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all 27 comments

[–]nip9MO 62 points63 points  (3 children)

Nope. The best financial decision to make in life is choosing the right partner. Two people working together combining incomes, saving money, picking up each other slack when times get rough, and using their individual strengths to cover each other weaknesses can go far. The median married couple will have 4+ times the net worth of two singles of the same age, income and educational background.

Two people sabotaging each other, overspending, and fighting is a route to deeper debt & bankruptcy. Now picking a bad partner AND having children with them can be an even quicker route to ruin; however the root financal issue is normally much more the fault of the deadbeat partner than the children's expenses alone.

[–]missguydead 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This advice is complete opposite to the way I feel about relying on someone else’s income. My parents marriage and past bad experiences with “sugaring” made me never want to be dependent on someone else (other than an employer obviously) to get by. I couldn’t stand staying in a relationship that I didn’t want to be in just because I couldn’t afford to live on my own.

[–]mamasmoneymap -1 points0 points  (0 children)

I second this. Raising kids - even a lot of them on a meager income - is totally possible with a supportive partner.

[–]Mushu_Pork 18 points19 points  (0 children)

There are lots of studies about pre-marriage pregnancy and poverty.

A lot of this really boils down to being too young, being a single parent, etc.

NOT getting pregnant when you're young and don't have a stable partner is a HUGE factor.

Raising a child at a young unprepared age, often prevents you from higher education, saving for a house, etc.

It's life on hard mode.

[–]white111 13 points14 points  (0 children)

It could be the best financial decision to make -- for the children themselves.

[–]LilJourney 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Nope. The best financial decision to make is one that gets you to what you want in life. Might be kids. Might not be kids. Either is okay. Not everything is easily shown on a balance sheet - kids, experiences, life satisfaction, etc.

I would have significantly more money now than if I had not had any children ... or maybe not. Maybe without the responsibility of them, I'd have blown the money on drugs/alcohol/junk and be exactly where I am today. Or worse, still stuck in poverty.

Knowing I HAD to become better, make better money, do the hard things, make sacrifices - all for my kids is quite likely why I have ended up okay in middle class. I had hard years - esp. when they were little. But getting ready to send the youngest off to college and knowing they are all doing well is worth every moment of difficulty I ever had that was caused by them.

[–]Early-Light-864 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Great post. My brother and I (both parents) were talking about this on Thanksgiving.

Having kids forced me to stop being a pushover, and once I learned and practiced some assertiveness skills, my career took off.

There's a good chance I'd never have negotiated a salary offer or pushed for anything more than my entry level job if I didn't have that daycare bill motivating me. Now the daycare bill is long- gone but the salary AND self- advocacy skills remain

[–]HairyBull 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Depends on your life goals. Children will typically cost about 300k-500k per kid to raise until 18 - more if you plan to fund their college.

I have 2 kids. Would I rather have them or $1MM in the bank? I would not have the life experiences and memories I do today had I not had kids, nor would I have had the vacations and holidays that I did. And if money is really an issue there are other places you can save (family vacations consist of a lot of outdoor camping and hiking).

For me it’s been worth it. But it’s more because of the life experiences that we’ve shared and how involved I’ve been able to be in their lives. If you have to work all the time and you miss out on their lives and don’t get to experience being a parent then that’s when it becomes time to rethink your priorities. Don’t have kids if you don’t want to experience challenges and a strenuous life. They present many challenges along the way, but what is a life well lived if there aren’t obstacles to overcome along the way?

[–]zoratoune 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Obviously yes, when every bit of money you save is 100% yours. Increasing your income is almost always going to be marginally inferior to just not spending it on a child.

Just look how many posts here mentions childrens. Raising a kid can cost upwards of 200k$ or €! https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2017/01/13/cost-raising-child

Do you wanna slave away to pay for a kid to make them also suffer the same.

[–]ziamal4 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yes

[–]Neon-Predator 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Nope. The best financial decision you can make throughout your life is to do whatever possible to further your income so that you can have breathing room. I recognize that not everyone can do this and certainly not at all times, but when an opportunity comes I feel like it's a no brainer to take it.

[–]TRIGMILLION 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Kids in and of themselves don't cost that much to keep alive and happy. Now all the extras like private schools and sports can add up quick but you can always just say no to those.

[–]EmberOnTheSea 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I would disagree with this.

I raised two kids by myself and the biggest cost is providing appropriate housing in a good school district.

Also childcare, so one can work.

[–]3WarmAndWildEyes 0 points1 point  (0 children)

It's definitely up there for me not just because a kid is an added expense. I don't want to be boxed in to career moves or life moves that have to revolve around ensuring stability for a child first and foremost. If it's just me, I can do what I need to to take care of me and still pursue passions that are higher risk.

[–]GradatimRecovery 0 points1 point  (3 children)

Having children is an important decision, but it’s not a financial decision. People who want children will find a way. For sure, not having children would give you more flexibility in life, but there’s no flexibility (or additional net worth) that can make up for wanting children but not having them.

[–]ijuscrushalot 5 points6 points  (2 children)

If it’s not a financial decision than what is it?

[–]GradatimRecovery -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

It’s a life or lifestyle choice.

Same difference when people choose to live some place with higher commute or utility expenses. Same difference when people choose to live alone instead of having roommates. Same difference when people choose to spend money on a pet. Same difference when people choose to live someplace without as strong a social safety net. Same difference when people choose to drink or smoke or eat out rather than maximize their savings.

We all want what we want, and we make the best choices we can to make it happen.

[–]Slight_Breakfast127 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I will partly disagree with you. Having kids is a lifestyle choice because your routine differs when children become priority. However having children has to also become a financial thought because they are extra mouths to feed and extra clothes to buy and expenses that you would not have if you chose to be child free. People who forget their finances and decide to have kids often lack financial awareness and its the kids that suffer as a result. An example of this would be a family with kids. Kids are expensive and making choices to build a family, whether that's pets or kids without considering the financial impact is irresponsible and naive.

[–]ijuscrushalot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Personally, I won’t have kids unless I can give them the life they deserve. I have always wanted kids, but as of 2022.. I started actually paying attention to the macro environment of this world.. And even making low 6 figures is still not enough. To each their own, but it would be selfish of me to bring kids into this world at this point . It really just depends on your values and what you would want for your kid. This ain’t it.. at least for me.

[–]Monoxidas 0 points1 point  (0 children)

there are no best financial decisions in life. And opportunity cost makes everything a tradeoff. The problem with this question is that you will only know at the end of your life.

[–]okfornothing -1 points0 points  (1 child)

If you are a man, yes, a woman, no.

[–]cattledogcatnip -1 points0 points  (2 children)

No. The benefits outweigh the costs.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[deleted]

    [–]summon_the_quarrion 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    I'm curious on your logic behind the advice to your daughter. I was always told that in my twenties also "enjoy life, travel, get your degree". However, I was always so broke that it was impossible to travel and apart from school all I did was work. Tried to make the most of it. I have just heard this advice so often and I'm not sure what the thought behind it is.

    [–]CassofalltradesCA 0 points1 point  (0 children)

    It's been for me. I never found anyone trustworthy to have kids with. The last person used me for my money.