Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

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sharukh
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Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by sharukh » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:04 am

Hi,

My wife is a SAHM takes care of kid 2 years old. We found a day care right next door, which is the best in the location and luckily also the lowest in price due to church affiliation. It costs $800 per month , they dont have half day care. The price of half day care in other centers is $800, so we get 1. next door day care(no uber costs), 2. full day daycare, 3. good rating day care for $800.

Our budget allows to spend $800 per month. Reason for sending kid to day care:
1. Kid gets some socialization, it is very hard here (NYC area)once the winter kicks in.
2. Mom gets some "me" time for retaining personal sanity, do some work that gives joy, also take care of any home maintenance, some additional sleep time.

Now that we have decided to spend $800 per month, are there alternate things we should do to get better value for the same money, like:
use gymboree / mygym + some drop in day-care($200)
sign up for some art/music class $100
go to museums, say $100
Buy new toys regularly $100
Buy food from Restaurants, so no cooking and cleaning $100
Uber costs for all the above: $200
total = $800
Pros:
1. no commitment for day care.
2. Mom also gets around
cons:
1. no "me" time for mommy.
2. Extra work for lugging around.

Pls suggest, which option gives the best value for the $800 per month.
P.S. no ymca near home.
Thanks very much.

zimmer0
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by zimmer0 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:54 am

i would suggest doing what makes your wife happy. Not knowing the details of day care, is it a month to month? 6mo? 1yr? Try each option as the costs are equal.

chevca
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by chevca » Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:58 am

SAHM and paying for daycare makes no sense to me... at all.

Unless part of the kid going to daycare means mom would go to work and earn some money, I would skip the daycare plan and find other things to do for mom and kid.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:16 am

You could always invest the extra $800 so that you will have more options for your daughter later in her life.

Taking care of (1) 2 year old and a house should be pretty light duty for a competent adult. As far as socialization, 2 year olds basically just play by themselves in a room in which other children happen to be playing. Music, art, gym, and museums may be fun for mom but are just places for the child. $100/month for toys seems excessive, a few balls, blocks, dolls, ect should suffice at this age. One large item that we bought for our daughter at that age was an indoor slide and climber. I assume that "work that gives joy" means that it's unpaid.

Three years old is a good age to start pre-school type activities at the day care, unless it will be more difficult to enroll her later.

littlebird
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by littlebird » Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:56 am

For me, some drop-in daycare so Mom could visit museums, socialize, etc. one to several times a week, combined with some take out food from NYC delis, cafes, Whole Foods or the like, would have been heaven when I was at that stage of life.
Unless Mom has some debilitating medical condition, I can't see the purpose for taking a 2-year old out of the house every day, all day.

mega317
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by mega317 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:02 am

I disagree with KlingKlang. Taking care of a 2 year old all day every day is hard. I have never done it when cold outside but I bet that's 10 times as hard. 2 year olds do parallel play, but it's valuable and they do learn socialization from it. Have you ever seen a room of 2 year olds? Does the daycare allow part-time, say 3 days a week? Then you can have a mix of all of those options and probably spend less.

stoptothink
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:06 am

chevca wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:58 am
SAHM and paying for daycare makes no sense to me... at all.

Unless part of the kid going to daycare means mom would go to work and earn some money, I would skip the daycare plan and find other things to do for mom and kid.
Trying not to be judgmental, but if my wife ever suggested this, we'd have a long talk. As it is, although we both work full-time (and wife is also a student), both of us fairly regularly work from home with our two children (5 and 2yrs old) because it seems that the daycare we pay $1500/month for is closed half the time.

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lthenderson
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 am

I've been a stay at home dad to my youngest from birth to now almost age five. Some words of wisdom from my experience. Sending a kid to day care doesn't necessarily free up time. There is work in prepping a kid for day care and also dealing with all the illnesses they bring home from daycare. At age two, kids don't socialize. They are also very selfish at that point in life and only worry about themselves. I wouldn't worry about socialization skills until age four. What time it does free up generally costs even more money. While you are paying $800 a month for someone to look after junior, unless your spouse is working, she is spending money elsewhere which adds on top of the $800. Kids in daycare don't develop the same way as kids who grow up home with one of their parents. There are a lot of positives to having a kid spend more time with one of their parents versus none.

Yes raising kids is work though a much different kind than when I was working for eight hours a day at a desk job. It is extremely flexible work and while raising a kid from newborn to age five, I have almost completely remodeled a house inside and out. I have been able to volunteer around the community with child in tow. I have also been able to pursue many hobbies I find rewarding during nap times or while junior plays quietly. If spouse needs "me" time, find other stay at home spouses in your area to drop off the kid for a couple hours or let her get it in the evening when you are home. Save the $800 for your kids college fund or other expenses.

For reference, our oldest daughter went through the daycare system from three months old until school while both of us worked. Now that we have done it both ways, I would never go back to putting kids through all day daycare if I could financially afford to do so.

bungalow10
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by bungalow10 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:22 am

Can you wife do a drop-in care for two hours two days a week? In a high COLA, I pay $7/hour/kid for drop-in care at the gym. She could get an hour of exercise, a nice shower without anyone bothering her and time to drink a coffee or smoothie.

She could also find a couple friends to do play dates with. Monday morning is kids at your house, Tuesday morning is kids at Friend 1's house, Wednesday morning is kids at Friend 2's house, etc.
An elephant for a dime is only a good deal if you need an elephant and have a dime.

sharukh
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by sharukh » Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:48 pm

Thanks very much for replying and sharing your experiences. w.r.t part-time day care or alternate day care in establishments that support that still charge $800 per month, so I dont see further optimization there, unless we go the route of drop-in-care or gymboree.

Will try the options suggested here. Thanks again.

jeffh19
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by jeffh19 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:26 pm

I know this is not what youre asking, but there's no way in HELL. I'd ever let my spouse be a stay at home parent, and then pay for daycare on top of it. Is she a trophy wife that doesn't want to work and you have so much money that it doesn't even matter?

Not only do you not have her income which is how many potential thousands a year in extra income, but you want to pay that much money a month so she can sit at home and do nothing and sleep and just go do whatever whenever??

The only time being a SAHM is ok with me is if she literally makes about as much or less than daycare costs. Sure there is value in raising your kids all day and getting that time with them, but you're talking about not having a major source of income and then having a payment that is a car/rent/house payment on top of it just so she can relax all day.

This would piss me off very much bad lol, this is all coming out of jealousy because believe me I would love the option to just sit at home, sleep in and just go do whatever I want while someone worked all day to give me money to do whatever I wanted and I didn't even have to take care of my kids all day. It just wouldn't be ok. I hope she's a true 10 lol

Like others have said, maybe look into a drop in daycare for when she does need to do stuff or whatever.

Sorry if this came off angry, I just am so jealous of people who get to not work and chill at home, that's why I work 90 hours a week so I can do that some day and retire super early lol

mega317
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by mega317 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:44 pm

Haha you wouldn't LET your spouse? Maybe OP's spouse has a say in this decision.

Jeff: Do you have the option of working fewer than 90 hours a week and then spending some time "chilling at home" before you retire "super early"? In my opinion caring for a toddler, while usually fun, is often times not fun, certainly doesn't qualify as "chilling at home", and it's more than 90 hours/week.

stoptothink
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:49 pm

mega317 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:44 pm
Haha you wouldn't LET your spouse? Maybe OP's spouse has a say in this decision.

Jeff: Do you have the option of working fewer than 90 hours a week and then spending some time "chilling at home" before you retire "super early"? In my opinion caring for a toddler, while usually fun, is often times not fun, certainly doesn't qualify as "chilling at home", and it's more than 90 hours/week.
As someone with a demanding career, who quite often works from home (simultaneously working and taking care of a 5 and 2yr old) because the expensive daycare they pay for always seems to be closed, I very much disagree when it comes to the horror stories about how long and hard it is, but maybe I have outlier children? Either way, it's not really relevant to what the OP was asking, so we should probably stop debating it.

miamivice
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by miamivice » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:56 pm

I like this thread.

I have proposed to my wife that I become a stay at home dad but keep our kids in daycare. (Firecalc says we can do this). She just laughs at the idea.

Also, kids in daycare turn out just fine. The statement above that daycare kids turn out differently is not supported by research studies.

wrongfunds
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:59 pm

Is she a trophy wife that doesn't want to work and you have so much money that it doesn't even matter?
Would you say that to somebody's face? If not why would you do that here?

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KlingKlang
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:05 pm

mega317 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:44 pm
In my opinion caring for a toddler, while usually fun, is often times not fun, certainly doesn't qualify as "chilling at home", and it's more than 90 hours/week.
A two year old shouldn't even be awake 90 hours/week.

Life is often times not fun.

I can understand that someone would not desire to be a stay at home parent and homemaker with a two year old, but your assertions of how difficult it is are ridiculous.

JGoneRiding
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:24 pm

preschool?? in our area part time pre school starts at 2 and is less than full time day care. And the full time day care centers also do some preschool--mandated by state law

mega317
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by mega317 » Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:36 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 2:05 pm
mega317 wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:44 pm
In my opinion caring for a toddler, while usually fun, is often times not fun, certainly doesn't qualify as "chilling at home", and it's more than 90 hours/week.
A two year old shouldn't even be awake 90 hours/week.

Life is often times not fun.

I can understand that someone would not desire to be a stay at home parent and homemaker with a two year old, but your assertions of how difficult it is are ridiculous.
Agreed. I was addressing Jeff's comparison of stay-at-home parenting to his description of retirement. And his tone wrt his spouse.

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Taz
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Re: Spending help: Best use for $800 per month ?

Post by Taz » Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:08 pm

Jumping into the briar patch here:
My wife became a SAHM with the birth of our son and several years later, our daughter. We felt strongly that one parent should stay at home. I took my turn after retiring from the navy and we "swapped." Of course she did all the hard work so I didn't ruin them. Easier once in MS/HS. :)

Both kids occasionally attended some part-time preschool type program. Not every day, but about 3 days a week for a few hours. It was primarily for socialization and fun for them, not academic stuff. It gave her time to do other stuff, take a break, and meet others. I was deployed or worked long hours so that was important for her. She also took advantage of MOPS which often meets at churches.

I wouldn't feel guilty about the joint decision to do this if you can afford it. The quest for financial freedom isn't everything. Heck, take them out after a half day or skip a few days!

Preschool isn't evil or an abrogration (??) of being a parent. Yet, not to denigrate couples who both work because many have to, I do think that these were formative years for the children and are times which my wife was glad to have had. Likewise my time with them later.
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