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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering how many single income families there are on the EOC. My wife and I have always planned on relying on my income once we have kids. We both had stay at home moms and we feel that we had good lives growing up as a result. My wife and I do not want strangers raising our kids in daycare, but with the rising cost of living, it looks as if it is going to be difficult. We currently own a townhouse and we were looking to buy a conventional home and almost made an offer on one this week, however we changed our minds at the last minute because it most likely would have made our plan of living on one income impossible. I have run a handful of rough budgets estimating our expenses, but I really have no idea how much things will cost with kids. I already know how much our fixed expenses like our mortgage, utilities, loan payments (school), and health insurance will be, but I am not sure what to plan for groceries and other household expenses. Right now I have planned $500 per month for groceries and $400 per month in other "general" household expenses. The $400 does not include anything like phone, internet, tv, etc. it is just to be meant for general household spending that we will spend each month.

Any tips/insights would be really helpful as I try to plan the possibilities of going to a single income.
 

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JPH---for the most part when my kids were young, I did not work--It was EXTREMELY important for me to be the one to raise my kids. I am a strong disciplinarian, and wanted to be around them as much as I could and share with them as much as I could. When they started school I always volunteered for the schools, sports and extra club activiities. I always had the "time":).

It was easy for me because I am not matierialistic, so living in a rental home and driving a junky car did not depress me. Camping trips took the place of Disneyland.
Cooking together, homemade meals is cheap and fun!
Staying on budget is hard, I wont lie. You will be surprised what you can do when it's important.

It's really funny now, when the kids moved away(Son shipped off overseas, dropped daughter off at college--all in 1 week INSTANT EMPTY NEST!:cry:, the 1st time we went to the grocery store we bought all name brand products, saying "The kids are gone, we can have what we want!":grin:

My kids grew up very happy:) I am so surprised when I see kids that have everything and are miserable:confused:
My greatest reward was when I went to their schools for parent/teacher conferences and had other staff members in the school stop me and Mr. Jojo and tell us what pleasant, wonderful children we raised--that makes all the sacrifices worth while:)

They are 24 & 25 now:) I am happy with the decision I made.

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks JoJo, that's good to hear. We are already pretty good with our money. We both have really good jobs, we already own a townhouse that has pretty low payments, and we rarely go out to eat and stuff like that. The one thing that we can work on is buying ourselves clothes and stuff like that because we don't necessarily need them. We have two new cars (one of which is paid off now and the other only has 2 years left and the payments are low) so we wont have to worry about buying a new one. And we don't have any debt except for a small school loan, the one car, and our house. I feel like we can do it with some significant sacrifices (thanks to the high cost of healthcare).
 

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One thing life has taught me is that if everyone waited till they could afford to have children there would be none.

We decided to go single income for many of the reasons Jojo already noted.

One significant factor was when we did the math early on. The first year after paying for child care I was doing the taxes. I was working 60+ hours a week and my wife was working 50 hours or so. (my daughter went to the preschool my wife ran for her first 5 years of life) On her 5th birthday I crunched the numbers at tax time and was amazed. After all was said and done we figured that my wife was bringing in about $3000 annually for her 50 hours of hard work. We looked at each other and said, "can we get by on $3k less". My wife said for frickin 50 hours a week we could! My income was about twice hers and we agreed I should be the one to keep working.
It has worked out really well.
 

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My wife stays home with our two kids. Its hard sometimes but worth it for the kids. Though once they go to school she wants to go back to work. Its harder on her than me.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Be lucky you have the healthcare!
We didn't and our kids made regular visits to the ER!:oops:
Yeah, even though it is expensive, we are still lucky. Right now I don't pay anything for healthcare at my company and my wife pays like $20 a month for hers. When we got to a family plan at my company it will be $500 before taxes each month (so depending on tax rates, I am thinking it will be a reduction in take home pay of about $350). Hopefully healthcare will get less expensive because that will make my life much easier.

One thing life has taught me is that if everyone waited till they could afford to have children there would be none.

We decided to go single income for many of the reasons Jojo already noted.

One significant factor was when we did the math early on. The first year after paying for child care I was doing the taxes. I was working 60+ hours a week and my wife was working 50 hours or so. (my daughter went to the preschool my wife ran for her first 5 years of life) On her 5th birthday I crunched the numbers at tax time and was amazed. After all was said and done we figured that my wife was bringing in about $3000 annually for her 50 hours of hard work. We looked at each other and said, "can we get by on $3k less". My wife said for frickin 50 hours a week we could! My income was about twice hers and we agreed I should be the one to keep working.
It has worked out really well.
Yeah, we decided that after daycare costs it would not be that beneficial. Plus, even if my wife were to net 10 or 20K each year after the added expenses of having a job and kids (daycare, commuting, etc), I don't know if that would be worth the added stress of not having time to do anything and having strangers raise or kids. I figure my wife just won't work from birth to about age 6 or 7 and then after that, she can get a part time job so that she can get the kids off to school and then be home when the get home (or shortly after).

Well it is good to hear that there are still other people out there surviving on one income.

I don't want to ask specifics, but in your opinion, how much would one family need to make (like a salary before taxes are taken out) to get by on one income?
 

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wow thats a good deal. I am paying 540 per paycheck before taxes. Thats 26 times a year, or every two weeks. It hurts but its better than paying the hospital bills two kids can rack up. I was waiting for our daughter to be born. Now that she is here I am going to make sure babies don't happen anymore then go onto blue cross blue shield opt out fo the maternity option and save some serious cash a month.
 

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My greatest reward was when I went to their schools for parent/teacher conferences and had other staff members in the school stop me and Mr. Jojo and tell us what pleasant, wonderful children we raised--that makes all the sacrifices worth while:)
Yeah, how in the WORLD did they end up so different than their parents? :confused:

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IMHO it's not about being home all the time, no daycare, always being there, etc. It's about who you are and HOW you raise your kids, giving them good examples to follow, molding their characters well, teaching them right & wrong, etc. My parents both worked full time but they were VERY careful in choosing our daycare providers and always made sure they were available if we needed time from them for something - rides, projects, whatever was needed. And I turned out just fine :D (No snickering!!)

That being said, I've known more well-balanced people who came from less-well-to-do families than I have who came from more upper-class families. It seems to much more depend on the strength of character and discpline technique of the parents than money.

Also one thing I think deserves mentioning is proximity to other kids and "kid culture". IMHO one of the best things my parents did was buy a place in the middle of nowhere. Why? Because I wasn't constantly surrounded by other kids and "kid culture". Honestly the social culture of most schools and groups of friends kid-age is basically Lord-Of-The-Flies-esque. Survival of the fittest/prettiest/best athlete/whatever. In schools the kids are basically with minimal adult supervision and they form their own culture and social standards, which never leads to good results. I'm not saying "never socialize", but the more you can get them ready for adult culture by immersing them in it from day 1, the more they'll be prepared for the real world when they finally get there. Where we went for day care they made sure it was adult-run and very organized, not barely-controlled chaos.

Whichever way you choose to go there will be a lot of challenges. Budget LOTS extra for medical either way, all of my friends who have had kids recently have had a lot of unexpected medical expenses. If you choose to both work, then there will be enough money but you'll always be strapped for time.

In the end, it comes down to strength of character, patience, and working as a team on EVERYTHING. I don't think I ever saw my parents argue. It just didn't happen. I don't know if they did it when we were gone or over lunch or what, but that made a HUGE impression on me. They sometimes had discussions over what to do about things, but that's all it was. They were "the parents", not "mom" and "dad" with two separate priority lists. Certainly as I've gotten older I can see they're two very distinct, different people but they still work as a team.

Best of luck to you whichever way you choose. I applaud those who raise children, especially responsibly, as I lack the critical patience and would strangle the kid before they were a week old...:twisted:



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One significant factor was when we did the math early on. The first year after paying for child care I was doing the taxes. I was working 60+ hours a week and my wife was working 50 hours or so. (my daughter went to the preschool my wife ran for her first 5 years of life) On her 5th birthday I crunched the numbers at tax time and was amazed. After all was said and done we figured that my wife was bringing in about $3000 annually for her 50 hours of hard work. We looked at each other and said, "can we get by on $3k less". My wife said for frickin 50 hours a week we could! My income was about twice hers and we agreed I should be the one to keep working.
It has worked out really well.
It's a story I hear over & over. Daycare & other associates costs eat up almost an entire income...:twisted:

One other suggestion I've seen that's worked very well for some people (assuming your relationship with your spouse can handle it) is to work different shift - 1st and 2nd usually works best. Someone's home during the day, someone's home in the evening. It's not ideal but it can be a big help in tough times.



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My wife just had our daughter, Emma, 5 months ago. Being relatively young, 29, i was of the impression that we couldn't afford children. Right after we found out that we were expecting all my priorities changed, including my spending habits. We arranged our schedules in a different way than most. my wife is off Sat, Sun, and Mon. I am off Tues, Wed, Thur. and my mother takes care of her on Fri. Its a little funky, but it works for us.

Not only do both my wife and i get that quality time with Emma that we both want, but grandma gets time with her as well. I guess my point is, don't be stuck in a traditional way of thinking...get creative and find what works for you! I can not imagine my life with out our bundle of joy!
 

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And please, if you find yourself able to volunteer at their schools, and chaperone their field trips--DO IT!:)
It's more challenging than any job!:???:
One of my favorite times was when I actually got to watch a class for 30 minutes, we started a discussion about should girls be allowed to play profesional sports in mens leagues....by the time the teacher got back I had a room full of 4th graders in a ruckus!:-D

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Discussion Starter #14
My wife just had our daughter, Emma, 5 months ago. Being relatively young, 29, i was of the impression that we couldn't afford children. Right after we found out that we were expecting all my priorities changed, including my spending habits. We arranged our schedules in a different way than most. my wife is off Sat, Sun, and Mon. I am off Tues, Wed, Thur. and my mother takes care of her on Fri. Its a little funky, but it works for us.

Not only do both my wife and i get that quality time with Emma that we both want, but grandma gets time with her as well. I guess my point is, don't be stuck in a traditional way of thinking...get creative and find what works for you! I can not imagine my life with out our bundle of joy!
I would be willing to do something like this, but my wife and I both have traditional office jobs and my job requires me to work 5 days (and sometimes 6) a week. My wife could go to part time if need be, because my mom and my MIL both live within 10 minutes of our house. So if my wife had to work for financial reasons, she could work 2 or 3 days a week and my mom could watch the kid(s) because she has a very flexible schedule.
 

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This is an excellent topic. My wife and I are planning for her to be a stay at home mom some day and right now its seems impossible but I know it will work out. Keep the good advice coming please.
 

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It's a story I hear over & over. Daycare & other associates costs eat up almost an entire income...:twisted:

One other suggestion I've seen that's worked very well for some people (assuming your relationship with your spouse can handle it) is to work different shift - 1st and 2nd usually works best. Someone's home during the day, someone's home in the evening. It's not ideal but it can be a big help in tough times.
Mr. Jojo and I did this for a little while, I worked days and he worked evenings.
The kids had to be at the daycare for about 20 minutes--it wasn't fun.

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It's not easy.

My wife and I agonized over this and still do. Our son is 9 months old and I would like nothing more than to have My wife home with him.

$$$ is what is standing in the way. Between the Mortgage, car payment, and student loan I have $3200 going out the door every month. Once you add Food, Gas, baby stuff, utilities, insurance, etc, etc, we would be upside down if it were not for her income.

I talked with my Mother about this while my wife was pregnant. She stayed home with my sister and I untill we were in school full time. "How did you do it." I asked her. she had no easy answers.:-?

One thing I know is different. Housing. In 1973 My Ps got their house for $20K. We closed on Ours 4 years ago for $245K. More than 10X the cost!!! You can be darn sure I'm not making 10X the scratch.:shock:

While we are gone alomost 12 hours a day for our respective jobs we have found excellent child care arrangements and Alex is a very happy little guy.

While I would ideally like one of us home with him. It's not the end of the world if you can't.

I have several friends that have there wives stay home or work part time. Most of them are drowning in debt and have NOTHING set aside for their kids college. What it comes down to is Pay Now, or Pay Later.

Personally Once I can work from Home again I'm picking up and moving my family someplace cheaper.... Like Mexico.:)
 

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Caveat: I don't have kids, nor do I plan to.

There are many online resources for figuring some of these things out. One of the best bits of advice I heard, however, was to practice living on one income for six months. Take every bit of your wife's income and sock it away. Don't touch it at all. After that period of time, you'll see how much you have "left" after keeping to your tight budget, and compare that with some research on costs for raising a baby. Worst case scenario is you have a really good nest-egg for emergencies.

Here is one link for how much kids cost. I know real-life experiences are helpful, but there really is a lot of info out there. The cost of diapers alone can be frightening!

You two seem very goal-oriented and focused on the right things. Good luck!
 

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This kind of reminds me of when my brother and his wife were trying to sell their old house. They had a nice young couple come get a tour and really liked it. They went away and talked and got down to the classic offer/counter-offer. The initial offer they sent was WAY below the asking price, but it included the explanation "We're going to be having kids and want to live on one income so mom can stay home. We've done the math and this is what we can afford to pay, but we love the house!" Needless to say, they were sent packing. What's my point? You'll have to make some major lifestyle changes, not just calculate budgets. If I sound a bit grumpy I apologize, been a [email protected] day.



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Discussion Starter #20
This kind of reminds me of when my brother and his wife were trying to sell their old house. They had a nice young couple come get a tour and really liked it. They went away and talked and got down to the classic offer/counter-offer. The initial offer they sent was WAY below the asking price, but it included the explanation "We're going to be having kids and want to live on one income so mom can stay home. We've done the math and this is what we can afford to pay, but we love the house!" Needless to say, they were sent packing. What's my point? You'll have to make some major lifestyle changes, not just calculate budgets. If I sound a bit grumpy I apologize, been a [email protected] day.
I agree with you. That is why we didn't even offer on the house we had been looking at last week. We decided that it would be too much of a strain on our finances. The house was not extravagant, it just had more space than our current townhouse. We loved it and could really see ourselves living there, but we just don't want to use ALL of the money we have saved up for a downpayment.

Right now we spend $965 a month on our mortgage (+ taxes) and our HOA fee at our townhouse. We think that is pretty good, but we want our mortgage payment at our next house to be under $900 if possible. We decided that if we find a modest house in a really nice area for about $130K (gotta love the low housing costs in Pittsburgh!) that has 3 or 4 bedrooms and two baths, we could live there for the rest of our lives and be very comfortable financially. Right now we are just saving all the money we can so that we can move within the next year or so. We figure that if we don't get out of our townhouse in the next 2 years, we will probably end up being stuck here because it will be difficult to move and have kids at the same time.
 
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