‘I’m an 18-year-old mum – our current budget is £30,000 and I spend £400 a week on food’

Desiree Hart-Spegal, 33, spends £1.6 billion a month on food and £200 on birthday presents for each child and says she loves having a huge family mix

Top row (left to right) - Desiree, pregnant with Briella, bearing Heavenly, Makaila, Jayden, Ellie, Kaden, Braden, Maliki, father Chris. Bottom row (from left to right) - Lily, Izabella, Chevelle, Andrew, Christopher Jr., Christa, Donny
Desiree Hart-Spegal is an 18 year old mother

ONE 18 year old’s mother who spends more than £30,000 on birthday presents for her children every year says she loves having a huge family mix.

Desiree Hart-Spegal, 33 years old, has always dreamed of having a Big family when she was young – and her wish came true after meeting her current husband, Chris, 46, with whom she has eight children.

The mum also has three children from previous relationships – Maliki, 16, Makaila, 15, and Andrew, eight – and is happy to expand her family.

After meeting through mutual friends in October 2013, the couple had a romance and married just nine months later in July 2014.

They started trying to have a baby right away and welcomed Christa, six, in June 2015.

Desiree Hart-Spegal, 33, spends £1.6k a month on meals and £200 on birthday presents for each child


Desiree Hart-Spegal / SWNS)

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They now have Izabella, five, Christopher Jr, four, Lily, three, Heavenly-Grace, two, Elliesiah, one, and one-month-old Briella.

They live together as a blended family with Chris’ children from previous relationships – Skyler, 21, Braden, 17, Kaden, 15, Jayden, 11, Sarayia, 11, and a couple twins, Chevelle and Donny, eight years old.

Chris’ son, Gavin, 20 years old, lives alone in Spokane, Washington, USA.

Desiree, a car dealership owner, from Fort Worth, Texas, USA, said: “I have always dreamed of having a big family.

“I feel like I have to use my gift to have kids. It might be a nice house, but I stay organized and make sure I spend quality time with all of them.

Desiree and her husband Chris at their wedding


Desiree Hart-Spegal / SWNS)

“I spend £400 a week on food but I try to order on the go so I don’t waste anything. I love that we raise so many amazing kids and watch them grow into adults.”

The couple started trying to have children almost immediately after getting married because they wanted to grow their family.

After having Christa and Izabella and adopting Chris’ children, the family moved from a four-bedroom home to a 37.00 square foot property to make room for their growing family.

They had a five-bed house, and the middle-aged girls shared a room, so did the boys, the eldest, and the youngest girl.

Each of their children has different personalities and Desiree tries to match what they like with their work.

Desiree and Chris with baby Christopher Jnr


Desiree Hart-Spegal / SWNS)

Desiree said: “Christa is very organized so I told her to keep the shoe racks in order.

“Christopher Junior thinks he’s my husband – he’s a mini Chris, just like his name.

“And then the child born before my age, Lily, was such a warrior.

“The kids are really good at their laundry now too – so that helps with the laundry plus 10 times a week.”

Savvy Desiree works hard to keep organized to keep her family.

“I’m very good at remembering dates and I would always tidy them up a few times a day, so it wasn’t a mess in the end,” she says.

“At mealtimes, I arrange all the plates in rows for the different age groups so I can easily divide up their portions.”

Couples like to have a big family


Desiree Hart-Spegal / SWNS)

The family has two SUV vans to take all the kids around on outing days.

They spend £300 a month on a membership to Six Flags – an amusement park – for the whole family and spend £200 on birthday presents.

“I don’t think there’s a month without a birthday,” Desiree said.

The family spent £6k on Christmas presents for the whole family.

Now, after giving birth to baby Briella in January 2022, Desiree has decided it’s time to stop.

“I think we’re done now,” she said.

“Chris is going to have a vasectomy but if it happens somehow then again it means so. But that’s not what we’re planning.

“My baby season is over but my grandmothers are around. I love having lots of kids. We’re a perfect blend of imperfection.”

Chris said: “I love people’s personalities. All their different personalities and watch them develop. That is my hobby.

“It’s really been the greatest adventure of my life. I think about all of our lives. Honestly, I’m really lucky.”

Family expenses:

Volume of washing a week – plus 10 times
Weekly food bill costs – £400- £19,200 per year
Cost of birthday gifts per child – £200
Cost of a meal out of the family – £200
Cost of Christmas presents – £6,000

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/savings-banks/im-mum-18-present-budget-26308198 'I'm an 18-year-old mum - our current budget is £30,000 and I spend £400 a week on food'

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