Pause on Parenthood: Why Gen Y Is Holding Off on Having Kids

Pause on Parenthood: Why Gen Y Is Holding Off on Having Kids

They’ve got a combined student debt burden of about $60,000.

But with a total income of $70,000, they struggle to make the minimum monthly payments. When it comes to owning a home, there’s a good chance they won’t be able to afford a down payment for at least another decade.

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So is this stereotypical Millennial couple ready to take on a $250,000-plus expense? Not quite.

That $250,000 expense is, of course, the average cost of parenthood in the U.S.—and it’s something Millennials are increasingly delaying.

On the one hand, that might seem like a smart move. After all, today’s young adults are poorer than their parents and grandparents were at the same age; they carry record levels of student debt; and many are under- or unemployed.

But at the same time, some experts worry that waiting too long to have kids—combined with putting off homeownership—could deter economic growth. Besides, it could be years, even decades, before many Millennials achieve an ideal level of financial stability before becoming moms and dads.

For those who don't want to wait that long, Yahoo! Finance rounded up a few strategies that can help make the transition to parenthood a little smoother.

The first strategy is to practice living off one salary for a year. This exercise can give couples a chance to tweak their budget to prepare for a big, new expense, while beefing up their savings—something they'll need once a baby comes along. Another savings-boosting option is to take advantage of a baby-free schedule and pick up a side gig for extra income.

It's also smart to plan out how you'll manage to save for your own retirement and a kid's college education, and review your health insurance to make sure you won't be paying out of pocket for pricey baby costs. Lastly, think about when it makes sense to take maternity or paternity leave from your job.

Curious how you can afford not to work for an extended period of time? Check out our guide to planning your time off here.

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