NFP & Money


Quick question that could potentially turn into a long discussion
(we’ll see)…

The reason we are using NFP right now is because we can not afford to have kids right now We have a lot of debt we are trying to pay it off. The problem is, I don’t know if we’ll ever make a substantial dent in our debt, possibly, by the time we are able to pay off a lot, I will be in my late 30’s or ealry 40’s.

If we don’t think we will ever be able to conquer our debt, or at least during a time where I am able to become pregnant, do we go ahead and have kids anyway, claim bankruptsy, etc.???

(I don’t know if I explained this well, but any input would be appreciated)



How can you afford NOT to have kids. They are why we work and are the product of our spousal love. See a financial counselor and don’t miss out on the greatest gift that God can give a married couple. Money comes and goes but a child’s love is priceless…You are in my prayers…teachccd :slight_smile:


Definitely find an experienced financial expert to guide you in the right direction before you decide on kids.

If your finances are troublesome right now, having kids or not having kids doesn’t do much other than take out that particular issue. You still have money troubles!


The purpose of marriage is to have children. Period.


As stated in the wedding vows…


Do you have a job with health insurance or other means to cover the cost of pre-natal care and delivery? That is the most expense of having a baby.

Aside from that, you do need to buy a new car seat. Other than that, babies do not need much stuff (some clothes, can be free many times) - you can use cloth diapers and breastmilk is free.

As kids grow, they really will live wearing second hand clothes and not having the latest video game.


awww. I know EXACTLY how you feel. My husband and I are in so much debt (mainly because of me and my seemingly USELESS college education) And he and I want a child SO Bad, but we know there is no way we could afford to care for it. However, take comfort in the fact that with MOST kids, it’s never really “planned” it just…happens. It is said that you are never ready to have a kid, you just have to take the plunge, whether you choose it or it’s thrust upon you. Do know that someday, when God knows you are ready, it will happen.


I could offer my personal ideas…we are both in school and working and it seems that a kid would be completely unaffordable.

So we sat down and made a “plan.” We researched our company insurance and found a family plan that has a really good maternity and natal program…very good deal. We also opened a special savings account at our credit union. Now a little bit of each paycheck goes into the account, which will be strictly for baby expenses if or when they are due.

Do you have close family and friends? A few big baby showers will get you everything you could possibly want. Garage sales will let you find cribs, dressers and changing tables for dollars.

I second kage-ar…it’s the delivery, pre and post natal and any surgery or medical work that causes the financial pang.


The wedding vows ask if you will accept children willingly. It does not state that that is the purpose of marriage. My sister was unable to have children. Does her marriage of 28 years have no purpose?


It just occurred to me that Carrier of Christ is like Christ-Bearer (the meaning of Christopher).
Financial issues are considered grave issues that warrant NFP usage for avoidance (people forget that NFP can be used to conceive as well). I would speak with a financial planner and get that debt taken care of. If you are talking about Student Loan debt, don’t get in a tizzy. Make at least the minimum payments and more, if you can. Also, start making as many cuts in your lifestyle as possible. I realize that you are already doing that, but I was amazed when DH and I went through our expenses and found things to do without. While we are not having children (at the moment), we are ready to take them on when God graces us with a life.

If you get nothing else from my post: See a financial advisor!!!


The primary purpose of marriage is the procreation of children. It’s secondary purpose is mutual assistance and protection from concupiscence.

NFP is not Catholic birth control and those who use it as such sin gravely. Poverty is, perhaps, a legitimate reason to employ this method for a time. Debt is not. I’m sorry, but it’s not.


And our good former Pope John Paul II left it up to married couples to decide which situations are indeed grave and just for them to use NFP- not an anonymous poster on a message board.

OP- I would suggest speaking with a priest and a financial counselor in that order.


You don’t “leave it up to married couples to decide” on objectively morally evil acts. That’s nonsense.

Otherwise, I shall have to scold my Moral Theology teach for leading me down the wrong path. On second thought, why don’t you? He’s French and he has a temper.

NFP is NOT Catholic birth control. The Church has reluctantly allowed its use in very limited circumstances for very grave reasons. Some people act as if it has some sort of imprimatur attached to it. Contraception is contraception, no matter how “natural” some claim it is.



I found the following questions on AAA:
Sufficient reasons for using NFP
When am I obliged to start my family?
Spacing of children always wrong?
What are acceptable reasons for avoiding pregnancy?

Debt does fall under financial situations, esp. if paying off your debt is leaving you in a position where it is difficult to support yourselves.
Again- see a financial advisor to get everything under control ASAP so you can start your family!


Your profile states you are 28 now. How much and what types of debt do you have that you believe it will take you over a **decade **to repay?

You should talk to a credit counselor or other financial advisor if you are that deep into debt so young. Perhaps you also need to seek legal advice regarding your debts.

You’ve set this up as an either/or proposition. “Either” repay debt “or” have kids. You can repay debt “and” have kids if you budget wisely and look at what has caused your debt and how to avoid it in the future.

Of course, only you know the true extent of your debt and budget situation. It would not be prudent to become pregnant if at this point you are struggling to keep a roof over your head, food on the table, etc. And, of course, if you have discerned that at this time pregnancy would be harmful to your situation, you need to act on that discernment.

But, having debt payments does not mean you should avoid children entirely.

Also, it seems as if you possibly have some mental idea of where you “need” to be in order to have children. If you wait until it’s the “pefect” time, something else will always come up. You cannot plan out every detail of your life and set up some perfect existence.

I would advise that you seek spiritual direction from your priest regarding your anxieties in this area. Between spiritual counseling and financial counseling, I am sure that you will come to realize there is a way to achieve both goals.


Have some kids so that you’ll have something more important than money to worry about.


I had a friend who was convienced that she couldn’t have children until all of her and her husband’s student loans were paid off. And they both went to Law School!
I asked her why and she explained that the debt and child would be too much to handle. :rolleyes:
If we all waiting until student loans were paid off, no one would have kids!


Wow! I really appreciate all of your responses! I feel just as conflicted, if not more than before.

My situation is extremely frustrating. I’m going to have to pray about it and ask for wisdom and discernment regarding the matter.

I hate that this is even an issue. That is, it shouldn’t be…



No, that is not the only purpose of marriage. It is certainly one of the main purposes, but not the only one. Marriage is meant to prepare us for the heavenly marriage. There are many people who physically cannot have children, yet the Church does not prevent them from marrying or say that their marriage is less of a marriage than those who can have children. While having children is certainly important and God’s commandment to Adam and Eve, it is not the only purpose of marriage.

In Christ,


Do you know that if everyone waited to have kids until we could afford them, very few children would be born. OTOH, having a baby is a very good motiviation to getting your finances in order in record time.

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