Don't have kids and keep your money

Kids Play Money Set with Wallet

The cost of raising a child  is terrifyingly expensive. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently reported the average middle-income couple can now expect to spend approximately $241,080 raising a child born last year to age 18. In some parts of the country, that’s more than the cost of a house. And, by the way, that number doesn’t include the cost of sending the child to college.

Considering 57 percent of Americans have less than $25k in total household savings or investments, choosing to forgo having children might actually be an intelligent financial move. And it seems like plenty of Americans agree, because the number of childless couples has begun to grow in recent years.

Cost of Children Too Great for Some Couples

Lauren Sandler’s recent Time article, “Having it All Without Having Children,” finds Americans are increasingly choosing to remain childless in order to save money for other goals.

In fact, Sandler writes that the current birthrate in the United States is the lowest ever recorded; about one in five American women never give birth, versus one in 10 in the 1970s. However, this trend had been evident well before the last recession hit.

For instance, according to another Time piece, birthrates fell significantly during the Great Depression, as well as during the stagnation experienced in the 1970s. Mark Mather, a demographer for the Population Reference Bureau, told the magazine, “Fertility rates drop in periods of economic stress.”

Is the Choice to Not Have Kids Selfish?

The idea that having children and being a parent is what we all should strive for is deeply enbedded in American culture, leading many to label those who choose to remain childless as selfish.

And perhaps they truly are — but putting your own needs and desires first is not necessarily a bad thing. Kristina of DINKS Finance (Dual Income No Kids) agreed. “I think that the decision not to have children for financial reasons is selfish,” she said. “But then again, aren’t all personal choices selfish?”

Kristina explained that the decision not to have children is a personal choice, based on the lifestyle she wants to have. Whether it’s having the time to grab drinks with friends after work, flexibility to eat cereal for dinner or money to travel three times a year, the benefits of not having kids allow for that freedom.

“I don’t feel guilty about my decision not to have kids because I have no obligation to repopulate the world,” Kristina argued. “However, now that I am getting older, I am starting to wonder if I will eventually regret my decision not to have kids… I don’t want to wake up in 15 years and regret my decision to remain childless. Besides — why am I saving all my money if I have no one to share it with?”

Having children and growing a family is a goal millions of couples strive for, and an admirable one at that. However, couples who don’t feel they have the money to adequately support a child, or who would rather put their money toward a more comfortable lifestyle or retirement savings, need to seriously consider the option of remaining childless.

Created for Go Banking Rates

Photo from Pinteres

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