Financial guru Suze Orman told a couple making $5,600 a month that they couldn't afford to have another child. My whole marriage, we've only made maybe half that, and have been pretty comfortable. I kind of want to ... well ... enlighten Orman on what most Americans live on, because it's way less than these people. Her estimate of how much kids cost monthly is so insane that if it were true, no one would have kids. Ever.
The couple in question are Brian, 30, and his wife Jill, 29. They have one child, a son who is 17 months old. Their work shifts alternate so they don't pay for daycare. However, they've always wanted two or three kids, and Jill, like many moms, wants to be home with them until they're at least preschool-aged.
But according to Suze, they just can't do it. She goes as far as to guilt-trip them, saying that when they hold their children to their chest, any monetary stress will basically infect the child; therefore, they shouldn't try to cut things down and make money very tight and cut expenses, but instead, just don't have more kids now. I'm paraphrasing, but check it out at about 12 minutes:
The statement used is that they can't afford to keep their current lifestyle and have another baby. NO ONE keeps their current lifestyle after having kids! Their current lifestyle is beyond their means anyway so obviously they've got some major cutbacks they need to make to begin with. As a financial advisor, shouldn't she be teaching them how to not only get their finances under control now and then help them make a plan so they can afford to have another baby? Jill concedes that she'd be willing to work two to three days a week if she had to -- so Suze, why not work with her there? Just telling them "NO!" is not only unhelpful, but heartless as well.
Besides, children who do not have special medical needs do not cost anywhere near $700-$1,000 a month. Now, a FINANCIAL ADVISOR should talk to parents about ways to save money, such as cloth diapering, breastfeeding, buying things USED or trading with friends, freecycle, and Craigslist, and cutting out frivolous crap. Me? I spend about $2,010 a year ... with some frivolous crap I didn't need.
If we went by her advice, statistically, less than 50 percent of Americans could have kids. Jill and Brian, don't give up. You can do it.
Do you think Suze Orman's advice to them was unhelpful? Do we generally worry about buying all these extra things when we don't really need to?
Image via smjb/Flickr