Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Financial kid choices...

I find it interesting that so many people say have children when you want them, there is no financial right time. And I tend to agree. But I wonder about people who have children while in a precarious financial situation if it's wrong to have children?

Not because it's financially difficult, but because of the psychological strain it can have on a marriage? If 50% of marriages end in divorce, and the leading factor contributing to divorce is fighting over money, then can increasing financial problems due to having children lead to divorce?

So while it's great to have kid at any time, I wonder if people should consider their financial position, thus reducing the risk to their marriage dissolving? That if there are less pressures financially people are happier in the marriage and dealing with normal family issues? That a couple constantly worried and arguing about money could have made it if not for the finances? That the extra burden is what tipped the scale towards divorce.

If you are divorced, was it due to finances? And might it have been mitigated if you had planned your expenses, especially kids?

6 comments:

MEG said...

I think too many people wait "until they are more stable financially" only to find themselves having to spend tens of thousands on fertility treatments just to get pregnant because they waited until their 30's to start trying.

The fact is that the best (and sometimes the only) time for a woman to have children is in her 20s or even her teens. Sociologically, having a child at that age might not be preferable, but our biology has not developed as our societies have over the last few thousand years. There's a reason women are physiologically able to conceive around age 12--and it's not becauase we're supposed to wait to have kids until age 40.

In theory, I'd like to wait until later in life to find "the one" and not have children until my 30's. But I'm not willing to risk not being able to get pregnant (or having to take dangerous and expensive treatments) just so I can have a few more single years. Plus it gets harder to find a mate as you age, unfortunately...

Living Almost Large said...

I also hope none of my single girlfriends settle for a man just to have kids. I hope they are happily married. A few coworkers have ended up divorced because they rushed to get married because the clock was ticking. It was not fun.

irayd8u said...

children are wonderful but they come with major responsibility and stress. Including financial. So dont get me wrong it is not the childs fault by any means. But adding them to the marriage along with the financial strain offers its own difficulties. I live this daily. And i have seenit happen with others as well. So you have hit it on the head here =)

EDW said...

What a hard question. I think that if you have a strong marriage, adding child to it can add a lot of joy. Even so, it can put a strain on even the best marriages, whether this takes the form of stress over money or time or both. Children are, no doubt, an added expense. But, in my opinion, worth every penny. I love my daughter with all my heart and wouldn't trade her for the world!

Our finances have changed and what we choose to afford has changed but only insofar as we decide it does.

Are there marriages that fall apart because of money and kids? Sure, but I'm not convinced those were the strongest unions to start with. When people say love will cover it, they mean that it's your love for each other and your child that helps you navigate the tricky financial, emotional, and personal path of parenthood.

If parenthood is something a couple wants, I think there's probably better and worse financial times to embark on it, but there's no perfect one. There's no amount of money that makes it okay, just a knowledge that you love each other and can do this together, no matter what.

And there are cheaper ways to raise kids! It can be done! As for my single friends who had babies, they felt like their financial life was in order and that they were ready to make the personal sacrifices. That's what convinced them to go ahead. I think it was more a feeling of happiness than a number in the bank.

Barring things like bankruptcy, just starting out, and barely making ends meet, I'd like to say don't let money stop you from having a kid! It's a wonderful journey.

Living Almost Large said...

I think couples who are not in strong relationship, the financial difficulties that accompany children makes it more difficult.

honeymoney said...

Deciding whether or not to have children is one of the most important decisions for adults. Some people face financial problems during the whole their lives. So, I don't think is it a weighty argument not to have kids.