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It sounds like I'm shopping for babies...
Anywho, my husband and I are doing some planning for the future. Children are included in our future, and we were wondering what the real daily, monthly, and yearly cost of children are. There are child-specific costs, and we wanted to get a better idea of what those are.
What are child-specific costs you have?
What non-child specific costs have gone up because of said child?
How much do you spend on each child cost? (Food, insurance, diapers, etc.)
Feel free to tailor these answers to different ages. I'm sure the cost for infants is different than the costs for 5 year olds.
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I think a lot of it depends on how you parent - and where you live, too....so take that into consideration when looking at my prices, but...just as some of the prices that I can list off the top of my head...
I have 2 children. One is almost 3, and one is 6.
For my 2 year old, we spend about $50/monthly, for diapers. Or $600/year. Hopefully we'll start potty training this month though, so that cost may soon evaporate. But that's a starting cost for you to base it off of.
Day care - we pay $150/wk for four days. That is $7,200 a year. BUT...we also have a 6 year old...and she has to go into a Summer program when school is out. It's $110/wk for her, and it's a 10 week program - so that's an extra $1,100. So that's $8,300 for the year in daycare. But also, during the school year - the 6 year old attends morning (and only the occasional afternoon) latchkey. That is about $15/wk for the remaining 42 weeks of the year, which is $630. So the total so far for daycare is just under $9,000 for a year. We'll call it $9,000, because during the year we also have to pay deposits on the day care services we use, and pay occasional babysitters so we can go out, etc.
As far as insurance, I'm not exactly sure ... but I know that my husband pays about $70/wk for insurance (health, dental, vision, prescription) for the three of them. I have my own. So that's about $3,640 a year. That's not including copays, or anything else that insurance does NOT cover. Doctors/hospital stays, prescriptions, etc... So I'd say about $5,000 a year for medical stuff.
We try to keep our monthly grocery bill to about $500 for our family of four. But that's really pushing it. It's probably closer to $600-700. So we'll say $600 just to put it in the middle. So that's $7,200-ish a year.
So far we're at about $21,800 a year.
Something else you also have to take into consideration as a "Cost" is missed work. When your kids are sick, you have to take off work. Just this month, because my youngest was in and out of the doctors/hospital - I missed out on over $500 worth of pay because I had to stay home with her. Obviously you have to hope that isn't happening ALL the time - but it's probably safe to say I miss about $1,000 a year staying home with sick kids.
Add into that clothes, birthday and holiday (if you celebrate) presents...and a lot of other stuff I skimmed over or missed completely because I'm not thinking about it..
Over $25,000 a year.
You just have to take into consideration that everyone's situations are different. Some people are thriftier, and can spend a lot less on food, clothes, etc... Some do cloth diapering, some make their own baby food...some stay at home so they don't HAVE daycare/missed work costs. It's really all situation-dependent...but at least now you have one person's breakdown to look at for comparison.
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How much did you spend in food when it was just you and your spouse? I'm trying to gauge the increase in food cost.
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@Winged Centaur - We didn't ever have just me and my spouse - I got pregnant at 17. So I don't have anything to gauge it by, unfortunately.
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Children cost a lot. It's hard to say how much but if you use coupons, sale items, and buy in bulk, the cost tends to lessen.
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Children cost a lot of money. What they give you back is priceless though. I know that's not the question and I know it's not practical advice, but the ammount of money they cost can be a real source of worry I imagine if you think about it before hand... but the true costs and rewards are the things that money can't buy. Although if I do ever win the lottery I totally intend to buy my waistline back...
I live in the UK so our prices are all different. Some tips on what to account for however is easier...
BABY (up to 1 year)
Perhaps the most expensive time. You of course have all the necessities to buy - pram, cot, clothes, nursery furniture, baby bouncers and a million and one things that you'll never use. My advice at this stage is be thrifty - remember that the baby is only using half of this stuff for a matter of months so be practical about how much you spend.
Most little ones are on real food by this point although you're still forking out for nappies/diapers. The major issue that comes into play here is that they just don't stop growing! Clothes are bought constantly so again my advice is to buy cheap clothes. Our Asda (owned by WalMart) and cheaper clothes stores sell what has come to be known here as disposable clothing. It sounds cheap and nasty but it's not and you don't need clothes that last for years with kids because half the time they're only in stuff for a matter of months before they hit another growth spurt.
A lot of parents also go crazy with toys. We have too many toys and the kids never play with them. Much more effective to actually play with them or take them out to a park or for a walk.
Once nappies are out the way and they slow down their growing it all depends on how many you have.
Of course over here we don't have to worry about health insurance or a college fund... so I can really only think of day to day costs.
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Amber was right; it all depends on how you parent. Lots of expensive baby items are not necessary at all. Also, for older children, you have to ask yourself if you're the type who will buy them toys whenever they want, or if you're able to stick to a budget. We never bought our son a single toy before the age of four, when we got him his first bike, because people were very generous and gave us toys for him. The same with clothing. We spent next to nothing, and for items we did need to buy, we went to garage sales. People were always giving us their hand-me-downs, and we didn't have to buy clothes for our son until about age 4, when kids stop growing out of stuff so quickly. Diapers were a big cost, but if we had done cloth diapers it would have been considerably less. I believe we're spending about $40 per month on disposables now for our two year old, who only wears one at night, our 18 month old, and our newborn. Formula is another big expense, but breastfeeding is free (although you do need to be sure you're eating properly.)
With our ten year old, two year old, 18 month old, and my husband and me, we spend about $450 per month on groceries. We've gotten lax, though, and spend more in that category than we need to (junk food for the adults, occasional eating out, etc.) When we only had our son and money was tight, we kept it at $200 per month, and didn't waste a penny on unneeded items. If you're paying attention you can keep that pretty trim.
I stay home so we have no daycare costs. We homeschool, and we keep to a $4500/year budget, although many HSers spend much, much less than we do. That budget includes our curricula, but also hockey, piano lessons, soccer, field trips, magazine subscriptions, and homeschool group.
If you look at the book The Total Money Makeover you'll be able to calculate how much you'll be saving up every month for college.
We're spending about $350 per month on insurance for the whole family. It's a really good plan; we have no out of pocket costs, and there is only a $30 copay, but we don't go to the doctor very often, so that only comes to $90 per year. I don't remember what it was before kids.
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I have no idea how much we spend on our kids but I know its a lot. ANDDDD that's not even counting the fact that my daughter goes to a private school(she's 7 years old, 1st grade going to 2nd grade). Her school supplise list alone is about $100-$150.