Second post in as many weeks! Sorry.
I am looking for some information about the financial realities that large families face. For the purpose of this discussion, I classify “large” as being four or more children.
(Full disclosure – I’m 28, single, never-married, no children.)
My parents got married in Australia in the late '80s and were expecting baby number four by their tenth anniversary. Both my parents had reasonably well-paid professional jobs, and they took turns being the parent in the paid workforce.
They were at their limit with four kids, and did not have any more. My mother was 36 when the last baby was born, and my father was 45.
We had secondhand clothes, secondhand cars, no extravagant holidays, homecooked dinners, birthday parties at home, one TV, no PC till 2005 and no internet till 2007. We all attended lowish-cost Catholic schools. My parents went out once a year on their anniversary, never had luxuries like takeaway coffees, unnecessary pairs of shoes or gym memberships. My mother never had her hair or nails done. They also had no debt other than the mortgage.
We didn’t lack anything we needed, but there was nothing left over for unnecessary items or luxuries. My parents did, however, consider it necessary to have private health insurance, income protection, life insurance and comprehensive car insurance. All kids had braces, and three of us had expensive (but necessary) treatment for severe cystic acne.
Bearing all this in mind, whenever I hear about couples with many children, my honest first thought is, “How? My parents had nothing left over at the end of the month, and they only had four.” I’ve never found anything that really gets down to brass tacks. I even bought a book by a woman who had 18 kids because I wanted to know how it’s even possible. The book told me nothing.
So is anyone willing to share with me how their parents did it? Or how you yourselves do it?
Do you rent? Do you live in the city or in “the bush”? Do you homeschool? Do you have income protection or disability insurance? What do you do about orthodontic treatment or other medical necessities? Do you earn a massive paycheque?
Obviously I don’t expect extremely detailed personal financial information, but I guess I’d like to know how close to wind large families are sailing. Would job loss/death of breadwinner mean life on the streets?