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March 02, 2012


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Sounds like you are on good ground. In your shoes I'd wait until moving into a new job before deciding on a third child. Things are still kinda tight financially and you never know what the expenses of a new child will amount to. Never forget to show the love of responsibility for the children you have right now through financial security.

I am impressed by your savings rate. For a family of four, your spending is stunningly low.

My gut reaction was the same as Luis, but after contemplating your numbers, I realized that I don't really know what children cost. How much do you expect a third kid would increase your monthly expenses?

The amount you have saved up considering your age and salary, and your spending level considering you're a family of four is amazing. I don't have much to add here, but wanted to tell you I'm super impressed. Best of luck in the future to you and your family.

Sounds like you're setting the standard that others should be following, way to go! One comment on what may be a delicate, personal area, so take it or leave it: While your commitment to help others is surely admirable, $200/month for charity strikes me as a rather large portion of your income. I wonder if you might substitute some of your time for part of the cash you're donating now and still feel you're fulfilling your obligations to those less fortunate? No doubt there are many opportunities to volunteer your time to worthy causes in your community, and your time is worth money to charitable organizations and their 'customers.'

Best of luck.

Forget the third kid. You're doing ok now; the third child will tip the balance. You didn't mention if you owned your own home or if you had an emergency fund. Are you saving for your two children's education? First things first: emergency fund, yours and your wife's retirement funds; college funding; and, buying a home.

A third kid would be an expense certainly - one reason we've waited a little while. Insurance/FSA would keep the delivery cost reasonable though, have most of the kid "stuff" from first two yet. Biggest cost would be delaying my wife's return to work, but having kids closer together allows more shared space, clothes, toys, experiences and gets them out of the house sooner! Tax credits would help some too of course.

RE Kurt - Thanks for the feedback. I was hesitant to to "budget" that much, but God has blessed us and we want to share that. Defintely agree though that time can be as valuable as money and try to do that as well.

RE: Carol - We do have our own home, purchased in May 2011. Mortgage $700/month. Don't have an emergency fund per say but $22k in short term savings for that purpose, replacement cars, etc, plus aprox. $20k in ROTH IRA that is accessible if needed. Will help kids with college some but as w/ wife and I they will be expected to get scholarships/loans/work.

Thanks all for the feedback.

I'm just curious: What is the government mortgage program that is giving you a 1% loan? Is that a federal or state program?

Just curious, how are you able to keep your monthly grocery bill so low for a family of 4? A lot of ramen noodles/pasta for dinner?? I had a grocery bill of $300 a month as a single guy living in FL - perhaps the groceries are more expensive here.

@ Jim - it's through Dept. of Agriculture - Rural Development loan. So it's geographically and economically limited.

@ Mike - Not too much ramen. Cereal/sandwiches for b-fast/lunch and "regular" dinner. Helps to have lots of grocery competiiton. Also shop sales mostly, use coupons, make "simple" meals. Helps that kids are small eaters still as well.

OK its a USDA loan then. I heard of those but I wasn't aware they could come with low interest rates.

Congratulations! Sounds like you are doing great. We have 3 kids, so I am partial. :) If you are not sure, take a bit more time to consider if you want to add another child or not. However, I am impressed with how well you are doing so far.

TN, I admire you for giving so much money (relative to what you're saving). Using part of this to fund a third child is something I would think God would approve of.

It looks like you're saving about $12k/year, that's $6k for you and $6k for your wife. Which is admirable in your circumstances, but a minimum in absolute numbers, if I'm not mistaken: $6k at 3% above inflation amounts to half a million (in today's dollars) over a career - that's $16k/year in safe withdrawal per person. If social security still exists by then, you're fine. But not if you lose your job (happens to the best of us!).

It would be nice if you could rent out a room, or have the wife do a bit of work part-time, or a side job or substituting time for some of the money you're giving now... Good luck!

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