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When I read the list of suggested questions for this post I almost laughed at the last two. What is the cost of having kids and how many kids should you have? The two questions are obviously linked. I don’t think I’m ruffling too many feathers when I say that you shouldn’t have more kids then you can afford to feed and cloth. However, the numbers for those two questions vary drastically based on so many different variables. For example, one of the blogs that I follow is written by a very cool (in my opinion) lady with 39 kids. She raised all of them almost entirely as a single mom on a teacher’s salary (not sure the precise number but the teachers I know don’t drive Ferraris) with as many as 20 kids at home at a single time. Other parents have trouble affording one child.
Why do I have such an interest in the finances and logistics of kids if I’m single and have no kids? So glad you asked. I want to have kids, not an odd goal for a young female. However, I have somewhat complicated the issue by deciding to adopt (preferably older kids) and deciding that if I’m with a partner when I’m ready to adopt, that’s great, if I’m not it’s still going to happen.
In other words I could eventually see myself as the single parent of an unknown number of kids at of unknown ages (the unknown keeps life interesting.) There are calculators and tables on line that estimate the costs of kids at different ages and genders. Some even take into account income level of the parent and number of kids in the house. These sources can say anywhere from $250 - $500 a month per child. That said I’m pretty sure that my role model with 39 kids didn’t spend $500 a month per child (either that or I need to change jobs and become a teacher).
How many kids will I be able to afford? I’m not sure. I’ve decided to go with the old nursing model “start low, go slow.” In all likelihood I’ll decide to take on one and see how much it’s costing me. Then, if possible, I’ll add more. I know the cost of a kid can be high, but in my estimates the cost of not providing a home to a child that needs one is much higher.
How much do your bundles of joy cost you?