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Old 10-20-2011, 03:10 PM   #81
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Sounds like Saturday nights when I was in college..........
Oh, they put the saddle on you?

Assuming they did, English or Western?
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Old 10-21-2011, 11:26 AM   #82
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Most of those studies get that number by assigning a percentage of housing and transportation costs to the child.

That might make sense if you are currently living in a small apartment and need to upgrade your living space to make room, but it's a little silly in most cases.

Our house didn't get more expensive when we had our daughter. We bought our newer car with a child in mind, but it didn't really add any meaningful expense.
We might have different views on purchases, but speaking for myself, I would never buy more house than I needed. I would be abiding by logic, then, if I were to say I would buy (or bought) a bigger house if my life plans included kids vs. no kids.

The same goes for cars. Would you buy, say, a Toyota Avalon if you were single? Who's to say you couldn't do that, but I sure wouldn't!

Speaking for me, my house and cars would be what you'd expect for my size family. They cost what they do accordingly. To be clear, I'm not saying this rule must apply to you. In statistics, they talk about standard deviation, outliers, and the like. You may have found a way to be below the 220K average. I'm only speaking about the mean cost.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:58 PM   #83
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Sure, but most people are not purchasing these things so close to the minimum they "need" that the first child is really adding much real cost. Most of our neighbors are older couples without children. I don't see them as wildly extravagent for living in a small 3-bedroom home.

It's a rare person who actually purchases only the home that they "need".

We bought a small 3-bedroom house in 2005 because we wanted a garden, a basement for aquariums, and generally it doesn't make much sense to buy a house any smaller. When our daughter was born this year, we got rid of stuff in one of the bedrooms, and made it into her bedroom.

I don't really think of her using that room as a real cost of having her.

Likewise, we bought a used Kia Rhondo as our primary vehicle last year. We bought it with having a child in mind, but it wasn't more expensive than just about anything else we were going to buy. It's certainly cheaper than the convertible I bought as a single person.

I think many of the costs attributed to having children in those articles are already being born by most people, regardless of having children. My single co-worker who bought the Lincoln Navigator and the big house on the river is set for about five kids before he has to worry about space


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Originally Posted by slazenger View Post
We might have different views on purchases, but speaking for myself, I would never buy more house than I needed. I would be abiding by logic, then, if I were to say I would buy (or bought) a bigger house if my life plans included kids vs. no kids.

The same goes for cars. Would you buy, say, a Toyota Avalon if you were single? Who's to say you couldn't do that, but I sure wouldn't!

Speaking for me, my house and cars would be what you'd expect for my size family. They cost what they do accordingly. To be clear, I'm not saying this rule must apply to you. In statistics, they talk about standard deviation, outliers, and the like. You may have found a way to be below the 220K average. I'm only speaking about the mean cost.
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Old 10-21-2011, 02:18 PM   #84
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Oh, they put the saddle on you?

Assuming they did, English or Western?
Sounds like you are suggesting that pretty teen girls with leather boots and riding crops rode me in college. Ok, it's about time to plead the 5th on that. My Chippendale outfits are long gone.......
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:52 PM   #85
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Old 10-21-2011, 06:54 PM   #86
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Now that is an old computer-monochrome monitor?
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Old 10-22-2011, 10:11 AM   #87
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Isn't this the child who wants to become an engineer?
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Old 10-22-2011, 11:47 AM   #88
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A few months after that picture was taken mayhem ensued when trying to hold baby in lap and do things on the computer <I am thinking> Random extra keystrokes, anyone?
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:47 PM   #89
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That was 1988, and I don't think it was mono -- perhaps a NEC multisync. I know I had two monitors for a long while, a green mono monitor on one side for debugging.

Yes, she is now a successful engineer -- three cheers for early training.
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Old 10-22-2011, 07:07 PM   #90
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That was 1988, and I don't think it was mono -- perhaps a NEC multisync. I know I had two monitors for a long while, a green mono monitor on one side for debugging.

Yes, she is now a successful engineer -- three cheers for early training.
Nice photos Al. Our daughter became a software engineer. Here she is in 1982 aged 18 months on a computer I had from work, while I was doing some overtime.
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:21 PM   #91
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Those babies on computers are adorable! Thanks y'all!
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Old 10-23-2011, 06:21 PM   #92
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A PET computer -- one of my first jobs was on one of those.

Back on the "kids are expensive," theme...

There was a news item on NBC News about a woman who was poor and needed help. She had four kids. It's too late for her, but shouldn't someone get the message out that, well, kids are expensive? Is that politically incorrect to say?
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:23 PM   #93
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There was a news item on NBC News about a woman who was poor and needed help. She had four kids. It's too late for her, but shouldn't someone get the message out that, well, kids are expensive? Is that politically incorrect to say?
With our current subsidy structure, I think the lowest rung of society actually does well by having more kids. For example, to qualify for a lot of government handouts, you have to be poor AND have kids. Being poor or having kids by itself isn't sufficient.

Maybe the subsidy structures currently in place are the problem that leads to poor people having lots of kids (or at least being indifferent to preventing having lots of kids).
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:32 PM   #94
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We might have different views on purchases, but speaking for myself, I would never buy more house than I needed. I would be abiding by logic, then, if I were to say I would buy (or bought) a bigger house if my life plans included kids vs. no kids.
Not sure about where you live, but if you want a single family house with a yard in my neighborhood, your options for housing come in 3, 4, or 5 bedroom varieties. So by default you are living in a place with enough space for at least 2 kids, possibly 6-8. Obviously, this means lots of childless neighbors are consuming excessive amounts of housing, even with their 1000-1200 sf 3 bedroom houses.

Similarly with cars, most cheap cars you buy today come with 4 to 5 seats and most have 4 doors. Which means you are set for life if you have 2 kids, and probably through age 11-12 for the oldest one if you have 3+ kids and they are large. My cheapo Honda civic I bought during college (before kids were even a thought) is still more than adequate for our two girls (oldest is almost 7), and it may be the car my daughter starts driving in high school. We even <gasp!> occasionally carry a third kid in our car. I'm not sure if I could have saved any money by buying a 2 seater car, but I probably would not have bought a 2 seater anyway, since I may want to carry non-children passengers in my car from time to time.

But back to the point about kids costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, I guess you could look at an analogy. Let's imagine a study finds that the average couple's vacation to Europe costs $6000. But I can do it for $2000 by getting cheaper flights, finding deals on hotels, rail passes and buses, hotel deals, buying groceries instead of dining in tourist areas, etc. Same thing with raising kids. It is all about making choices and seeking value for your expenditures.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:37 AM   #95
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Also, we are ignoring the positive opportunity costs of kids. DW and I went out to dinner/dancing more often before kids, now it's family movie night and microwave popcorn...
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