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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 10:17 PM   #21
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Re: cost of kids

1 kid, 5 months old. Costs have been relatively low. $130 per month for health insurance - low deductible. Maybe $100 for everything else for the baby. Healthy baby. The utilities are a little higher. Gas for hot water is $5-10 more per month. Electricity, maybe the same. We use a little more water too. We already had a 4 bedroom house, so housing was not an "additional" cost for us. All together, around $250 extra allocable to the baby.

I don't buy much of the typical "baby junk" that people seem to need tons of. We've received tons of gifts of clothing, and have not bought a single article of clothing.

Startup costs were $500 or so including health care, baby stuff, etc.

Considering the tax savings are around $150/month, we really aren't spending that much money.

We also spend less each month now. Dining out has decreased significantly (perhaps 60% less than pre-baby). We don't spend as much on discretionary purchases (toys) because we don't have the time or energy to go shopping. I also feel motivated to curb spending, because I know I have another mouth to feed and support. Factoring in our reduced spending and the tax savings, our child may not cost us anything currently.

When she starts eating more food and requiring purchased clothes and toys, I'm sure costs will increase. College costs should be relatively pain-free, assuming the state schools here are as reasonably priced in 2022 as they are now. A wedding - well, she's going to be old enough to pay for it herself!

The benefits are unquantifiable. At this point, I can't resist posting a picture of our daughter. It was taken on April 15 of this year.




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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 12:18 AM   #22
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Re: cost of kids

I hope you included this photo with your schedule A on the 1040!
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 02:36 AM   #23
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
We don't spend as much on discretionary purchases (toys) because we don't have the time or energy to go shopping.* I also feel motivated to curb spending, because I know I have another mouth to feed and support.* Factoring in our reduced spending and the tax savings, our child may not cost us anything currently.

When she starts eating more food and requiring purchased clothes and toys, I'm sure costs will increase.*
I don't have a solution to the food situation, except to avoid the convenience foods advertised on TV. Good luck with that.

As for clothes/toys, it's Goodwill & garage sales. Our kid was nine years old before her (childless) uncle & aunt took her to Toys'R'Us for her birthday. It was her first visit inside a full-blown retail toystore and it's a good thing she knew what she wanted before she went in the doors.

Nearly four years later she still has that stupid electronic Techno dog.... I wonder what it'd "fetch" on eBay.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 04:49 AM   #24
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
My advice: if you want to have kids, have one child.
That was my intention until the wife and daughter wore me down. So I'm 46 (wife's 45) with a 14 and 7 yr old. Absolutely no regrets, though I'll likely reach 60 with a kid still in college . I think it's actually easier financially and stress wise when your older. Any other late starters?
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 07:17 AM   #25
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Re: cost of kids

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Originally Posted by TargaDave
That was my intention until the wife and daughter wore me down.* So I'm 46 (wife's 45) with a 14 and 7 yr old.* Absolutely no regrets, though I'll likely reach 60 with a kid still in college .* *I think it's actually easier financially and stress wise when your older.* Any other late starters?
I agree! Had our first when I was 20 and our last when I was 40.
Almost had a nervous breakdown with No. 1. No. 3 was a cakewalk
(Best mistake I ever made) . Right now she is a PITA, but she will
grow up eventually.

JG
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 11:38 AM   #26
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I don't have a solution to the food situation, except to avoid the convenience foods advertised on TV. Good luck with that.

As for clothes/toys, it's Goodwill & garage sales. Our kid was nine years old before her (childless) uncle & aunt took her to Toys'R'Us for her birthday. It was her first visit inside a full-blown retail toystore and it's a good thing she knew what she wanted before she went in the doors.

Nearly four years later she still has that stupid electronic Techno dog.... I wonder what it'd "fetch" on eBay.
We waste milk, fresh fruit, bread and some other staples on occasion because my wife and I can't eat/drink it before it goes bad. The food that would otherwise go to waste will now be diverted from the trash can to the baby.

I was watching some cartoons targeted towards kids, and I was amazed/scared by all the convenience food crap marketed to kids. Commercial after commercial of sweet/salty/lickable goodness that comes individually packaged at a retailer near you. I will resist the temptation as long as possible!!!

I plan on paying a fair (from my point of view) allowance to the kid. Then, if she wants a Techno Dog (or whatever is hot), she can buy it with her own money. She can waste it if she likes! When she says, "Daddy, please! Daddy, please! Can I have this and this and this and this and this and this... Sally and Sarah and Jessica at school all have these!!!" I can say, sure. Buy whatever your money will allow you to buy. I'll also keep the toy section of Walmart a secret from her as long as humanly possible.

This teaches responsible consumerism and math skills at the same time.

You may be able to tell that this is my first kid and I have no idea what it will really be like having a child in the toy store. My plan works perfectly in theory...



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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 12:10 PM   #27
 
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Re: cost of kids

That system worked well for us.* At an early age we gave her an allowance, and let her make her own buying decisions: toys, candy, clothes, etc.* We only purchased basic food and school supplies.

That system really did work well, now that I think about it.* We avoided all "will you buy me?" discussions.* She's very careful with her money, and pretty frugal.

However, it bugs me to see her throw away half of the cereal that she's poured, or to find uneaten, wasted food in her backpack.* Maybe we should have bought her her own fridge and made her buy her own food, too!

15 days to go.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 12:13 PM   #28
 
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Re: cost of kids

Another suggestion: you can get a minor's savings account, but that will only pay 1% interest or so. Having your child see that she's only earned 2 cents could put her off investing forever.

Instead, institute a "First National Bank of Dad" and give interest of 10 or 20 percent.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 12:35 PM   #29
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Another suggestion: you can get a minor's savings account, but that will only pay 1% interest or so. Having your child see that she's only earned 2 cents could put her off investing forever.

Instead, institute a "First National Bank of Dad" and give interest of 10 or 20 percent.
I just finished reading that book. Great, short book and easy reading. Highly recommended to parents of very young children.

You could also agree to pay five or ten times the interest earned in the minor's savings account. Have them show you the monthly statement at the end of the month with the interest credited to their account. Take that amount and multiply by five or ten or whatever you choose. The bank tracks the average daily balance for you. I think paying an above market interest rate reinforces the benefits of delayed gratification and saving/investing. It is also somewhat realistic. Think 401k company matches and tax savings from 401k/IRA contributions (the government's matching contribution .

The Dad & Co. brokerage account was an interesting idea too. Divide the stock prices of real companies and mutual funds by 100 (one real dollar equals one penny in Dad & Co. account). I was always interested in the market as a kid since my dad followed it on TV and in the paper. I never really got involved till I left for college though. I wish I would have learned about the market at an earlier age.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 12:44 PM   #30
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by TargaDave
That was my intention until the wife and daughter wore me down. *So I'm 46 (wife's 45) with a 14 and 7 yr old. *Absolutely no regrets, though I'll likely reach 60 with a kid still in college . * I think it's actually easier financially and stress wise when your older. *Any other late starters?
We had our one & only when we were 32/31. *The sleep deprivation pretty much guaranteed that there wouldn't be another and we weren't interested in compounding the problems. *

Financially it's much easier and the economists have data to back that up. *(Compared to what-- teen pregnancies? *Duh.) *I agree that I don't fly off the handle like I might have in my early 20s, and mental stress has never been an issue. *However stamina without sleep was quite the problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
You may be able to tell that this is my first kid and I have no idea what it will really be like having a child in the toy store. *My plan works perfectly in theory...
Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Another suggestion: you can get a minor's savings account, but that will only pay 1% interest or so.* Having your child see that she's only earned 2 cents could put her off investing forever.

Instead, institute a "First National Bank of Dad" and give interest of 10 or 20 percent.
Works great. *We use David Owen's book in our house too. *The "Bank of Kid" CD earns 6% (0.5%/month-- both fractions AND percentages!) and the B of K 401(k) will have $5000 at age 16. *(B of K 401(k)s pay out penalty-free at the granting of a driver's license.)

We're still working on Owen's B of K Mutual Funds concept. *He has a great system but it just hasn't overcome teen apathy yet. *That should change in the next year or so...
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 01:10 PM   #31
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Re: cost of kids

Budget about 30k annually for fruit snacks and pop-tarts once they are about 9 years old or so.

Seriously though, keep your kids away from TV and they will expect a lot less. I'm amazed at the few times that my kids *do* watch tv, how they'll see an ad, say "Can I have that?", then when I ask what it is, reply "I don't know".

I'm sitting here at my desk just waiting for the time I can duck out to head home and join my 4 and 9 year old daughters in the (neighbors) pool. I don't care if it does cost 570k, it is well worth it.

At least after those first couple of years where they are just work, work, and more work !
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 01:36 PM   #32
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Re: cost of kids

I'm going to hide any signs that our family has any money (like the bank statements, investment account statements, and tax returns). That way, I can just tell our daughter that we're poor and can't afford things like they show on the t.v. At Christmas, when she gets a few hundred dollars in gifts from everyone, it will mean the world to her.

Is this child abuse?
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-09-2005, 01:41 PM   #33
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
I'm going to hide any signs that our family has any money (like the bank statements, investment account statements, and tax returns).* That way, I can just tell our daughter that we're poor and can't afford things like they show on the t.v.* At Christmas, when she gets a few hundred dollars in gifts from everyone, it will mean the world to her.*

Is this child abuse?*
That all depends on where she chooses to put you when it's time for long-term continuing care...
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-10-2005, 07:10 AM   #34
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Re: cost of kids

Thanks for the responses and kind congrats! Although it would have seemed a bit crass, my OP may have been better phrased as how much money do you spend each month?
Amy D. of Tightwad fame spends spectacularly less cash per kid than most parents roaming America, but in reading her Gazette trilogy one cannot but be impressed that though the dollar amount may be less, she and her husband have dedicated their life and life energy to giving their best for their children. Oh wait, doesn't she feed her kids powdered milk?
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-10-2005, 06:52 PM   #35
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Re: cost of kids

Justin,

She sure is a cutie. Enjoy! Our first child was born when I was 25 and my spouse was 26. Our second child was born when I was 35 .

Dreamer
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-10-2005, 07:50 PM   #36
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Re: cost of kids

I'm not sure you would call us late starters ... we certainly started after family and friends had kids which I highly recommend.* Our kids our 9 and almost 14 and we are in our late 40s.

My plan is to be retired when they go to college and have no income to show when filling out the financial aid form.

As for the cost of kids, they have been inexpensive for us ... no major health problems ... lots of hand-me-downs and used clothing from friends and family with older children.

We spend a fraction of what web sites proclaim we should be spending.* Our kids go to great public schools, but before that timewise we live in an area with excellent and inexpensive daycare.*

I don't think our kids are deprived at all ... they participate in club sports, music lessions, choir, etc, etc.* But we give them few gifts on birthdays and holidays.* We never have given them toys and gifts, so they are used to that.* Alas, my son is not deprived of video games, because he won a game system in a raffle.*

Also frequent flyer miles make vacations less expensive for us than might be typical.* The incremental cost of a 2-bedroom vacation condo over a one-bedroom doesn't seem like a big deal to us.

Anyways, as others have written, don't believe the media on child-rearing costs.* We have found they simply are not true.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-11-2005, 08:38 AM   #37
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Re: cost of kids

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Anyways, as others have written, don't believe the media on child-rearing costs. We have found they simply are not true.
The bottom line is you can spend as much as you want. The sky is the limit. I saw a MSN Money poll a while back that showed spending on children as a function of parent's income. The higher income people spent much much more on raising children. The quality of life for the poor children was probably close to the quality of life of the rich children.

Vacations can be cheap too! Kids would rather spend a day at the local water park than spend a day relaxing in the French Riviera (or some other boring adult destination). Spend a day or two at the water park with the kids, then dump the kids off at grandma’s or uncle’s house while you go for your week long French Riviera spa vacation (or whatever floats your boat).

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-11-2005, 01:41 PM   #38
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Re: cost of kids

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Originally Posted by runchman
Seriously though, keep your kids away from TV and they will expect a lot less. I'm amazed at the few times that my kids *do* watch tv, how they'll see an ad, say "Can I have that?", then when I ask what it is, reply "I don't know".
Our kid is two, which is still the "what's that?" stage. So, whenever we see a commercial, she'll ask "what's that?" and I'll say "they're trying to sell us X, but we already have enough X." So far, it seems to be working. When she sees a car commercial, for example, she'll spontaneously say "no thanks, we already have a car."
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-11-2005, 01:57 PM   #39
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Re: cost of kids

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Our kid is two, which is still the "what's that?" stage. So, whenever we see a commercial, she'll ask "what's that?" and I'll say "they're trying to sell us X, but we already have enough X." So far, it seems to be working. When she sees a car commercial, for example, she'll spontaneously say "no thanks, we already have a car."
Awesome advice. My little one will be at that age soon. I was worried about the effect of commercials as well. They say most kids cannot distinguish between the show they are watching and commercials until they are school age or beyond. That is a scary thought.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-11-2005, 02:15 PM   #40
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Re: cost of kids

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Originally Posted by justin
They say most kids cannot distinguish between the show they are watching and commercials until they are school age or beyond.
Ah, "Them".

Well, I haven't tried to teach my 3 year old anti-commercialism, but everytime one comes on, he complains because his show is gone. That probably stems from the fact that he mainly watches DVDs that don't get interrupted.
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