Author Topic: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?  (Read 2300 times)

MrGville

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How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« on: February 15, 2017, 09:33:47 AM »
My spouse and I will probably have children within the next 3-4 years.  I dont have a good gauge on how much we should expect our monthly expenses to rise if we have one kid.  I know the cost of having kids varies greatly from family to family, but please share your experience.  Thanks

soccerluvof4

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 09:52:43 AM »
I can only say this... I have read articles that say it costs anywhere from 250k to a Million dollars to raise a child so if you do the math you can figure that out BUT there are way to many variables for someone to tell you what its going to cost to raise YOUR KID/S. It really doesn't cost that much if you lead a simple life BUT if you get them into Select Sports, are one that wants "the best for them" or as I always hear " a better life than you did" it could get up there. Kids appreciate experiences more than what you buy them and more importantly how much time you spend with them. I have (4) ages - 18,16,13,11 so these are expensive times BUT I never went into have a child thinking about the expense and if your having just 1 then again it really can cost you a whole lot on not much!

cats

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 09:54:53 AM »
We have one kid, one year old.  Husband and I both work FT.  As a result, our biggest change in expense has been childcare.  Childcare is about the same as our rent, and I've heard a similar comparison from friends who live in other areas with lower cost of living.

Most gear you can get used/hand-me-downs in the baby and early toddler stage.  We have spent zero on clothes/toys.

Food is starting to get a little more expensive as I do think it's important to offer baby some variety in his diet, but I would say the "extras" are <$20/month.

We did a bunch of meal prepping and made a load of dehydrated meals before the baby was born.  I'm pretty sure this has saved us a ton of money as we haven't really felt the need to get takeout or meal delivery or eat lunch out during the week more often, both things that friends with babies have reported doing often.

One area we did start spending more in was utilities!  We do laundry a bit more often ($5-10/month more), and we also found that our baby slept better during the winter if we used a space heater to keep the temperature in his room around 65F, which has added $20-$30 to our electricity bill.

I think the big difference for us pre- and post- kid is that time is at MUCH more of a premium than it used to be.  So if any of the stuff you currently do to stay frugal is very time-intensive, you may want to expect to have to replace that with a more expensive alternative.

Finally, are you thinking you will have a SAHP or both continue working?  I think one thing people think about having a SAHP is that your childcare costs will be zero, but that can be quite constraining for the SAHP.  If I were SAHPing, I would still want to have some money in the budget for activities (e.g., mom&baby classes, perhaps going for coffee with the other moms after class, etc), and an occasional babysitter or 2-3 mornings a week at preschool once the kid was a little older.  You should also consider whether or not your current living space is really "okay" for having a SAHP.  Our apartment is kind of small to be home for all/most of the day with a baby or toddler, so if we had a SAHP I think we'd want to move into a larger, nicer, more expensive place.

MrGville

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 10:02:54 AM »
Thanks for the input from both of you.  I've also seen those articles stating that is cost upwards of $250,000 to raise a child to age 18...not sure if i really buy that, but it seems to be a standard number.  I know that cost includes a portion of your house payment (presumably you'd live in a smaller space if you didnt have kids) and things like car payments, etc. 

We are not planning on having a SAHP, so we will be earning two incomes.  My wife's mother has mentioned numerous times that she doesnt want the baby to go to daycare and she will come live with us to take care of the baby during the week.  This would be nice for our bank account, but not sure if its worth it...unless we have a house with a MIL suite type area. 

We definitely want the best for our future kids, but that doesnt necessarily mean that they will be receiving lots of brand new toys and clothing.

dcozad999

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 10:51:37 AM »
Thanks for the input from both of you.  I've also seen those articles stating that is cost upwards of $250,000 to raise a child to age 18...not sure if i really buy that, but it seems to be a standard number.  I know that cost includes a portion of your house payment (presumably you'd live in a smaller space if you didnt have kids) and things like car payments, etc. 

We are not planning on having a SAHP, so we will be earning two incomes.  My wife's mother has mentioned numerous times that she doesnt want the baby to go to daycare and she will come live with us to take care of the baby during the week.  This would be nice for our bank account, but not sure if its worth it...unless we have a house with a MIL suite type area. 

We definitely want the best for our future kids, but that doesnt necessarily mean that they will be receiving lots of brand new toys and clothing.


What others have said. Day care is the killer.  Formula can also be significant. My son inhaled the stuff so I was spending probably $150 a month on formula. He also need the special stuff for sensitive stomach (of course). Diapers aren't terribly expensive, but will still be $20-$40 a month extra. We did hand me downs and garage sales for clothes and most toys.

Kid #1 will also pretty much double your health insurance premium when you go from +1 to family. Also I believe some plans have a max amount that a single family member can contribute to the deductible. Kids 2 - x don't affect the premium at all (as of now anyway).

SimpleCycle

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 11:14:42 AM »
PPs have covered the big increases - day care and health insurance premiums.

There is also a BIG indirect cost of having children, which is the "need" for more living space/a bigger home.  Obviously a 3 or 4 bedroom place costs more than a 1 or 2 bedroom place.  We are soon to have two in a 2 bedroom condo, and I've even been told here I'm crazy.  IRL it's constant.  There is also the fact that you need to think about school quality wherever you live, which can also increase housing costs.

Our daughter took a combo of breastmilk and formula, so we spent about $20/month on formula at the beginning and more like $60/month as she got closer to a year (my wife stopped breastfeeding at 10 months because her supply was very low).  We went the cloth diaper route, which probably saved a bit of money but not a ton.  We spend about $20/month more in utilities between more laundry and keeping the thermostat higher.  We spend a bit on toys and clothes - maybe $20/month.

Now that she's a year and a half, we've reached a pretty steady state with pretty low expenditures.  She eats what we eat, plus a bit of baby cereal and prune baby food, so maybe an extra $20-30/month to our food bill.

I will say there was a time when she was young that I was very willing to spend money to solve baby problems out of desperation.  She wouldn't take a bottle and we probably spent $40 trying different types until we found one she would take.  I spent $30 on an expensive sleep suit to try and get her to sleep through the night (kinda worked, but not really).  These one off "OMG MONEY CAN SOLVE THIS" things can add up if you're not careful.

I also do have a "mom hobby" that costs money, which is babywearing.  I love trying out different carriers, and learning new ways to carry her in woven wraps, and spend some amount of money on baby carriers.  It's absolutely more than I "need", but the carriers hold their value for resale and it makes transporting baby without a car so much easier.

purple monkey

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 11:17:40 AM »
About 25-30% and we were, unbeknownst to us, moderate MMM at the time.

HTH

I think now we could probably get down to about 15% with all sorts of networking and using technology to save money on must haves.

Good luck with your future decisions.

I HIGHLY recommend parenthood!

gillstone

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 11:20:20 AM »
Thanks for the input from both of you.  I've also seen those articles stating that is cost upwards of $250,000 to raise a child to age 18...not sure if i really buy that, but it seems to be a standard number.  I know that cost includes a portion of your house payment (presumably you'd live in a smaller space if you didnt have kids) and things like car payments, etc. 

We are not planning on having a SAHP, so we will be earning two incomes.  My wife's mother has mentioned numerous times that she doesnt want the baby to go to daycare and she will come live with us to take care of the baby during the week.  This would be nice for our bank account, but not sure if its worth it...unless we have a house with a MIL suite type area. 

We definitely want the best for our future kids, but that doesnt necessarily mean that they will be receiving lots of brand new toys and clothing.

I don't know how much you like your MIL right now, but you'll probably like her a lot less after she moves in.  Even if she has a MIL suite there is the consideration that she can't chase down a toddler like she could 30 years ago.

Landlady

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 11:40:49 AM »
Why we don't have free public daycare boggles my mind. Why is it suddenly free at kindergarten?
Anyway, our expenses went up by about $20-$150 a month since we don't need daycare. He's only 2 though. Diapers are the biggest expense. If you can count saving for college as an expense then that's around $250/month.

aceyou

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2017, 12:16:58 PM »
Having 2 kids caused me to be frustrated with my finances, which caused me to find this site, which caused me to learn a bunch, which means my spending is now lower than it was before kids...and that's with two kids in daycare. 

So, if your life is far from optimized as mine was, it's possible you could increase child spending and have a lower overall spending anyway. 

Cranky

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2017, 12:34:24 PM »
Childcare is extremely labor intensive - it will never be cheap. (And if childcare workers got paid decently, it would be a heck of a lot more expensive than it is today.)

Beyond that, childcare, formula, and diapers are expensive, so if you use those things, that's where your $$ goes. And there is a ton of great stuff out there for babies, so you can spend a bunch if you are so inclined, but it's very optional.

So, my own babies didn't cost much of anything - we had good health insurance with no deductible, I stayed home to take care of them, I nursed, and we used cloth diapers. I will caution you that teenagers will cost you a pretty penny, though. ;-)

I've probably spent more out of pocket on my grandbaby than I ever did on my own babies, because we didn't have any money to spend at the time.

henrysmom

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2017, 10:34:15 PM »
My two sons are 14 and 15. My oldest son is disabled and we spent 150k in the first five years of his life on services he needed but weren't covered by insurance or school district. Since then we've had to spend 12k a year for private school for him as the public schools weren't giving him what he needed to thrive. After he was born we had two failed adoptions that cost us 25k. When we finally adopted our younger son internationally (17k) we found he had undiagnosed heart disease which necessitated open heart surgery. This is not meant to scare you but to remind you that life can throw you curve balls that can devastate your plans for early retirement. I had always planned on retiring in my 40s but here I am in my 50s trying to play catch up and try and retire by 60. That said I wouldn't change a thing. As far as routine child rearing expenses I found that the first years were the cheapest apart from childcare, but I stopped working for 3 years to stay with my son and that helped. Babies don't need much despite what advertising will lead you to believe. Good luck. Parenting is the hardest and best thing I've ever done!

cats

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Re: How much did your monthly expenses change once you had children?
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2017, 11:22:12 AM »

We are not planning on having a SAHP, so we will be earning two incomes.  My wife's mother has mentioned numerous times that she doesnt want the baby to go to daycare and she will come live with us to take care of the baby during the week.  This would be nice for our bank account, but not sure if its worth it...unless we have a house with a MIL suite type area. 


In our area, a really top of the line daycare can run around $30k/yr, and a safe/decent daycare can be found for around $18k/yr.  I know for us, moving from a 2-bd to a 3-bd apartment would easily add $18k/yr to our housing costs.  And if my mother was living with us, she'd probably expect something a bit swankier than we might choose on our own, and we'd be hearing about it if we didn't choose the swankier place...plus we'd be buying extra groceries, car would probably get driven more as she'd want to take our baby places during the day,  etc.  I could easily see my mother moving in resulting in $30k/yr of expenses.  I know every mother (or MIL) is different, but definitely discuss with your spouse whether or not this is a situation you really want, and if it isn't, figure out a way to kill the idea before your MIL gets too serious about it.  I honestly think my son is getting better care in daycare than he would from my mother (even though my mother is a very loving grandmother), and even if she lived near us I would not want to rely on her as his FT live-in caregiver.