Monday, May 30, 2011

'But how do you afford 5 kids?'

I was asked the question recently by a first-time mum, "But how do you afford 5 kids?".

I actually didn't know what to say.  In the end I cobbled together an answer -  'well, we've never had a lot of money', 'we don't go on fancy holidays', 'they go to public schools', 'live in a three bedroom house', 'we eat a lot of mince'.  I was a bit hopeless.  I suspect it is a question that others would like to ask too.

So I've been thinking.  How do we afford our kids?  I don't actually know - I do know that we have trusted in God to look after us and we've never been hungry or homeless (except for one week in 2006 ... story for another day!). But we've made it this far and for some of the years we had no income when Rowan was studying and for most of the time we've had one income.  We've always worked hard to live within the limits of the income that we have.  It's often tight financially, but I don't think we've missed out on anything - our kids might not agree but they still get loads of great stuff.  Actually the other day I was thinking that maybe our kids are getting life too cushy!

But what I realised is that maybe the significant difference is that we haven't taken on paying off a Sydney house.  So with me being at home we've not been juggling the extra anxiety of a mortgage to pay.

So we'll be poor in our old age but maybe less stressed about generating enough income along the way.  And realistically, we'll be too busy babysitting in retirement to worry much about missing out on overseas holidays!

4 comments:

Tasmanian said...

We have three kids... so far. Here are our ideas for saving. 95% of my kids' clothing is 2nd hand or made by Grandma (as is probably 50% of mine! In 13 years of marriage, I can count the number of times we've paid for accommodation on one hand - we stay with aunties or sisters or friends or friends-of-friends. (Harder to do with five kids I know, but my sister has five and she still does it.) We use the toy library. We tape TV shows instead of buying DVDs. We swap babysitting with friends. I volunteer at play group in lieu of paying term fees. Nearly all our furniture (lounge suite, dining table and chairs, desks, stools, beds) are things other people didn't need anymore. Older three-bedroom house in an outer suburb. I think that looking back in thirty years time we will be glad we had baby number four (and five?!) instead of spending on those other things.

Tasmanian said...

And baby gear? Cots? Capsules? Prams? All handed down to us in the great circle of life that is motherhood.

Rebecca said...

My mum probably wishes that babysitting grandkids was all she did too - but they are scattered all across the globe. So the overseas trips for her are not merely holidays! You'd better start praying that your kids don't want to be missionaries :)

Jenny said...

O yes - so true Rebecca!