Because how else are you supposed to have enough money to have kids?
Something that I’ve always thought of but never applied to my own life and the realities of my living situation, is how impossible it is to buy a house.
When I moved to Los Angeles, I knew it would be apartment living. But even in college I rented a house with 3 friends – with a big living room, huge kitchen, two bathrooms, washer and dryer, driveway and garage, backyard overlooking the lake – EVERYTHING for $1400/month. Now we pay more than that for a two bedroom apartment with no heat, no outdoor space, shared facilities and parking, and a “kitchen” that hardly fits our fridge.
I’ve taken some solace in driving past areas near my apartment with cute little homes, but when one of those cute little homes has a for sale sign, the prices are absurd. I come from an ocean-side town in a tourist hub of the world, and houses are more expensive here than they are anywhere else I’ve ever been.
What if we wait to have kids until we can afford a house? Will that ever happen? What if I die waiting? (Okay, that’s dramatic, but I’m either dying waiting or with immeasurable outstanding debt)
Or on the other side – is it worth having a baby in a nice apartment? If my apartment costs the same as a mortgage, but I don’t have to pay for building upkeep and home owner taxes, is that a better situation? I grew up with a big enough house and an amazing yard in the suburban utopia of the east coast. I imagine New Yorkers go through this too, but their commuter system is infinitely better than Los Angeles’ (and by infinitely better, I mean that we don’t have one.)
Where you live dictates so much of what it takes to be a parent. You could by a McMansion in Kansas for the same cost as a duplex without parking in Los Angeles.
Food for thought.
Have you raised a baby in an apartment? Were you raised in an apartment? How did you know you were financially ready?