Don’t Have Children If You Can’t Take Care Of Yourself

In “How To Dramatically Increase Your Job Security For Life“, the article suggests managers are more inclined to fire those workers who have nobody to support but themselves.  As a result, one should strategically at least hint at the intention of starting a family to protect oneself from unemploymentville.  Clearly I’m being somewhat flippant.  My goal is to make people realize that relationships and emotion play enormous roles in shaping work success.

Whether you work for a small family business or a large corporation, hiring and firing is a very personal decision that comes down to one or only a handful of decision makers.  By tugging at their souls, and increasing their guilt factor, you’re well on your way to dramatically higher job security for life.

Let’s say you’re not particularly wealthy, nor make a particularly impressive amount of money.  You still have loads of student loans and consumer debt to pay off.  In essence, you’re the typical American!  Shouldn’t you be putting on your air mask before helping others?

Child raising is estimated to cost anywhere between $250,000 to $1 million from birth to after college.  If a family can’t even have the discipline to save 20% of their paycheck after contributing to their 401K and IRA, how can one consciously start a family?

$250,000 ISN’T A LOT, YET HOW MANY CAN SAVE THAT MUCH?

A typical person graduates college by 22.  If you’re really slow, perhaps 25.  $250,000 divided by 25 is only $10,000/year in after tax costs to raise your child.  If you’re in the 25% tax bracket ($68,000-$137,000 income), you’ll need to make roughly $13,000 in gross income to net $10,000.  Right off the bat, you’ll have to save anywhere from 10-20% a year to pay for your child.  Sure, for the first 10 years you probably won’t be spending $10,000 a year, but what about for the last 15 years with tuition costs and inflation?

Any private college worth attending costs over $40,000 a year.  Let’s say little Johnny is brilliant and gets a 50% scholarship.  That’s $20,000 a year right there plus another $15,000 a year for living and school expenses.  Even public schools run about $20-$25,000 a year nowadays in tuition and living expenses.

The $1 MILLION DOLLAR PROPOSAL

In “Do “C” Students Deserve “A” Lifestyles“, the article suggests the government impose restrictions on what certain people can buy based on their average GPA in high school or college. For example, only if you have a 3.7/4.0 or higher in college, are you allowed to buy a BMW.  A 3.5 GPA allows you to buy a Honda Accord or cheaper, and those who couldn’t even crack 2.5 are restricted to biking or walking.

The idea is that if you were smart enough to get straight “A’s” in college, you are smart enough to realize that buying a $5,000 Hermes handbag, and spending more than you make is a sure way to financial ruin.  Conversely, if you were dumb enough to not try in school and not realize the importance of education, then it’s best to leave the weapons of mass financial destruction out of your hands.  Society shouldn’t have to bail you out in the end.

As the government continues to infiltrate all our lives, may I suggest a new proposal. Unless your household net worth is over $1 million, no American household is allowed to have a child!  OK, so $1 million is likely too high of a hurdle, but you get the idea.  Institute minimal financial standards, such as having at least a positive net worth and a declaration of a 10 year financial game plan before a couple can start a family.

Remember, we the people of America voted in the current administration, which means the majority of us support Big Government.  I’m just going with the flow here of introducing Big Brother to more aspect of our daily lives because we love the government so much!

Think about all the positives that will come out of this legislation:

1) Population control. We are the #1 user of Earth’s natural resources.  Curb population growth, decrease our fiscal burden, and let the world live longer.

2) Improved financial health. Those who really want kids will stop messing around and really start saving and working on their finances.

3) Increased care for the child. With a net worth of at least $1 million, there’s a lower chance your child will experience neglect due to lack of funds.

4) More well-rounded children. With more resources, a child can take as many art, music, sports lessons as he or she wants.  After school tutoring is no problem, neither is a cultural immersion trip overseas.

5) Less divorce and happier parents. Without the strains of money (the #1 item couples argue over), there’s less stress for couples.  Happier couples mean happier, less trauma-exposed children. 

CONCLUSION

With over 143 MILLION orphans around the world, maybe we should think thrice about having children.  Perhaps the Duggars family, with their 18 kids aren’t really doing “God’s work.”  Maybe they’d do better adopting 18 children who need help instead.

We all have the right to do whatever we want, but should we?  If we aren’t willing to help feed or adopt a starving child, at the very least, let’s not add another by making sure our financial health is in order first before having our own.

People frequently say there’s no right time to have children.  That’s baloney.  The right time to have children is when you have an unwavering desire to care for someone for 18+ years.  Your finances are the least of your worries because they’re set, and you have a clear plan for child raising.  If you have no plan, no money, and no intense desire please don’t have children.  Figure out how to take care of yourself first.

RECOMMENDATION

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Keigu,

Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”


Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. says

    This article touches right at home. My wife and I are planning on adopting our next child. In some countries they are too poor to take care of kids.. so why don’t they stop having them? That’s my question. Look at Africa.. Uganda has 2.3 Million orphaned children, mostly because of Aids and the wars with rebels. Its sad and wrong and since they can’t take care of them.. they should stop having them! Uganda just passed a law about 2 years ago that made it much harder for anyone to adopt a child from there. I have two different friends who were in the process of adopting and that has slowed to almost a stand still.

    The USA is a different story. People who can’t take care of a child shouldn’t have them. There’s so much opportunity here for work its hard to believe they couldn’t take care of their own kids.

    Its sad how many kids are orphans in this world! We plan on changing the lives of a few of them through adoption.

      • says

        We had always planned on adopting from an African nation but don’t really know which route we will go. There are tons of children in America that need families as well. This is something we plan on doing within the next 2 years. My wife just gave birth to our 3rd child a few months ago.

  2. JR says

    I am probably a bit jaded by life and times, but I basically agree with the idea of some minimum set of standards for having children. I see too many folks having kids for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes “love is all you need,” most times it seems not the case. Then everyone sits at home (as Mobius from Detroit said) waiting for the enabling program handouts. I submit a minimum level of education in addition to the net worth. Perhaps the $1mill is setting the bar high; perhaps say that one’s net must be firmly approaching X.

    Additionally, why must it always be that we have to have kids? Why are we so against adoption? Every time we see a childless couple, everyone seems to be pressuring them to have kids; if they do not something must be wrong with them. If they adopt or choose not to have kids they are viewed as pariahs in some way. I see both of these as responsible choices.

  3. MimiR says

    Wow. This is your dumbest post yet.

    First of all, it costs $250k a year to people who send their kids to $5k summer camps. The real cost of the first child is, including saving for college (yes, at an excellent public university–for an undergraduate degree, a private university is terrible ROI now) is no more than $5k a year. The cost for additional children are at least $1k less than that–more if the second child is the same gender.

    Here are reasons to have children:

    1) Prevent the collapse of civilization. Demographic collapse is no joke. It’s happened before, and it’s happening now, and it doesn’t play around.

    2) It’s impossible to adopt almost all of those millions of orphans because the UNICEF believes that it’s better for orphans to starve at home than to go to parents of a different culture. The cost of international adoption is now averaging above $25k and heading higher rapidly.

    3) The parents who waited until they were “financially secure” to have their single child do not usually have more well-rounded children. They have spoiled, neurotic children who are babied and pandered, who are never bored so never learn to think or dream, who are aimless, witless, insipid, and dull. There are exceptions, but they are just that.

    4) Children are not neglected because their parents aren’t rich. Children grow up in a distorted fishbowl if their parents have too much. We aren’t rich, but we’ve had to be very careful with our children because spoiling them today, when consumer goods are so cheap, is ridiculously easy.

    5) Not having children doesn’t lead to lower divorce rates. And being wealthy doesn’t make stupid people any smarter about money. My neighbors make over $200k a year and live in a @##$#hole of a 1950s ranch half the size of ours (they have holes in their kitchen ceiling covered with cardboard and duct tape, to give you just ONE example…) because neither the husband nor the wife have any self-control, and they spend the money on crap the second it comes in and have no savings and no safety net and are always up to their ears in debt.

    And, yes, you dimwit, the children available from US sources are virtually all coming with enormous amounts of baggage. The waiting list for a healthy child under 5 of any race is HUGE, and there are so many people unable to have children of their own who are desperate for a child that you’d have to be the biggest dick in the world to want to shove one out because you can’t be bothered to breed your own.

  4. MimiR says

    And, BTW, we have 2 kids of our own–so far–and are dedicating more than $3,500 directly to helping the poor in other countries next year–focusing on children. ($720 is going to an African AIDS orphanage, for instance.) And we are NOT nearly as well off as you.

    What have you actually DONE?

  5. not using real name says

    This is why I don’t have children. They just cost to much. And am selfish and I want my time to myself. I see my nieces and nephews becoming little shitheads. (that is a proper child rearing term right?) and I don’t want anything to do with diaper changing screaming vomiting
    rug rat ankle biters. I have heard it all…you will change your mind, but you will LOVE them when you have them. What ever. Woman that Does not want children ever…

  6. says

    I’ve wanted to wait until I have a $500k networth to have kids. It’s looking like if things continue the way they are going my networth will be about $300k at the time. It makes me nervous to not have at least a half million in savings before having children. Unfortunately my boyfriend has no savings so I must focus on getting to $500k quicker somehow, or decide not to have children. It’s unfortunate as so many people I know have kids and they are in debt, but I don’t feel like I have a right to bring a child into the world until I have some serious savings.

  7. Dan says

    I totally disagree with this conclusion. I am the youngest of five children, and my parents definitely couldn’t take care of themselves. However, they gave me lots of love and I and my wife, oldest of 3 (I guess she was lucky enough to be prior to her father’s vasectomy) have over 500k of networth, over 700k if you include home equity, which I typically don’t because it’s not producing any income for us. We have two kids. Why do you think everything is so expensive. My 1 year old son does not hardly require anything that he’s ever asked for. Baby’s clothes are cheap, cheaper if used, our house is a fixed cost so no extra expense there, some minimal utilities, some diapers, and $1600 worth of reduced federal income taxes, a $1000 per child tax credit and an additional personal exemption.

    These people who quote these figures are crackheads.

  8. Leslie Cushman says

    What a horrible heartless post. Thank you for the day’s entertainment although it’s a little scary to know how people like you really think. Godless, heartless, robotic people, enjoy your sterile lives.

    Thank you to Dan father of 2!

    • says

      Heartless is having a child when you can’t afford to take care of yourself or the well being of the child. Children are helpless and rely on parents to nurture them. Think about all the suffering that has resulted from negligent parents. Anybody can create a baby. It takes a real man and woman to be a father and mother.

  9. says

    I TOTALLY AGREE with the concept of limiting the privilege of parenting to those who can meet the “good parent” definition as:
    “-Individuals who provide a stable, emotionally nurturing environment for a child without IMPOSING a financial or social burden on fellow citizens”-

    The 1 million dollar mark seems a bit high, but (having left the “breeding” to others) I would have no idea
    My husband and I decided 13 years ago (when he proposed) that enjoying each other’s company and having the freedom to live in different countries was more important to us than taking care of a child

    If we ever get the urge… We’ll adopt!

  10. mysticaltyger says

    I think the $1M requirement is ludicrous. However, we USED TO have a “minimum standard” for having children, of sorts. It was called “marriage”. As in, there was a major societal stigma for those who had kids out of wedlock. It turns out that kids from married 2 parent families do better on a variety of measures than kids who spend time in single parent families. People who marry and stay married tend to do much better than single folks or folks who have divorced. Removing the stimga of divorce and breeding out of wedlock has knocked many folks out of the middle class into poverty or semi poverty.

  11. Lisa says

    I am shocked and saddened by your attitude, but it is typical of “your type”, so I am not surprised. Money is the bottom line, and “how does this affect me?” is the most important question for you.
    How about asking instead “what can I do to help the orphans?”, and get off your butt and do something for them.
    Each person who is brought into this world is a gift and is here for their own journey and has their own purpose. There is a balance to life, and we are not all supposed to be picture-perfect, rich, two-parented, intentional people. Some of us are supposed to be accidents, some of us are supposed to be poor. It is not my job OR yours to decide who should be here, who should not, and what kind of life they should live. Why do you think you have a right to be here? Are you somehow better than the Duggars because you have a different purpose?
    And to answer your question, YES–I am willing to pay a tiny fraction of my paycheck to pay for the Duggar’s, and any other children who need my help–because that is my job as an empathetic and caring person in a community.

  12. Integrity says

    I agree with Sam (nearly) 100% on this topic. My only reservation is that $1m may be a little unrealistic; with such a standard we’d be totally DE-populated pretty darned soon….which, from an extreme point of view, really isn’t a bad thing….but I digress.

    I believe that 75% of the problems in the U.S. could be resolved by deterring folks who have no business raising children from having them. There is no greater responsibility in this world than raising a child, yet we have millions of people completely lacking in financial, mental, and/or emotional resources bringing forth children.

    Many folks who may not be millionaires may make great parents. Being *slightly* underprepared financially for parenthood may not be the worst thing, so long as the prospective parents go into it with eyes wide open. I still think it’s not the wisest thing to do, but such folks, who otherwise have the mental/emotional wherewithal and maturity to “scrape by” and make it work, by all means should have kids. It’s not about giving kids every financial advantage, really; it’s about having the intelligence, capacity, and wisdom to approach the issue with the care and gravity it deserves, and fully accepting the RESPONSIBILITY.

    What makes me angry is irresponsibility. I have a real hard time with the idea of paying for other people’s poor choices, and having a child that you cannot support at all qualifies as a heinously poor choice. When someone has a child that they cannot properly support, that child becomes “OUR” problem, and usually a problem for life. Our prisons are full of the results of all of these poor choices. And look…. prison populations continue to grow. Worse still, most of those people in prison have multiple children from multiple relationships, further perpetuating/exacerbating the problem. The exponentiality of the thing is pretty darned frightening!

    While I don’t share it, I understand the emotional drive of many people to have kids. However, that drive shouldn’t overcome the common sense required to recognize the consequences and responsibilities of bringing a child into the world. Those who fail to comprehend these things should NOT have kids. Again, it’s not about a fixed dollar amount; it’s about understanding and responsibility. Unfortunately, there are also an awful lot of folks who don’t “think” at all. They don’t have kids because they ever *thought* about it or “wanted kids”; they have kids because they were irresponsible to begin with. Thus we have children (of any age) raising children. Talk about scary!

    I doubt that the cohort reading Sam’s blog falls into the latter category. I think his intent is simply to point out that, if you’re a person seeking to enhance your finances and live a reasonably prosperous existence, you should think long, hard, and carefully about the COSTS of having and raising a child, and be prepared for those, before you actually do it. Don’t let emotion overcome pragmatism and wisdom.

    • says

      Howdy mate, thanks for your thoughts. Yes, $1 million is an extreme hurdle. I just wanted to get the minds rolling a little bit.

      But with kids, a family can get a lot of subsidy from the government. You can also make up to about $95,000 and get subsidized health care if you have children. Hence, it’s not all that irrational to have lots of kids.

      How did you find this article btw? Always curious to know.

  13. igotadose says

    Hi Sam. Comments on this thread still show up in my inbox, 4 years after commenting. Nice thread. Lisa can’t do math, actually, Lisa *won’t* do math, pretty obvious. It’s what you’re up against, though, the fairy-tale princess lifestyle

  14. Sara says

    This is seriously one of the most absurd posts I have ever read. While I agree that people who cannot take care of themselves should not be having children. The amount of money you’re saying one should have before having children would leave my entire family non-existent. I’m lucky if my parents make a million dollars (take-home) in their entire lifetime!

    The hilarious part is I would not consider myself or my family to be poor. Beyond that most people I have met that grew up under these type of circumstances are so wasteful and unappreciative and can’t do anything for themselves. You don’t need a ton of money to live. You can grow your own food and relatively small gardens and freeze/can to last through winters. You can buy the things you cannot grow in bulk for a very small fraction of the price. You can not by any processed crap foods and make everything yourself. You can hang your clothes to dry and wash dishes by hand. Instead of buying new clothes made in over-sea sweatshops you can buy used & up-cycled clothing from thrift stores. You don’t need expensive toys and games you can be creative and active and imaginative. You can make your own laundry soap and cleaning products instead of buying over prices ones in stores. Ect. Ect.

    Basically, you can be an extremely environmentally aware, self-sufficient, creative, happy, appreciative , resourceful human being for very little money. With a happy healthy family.

    Or you can have a stressful job, pop your anti-anxiety & anti-depressant meds. Buy a ton of overpriced shit you don’t need. Spend your whole life keeping up with the jones in your materialistic addictions always wanting more and never being satisfied, and raise some brats of children who will become perfect little consumers who can’t do anything for themselves.

    Ay yi yi

      • igotadose says

        Everyone should get it, or no one should get it. I prefer the latter. I don’t want to support someone’s breeding decision, and saving the EITC will go a big way to helping reduce the budget deficiit and strengthen the economy.

          • igotadose says

            Sam, do the math. Unless you know the details on how those children are financed, all you can do is fall back on the data you trust, like the government projections (which I personally think are on the low side). Families earning less than 50k, get by due to government assistance (like EITC and more) and live more cheaply like in subsidized housing. How many of their children get to graduate from Ivy League?

            I’m not saying every child should attend Ivy League, in fact I think in the US way too many unqualified students go to college and feed the university’s profit maw, but a families budget should allow for it. Attending Ivy League will give your kid a big advantage over her peers when it comes to finding a job at graduation, however.

            In fact, 50k a year is probably about right for everything for 4 year average college these days, including room, board, books, extra fees, additional tuition, … So, be sure when you have that kid that in 18 years you’ll have 200k (with an adjustment for inflation, probably more like 300k if you project out from today.)

            And, this doesn’t even consider post-grad like law degree (a terrible idea these days), medicine, advanced science degree.

  15. Jack says

    I’m really glad that no one has restricted my ability to buy nice things because of my performance in high school or college. I didn’t get great grades, but now I’m in the top 10% of American personal incomes and I’m only a few years out of school.

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