Wait for Babies?

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  • Lu_T
    Lu_T Posts: 906 Forumite
    We wondered about waiting, but decided if we did we would never really be able to afford it. Imogen arrived on Boxing Day 2006 and she's the best thing that happened to either of us.

    It is true you can get lots of things for free/cheaply. We just said 'yes' to everything we were offered - we're not proud! Our list of freebies includes:

    second hand
    whole set of real nappies (up to potty training age) - family friend
    travel system (pram, carrycot & car seat) - sis in law
    car seat - family friend
    moses basket - on load from friend
    bouncy cradle, activity gym, various toys - sis in law
    door bouncer

    new
    nursery furniture bought by grandparents
    various clothes, bibs, blankets & bedding - some bought be people we've never met e.g. parents' work friends
    toys, teddy bears & mobiles

    Other bargains all came from ebay. We reckon we've only spent about £300 on her ourselves in nearly six months. The main expense has been more washing powder and fabric conditioner.

    I'd say "go for it". It might take you a while to conceive anyway, so don't put it off if you both feel you're ready. Take a look at these two MSE forums for further inspiration.

    MSE Pregnancy Club http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=231221&page=164
    MSE Parents' Club http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=338252&page=11

    HTH - and have a good time 'practising' even if you decide not to 'try'!! :T
    MSE Parent Club Member #1
    Yummy slummy mummy club member
    50% slummy, 50% mummy, 100% proud
    Imogen born Boxing Day 2006
    Alex born 13 July 2009
  • Hi there,

    I am one of the couples who has had trouble conceiving. I didn't wait until I was debt free to start trying but I did wait until I felt ready emotionally. Sadly for me still no baby after 10 years. I have also spent thousands on IVF and alternative therapies. If you are emotionally ready then (having the experience I have had) I would say don't wait.

    Sparkly
  • itgirl_3
    itgirl_3 Posts: 6 Forumite
    I agree with what most people are saying here in that there is no right time to have a baby but I think you are right to try and get your finances in order to some extent. On the one hand I'd say go for it but equally on the other I'd say wait a while until you are more financially secure. You say it will take 3 years to pay off the loan. Why don't you wait a year or two before trying? It takes the average couple 12 months to conceive so by the time you actually get pregnant your debt may be paid off. You would still be in your late 20's early 30's so your fertility shouldn't be compromised. Also that would give you and your husband some time together before kids come along. Personally, I have experience of both sides. My husband and I waited years before trying because the House wasn't complete, we had debts etc but when we did start trying we found we couldn't conceive naturally (nothing to do do with my age). Being in debt we couldn't afford private IVF and so waited 3 years for treatment on the NHS. We were lucky and we now have a child but I was 36 by this time and female fertility declines rapidly after 34 so it may have been different. If we had started trying earlier we would have found out earlier and had a better prognosis. On the other hand when I had our son we were in serious debt and the worry and time and effort it took to sort this out (arranging payment schemes, sorting a remortgage etc) marred what should have been one of the best times of my life. Taking all the issues into consideration I would suggest a compromise. Wait a while but not necessarily until the loan is paid off. Also someone stated that 'most' people get a Maternity Grant. I don't think it is 'most', it is means tested and if you and your OH are both in employment it's unlikely you would get it. Good luck and good on you for being responsible.
  • Naetha
    Naetha Posts: 72 Forumite
    We just waited until our debt was manageable, and we'd moved house to a more "family" oriented home. We don't have any loans or credit cards left to pay off, just a mortgage that takes up 35% of our net income!

    It didn't take long though, We reckon I got pregnant within about 5 days of moving in ;)

    8 weeks in and very excited :)
  • icklep
    icklep Posts: 3 Newbie
    Hi,

    My wife and I are in a similar position, I'm 35 and my wife is 28, we want a baby very soon and are in debt. It will take us years to pay off the debt so we were advised by our financial advisor to put the loans\credit cards onto our mortgage.

    We opted for an Interest Only Offset mortgage with IF but whilst we can afford it we're overpaying the mortgage, and if and when the little'n' arrives, we'll pay just the interest on the mortgage whilst my wife is on maternity leave. The advisor warned us that we'd have to be very strict on overpaying (which we are, currently paying £1000 pm £625 of that is interest) and when we change to interest only it was to be for a short period 6-12 months.

    For us things will be very tight, but I am determined that we'll get by, and I know that our families will help us if we ever got into trouble.

    So an interest only mortgage that will allow you to make overpayments maybe worth considering but do get some financial advice as what I hope will work for us may not be right for you,

    good luck;
    p
  • Weefeet
    Weefeet Posts: 15 Forumite
    My OH and I keep having the same row when it comes to having kids. We finally got on to the property ladder in the last 18 months and have had to stretch ourselves to do so. I am presently paying off around £20k of debt and despite being on a good salary, I can only spare £100 after the mortgage, bills etc are paid. We have no savings, no extra to pay off our existing debt. Hubby is in even more debt than myself and also on a good salary (we have a combined income of almost £43k) but still insists that he wants to start a family.

    I agree that you probably do 'get by' but our problem is that of child care. We aren't fortunate enough to live near parents who are willing to look after kids, nor can we afford to move. We would be out around £600 a month in nursery fees and neither of us have that to spare.
    OH thinks I'm being selfish for going with my head and not my heart, but if we don't have the spare cash, we just don't have it but he wants to throw caution to the wind and start trying!
    I am really worried that if I do what he suggests, then we will end up in a worse position than we already are and I'd end up resenting the child.

    Any advice?

    BTW, I'm 30 and because I have 'women's problems', my GP has told me not to wait the estimated 3 years it would take for us to be out of a good deal of our debt.
  • rozeepozee
    rozeepozee Posts: 1,971 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker

    Now she has got me thinking that perhaps we should just go ahead and start trying.

    So what do you guys and gals think? Just after some opinions really.

    Thanks xx
    Don't wait! If you want a baby with this man (and I'm assuming you do if you're marrying him ;) ) just do it! Babies don't have to cost much anyway, do your research and you can get most things for little or nothing (people give you loads, car boot sales, freecycle, breast feed and reusable nappies would be the money saving advice off the top of my head). I've just had my first at 37 and am shocked by the fact that I love it so much, I'd like a real brood but I've left it a bit late to have four! I overlooked the fact that its not just about when you have your first, unless you only want the one.
  • lauralla
    lauralla Posts: 74 Forumite
    For me and my husband (we got married 2 months ago) its slightly different. Its not the cost of kitting the baby out, buying clothes, pushchair, cot etc etc, but afterwards. Currently we are paying approx £1300 per month on debts, I take home around £1100 and my husband £1400. The debt should be cleared by the end of 2008 (fingers crossed) and we've got to wait til then before we can try for kids.
    How could we continue to pay the debt at the same cost, AND pay childcare - or, if I give up work and stay at home with the baby (which we both want me to do) how do we pay the debts back????
    I can't see a way to pay both debts and childcare at the same time, not when we are talking £1300 a month on debt, and I don't know how much for childcare.
    :-(
  • dubgirl
    dubgirl Posts: 402 Forumite
    First Anniversary
    i would tell anyone to go for it as there is never a right time. i fell pregnant before I had my lightbulb moment and although it has been a struggle, it is worth it and somehow you will cope.
    Weefeet - we have been paying £700 per month for childcare (4 days a week at nursery). We have just made a momentous decision and OH is going to be a house husband and work part time in evenings and weekends. Its not ideal, but we will be saving money, able to get rid of one car and probably have less stress, although not much more money in reality. We are only paying £65 per month to debts, which means that it would take forever to pay off £40,000, but this is only intended as a short term option and in a couple of years time, OH will go back to work when DS goes to school and debt payments increase considerably.
    Perhaps this is an option you can consider
  • jo_b_2
    jo_b_2 Posts: 7,123 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    bclark wrote: »
    It seems that there are a number of differing opinions on here regarding how expensive having kids is. Lots of people have been daying that it is cheaper than you would think and others have been saying that it is really expensive!

    Which is it?

    The amount that you really *have* to spend on the basic baby essentials can be quite small - especially if you are prepared to buy most things second-hand.

    The expense comes when either
    a) trying to survive on a single salary when you have been used to two salaries
    or
    b) having two salaries but needing to pay childcare costs out of those

    I think the OP is mainly worried about being able to meet the basic loan repayments out of a single salary, which is a really valid concern. £400 per month is a heavy commitment if only one partner is working.

    Personally, I would wait until the loan was paid off unless my partner's salary was sufficient that we could afford the loan and basic expenses on that alone. It would be a real shame for a mother to be under pressure to return to work much earlier than she would like to, just to meet loan repayments. (And yes, I do accept that many mums do have to return to work early just to get by - including myself.)

    In my case, when I had my first child I was the main wage-earner and had to go back to work full-time after 8 months. Luckily we had been able to budget and save beforehand to enable me to have those 8 months off work because maternity rights weren't as generous at that point. :o
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