The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Third Child Edition

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I’m pleased to announce that we’re expecting our third child. The baby is due in late April. And, of course, when the child is born, you can expect pictures.

This is the “news” I alluded to on Monday that was affecting my wife’s health – she’s had a big case of the first trimester “tiredness” which has made our home even more hectic lately.

Here are some personal finance articles of interest to keep you busy.

Even Good Debt Can Be Bad All debt can be bad. I don’t necessarily believe in the “good debt versus bad debt” dichotomy, which is basically the argument of this article. (@ moolanomy)

Be Your Own Part-Time Boss: The Pros & Cons This is one of the best guides I’ve read on starting your own small side business. My favorite point: start now and work out the kinks along the way. (@ man vs. debt)

Paradox Of Financial Choices: Maximizing vs. Satisficing Some people seek to maximize – to squeeze every nickel out of a situation that they can. Other people seek satisfaction – a level of completeness that balances their time and happiness. I think I’m more of the latter. (@ my money blog)

What is Simple Living and Why Should I Care? I think the real value of living simple is that it gives you the time to explore the things you’re interested in and passionate about. (@ wise bread)

Which Comes First: The House or the Nest Egg? The nest egg, in my opinion. Given that renting is often the better financial position as compared to home ownership, I think many people over-fetishize owning a home (myself included) and push themselves into a financially sub-optimal situation. (@ get rich slowly)

Dunbar’s Number isn’t just a number, it’s the law Dunbar’s Number – 150 – is the number of meaningful friendships/relationships that a person can actually sustain. Although some argue that that number is growing due to internet technologies, I argue that it’s just allowing us to keep tabs on a larger group of people more easily, not to build meaningful relationships with them. (@ seth godin)

Separation This is a fascinating story of a divorce. It does seem like a better outcome than the typical “I’m calling a lawyer” breakdown in marriage, though. (@ steve pavlina)

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92 thoughts on “The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Third Child Edition

  1. I did check out the good debt article, and it had very good points. I was not so happy with the ad content on the site though. There was a couple “debt consolidation” ones and one for payday loans. The rates on most of those make loan sharks look like philanthropists.

  2. Trent,

    Congratulations!!!! I wish you and your family all the best! Have you told your little ones yet?

  3. Oh, how fun! What will the age differences be?

    I’d like to have 1 or 2 more (than the 2 we have) but I don’t deal well with pregnancy.

  4. Congratulations! That’s great! One more child to introduce to the joys of board games, gardening, and financial freedom. Very excited for all of you in the growing Hamm family!

  5. Exciting news, congratulations all! Can we start the weight pool now?

    Pavlina’s a wordy weasel isn’t he? “The desire to relate to other people as consciously as possible eventually made it impossible to continue giving my power away to an external structure like a marriage” …. yeah, no comment.

  6. Congratulations! My husband and I are expecting our first in February, so I understand the excitement.

  7. The separation article was interesting. If they really are “amicable,” then the stuff hasn’t hit the fan yet. And the stuff will hit the fan.

  8. Congratulations Trent.

    The separation article was something else. I actually find it more repelling than the typical angry, messy divorce. If a person is choosing to give up on their marriage, there had better be some messy, anger and hurt causing reason behind it. This guy just sounds like he’s tired of being a husband and father.

  9. I am a regular reader of Steve Pavlina’s site, and am active on the forums there. I guess its hard to really get his message without reading more of his (and his wife’s) work. Having said that, there are people on the forums there that are also very cynical about their separation, so it is understandable.

  10. I agree with the comments on Pavlina, he seems to be quitting on his responsibilities cause it’s too constricting…yeah, it’s called being a man. I found it sad he didn’t even seem that upset about not having custody of his kids.

    I went through a divorce (no kids) that was about as amicable as you can get – no lawyers involved – and it still was heated at times. I think he’ll take off his rose colored glasses soon enough.

  11. Kevin M: “I agree with the comments on Pavlina, he seems to be quitting on his responsibilities cause it’s too constricting…yeah, it’s called being a man. I found it sad he didn’t even seem that upset about not having custody of his kids.”

    I’ll bet that’s what caused the divorce. I fully support men who choose not to reproduce. But I have nothing but scorn for men who have kids and don’t take care of them.

    What kind of “man” doesn’t want to see his own kids?

    BTW, Steve wrote about his love of polyamory more than two dozen times on his blog. Erin never mentioned it once. Is it possible they weren’t on the same page?

  12. Congrats!

    I’m surprised you announced so early. We have an “understood” rule that you don’t announce until you are at least 12 weeks, start showing, or have to for planning reasons. God forbid you have anything happen, it would more than likely happen those first 12 weeks. Telling others the ‘reverse news’ is way worse.

    Not meaning to be a downer…just curious how long you or other readers would typically wait.

  13. CONGRATULATIONS Trent!! So happy for you and your family… WOOT! :oD

    In fact, I may be more excited than is really called for, since I’ve been pining for another baby myself but we are not in the right (financial) spot yet to have one… Soon, hopefully! For now, I’ll live vicariously through blogs like yours ;)

  14. Congratulations. We’re expecting number four in March, so I’ll be interested in hearing your take on financially supporting a larger-than-average family (going to number three was a surprising investment because we couldn’t fit in our old cars).

  15. About Pavlina…why does everyone assume a divorce has to be messy? I think it showed a great deal of maturity that he and his wife were able to admit they were not able to fix their marriage after they had tried. Isn’t it good that the children are not being foreced to chose between one parent or another in a courtroom? I think its great they were able to settle the issues quickly and amicably with a minimum of disruption to their children’s lives. As for him not being a “man”-hey there are a lot of men that dont even pay child support. I didnt get the impression he was giving up his children, just that for whatever reason it was best for them to live with the mother.

  16. Congratulations!!!! I hope Sarah starts feeling better soon. That first trimester is the worst. I know I don’t comment much but I read the site at least twice a day and I feel like I know you and your family. I am so happy for you! And thank you in advance for the pictures. :)

  17. Congrats – what great news!!! I’m sure the new addition is as exciting for your kids as it is for you and your wife. Three kids – you are my heroes!!

  18. @John

    He’s not disappearing from their life, he is still going to help be there to support them, after all he will be living close by. I just dont see why everyone assumes becuase he was straightforward about the children going with the mother they assume he is “abandoning” them. Honestly if it was the other way around and he said he was getting the kids and she was paying child support would people assume she was “abandoing” the kids? No, mostly likely everyone would assume he had more money to pay for a sleazy lawyer and that he trashed the mother in court to take the kids from her.

  19. Congratulations to you and your family! I had a womanly hunch about your hint on Monday. Blessings for an easy pregnancy, an easy birth and a healthy baby.

  20. My sister in law is expecting number 3. Someone I mentioned this to had the abrupt response “thats expensive!”. I pondered this and really couldn’t think it to be that much more since my sister in law stays home with the kids already. Sure there are costs but is it really THAT much. I’ll be currious to see how your family handles the addition. Many congrats and best wishes.

  21. @Dan
    If Sarah is due in April, doesn’t that mean she’s 3 months pregnant now? As an Orthodox Jew, we typically wait until that point before telling people. Of course, lots of folks nowadays seem to announce the news to the world as soon as they check the number of lines on the pregnancy test.
    @Trent
    Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov!

  22. Congratulations on the news of your third child–what a blessing! Look forward to a healthy delivery for mom and baby. And of course those first baby pics!

  23. Congratulations! Babies are great! Everyone told us the third was the hardest, because you are out numbered. It was not true. Our little Phoebe was a great birth and a very contented baby. I pray you and your wife have the same.

  24. First, congrats!

    Second, gosh, that Steve Pavlina article was just depressing on so many levels. So, so sad.

    Like another commenter said, it seems odd that he mentioned polyamory when she didn’t, and it seems really strange that he’s totally fine with just paying child support.

  25. I’m very happy for you and your family, Trent! I didn’t know there was a three-month rule for announcing a pregnancy, though I suppose it could be painful to discuss a miscarriage if the unthinkable happened. I most emphatically hope it does NOT, as you and your wife are obviously excited to expand your family. I’m more of a “Debbie Downer” than I’d like to be, but I’m surprised some readers felt inclined to mention a worst-case scenario at such a happy moment. Isn’t it better to share joy without worrying about the slim possibility of eventually having to disclose sorrow? Even if a tragedy happened, isn’t it better to let people know what ails you than to suffer in silence? I’ve never wanted to be pregnant and am glad my tubes are tied, but I’d rather express my feelings than keep them secret as a cautious convenience to myself or others. Congratulations, Hamm family, and thank you, Trent, for sharing your wonderful news!

  26. WHAT TERRIFIC NEWS!!! Blessing on your new family of four and a half, and please hug and pamper the mommy-to-be. Third babies are usually mellow and adaptable kids, but third pregnancies can be extra-tiring for Mom!

  27. Congratulations! I know from your previous articles that this is something you really wanted. I’m happy for you!

  28. Oh! Wonderful – Wonderful! I’m a grandma now, and appreciate little ones even more!

    What a BLESSING to your growing family that you are now financially LITERATE!

  29. Congratulations on your new addition.

    With respect to the article about separation, I have to say that the author of it is really a little out-to-lunch. First, when you put polamory into a marriage you are giving each other permision to have emotional affairs with other people. Affairs will always break a marriage, no matter how open. Second if he thinks for one second that the children are not having issues with it, he is a fool because children internalize a lot of hurts and it comes out later in negative ways many times. If they love each other so much maybe they need to spend a little less time on emotional affairs and start spending time on their own marriage and divorce and separation would not even be a part of the equation. Divorce is not the end all, be all, it is for when being married becomes destructive not the easy out it has become.

  30. Congratulations – our family greew to three a few years ago and it has been a delight. At the risk of sounding like a smart aleck – how will you all fit in the Prius? For nearly 18 months, we had three girls, 8 and under in the back seat of a Saturn Vue and could not get three car seats to fit comfortably. Something to ponder over the coming months.

  31. First off, congrats Trent! Secondly, as to the separation article, I can see how it would seem crazy to people who are unfamiliar with/uncomfortable with/disapproving of a polyamorous lifestyle. However, what I read was a couple in a very non-traditional marriage who, despite taking steps to be happy within the marriage still weren’t very happy. I think it is unfair to say that he is abandoning his kids, as he stated he is shouldering a much larger financial burden to make things easier on his wife, he is paying child support, and he never said “I’m glad I’m paying for everything, that way I never have to see them!” I don’t think it’s necessary for two people to be at the end of their rope, hating each other for a divorce to take place. They had a non-traditional relationship, it makes sense that they had a non-traditional divorce.

  32. Wonderful news. Hope Sarah gets to feeling much better soon. It can’t be easy having to go to work each day. I know you are taking on more of the responsibilities of the house at this time for her sake. Are you hoping for a boy or a girl?Looking forward to pictures. Blogging about how hard this is for a working mother will let others know that the little ones come with a price tag other just money. Thanks for sharing the news.

  33. Trent I’m so happy for you! I’m sure you & Sarah and your little ones will be wonderfully happy together.

    As for the separation article–sounds like one confused dude to me. He “doth protest too much, methinks.”

  34. Congratulations! Best wishes to you and Sarah. Hope she gets that mid-trimester burst of energy.

    As to the article on separation, the whole tone of the article made me queasy. It seemes to me he’s definitely getting everything he wants and I doubt that the situation is as rosy as he paints it for his wife and children. He just seems really scummy.

  35. So good to hear your news! Congratulations, and I hope that Sarah gets the second-trimester pep soon. I don’t comment often, but this was too good to pass up. I’m looking forward to the article about how you defied the laws of physics and managed to get two carseats and a booster seat into the back of a prius! :)

  36. I’m reading this late, but congratulations anyway.

    My husband wanted #1 & me not so much. I had #1 and #2 and decided I was a good mother. Asked my husband for a chance to try for 2 more. He wasn’t on to that regimen, so they didn’t come. Would you actually believe that, since he said if we accidentally got pregnant we would love it, that friends told me to “accidentally forget my b/c?” As with you and Sarah, having babies is a joint decision. I would never do something like that to someone I loved.

    All children seem to be different within the same family, so enjoy the changes and differences. But I did read somewhere that no 2 children grow up in the same family. Each child added changes the dynamic of the family & it is no longer the “same.” Good luck and my prayers.

  37. I know it’s a bit late in coming, but congratulations on the upcoming baby; it’s always good to hear about children being born to wonderful and loving parents. Keep up the good work, both on your blog and with your family, and keep us well informed on everything!

  38. Have your older children made any indications of understanding or not understanding your families frugal ways? Do they ask for fancy toys or not eat certain foods? How is your ‘teach by example’ going so far and how do you expecct to manage things with school age kids?

  39. Congratulations Trent!! I am just reading this after getting back from maternity leave with #2, so that’s why it’s late. :) I can’t wait to hear how life is for you with three kids!

    Quick comment about the “three-month rule” to anyone who has read down this far: It is much easier to bear losing a child during pregnancy if you have told family and friends ahead of time. We tried for three years to conceive, and when we finally did, we were so excited and told everyone. When we lost that baby in a miscarriage, it was hard to tell people, but it was much better than suffering silently. This way we had the joy of sharing our news for the short time we were able rather than only having the sorrowful announcement. Just some food for thought….

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