Monday, April 16, 2012

Think it through first

Disclaimer: I am not a parent, but I have nieces, nephews and have close relationships with my friend’s children. I am a strong advocate for one parent (mum or dad) being able to stay home with their child/children before they get to school age, but understand that this is not always possible.

Nevertheless, I have a HUGE problem with people that keep having children when they are already struggling financially.

I understand that unexpected pregnancies occur and certainly do not expect people to terminate those pregnancies. I also fully appreciate that people’s circumstances can change suddenly with the loss of jobs or the break-up of a relationship. However (in my opinion), to knowingly bring a child into the world when things are already financially tight is irresponsible.

I often hear some people saying “I cannot afford to stay home with my child” or “it is so tough with food prices/the recession etc.” when people are NOT willing to downsize or make changes to their lifestyle to allow for changes in family size. Yes, downsizing is tough and a steep learning curve but it is totally achievable.

Why should taxpayers or the government foot the bill for people not willing to change?

Personally, I think that people can afford to live on one salary especially if it fairly reasonable. Families managed to do this when I was growing up. Mark told me his mum used to save the small family allowance she received from the government to use for bigger things i.e. to help pay for a present or new pair of shoes etc. I think this generation wants things now and are not often prepared to wait and save for it.

Call me naïve but I do not know why we cannot learn from our parents (and grandparents) generations. Surely, being at home with your children is worthwhile to teach them values and spend time with them?

There are plenty of ways to look at how you can cut costs and still enjoy life. Last year I wrote a blog about what people have done to reduce the cost of living. While it is not always easy it is something that people are doing to achieve what they want in life whether it is a new baby, buying a home or just trying to get into a better financial position.

I still do not think there are enough resources out there for people to use. I think that we need to be talking to our friends, family and communities to see what others are doing to see if it would work for us.

What do you think?


  1. I agree. It was only a generation ago that the "day care" kids were in the minority. Now everyone's expected to put their kids in daycare as soon as humanly possible. I think we all think we have to have everything brand new and perfect when our parents took our whole childhoods to reach that stage in life - I certainly didn't feel like I missed out on anything! Right now I am a stay at home mum to a five month old and we're on one income. We're really struggling this month because of things that are out of our control (long story about a wedding I'm in), but on the whole we do OK. Things get tight, but we wouldn't have it any other way! One day I'll work again but for now we want one of us to be there for our bub/s! I see people cry poor and say they HAVE to work and leave their kids, when they really just want to pay for the massive house with all the mod cons that they're building or for the brand new SUV they HAVE to have. We need to get back to basics!!!!! I live in a fairly new house, the baby has all he needs and we can afford a coffee or lunch or dinner here or there. I can occasionally buy some nice clothes (usually bargains if you're clever enough) and we drive reliable cars which are a few years old. It's not that hard - people just don't want to do it.

  2. You always say it so succintly Kez. I definitely agree. We don't need the all the flash things when the basic cars, TV's etc. will do just fine. I think it's about budgeting and perhaps some people don't know how to budget so they can still have some nice things.