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cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 09:58 AM   #1
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cost of kids

Wondering, for those of you with kids and who keep track of budgets, how much does a child cost?

When replying, please comment on sex of child, age, and what you think makes up the the bulk of the monthly budget. Thanks.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 10:23 AM   #2
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Re: cost of kids

Daughter, 10 months old:

$800 for daycare
$30 for diapers
$60 for food
$30 additional cost of health care coverage
$45 for copays and prescriptions (our baby has a lot of challenges)

We also spent a couple hundred in "start up" costs (toys, painting baby room, etc.) but so far the vast majority of her clothes, toys, books, videos, etc. have been bought for us-first grandkid/great grandkid for many people.

So if some one can stay home with the child and baby is nursing, they are pretty cheap the first year!
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 10:30 AM   #3
 
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Re: cost of kids

$527,000 (from a cost of a child calculator, assuming child born in 1999 and going to a private college. Apparently not in today's dollars -- Google for Cost of raising a child).

Cost to have a big dog: $1,500 per year.
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Re: Cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 10:35 AM   #4
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Re: Cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by P.S.
Wondering, for those of you with kids and who keep track of budgets, how much does a child cost?

When replying, please comment on sex of child, age, and what you think makes up the the bulk of the monthly budget. Thanks.
Phew, good luck with this thread, P.S. *You've just started tap-dancing in the minefield of "How can you put a price on parenthood?!?" and "It's the best investment we've EVER made!!".

When you use the word "cost" do you mean financial, emotional, adrenal, or mental? *Consensus seems to be that if you're deciding the size of your family based on money then you're not yet ready to start a family. *And if you're approaching it intellectually then many parents would call you crazy.

I'm not aware of any financial decisions that would be made on the basis of sex. *We've seen equally expensive versions of both genders. *For example if you're thinking that girls' clothes are more expensive than boys' then you're in for a nasty surprise.

Aside from the philosophical issues, expenses vary dramatically with your child-raising beliefs ("trophy kid" vs "raising a tribe") and the kid's time of life. *Then there's health issues and whether you plan to subsidize schools & college.

Here's some other threads on the topic, and these threads also have links to the popular magazine/website's misleading articles purporting to cost out childraising:
Retired with kids
Cost of kids OR ER
ER with kids
The kid$ question

Our daughter is approaching 13 and I'm still amazed at the size of the grocery bills. *Imagine when she needs more food to support those growth spurts (she's 5'8" already).

There's a commercial airing for a new TV show called "War Zone". *In one scene the father tells his teen daughter "After all, you have just 712 days until you start college" and she replies "You know how many days it is until I start college?!" *The next scene shows him standing by a six-foot-tall mechanical scoreboard that updates the days remaining for each kid when he hits a button. *I don't know if the show's any good, but I think I'm gonna get me one of them boards.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: cost of kids

I don't know if it's a good idea to keep track, you may get I'll.
My kids are 31 and 29 and I just started to think back as to what my wife and I spent.
Broke out in a cold sweat!
Good Luck,
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 10:59 AM   #6
 
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Re: cost of kids

My advice: if you want to have kids, have one child.

You get the advantages and fewer of the disadvantages (high cost, sibling rivalry).

Our main concern when we decided to have only one child is that he/she would be spoiled and not be properly "socialized." It turned out that neither of those were a problem at all. I'm too cheap to raise a spoiled child, and with all the day care and preschool that our daughter got, she's a lot more socialized than I was.

Of course our chance of grandchildren is reduced ("I'm not going to have any kids!").
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 11:16 AM   #7
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Re: cost of kids

I think you can almost spend about as much or as little as you want to to raise a kid. Certainly food and clothing are necessary, but not horrendous. If you bought second-hand clothes, toys, cribs, etc., you could probably sell them for as much as you pay for them. You do get a tax credit and an additional deduction, so that's maybe $2,000 per kid of "income".

That being said, in our case the biggest expense is education. We're choosing private education for our kids, and saving for their college as well. That dwarfs the day to day expenses by a factor of 10.

Oh, and no real differences in gender. I haven't discussed this with my wife yet, but the traditional view that the parents of the bride pay for the wedding could make daughters more expensive than sons. Of course, boys cost more in terms of car insurance.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 11:16 AM   #8
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Re: cost of kids

So far, I think kids cost less than people scare you into thinking. The true accounting types here are about to gnash their teeth at me, but hear me out on this one: Before Tori we would go out do dinner, clubs, bars, lots of expensive activities, and now we go to parks, grandparents house etc. and we are having just as much fun (probably more). But everyone is correct, you can't make the decision on a rational basis. It comes down to, do you want kids? You only go around once, and I'm not looking to have a full bank account and an empty life.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 11:37 AM   #9
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Re: cost of kids

Laurence is right.

Deciding whether or not to have kids is not nor should it ever be a financial decision.

I'm not saying you should totally ignore the financial side of having children, but to base a decision of whether or not to bring a child into the world on how much it will cost you is, well.....looking for a politically correct term here....insensitive, crass and just not cool.

Have children because you want to have them, not because you can fit them into your budget or you have run the numbers and don't think they will delay your retirement.

Remember, one of them could be the next Bill Gates and you might get big discounts on software or something.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 11:39 AM   #10
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by malakito
I think you can almost spend about as much or as little as you want to to raise a kid. *Certainly food and clothing are necessary, but not horrendous. *If you bought second-hand clothes, toys, cribs, etc., you could probably sell them for as much as you pay for them. *You do get a tax credit and an additional deduction, so that's maybe $2,000 per kid of "income".
We actually made a profit on selling our (bought used) baby stuff. *And we're doing it again with the toddler bedroom set.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurence
So far, I think kids cost less than people scare you into thinking.* The true accounting types here are about to gnash their teeth at me, but hear me out on this one:* Before Tori we would go out do dinner, clubs, bars, lots of expensive activities, and now we go to parks, grandparents house etc. and we are having just as much fun (probably more).
Absolutely. *Our childless friends spend way more than we do. *We know one couple that has out-earned us since we finished college and, by their own calculations, they're still about 10 years away from ER.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 12:22 PM   #11
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Re: cost of kids

Well, the decision has already been made...if he "follows schedules", our little guy should be arriving in 10 weeks.
Just curious because the material I've been reading quotes really huge figures.
Was also curious, because I had the feeling like we've been spending less money these past few months, even though it feels like we've been eating out more and starting the stock-up thing.* When DH showed me the numbers, sure enough, we have been spending less.* This may be because instead of doing things that require money, I've spent most of my time reading the 3 years worth of Parenting magazines that my mom sent us.

If we subscribed to cable, I'd cancel that since I've found fascinating entertainment in watching the moving contours of my belly.

Suspect that our biggest expense will be childcare, since for non-pecuniary reasons, I still need to work full-time.* And then after that, education and related expenses.

Heard an interesting "article" on NPR awhile back that the male:female newborn ratio has been falling for some time in the US and some scientists are attributing this to the rise in single parents, in reality single moms.* The idea that boys required more (in terms of calories, energy, hence dollars) to produce and rear, hence more females born in a manner of natural selection.

Nords: thanks for the thread links. I especially enjoyed TromboneAl's daughter's letters.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 12:38 PM   #12
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by P.S.
Well, the decision has already been made...if he "follows schedules", our little guy should be arriving in 10 weeks.
Congratulations. Your life is going to change in more ways than you can imagine. Most, but not all , for the better.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 12:57 PM   #13
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Re: cost of kids

Congratulations! I have no idea how much my children have cost me and I don't think that I would want to know if it were possible. I have a 27 year old son and a 16 year old daughter and the daughter has definitely cost more than my son. The difference is just in their personalities. My daughter is much more outgoing and has been involved in much more than our son, so her involvement has cost money. My son did eat alot more than my daughter, but my son would eat anything and my daughter is very picky, so probably spend more on food for her than him. My son lived with us when we had debt (such as our mortgage) that we were paying off and our daughter has lived with us without any debt and we also have higher incomes now, so have a tendency to give her more.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 01:12 PM   #14
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Re: cost of kids

Congrats! Be sure to take advantage of your employers flex spend account for daycare, it won't add up to huge amounts, but every little bit helps! Kids are the best.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 02:03 PM   #15
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Re: cost of kids

Laurence is correct, Kids are the best. Kid's are what make life worth living.
It's always easier to look back than to look forward.
I now have a Grand Daughter and it's just as wonderful.

Regards,
JOE
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 02:25 PM   #16
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Re: cost of kids

You can find any number of sources of data on the average cost to raise a child as others have already noted.

I have finished (almost) raising two and the good news is that the major costs that are the most visible are college costs. These are big and are payable in a short period of time vs the general cost-span of raising a child. The last 4-5 years are expensive compared to the earlier years.

So, like any other thing you are going to fund, the cost of a child's education should be looked at like any other long term financial need. Save and invest early, use the power of compounding and tax savings if you can, and do a little at a time instead of worrying about it 3 years before they start school.

I was not lucky enough to have a spouse that saw the value of saving for anything. After the divorce, I started saving and was able to fund public university education for both my kids. I would have been retired by now but saving for education and retirement and managing living expenses required I continue to work a bit longer than planned. I don't mind since it allows my investments to grow and I can fund the remaining years educational expenses from my paycheck while leaving investments to continue to grow.

The key to kids is to remember to enjoy them; despite what you think, they grow up darn fast.

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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 02:37 PM   #17
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Re: cost of kids

I keep track of grand totals, not what each person in my family costs to keep around.

It's a whole different mindset after you have a child. If you must, you forego something for yourself just to give a little more to your child.

I would not hesitate to give up buying a papaya for myself so I could buy my kid a book he wants.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 02:54 PM   #18
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Re: cost of kids

How much do kids cost? First figure out what you would spend to replace one you have and work from there.
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 06:23 PM   #19
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Re: cost of kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454
I now have a Grand Daughter and it's just as wonderful.
My FIL says that he should have had the grandkid first...
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Re: cost of kids
Old 08-08-2005, 06:40 PM   #20
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Re: cost of kids

The purpose of life is life. It would be sad to forego having children because you think they cost too much.* If all else fails, do what the underclass does- fob as much of thee cost off on society as you can.

At least you will have your kids.

Besides, w/o kids who would you IM with all day?

Haha
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