Baby on a Budget – Part 3

I’ve started each of these Baby on a Budget blog posts with a note explaining that NO, I AM NOT PREGNANT. However, this time around, I have something to tell you. I have kids. Two in fact.  …But they don’t live and breathe like your kids.

I feel crazy.  And in a minute you’ll think I am crazy. You know how kids have imaginary friends? Well, I have imaginary kids. And my husband has been kind enough to adopt them too!

They’re blonde little sweethearts, one boy and one girl. No, they’re not dressed in raggedy white pajamas, they don’t stare through my windows at night, and they have never asked me to free them. I have had imaginary kids for a few years now, ever since we purchased our current vehicle. That’s when they showed up for the first time.

When deciding which vehicle to buy, we were trying to decide between a car and an SUV, two doors or four. We knew this would be the car we were going to have for a long time, and it would be our only car for many years. As we went back and forth trying to make a decision, all of a sudden I saw these imaginary kids sitting in their car seats. “This is the car we’re going to have kids in,” I said to my husband. He had this confused look on his face as if to say, “You’re planning on.. giving birth.. in this car?”

“I meeeean, this will be the car we use when we have kids!” I clarified. Well there goes the two door idea. It would be so awkward to get a kid in and out of the back seat! Our imaginary kids influenced our decision to go from a two door, standard car to a four door, automatic car.

These imaginary kids popped up again when we were living in our condo. We had a gorgeous condo, but it was a third story walk-up. While it was ideal for a nice, firm butt, it wasn’t ideal for someone who was going to be 9 months pregnant one day! I also began to imagine the condo filled with colourful mis-matched baby toys and nowhere to store them. Not to mention that these imaginary kids were messy. That’s when we decided we wanted a bigger house, so the hunt began.

Our imaginary kids would show up at each house we visited. They’d be playing in the basement, in the backyard, and sleeping in their bedrooms. All of a sudden the number of bath tubs became important, and so did the distance from the nursery to the master bedroom. The neighbourhood had to be safe and the school division had to be top notch. These kids didn’t even exist yet and I was altering my thinking as if they did!

We purchased a home that requires some cosmetic renovations. Today, these imaginary kids even guide our reno decisions.  Should we keep two bathtubs or turn one into a stand-up shower? Should we remove the entire yard of landscaping rocks (yes, I said entire yard of rocks) to plant grass for the kids to play on one day? Where will they store their bikes?

Our imaginary kids even came furniture shopping with us last weekend. We want to buy new living room furniture and have our hearts set on a stone coloured microfibre sofa. But will the kids spill juice on the sofa? Colour on it? PROJECT onto it???

While I’m not actually crazy (you may think differently at this point), I am happy that we consider our future children, our imaginary kids, when making major purchases today. This new outlook of mine has also altered the way I shop. It’s as if I’m no longer only shopping for myself and my husband, but for our future family as well. We are forward-thinking and are making responsible decisions.

We are ensuring we don’t have to re-purchase these items when we do decide to have children. I couldn’t imagine learning that I was pregnant, and then realizing we’d have to trade in a vehicle, move to a safer neighbourhood, buy new furniture, lay down sod, turn the shower back into a bathtub, and have to think to myself, “Why didn’t I think of these things before?” Yes, it’s the planner in me and I know that we can’t plan for everything, but I have a feeling we will thank ourselves later for what we have done now.

So again, Mommies and Daddies, I come to you for advice. In retrospect, what are some things you wish you had done (or hadn’t done) prior to having kids?

Until next week,

Christi Posner (@ChristiPosner)

avatarAuthor Bio ~ Christi (58 Posts)

Christi Posner is a Credit Counsellor for the Credit Counselling Society, a non-profit, charitable organization. Born and raised in Winnipeg, Christi is a newlywed, a new homeowner, and with the exception of car loans and a mortgage, she is newly debt-free. Her goal is not merely to survive, but to financially thrive; and to do so with some passion, empathy, humour, and a smile.

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5 Responses to “Baby on a Budget – Part 3”

  1. Great post Christi! My husband and I thought a lot like you before we had kids too. It’s a great way to think and plan.
    Love reading your posts :)

  2. At age 21 I went to buy my first car. I took my Mom with me to bounce info off and she basically expected me to have my car for a long time (six years so far and going strong). She told me the same thing about not getting a two-door car, that it just would be an absolute pain with a car seat. So me at 21 I was forced to have imaginary kids be ause “grandma” is practical :)

  3. Hey Christi. I was 22 when I had my first, 23 when I had my second and 27 when I had my third. Long term planning is NOT my forte, nor my hubby’s. Now my kids are 24, 23 and 18 and if I had to do one bit of planning I hadn’t done while they were growing up it would have been planning for their post-secondary education costs.

    Great post :-)

  4. I planned my whole life around having kids and now twenty years later after some failed IVF. My dream didn’t come true and I planned everything!!! I was ready and sometimes it’s just not to be. GOOD LUCK with your dream

  5. You’re not crazy! We had one infant when we bought our car. We walked away form one we REALLY liked because it only held 4 people maximum. Me, ever the practical one said, if we get pregnant with twins when we have our second baby in a few years….we’ll have to sell and buy when we probably won’t be able to afford it. Here we are years later and with only one child….no more babies for us. In hindsight, we could have bought the other car, but it’s ok. The selected one has been great and I probably love it more than the one we left behind. It’s ok/good to plan for children but as I says above…GOOD LUCK with your dream. We had difficulty as well and wish we had started so much sooner. HUGS!

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