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Having a child will complicate things. Parmar said it could easily cost between $2,000 and $2,400 per month if we’re accounting for not just food, clothes, diapers and toys, but also child care, life insurance bills and RESP contributions.
A further decline to $5,000 per month still seems like it would leave the couple with more than enough, right? It is, until you factor in that Tina would be on maternity leave and would only be able to earn a maximum of $54,200. That means that the couple could quickly find themselves in a scenario where they only have between $1,000 and $2,000 to put away each month.
“It would be tight,” said Parmar who added that the couple would also have to do away with vacations, unless you count driving to Banff in a minivan. “They’re not going into debt, but they’re not going to have the big nest egg either.”
When I called Tina and Drake to relay the new budget, the first thing Drake did was pull up his spreadsheet on his laptop so he could follow along. I could tell some of the numbers hit him hard. He nervously laughed after double-checking that he could be spending a combined $3,900 per month on hydro and a child.
“That’s three times more than what I was expecting,” Drake said. “I still don’t know what the hell I would spend $3,000 on for a child.”
Drake also isn’t sure he needs the extra money in discretionary spending and admitted that he’d be tempted to cut it back down.
Even with far less at their disposal though, neither one is ready to do away their budget-based minimalist lifestyle.
“I’m confident in saying we’ll remain dedicated to the budget even if we’re saving less, if anything at all,” Drake said.