Author Topic: Yearly Cost of Your Child  (Read 3042 times)

martyconlonontherun

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Yearly Cost of Your Child
« on: December 26, 2017, 11:59:34 AM »
Went to a X-Mas party for my wife's HS friends over the weekend and now 4/5 our of the five friends have kids/expecting. She is the 5th. When this happened with houses we ended up getting one within a year.

With the above background on how we slowly keep up with the Joneses but also are the laggards and live 75% mustachian, I'm curious how much a kid will cost so I can put estimates in my spreadsheet. I know everyone is difference so if you have an estimate on how much is spent on your child, I will be extremely grateful.

My key facts:

Housing: No upgrade needed, room for all kids assuming I don't get 3 or more the first time around
Day-care: Both of us work full 8-5:30 jobs. Would need day care.
Area: MCOL - Milwaukee-Area
Schooling: Public. Not the greatest school district but more than meets my needs. (For those close by, its the Nicolet School District but trying to convince the wife of German Immersion school for a few years)
Hand Me Downs: Not counting on any. Sister has 3 kids so may get some stuff (running stroller, etc) but she is thinking of a fourth now.
Excitement Buy Rating: 3. I think we will buy some stuff for the first child made from pure emotion, but I think we will do a good job of buying second hand stuff
Diapers: Disposable. Could be talked into washable but dont want to count on it.

Carrie

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 12:31:33 PM »
Have no idea on day care costs, ask those friends with babies. Varies greatly by region.
Diapers - we used cloth for the first, $200 one time. Got lazy with the other two and used grocery store brand disposable for about $22/ mo. Potty trained at 2.5 yrs.

Don't buy every gee-gaw and accesory. If you have a baby shower, which you probably will with the first, register for a car seat (I used Britax, $180), and for a simple stroller ($99).  I hate those gigantic carrier/stroller systems, so I used a jogging stroller for walks & did baby-wearing for grocery trips/everyday needs. Moby wrap was $50.

We skipped the nursery/crib and coslept. We exclusively breastfed all, so no bottles or formula expenses. I bought cheap onesies for the early months, and did laundry all.the. time. Baby goes through tons of changes in the early days (diaper blowouts, spit up). My kids also grew so fast those first 6 mo that buying cute or fancy outfits would have been a complete waste. Let others buy the cute outfits (shower gifts).

Once the kids are a little older I buy clearance clothes from Gymboree.

You'll have some expense adding a dependent to the insurance.

Skip the jarred baby foods & cereals and make your own purees & baby-led weaning, super cheap and healthier than jar-ick. It's easy to mash up a sweet potato, avocado, banana, etc.

Finally, let friends and family know you're receptive to hand me downs.  You may be surprised at the generosity of friends. I gave away a ton of stuff when we decided we were done.

Christof

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 12:44:43 PM »
I found that a major part of our increased expenses was stress related compensation. With the two of you working full time, taking care of the child and juggling care and days off when the kid is sick will increase stress levels and exhaustion. It'll be harder to fight unhealthy but quick junk food, doing sport in the evening and avoiding all kind of time saving but expensive shortcuts.

The kid itself is as expensive or inexpensive as you want. Especially early on the don't need a lot. Later the kid will follow your example more than you might like.

slappy

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2017, 12:51:43 PM »
Now is the time to research day care costs. Diapers and formula (if you use it) might run you a couple hundred a month, but daycare will likely be over $1000 a month. As another poster said, you will get a lot of stuff at your baby shower.

martyconlonontherun

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2017, 01:11:48 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. I welcome more responses as each one added something else I hadn't thought about.

My high-level math is showing me at 20k as a high estimate for the first few years, which I think will be subsidized partly by me being less social/adventurous*. I'm putting down daycare as 2/3rds of the cost and will look into it further. I want to be non-traditional and try a day care with bi-lingual families and workers but in reality I will go with the nicest/most convenient day care in my area after talking to the wife. Other 1/3rd would be diapers, extra cheap clothes, and maybe 1-2k on bigger accessories we will have to buy.



(I won't be flying to NY for a weekend when I have a new born at home with the wife {Don't worry, I still us SW points and stay with a friend, but still other costs in those trips :)} )

gaja

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2017, 01:25:26 PM »
The most expensive, but also most sanity saving, thing you can do is to have some sort of parental leave for 3-12 months. Is that possible for you and/or your wife?

batemama

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2017, 01:30:39 PM »
Don't forget loss of income during maternity leave and hospital bills.  Also, I see that you didn't mention formula in your estimated expenses.  From personal experience, don't count on being able to breast feed exclusively, especially if you are both working.  My milk supply dried up after 4-5 months with baby number 2, and baby number 1 decided that bottles were much better than boobs pretty much instantaneously (at 4 weeks) and I couldn't keep up my supply with pumping exclusively. 

Maybe think out of the box with daycare.  Our friends just had a baby and found out that it was cheaper to have someone come to their house and tend the child than to enroll in daycare.  I was quite surprised, but it was a really reasonable price.  We paid my mother to watch our children.  Basically my brother and I split the cost of her current take home pay (part time) to watch our 3 kids.  It ended up being a win-win for everyone (cheaper daycare, stable income, more time with grandchildren, no worries about a stranger watching the kids).

orangepalm

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2017, 01:32:30 PM »
Don't forget about medical costs such as for the delivery in case you have a high deductible health plan?

I can tell you that before a child is even conceived there can be major (unexpected) costs! Of course, the odds are probably in your favor and you'll be fine, but we thought we'd have no issues, and yet here we are, dealing with IVF treatments. It's very expensive in the US and usually not covered by insurance.

CindyBS

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #8 on: December 26, 2017, 04:05:32 PM »
What is the time frame you are talking about?

That is very important since virtually everything talked about thus far - car seats, formula, diapers, daycare don't cost us anything because my kids don't use any of the stuff any more.

However, my 14 year old is exceeding expensive, probably more than any baby would be, mostly b/c his serious health problems have forced me to stop working to take care of him.  My 12 year old costs a fraction of his older brother. 


For the longer term view, I think one of the best ways to save money with kids is to not get a huge house or huge car and get them used have less stuff at an early age and make wearing and using used items the norm.  I have consistently spent less than $200 per year on clothing for my children - typically much much much less than that.  Get them used to not having over the top birthday parties, crazy consumerism or the need for constant entertainment.  This is often easier said than done living in an extremely consumerist culture and especially if the grandparents are not on board.

Also, know that in many way kids can't be planned, you just have to roll with it.  Instead of always trying to budget in a spreadsheet, realize that all hell can fall apart and that having a generous wad of cash as a cushion will help with the fall.  My child is the exception and a rare case, but honestly all the times we avoided over the top spending when he was little is what led to having the cash that allowed me to step away from the work world.

Good luck.

AccidentalMiser

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #9 on: December 26, 2017, 04:16:03 PM »
Too many variables to predict, as others have said.  Having a child to keep up with the Jones is a really bad idea.  We have 5 sons, aged 23 to 30, and they weren't a good investment.

Carrie

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #10 on: December 26, 2017, 04:38:09 PM »
Our kids are not materialistic, and are in few activities. Oldest plays piano $65/mo. lessons. The others don't do anything yet. Dental has been expensive, but we finally have an option for insurance on that. Our kids don't care about what clothes they wear, and don't expect lavish anything. No big birthdays, Christmas is small, etc. I'm bartering preschool. We drive an old minivan, and never go anywhere.
So yeah, it can be done inexpensively.  Five person family and we spend $28,000 per year. (Medical is pretax, so add another $5000 give or take.)

clutchy

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2017, 01:34:04 PM »
Went to a X-Mas party for my wife's HS friends over the weekend and now 4/5 our of the five friends have kids/expecting. She is the 5th. When this happened with houses we ended up getting one within a year.

With the above background on how we slowly keep up with the Joneses but also are the laggards and live 75% mustachian, I'm curious how much a kid will cost so I can put estimates in my spreadsheet. I know everyone is difference so if you have an estimate on how much is spent on your child, I will be extremely grateful.

My key facts:

Housing: No upgrade needed, room for all kids assuming I don't get 3 or more the first time around
Day-care: Both of us work full 8-5:30 jobs. Would need day care.
Area: MCOL - Milwaukee-Area
Schooling: Public. Not the greatest school district but more than meets my needs. (For those close by, its the Nicolet School District but trying to convince the wife of German Immersion school for a few years)
Hand Me Downs: Not counting on any. Sister has 3 kids so may get some stuff (running stroller, etc) but she is thinking of a fourth now.
Excitement Buy Rating: 3. I think we will buy some stuff for the first child made from pure emotion, but I think we will do a good job of buying second hand stuff
Diapers: Disposable. Could be talked into washable but dont want to count on it.
 

We're in Ohio and daycare costs about $600/mo sometimes less sometimes more. 

Our first kid was pretty pricey.  My wife was not good at handling babies and so she tried every flipping contraption to solve any type of perceived discomfort.  All of those things have been thrown away or given away with very little use. 

2nd kid aside from daycare has been diaper and some clothing.  Most clothing was given to us and most toys can be found used or handed down OR they come from grandparents. 


We tried cloth diapers and stuck with it for about 6 months and then went to disposables.  We didn't even bother with the 2nd kid.  It's a huge hassle and if both of you work I wouldn't even bother incurring the cost to try it.  You need time to deal with the laundry and cleaning and you just won't have it. 


So I guess the point I'm trying to make is that kids can be super expensive and they can also be not that big of a deal.  It sort of up to you. 


My wife put the cabash after 2 little one's and honestly I'd incur just about any cost to have some more.  I love kids and I really feel short changed because we agreed to more.  Oh well...

Bourbon

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2017, 01:40:37 PM »
Infant care here for full time care is $850-1100.

RookieStache

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2017, 02:11:22 PM »
I feel like I should be able to help on this topic as I have a 15 month old daughter and everything is still quite fresh.

Pre-baby process: I used the heck out of my HSA (and HSA match) to pay for all visits and the birth itself. If anyone is not contributing to HSA, I suggest you do!
Housing: No upgrades might be needed but you will have to baby proof. This comes in the form of baby gates, soft edges to put around fireplaces, tables, etc.
Day-care - We go to a lady who runs a 7 kid daycare out of her house, it's $30 a day so looking at $150 a week. (Our parents know the lady, not a stranger!)
Area: Louisville, big city but extremely affordable.
Schooling: Clothes will be only major expense being public.
Hand Me Downs: She has two older cousins and we have gotten a ton of clothes and toys! Way too many to even have her wear / play with them all.
Excitement Buy Rating: My wife couldn't stop until I had to sit her down and cut her off. We didn't even get our daughter anything for Christmas because everyone wants to buy you baby clothes / toys and everything else.
Diapers: I hosted a diaper party with all of my friends and had some prizes for games to show my appreciation. We haven't bought a single diaper, wipe and she is 15 months old. I suggest you do this, don't feel bad because people like to help.

We really only spend money on her food, daycare and saving for her education. If you take out the saving for education, I would argue having a baby ends up being a wash for the first year. We do go out a lot less and spend less money on ourselves and that saved money really adds up. If you have a good support group of friends and family around you, it's really not that expensive at all (for the first 15 months at least).

Bourbon

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2017, 02:24:14 PM »
I feel like I should be able to help on this topic as I have a 15 month old daughter and everything is still quite fresh.

Pre-baby process: I used the heck out of my HSA (and HSA match) to pay for all visits and the birth itself. If anyone is not contributing to HSA, I suggest you do!
Housing: No upgrades might be needed but you will have to baby proof. This comes in the form of baby gates, soft edges to put around fireplaces, tables, etc.
Day-care - We go to a lady who runs a 7 kid daycare out of her house, it's $30 a day so looking at $150 a week. (Our parents know the lady, not a stranger!)
Area: Louisville, big city but extremely affordable.
Schooling: Clothes will be only major expense being public.
Hand Me Downs: She has two older cousins and we have gotten a ton of clothes and toys! Way too many to even have her wear / play with them all.
Excitement Buy Rating: My wife couldn't stop until I had to sit her down and cut her off. We didn't even get our daughter anything for Christmas because everyone wants to buy you baby clothes / toys and everything else.
Diapers: I hosted a diaper party with all of my friends and had some prizes for games to show my appreciation. We haven't bought a single diaper, wipe and she is 15 months old. I suggest you do this, don't feel bad because people like to help.

We really only spend money on her food, daycare and saving for her education. If you take out the saving for education, I would argue having a baby ends up being a wash for the first year. We do go out a lot less and spend less money on ourselves and that saved money really adds up. If you have a good support group of friends and family around you, it's really not that expensive at all (for the first 15 months at least).

Boom!  I'm in Louisville as well so nice to compare data points.  Our first child we were setup to go to a $600ish place in Germantown, it was new but a niceish center.  A week or two before due date stopped in and there was one person working in the morning who came to answer the door while at least 5-6 kids of various age were left alone.  Wife bugged out, and we wound up at a $750/mo center near downtown.  We also looked at some that were around $500, but not impressed with quality and iirc they used TV's.  This was all 7 years ago, so inflation.

Eventually that one closed, and we ended up at times at a ~$1000/mo place downtown, but prices have gone up some since then.  When they got older we moved them to a preschool that we liked better for that age group than our original center, but they too are in the ~$1K/Mo range.   Beginning to look into a nanny or in home care, but also value the socialization and friends the kids have made through the schools.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2017, 03:18:40 PM »
Too many variables to predict, as others have said.  Having a child to keep up with the Jones is a really bad idea.  We have 5 sons, aged 23 to 30, and they weren't a good investment.

LOL

Bourbon

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2018, 01:41:26 PM »
Too many variables to predict, as others have said.  Having a child to keep up with the Jones is a really bad idea.  We have 5 sons, aged 23 to 30, and they weren't a good investment.

Shoot that was my plan.

Zamboni

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2018, 01:57:23 PM »
I cannot strictly calculate this . . . I suppose I could try to figure out the annualized difference between my 4 bdrm house and a smaller place, or I could estimate what % of my grocery budget they eat (nearly all of it!), or I could figure out how much gas I burn carting them around and really make it stick by figuring out how much I could make working an equivalent number of hours as those I spend driving them around to where they play various ball games.

Regardless, I will say that the benefits outweigh the costs. I would not trade them for all of the money in the world.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Yearly Cost of Your Child
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2018, 02:28:50 PM »
We have a 2.5 year old and a 9 month old.

Major costs:
Fertility treatments - this did not go as planned.  Having children was important to us, and things were far more difficult than we expected.  Probably $30k between the two of them, I didn't keep track because it was too depressing.
Prenatal care and birth - about $2500 each time with good insurance.
Family health insurance premiums - my health insurance contribution went up about $400/month when we added #1 to our insurance.
Maternity leave x2 - DW got 6 weeks paid and 6 weeks unpaid with #1 and 4 weeks paid with #2.  I wasn't working when we had #1, and got 4 weeks at 75% pay and 8 weeks unpaid with #2.
Bigger home - we live in a 2 br with 2 kids, one of the primary costs of having kids is needing a bigger space and eventually needing to live in a decent school district.
DAYCARE - this is the biggie.  We pay $1550/month per kid (we have a huge discount for wonky reasons), but the going rate around us for infants is more like $2k/month.  Varies a ton by region, whether you choose and in-home/center/nanny/au pair.
Travel - once they're 2, they need an airline ticket.  We travel enough that this adds up.
College - people approach this one differently.  I'm probably going to work a few extra years to pay for college, because I'd feel like a jerk retiring early and leaving my kids on their own for college.

Minor costs:
Baby gear - we bought almost everything used, and had a shower with #1.  The only thing we really spent a lot on was a $350 double stroller because we walk to and from daycare and wanted a specific model.  Baby stuff is used for such a short period of time, there is a TON available through secondhand sources.
Baby/kid clothes - also easy to find used.  The key is not being picky.
Formula - I wasn't able to breastfeed #2, so we used formula.  About $100/month, but time limited and decreases over time.
Diapers - Don't do cloth if you're not interested because you'll resent every wash cycle, but we find it fairly easy and the cost savings scale with the number of children. $600 total for two kids.

Things we have not spent money on:
A bigger car
Most paid activities/entertainment - we have gone to the aquarium a few times for $8, and we do park district swimming lessons for $30 per 8 weeks.  Other than that, we've forgone fancy classes and activities in favor of the park, walks, and all the excellent free things to do in our city.

Things we are saving money on:
Eating out - we did more takeout when #1 was small, but by the time she was 18 months eating out wasn't fun anymore and we'd found our stride with easy meal prep
Entertainment - kids are very entertaining, and we go to bed around 9, so Mustachian win?

We definitely spend more than we did pre-kids, and childcare costs will still be substantial even once they begin public school (before and after care, summers).  But for us, it's totally worth it because we had a hard time imagining life without kids.