL, so housing is very affordable). Our milk is delivered from a local farmer. We buy in bulk, beef and pork by the half-beast. We butcher our own chickens and have enough eggs to sell the extra to pay for all the chicken food. Looking forward to culling the lambs for some tasty meat later this winter. Still eating our garden produce...potatoes, onions, carrots, garlic going strong. tons of canned and frozen tomatoes, green beans, berries, zucchini and pumpkin. I buy from co-ops (Azure STandard, Country Life Natural Foods) for better prices on bulk staples. no costco here and I don't know, really, what I would buy at sams.

The older kids have activities. Ballet for DD1, soccer for DS1 and swim lessions for the older 3. we like to bike and hike and camp and be outside. we live in the county (hence the animals), on a very narrow but speedy road, so no biking from home just yet. My ideal homestead would be a few more acres...backing up to a trail that would take us to town. :) haha. but not sure we will find that anytime soon.

I feel like I dont' have much to add, in the way of good ideas. But I do love reading all the others! One of my big questions and concerns is how to teach my children to be frugal by nature, to respect money for the tool it is, to not worship it but rather work hard to earn and save and be content. any advice?

queenie

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #84 on: December 11, 2014, 02:10:59 PM »
Seems like a lot of homeschoolers on MMM! 

meandmyfamily

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #85 on: April 16, 2015, 11:37:29 PM »
This was just the post that I was looking for!  We are a homeschooling family with 4 kids (11, 9, 4 and 4).  I love hearing all the ideas.  We do many of them.  I would love ideas for how to get your electric bill down when you live in sunny Arizona like we do!  We spend 700-800 a month in food.  We sound just like a lot of you!  I am glad to know you all are out there.

cerebus

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #86 on: April 17, 2015, 03:39:49 AM »
We keep back and forthing over homeschooling. Our oldest boy has some sensory processing issues and it seems like the school environment just isn't working well for him - he's nearly 7. The problem is a lack of 1) local resources and community to support homeschooling, 2) confidence in our abilities not to screw it all up, and 3) openings in the local schooling system, meaning if he wanted to go back into the system he would struggle. The schools are heavily overcrowded and people sit on huge waiting lists. It's quite a dilemma for us. Also we don't have much space where we are to give him the homeschooling experience we'd ideally like.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #87 on: April 17, 2015, 09:52:02 AM »
We keep back and forthing over homeschooling. Our oldest boy has some sensory processing issues and it seems like the school environment just isn't working well for him - he's nearly 7. The problem is a lack of 1) local resources and community to support homeschooling, 2) confidence in our abilities not to screw it all up, and 3) openings in the local schooling system, meaning if he wanted to go back into the system he would struggle. The schools are heavily overcrowded and people sit on huge waiting lists. It's quite a dilemma for us. Also we don't have much space where we are to give him the homeschooling experience we'd ideally like.
All the worries go away if you take the time to plan :)  I have some good friends who do their homeschooling outside at a picnic table when the weather's nice.  Our oldes (10) is high-functioning autistic, with the attendant sensory issues.  Even the school, which did have the space and the resources, wasn't the best learning environment for him. 

WRT the waiting lists--what are they for?  They can't be to get into the schools--is it to get into a preferred school?

cerebus

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #88 on: April 17, 2015, 10:29:44 AM »

We keep back and forthing over homeschooling. Our oldest boy has some sensory processing issues and it seems like the school environment just isn't working well for him - he's nearly 7. The problem is a lack of 1) local resources and community to support homeschooling, 2) confidence in our abilities not to screw it all up, and 3) openings in the local schooling system, meaning if he wanted to go back into the system he would struggle. The schools are heavily overcrowded and people sit on huge waiting lists. It's quite a dilemma for us. Also we don't have much space where we are to give him the homeschooling experience we'd ideally like.

WRT the waiting lists--what are they for?  They can't be to get into the schools--is it to get into a preferred school?

No that's for normal English language schools. We have a severe capacity problem and family of ours who live 2 minutes from another local primary have been just told that they won't be able to get in so they don't know what to do.


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zolotiyeruki

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #89 on: April 17, 2015, 12:28:21 PM »

We keep back and forthing over homeschooling. Our oldest boy has some sensory processing issues and it seems like the school environment just isn't working well for him - he's nearly 7. The problem is a lack of 1) local resources and community to support homeschooling, 2) confidence in our abilities not to screw it all up, and 3) openings in the local schooling system, meaning if he wanted to go back into the system he would struggle. The schools are heavily overcrowded and people sit on huge waiting lists. It's quite a dilemma for us. Also we don't have much space where we are to give him the homeschooling experience we'd ideally like.

WRT the waiting lists--what are they for?  They can't be to get into the schools--is it to get into a preferred school?

No that's for normal English language schools. We have a severe capacity problem and family of ours who live 2 minutes from another local primary have been just told that they won't be able to get in so they don't know what to do.
Ah, I didnt realize you're not US-based.

Peanutty

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #90 on: April 17, 2015, 02:55:06 PM »
Our third is on the way in fall 2015, so I'm watching this thread with much interest!! We also have a 5yo daughter and 1.5yo son. We've worked really hard over the last ten years to develop a decent stash. Now I'm trying to get more creative to reduce our spending enough that I can ditch full-time office work, and the associated daycare and out-of-school care payments, and the daily commute and grind. I want to spend more time with my kids and my husband!!

Hvillian

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #91 on: April 17, 2015, 03:21:17 PM »
Glad to see this thread pop up again.  We have four under age seven, and it is good for sanity and perspective to see that others are both tired and finding ways to make it work. 

Redstone5

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #92 on: May 25, 2015, 10:01:52 AM »
This is a great thread.

We have three boys, 13, 7 and 3. The thing that's helped us the most is limiting extracurricular kid activities. They take swimming lessons and do sports at school, but hardly any other activities that would require driving anywhere on evenings or weekends. It's just too hard for me to pick our oldest up from sports in the evening when the 3 year old needs to be in bed (my husband works nights). Our boys spend most of their time playing in the neighbourhood with their friends and going to the library on their bikes.

andystkilda

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #93 on: January 19, 2016, 10:36:53 PM »
Our third is on the way in fall 2015, so I'm watching this thread with much interest!! We also have a 5yo daughter and 1.5yo son. We've worked really hard over the last ten years to develop a decent stash. Now I'm trying to get more creative to reduce our spending enough that I can ditch full-time office work, and the associated daycare and out-of-school care payments, and the daily commute and grind. I want to spend more time with my kids and my husband!!

We're the same - 2 kids, hoping to quit the rat-race soon so spend more time with the kids (more babies planned as well).

I would also suggest working on side-hustles that you can ramp up/down as needed once you quit your day jobs - if you need to supplement your stash income at any point.

Laurenji

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #94 on: February 02, 2016, 01:48:32 PM »
Yay! Glad to have found this thread. We only have one right now, but we definitely want 4 or 5 eventually. I really, really love the mustachian ideals and the idea of FI, but basically all the places I read about it, they describe situations with one kid at most, and I've had a hard time visualizing what saving so much with more kids would look like.

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #95 on: February 02, 2016, 05:20:36 PM »
Yay! Glad to have found this thread. We only have one right now, but we definitely want 4 or 5 eventually. I really, really love the mustachian ideals and the idea of FI, but basically all the places I read about it, they describe situations with one kid at most, and I've had a hard time visualizing what saving so much with more kids would look like.

Well, to be honest, it's a trade off.  Kids are definitely expensive, so you might change your mind about 4or 5 by the time you have one or two.

Laurenji

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #96 on: February 03, 2016, 08:42:40 AM »
Well, my commitment is kids first and then money, so I do understand that it's a tradeoff. I figure even if we don't end up being able to retire super early, I want to use Mustachian ideals to reduce the costs of a family and make sure we're on safe financial footing in the long run. But it might be easier for me since I'm just generally frugal by nature - I've never wanted a big house, and I'm the type of kid who saved up $300 by the time I was 12, so . . .

acroy

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2016, 09:32:20 AM »
GREAT THREAD!
Thanks for starting! Learning some stuff!! Didn’t know there were so many of us!

6 tax credits here. 10, 7, 5/5 (twins), 3, 10mo.  I am 38, DW 36.

It is a HOOT.
DW and I both from reasonably large families (9/6) and lots of experience with large families (up to 12 kids).
Large families vary in fiscal philosophy/responsibility just like everyone else. We know large families sucking on the government teat while lazy daddy plays WoW. And large families making $300k+/yr splashing out on big house, cars, vaca, etc.

We do it MMM-style; with a few exceptions.

Homeschool. Big commitment, small expense. No regrets thus far.

Food: After trying many systems, we don’t overthink this. Stock up every 3-4 weeks, staples only, little to no ‘packaged foods’. Bread freezes fine, 73% ground beef is under $3/lb and has billions of good calories (fat is GOOD!). Kroger points and 6% Amex card. Boom! Grocery bill is consistent at 600-700/mo.

House: 2,000sq ft, 3/2/2, paid $175k in 2009, 30yr 4%. Total utilities (gas/elec/water/sewer/trash) 200-300/mo. Triple bunk beds. Kicker is the big pool, provides endless hours of entertainment and good chores for the older kids. Dual-flush toilets!! Paid for themselves very quickly.

Clothing: minimal. Thrift stores. People give us endless clothes as well.

Work: FT as mid management. DW runs the house and works PT ($2k/yr) as fitness instructor, more a hobby than anything else.

Purchases: Every one is thought out. This is the big saver.

Clutter: Hate it. Stuff creeps in anyway. I go through the house every month and declutter. Charitable donations!

Cars: non-Mustachian bad habit. 3 nice late-model cars. 1 family van, 2 toys. Not many miles…. I just love ‘em, more than some of my kids…. I jest.

Vacations: cheap camping and VRBO. We visit fam/friends and tent camp in their yards, kid you not. Haha! 1-2 times a year we splash out on a week somewhere through VRBO

Kid management: simple, discipline, consistence. A challenge for everyone. But we do NOT have ‘terrible twos’ etc. We’ll see what happens when puberty hits!

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.

Our finance: we live on 35-50k/yr (good year/bad year). Savings rate 50-75%. NW about $650k now. Aiming for 1.5-2M. Annual review. Long term: Hawaii-bound.

GOOD LUCK ALL!!

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #98 on: February 03, 2016, 11:20:46 AM »
6 tax credits here. 10, 7, 5/5 (twins), 3, 10mo.  I am 38, DW 36.

It is a HOOT.
DW and I both from reasonably large families (9/6) and lots of experience with large families (up to 12 kids).
Large families vary in fiscal philosophy/responsibility just like everyone else. We know large families sucking on the government teat while lazy daddy plays WoW. And large families making $300k+/yr splashing out on big house, cars, vaca, etc.

We do it MMM-style; with a few exceptions.

Homeschool. Big commitment, small expense. No regrets thus far.

Food: After trying many systems, we don’t overthink this. Stock up every 3-4 weeks, staples only, little to no ‘packaged foods’. Bread freezes fine, 73% ground beef is under $3/lb and has billions of good calories (fat is GOOD!). Kroger points and 6% Amex card. Boom! Grocery bill is consistent at 600-700/mo.
...
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.

Wow, we're in very similar situations!  We've got 6 as well (oldest is 11, youngest is 1), homeschool, very little spent on clothes, just a few years younger than you guys.  Although our grocery budget is significantly higher ($900-$1k/mo), our overall spending is similar.  All 4 of our boys are in one bedroom, in two sets of bunks.

Can you share more details about your performance-based allowance system?  Our kids are still figuring out how money works, and I'm always interested in hearing how others handle it.

MoonShadow

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Re: Larger Family Forum-how are you doing it ? 3+ kids
« Reply #99 on: February 03, 2016, 11:59:03 AM »
We have 5 & homeschool as well.  I see a pattern.