Is There Ever a Right Financial Time to Have a Child?
Have you ever thought about having a child but after considering the finances decided it just wasn’t the right time? The decision to become a parent is one of, if not the biggest financial decision you will make. So is there ever a right time to have a child when finances or career prospects are taken into account? I thought it might be fun to mention a few financial worries that often stop people from having kids and get your opinion – from your own experience – as to whether they should really stop you from becoming a parent or even having another child. I know it’s a bit of a sensitive subject but hopefully that will make for some interesting responses.
Buying a House
This can be a big thing that stops someone from having a child. As much as they might love the idea of holding a little one, their financial goals dissuade them as they decide that saving for a deposit on a house or buying a bigger house should take priority. The only problem with this option is that sometimes years can go by without achieving this goal. This can then leave prospective parents wondering whether they should still stick to their original goal or instead bite the bullet and put the house buying on hold, perhaps moving to a bigger rental to accommodate a child.
Pursuing a Career
If you want to be a parent but you also have the goal to pursue a career then people often face some difficult choices. The first difficult decision is whether to forego having a child completely to focus 100% on your career or whether you feel that you can successfully do both at the same time. Another tough call can arise if you are already in the throes of your career. Do you take a break to have a child and risk falling behind, missing out on a promotion or falling out of favor with your employer? Can you afford to live only on your maternity pay for a period of time? And what about when you return to work, will childcare costs be too much to bear? All are difficult financial questions to consider.
How many times do we hear people say ‘I’d have another baby today, I just don’t think we can afford it’. Perhaps you’ve said it yourself? Having a second or even a third child is certainly going to cost you more, but it may not be as much as you think. I suppose this depends on a variety of factors such as the sex of the baby, whether you have kept any of the items bought for your first child etc. It is certainly possible to economize on food but other things may need to be purchased again. On top of all this we also have to consider extra healthcare costs and long term savings goals such as saving for college, will you be able to afford these extra outlays?
Having your first child will undoubtedly place a strain on your budget, especially if you are already feeling the pinch. Does this mean that you shouldn’t do it though? I know many people who have struggled for money throughout their lives, only just getting by, yet they have managed to raise healthy children in a clean and well-nourished environment. Of course, it’s a personal decision that each person has to make for themselves but to go back to my original question,
Is there ever a right financial time to have a child? What do you think?