Adjusting To a Bigger Family

In January of last year my sister in law passed away, leaving behind 2 young kids.  Their father has been raising them since then, but has had some struggles in his life that have put him in the position that he can not take care of them currently.  Last month our nephews who are 1 and 3 moved in with us, and will likely be staying with us for the forseeable future. This has been a big adjustment for our entire family and while being an overall good thing and a lot of fun, is also very stressful and chaotic.

Chaos:

If you think having two boys makes for a rambunctious house, try 4.  The two littles are having a hard time adjusting to a fixed schedule, but I think a few more weeks of a daily routine will get them on track.  The little one wakes up crying and kicking at least 3 times a night, and the 3 year old is used to being able to generally do whatever he wants. For the most part they are good boys, but average 1 and 3 year olds are quite obnoxious. Having them adds some difficulty with scheduling, especially when it comes to school.  Our kids are already in school, so adjusting to having kids at the house all day and adjusting work/life schedules to accommodate that is challenging.

Added Expenses/ Added Income:

The boys receive a small amount from Social Security every month, based on their mother’s earnings.  This is only a few hundred dollars but will go a long way to offsetting the added costs associated with having them, most noteably daycare expenses.  In order for Mrs. C. to maintain her job we are looking into daycare options.  There is a local daycare in our area that has rates and spots open for kids on a part time basis, where they can go 2 or 3 days a week.  Most likely we will go with this option and Mrs. C. will work a very part time schedule for the near term. We had gotten rid off all our little kid stuff, so we are in the process of re-acquiring the stuff we need.  We have their bedroom all set up, I think all we really have left to buy is a dual stroller, and that is optional. The big potential expense is upgrading my car.  Our Van can seat everyone, but my car is too small to accommodate all the kids.  We may end up getting a truck that seats 6, but that is a large expense and I will try to delay that as long as practical.

Tax Planning:

Part of having two extra little guys is two extra little tax deductions.  Because of the tax breaks given for dependent children we need to completely adjust our retirement savings investment strategy.  Since it now takes a far lower amount of deductible contributions to reach $0 tax liability, We need to switch a significant portion of our retirement savings to ROTH accounts. It does no good to contribute to traditional IRAs past the point of $0 tax liability. This may also adjust whether or not Obamacare insurance makes sense for us next year.

Setting Myself Up:

I guess you could say all my adult life I have been setting myself up to be able to adjust to this. We don’t know what challenges we will face in life, but we do know that there will be challenges. Building a strong financial base to weather these challenges is important. Having an emergency fund, a financial plan, a stable job and residence, are all important factors in being able to weather any changes in life. Even if we were in a less stable financial position we would find a way to take care of the little dudes, but it would be much more challenging.

Lack of postings:

In addition to the added responsibilities and time constraints that come with having two additional young children, I have also been working 6 13 hour shifts per week for the past six weeks, and it looks like the next couple weeks will be the same.  My goal is to continue to post at a rate of 1 post per week, which while I am working and trying to juggle the demands of a growing household is a sustainable rate.  Perhaps during the summer I will challenge myself to write closer to 6 – 8 posts per month.

Adjusting to a bigger family is a large change for us, but it will be a fun adventure.

John C. started Action Economics in 2013 as a way to gain more knowledge on personal financial planning and to share that knowledge with others. Action Economics focuses on paying off the house, reducing taxes, and building wealth. Check out the Action Economics archives section for all past posts.

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