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At present stage, my partner and I have a 6 month old child and are financially fine (not living a lavish life, just getting by). My partner wants a second child, and my only concern is financially if it's possible, and if others have experience in the matter.

Of course, the entire expense of a toddler is beyond me at this stage, as my child is still very young. I have had a look at the finances we currently have and I do not believe it would be a wise decision, but again, these are estimations:

Income
  Salary Fortnightly: $1,609.34 ($38,624.16 yearly)
   Note: No Government assistance is taken into account at this stage

Expenses
  Netflix (Monthly): $20.00 ($240.00 a year)
  Internet (Monthly): $99.00 ($1,188.00 a year)
  Rent (Weekly): $365.00 ($18,980.00 a year)
  Groceries (Fortnightly): $300.00 ($7,200.00 a year)
  Electricity (Quarterly): $350.00 ($1,400.00 a year assumed)
  Water (Quarterly): $250.00  ($1,000.00 a year assumed)
  Car (Weekly): $100.00 ($5,200.00 per year, not taking into account servicing and parts)
  Fuel (Weekly): $50.00 ($2,600.00 per year assumed)
  Phone  (Monthly): $100.00 ($1,140.00 per year)

For clarification, I live in Brisbane, Queensland - Australia.

Of course there are things that can be mitigated (electricity, water, Netflix) but there are also a number of expenses not on this; baby nappies, clothes, shoes, doctors, medicine, toys etc. that are under the "$150.00/w grocery allowance".

Running with these numbers, I would find myself to be over-expended by $323.84, which is a safe number to assume family tax would be more (Present stage we're getting $56.00 per week). Running under the assumption my partner would get a part time / full time job would mitigate some expenses further; higher family tax, but also the incursion of daycare.

My biggest concern here is whilst trying to have a second child and completing the family, we're not correctly equipped financially to support our child. The first two years of his life would be quite a struggle as we'd not want him/her in day care by then.

Whilst I understand that logically the numbers are indicative that it should not be done, I was wondering how others are able to do it (if possible), and if they've lived off less an income? I do want another child, and I would of course find a secondary job, but what other factors would one take into consideration with this move?

My partners suggestion would be that it's best to get the second child out of the way, when they're both close in age, and we then work on both chasing our careers once they're in day care. Sounds fair, but that's a hell of a tight budget to accommodate.

FWIW: I did not post this in Finances as it's not entirely about that. I mean, a second job shouldn't be too hard to come by, it's more a question of as a parent, and starting a family, is it safe/a good move?

  • I'm not sure if this question is a good fit for the site, but can you at least modify your numbers so they are all per month or year? That'll give you (and us) a much better overview. – Erik Dec 29 '17 at 10:56
  • Also, a location probably helps. Living costs and options are very country dependent. – Erik Dec 29 '17 at 10:56
  • Your numbers seem very off. You give a weekly salary that would indicate an income of over $80,000 per year, then claim that your annual income is under $40,000. Can you clarify or correct? – MAA Dec 29 '17 at 11:18
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    @Erik Updated the information for the income and expenses, and added a location :) – DankyNanky Dec 29 '17 at 12:17
  • Excellent question, one that more prospective patents should be asking themselves. Raising kids when you are financially healthy is a lot more fun than when when you are struggling. I've done both. – pojo-guy Dec 30 '17 at 21:40
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Your question states that your partner wants a second child, and seems to imply that you also want one, but for the only concern that you may not be able to provide for your family financially if it grows. However, your question seems to be begging for someone to tell you that it is not financially possible for you to have a second child, so I’m going to preface this answer with the suggestion that you think about whether you actually want to have a second child, or are just trying to accommodate your partner.

The numbers you have provided are wildly inconsistent. I’m not going to go into detail, but if you really are making $1,600 (US) per week that should be more than enough to provide for a family of four, no matter where you live.

My husband and I recently had a second child, and so far the only increase in our expenses has been about $52 per month for diapers, wipes, and random baby items that we didn’t realize ahead of time that we needed, as well as a tiny increase in our grocery budget (because I eat more while I’m nursing him). I was already staying home to take care of the first child, so we haven’t lost any income, and we already have most of the things we needed for him because we had bought them for his older brother.

As mentioned in another answer, 1+1 does not equal 2 when it comes to the financial burden OR the work of taking care of 2 kids vs 1. Because my partner and I both wanted a second child and are completely in love with him, I would say the work of 2 vs 1 feels like about 1.25x. This is also because our older son is over 3 years old, and therefore self-sufficient in a lot of ways (I don’t have to worry that he’s going to fall down the stairs when I’m not looking, and I can leave him eating breakfast by himself for a few minutes if I need to change a diaper). My sister-in-law has two that are very close in age and the work load for her with 2 is enormous. So timing makes a big difference with this too.

Anyway, in summary, if you both want a bigger family and are really committed to that, you will find a way to make it work and be happier for it. But if one of you is on the fence and only considering more kids to accommodate the other, that’s a recipe for disaster. If you don’t want another kid now, you should say so. And - keep in mind that you might change your mind. I did :)

  • Thank you for the answer. I updated my figures to indicate location and how frequently the expense/income is. I do love my son, and I am more than happy to have another; it's just literally the fear of under-providing for them. I'll happily find away. The points on work involved and additional costs are great, so thanks! – DankyNanky Dec 29 '17 at 12:22
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    @MichaelNancarrow I see. I would say your income is probably a bit on the low side for two kids, but you won’t see the increase right away. In which case it’s a question of whether you’re maximizing your earning potential - if you can get a raise in the next year or 2 that might make up the difference. – MAA Dec 29 '17 at 12:33
  • I do believe before we try (next December) I might be in line for a decent (~5k+) payrise. – DankyNanky Dec 29 '17 at 12:53
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    Fortnightly means every two weeks; the weekly salary is $800. For a family with two children, this is considered below the poverty line ($895/week) in Australia: acoss.org.au/poverty – lambshaanxy Dec 30 '17 at 12:14
  • @jpatokal yes the op changed this from the original post which said “weekly” – MAA Dec 30 '17 at 12:15
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While I think it is great that you oversee your finances like this, I would like to ask you to consider other factors as well. When we got our second child we learned rather fast that 1 + 1 doesn't necessarily equal 2.

Here are other questions very relevant to your question. Sorry i had to put this as an answer, my reputation is too low to ask that as a comment.

Do you help a lot with your firstborn child?

Do you have friends/family nearby that is willing to help out on a regular basis?

Do you have sick-leave or something like child-sick-leave (in Germany there is something like that, i guess not in the US)

Our experience was that we had little to no support during the most crucial first year. We were overwhelmed by all the things that we were able to do with one child, but couldn't do with a second. Since you are already thinking about a second job, your partner will then be most of the time alone with two kids, and I can assure you that a 2-3 year old still has a lot of phases where they demand your full attention. That is difficult to achieve while feeding a newborn. Or having to walk all night with the baby in a manduca. I know that parents (like ourselves) get into some vegetative state where you just work and function for your kids. But please don't underestimate the impact a second child can have to the family.

It was very hard for me to see my partner struggle and not being able to help, just because the job had to be done. It was demanding to our relationship and the relationship to the first born. This is the price you will pay. And its not just dollars, but quality time with your partner and your own child. Your partner will work at least twice for the two kids, and you as well, if you have to take a second job to bring the food to the table.

Not everybody I know shares the same experience but almost every couple we ever met told us they too underestimated the impact of a second child.

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I'm not from Australia so I don't know about the living expenses there. However, I believe we should plan for kids when we can afford a child (healthy or special needs) both emotionally and financially and both parents should be equally happy with the decision.

As of now, your options seem to be

(a) getting a new job for yourself which pays a lot better

(b)taking up a second job

(c) your partner starts working part time or full time.

If you can accomplish the first one (a better paying job), good for you. In the other scenarios, you really have a struggle ahead of you. If you get a second job, your partner will have to take care of 2 kids on their own which is very exhausing for many parents. If your partner can get a new job, would the finances improve with the daycare expenses of 2 kids ?

Please don't wait for the second child to arrive before you find out. Go ahead with a new/second job or ask your partner to work for a few months and if you feel the income is now better and the expenses can be easily managed, then, you can go ahead with the child. If not, if your relationship/time spent with the family is missing and you feel like you are burning out, it may not be wise to bring a new child into the family at this point.

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