Are You Financially Ready For Kids?

laughing baby playing with motherChildren. They are miracles, they are blessings and something else that they are is very expensive. According to an article that was published on Investment News last June, it costs approximately $235,000 to raise a child and that’s not even counting their college tuition!

So, if you’re someone who is contemplating having a child, it is definitely a responsible question to ask yourself “Am I financially ready to have kids?” Before you answer, here are five other questions to ponder that will help to provide you with the clarity that you seek:

How Much Debt Do I Have? 

If you’re already barely living from check to check, your credit rating is really low and you don’t have a lot of money in your checking on savings account, you may want to wait before having a child. With a baby, there is always going to be a financial need and so it’s best to be as financially stable as possible so that you will not be stressed out. Therefore, consider taking out a year to knock-out debt before getting off of the birth control.

How Secure Is My Job? 

When you’re single or it’s just you and your spouse, although there is still a desire for job security, it’s easier to find ways to hustle to make ends meet when you’re just dealing with adults. However, when a child is in the picture, you’ve got to have steady income. Besides, if times get hard and you do need to work 2-3 part-time jobs, you can pull that off much easier when you don’t have to figure out babysitting and day care fees.

Do I Have Health Care Insurance? 

Although there is an overwhelming amount of people in America who live without health care, there’s simply no way around the fact that a child is going to need to see their pediatrician on a regular basis and that there are going to be times when they’ll be under the weather. If your job doesn’t provide health insurance and you can’t afford to take out your own policy, this is another reason to wait before trying to conceive (or adopt).

What’s My Living Situation? 

Do you live in a studio apartment or a one-bedroom place because that’s currently what your budget can afford? If so, that’s cool but what happens when a baby comes and he or she needs their own room and space? If you’re barely able to keep a roof over your head, that is just one more reason to be a baby on “pause”.

Can You Afford Child Care? 

If you’re in a position where you or your spouse can stay home and raise a baby on a full-time basis, then you probably had no need for this article to begin with. For the rest of us who rely on two-income household to keep everything running smoothly, day care is not cheap. You can actually expect to pay somewhere between $800-2,000 a month for a reliable one. If you have no clue where you’d be able to get that kind of money, yep, that’s one more reason to wait; not forever, just until you get on more solid financial footing. It’s OK to do that. Remember, good things come to those who wait (and prepare), anyway.

 So, how did you prepare for children or how are you preparing? 


Are You Financially Ready For Kids? — 29 Comments

  1. These are all good things to think about! We waited until we were more financially secure to have kids and I’m so glad we did. There are enough things to worry about when you have kids without haveing to worry about money.

  2. Or you could be like me and just a girl pregnant in highschool, drop out, and hope everything somehow works out. Lol, it was very rough road actually, and if I had given it a thought at all, this advice would’ve been the stuff to pay attention to.

  3. These are good things to think about, but if a person really wants kids, you don’t want to put it off too long. As young as you might feel, you body’s reproductive system has an expiration date – as I’m learning the hard way.

  4. Great post! I think it’s absolutely critical to consider finances before planning/starting a family (whenever possible–I understand surprises happen!). You shouldn’t wait forever, but you should clean up any financial mess you have ASAP and start to build a stable future for your family.

  5. I really, really, really wish more people would ask themselves these questions prior to having kids. So many people seem to think that it’s a right to have a kid, but not necessarily a right of the kid to have a good home environment. I’m not saying you have to be rich to have kids, but you should be comfortable putting food on the table, a roof over their head and clothes on their backs.

  6. It’s important to think about but there is never going to be a perfect time. You don’t want to wait too long or it might be too late.

  7. Certainly kids are expensive – even when they have left home! And here in the UK the government under its ‘austerity’ programme is hitting families and low earners hard (if you are rich already it cuts your taxes instead).

    So you can wait – that’s the best policy. A steady income, prepared to settle down for 20 years or so, etc etc.

    But kids have a habit of, well, just arriving! And prospective parents have a habit of, well, getting older. That biological clock ticks away tick, tock, tick, tock. Women know.

    Eventually some people say – hell let’s just do it and somehow we will get by. And they often do.

    Because the most important thing is that the kids are wanted and feel wanted. Even if the parents struggle.

    But your points are well made.

    • I agree. As long as a kid is wanted, loved and cared for things will work themselves out regardless of other things. It isn’t an easy question and it is different for everyone. All I wanted to do is to get people to make an informed decision about having kids.

  8. Well thankfully I’ve never wanted kids, which is good because I can hardly take care of myself at this moment. Perhaps if I had a husband with a more stable, better paying job than myself. I have a whole new respect for single parents. It’s must be so hard!

  9. One thing that defiantly I have to say is that I have a great in house babysitter for my kids which means I don’t have to deal with the high cost of daycare. However, the cost of health insurance is nearly unbearable. It definatly helps to have some extra money in your saving account to pay for these extra bills. My son just had tubes put in his ears and it ran us almost $3500 but all depends on the type of insurance you have.

  10. I agree that children are expensive, but I think that $235,000 figure is misleading. That number takes into account the child’s portion of the housing cost and the purchase of a “family friendly” vehicle etc. However, if you already have a house and a family friendly vehicle before kids come along… there is no extra expense associated with that. If you think about it… that 235k spread over 18 years amounts to more than $1,000 per month (per child)!

  11. We are good on all of these points except for the last one… Our income is much lower than I would like if were were to have a kid (though stable) – low enough that we would qualify for subsidized daycare, so I’m not sure exactly how much we would pay. We’re going to wait until we have our post-graduate jobs and maybe even a house.

  12. As far as American insurance goes, I agree with you. BUT, if you already have kids know that there are options available so your children are covered, even if you aren’t! Medicaid covers children from low-income households and covers so, so much. A lot of states even cover kids above the poverty line. Then for more middle-income people there’s CHIP. Not the same coverage as medicaid, but sure as heck better than nothing.

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