How do you afford kids in a HCOL area with daycare costs of $30k/yr?

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  • #96672 Reply

      Need a little bit of guidance on how ppl can afford having a kids. Currently 36 and spouse is 34. No kids atm, but we are considering having kids except we’re concerned we can’t financially afford it. We live in a HCOL area and currently just living w/ family and help w/ utilties on a monthly. We’ll need to move out soon as we don’t have any space and privacy, but it’s expensive to buy in the Bay Area so a big chunk of our savings will likely be used for a downpayment to help keep the mortgage payment lower. Rough financial breakdown is below. Could anyone help advise how you’re able to afford it?

      Our friends tell us daycare alone is $30k a yr and although we’ve considered moving to a cheaper area, it’s not in the books atm due to our job situation and the fact most of our family/friends are here.

      I know a lot of our financial probelms will disappear if we sell the rental, but we’re hesitant since it’s at such a low rate and does profit a little monthly.

      How much do you all spend on an average per kid every year? And would you suggest selling the rental or keeping it?

      • Annual Gross Income: $270k
      • Savings: $600k
      • Rental Property: Owe $310k at 2.75% and value is $950k (profits about $300 per month after all expenses)
      • Stocks/Market: $250k
      • 401k: $600k
      • No debt except the mortgage on the rental and cars are paid off
      #96673 Reply

        If you’re considering moving out on your own anyway, I don’t know that I would consider that an expense related just to having a child. Is there a reason you only mentioned buying instead of renting? The New York Times came up with a great calculator for comparing renting vs buying if you want to check that out. It may make more sense in your area financially for you to rent. One perk of renting (at least for now) is that a kiddo really doesn’t need their own space/room for at least 2 years, so you could get away with paying for a smaller place for longer.

        I am a single mom with a young kiddo and my biggest cost really is daycare. I’m in Portland and it’s $1800 a month for him now, but babies are way more expensive. The rest of the costs have been pretty negligible so far, but I assume that will change as he gets older.

        Oh and I would probably hang on to the rental if I were you and I could swing it!

        #96674 Reply

          Could you just keep the property you own and move into it? That’s a really good interest rate and you aren’t really making that much per month on it.

          #96675 Reply

            I live in NYC and my household income is $180k/yr. Having kids is doable. I have 2 kids.

            I never had to pay for child care bc my MIL takes care of my 2 kids while I work. I live in a rent-stabilized apt building. We don’t own a car. My kids go to public school. We live frugally in order to save for retirement too.

            #96676 Reply

              I don’t see any issue with having kids, really confused… Your income is almost 300k. And you can move to your rental if need be? All this aside, kids are the best, uncomparable to any material stuff.

              #96677 Reply

                Kids are as expensive as you make them and they are worth every penny. We live in a HCOL area with baby #2 on the way, and we live on one very low 6 figure income.

                #96678 Reply

                  Have you looked at what your potential mortgage and expenses will be if you bought a house? What is the breakdown for income you vs. spouse? Could you buy a house that only requires one of your incomes and the other person either stays home or you have their income to cover daycare? Kids can be expensive, but a lot of their expenses are personal choices (activities, private school vs. public).

                  For the rental- could you move in to it as someone else suggested?

                  #96679 Reply

                    That rental profit is piss poor. Just live in the rental or sell the rental. Get on a strict budget (use the every dollar app to see where your money is going). Problem solved!

                    #96680 Reply

                      Some things are worth spending money on. If you’re going to regret not having biological children — have kids and let life figure itself out. You might have to make some sacrifices but IMO that’s better than living your whole life with regret. Sure, you might be financially richer without kids, but will your life be as rich and fulfilling?

                      #96681 Reply

                        Our daycare in East Oakland is $3200/ month so it’s more like $36000/ year for child care.

                        Kids are expensive but you just kind of figure it out. Your salary is going to continue to go up as you advance in your career so a little penny pinching on the front end will pay off in the long term.

                        #96682 Reply

                          They are expensive. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have 4. I don’t live in a HCOL. But we lived in San Diego area for 6 years or so several years ago and I can’t understand how people can retire there without a massive income. Never been to the Bay Area but I know it’s crazy. What about a plan to expedite paying off your mortgage and moving back into your own house? In-home (licensed) daycares are usually cheaper than regular daycares. Or maybe you can find a WFH job and get a mother’s helper to come in for a few hours to help.

                          #96683 Reply

                            I have 4 kids on a single modest income. I never thought kids were expensive but we live frugal. I live in the Seattle area.

                            You can make it as expensive or cheaply as you want.

                            #96684 Reply

                              Lower you spending. My guess is you drive two new cars. Go out on weekends and vacation. No judgement, it’s what you do at that age. It’s a new budget and a new priority.

                              Kids are amazing. We could not have our own naturally, so we adopted. They are 20 and 22 now. Best thing we ever did. And yes, they are expensive.

                              Consider moving g to a different part of the country.

                              $270k is a ton of income! National average is like $80k. Most people make it work. You will not regret it, but you will need to change your lifestyle.

                              #96685 Reply

                                I live in MA.

                                I’d say we probably spend about $45k/yr combined for 2 kids, 2/3 of that being the kid in daycare and 1/3 the kid in public school (but does attend after school program and vacation/summer camps). That doesn’t include funding their 529 or any sort of savings or investment we do for their future. Just childcare, food, clothes/supplies/toys/crafts, birthday parties and a general assumption for incremental expenses like utilities (way more laundry, more dishes, heating/cooling an area of the house that we’d let fluctuate more if it weren’t their rooms).

                                Doesn’t include vacations, sports or other activities because those are things we potentially spend more than average on (ski lessons, cross country travel, another closer to home trip)

                                #96686 Reply

                                  I have 5 kids, I don’t live in a HCOL and never have so I don’t really have personal advise there, but I do know that it always worked out.

                                  Like it forced us to be creative and we found people to watch, we found cheaper reliable daycare, we were able to get our side hustles to a place where they paid for stuff, etc.

                                  I think kids are one of the best investments ever.

                                  They do take money away from the net worth, however they add to the emotional and social net worth way more than they take from the money.

                                  I tease my kids, that if it wasn’t for them I’d already be a multimillionaire… I wouldn’t trade it for the memories and the experiences. I can still go become a multimillionaire later.

                                  Also, I tell them they are part of my retirement plan, so they better be setting aside money to take care of me and their mom! LOL

                                  #96687 Reply

                                    We’re in the Bay Area. I planned to put baby in day care but she was high maintenance and required 1:1 care. We spent about $5k/month for a nanny.

                                    She required special formula that cost about $400/month until just over a year. Once she got into preschool we paid $1,500/mo.

                                    And next year she will be starting private school due to her special needs which costs $20k/yr

                                    She also attends OT that cost about $200/ week. This definitely isn’t the norm.

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