Author Topic: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?  (Read 2523 times)

clarkfan1979

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Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« on: February 03, 2018, 10:19:53 AM »
I have a 9 month old and he saved us about $1650 on our federal taxes and another $100 on our state taxes. Next year, I think he should save us around $2800 total. This would be around $233/month. Our budget is currently $250/month, but I would really like to get it down to $233/month, so I can say that he is free. His birth did cost $2500.

Is this possible? I think I can do it if I can get our food around $98/month. My wife likes to buy the pre-packaged baby food. I try to make my own baby food (carrots, sweet potato). The kid eats about 50% pre-made. If I could get that down to 25%, I think I could do it. This doesn't include a college savings plan. That would be different.

We have been lucky enough to be showered with baby gifts from many other people. Some of it is high quality and some of it is just crap. However, I am thankful for all of it.

Diapers = 35
Food = 120
Clothes = 25
Insurance/Medical = 50
Toys/Equipment = 25

Hula Hoop

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 01:14:28 PM »
At that age, it depends on your childcare situation.  If you have free grandparent provided childcare then I'm sure you could get the kid related costs below that number.  But if one of you stays home with the baby or you pay for daycare then the costs will automatically be much higher than that number. 

Carrie

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 01:19:12 PM »
Food for a baby at $120!? That's crazy high. I fed mine veggies off my plate, fruit, grains. No special foods/jarred. Look into baby-led weaning.
My kids were really cheap, but I did SAH, so there are lost wages.


clarkfan1979

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2018, 01:33:34 PM »
We do have lost wages due to the child, but we don't have any childcare expenses. We do all of our childcare. My wife is a substitute teacher and works about two days/week. When she is subbing, I watch the kid. 

My kid eats about 1 pound to 1.25 pounds of food/day + breast milk. He is also only the 11% percentile for weight. He eats a ton and hardly gains any weight.

When I make organic baby food in bulk it averages out to be about $1.50/lb.

The absolute cheapest food cost would be $1.75/day X 30 days = $52.50.

My wife likes to buy 4 oz. containers for $1.25/each. This is $5/lb. He would eat 4-5 packets/day if we didn't feed him my homemade baby food.

If we did it my way it would be $55/month. If we did it her way it would be $155/month. If you average the two together it's probably around $100/month.

« Last Edit: February 03, 2018, 02:08:47 PM by clarkfan1979 »

Carrie

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2018, 02:26:23 PM »
Why does she want to buy pre-made food?

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 05:16:17 PM »
Is she refusing to feed him the food you make? Has she said why? My first only got the premade when we traveled. Otherwise I would make large batches in the food processor, freeze in silicone muffin cups (easier to extract than ice trays), and store in freezer bags. DH would just microwave enough for each meal when I wasn't there. I plan to do the same for the second once he starts solids. Your baby is old enough now that he can have some soft regular food like eggs, bananas, yogurt, etc.

Millennialworkerbee

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 06:48:08 PM »
Right around 9-10 months is a good age to introduce non-puréed food anyways. Babies that age are working on pincer grasp so Cheerios, beans, etc are good to start introducing. The pre-made baby food is really expensive, but may or may not be a battle to pick with your wife because really you should be moving on from all purées by now anyway (of course get the ok from your pediatrician).

boarder42

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 07:20:34 PM »
So your wife would only be working 2 days a week without the child. I think that's a shortsighted way to look at it. But whatever makes your number feels works.

kimmarg

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 07:30:44 PM »
Uh yea so kids grow and then they eat more. My two year old ate a 1/4lb hamburger, 1/2 an apple, and 1/3 of a pepper and 1 cup of milk for dinner. And that was after breakfast, snack, lunch, and snack. I swear some meals the 2 year old eats as much as I do.

MrsWolfeRN

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2018, 08:28:03 PM »
Yeah, my oldest is not yet three and he can eat a whole one of those Costco hot dogs.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2018, 01:20:53 AM »
So your wife would only be working 2 days a week without the child. I think that's a shortsighted way to look at it. But whatever makes your number feels works.

My wife and I moved to Kauai, HI in May 2015 for my career. I teach college and get 3 months off for summer, 4 weeks for winter break and 1 week for spring break. When I took the job we both agreed that the only way it would work was if she worked part-time, so we could travel back to Denver to visit with her family when I'm on break.

She's been working part-time since May 2015 and the kid was born in May 2017. With or without the kid, she would only be working part-time as long as we continued to live on Kauai and travel to Denver during my break.

We have two rental houses that produce $1800/month after vacancy and repair and we have 170K in our checking account. Life is pretty good. Why would you work full-time when you don't have to work full-time? I thought that is what this site was all about? 

merula

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 08:54:11 AM »
Seconding what others have said, is it that each of you make food for the kid in the moment and she prefers the easier method, or is it that she's not using the pre-made food you've made? I think each one would have a different solution, though I also can't help but think that someone who's working 2 days/week probably has more time to make food from scratch than the parent who is working full time.

Also, do you really need $50/month for clothes and toys? Maybe things are different in your area, but I was able to get most of my kids' stuff at thrift stores or as hand-me-downs, and they really don't need that much.

Now that they're slightly older (5 and 3), I'm on the giving end of hand-me-downs more often than not and I'm always looking for people who would put the stuff to good use.

wordnerd

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2018, 01:17:12 PM »
Right around 9-10 months is a good age to introduce non-puréed food anyways. Babies that age are working on pincer grasp so Cheerios, beans, etc are good to start introducing. The pre-made baby food is really expensive, but may or may not be a battle to pick with your wife because really you should be moving on from all purées by now anyway (of course get the ok from your pediatrician).

This. Bananas are another good one. It's a good time to start introducing more texture. Google baby-led weaning for ideas.

nessness

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2018, 07:48:23 PM »
$1.25 is a lot for baby food, even organic. Check out discount stores - I've had particularly good luck at Big Lots. But also, 9-month-olds can eat a lot more than purees. Offer anything you're eating, provided it's not too spicy, salty, sugary, or a choking hazard. Bananas, avocados, and yogurt are easy, but my kids also liked stuff like lasagna, stew, and beans (mashed with a fork) by that age.

For the rest of it, find a good thrift store. There's no reason to toys or clothes new.

nessness

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2018, 06:09:06 AM »
To answer the question, our childcare costs are ridiculous but our other expenses are pretty reasonable. When my first was a baby, I estimated I spent about $1k in "start up" costs and $120/month on food, toys, gear, etc.

In the past year, with a 3-year-old and a baby (turning one next week), I'd estimate we spent:
$200 on clothes
$200 on kid-specific food
$180 on activities
$100 on increased eating out costs
$450 on medical copays/rxs
$160 on furniture
$600 on toys/gear/everything else

So $1890 for two kids, or $945/kid, exclusive of childcare, which is more than that monthly. Of course, this doesn't take into account increased grocery and utility costs, or the fact that we bought a bigger house than we would have if we didn't have kids.


BAM

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2018, 03:48:59 PM »
These costs seem really high.

Food: a 9 month old shouldn't need pureed food anymore. There are all sorts of normal foods that they can eat at that stage and it should be plenty. And, yes, they can eat a lot but it will go up and down as they hit growth spurts. Avocado, banana, small noodles, cereal like Cheerios, crackers, toast cut in cubes, shredded cheese, yogurt, applesauce, sweet potato - baked or baked as fries which makes them very easy for little people to hold, regular potatoes prepped same as sweet potatoes, squashes of all kinds, any veggie that you cook up for dinner, beans, any soft ripe fruit cut in small pieces, canned fruit and veggies (this is a great fall back for when you don't have something else), any soups/stews/chili/casserole that you make.
It might take a little bit for them to get used to texture but puree is crazy at this age as it's so much more expensive and time consuming that other foods.
I found this stage to be a good one to introduce a small fork. You stab the food and let them experiment on getting it to their mouth. Frequently they will take the food off the fork with the other hand to eat it but it's all learning. Some of my kids were able to fully feed themselves with a fork and spoon by one year (not all of them but some of them).

Clothes: Check with friends/relatives that have kids just slightly older. Check thrift stores. Shouldn't need more than 8 outfits unless you wash less than 1x a week. Buy clothes big and roll up sleeves/pants so they can wear them longer.  Plus their growth should be slowing (usually weight is doubled to tripled in the first year and then goes way down from there) so clothes should fit for longer periods.

Toys: buy a few classic open ended toys like blocks, a doll, a few balls, etc and be done with it. Those toys will last for multiple years.

Since your baby is 9 months now, that means the birthday is at the beginning of the summer. Use the birthday to get summer clothes and a few new toys. Use Christmas the same way. Since they are close to a half year apart, that should make it easy.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #16 on: February 09, 2018, 11:39:48 AM »
So your wife would only be working 2 days a week without the child. I think that's a shortsighted way to look at it. But whatever makes your number feels works.

My wife and I moved to Kauai, HI in May 2015 for my career. I teach college and get 3 months off for summer, 4 weeks for winter break and 1 week for spring break. When I took the job we both agreed that the only way it would work was if she worked part-time, so we could travel back to Denver to visit with her family when I'm on break.

She's been working part-time since May 2015 and the kid was born in May 2017. With or without the kid, she would only be working part-time as long as we continued to live on Kauai and travel to Denver during my break.

We have two rental houses that produce $1800/month after vacancy and repair and we have 170K in our checking account. Life is pretty good. Why would you work full-time when you don't have to work full-time? I thought that is what this site was all about?
I agree, my wife also works part time for similar reasons. Its not lost wages, its lifestyle. Anyone prioritizing money over living probably should ponder their choices more. Try "Cats in the Cradle" to listen to when money takes priority over family time.

Lots of us struggle with priorities, I like your approach.

boarder42

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2018, 02:09:17 PM »
So your wife would only be working 2 days a week without the child. I think that's a shortsighted way to look at it. But whatever makes your number feels works.

My wife and I moved to Kauai, HI in May 2015 for my career. I teach college and get 3 months off for summer, 4 weeks for winter break and 1 week for spring break. When I took the job we both agreed that the only way it would work was if she worked part-time, so we could travel back to Denver to visit with her family when I'm on break.

She's been working part-time since May 2015 and the kid was born in May 2017. With or without the kid, she would only be working part-time as long as we continued to live on Kauai and travel to Denver during my break.

We have two rental houses that produce $1800/month after vacancy and repair and we have 170K in our checking account. Life is pretty good. Why would you work full-time when you don't have to work full-time? I thought that is what this site was all about?
I agree, my wife also works part time for similar reasons. Its not lost wages, its lifestyle. Anyone prioritizing money over living probably should ponder their choices more. Try "Cats in the Cradle" to listen to when money takes priority over family time.

Lots of us struggle with priorities, I like your approach.

correct - but its still a cost you're giving up money to be able to watch your kids spend time with them whatever- unless youre FI thats not "free" no matter how you choose to spin it.  Its a lifestyle choice but so is owning a boat and we dont consider that to be "free"  - which is fine thats what this site is about changing your lifestyle to maximize your happiness - but to consider it "not a cost" is overlooking what its actually costing you which is more time working for one person to reach FI than otherwise. if the post was is it possible to spend 2800 or less per kid not counting daycare that answer is easily yes - as was laid out multiple times above.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #18 on: February 09, 2018, 04:13:23 PM »
So your wife would only be working 2 days a week without the child. I think that's a shortsighted way to look at it. But whatever makes your number feels works.

My wife and I moved to Kauai, HI in May 2015 for my career. I teach college and get 3 months off for summer, 4 weeks for winter break and 1 week for spring break. When I took the job we both agreed that the only way it would work was if she worked part-time, so we could travel back to Denver to visit with her family when I'm on break.

She's been working part-time since May 2015 and the kid was born in May 2017. With or without the kid, she would only be working part-time as long as we continued to live on Kauai and travel to Denver during my break.

We have two rental houses that produce $1800/month after vacancy and repair and we have 170K in our checking account. Life is pretty good. Why would you work full-time when you don't have to work full-time? I thought that is what this site was all about?
I agree, my wife also works part time for similar reasons. Its not lost wages, its lifestyle. Anyone prioritizing money over living probably should ponder their choices more. Try "Cats in the Cradle" to listen to when money takes priority over family time.

Lots of us struggle with priorities, I like your approach.

correct - but its still a cost you're giving up money to be able to watch your kids spend time with them whatever- unless youre FI thats not "free" no matter how you choose to spin it.  Its a lifestyle choice but so is owning a boat and we dont consider that to be "free"  - which is fine thats what this site is about changing your lifestyle to maximize your happiness - but to consider it "not a cost" is overlooking what its actually costing you which is more time working for one person to reach FI than otherwise. if the post was is it possible to spend 2800 or less per kid not counting daycare that answer is easily yes - as was laid out multiple times above.
Comparing an inanimate object (boat) to a person and suggesting they're equivalent is a demeaning metaphor. Kids and boats are not at all the same, is it fair to call you a door knob? It's not, and its not okay comparing offspring to toys.

I like you Boarder, I like reading your posts and I don't think of you as a door knob at all. The next part is may come off as mean, I struggled writing it kindly.

Most people don't think of their kids as costs, they consider their progeny to be a benefit and a source of joy.  Your suggestion that someone works instead of interacting with their loved ones flies in the face of everything families stand for. Most people value family over money, suggesting money should be considered first is abnormal. In my own decision tree I determined how to maximize my families happiness, not just my own. In your critique you suggested OP should consider his wife's lost income with regard to the delay in FIRE, from my families perspective that's extremely selfish to consider an individual need above the families need.

I hope this helps you understand why parents generally don't care about lost income when choosing time with their family. Some people don't just consider themselves, they consider others as well; including the children. I understand others don't think this way, some people consider their own income lost over the families gains.

clarkfan1979

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2018, 11:58:14 PM »
Thank you all for the wonderful tips. It's our first kid so I appreciate the advice. Our son has been doing much better with solid foods during the past week. My wife and I are getting much closer to being on same page with the expensive puree food. It's great for emergencies, but that's it. I think it was just an expensive phase.

We fly a lot. I am trying to get ready for the cost when he hits age 2. We each have the Alaska credit card. I'm thinking of getting the southwest credit card as well.

boarder42

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2018, 04:28:52 AM »
So your wife would only be working 2 days a week without the child. I think that's a shortsighted way to look at it. But whatever makes your number feels works.

My wife and I moved to Kauai, HI in May 2015 for my career. I teach college and get 3 months off for summer, 4 weeks for winter break and 1 week for spring break. When I took the job we both agreed that the only way it would work was if she worked part-time, so we could travel back to Denver to visit with her family when I'm on break.

She's been working part-time since May 2015 and the kid was born in May 2017. With or without the kid, she would only be working part-time as long as we continued to live on Kauai and travel to Denver during my break.

We have two rental houses that produce $1800/month after vacancy and repair and we have 170K in our checking account. Life is pretty good. Why would you work full-time when you don't have to work full-time? I thought that is what this site was all about?
I agree, my wife also works part time for similar reasons. Its not lost wages, its lifestyle. Anyone prioritizing money over living probably should ponder their choices more. Try "Cats in the Cradle" to listen to when money takes priority over family time.

Lots of us struggle with priorities, I like your approach.

correct - but its still a cost you're giving up money to be able to watch your kids spend time with them whatever- unless youre FI thats not "free" no matter how you choose to spin it.  Its a lifestyle choice but so is owning a boat and we dont consider that to be "free"  - which is fine thats what this site is about changing your lifestyle to maximize your happiness - but to consider it "not a cost" is overlooking what its actually costing you which is more time working for one person to reach FI than otherwise. if the post was is it possible to spend 2800 or less per kid not counting daycare that answer is easily yes - as was laid out multiple times above.
Comparing an inanimate object (boat) to a person and suggesting they're equivalent is a demeaning metaphor. Kids and boats are not at all the same, is it fair to call you a door knob? It's not, and its not okay comparing offspring to toys.

I like you Boarder, I like reading your posts and I don't think of you as a door knob at all. The next part is may come off as mean, I struggled writing it kindly.

Most people don't think of their kids as costs, they consider their progeny to be a benefit and a source of joy.  Your suggestion that someone works instead of interacting with their loved ones flies in the face of everything families stand for. Most people value family over money, suggesting money should be considered first is abnormal. In my own decision tree I determined how to maximize my families happiness, not just my own. In your critique you suggested OP should consider his wife's lost income with regard to the delay in FIRE, from my families perspective that's extremely selfish to consider an individual need above the families need.

I hope this helps you understand why parents generally don't care about lost income when choosing time with their family. Some people don't just consider themselves, they consider others as well; including the children. I understand others don't think this way, some people consider their own income lost over the families gains.

Regardless of it being a human or not the lost cost of not working is a cost. You can do the math however you personally choose to do but if one is pre fi there is a cost to have a person stay home. To just play the emotion card and say they don't care about the lost income does not make it non existent. It just means it's being ignored as a cost. 

We're not most people around here - and just because you have made a choice does not mean you shouldnt have weighed all aspects of the equation - to litteraly throw out and ignore the lost wages is not something that should be considered acceptable around here.  Now if you evaluate that and know the cost you're accepting when staying home thats one thing but you're suggesting not even evaluating what the cost will be b/c its a baby! you cant put a price on that! well yes you can its quite easy - you take what you make and the tax savings and childcare savings of a stay at home parent and determine what the dollar cost is to stay at home - sometimes its not a cost its a savings vs childcare depending on the situation - but that is still a COST of having a child there is no way around that, unless you are FI there is an inherent opportunity cost to staying at home vs earning income - and the choice to have a child is still a choice in increasing the COST of your life so when you see a post that says can you spend less than 2800 per year on a child the cost of a SAHP needs to be considered. 

i take no offense to your comments i just think they are a very poor way to evaluate a choice that involves expenses - ie a kid. or a dog or a house or a boat or hiring a maid or a lawn mower.  all of these have costs associated with the choice to have that thing. regardless of its ability to breathe air.

I'm having a child this year and have sat down and done the numbers its marginal at 1 extra year of work for me if my wife were to stay at home - but it also adds pressure to me to keep my job and perform at a high level to go to one income.  but the fact is the costs were thought about in addition to being a SAHP but there are arguements against SAHP over daycare as well.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 07:37:59 AM by boarder42 »

boarder42

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2018, 04:32:18 AM »
Thank you all for the wonderful tips. It's our first kid so I appreciate the advice. Our son has been doing much better with solid foods during the past week. My wife and I are getting much closer to being on same page with the expensive puree food. It's great for emergencies, but that's it. I think it was just an expensive phase.

We fly a lot. I am trying to get ready for the cost when he hits age 2. We each have the Alaska credit card. I'm thinking of getting the southwest credit card as well.

Sign up for credit cards to get the sign up bonuses rinse and repeat. Get 2 Southwest cards and you'll get 110k points and a companion pass good for the remainder of this year and next year. Using airline miles cards as daily spenders is mildly fools gold as other category specific cards typically produce much better return. Start with Chase cards as they have a 5/24 rule. You and your wife could alternate on the SW cards every other year.

andreamac

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2018, 06:15:23 PM »
Some of the ways I've kept costs down for my first child:
-Buy nothing groups, look for a local buy nothing group in your community. I've gotten most of my baby clothes, toys and many large items from the buy nothing community, I use it and then regift it. So happy to have found this!
-making your own baby puree
-try to setup a babysitting swap for date night (I'm still working on this but hopefully will be able to do this in future). You babysit for someone and they babysit for you with no money involved.
-buy used and then resell again (I mostly give away smaller items to buy nothing to sell) but did sell a few items I bought second hand.
-in Canada, we have education savings accounts (RESP) where the government will give you money to help fund your investment for child (for every 2500 per year you can get 500 from government). Not cost savings but free money for children's education

clarkfan1979

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Re: Is it possible to spend less than $2800/year per kid?
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2018, 12:06:56 AM »
So your wife would only be working 2 days a week without the child. I think that's a shortsighted way to look at it. But whatever makes your number feels works.

My wife and I moved to Kauai, HI in May 2015 for my career. I teach college and get 3 months off for summer, 4 weeks for winter break and 1 week for spring break. When I took the job we both agreed that the only way it would work was if she worked part-time, so we could travel back to Denver to visit with her family when I'm on break.

She's been working part-time since May 2015 and the kid was born in May 2017. With or without the kid, she would only be working part-time as long as we continued to live on Kauai and travel to Denver during my break.

We have two rental houses that produce $1800/month after vacancy and repair and we have 170K in our checking account. Life is pretty good. Why would you work full-time when you don't have to work full-time? I thought that is what this site was all about?
I agree, my wife also works part time for similar reasons. Its not lost wages, its lifestyle. Anyone prioritizing money over living probably should ponder their choices more. Try "Cats in the Cradle" to listen to when money takes priority over family time.

Lots of us struggle with priorities, I like your approach.

correct - but its still a cost you're giving up money to be able to watch your kids spend time with them whatever- unless youre FI thats not "free" no matter how you choose to spin it.  Its a lifestyle choice but so is owning a boat and we dont consider that to be "free"  - which is fine thats what this site is about changing your lifestyle to maximize your happiness - but to consider it "not a cost" is overlooking what its actually costing you which is more time working for one person to reach FI than otherwise. if the post was is it possible to spend 2800 or less per kid not counting daycare that answer is easily yes - as was laid out multiple times above.
Comparing an inanimate object (boat) to a person and suggesting they're equivalent is a demeaning metaphor. Kids and boats are not at all the same, is it fair to call you a door knob? It's not, and its not okay comparing offspring to toys.

I like you Boarder, I like reading your posts and I don't think of you as a door knob at all. The next part is may come off as mean, I struggled writing it kindly.

Most people don't think of their kids as costs, they consider their progeny to be a benefit and a source of joy.  Your suggestion that someone works instead of interacting with their loved ones flies in the face of everything families stand for. Most people value family over money, suggesting money should be considered first is abnormal. In my own decision tree I determined how to maximize my families happiness, not just my own. In your critique you suggested OP should consider his wife's lost income with regard to the delay in FIRE, from my families perspective that's extremely selfish to consider an individual need above the families need.

I hope this helps you understand why parents generally don't care about lost income when choosing time with their family. Some people don't just consider themselves, they consider others as well; including the children. I understand others don't think this way, some people consider their own income lost over the families gains.

Regardless of it being a human or not the lost cost of not working is a cost. You can do the math however you personally choose to do but if one is pre fi there is a cost to have a person stay home. To just play the emotion card and say they don't care about the lost income does not make it non existent. It just means it's being ignored as a cost. 

We're not most people around here - and just because you have made a choice does not mean you shouldnt have weighed all aspects of the equation - to litteraly throw out and ignore the lost wages is not something that should be considered acceptable around here.  Now if you evaluate that and know the cost you're accepting when staying home thats one thing but you're suggesting not even evaluating what the cost will be b/c its a baby! you cant put a price on that! well yes you can its quite easy - you take what you make and the tax savings and childcare savings of a stay at home parent and determine what the dollar cost is to stay at home - sometimes its not a cost its a savings vs childcare depending on the situation - but that is still a COST of having a child there is no way around that, unless you are FI there is an inherent opportunity cost to staying at home vs earning income - and the choice to have a child is still a choice in increasing the COST of your life so when you see a post that says can you spend less than 2800 per year on a child the cost of a SAHP needs to be considered. 

i take no offense to your comments i just think they are a very poor way to evaluate a choice that involves expenses - ie a kid. or a dog or a house or a boat or hiring a maid or a lawn mower.  all of these have costs associated with the choice to have that thing. regardless of its ability to breathe air.

I'm having a child this year and have sat down and done the numbers its marginal at 1 extra year of work for me if my wife were to stay at home - but it also adds pressure to me to keep my job and perform at a high level to go to one income.  but the fact is the costs were thought about in addition to being a SAHP but there are arguements against SAHP over daycare as well.

I agree that working part-time is a cost because of lost wages. However, it has nothing to do with the baby. My wife was working part-time for two years before the baby was born. Our conscious decision for my wife to work part-time is what is costing us lost wages, not the baby. When the kid is old enough to go to school my wife will continue to work part-time.

I also don't fully subscribe to the pre-fi vs. post-fi rationale. I currently plan on working at my job until I'm 70. I teach at a community college and I work about 30 hours week and 8 months out of the year. I spend about 25 hours on campus and work about 5 hours/week at home. I typically work about 1,000 hours/year. This past year I also took 12 weeks of family leave, so I only worked about 650 hours this year.

I enjoy my life right now to the fullest. If someone gave me 10 million dollars today I don't think my life would be much different. The only thing I can think of is maybe flying first class when we travel. Kauai to Denver is a long flight.