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Old 2nd September 2018, 7:54 PM   #1
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Finances and Parenting

So I want to talk about money and parenting. It is not like this is a topic I have access to engaging with among the parents I know, who asks people about money, even their friends? Seems in bad taste. So, here I am, trying to talk about something I cannot really speak of in my real life.

How many parents here waited years until they saved a lot and were ready to have kids?
And second of all: how many of you who waited until the "correct" financial time (so X amount of savings), knew they had known fertility issues yet still waited?
How many of you had an accident and proceeded despite not being financially ready?
OR, conversely and this is a hard topic: how many of you had abortions due to not being financially ready for kids? And: did any of you have known fertility issues yet go ahead with the termination due to not having enough money and wishing to finish college/uni first?
And lastly, are there any women like me out there (or should I say: couples, as we are in it together) - that could not really afford kids (no savings and only one partner working an average to low paid job) yet proceeded to get pregnant and keep the pregnancy anyway?



Please select which category you fell under at the time of conception and birth, and I would love for you to share with me how it shaped you in parenting.

There is no need to read further on, only if you are bored and have extra time but the above are the factors I want people to consider and respond to. Read ahead for a story, and why I am asking the questions I have proposed to you all.

I ask because: I have pcos, I will need assisted conception to have kids (or else it will take about 10 years before m body "naturally" conceive) and therefore I do not believe in being on the pill or using condoms, given my age (31) and the fact there is a large chance I cannot even have children at all, AND the fact I am with my life partner we do not want to be much older than 41 when we have an active ten year old running around.

Despite not being financially ready, we figure that, we cannot in good conscience, "prevent" any miracles happening; all in all, assisted conception sets couples back many thousands of dollars and is heartbreaking to endure.. So a miracle baby conceived for FREE seems more financially sensible to us in the long run.

Have any of you former - low income parents just made it work with accidental pregnancies, and still managed to reach goals in life despite being poor at the time of your childs birth? One friend of mine has no money, got pregnant and her partner died.. she had the baby and is well looked after my her mum and family - and is studying nursing and will be able to provide her daughter a decent life as a nurse in Australia - imagine if she did not have her baby - the last link of her diseased partner? All for what, to prevent being broke for 3 years? In the grand scheme of things, I just do not see why a few years of hard work sat Uni/college to better yourself and eating baked beans in the mean time - is worse than an entire lifetime with out a child that either: you may never get the chance to conceive again, or is the only link to a dead partner..

In healthy couples with no fertility issues I do agree that postponing having children is the best option, but I also see that the minority of couples may find their best option towards living their best life - may involve having kids before they are financially "ready".

The second factor to consider here is: did those of you who had kids when you were poor have a solid plan of action already in place to get OUT of your bad financial situation? We do. We are in the midst of establishing ourselves career wise, after starting later in life due to wanting to travel and be hedonistic when young. I get good grades and am less than two years off from graduating a podiatry degree an my Fiance is in a great field with loads of jobs and will never be out of work - he is close to getting a job with a well paid company and he has done as such before, and is just waiting for his big break and his "forever job".

So it is not like we are useless, hapless bums with no talents. We are both clever in some areas and know our strengths, and are over half way towards working towards matching our potentials with a decent, secure, respectable job. Our kids would be comfortable and well looked after, able to afford the movies and sports and a good school - by the time they were 6 or so. Providing we both are fortunate enough to maintain our normal health status and have no issues crop up - there is no reason why a podiatrist and a truck driver in Australia cannot afford to provide a good life for up to two children

I would love to hear your stories about being poor with a baby and not allowing a baby to stop you from achieving financial freedom. I now know that "waiting" for the right time is not for me, due to my age. Screw waiting until age 35 to even start, which is when around the time when we will be "ready" financially with loads of savings. The way I see it is: being childless due to leaving it to late can never be reversed, while it is not too late to get a comfortable job; I see single mums in my degree and at my University all the time - turning their financial situation around with a three year degree.
To me, under 2 more years of being poor (there is a 100% employment rate for podiatry where I live) is a walk in the park, compared to a lifetime of childlessness (to a woman who years for kids, involuntary childlessness is ranked equal to having cancer or a physical illness according to reputable research).

I would love people to weigh in on this debate, my favourite lecturer at Uni waited. They waited too long. She is now 45 without kids. They were financially able to care for a child years beforehand, but the husband and friends urged them to save more, get a nice house, get secure jobs....
And now she is childless. Not by choice - everyone assumes she is a mother, she is just the type who is made to be a mum. It is heartbreaking for her, we have talked a lot about it and yeah, she even arrives at stages where she says " Leigh, I could just quit my job sometimes to work with little children, singing to them on the floor as a day care provider"

Please share how the status of your affairs during conception has impacted on your parenting to this present date.

Did being poor instil a new drive in you to fight extra hard so your kids could live well?

Or were some of you unable to ever better yourselves and remained poor for life, due to being poor delivery?
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Old 3rd September 2018, 12:46 AM   #2
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Please select which category you fell under at the time of conception and birth, and I would love for you to share with me how it shaped you in parenting.
Well, I had two chapters and they played out in very different ways.

First marriage, waited until we were 28 to have a child. Marriage was already on the rocks, separated when my son was young and I never learned - or prioritized - parenting until divorced with joint custody. Lots of regrets over my lack of involvement early on but I worked hard to make up for it after we split. I was flat broke after the divorce so the money I made went to providing for my son. We had a lot of happy times doing fun, free stuff.

Second marriage in my mid-30's, wife got pregnant on our honeymoon. We wanted kids so no big deal. The real challenge came when she "accidentally" got pregnant quickly again, now two kids 363 days apart plus my son. We'd long decided she'd stay home with the kids, so raising three children on one salary was a challenge. Again, we prioritized their needs and did fun, non-Disneyland stuff.

I began to make more money, she went back to work and we lived comfortably, the path was set with both younger kids in middle school and my oldest starting college. And then somehow, when I'm 47 (my wife is younger), pregnant again! Much discussion between us, though we never really considered not having the baby. My youngest son was born, wife stays home and and it's a financial scramble again. I feel I missed on some things at home because I really had to focus on my career, which included some travel. I've made a lot of money and we've lived well, but there's been trade-offs.

So while I wouldn't have a child were I receiving government assistance, in most other instances you find a way. If you don't define "ready" as Gucci onesies, Hawaii vacations and private schools, most resourceful parents figure out the finances. And me personally, I'd rather live life than spend too much time preparing to do the same.

Good luck with your plans, hope you get what you want...

Mr. Lucky
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Old 3rd September 2018, 5:41 AM   #3
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Well that sure makes for a very interesting story Mr Lucky!

How did your children enjoy having sibblings of such varying ages? It would sure have been a fun experience I am sure.

Do you believe that one can better themselves and increase their earning potential POST kids, if they are poor when they conceive? We aren't talking medical school or start ups or starting some business/opening restaurants/ investing money after years and years working 3 menial jobs to get there - I am talking about getting a mid range degree (like I am) that pays well enough to support a small family, that is not a too hard to get degree, and that you are at least half way complete pre kids. It just seems to manageable to me to just make it work even if we conceived NOW; our uni makes allowances for this and has belated exams and the like.

I mean, is life really over financially with all your chances of bettering your situation truly down the toilet after a baby?

I have an impetus to risk having children before I am ready only because I am not very fertile, I realise it is not ideal to go ahead and have kids you can barely support - I just know it will be transitional, and I DO believe that you CAN absolutely buy a house even AFTER you have kids! I mean, if you work hard in a decent job - the pair of you in the relationship - why not?

A lot of people purport that if you are renting before kids, you will 100% rent your entire life. I have not found this to always be true, I know loads of parents purchasing their first house well into their 30s, once the mother returns to work and they are able to collectively, save a deposit; alone, you need a 120K plus income to support an average family AND save for a house AND cater to emergencies, rent, and insurances....

Financially, my infertility seems good for us; later starters, good jobs by our mid to late 30s, so we will be able to catch up financially with the one child (as we are very unlikely to conceive more than one child with pcos, and if we did it would be later in life once we are comfortable!).

This is all a moot point as we will not spontaneously fall pregnant so I will get to wait until we save a nice 50K or so beforehand as well as being done with podiatry college and it will all be that "right time" that all the parents talk about. If we do ever have children at all that is.

I guess it doesn't hurt to ask around how other parents managed on a low income with a baby as we will never use birth control or protection so you just never know, however unlikely it is!
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Old 3rd September 2018, 1:26 PM   #4
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Well, my experience:

Got pregnant summer before junior year of college, at 20. Obviously, this was the wrong time, I had two years of school left and two more year of grad school. I did have a job, but that in no way made me financially stable.

I had my daughter in March my junior year and I went to class and worked to the very day I gave birth. After that my professors allowed me to take a break from classes and only come take my finals. I literally took my daughter with me, as a newborn, to college to attend finals. She sat next to me in a chair.

During the first five-six months of her life - my parents helped me with rent because I couldn't work yet. This is something I will forever be grateful and I honestly couldn't make it without them.

After that, in September, I went back for my senior year and back to work and my daughter went to daycare. I managed to graduate on time, went straight to grad school and finished grad school when she was three.

I was lucky to be in a very good field, that is quite profitable and sought after so I got a good job almost straight away and I've been really successful at it.

My daughter is now seven and in January of this year we moved into our own beautiful home in a great area and we are financially very stable.

So, that can be considered a success story.

However, as I mentioned - being in school and having a baby - I can't even begin to explain how difficult that is. I am lucky that I naturally function very well on little to no sleep. Because that's pretty much all I got for three years. You can forget about studying at home while your child is awake. You can only do that once you've put them to bed. I would put my daughter to bed around 9 and literally study until 2 am and then I was once again up at 5 or 6.

And as far as finances go - as I mentioned, we wouldn't have made it if my parents didn't help us out for those first few months. And they've helped buy some of the bigger and more expensive equipment so I could save my paycheck.

I do understand where you're coming from and the fear that the longer you wait, the lesser the chances are, but you are still very young. Having a baby while in shool will stretch you out both physically and financially. Maybe it's worth waiting a couple more years to have a chance to enjoy those baby and toddler years more later.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 2:27 PM   #5
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My story is brief. I paid for undergrad and graduate school on my own. When I got out I owed 100k in student loans. I started working at 26, and worked on just standing on my own two feet for a couple years from a finanical standpoint.

Then at 30 I met my husband and married at just shy of 33. I'm now 35 and am doing much better financially. However, I still have at least three years left of student loans. And my student loan payments are equivalent to a mortgage payment.

So by the time I'm done paying off my student loans my child bearing years will be over.

So I chose my career over having children. I don't think I could manage them both.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 2:30 PM   #6
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My story is brief. I paid for undergrad and graduate school on my own. When I got out I owed 100k in student loans. I started working at 26, and worked on just standing on my own two feet for a couple years from a finanical standpoint.

Then at 30 I met my husband and married at just shy of 33. I'm now 35 and am doing much better financially. However, I still have at least three years left of student loans. And my student loan payments are equivalent to a mortgage payment.

So by the time I'm done paying off my student loans my child bearing years will be over.

So I chose my career over having children. I don't think I could manage them both.
Oh yes, that's another thing I forgot to add. I was lucky enough that my parents paid for my grad and undergrad education. Had they not, I would have had so much debt right now and probably wouldn't be doing so well financially.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 5:44 PM   #7
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How did your children enjoy having sibblings of such varying ages? It would sure have been a fun experience I am sure.
It was fun and we shortly had a couple of built-in sitters for our youngest. Certainly, it was a house full of energy (and at times, chaos, drama and teen-age angst).

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I mean, is life really over financially with all your chances of bettering your situation truly down the toilet after a baby?
No universal truths, but to me the reverse is true. I always took pride in being a good provider and knowing that effort goes towards supporting your family gives a clarity of purpose. We certainly had the lows (my middle son was a preemie with the resulting medical bills, had Catholic Charities not provided a turkey one Christmas we'd have dined on mac and cheese) but fought our way out of it. Proud to say I've put three kids through college so far and my youngest is currently a sophomore at the university. It certainly helps if both partners are on the same page.

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we will never use birth control or protection so you just never know, however unlikely it is!
We said the same thing, next thing you know I was changing diapers at 47. Hope the same happens for you...

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Old 3rd September 2018, 6:12 PM   #8
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I didn't have kids. I'm 65 and really glad I didn't because I can't imagine how I would have supported them. I've worked two jobs most of my life to support just myself. With each passing decade, I have told myself, I am so glad I didn't. I wouldn't have been able to follow my dream if I'd had them young. If I'd adopted when older, I'd have sunk financially. Despite my best efforts, there were gaps in employment and also times when I was too depressed to care for myself, much less a child, though my rescue dog pretty much saved me during that time.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 11:03 PM   #9
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Well, my experience:

Got pregnant summer before junior year of college, at 20. Obviously, this was the wrong time, I had two years of school left and two more year of grad school. I did have a job, but that in no way made me financially stable.

I had my daughter in March my junior year and I went to class and worked to the very day I gave birth. After that my professors allowed me to take a break from classes and only come take my finals. I literally took my daughter with me, as a newborn, to college to attend finals. She sat next to me in a chair.

During the first five-six months of her life - my parents helped me with rent because I couldn't work yet. This is something I will forever be grateful and I honestly couldn't make it without them.

After that, in September, I went back for my senior year and back to work and my daughter went to daycare. I managed to graduate on time, went straight to grad school and finished grad school when she was three.

I was lucky to be in a very good field, that is quite profitable and sought after so I got a good job almost straight away and I've been really successful at it.

My daughter is now seven and in January of this year we moved into our own beautiful home in a great area and we are financially very stable.

So, that can be considered a success story.

However, as I mentioned - being in school and having a baby - I can't even begin to explain how difficult that is. I am lucky that I naturally function very well on little to no sleep. Because that's pretty much all I got for three years. You can forget about studying at home while your child is awake. You can only do that once you've put them to bed. I would put my daughter to bed around 9 and literally study until 2 am and then I was once again up at 5 or 6.

And as far as finances go - as I mentioned, we wouldn't have made it if my parents didn't help us out for those first few months. And they've helped buy some of the bigger and more expensive equipment so I could save my paycheck.

I do understand where you're coming from and the fear that the longer you wait, the lesser the chances are, but you are still very young. Having a baby while in shool will stretch you out both physically and financially. Maybe it's worth waiting a couple more years to have a chance to enjoy those baby and toddler years more later.
Wow you are awesome.

I would hate to have had to be a full time mom and full time student with a job. Having had insomnia since a kid, I know what no sleep is like.

Having a professional job was essential to me as I just wouldn't feel like myself if I worked a menial job into my 30s. And having a very specific field and area I was interested in (medical and science and anatomy) I knew I would have done absolutely anything, in order to get that darned degree.

If I fell pregnant I have support. My parents and fiance would support me. Plus my one day a week job said they would allow me to bring a baby with me to work. Had two jobs and quit one to focus on college.

I could defer the degree. I could go part time. I only have a year and 4 months left until I graduate. I wouldn't need to kill myself to graduate and put food on the table. Fiance van currently support a child but would have no savings plus my parents would help if required.

I would be able to finish my degree. Pregnant or with a baby. Without working much, if at all. Many pregnant women have been through my degree. I am very very blessed in that my uni is AMAZING at helping students who have setbacks. They have special exam periods and grant extensions and basically, they allow people who can't keep up due to pregnancy, illness or bereavement to catch up and sit exams at a later date.

So while my fiance alone could afford to support me easily, there would just me no big savings or luxuries and also, the degree would be harder with an infant.
If I got pregnant next year early, I would actually graduated just before delivering. It really isn't long to go now in my degree.

Our current situation isn't something I would accept for a child. But.... I would be thrilled to have a child at any time now. Despite people's apprehension, I don't believe to start off in my position and improve your finances after your first baby. Its isn't like we wouldn't afford food or nappies and it isn't like I would need to be as strong as you, and work and study full time until the day I gave birth. So our situations ate slightly different.

We haven't got savings but are at a stage where he earns enough to support a family of three big dogs, a cat, and a girl who needs 200 plus a week in medical expenses.

Actually, he is able to get 100K plus a year jobs easily but they involve being an interstate log haul big truck driver. He chooses to earn less and be at home. So he would need to sacrifice and get one of the interstate jobs for the two or so years it would take to get me out of college and working again post baby........

I am truly inspired and feel very hopeful that people with little to no savings can in fact, manage to save, buy a house and live well despite giving birth whilst they are very low income and studying.

I guess it is just a matter of perspective. Two or three years of pain (studying and working with an infant due to having no money) is worth it to be a parent to many women.

I have seen too many women leave it until too late and regret it bitterly. I feel very strongly that fertility cannot be altered where as jobs and career can be.

I am sure you are so much happier with your blessing of a little girl AND your degree and subsequent career - than you would have been hypothetically, childless with perhaps more money or without having to endure those hard years to get stable.

I would be significantly less happy if I had more money and waited until I was stable yet remained childless, compared to if I was uncomfortable and poor for a few short years and got a child AND ended up with a good career anyway that was simply frosted a few years.....

Your story has left me with little doubt that I can manage with a baby before I graduate.
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Old 3rd September 2018, 11:47 PM   #10
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My story is brief. I paid for undergrad and graduate school on my own. When I got out I owed 100k in student loans. I started working at 26, and worked on just standing on my own two feet for a couple years from a finanical standpoint.

Then at 30 I met my husband and married at just shy of 33. I'm now 35 and am doing much better financially. However, I still have at least three years left of student loans. And my student loan payments are equivalent to a mortgage payment.

So by the time I'm done paying off my student loans my child bearing years will be over.

So I chose my career over having children. I don't think I could manage them both.
My drive to raise my own child doesn't even let me entertain that notion.

I just... could not give two sh*ts about student loans or saving for a house first..... mate, if I did ALL of that before kids ,I would be 40 before I even tried.

I don't personally feel I am choosing kids over a career should I fall pregnant now before we have savings. I will still go on to be a podiatrist. I don't feel I have to pick between the two.

I don't think it's black or white. I don't believe I will be broke and poor forever if I have baby before we get savings or purchase a house or before student loans are paid off.

I feel like if the strong drive to have to raise a child was there, you would. With a good job already, you wouldn't let the fact you have to pay of all 100% of all your debts first get in the way at age 35. Maybe if you were in your 20s sure, even I actively avoided kids at that age due to not being ready financially.....but as soon as I reached a point where I was on a path to a good career, and had less than two years to achieve it then I stopped trying to prevent kids.

33 is the age I am personally going to start infertility treatments. I would try now but have uni and while we are not financially responsible enough to wait until we are late 30s to have the house and savings and loans paid off - cos that's how long it'll take to get all that done- we are also not daft enough to just go and start trying actively for a child - having unprotected sex every day is not true to conceive for us since I have pcos and need fertility treatments to conceive.

I just couldn't bring myself to actively prevent a miracle conception from occurring despite being poor. I can't explain it and maybe it's because of my known infertility disorder or perhaps the drive I have to HAVE to raise a child is simply stronger for some women than it is others.
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Old 4th September 2018, 12:06 AM   #11
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I have seen too many women leave it until too late and regret it bitterly. I feel very strongly that fertility cannot be altered where as jobs and career can be.
Bingo. And I had just as much fun with my kids - and their lives were just as fulfilled - when money was tight. They want your love, time, attention and involvement, everything else is secondary...

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Old 4th September 2018, 2:19 AM   #12
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j


We said the same thing, next thing you know I was changing diapers at 47. Hope the same happens for you...

Mr. Lucky
Oh your wife just got very, very lucky...

I am likely the rule, not the exception and will need assistance to fall pregnant. I highly doubt I will just spontaneously fall pregnant, this thread was just a " just in case" kind of thing, for me to learn about other poor people who had kids poor and managed to overcome it really, just at the reallllly tiiiiiiny chance, I do fall pregnant on acupuncture/ Chinese medicine and natural stuff alone.

I am awaiting graduating Uni, getting a full time job and saving for infertility treatments to get my children. Or child - if any at all!

I would actually kill to get so lucky to fall pregnant poor would still be the biggest blessing of my life, more than any of my travel days times 1000.

We never get what we want in life while we want them, so I have decided to move on from expecting children, and I actually plan my life child free as there really is no guarantee that the infertility treatment will work - much less naturally falling pregnant between now and age 32 (when I graduate and work full time and afford treatment).
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Old 4th September 2018, 2:37 AM   #13
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Bingo. And I had just as much fun with my kids - and their lives were just as fulfilled - when money was tight. They want your love, time, attention and involvement, everything else is secondary...

Mr.
It's not like I WANT to be poor, and struggle to provide basic needs, let alone added bonuses like tutoring and college/ university help...

And it isn't like I am here to be convinced that I should save and have X amount, my student loans paid off first and a house first and to start at age 38 which is when I will afford all those things....

I just wanted to hear the positives to going ahead and achieving your dream of having children even when you are poor - rather than waiting and potentially going without kids.
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Old 4th September 2018, 8:35 AM   #14
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If you wait till you have enough money saved you will never have kids... to me all that is doing is putting it off.. an excuse as it were..

When you have a kid(s) you just adjust your lifestyle to accommodate a child, you put the child and their needs first and foremost and having the newest iPhone all of a sudden becomes unimportant in your life.

You rearrange priorities and begin a new life when a child is born and the old one blends in and disappears...

One a child is around for a while you have learned to accommodate them into the finances then all of a sudden things open up some...
Children are expensive.. but not so expensive to not have..
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Old 4th September 2018, 10:09 AM   #15
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If you wait till you have enough money saved you will never have kids... to me all that is doing is putting it off.. an excuse as it were..

When you have a kid(s) you just adjust your lifestyle to accommodate a child, you put the child and their needs first and foremost and having the newest iPhone all of a sudden becomes unimportant in your life.

You rearrange priorities and begin a new life when a child is born and the old one blends in and disappears...

One a child is around for a while you have learned to accommodate them into the finances then all of a sudden things open up some...
Children are expensive.. but not so expensive to not have..


I completely agree. I mean, I don't think living pay check to paycheck and struggling to pay the bills is a fun way to live either, but with less than two years left until I am a podiatrist (it has a 100% employment rate atm) and my partner already on an average wage - I doubt we will be broke or poor or struggling for the basics for long.

My dad became disabled despite both my parents saving for over ten years post marriage before they had me.. they had the house, good jobs, they did everything right..

And then dad fell ill and we had to live on one wage anyway. They made sacrifices and provided me with a great life still. You just never know what will happen.

The only thing I am sure of (in a way I have never felt so sure about anything in my entire life) is that I will deeply regret not having children at all.

If I was in my 20's and without known fertility issues, I would have put off trying until I was graduated and working a couple of years but being 31 already and having a known fertility issue - I just can't do the whole " becoming financially stable/house/ loans paid off" thing.

My friend who is a podiatrist married to a doctor and had a 50K wedding, their own house and spent over 2K on a stroller - she think I should wait until late 30;s if need be - and wait until I save/buy a house and all of that stuff... It is easy for her to say this; she got to experience the joy of motherhood (which the intensity and level of happiness shocked her) and she is not faced with a fertility issue or being broke at 31. She has not had to pick between having kids at all, or saving until she is late 30s and risk never having them.

I am sure she would never give up her new daughter for any amount of money luxuries or being able to own her place versus be a home owner.
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