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?'s about cost of child

Posted by Kristie_WI (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 5, 02 at 3:45

Hi

My DH and I are trying to concieve right now for our first child. Last night we were discussing costs and I wondered how am I going to afford a child. Right now both of us are pretty much living paycheck to paycheck with little left over. We both need to work so that means I will eventually need day care (once I go back to work). Alot of the baby furnature I already have, as well as knowing I would get things from a baby shower that was needed for the baby (so not much expense) - I figure I would breastfeed if I could (and have formula costs) and maybe diapers being the biggest cost in the beginning. Does that sound about right?

Is there anyone else here who basically lived paycheck to paycheck and how did you handle things?

I am really worried but also want to believe things will work out for the best (and know daycare would be my biggest expense and I know no one in this town so I would have to find a babysitter and somehow afford it.

Thanks alot
Kristie


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: ?'s about cost of child

I can tell you this. I started out breast feeding, a pump is about 100.00. You will need to pump if you go back to work. You breast feed more often than formula feed in the beginning. You also go thru a few more diapers in the beginning than formula fed babies. Diapers run about 10 -12.00 a week, if you buy the mega packs (they last about 2 weeks). I have found some generic diapers that work well, but I use huggies. I also get coupons in the mail. Walmart is the cheapest around here. Feeding time gets expensive with baby food around 6 months, they waste alot. I switched to formula at 3months. It ran about 16.00 a week using the cans of dry and mixing it. Premixed is the most expensive, but the most convenient. Baby supplies like bottles,infant tylenol, motrin, diaper rash cream, clothes, shoes, coats, etc. can be costly, so go with the generic brands, but we probably spent 300-500.00 the first year. Day care. The going rate for daycare here (Md) is 125.00 a week. So figure on paying this for 2 years, until they are considered a toddler. Then it's 110.00 a week. I have 2 kids, 3 and 18 months. I pay 450.00 for pre-school and 575.00 for day care a month for both kids (about 1000.00 a month). That's not including special food for toddlers, they don't always eat what we eat. Pull-ups are even more expensive than diapers, but, you will be done with them by 3 yrs or so. I hope this helps. I set up an account before I had my kids because my maternity leave wasn't paid for by my employer. I took 12 weeks and was only paid for 4 weeks of it with sick leave and annual leave. That means no paycheck for 2 months. I put away 3000.00 just for my needs and baby needs (clothing doesn't fit after baby).
Good luck.
Jainie


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Don`t trust that everything will work out for the best..Just because you want a baby, doesn`t mean that you can afford it..There are expenses that you haven`t dreamed of..It is not fair to bring a baby into the world when you can`t give it what it needs..There are too many poor ones out there now. You can`t depend on anyone but yourself to take care of it. Work two jobs if you have to, until you have some savings put aside for hard times, because they are coming, believe me..You will think of these times as the "good ole days".. Make the right decision....wait.. good luck


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Thank you Jainie for your advice.

Pepperjack, I can not wait - I have other medical conditions that make it almost impossible to wait. We need to start our family now if at all. I know the most important thing a child needs is love, and it will have that. I know we dont have money to give our child anything it wants - but not many people do. I know my biggest problem will be daycare costs, everything else I think we will be okay with.

Kristie


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Check with your state agencies like the Department of health for daycare assistance. A lot of daycares around here accept "vouchers" which are part of the state program. I would assume this program would have assistance based on income. The income level may not need to be very low.


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RE: ?'s about cost of child

If you have medical conditions that make it necessary for you to have a child now, how are you going to handle a baby if your condition gets worse? Or what will you do if you can't work? Having a baby can be expensive. But raising a child is even more so.

Cloth diapers will save you a lot of money. You don't have to use disposibles.


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move west to minnesota lol!! the help you can get here is unreal. i know people that live on less than 1000 a month and have no problems affording their kids. I am sure you have heard of WIC and MA? i would think you qualify if you are living paycheck to paycheck. the income guidelines for WIC for 2 people with the woman pregnant is 26,178, and for MA is 39,624- in most states. with WIC you will get a bunch of food for you, then when the baby comes you will get your formula free if you dont breastfeed, and all the babys cereal and juice. With MA, ALL your medical expenses will be covered and then the baby is automatically covered for 2 years after that.(MN anyway) Also there are daycare assitance programs where they pay all or part of your daycare. remember also, all daycare expenses are tax deductible and also your child will be a tax deduction. as far as diapers go to all the websites and register for free coupons. i use Pampers and have never paid full price for them- i always have a 2 dollar coupon. Mysister has 3 kids and makes 6.50 an hour and provides for her kids just fine. you can do it- you just might have to sacrifice a few things.


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I know what Kristie's medical condition is because we e-mail each other ferquently. She has a problem that makes it hard for her to concieve a baby and the longer she waits, the harder it will get to happen. She's really wanting to start her family now and has been married for a few years and has a house and I believe more than some of us had when we started having kids.

Living paycheck to paycheck doesn't necessarily mean you WILL qualify for anything. Some people make $100,000 a year and just spend more money then they can afford and live pay check to pay check and are in debt.

~Leslie~


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Thanks Leslie for jumping in there again - LOL

Everything she said is correct - but let me get one thing straight, my DH and I make no where NEAR 100,000 a year, probably half that!! LOL - I do not think we will/would qualify for any aid though either!


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Kristie,
My heart goes out to you and your worries. My DH and I went through infertility for years,surgery, and more shots than I want to remember. The Lord blessed us with a special little girl two years ago. Because of all we went through we decided I would stay home until our DD started school. Things have been hard at times, especially recently when my DH was layed off. One thing I learned is ONLY buy what you NEED. Don't buy comfort or impulse items. When I shop,,grocery/department, before I go to the check out I check my items before I purchase and see if EVERYTHING in the cart is NEED, and not a WANT. I shop at the lowest rate grocery stores (still quality food). I buy almost all store brands -- 95 %. I actually took time (and it did take time) to keep a log of most often bought items,,,food and other i.e. toilet paper, kleenex,,etc. I then went to the stores I most commony shopped at and wrote down the prices for each item according to each store. Now when one store has an item for sale I check my log and see if it's cheaper than the other stores and if so I buy enough to last me until the next sale. That's the tricky part, you have to check your stores sale flyers and record when the stores have those items on sale.
Okay now I'm sure most of you think I am crazy because it does take time and patience. It's not something you can do in a day, or week but more like a month. It's a lot of detail work but it has really saved me a lot of money. We have been living on 35,000 a year and we live in St. Louis, Missori.
Kristie,,,,,I understand you say you are living paycheck by paycheck but I agree with others have said. Things happen, unexpected costs come up and you need extra money. I TOTALLY understand the desire to want to have a child. We had almost given up hope with my infertility and my advancing age,,I am now 39. I know that doesn't sound old to some but when you are fighting infertility every DAY counts.
There is a good book out called "The Tightwad Gazette". I read that and got a lot of good ideas. And no I didn't buy it but checked it out at the library.
As far as the costs of baby food I saved money buy fixing it myself. I steamed the vegetables and then pureed it in a blender and that's what my daughter ate until she could eat table food.
I have more ideas of saving money but not enough room to type. If you want more information feel free to email me. I have learned a lot these past two years and am still learning.
Good Luck Sherri


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Hi Sherri - I can't find your address listed to Email you?

Kristie


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Kristie,
I was using the $100,000 as an example to get the point across! LOL We don't make anywhere near that either!! Ir we did, I would feel so rich! The best part I've learned is that I've grown to appreciate money more than I would have. Now $20 is something~it's not "just $20 oh, well let's blow it!" I'm glad we had to start out small and work our way up. It's taught me a lot and I truly feel blessed when I look around our house and see what we have now becauase most of it we didn't have just a year or two or three ago.If you truly want that baby, Kristie, you will find a way to make it. You'll struggle but suddenly the baby is more importnant then yourself and you see things you thought you HAD to have before, you don't need

There are daycares and sitters that have lower fees than others in our area. Look around yours. If you want to know the truth, at the low point we were living off 1 income (still are) and Jer's bring home was about $300! We have an older car and rented from a place that did the rent based on your income. Other than that we had Medical Assistance and Wic and that was it. Now Jer's been at that place longer and makes more and we live in my fathers old trailer for about the same as we were renting the townhouse for but have an extra bedroom and 1/2 bath and a yard for ourselves! We still have the older car and plan to buy a second with the income tax return we get. This is the time of year we actually get to spend and we buy the things we can't during the year~last year it was the computer. Oh, and we've found that layaways are great! You may not be able to pay $200 or $300 up front but those payments make it nice!

~Leslie~


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Here is another thought. If you wanted to stay home, you could start a daycare. While you are trying to concieve, you could get your training and a license. Because daycare is so expensive, use it to your advantage. My daycare mom did. A week she gets 125.00 for my daughter, 80.00 for a before and after school school who is 10 (also on holidays and snow days), 100.00 for a 3 yr. old boy, 100 for a girl that also goes to pre-school. Thats 405.00 a week (minus taxes). Most of the day, she only has 3 kids there, her son plus the 2 toddlers. She could have more, but she only takes what she can handle.
It's a thought. I know what you mean about having problems, I have endometriosis and was very lucky to have mine, that's why I had my second right away, I knew my chances were better then. Also remember this. When you have kids, the expenses that you used to spend on yourself go down because you don't go out as much and stuff like that. You can make changes in your life style that help you be more thrifty. I quit smoking while trying to concieve and haven't smoked since, that was a huge saving. When I was pregnant, going out and spending money wasn't as important. I cooked alot at home, I canned, I looked for bargains. If there is a will, there is a way.
Jainie


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We lucked out and inherited lots of things from twin nieces. But we had a boy so he can only wear about half the stuff. The main first years expenses are diapers and formula. We calculated formula to be about $3 a day, not sure on diapers. We buy everything at Sam's Club.

The biggest expense for us was loss of income because my wife quit working so much. She was working as a day bartender at a restaurant. She worked until the last month of pregnancy. Now she works about three shifts a week. 2 night and one day (my mother watches the baby). She had previously only worked 5 shifts. She was out of work about 2 months for the baby. But we had saved up. I have a 9-5 job, so I got a part-time job for the middle 4 months of her pregnancy. Drove pizza, made fast money, put wear and tear on my car. But the hours were short, 5:30-10:00 and I did it 3 nights a week (Sunday, Wednesday, Friday). It was good training for the exhaustion of having a new born in the house. Money from this really helped out. Also, my health insuance was excellent (Cigna HMO), $50 for the whole birth and pregnancy.

IMHO if you wait to have children until you have money you may never do it. It is hard to say you have anough money. I think you can actually have a baby on very little money. I grew up in a single parent household with out much money. But we turned out OK.


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Have kids and live paycheck to paycheck -- isn't that the American way ; )

Here's some of the stuff we've done to keep costs down --
cloth diaper
breastfeed
make baby food
buy used
take hand me downs

also -- check out the avent isis pump --it's about $50, and rated just as good as electric varieties.


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hi there, sounds like you might have the same condition that caused me and my dh to hurry up a little on starting our family as well. and as for having enouph money you will never be able to afford kids becuase the more money that you do have the more you will spend. but some of the things that we did to cut costs was take every kind of hand me down that we could, as well as getting to know my local second hand shops. i found that generic disposables were cheaper than cloth becuase your'e not buying the cleaners and your water bill is not going through the roof washing diapers all the time. i used the generic brand formula wich was about half the cost. as well i wound up quitting work because by the time we sat down and figured out daycare, gas, clothes and parking i was accually not bringing any money home i was only paying out. and i found that this gave me more time to do cost effective things. as well making your own baby food will save you a bundle and its not as hard as you think at all. and sometimes you just have to make a few personall sacrifices like not getting your hair done, i had to stop having beautifull manicured nails all the time :( and we don't drive brand new cars and i cook, but i wouldn't trade any of it for the world. youll figure it out, we did. GOOD LUCK

nadine


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Hi Kristie,

You should be commended for considering these things even before you are pregnant. Sounds like you will be a great parent.

I think you may want to change your focus though. Instead of thinking about the "cost of a child", think about "the cost TO the child" of putting your baby in daycare.

Society has been almost brainwashed to believe that daycare for babies is a wonderful thing--even better than having a parent raise them. All kinds of studies show how daycare kids learn sharing, taking turns and their abc's and 123's even faster than children raised at home.

No one wants to hear that many of these studies are seriously flawed--for example they include impoverished, drug-addicted or alcoholic single mothers or abusive mothers, cases where of course daycare would be better for the child. Studies that show daycare is not good for children from "normal" families are shunned by the media--because that's not what their readers want to hear.

But you can see the problem with daycare for babies yourself. Babies need 1 to 2 people to bond to. In daycare situations, these kids compete among 5 to 10 other kids in their attempt to "bond" with a daycare worker who is paid minimum wage to "bond" with said child, and has a 33% chance of leaving the position within a year (in Canada, the annual turn-over rate for daycare workers is 33%). If any any daycare worker ever tells you, I love your child as if he/she were my own, try saying, great, then I don't have to pay you anymore. Watch the results.

The bottom line is that YOU are the best care giver for your pre-school child. No one else will be able to love, understand, and teach your child the way you can.

You say you live from paycheque to paycheque, but there are ways around that. One of you can work days while the other works evenings. Or, you can just cut waaay back. Live in a cheap apartment or townhouse, make your own meals and entertainment, etc. Or, take out a loan or borrow from friends and relatives until your child is school-age. People often take out loans and borrow and live on a shoe-string when they're going to college--why not when you have a kid. Is that not an equally important investment in the future? Or, start a home business. Daycare is one, and you'll see no matter how fond you are of the children you care for, isn't doesn't compare to a parent's love. It's only for five years. Once your child starts school, you can both work.

I have read countless articles in parenting magazines about "how to stop your baby from crying when you drop them off at the sitter's." Never has an article mentioned that maybe babies cry because they don't WANT to be at the sitter's, they want to be with their parents. And they do eventually stop crying because they have resigned themselves to the situation--not because they are happy with it--but because if you do it enough times they realize crying for their mommy will not help.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now. But if you want a baby, make yourself available to raise that baby. Don't miss his or her first steps, first words, first loves--milestones your baby will want to share with YOU and not a paid worker. You can make it work if you really want it to.


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Kristie,

If you need/want to use daycare don't let anyone make you feel bad for that choice. There are arguments on both sides, for and against daycare. I was raised with a stay at home mom, whereas my husband was in daycare. We are both extremely well adjusted adults and neither of us look back at our childhood as bad or traumatic. Initially, I was leary of daycare for our DD, but have found it to be a positive experience. She gets lots of good social interaction with other kids, and they do so many neat activities that she really loves. Just because someone is a SAHM does not mean that they are a better parent. Quantity of time does not mean the same as quality of time. My sister decided to be a SAHM and found that her son was bored out of his gourd and once he started daycare he loved it. There are some negatives to daycare, such as exposure to more germs with more kids, but if they don't get sick early and build up immunities, it will happen once they are around other kids in school. Then they will be missing school. Another downside is less personal attention, but that is not as big of an issue as it is sometimes made out to be. We have never had an issue at our daycare of our daughter's needs not being met, or her being unhappy.

I guess with all that rambling, I am saying do what you need/want to do, and ignore anyone who tells you their way is the only way, and to do so otherwise makes you a bad mother.


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I'm w/ Karla (though I do thing quantity of time is a great thing). Though if you can't get a good daycare, then do think about the cost to you child.

My kids have both been in daycare from 3 months old, and they got 2 to 3 people to bond with (some months, 4), not counting me! I was lucky, and my daycare for them, esp. as babies, was PHENOMENAL. But it's out there.

You might give some serious though to how to make money at home, though, or how to save money--and now is the time to do that thinking. I know what it's like to NEED that income, though, and you are the only one who knows that the set expenses are, and the income. Cheers to you for facing those decisions.


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Another thought on daycare.

I am a SAHM, and while I think it's the best choice in my situation, I realise that other families have to make hard choices about childcare. I am lucky.

I really haven't seen anyone address the fact that for many people daycare might not make financial sense. Many people think that they both need to work to make ends meet. To make the decision you should add up what daycare will cost you, what disposable diapers and formula(or pumping)will run you because cloth and breast feeding are both usually no longer an option. Add to that the added expenses that come with working. If you work you need to figure in possibly dress clothes/suits, hosiery, toiletries that as a SAHM tend to become luxuries of the past, transportation to and from work/gas expenses/car insurance is more the farther you commute, possible lunch expenses etc...

Many people don't add up EVERYTHING! In the end you can be spending more than what you bring in. You really need to look at all the numbers. This is typical in a lopsided income situation. One may have a decent paying job and the spouse gets a minimum wage because they can't make end meet. Usually the second jobs income ends up being cancelled out by extra expenses.

Some exceptions I know are ones where both parents have high incomes, or the jobs don't pay as well but the medical benefits are necessary.

A side note on living paycheck to paycheck...I don't know your personal situation, but a trap to be wary of getting a job just to keep you from living paycheck to paycheck, without looking hard at what you are spending. People tend to be sucked into the idea that they have more income now that there is two incomes. Unfortunately for many, their expenses increase to match the two incomes because they are under the false assumption that they now have more money to work with.

A healthier approach is to work on focusing on and limiting what $ is going out, rather than focusing so much on trying to bring more in. Keep an expense journal. Write down EXACTLY what is spent on what, and no cheating. That .45 candy bar should get written down. Break down your grocery bill into necessities/luxuries. Bread and milk are necessities. Magazines, candy, snacks, soda, flowers are not. I think a lot people who do this are actually shocked by how much disposable income they really have. Once you are aware of where it all goes, make some sacrifices and THEN look at how you can bring more in.

Of course there are people who are doing everything they can and are struggling to get by. My thoughts are directed more to people who really aren't sure where the money is going, and just can't seem to make it stretch.

Oh, and I wish you the best. It can be really tough.:^)

Lynn


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Well I would pretty much say that around $550 a month or possibly $600, with child care would be an estimate of how much it would cost with child care and both of you working to afford a baby.
This is not considering if you have a mother or someone that will give you a discount on childcare.
You might consider changing your Lifestyle if possible. I not knowing what you consider essential for yourself.

Ways to cut back:
1. Trade any expensive vehicle in for less expensive ones reducing your car note. Just make sure the vehicile runs
well.
2. If you are paying quite a bit for meals out, you will have to get use to items like Hamburger helper, salad, and homecooking
3. If you enjoy going to the movies, rent some occasionally for the VCR, Also if you are going to rock, jazz, country or whatever your music type is you love-those concerts are now out.
4. Buying CD's are a thing of the past
5. Vacations might have to go for a while
6. Get use to the same furniture, curtains, knick knacks. Of coure the baby might do away with your knick kancks his/herself.
7. Consider spending some Saturday mornings before and after the baby is born looking through Yard and Garage sales for Baby clothes (you'd be surprised what you can buy and the child will outgrow the clothing so fast) and even look at a Thrift store. Not only for the child but yourself. I know a young mother who buys alot of her clothing to work at, at a Thrift store. She dresses well.
8. Become familiar with Discount and Dollar savings stores also for clothing for the child. Who cares if everything is name brand. They have some darling clothes.
9. Don't skimp on good diapers, and good child care, both are priceless in the long run.
10. Do your own nails, if you are having them done. And consider if you can get the same hair cut at another shop at a cheaper price.

I don't even know if some of these categories would include you. And you could always prepaint some furniture to look good in baby's room. Just make sure any lead paint on old furniture is removed before painting over this type of paint. Hope your Health insurance is really good! Small children in Daycares can stay sick alot. Start saving up vacation time for when you have to take off with a sick child.

Maybe you can, or maybe you can't afford a baby. Sometimes you would be surprised to learn that just maybe you can.


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somewhere (money-saving forum?) someone posted that she discovered that generic disposable diapers were actually cheaper than cloth. W/ cloth, she factored in the cost of water, electricity, and soap. Was an interesting perspective.

I agree with the posters who say you shouldn't wait until you can afford it; you'll never be able to afford it. And once the kid is here, you will find a way. You'll have to, right?


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I do think many time couples can afford a baby. They just might have to also sacrifice, on some things like I mentioned above. Problems can arise when the couple is not willing to cut back and sacrifice sometimes, or when they actually just can't afford a baby. I have seen a couple that just barely (with the help of the Mother's parents) scraped by with one baby finacially decide to have another -I just don't understand that.

Even though they could not afford it seemed the one child that they did have, they made plans and had a second child (?) of course the Grandparents again kicked in financially but not willingly. So money can be a factor in having a baby.

It may or may not can be done if the couple is willing to really budget themselves(if they are having problems money rise- but wouldn't if they cut back some un-neccesary spendings)
But I do think alot of thought, money wise,maturity wise,and age wise, should be given as to when one has a child.


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Wow! There is a lot of information here. Since this is one of the older topics, I assume that Kristie has already had or not had this baby. But having said that, a lot people probably feel the way she does, and can use the tips!

A lot of people have mentioned buying a more inexpensive car, THIS IS GREAT ADVICE! Your car insurance will probably go way down as well because the car isn't worth as much. We would have never been able to buy our own house if we had a bunch of car loans, luckily we had none. We buy inexpensive cars, and if a problem is too expensive to fix, we move onto the next car.

So many people are dying to get rid of their old baby clothes! Ask around, I've never bought my 3 year old a thing. Same with baby toys (swings, bouncy seats, etc) yard sales, friends, co-workers, everyone is looking to unload this stuff. It's amazing how great it can be if you wash it! Plus, your baby will never know the difference.

On the breast pump thing, you can also rent them (usually from hospitals).

It sounds like you definetly want to work, could you cut down to part time?

Good Luck!


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We did it in the middle of closing a business. It can be done but you have to be fully selfless when it comes to spending and saving! We are just getting to the point where we could potentially begin creating a large savings account again after 2 1/2 years and DH wants to start trying for a 2nd. Before I would have said there's no way that we can swing it but now I know that anything is possible if you work hard and stick to the priorities.
Budget, budget, budget!
Breast pump rental: $60
Breast Milk: free
Formula: $$$ but do not hesitate to call any company about anything if you are remotely disatisfied or even have a question! I got a whole case for free one time just because I had a question. Goes for diapers too.

I had a very hard time BF'ing, but did get 1 month down. This was even w/ the help of pediatrician and 2 private BF'ing consultants. Once we went on formula I was getting coupons left and right from the company I used. Combined w/ double coupon days and special member sales at grocery stores I was paying 1/2 the cost. In addition pediatrician moved us to regular milk at 9mo.

Diapers: even if you are satisfied w/ a company call and tell them! They will send you coupons! Very, very regularly!

We made our babyfood. What we ate he ate.

Salvation Army, Goodwill & Lifeline for clothes. Most expensive was $3 for a pair of pants. Shop out of season sales.

Subsidized care vouchers. Contact your local Child Care Resource & Referral service.

Federal Spending Account. If you have it use it! Not only could you potentially drop to a lower tax bracket but if you find that you can initially live w/o the first amount of money that is taken out it will seem like a revolving door: I have $171 taken out of my check bi-weekly & my company gives me an additional $20 in my FSA. My daycare is $152 per week. This has been a god send for us (we do not qualify for vouchers) because bi-weekly it's like getting an extar check in the mail.

Medical Spending Account: Again - pretax dollars to potentially lower your tax bracket. Use this to reimburse co-payments for office visits and meds.

Budget wisely w/ these - what you don't use you lose at athe end of the year.

DH works one night a week at a local convenience store. They clear all perishable items off of the shelves 7 days before the date. Rarely do I ever pay for milk & I give some to my neighbor in terms of 'child care payment' when she used to watch our son for free. He gets a 10% discount on everything else. He only works 3 hours per week there.

I work a part time job in addition to a full time job also. DH and I rotate nights.
We need our time together too so we have always put DS to bed at 7:30PM. Many people are quite envious of us! That means we get time w/ eachother everynight.


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I just found out this week that we can post anywhere in the forums again without having to pay....I was nadastimer back then.

A lot has changed and YES, Kristie did have a baby. I see her from time to time on another forum we moved to after things changed here.

So neat to go back and re-read my old posts! Gosh a LOT has changed since then!

~Leslie


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no one is ever ready for a baby if we were then there would be hardly any out there. My husband and I live paycheck to paycheck but that is are choice we spend alot on things that we could live with out. When I got pregnant with my first child, My husband made 7.50 and I made 8.00 an hr and we had a house payment etc. But we made it didnt have alot of money and had to cut back on some things but everything always works out you find a way to make it work. Now we have are second child, my husband makes 17.00hr and I make 15.00 hr. and It feels like we are in the same place we were when we made half that much. Trust me everything will work out. You will see that your child will be the most important thing in your life and its all that matters, they can take your house and everything else but they cant take away the love you will have for that child.


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RE: ?'s about cost of child

Kristie, I don't think it's a matter of money. (How would you feel to think that you are sitting here today merely because some hotshot on Wall St. decided to give the economy a jump one year?)

For rural families in farming and agriculture, it PAYS to have children. For families in the cities and suburbs, it COSTS. C'est la vie. You can't be led by your pocketbook. Otherwise, if finances stay tight, you and your husband may end your reproductive-potential years with your beloved children still backed up in time, unexpressed. But lest thou be overcome by schmaltz, there is another caution as well: is this h*ll of a tired old world something you want to bring them into? Wait a minute; that's schmaltz too.
Well, to sanitize the philosophical discussion in a way that it does not provoke too many unstable emotions, I will couch it this way: The world contains 6,050,000 individuals. And there are enough problems with that sheer number as it is. The poorest of the poor (or the dirt flo' po', as they say in some locales) have many children. Sometimes because they don't know how to prevent conception, and other times because they simply want to have many children. In India the people believe in karma and reincarnation, and thus believe that by bringing many children into the world they are facilitating extra lives for souls who have in past times departed. This is a religious belief, of course. IMHO, after 9/11 it is just too late in the history of our nation to try to have a baby. Our nation is going to go through more h*ll. No, I don't believe what the administration says, those cocky Texas-accented remarks of "coming back stronger than before". And I don't believe that the Soviet Union really fell, either. It's just playing dead, and then they will suckerpunch us with some type of attack.
However, before you call me a doom-'n'-gloomer and hit the back button, let me explain. Doom and gloom aren't the main point, just examples of things to take into consideration. When discussing the prospect of having children, balance is key. Balance practical logic, philosophy, and last of all, emotions. If you overdo practical logic, you will end up with dehumanizing, Communistic (I would have typed Naziesque but then I would have violated Godwin's Law), economic ways of thinking about people. If you overdo emotions (far more common), you will end up being led by your six/seven basic emotions to places totally irrational. Philosophy is the balance stick: your philosophy tells you where the right balance is between reason & emotions. Some disagree on where that balance is.
Couples often "protect" unexpressed children by holding them back during times of economic adversity or other undesirable things. Others feel that "existence precedes essence", and that the privilege of life itself is more valuable than anything money can buy. After all, would YOU kill yourself because you got a small paycheck? (This line of thought states that only a position holding life itself in supremacy is a balanced position.) Others want to have them as early as possible regardless, because they want to know their children while still young, and share more years of their lives with them. A couple who have a child at age 20 get to share 20 more years of their lives with that child than they would if they had the child at age 40.

Happy New Year, Kristie! And may the Year of the Dog be well filled with balance!


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RE: ?'s about cost of child

Hi... I didn't read all the responses here, but this is what I did..I have a 10 mo old and we don't make much money. First, I had a home birth... which I decided to do aside from the cost.. (it cost $1800 for all the midwifery services she provided from the time I got pregnant to the time I was finished with my 6wk post-natal check) My insurance paid for more than half of that cost, so I ended up paying less than $900 to have my baby.
Also, I'm not big on having my house cluttered with every last baby gadget and gizmo out there... afterall, your baby will want to play with you and not the latest and greatest toy out there. :)
Cloth diapers can save you money in the long run, but we buy disposables from Sam's Club for a pretty good price.
My mom watches the baby during the day for a minimal charge.. (which i kind of feel guilty about)...
I make my own baby food.... WAY cheaper... and I never use formula... breastfeeding is better for him anyway... pumping is super inconvient at work but it's so worth it.... make sure you get a good pump.. they can be pricey.. I just happen to be lucky enough to borrow someone's.. but I heard that you can get your doctor or midwife to write you a prescription for one and most insurances will cover it. This is essential if you plan on breastfeeding while going back to work.
My biggest word of advice is to try and think of a way to make money from home, which is what I'm trying to do. Everyone told me how hard it would be to leave the little guy but I didn't believe any of them until I had to go back to work... ughh...
Just remember... there isn't a lot a child really needs aside from his mother and father... sippy cups, toys, videos, formula... can all be eliminated if you put forth the time and effort. :)
Good luck... there is no greater joy than being a parent!


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RE: ?'s about cost of child

Amen to that last statement:

"There isn't a lot a child really needs aside from his mother and father...sippy cups, toys, videos, formula...can all be eliminated if you put forth the time and effort."

You just said it so succinctly.


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RE: ?'s about cost of child

Kristie-just wanted to wish you all the luck. DH and I went thru infertility issues, treatments,etc and were blessed 2 yrs ago with our DD. Because of all the expenses we had to go thru with IF I went back to work F.T. and DD is in an in-home daycare 3days a week and my MIL has her the other 2 days so it helps with our cost.
I remember years ago when DH and I 1st got married we told my MIL that we would wait a little bit to have enough $ to have a baby and she said that "if everyone waited to have a baby till they could afford it, no one would have any children"....SO TRUE! And everyone is right when they say that kids are expensive but they really don't need alot. Hand-me-down are the best!
Good Luck to you
Mary


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