3 Kids Under 4: The Financial Truths

This is part 1 of a series as I journey into motherhood with three kids. Three kids who are 3 and under. My daughter is 3, my son is 19 months, and I’m 19 weeks pregnant with our second daughter. 

When we found out we were pregnant for number 3, the planner in me immediately saw $$$$$$$$. 

Did I have to buy a new car?

Can our 1,600-square-foot home comfortably accommodate a family of five?

Would daycare costs require me to sell a kidney? 

The jump from one to two children was manageable, but not without its hardships. Thinking of one more child felt like I was adding five children for some reason.

How do they do it? 

I wondered how some families do it. I wondered why no one would talk about how much they needed to make in order to live comfortably. 

The planner in me just wanted to say “CAN WE TALK ABOUT MONEY PLEASE?!” But the fear of being tacky or distasteful kept me from doing so.

So, I decided to crunch some numbers myself.

Let’s do the numbers

Note: obviously some of these numbers will vary depending on your employment. 

Annual Deductions (before money even hits our bank account)

Annual Deduction Reason Amount
Healthcare (2 adults, 2 kids) with a with an individual deductible of $5,900 and a family deductible of $16,700. This is after my employer pays a portion of my total healthcare costs. $9,000
Dental insurance (2 adults) $730
Federal taxes, medicare, and social security $4,700
State taxes $1,700
401k (my employer offers a generous 4% match, so we take full advantage) $3,000
Vision insurance (1 adult) $78
Total $19,208

Added together, approximately $20,000 is deducted from my total compensation before any other monthly expenses are paid. 

Post-deduction expenses (aka: life)

These are annual expenses that are hard and fast in our particular family. We pay them monthly, but for this conversation, I think an annual picture is more effective. 

Expense Annual Amount
Daycare $14,760 for 2 children; $22,860 for 3 (which will start in June for us)
Mortgage $11,800
Car Insurance (2 vehicles) $2,376
Internet $685
Various insurance policies $1,700
Charitable giving $1,200-$1500
Utilities ~$1,600-$2,000
Gas* ~$2,500-$3,000
Doctor visits* ~$2,500 (copays)
Food (2 adults; 2 toddlers)* ~$13,000-$15,000
Entertainment/recreation* ~$3,000-$5,000
Total Range $55,121 – $68,421

*These are our family’s budgeted allowances. These numbers can and will fluctuate depending on life circumstances. 

I think it’s important to note that these amounts will vary from family to family. My point in providing transparency in these numbers is to validate financial concerns when considering more children. 

End the stigma of financial taboo

It’s one thing to brag about how much money you make and all the things you can buy with it. It’s another thing entirely to have transparent conversations about “the business of home.” I try to prepare for everything to a tee. I want to have a solid plan in place for every tiny thing, and a backup plan should that fail. Having conversations about finances (whether thriving or surviving) I believe allows us to commiserate and help one another. Finances are not magical fairy elements that just come together. They require trial and error, and in my experience, transparent conversations when asked.

Our children cost money, but their value is cannot be measured

My children don’t get excited when I get a raise. They get excited when I run around the house playing with them. They don’t care if we struggled to make ends meet that month. They care that I snuggle them and sing along to our favorite songs on the way to school. The world puts so much pressure on us, and our purse strings, but all our kids want is us. In the hard parts of life, may we find the most peace in the joy and levity of our families.

Jessica Hauerwas
Jessica is a nonprofit leader who loves bopping around Lafayette for the best burgers or bands in town. She is the Executive Director of Downtown Lafayette Unlimited where she runs the day-to-day nonprofit. She and her husband Chris have three littles at home (Jane, Clark, and Louise) where there is lots of giggling and always a cup of coffee brewing. Jessica is passionate about community-building and empowering working mothers. Jessica also volunteers for various organizations, is a member of the Lafayette Re-Entry Coalition, a graduate of Leadership Lafayette, and a survivor of being a mother of three under 4.


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