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Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:34 PM

(Suze Orman)Apparently Poor & Middle Class People Shouldn't Have Babies

Financial guru Suze Orman told a couple making $5,600 a month that they couldn't afford to have another child. My whole marriage, we've only made maybe half that, and have been pretty comfortable. I kind of want to ... well ... enlighten Orman on what most Americans live on, because it's way less than these people. Her estimate of how much kids cost monthly is so insane that if it were true, no one would have kids. Ever.

The couple in question are Brian, 30, and his wife Jill, 29. They have one child, a son who is 17 months old. Their work shifts alternate so they don't pay for daycare. However, they've always wanted two or three kids, and Jill, like many moms, wants to be home with them until they're at least preschool-aged.

But according to Suze, they just can't do it. She goes as far as to guilt-trip them, saying that when they hold their children to their chest, any monetary stress will basically infect the child; therefore, they shouldn't try to cut things down and make money very tight and cut expenses, but instead, just don't have more kids now. I'm paraphrasing, but check it out at about 12 minutes:

...

The statement used is that they can't afford to keep their current lifestyle and have another baby. NO ONE keeps their current lifestyle after having kids! Their current lifestyle is beyond their means anyway so obviously they've got some major cutbacks they need to make to begin with. As a financial advisor, shouldn't she be teaching them how to not only get their finances under control now and then help them make a plan so they can afford to have another baby? Jill concedes that she'd be willing to work two to three days a week if she had to -- so Suze, why not work with her there? Just telling them "NO!" is not only unhelpful, but heartless as well.

http://thestir.cafemom.com/baby/129732/apparently_poor_middle_class_people

I watched the video...Interesting to say the least. Their expenses are $6500/mo. They make $5600/mo - I am not saying I agree or not with the poster at the link, but wow. But on the other side I think Suze was a little over the top here. She is putting money over having kids, etc...I dunno, the whole exchange just seemed odd IMHO.

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Reply (Suze Orman)Apparently Poor & Middle Class People Shouldn't Have Babies (Original post)
The Straight Story Dec 2011 OP
Uranus Needs Men Dec 2011 #1
rocktivity Dec 2011 #7
Brickbat Dec 2011 #12
CreekDog Dec 2011 #22
Maine-ah Dec 2011 #27
shift happens Dec 2011 #32
Maine-ah Dec 2011 #38
DeadEyeDyck Dec 2011 #2
alphafemale Dec 2011 #3
DeadEyeDyck Dec 2011 #6
ManiacJoe Dec 2011 #31
lakerboy Dec 2011 #4
Missy Vixen Dec 2011 #5
frazzled Dec 2011 #8
Uranus Needs Men Dec 2011 #11
frazzled Dec 2011 #14
Uranus Needs Men Dec 2011 #15
frazzled Dec 2011 #28
cali Dec 2011 #17
vankuria Dec 2011 #23
frazzled Dec 2011 #29
vankuria Dec 2011 #39
frazzled Dec 2011 #40
customerserviceguy Dec 2011 #9
sammytko Dec 2011 #13
customerserviceguy Dec 2011 #24
REP Dec 2011 #10
Post removed Dec 2011 #16
cali Dec 2011 #18
Mira Dec 2011 #19
Brickbat Dec 2011 #20
iris27 Dec 2011 #21
WillowTree Dec 2011 #25
napi21 Dec 2011 #26
pitohui Dec 2011 #30
madrchsod Dec 2011 #33
Selatius Dec 2011 #34
juajen Dec 2011 #35
boppers Dec 2011 #36
Sen. Walter Sobchak Dec 2011 #37

Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:39 PM

1. Well, I agree with it to some degree

 

First of all, even though that is definitely a decent salary, with the volatility in today's job market, you cannot count on job security one iota. Why in bloody hell are they compelled to make another kid when the first one is just a toddler? I really think they should just have one parent working anyhow. If they work on different shifts, when do they get to live as a family? Isn't that the whole point? I just don't understand people these days!

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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:55 PM

7. While their intentions are honorable, their priorities are out of whack

Last edited Sun Apr 12, 2020, 03:26 PM - Edit history (6)

I applaud the couple's not wanting to have their next child "by accident." But I think it's WAY too soon for them to have another one given their financial situation and the economy in general.

Their annual outlay exceeds their annual intake by more than ten THOUSAND dollars -- THAT'S the problem they should be focusing on solving. Bolstering their security (both financially AND logistically) is to what they should be devoting the next few years.


rocktivity

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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:11 PM

12. Many, many people work on different shifts and their families do just fine. It takes a lot of extra

work, but is certainly not impossible. In this economy, many people are putting up with what they can get, and having to build families in different ways.

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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:12 PM

22. they may want their child to have siblings to grow up with, to teach, to learn from, etc.

is that so bad?

is that so difficult to comprehend?

i understand that financially, it's a challenge to say the least, but is it so crazy to say that people could want such a thing for perfectly valid and thoughtful reasons?

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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:10 PM

27. this is what we do

opposite shifts. Husband works days and I work nights, though right now I'm unemployed. Our daughter is now five. Three days a week at day care is $117 a week. We function quite well as a family. My daughter is a bright well adjusted kid, my husband has been with the same company for 13 years, he's a wonderful father and husband.

Families come in many stripes. You adjust and you do what you need to do to keep a roof over your head...you stick together and you love and nurture each other...that's how families work. We don't all fit perfectly into the same box.

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Response to Maine-ah (Reply #27)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 12:09 AM

32. Since we are all anonymous on here, may I ask

 

how much you made when working? I have heard that the average costs (factoring in lunches at work, transportation, work clothing, day care, etc.) is 10K a year.

Working to keep a roof over one's head is NOT my ideal life at all. I want to be able to have free time, be with my loved ones, do things as a family unit, etc. I think it's really worth trying to get out of that mindset because as far as I can see, the powers of be LOVE us all to be so obsessed with keeping body and soul together that we can't see what is happening to us all!

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Response to shift happens (Reply #32)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 08:33 AM

38. combined income while I was working was 70k a year.

We both work(ed) less than 7 miles from home. I worked in a restaurant, (bartending/managing) free food, health/life insurance was $90 a week for the whole family. Hubby works for a foodservice. Transportation costs are pretty cheap, though no public transit.

As for not having much for extras, no that was not my ideal plan. But it is what it is at the moment. We make the time for each other. We set our schedules so that we have the same days off. People who love each other make the time, and they make it work.

Something else to keep in mind, is that if you compare living in Maine, to say, NY, Cali, or Mass, it's pretty cheap. Example, I payed 85k for a 1000 sq ft home on one acre. My taxes are less than $1200 a year. My cars are payed off, and my insurance is cheap even with full coverage on both vehicles. I have no student loans, just a mortgage. I pay $200 a month (year round) on my heating plan.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:42 PM

2. I agree with Suze.

More income, less kids is better. They are people and not toys to entertain adults.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:42 PM

3. "Their expenses are $6500/mo. They make $5600/mo" Obviously that's not working.

They need help in cutting back expenses. Quite a lot. I wouldn't advise having a kid until they can do that.

But flat out saying...."You CAN'T afford another kid" is ridiculous.

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Response to alphafemale (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:52 PM

6. But if they don't want her advise

why bother calling her in the first place.

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Response to alphafemale (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:47 PM

31. "You CAN'T afford another kid" is exactly correct.

Your post just demonstrated it. At this point there are many things this family cannot afford; another child is just the first item on the long list.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:46 PM

4. I agree too

Suze is correct in this case. But remember, there are issues with our society that keep them from having more children comfortably, it isn't really their fault.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:49 PM

5. Nobody can actually afford a child

In the meantime, it's too bad that more people don't take a hard look at the fact there are still 250,000 kids in foster care in the United States. Those kids need a family, too.

We did not have children by choice. One of the factors we took a hard look at was the financial drain. The above parents need to get a handle on why their expenses exceed their income by $900 a month before even considering having another child, IMHO.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 07:58 PM

8. But Suze ...

who then will change your Depends for you in the nursing home when you are old and incontinent? You need an underclass of poor children to take menial jobs watching after you in your dotage.

I hate "advice" shows of any kind. Why should these people listen to this person? Better question: why should anybody want to ask a perfect stranger about such a question.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #8)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:02 PM

11. Your response illustrates what (for me) is so despicable about those contemplating having children

 

Although you're playing it off as a joke, I don't doubt that you believe that one reason to have children is to have a nursemaid in the later years. I find that sort of thing appalling, to be honest with you. No one should be brought into this world to serve your interests. And that is why there are so many residents in nursing homes who HAVE kids! They only wanted them for selfish reasons and never really loved them and treated them like shit!

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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:35 PM

14. You've got it all wrong

I wasn't talking about myself at all. I don't expect my kids even to come to visit me in my old age. And yes, I love my kids (young adults living on their own) desperately. And frankly, it's offensive that you would suggest I had children just to serve as my nursemaid in later years. I sacrificed everything for my children and have asked nothing in return of them. My children have been my whole life.

I was talking about what is so "despicable" about people who think people shouldn't have kids. They don't realize that people who do have children are providing the next generation of doctors, social workers, street cleaners, lawyers, government workers, bankers ... and yes, those people who take care of other people's diapers. The people who will make the world run when they are too old to do so.

By the way, most of the people whose parents are in nursing homes have struggled long and hard against putting them there. It is almost always because the parent needs 24-hour nursing care; most have some degree of dementia or full-fledged Alzheimer's.

You sure are judgmental. I was talking about the elitist notion that money is somehow related to having children. Plenty of poor people have raised wonderful, loving children and it fulfills their lives in many ways. It sickens me when money is the basis for every discussion. I was just trying to give Suze a little taste of her own medicine. Maybe you need some, too.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #14)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:43 PM

15. Re-read your post, m'dear

 

Mentioning Depends was very offensive. I don't know what you were trying to imply but it sure as hell sounded like you were saying: "Ohhhh...so you don't want kids but you don't mind making a poor underpaid CNA change your adult diapers, eh?!"

I have been told exactly what you claim you weren't trying to say. A co-worker asked me if I had kids and when I said no and that I wasn't ever planning to, he asked me who was gonna take care of me when I got old? I told him that you are not supposed to have kids for that reason! He was from Mexico but I doubt it was a cultural thing. It reminds me of the olden, rural days when parents had a bunch of kids so they could be farmhands...

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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #15)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:37 PM

28. Hello, you try re-reading

I think I was quite clear in telling Suze (I addressed HER, not the parents), in a very sarcastic way, that she shouldn't dis poor and middle class people having kids: they might just be the ones taking care of her in her old age. And us--you and me. It's an economic and social argument aimed at a financial planner who thinks about nothing but money. Not about personal choices about having children.

If you insist on reading your own agenda into this, there's nothing I can do about it. I'm not your coworker, and I don't believe people have kids to take care of them later. Just stay on your moonbeam, though, and dream I am saying what you want me to be saying--so you can insult it. But it wasn't what I was saying, and there's no rational argument you can make that says that it was.

Cheerio, and please try to be less grinchy and self-righteous for the holidays (which I don't celebrate).



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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:56 PM

17. I'm finding your posts kind of amusing

 

it just so happens my son just moved back in with me because I had a serious accident. I didn't ask him to. I didn't expect it, but there you go. Here's the thing though- of course I had my kid for "selfish" reasons. I wanted to experience having a child and being a parent. And let me hazard a guess here; most people have children for much the same reasons. There is NO "unselfish" reason for having kids.

Having said all that, my kid told me that he moved back to help me out because... he loves me. And he loves me because I've always loved him unconditionally and I've always supported him in whatever he wanted to do. People who love each other do for each other. It's simple stuff. And that my tough, super independent 25 year old ski bum son moved across the country to help me out, blows me away. I wouldn't have missed knowing him for the world. I'm glad I was selfish and had a kid.

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Response to Uranus Needs Men (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:13 PM

23. What the hell!

I hate when someone speaks in such generalities...how offensive!! My mother lived to be 96 and spent the last 2 years of her life in a nursing home where I might add she recieved excellent care. I did everything I could to keep her in her apt. until it wasn't possible anymore. Everything I did for my mother was from my heart and she would have done the same for her children. She did not have her children for selfish reasons as you so broadly state but because she fell in love with my father and they wanted a family. When my mom was at the nursing home she was lovingly cared for by the most wonderful, dedicated workers I've ever met. My mom passed in May of this year and the nursing home staff could not have been kinder to my family and I during this difficult time. You sound like a bitter person with no family, no feelings for others of joy in your life.

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Response to vankuria (Reply #23)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:39 PM

29. Jesus Christ people

I addressed it to Suze, not these parents and not to you. I told her to stop judging other people's personal decisions about having kids. Those kids might help her (not the parents) some day. It was about society.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #29)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 09:54 AM

39. Wasn't addressing your post, sorry

Was speaking to "Uranus needs men" the one who said, "folks in nursing homes have kids only for selfish reasons, never loved them and treated them like shit". Was so angry when I read post I accidentally responded to the wrong post. I'm so sorry.

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Response to vankuria (Reply #39)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 11:27 AM

40. Heh, I'm sorry, too!

We've obviously hit a hot button here, and I regret even bringing it up. We had to put my mother-in-law in a nursing home when she was in her 90s, and had developed serious dementia and medical issues. I struggled with the decision mightily. In the end it turned out to be a wonderful experience for all of us. We simply couldn't have provided the kind of physical care that was needed, and it afforded us the chance to give the emotional care (along with the fantastic staff).

I was just responding to the effete notion that having kids is an economic decision, and that you shouldn't do it unless you have the money. (Obviously these people had other money problems that had nothing to do with having children). There's a kind of eugenics notion to the idea that poor people shouldn't have children. My sarcastic remark went astray, and I apologize for it.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:02 PM

9. How much of that income is made by the wife/mother?

If it's even only 30%, that means they would have to make it on less than $4K a month. With expenses of $6.5K a month, I assume they're living in a very expensive area of the country, where the husband/father may not be making too much, relative to those who they live near.

If they all managed to figure out how to move to the sticks, they might be able to make it on one income. But jobs are pretty scarce out in the boondocks these days.

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Response to customerserviceguy (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:21 PM

13. They are about the same but she carries the insurance

We had a big discussion about this on another forum. Most thought that Suze was so mean!

They didn't focus on the fact that they just cannot meet their expenses NOW!

Thier insurance costs are 800 a month, so if the husband had to carry that load and wifey wasn't working, his take home pay would only be 2000 dollars and they have expenses of 6500 dollars - over 4000 in the hole.

And Suze said they weren't even livng a lavish lifestyle.

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Response to sammytko (Reply #13)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:46 PM

24. In a lot of places

including where I live, $6,500 doesn't buy you a lavish lifestyle. Rent/house payment is incredibly expensive here, when you add in the tax burden of two states and possibly a municipality, it's pretty meager to get by on.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 08:02 PM

10. Growing up in with constant financial stress is hard on kids

Im not talking about just not having the latest cool clothes or neat gizmo; I mean growing up in a house where no one answers the phone because it's a bill collector or skip tracer. Listening to parents fight over money isn't fun. Evictions, repossessions, foreclosures - all of these suck for kids. The way these two are spending - nearly a grand more a month than they make - that's where they're headed with ONE kid. Babies and children need things - diapers, food, clothes, medicine and a hundred other things - that all cost money, and will dig them deeper into a hole.

It's not about 'class' - its about common sense. If they can make serious changes in their spending, start saving and plan ahead, no doubt they can afford another child. At this rate, they can afford to wait.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #16)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 09:01 PM

18. oh codswallop. I know lots of kids who grew up relatively (and quite) poor

 

I know kids of hippie parents (lots of them) who grew up without electricity and running water. I know kids who grew up on hardscrabble farms or whose parents were held low paying jobs at the mill. Many of those kids aren't kids anymore and they're almost ALL college educated, independent thinking and successful adults.

Oh, and I'm poor btw, and I think your attitude toward poor fold sucks totally.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 09:48 PM

19. I agree with Suze - here's my take (or story as it were) -

this post pulls my strings as you will see.

I was the oldest of seven. My parents could not even afford me, really.
As a child I had to arrange the potatoes by size, one each. Father the biggest. One pound of hamburger on Sundays, to be divided for all of us.

I could not go to college, I was taken out of school to go to work, and worked three jobs to help put food on the table. I was constantly needed to take care of the younger children. I had no life.

I think the children that are already here have to get their needs met, without diluting the available money to take care of additional children. A parent at home til the child/children are three is my personal criteria to meet. If you can't do that in financial comfort, don't have the children.

I also think that impoverished families have lots of other problems, health, emotional instability, and uncertainty in general.

Yup - Suze has this one right.







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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:06 PM

20. Forgoing a second child will not solve their income/spending problem. She should address that first.

I didn't watch the video, so maybe she did.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:06 PM

21. They are running $900 in the red every month. Until they can get that straightened out,

no, they should NOT be having another child. A second kid will add extra expenses to that total....even more so if Mom wants to stay home. Maybe Suze should have been recommending ways they can cut back, and steps to take to get their financial house in order, but as their life stands now, no way. Their first kid is just a toddler; they need to take a year or two to fix their finances and ideally save up a little bit against future expenses.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 10:57 PM

25. Right now they can't afford another ANYTHING!

Income $5,600/mo, outgo $6,500/mo. Sure seems like a no brainer to me.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:06 PM

26. I agree, though I haven't read her exact words. It's much more expensive to have children

now, than it was when my sons were born. (1965 & 1968) I was shocked when I learned how much my son & his wife had to pay as their co-pay when my grandchildren were born! There were NO co-paysw when my kids were born! My son paid $3,500 and he works for a great company with very good beneifits. That expense is just the beginning too. I remember fretting that I couldn't afford a prescription for my son when he was sick, and it was all of $10.00! Later in their lives I wouldn't even know where to begin to list all the mandatory expenses.

Everyone needs to give serious thought to adding to their family BEFORE the woman becomes pregnant.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Tue Dec 13, 2011, 11:41 PM

30. i don't watch videos but yah suze is right

i'm sure you had children but did you have a child in 2010? is your child only 17 months old?

fact is, for people my age and younger, you can educate a child through college OR you can retire, you cannot do both, jobs don't pay that much

yes, almost $6K a month is a HUGE salary but the kicker is...the folks i know who get these huge salaries also get laid off a lot and they don't get re-hired after age 50 so at the end of the day we all earn about $2K a month per family really....and it just doesn't allow for people to have multiple children, having ONE child is a major sacrifice...they are running in the red with ONE child, they will destroy all their hopes and dreams, plus the child who is already here's hopes and dreams, if they don't put a rubber on it

if you don't pay for your child's college, that child will be in debt for decades and will have no choice, not be able to do public service, not being able to do anything except be a wage slave, not be able to start a business or an art or take a risk...why have a child just to be a slave to some boss you don't even know? they are making (barely) enough to educate the one child without having the child start w. a lifetime of debt, they had better stick w. that project instead of "oh first child ain't good enough let's start another"

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 02:58 AM

33. why would anyone ask her for advice to have another child?

if we followed her advise on having children poor people should`t have any children and middle class no more than one or two at the most. so according to her standard only rich people can really afford more than several children.

sometimes having children is`t an economic decision

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 03:09 AM

34. I don't think she's saying that. She's saying people in the red shouldn't be having kids.

This is a couple that is actually losing money to costs faster than they're gaining money in income. If their costs and incomes were reversed, nobody would be saying anything, and they probably wouldn't even call Ms. Orman.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 03:37 AM

35. I have to say on that matter, that we are over populated.

However, most who have a healthy relationship do want to reproduce themselves. Going against this is stupid; however the couple should take their financial health by the horns (so to speak) and reduce expenses. I don't know where they live, but that is a salary that should support at least one or two more children, unless they live in Seattle, NYC, San Francisco, Miami, well you get the idea. We certainly do not need a lot more spoiled rich kids, so let the rich kids pay the poor ones to reproduce and everything is settled. HaHa!

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 04:01 AM

36. Suze estimated it costs an additional $700-1000 a month per child.

Broken link-through from the article (to some RW site) argument:
http://www.smockityfrocks.com/2011/12/an-open-letter-to-suze-orman.html

Those parents estimate rearing a child only costs $70 a month.

Guess who isn't going to college, going on a european senior trip, driving a car, going on dates, participating in sports or arts programs, going to summer camp, wearing clean clothes, having birthday parties, eating healthy food, getting a pet, or is "allowed" to have accidents, or go to pre-school, to ever get sick, or have a complicated pregnancy or birth?

The child of parents who don't realize how expensive child rearing is in the long run, and didn't budget for it. Parents who don't think in terms of 20-25 years of child-rearing are basically setting themselves up to be accused of child abuse.

In short, if you cannot afford to pay for the kind of childhood you think you deserved (as compared to the one you suffered through), you aren't wealthy enough yet to stop the cycle.

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Response to The Straight Story (Original post)

Wed Dec 14, 2011, 04:44 AM

37. Orman is a charlatan, but...

 

it is hard to fault her for this expression of the obvious.

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