Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The cost of paying for the family I've always wanted

A scary thing happened this week. I was getting all my banking in order to pay my bills for the 15th. I got paid on Friday, so all was like any other month... I had the money in my account, so took care of mortgage payment, phone bill, hydro, etc.

I have $98 left over in my chequings account to hold me over until my next pay cheque in two weeks.

These two weeks include a $100 doctor's appointment, a $50 hair cut (I can't see right now my hair is in my face) and getting together with friends for dinner - something I set up weeks ago. I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to swing it. [Good thing I haven't paid into those RRSPs yet this year...?]

Right now, I have an account specifically for TTC costs, which is separate from the above account. I saved for about three years, and was able to save close to $10,000. We have already blown through more than 75% of that money. We're only 6 months in.

We have a shitload of debt to deal with outside of this. I married into about $30,000 debt (unfortunate circumstances) and we have been paying that off in the form of a bank loan for the last 4 years. We still have more than a year to go before it's gone. We owe our strata $5,000 for upgrades. We owe $2,000 on our car.

I owe my father close to $8,000 for emergency money that I had to go to him for. I hate owing my father. Hate hate hate it.

Unfortunately, with the amount of debt that Devon has and has had for years, she is unable to save anything to help with this process, so the costs of TTC has fallen solely into my realm of responsibility. I was okay with that for a while, but I am realizing it is not sustainable. Not if we have to do this for much longer. About 30% of my salary (net) goes to TTC costs. And I don't have a measly salary. Though it feels that way now.

So what happens if we have to keep going? Do we just create more debt? I can't imagine stopping just because we run out of money, but how fucked up is that? There is nothing else in the world that you would pay $1,000 for on the off chance (10-15%) that you'd end up with what you wanted. That's up to a 90% failure rate. And that's just IUI. With IVF, we're looking at about $10,000. 

I find that the emotional investment is far more of a struggle than the financial one, and is the only one you listen to through this process. The costs associated with building a family (that most people get for free!) this way makes my stomach turn.

When my family moved to Canada from the UK, we came here with very little money. My parents were incredibly frugal and as a result, I am frugal too - sometimes to a fault. I do not spend money on myself, other than necessities. I don't treat myself. Wherever possible, I save. Right or wrong, there are times when I see debt as failure - even "healthy" debt. It just scares me so much. Especially in this day and age, and especially as the city I live in has just been named the most expensive city to live in in North America (recently surpassing every single US state).

We are selling our condo and we're going to rent somewhere "cheap" for a while (cheap in this city is $1,800/month for an 800 sq ft apartment). It is no longer worth it to own anything here. We won't make money on our place, but I'm hoping to god we break even, after all the realtor/legal/moving costs.

It scares me that I have no idea what is going to happen once we've blown through the rest of the TTC money.

Not a nice feeling. Not a nice feeling at all.


  1. I'm the same way about money as you are. I HATE debt. That said, I'm pretty sure you live in the same city as us, if you go north of St. Clair you can rent for WAY less that what you quoted. Downtown prices are insane. I'm okay with having to take a 20 minute subway ride if it means saving close to $1000/mo. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

  2. Ughh, I so agree with you on debt. It's a shitty, shitty thing to have hanging over your head. Just the other day, K & I were discussing how much $$ we would have every month if we didn't have our (joint) debt. That's been the biggest factor holding off our TTC adventures. We have been working so hard the last 15-18 months to pay off our debt so that we have nothing left but rent/mortgage, car insurance, cell phones (and maybe some student loans, we'd be okay with that). If I could go back to my college self I would absolutely KICK myself for spending the way I did. Long story short, I'm really sorry it's so stressful and such a hard pill to swallow. Fingers crossed your condo sells and that you guys can find a great place, outside of the city, that saves you some serious $$. Big hugs!

  3. This makes me so sad. Finances shouldn't prohibit motherhood.

    We chose to use a known donor for many reasons. One of them being $. We had to fly him to us each month as he lives in NYC but in total we paid less than $1000 for 3 tries. Plus each month we could inseminate daily over a 3-5 day period instead of just the one shot.

    If a known donor is something you'd consider I have co-parentmatch.com memberships to giveaway.

  4. I am right there with you. I am in 2WW number 5. If this time isn't successful, my doctor wants me to consider the full barrage of meds, shots, etc., and has said it could be between $1500 and $6000 (not counting what we've paid for the donor sperm already) depending on how it goes for me individually. We've maxed out what we saved (and then some) and got through this round thanks to income tax refunds. The money stuff is so hard and makes decisions so tough. IVF will not be an option for us as it is so far out of our budget.

    Anyway, I know how you feel. I hope you sell your condo and find somewhere affordable to live.

  5. I'm sorry you have to worry about all of this--the whole thing is stressful. Even using a cheaper sperm bank and with good (good!) insurance, my TTC medical expenses last year came to just under ten grand. I didn't tell my wife until she saw it on our taxes because I didn't want her to freak out. I hope that you can find a cheaper place to rent that's still convenient for you, and that soon you'll be worrying about the price of onesies and not the price of sperm.

  6. I'm really sorry - I hope that you continue to find ways to make it work in a way that is healthy for both of you. Good luck with the sale of the condo.

  7. I so feel your pain! It's incredibly frustrating to watch your money disappear down the drain over something most people get for free. That "slow" money bleed was a strong incentive for us to move to IVF when we did, even though we had to use a second mortgage to pay for it... twice. It seemed the odds of us spending another $12k over the next few months and not being any closer to a baby were too great, so we decided to just jump in with both feet. It took us 2 years to pay our first cycle off and will take longer this time, but we figured people spend twice that amount on cars every day, and surely a child was (is) worth more to us than a new car. Sorry, I'm rambling. Just wanted to tell you you're not alone and I'm sorry you are one of us who have to pay so dearly for our families. There is nothing fair about it and it SUCKS, big time. *hugs*

  8. it sucks. that's all i've got. if i think about it too much, i want to crawl into a hole...

  9. I absolutely feel your pain. :( My partner and I won't start to TTC for a few more years, but I already stress myself out with how difficult it's going to be, financially and emotionally.

    Glad to have found your blog.