Saturday, July 08, 2006

Frugalities

I wrote a bit on my frugal ways at Larger Families. It's so much more than what I wrote. If I knew how to link back to my archives I'd put cute little hi-lights to words that you could click back and read some of my living posts, but I don't know how to do that....anyone wan to leave me a brilliant comment on how to do that?

I'm still trying to come to terms with one of the writers saying that a larger family doesn't really cost more. Listen folks, in reality it does and I'll just list a few things here:

Diapers
Wipes
Braces
College Tuition
Medical Bills
Weddings
Music Lessons
Sports

So, unless your using cloth diapers, rags to wipe a baby butt, have crooked teeth children, all your children are brainiacs and get full ride scholarships, are never sick, never get married, you are musically gifted and teach them every instrument they are interested in playing or you don't allow them to take lessons of any sort and you have kids that don't participate in organized sports (this would be a God send for me) then I would agree that one child costs the same as four or more.

Kids are expensive. But, they are a guaranteed investment for my future. They don't cramp my lifestyle they enhance it. They also have taken away most of my selfish ambitions and taught me to love unconditionally.

13 comments:

mj said...

Amen! Preach it sister!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was going to say "amen", too. You are right about all of that, April. I haven't even thought about braces. I didn't need them, neither did Jon, but I think that our boys might. I'll be crossing that bridge later. :) Until then, I'm living in denial.
-- annie

Mark said...

OK { = the less than sign and } = the greater than sign.

Links:
{a href="http://thepageyoulink.com"}the words you want to be a links{/a}

Things to watch for: failing to quote your quote marks, and doing you're writing on a word processor that automatically converts your quotations into cute curly ones that don't work in html.

Mark said...

Ugh. "...failing to close your quote marks..."

Abby said...

You forgot regular school tuition too. Because I'm thinking probably the more kids you have, the less likely you will be sane enough to homeschool all of them. Also, as we have seen lately, you have to have a bigger house and a bigger car to accomodate more people, therefore more insurance on top of more rent/mortgage and more gas for your bigger vehicle. Just my two cents as I am crossing out of the small family bracket (into the moderate size, I guess?).

Jody said...

Well, I guess I have to disagree to some extent. Kids cost money, that is for sure. But I honestly have not seen the #'s of kids effect our checking account all that much.

I have 4, send my kids to private school (3 kids costs the same as 2...most schools give huge breaks). So far, no braces, I cloth diaper part time, but have only had one kid in diapers at a time, so I have never noticed the bruise to our pocket book in this respect. I have 3 boys and a girl, so one wedding will be it, tops. But I can guarantee it won't be on scale to Princess Di's. My kids take music lessons at school and sports are $30 a year per kid.

My husband is a PA, so routine medical care for us is free, and we have private pay insurance, and it costs the same regardless of # of kids (BC/BS rocks).

One thing for sure. I do not believe that it is my duty to pay for a full ride to college for each child. I think they owe that to themselves. I put myself through college, as did my husband, and we are none the worse for wear. Both of us are very well educated professionals.

My paternal grandparents raised 10 children in a 3 bedroom, 1 bath farmhouse in rural Wisconsin during the depression. My g-grandfather worked at Neenah Paper Company, which is now Kimberly Clark. They were poor. They had 5 girls and 5 boys. Each and every one of them went on to lead productive, happy lives.

I just think that todays society thinks it owes children an easy life. We tend to overindulge our kids more so then my parents or grandparents did. Not sure why, it just seems to be.

I had a friend tell me, "your crazy if you try for a 5th child. Remember, you have to put all those kids through college". I totally disagree with judging whether or not you should have another baby by how much college tuition is going to cost in the year 2025....you know, if you do, you might miss the blessings.

Anyway, for sure my grocery bill is a bit higher, but not much...yet. I have 3 growing boys, so only time will tell.

So anyhow, just my 2 cents!

Jody said...

whoops, that would be my paternal GREAT-grandparents...my grandfathers (Carmen McC's husband) parents.

april said...

Hey Jody,
Thanks for your comments. I agree with you on not paying for every detail involved with my children's higher education but I would like to help my kids with tuition. I will expect them to work for their living expenses and hopefully they won't come out into their adult lives and into a marriage with a big college debt looming over them. It took us 12 years to pay off all our college loans.

Also, we didn't have insurance with our 1st and 2nd child so we spent many years recovering from those medical bills. Your very fortunate to have those medical benefits.

As far as weddings I think proper etiquette says the grooms family pays for the rehearsal dinner....so you and I will be hosting 3 of those if our boys find that perfect girl. I think I'll use my father's wisdom and tell my daughter she has a certain amount of money to spend and if she has any left over she can use it for her honeymoon.

Let's all agree that we as Americans are overindulged and believe we deserve far more than we get. Hopefully our kids will learn that you can make do in a tight situation....I applaud your grandparents and I bet the boys in the family used the nearest tree to relieve themselves on many occasions given the one bathroom situation.

Jody said...

Yeah, we just paid off our college loans last year as well. It is hard, but it wasn't so bad.

Yes, we are fortunate that basic health stuff is pretty much taken care of. But with our 3rd, who had clubfoot, we racked up over $45,000 in medical bills. But that could have just as well been our first child, had it not been Quinn.

I guess what I am trying to say, is, it just is. I guess I had never given it much thought how much they cost until last week. It just never occured to me. That's why Kims first sentence "Children aren't expensive...lifestyles are." really caught me, because it is so much how I feel.

Abby said...

I don't know you Jody, but because I know most of the other people posting on here, and many other families like them, I have to disagree with you. I am by no means attacking you, I agree that there are certain lifestyles that people make too much of and can also understand why you would defend yourself if people are telling you not to have more children based on how much it will cost. On the other hand, it seems like a lot of people are living the lifestyle of "making ends meet" and they probably appreciate the validation that yes, it does cost more to have more children. Whether or not you personally have one daughter is irrelevant to the man with six daughters; he will have that expense. But whatever the gender of your children, if you are barely getting by, it is tougher to have to buy four pairs of shoes in the fall than two, or have five copays and perscriptions to fill when strep throat hits than three. As mentioned before, there is a need for a larger home, larger vehicles, more money needed for groceries, even Christmas presents. Maybe you can go to garage sales for Christmas gifts, but you still have to buy four gifts instead of two, or whatever. It's not that it's impossible or that anyone from the outside should dare criticize how many children a family chooses to have; they are precious gifts and worth sacrifices like April said. I just imagine being on the inside of a larger family, as you are and I am not, it might get a little tough and I can see why.

Meagan Francis said...

I think I agree and disagree. What I've found is that each of us have adjusted our personal price tags as we've made room for more kids in the family. There are ways to become more efficient and not spend a bunch more, but there are also things that you can't really hand down (braces being a good example). I think though that what I find is that our overall lifestyle isn't more expensive than our friends with one or two kids. We spend more in some areas, and less in others, and in the end it seems to even out.

Of course, I haven't tried to feed teenage boys yet. Maybe then all bets will be off!

Kim said...

Actually I didn't say having a large family doesn't really cost more. I said that a large family is an EFFICIENT unit. MOST basic expenses don't increase expotentially as you add children...those are what I talked about. I admitted food was one area that increased expotentially. I also cause it to increase by loosening my spending habits...number of children I have doesn't matter in this case. It's a reason I included tips to save.

Above you listed a bunch of areas where large families cost a lot of money. Other than the medical bills and maybe braces (if medically needed) the rest are LIFESTYLE choices.

Actually, now that I think about it, medical bills aren't directly related to your family size either. It's related to how healthy a person is. If someone in a family of 4 has cancer, they'll spend a LOT more then a family of 10 with healthy children.

Weddings can cost hundreds, thousands or millions of dollars...it's a choice. College isn't always necessary to succeed in life. Nor is it necessary to provide your child with a college education. I do help my kids with college expenses...but it's my CHOICE...not a necessity.

I'm not saying lifestyle choices aren't important choices. Not saying I don't spend my money the same way. I'm not saying that they are frivilous ways to spend money. Just making my point...children aren't expensive...lifestyles are.

Linking to my article so that those that haven't read it can see exactly what was said.

Efficiency at its best

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