What does that mean?
I don't know, I don't see that as being a 'wrong' way.
My mother made that comment too, (not to me but about someone else who was holding off to not have a baby for awhile).
I think the overall sentiment of that comment, as my mother made it to me, was that if you are waiting until you 'think' you can afford it something will always come up that will make you think you have to wait.
My parents didn't have much but we had a great home life.
It's totally up to the couple in question.
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"I think it would be really hard to look so far into the future, when you're just thinking about TTC, and recognize all that you'll need financially, kwim?"
Why? I don't think it's hard. There are retirement calculators and college calculators and studies that show it will cost the middle class family $200,000 to raise each child to age 18.
What's hard is acknowledging that babies can be incredibly expensive, depending on your choices.
We personally waited until we owned our home and was able to pay the mortgage and bills comfortably and have the money for the basics for a child.
We got married at 21/23---bought house at 23/25---had 1st child at 27/29---2nd child at 32/34.
Our main criterion was good health insurance. We were grad students when Samantha was born. We could afford all of the basic baby stuff and knew our income would increase substantially so we would be able to afford future expenses.
We got married very young at 20. We had Samantha when I was 23 (a week before I turned 24) and DH was 24. We're currently buying our first house (closing on Friday), I got a new wonderful permanent job starting next Wednesday, and we're having our second baby in November. My DH will most likely be starting a Ph.D. program in the fall. I'll be 26 by the time the baby is born, and DH will be weeks away from turning 27.