Childfreelife’s Weblog

{July 3, 2008}   Don’t Get this Broke 1: Having Kids You Can’t Afford

If you are reading this now, and you are still savable, do not get this much in debt! Right now if things are tough, cut back now, and even ask for help if you need it. Don’t get into debt that will compound with interest and keep you from having fun years down the line.

I am all for full disclosure. I have to admit, I am not one of those radical cases who went in deep debt and pulled out of it. I am sure it can be done, and I read inspiring stories of folks who pull out of the deepest worst debt without going bankrupt. I am not one of them, I struggled through squalor, all the while staying out of serious debt. How did I do this? I didn’t get that broke, I learned ahead of time to just not go there.

I have read many personal finance blogs–especially blogs of parents with small children–who have gotten so broke that they have to turn debt reduction into a hobby and give up other hobbies to get out of debt. I read about a mother who everytime she even thinks about spending money, she pay down her credit card instead. She doesn’t go to free activities with her family, but instead stays home and puts the money she would have spent on gas to get to the events into debt reduction. Some of the childed people’s blogs I read are having another child–meanwhile paying down debt obsessively using radical techniques that really limit their free time activities.

One reason, at this stage in my life, I don’t want kids and am unlikely to have them ever is that they are very expensive. I know my family taught me a lot by getting this broke. We were unable to enjoy the nicer things in life because we were a slave to our house in a fancy neighborhood. My parents never went out to eat or on vacations together. Life was just parenting and working for them. Struggling with debt is still a depressing issue at the family home for my parents and my adult brother. Part of why I am not having kids is I don’t want to do that for 18-30 years my life.

It might be a fun hobby for some people to pay down their debt creatively and due to circumstances it might be their only hobby. However, I want my activities to be more pleasurable and intellectually stimulating than that. So my advice, if you are facing hard times now, take the hit now, reduce your lifestyle now. Maybe you will put off having kids, or you won’t have kids. Maybe you will take charity and do unpaid work to build your resume. Maybe you will live in a tiny apartment with a few roommates to keep in the black and out of debt. But your time living cheap won’t be forever if you leverage your options to get ahead, to get out of poverty. Don’t get so broke that you have to live cheap forever.


Hi there,

I looked over your blog and it looks really good. Do you ever do link exchanges on your blog roll? If you do, I’d like to exchange links with you.

Let me know if you’re interested.


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