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Old 08-07-2008, 06:42 AM   #81
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I think Enuff's questions are valid. Consider that really in very few industrialized countires (let alone the entire world) do we have the luxury of making these decisions without the factor of money.
People get married for a number of different reasons. And that seems to be acceptable. To declare that economics should not enter into the decision of why you choose to have or not have any or more kids is a bit arrogant.
In some countries (like Italy, Germany) a basic standard of life (health care, pension, etc) may be pretty well provided for but a well paying job is difficult to find. This may result in kids living with their parents longer and may contribute to a lower national birth rate.
Some countries have very little social structure and no pension or retirement opportunities of which to speak. So having children that survive into adulthood is the means to ensure one is cared for in your dotage. Is this not an economic decision? How would you comment on the not uncommon practice in certain countries of selling a child into slavery (e.g. Congo or countries where the sex slave trade is rampant)?
Kids do take alot of resources, be it love, money, time, energy, or whatever else. So why would you have just 2 instead of 3 kids? B/c you don't have enough love? Why is one factor any more justifiable or loftier than another?
fwiw, we have one kid and another will be arriving soon (and judging from the u/s, a carbon copy of the first).
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:30 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Delawaredave5 View Post
Cost of kids is fairly "linear" (more kids, more cost) -- but I think there's a non-linear cost jump when going from 2 to 3. Usually at 3 kids:
- you need the minivan not the sedan,
- you need 4 bedrooms, not 3
- you need 2 hotel rooms, not 1
- etc
Superstitions Or maybe substitute need for want.

1. Last time I checked most sedans sold in US can carry 5 people. If you need to fit small kids in the back, the key is to get narrow child seats (like Radian 65 for example). Even with 5 kids you can get fit them in pre-2007 V70 Volvo station wagon
2. So tell my why bunk beds are so popular?
3. Not if your kids are used to narrow spots, like bunks on a boat Than you can fit three or four of them on a queen bed

Also in few things economy of scale enters the equation, for example:
- babysitter does not charge 50% more per hour for watching 3 kids vs. 2 kids. (in our area we pay 10/14/16 per hr for watching 1/2/3 kids)
- you can frequently have kids do the same activities, so at least your per kid transportation costs are lower.
- for the second kid you need to buy less stuff, even more true with the third one

expecting the third one in December
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:07 PM   #83
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Originally Posted by sailor View Post
Also in few things economy of scale enters the equation, for example:
You forgot to mention all those restaurants which advertise "... and the kids eat free!"

We've only bought one home in our lifetime: a 4-br 3.5 ba house. We had a toddler at the time. In our ZIP code close to our jobs, a 3-br home was a rare thing indeed and would've still be a tough resell. The incremental housing cost when our second kid came along years later: $0. We had a station wagon before any of our kids were born (actually before we were married, my spouse had a station wagon which she brought into the marriage). Incremental vehicle cost when we were up to 2 kids: $0.

One very easy way to reduce the costs of having children is to try to time the birth about 1 year after the birth of the child of a close friend or relative. As the other child grows, you will have access to a lot of free stuff including clothes, toys, books, musical instruments, sports equipment, junk, etc.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:36 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
You forgot to mention all those restaurants which advertise "... and the kids eat free!"
They pretty much always require a paying adult per-kid, so that is another example where you do not get scale economies past 2.

Sailor: perhaps after you've had three kids for a while you'll see what we're talking about. Or perhaps not. I'm talking about living a typical modern urban lifestyle. I suppose that is a "want" not a "need". BTW, volvo station wagons are really expensive.

A lot of people have talked about having children in terms of the impact on their personal happiness. I think there is a little more to it than that. It may be worth some personal inconvenience to provide the best life you can to someone else.
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