once you have a mortgage and have a kid you become really poor. my wife and i make over 85K between the two of us. no daycare expenses or anything like that. with 2 car payments, mortgage, student loans, retirement, healthcare premiums etc. there isnt much left at the end of the month.
I'm with you on that Green. School books and supplies for 1st and 4th grade this year totaled somewhere around $500 and that doesn't even include new clothes! I've seen too many people get into the money trap where they are making a good buck and have a lifestyle that they don't want to give up to do a job they would really love. Knew a Sales Mgr who liked the $125K he was getting, but hated the job. He couldn't afford to quit and go work for Case knife which is what he would have loved to do. Golden Handcuff syndrome bigtime.
And as far as those of you who don't want kids, the baby crap only goes on for a couple years. Once they get to be about 5-6 they can clean up after themselves and start helping around the house. Plus w/boys the dads get to buy all them cool toys again. Couldn't justify an Xbox without them. We waited over 5 years to have kids, had the double income, vacations, toys, etc. Now vacations are cheaper, toys different, and the budget has changed. My reward is in watching them get academic and sports awards and seeing them do well. The fun times aren't necessarily any better or worse than when we were DINKS, just different.