The Price of a Family

Ever since I was a young boy, I have dreamed of the day that I start a family.  In my head, this was the day that I got married followed quickly by the day that mysteriously a baby showed up on the scene.  As you can see, I hadn’t really planned out the timeline of how these things happen or what other things get affected by the appearance of another Horner living in my house.  With our first child on the way in April, I’m beginning to understand not only the cost of having a child, but also why I’m more than willing to pay it.

Hospitals are of the devil.  Sorry to anyone if you work in a hospital or really enjoy visiting the hospital, but that’s where I’m at with my limited experience in one.  Haley had some unexpected health issues early on in her pregnancy and we’re just now paying off the absurd amount of money that one trip to the emergency room costs.  With that in mind, I think we’re prepared for the actual monetary price of having a child (at least mentally).  We know basically what our insurance will cover in terms of expenses and what an average birth will cost us.  We have bulked up our savings to make sure we can handle the little things that you can’t forecast when having a child and we have planned to reduce our savings in general knowing that our expenses will go up in the near future.  We have scouted out pediatricians in the area and will begin to narrow them down to the a couple lucky candidates for our future business.  In terms of the money side of the equation, we feel like we are in a decent enough place and we’re as prepared as we can possibly be.

Unfortunately, having a baby is not just a dollars and cents type of affair.  We attach emotion to everything in this world and we are no different.  Our desire is for Haley to stay home with our children until they head off for school…public school if you’re interested.  Financially, this makes our future a little less stable although only a little bit more.  The cost of child care has gotten so high that if she did go back to working full time a considerable bit of the income benefit would head off to pay for someone to watch our child.  On the other hand, if all she did was watch our children we would be headed into the negative every month which is never a good fiscal decision.  We are going to use our first year of raising a child to better inform us of how we should handle being a family financially.  By bulking up our savings and Haley working a part-time job, we should be able to weather the storm for a year and be able to reassess how we are after a year.

This is a terrifying prospect for someone like me who likes for the risk to be negligible.  There is risk in doing things this way and there is at least a chance it could end poorly.  The cost of my wife staying home may prove to be too high, but we would like to see if it’s possible.  I’m sure I’ll be writing about this more as this year marches on, so stay tuned.

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