How Do You Afford All Those Kids?

A reader asked me to elaborate more on how we make our finances work for a large family and also answer those who would say it is fiscally irresponsible to have more children.

For most families, finances are a concern at some point in their lives. Since our modern society has come to believe children are a drain on our finances and cost us far more than they are worth, we believe having more of these little parasites will only lead to financial ruin.

This directly goes against what the Bible says about children.  Children are called a blessing in the Bible.  We like to tell ourselves that was in an agrarian society and no longer applies to us, but that would suggest God’s Word isn’t the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  You cannot pick through the Bible that way.  You must believe what it says about everything…including what it says about children.

So, IF we believe children are a blessing, we have to believe having more would lead to more blessings in some way, shape, or form.

Does that mean having more children will mean more financial blessings?  Not necessarily.

God loves your children more than you do, and He will provide for you and them.  However, He may not OVER-provide.  I’m not about to preach prosperity gospel to you and suggest that the type of blessing God is talking about when He speaks of children will be a financial blessing. But, I will tell you with the birth of each and every child has come the ability to pay for the new addition to our family.

So, how do we afford all these kids?

That’s a big question, and one I don’t think I can answer in one post.  So, I’m going to need to break this question up into several pieces, and since the most asked question about affording kids is how to feed them, I’ll start there!  Come back tomorrow for more on that!

Posts in this series:
Introduction – this post
Feeding them
Schooling Them
Entertaining Them
Keeping Them Healthy

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28 thoughts on “How Do You Afford All Those Kids?

  1. I find that the naysayers on having more kids due to finances generally have different priorities than we do. Having the latest greatest toy is not the most important thing in our house. Enjoying time together as a family is much more important to us so more of our money would be spent on family outings than new toys. I do think my children have more *things* than they need or even should have but that is due to Grandma’s overspending not ours LOL. By me being a stay at home mom I find that I have more time to cook food which saves us more money for our family than when I was working, with little extra time for cooking, and eating out a lot. Our family isnt overly large as we will be adding #4 soon but I find that life seems to work out even if it isnt always how I envision it. The little things we do seem to help though.

  2. I wholeheartly agree. I wasted far more $ when I was working full-time & keeping up w/ the world. Jesus has always taken care of us. Being on a budget (another word the world hates) and some creativity go along way. It’s all worth it to be home with these blessings!

  3. Thank you for posting this today! I’m really looking forward to reading the series. I’m expecting #4 and am definitely curious to see what you have to say.

    We keep going back to how God says children are blessings and how God also says He will provide for us. Our family has been through some really tough financial times, and never once have we gone hungry. God has provided for us in some really amazing ways. Why should we think that would be any different just because we’re adding another blessing to our family???

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading more!

  4. The naysayers simply have vastly different priorities Amy.

    When we decided to try public Kindergarten for our daughter, after homeschooling our oldest (and were NOT pleased, for many reasons), I was floored by the comment of the Mom a little classmate of hers. The career woman looked down her nose at me (as I talked about our decision to go back to homeschooling the following year), sniffed, and said, “I suppose home school is all right…if you are THAT IN TO your kids.” and walked away.

    Thank you for the confirmation that we made the correct decision. People who aren’t “That in to” their kids, frankly, scare me…

  5. I agree with the commenter above that having different priorities is a big thing that makes our finances work out. We have had to sacrifice things like cable and going out to eat every other day. My poor, deprived kids don’t have DSs like everyone else. But I don’t much care, and they really don’t either. I could put the kids in school and go to work to afford a bunch of crap that would clutter up my house and make me crazy. Or I can get creative, and be obedient to God’s will for my life, and be blessed beyond measure.

    • Very astute! I think our society as a whole is rather short-sighted. We live so much in the here and now that we forget there is a future out there.

  6. I agree! Children are a blessing! I am thankful for my four but also thankful for modern technology that allowed us to decide that my body couldn’t handle any more. And I almost laugh when people ask how we afford it, as if there is an option not to? :)

    Blessings,
    Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  7. I do understand what the commenters are saying about setting financial priorities. I’m fine with driving an old van and wearing thrift shop clothes so that I can stay home and homeschool my four. However, I do feel some guilt, or at least some unease, when I see some of the incredible opportunities some children of smaller families have, such as trips or science camps. And I feel bad about not being able to buy some quality things, like organic produce. I don’t worry about the sacrifices my husband and I have to make – but I sometimes worry about the sacrifices my children have to make. And I know that these sacrifices help the children grow but I, like any other parent, wish I could give them the best. And society says that I could give them the best – if we don’t have any more children and I went back to work. I just keep praying!

    • Karyn,
      I just wanted to offer you a bit of food for thought – would you feel guilty if you didn’t know about these things or weren’t surrounded by a culture that tells you these things are important? I love Doug Phillips’ analogy of a Desert Island…If you lived on a desert island with nothing but your Bible, how would you live your life? Ultimately, God fills in the gaps. And oftentimes, what we perceive as gaps aren’t really. God has blessed you richly in a way others may never understand. {hugs} to you.

  8. I very much agree with you! I am about to be married for 3 years (I know such a baby marriage lol) in April, and I gave my womb over to the Lord before I even said “I do”. I got pregnant right away – and was very nervous for finances because my husband didn’t have the greatest job and we were only living in a tiny dorm room- I thought if I get pregnant this fast how will we ever be able to provide for our family! Well I went into preterm labor at 23 weeks and lost my son, it took 8 months to conceive again, and we were still in the dorm room- again I started to worry- then my husband got laid off and we moved around with family and I had my son a month later…. all this to say is no matter how hard I planned anything the Lord kept changing it. The Lord has really taught me that no matter what you are making and how you are planning, He is the ultimate provider! Anyways we are still with no job or house and it has been a year (husband is about to go to school), and I am still not pregnant again- I asked the Lord to pause my womb for a year so I could emotionally, spiritually, and physically recharge and He has been gracious to answer my request- I am very thankful that I trusted to ask Him instead of try what the world says.. birth control. Anyways I am ready for another one :) and I am really looking forward to reading tips for the future!

    Also this is a side note, but the comment you made about not using the type of culture we live in as a way to pick and choose from scripture made me think about head coverings….. I have studied a lot and still haven’t got an answer that really makes sense, I would be curious to hear your thought- you can email me if you don’t want to change the flow of your comments :).

    Grace and Peace!

  9. That previous message was for Karyn. (I didn’t realize the comments wouldn’t nest.)
    Amy, I look forward to hearing what you have to say about this topic. I have “only” one, and I am grateful for what God has given. There are many blessings that come from a large family. A small family has unique blessings too. Being content with what God has granted us, knowing what He wants for us, and having faith in His provision are the foundations of this discussion.

  10. The FINANCIAL FREEDOM SEMINAR is an absolute amazing encouragement for large (or any size) family! This in the one the DUGGAR Family credits for their debt-free living philosophy. It is available from Institute of Basic Life Principles.

    • I heard the Duggars speak a couple of weeks ago and they mentioned this seminar. I did not feel I could say anything about it since we have not used it, but I’m glad you mentioned it!

  11. Just skimmed though the comments and didn’t see this mentioned-but I read a study recently that said (forgive me I forget specifics) our house (sq ft) keep getting bigger and our families smaller. I find that very sad.
    I know (with my medical condition) I’m unlikely to have any more children than the two I have-but I would love to have a big family.
    Now, I only have 2-but I find, they really don’t cost that much extra. Seriously. The stats I’ve seen on how much it costs to raise a kid blow my mind. But, I’m not going to budget a cell phone bill into my monthly expenses for a 7 year old. I also buy most things used. And try to buy multi-function things when I can.
    Simple things like breastfeeding, cloth diapers, baby-led weaning and home cooking and such are not only good for you and baby-they are also very frugal.

    • Sonita,
      I read those same statistics and thought the same thing! Someone out there must be spending that much, but it definitely isn’t me!

      • We moved to a house twice the size of our old one 2 years ago-but we did it to save money and be next door to my parents :)
        We bought a 5 bedroom mobile home and spend less than we were paying to rent a 5 room (total) house!
        Plus I intended to fill it with children :) LOL but I guess that will wait until our adoption plans of teen sibling groups once our kids move out.

  12. Children are a blessing from God, why should I try to tell God not to bless me anymore. I know he will provide for all our needs. I’m looking forward to your next post.

  13. First the family is just so cute. Your oldest daughter looks so much like you while the oldest son like your husband. We have five children and the Lord has taken the possibility for more due to complications with the last. Although we really didn’t plan on having more it is something I am still dealing with not having that choice.

    We are asked that question often when we are out as I take them all with me everywhere I go. I also hear “How can you do it all?” I always wonder what they mean by “ALL.” Yes we home school, take music lessons (piano, violin, and harp), and let the older one take one sport a year, but is that really so much. We don’t watch TV or go to the bars and just hang out with our friends. If the world would give up some of their themselves time for there kids we would all be much better off.

    God provides every time we have had a need, it is not always when we want or maybe how we thought, but it was really what we needed. Our last child’s birth expenses cost over $75,000 and God provided it all and all from caring Christian’s. If your living in Christ he will guide your way. It is not just a blind trust it is a relationship with the only one that is all possible.

  14. I just wanted to say hi and that I am your newest follower. Your post was right on, it is what we do! Great tips. Oh I am also following you on twitter @caseysgoodlife I hope you have a blessed day

  15. I am the mother of 6 and 7 on the way and my husband works a part time job! (He is working on building his own business that brings SOME income occasionally.) Bottom line, the LORD provides! He has given us hearts that are content with what we have. We do go ‘without’ allot of things that most people have, but we are together most our day and we live without the stress of this modern world! The children will look back on their childhood and get to say they really KNOW their daddy! I am blessed the Lord gave me a husband that REALLY desires spending time with his children!

    I agree the statistics on how much a child cost is amazingly wrong! I think we have bought clothes for one of our children one time. Because people are always blessing us with clothes. Our garage is our ‘storehouse’! We could probably open a boutique!!

    Speaking of head coverings, there is a blog I follow called Journey of the Veil. Look at the section called ‘a womans hair is not enough’. My husband and I feel the scripture is pretty clear, but this makes it even clearer!

    Blessings on all you wonderful mothers trusting the Lord with your wombs,
    Rebekah

  16. I heard also (think it was an archive of Dr Mohler’s radio show) that those scary cost estimates for raising kids not only include things like cable TV and all new clothes, but graduate school and things that that which may not be on the agenda for most people. And to my mind it is not unreasonable to expect that the child, by the time they are the age to be doing a graduate degree, could maybe be working as well to fund that study????

    I think this fear of not being able to manage financially is a natural thing, but aren’t we told that our natural state is something to be won over and submitted to God, rather than “it’s natural” being an excuse? One mom I know told me the other day that she would be glad when her 2-year-old son went to nursery because then she could “get her life back”. I couldn’t even respond, it made me so sad, because she is a person who I always thought really valued her kids. And I know loads of other moms who feel the same way. We have been so indoctrinated into believing that we are not worth anything if we don’t go out to work; I think that has contributed to even Christian moms (and older ladies) not really supporting each other when it comes to managing our families and loving them.

    Grrrr.

  17. I like this blog. And everything I have read is so good. The fact that you (Amy) are raising children to live for Christ is amazing. Living for Christ is so much better then living for yourself. Some people are not called to marry and have children. Some are called to have only one (if they get married), and others like you and your husband are called to have many. Children are a blessing and should be treated like such. If God wanted us treat our children like a ‘financial burden’ then He wouldn’t have sent His precious Son to die on a cross for our sins. That cost Him (Christ) everything. So when we as humans are so arrogant to think that many children are a burden then they have not experienced the love God has for us even though we cost His Son His life.
    Good news, Christ is resurrected and we can live for Him because of it. No more living to ourselves and all the empty things we can buy. Whatever it may be.
    Love you all In Christ,
    Renea