People With Kids Are Broke!?!

by Kristina on April 4, 2011 · 9 comments

baby bagThis past week my boss told me that he is about to have another child.  After this child is born he will have 3 children, all under the age of 6.

I couldn’t help but think that his life is my biggest nightmare. I am only 2 years younger than him and I can’t imagine having to feed, clothe, take care of and provide shelter for 3 other people.  Maybe I am selfish, maybe I am a coward, or maybe I just don’t want to have children because of the financial cost.

I went on a coffee break with another woman in my office who is also my age; she has a 3 year old daughter named Mandy.  I offered to pay for her coffee, which I feel was a nice gesture on my part. However, my reasoning was less than polite. While offering to pay for my co-workers coffee I said “I can pay for your coffee because I don’t have a mortgage on a house in the suburbs and a child to feed.” I definitely did not mean to offend her, and I don’t think that I did.  But for some reason, I can’t stop thinking about my comment and her reaction.  She replied “Just because I have a kid doesn’t mean that I am poor.”

I started thinking about her reply and why I always assume that people with kids are broke.  I guess it is because people who have children have all kinds of additional expenses that we as DINKS do not have.  DINKS don’t pay for ballet classes, we don’t have to buy sports equipment, and we don’t have to save for college tuition.

When I reflect on my childhood I still don’t quite understand how my parents could afford to have two young children when they were still so young themselves.  My sister Tara Marie and I were not deprived children by any means.  I grew up in a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom house with a pool and a big back yard. We had 2 cars, 2 kids, and a dog named Sasha.  Tara Marie and I are both University educated.

Every year we took at least one family vacation, and we always had every new toy on the market.  We actually had a toy room that was full of Easy Bake Ovens, Books, Play-Dough, and a Barbie Dream House.  Both Tara Marie and I were in Girl Guides, and every year we went to Summer Camp.  Both of my parents worked, but I can’t imagine how they could afford all of that while each of them was earning $40,000 to $50,000 per year.

DINKS don’t have kids, and we aren’t budgeting for, or planning to have children.  As a DINK I budget to spend some of my money on myself, and I plan to save the rest.  I don’t even want to think about the cost of having and raising a child.  If you got pregnant, and were expecting an unplanned child what would you do?

Since I turned 30 last October, I have been thinking about having a child.  As mentioned several times before, I don’t see myself as a mother but I don’t want to regret not having a child later in life.  If by some miracle I did get pregnant I am not sure what I would do.  On one hand, I would have to think that a force stronger than Nick and I wanted us to have a child.  But on the other hand, I wouldn’t want to raise an unwanted child.

(Photo by Snaptotes)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Danielle @ HealthyWealthyWahm April 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

If i got pregnant today I would be over the moon. It’s not the “perfect” time but if it happened that would mean that it’s the right time no matter what my plans are.


2 Jessica O. April 4, 2011 at 11:04 am

Interesting post! My husband and I are DINKS, well, sort of.

He’s got two children from a previous marriage. He and his ex-wife both make around 35k+/- per year. He sends her $1200 per month in child support for two kids. So, according to the GA court system, kids ARE expensive. In fact, according to the law, they cost at LEAST $2400 per month to raise.

Let’s not forget the 50/50 split ADDITIONAL cost on ballet classes, soccer practices, art classes, etc. and medical insurance.

If my husband weren’t married to me, he’d be living in a cardboard box.

So, kids are expensive. That’s why I won’t be having any .I’m 30 years old.

3 Shannon April 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Kids are expensive, I won’t lie. Especially in the begining with the diapers and formula (if you go that route) day care etc. It’s EASILY an additional 15k a year. (that’s with day care costs) What you don’t see is that most parents have their lives completely change because of the kid, in ways that they really are ok with. You don’t eat out as much, because it’s a real pain in the butt to take a young kid …well anywhere, but especially to a nice resturant. You aren’t pining after a new car/laptop/cell phone because honestly you don’t have the time or energy to CARE anymore about the newest gadget. You aren’t going out for after work drinks with your buddy, because your spouse will kill you if you leave them to fend for themselves with a teething 5 month old for one more nanosecod. LOL Your thought processes change. You really truly don’t WANT to do that stuff anymore, at least not at the frequency rate that you do now. It’s weird…and most folks really don’t get how they won’t miss their old life sooooo much once they actually have a kid. I mean sure, every parent has a moment (or 1000) where they would much rather be drinking wine on someone’s patio then change yet another diaper. But most of the time, they wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I think it’s perfectly ok to be afraid, or contemptuous of that change. Why should you change? Life is good the way it is now, right? On the other hand…having a little one that thinks you are the bees knees is pretty awesome. It’s just awesome in a different way than you are awesome without kids. Neither is “right” or “wrong” It’s just, it’s not solely about the money, and parenting can change you in ways that you really can not anticipate. I’d much rather my 4 year old have a cute dress for Easter with matching hair bows then for me to get an iphone. WHO KNEW? LOL I sure didn’t think it would be that way 6 years ago!

4 Wade April 4, 2011 at 3:13 pm

My wife and I are a pair of DINKS, as well. I am 30 and hoping to keep it that way. I enjoy my life, and I enjoy taking trips. Unlike you, when I was younger all my parents could afford for trips were to an amusement park that was an hour and a half away. They did not have a chance to go on vacation and sight-see and that is what I find I enjoy most. I also know that I do not get the newest gadgets, but I still do not think that I want to $15k per year per child or more. In fact, I earned a Master’s degree and my parents did not spend a dime on it and I do not think they could have afforded college for four kids.

5 Migdalia April 4, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I dont know if everyone is broke but certainly I have several work colleagues/friends earning as much as I am but often complaining about they cant make ends meet even when they have spouses supporting them with another income. I also know that a lot of people with no children have money issues but I have seen it more in people with kids, paying for food, school supplies, clothing, etc, for 1, 2, or X more, although doesnot make all of the poor, certainly let them with much less to pay for frivolous things than DINKS.

6 Kristina April 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I think that if I got pregnant I would deal with it, because it means that some higher power wanted me to get pregnant more than I didn’t want to. There are definitely additional costs to having kids, but maybe that is just money that us DINKS would have spent on something else. Mothers and Fathers choose to spend it on their kids. I don’t think that kids can be the cause of money mismanagement, if someone is not good with managing their money, they will have money problems with or without kids.

7 Donna Freedman April 8, 2011 at 12:06 am

If you aren’t sure, don’t do it — otherwise, you might end up regretting that you DID have a child.
Explore why you don’t see yourself as a mother, with a therapist maybe. Do NOT ask your friends who have kids. Generally, that’s like asking the barber if you need a haircut.
And I say this as a mother who happened to get pregnant and 20 and decide to keep the baby. She is the best thing that ever happened to me. But that doesn’t mean everyone needs to be a parent.

8 Hilary April 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm

My husband and I got married two years ago. We have discussed the issue thoroughly (both before and after marriage), and we decided that having children is just not for us. We both know many successful, happy couples who chose not to have children. Then we look at couples the same age who had/have children, and that’s just not the life we want.

Also, I would never have a child just because I think I might “regret” not having one. I know that adoption is always an option if I happen to change my mind when I’m older, and yes, it is OK to adopt a child who is not a baby, and no, I don’t see a difference between having “your own” and adopting – I was five when I was adopted, and I know who my real parents are. :)

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