Can We Afford a Baby?

By Steve Watters
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Focus on the Family
Many couples would like to start their family, but worry they can't pull it off financially.

Many couples would like to start their family, but worry they can’t pull it off financially.

I remember when my wife and I first started thinking about having a baby, one of the first questions I asked was, “How can we afford this?” Our combined income was manageable, but we had a lot of education debt and my wife really wanted to stay home with our baby – which meant potentially cutting our budget in half.

In the midst of our anxiety about affording a child, however, a mentor couple said something we’ll never forget: “budget for everything except children – children are wealth.”

On its face, this sounded totally irresponsible. Budgets are good things and children can be expensive. But we’ve found wisdom in this countercultural idea that might be helpful to you.

First, it’s reminded us over the years that the costs and financial sacrifices associated with children really are different from the other ways we spend our money. Few expenditures provide as much return on investment or have the same eternal value. Seeing children as wealth can help you rethink which things in your budget really are must-haves and which things are worth exchanging for the gift of new life.

Secondly, this phrase has helped us realize that as important as it is to count the costs, our checkbook shouldn’t be the final word. God is the creator of new life and He’s also the one who sustains that life by providing for us as we follow His call to be fruitful. As you objectively look at your expenses and income, don’t rule out God’s desire to bless you. We’ve traded stories with our friends over the years about raises, gifts and other unexpected provisions that followed after trusting God to provide for our new families.

For some couples, a dedicated period of fiscal stewardship can help them knock out debts and build up savings that make starting a family more affordable. But as couples get married later, they also have to be good stewards of their fertility and energy.

If God has given you the desire to start a family, you can trust that He’s also able to multiply your efforts as good stewards of what He gives you – including the possible wealth of children.

Looking at your personal circumstances, you might see challenges that could make the next year a tough time to start a family. Psalm 139 reminds us, however, that God ordains the days for each person before any of them come to be. If God has ordained this year as the time for a new child to join your family, you can believe that He is also able to “meet all your needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). Whatever your circumstances, you can trust the Creator of life to help you start a family.

From Start Your Family: Inspiration for Having Babies, published by Moody Publishers. Copyright © 2009, Steve and Candice Watters. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Steve Watters

Steve Watters is the Director of Marriage and Parenting Preparation for the Family Ministries department.

You May Also Like

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.

If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.