A 2021 QUESTION
Kids, Still An Option?
THE UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATION ANYONE UNDER 40 IS HAVING WITH THEMSELVES
LOST IN THE SEA OF… SEMEN? OR NOT TO SEMEN
Have you ever had a conversation with life that goes something like this…
You “One day I’d love to have a family”
Life “Oh boy… There’s a lot to unpack there”
Global birthrates are in a free fall. While the US population is only expected to stall out by 2100, 23 other countries including South Korea and Spain expect theirs to be cut in half. Japan expects their population to drop from their current 127million to just 53 million and Italy from 61 million to 28 million in the same timeframe.
I’m sure it has a lot to do with rising costs of well… Everything. As we’ve covered in a previous write up, a parking space now costs $70,000. Plus women are now in the work force more than ever and don’t see themselves as just a baby vessel. Also ourgeneration… Adrift… Has lived through 2 economic disasters in their formative working years. And to top it off, many are just choosing to be child free.
Our generation is not having kids from either choice or circumstance more than any generation before us but some (arguably the majority) still want them. So we’refaced with yet another uncomfortable question “Kids? Are they still an option?”
Let’s find out.
Is he still cute if I tell you that he would cost you $233,610 to raise until the age of 18 in America? That’s $1081/month. How about if I put this cherry on top, that doesn’t include a college fund OR unexpected medical bills. How about $257,364 in Canada or $1191/month? Same for no college fund although… Go universal healthcare eh! If your yes became a bit shakey when reading that then this write up is for you.
Those are the average costs of raising just ONE child to age 18, with two it’s doubled but from there the cost does petter off a bit thankfully according to a 2018 Global News article.
Let’s take a quick detour for some fun… Math.
The average person in America makes $39,129/year after taxes. In Canada it’s $62,900. So if you’re in the US, to raise a child to 18 (not including a college fund) it would cost every cent you make for 6 years to raise a child. In Canada, it’ll only cost you 4 years of wages. And keep in mind, that’s just for one kid.
Alright, we’re getting pretty bleak here, let’s turn this around. In all fairness, experts say that many things are built into those costs so it isn’t as simple as take what you’re spending now and add that cost to it. For example housing costs are included in that $1081 USD or $1191 CAD, now obviously you’re going to already be paying for housing so it may be as little as cleaning out that extra bedroom you don’t use in preparation for the new family member, which could cost you $0 more than you would have spent. Or it could be you need a bigger apartment, so budget more for than or maybe you have to buy a new house as your current living situation can’t accommodate a child. Regardless, these numbers eb and flow depending on your situation.
Another thing to consider is that sweet government cheddar that will come your wayonce you have a child. In Canada the maximum Canada child benefit you can get is $6,765 per year for children under 6, and $5,708 per year for children aged 6 to 17. If you get the full amount that’s $102,321 over the lifetime of just one child bringing your average out of pocket cost down to $155,043, which obviously is still a lot of money but hey, it’s less than without it! Also worth noting the benefit is based on your family income from the previous year, the number of children in your care, and the age of your children so odds are you won’t get the full amount and you will need to research what you’re likely to get each year and budget accordingly.
We did research on American child tax benefits and… It’s a constantly changing hurricane but bottom line is it’s nowhere near as good as Canada’s. If you’re using this write up as research for having a child (we are not giving monetary advice in anyway), you’ll need to do some digging into your states child benefits.
Another bonus is
Somethings can go twice as far. For instance if you’re up for stowing away some clothes, they can be used as hand me downs and if you have 2 kids, one baby sitter can watch them both saving you more money. And to add even more help the website A Measure ToPlan has a child planning cost calculator, everything’s coming up Milhouse! Right?
Yes! And no. There are things that soon-to-be parents tend to forget according to this article. For starters, women tend to lose 48% of their income the year their child is born. Sleep deprived shopping is also heavily overlooked as parents can desperately turn to expensive fixes to finally get a good night sleep. But the good news is this can be offset by a sharp decline in recreational spending brought on by having a new born.
Goodbye movie nights.
Alright, let’s drop the money talk.
Lemme hit ya with some more good news! If you’re rich, none of this really applies! As this article shows, if you’re in that fortunate position, there’s no need to worry about finances! You’ve got it covered! Which is more apparent in the COVD-19 baby bust. When the virus hit, everyone expected people to fornicate like crazy, after all we’re trapped inside together.
That didn’t happen. It turns out, people didn’t want to bring kids into a world that was being ravaged by a deadly virus… We’re proactive.
Bottom line if the world is uncertain, we’re uncertain about having kids and while this is very beneficial for the rich (what isn’t, amirite?) because they don’t have to worry about money like the rest of us, if you’re an average person, this leads to another slew of potential problems.
People have put off having kids during the pandemic and what’s to follow in its wake is an spike in IVF treatments by those that are on the precipice of their fertile years waning as the human body is gently nudged by the time lost to the virus season into the realm of infertility… That’s basically a slightly poetic way of saying this will cause some people to wait too long… But if you’re one of those people and you’re caught in the midst of some serious FOMO let me ask you something. Does having children make you happier?
According to this study… No, no it does not. In some circumstances it’s on par with those damn DINKS (double income no kids) but rarely are parents actually happier.
Let’s dive in.
In this study done with parents age 50 – 70 (this was done because by this age most people who will have kids have already had them) and in every single demographic women were happier when they didn’t have kids at home. Shocking right? I know I didn’t expect it but whether a woman had a child and it has left home or she’s had a child and it’s still living at home, 100% of the time women were less happy than those who didn’t have a child at home and every time a woman who was childfree was the happiest.
Men were the same EXCEPT for men who have had kids BUT they have moved out. Every other time, men were happier without kids than with them. Although it is worth noting that as time has gone on the effects of kids on men’s happiness has gone up significantly.
In addition to all of that both men and women were happier with their marriages if they chose to or couldn’t have children compared to those that did.
Look no matter how you slice it, some people know they if do or don’t want kids. Both are fine. We’re not here to tell you what to do, that’s for you to decide. We just wanted to give a frame of reference into what it would be like should you decide to have one.
Having kids is fucking hard, even the best parents will tell you that. If you want them, I’m sure this write up did very little for you (although I hope it helped to set up some $ expectations). And if you don’t then I hope this may have helped put that FOMO to ease. And if you’re on the fence… Then read our references for this article below and hopefully you’ll figure it out!
We hope this helped!
P.S – A Generation Adrift was founded on the belief of ‘Giving gives, even to the giver’ and should that prove to be true in all cases, as most parents would argue it is, then I’d parenting must be rewarding as hell!
As always, transparency is a key goal of ours. Here’s our references for the write up.