When’s the Right Time to Have Kids?

Pregnant woman
Some couples can’t wait to have kids. Others think that they need to wait until the perfect time. They want financial security. They want emotional stability. They want the perfect home for their happy children.

If you and your spouse keep waiting for the right time to have kids, then it’s never going to happen. Having children is something that you can plan, but it isn’t something that you can control.

We Don’t Have Enough Money to Raise Kids!
Guess what? You’ll never have enough money to raise your kids. Kids are tremendously expensive. To make matters even worse, the more money you have, the more money you’ll end up spending on them. A $10,000 car looks like an insult to a kid living in Beverly Hills.

Let’s forget about the cost of cool clothes, trendy toys, and movie tickets. Even if you were to remove all of those expenses, you still couldn’t afford your kids.

So, what can you possibly do? First, understand that your kids aren’t going to get everything that they want. Get used to the idea that they will pout at you for the next 16 to 20 years. Second, prepare as well as you can for the things you can control.

Open a 529 account for each of your children. This will help you invest for their college educations. Given that tuition will likely keep getting more and more expensive over the years, you probably won’t save enough to pay for the whole thing (especially if they want private or graduate educations), but you can take a big sting out of the expense by investing as soon as possible.

We Don’t Have Enough Room for Kids!
Unless you own a mansion, you’ll never have enough room for your kids. Give them a tennis court, and you’ll need a football field.

The moment you start talking about when you will have kids, have a conversation about expectations. Two generations ago, the average family had two or more people sleeping in each bed. Kids shared rooms with their parents. Grandparents slept in the living room.

Think about that the moment you start to worry that your kids won’t have their own rooms. It’s not a big deal. Why should they have something that, statistically speaking, no other human being in history has ever had?

Limit Your Numbers
This might all sound a bit harsh, but it’s mostly a joke. If you work hard and make smart decisions, you can afford to raise a couple kids in relative comfort. It’s true that the “right” time to have kids will never happen. But there are very few “wrong” times to have them.

You should, however, limit the number of kids that you have. That’s a conversation that you should have had long before you got married. If you haven’t, then do it now. Ideally, you’ll keep the number somewhere around two. Most couples can afford the financial and emotional strain of two children.

If you really must have more than that, make sure you have a good support system so you can get away from the kids when you need a night out. Otherwise, you might literally lose your mind.

Posted by Matt T.