Couple Money

Are Your Kids Expensive?

introducing personal finance to kids

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Part of the fun of being  a blogger is receiving feedback from all of you.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the costs of raising kids and how they aren't always as expensive as the estimates quoted say.

Sharing Your Costs with Raising Your Kids

It certainly got great responses and I enjoyed reading them. Some inspired me with how they were frugal. Others opened my eyes to how expensive raising a kid could be.

Here are just a few of them that I got from you that show the differences:

We have 4 kids, though they are all now adults. I breastfed them all & it saved a lot. The first was in cloth diapers, but when the second one came & the first was still in diapers they both got “pampers.”

I was very frugal, buying many baby clothes second hand. Of course we received clothes as gifts too. We had a crib given to us (that did not have lead paint.) We didn’t buy a lot of expensive baby stuff, just what was needed for safety.

We didn’t decorate the baby’s room to the nth degree. We did spend some money on “educational toys” and books. We were lucky to have a good health care plan from my husband’s job that paid 100% on all doctor visits and medicine. That was a tremendous help.

We didn’t buy used clothes after babyhood, but clothes got passed down through the 4 kids. We had 3 boys & a girl, & I have to say a girl costs more! The clothes! Our biggest expenses came when they went to college, with some being in college at the same time. Ouch. We’d saved for it, but there were some lean years in there for us.


How about keeping up with 6 kids? Can it be done without being broke? Keeping it simple and being selective about when to move to a bigger house can make a huge difference.

I recently read an estimate of $500,000 per child from birth to the age of 18.

Well, I have 2 of them virtually to that point and 4 more to follow. I don’t think I have spent $3 million on them.

You are right about sunk costs. We had the same house with 1 or 6 kids although we did move shortly after number 6 was born. It got too crowded and my wife was going nuts.

-CashFlow Mantra

On the other end of the spectrum we had a reader share the 5 figure cost of raising their only child.

I track down expenses on our child and published them. It comes to at least to $ 20 K a year. And this is only child care & food + clothing.

It does not get any cheaper (at least over last four years). As matter of fact, child is 30% of our expenditures.

-Financial Independence

I thought the number was extremely high, but the point of the baby expense series is to start a discussion.

How we spend money can be insightful.Of course what we spend and how we spend vary family to family. I want to capture how we can give our kids the best without spending a ton of money.

Thoughts on the Cost of Raising Kids

What's the biggest myth you've heard about raising kids when it comes to finances?

What's your biggest expense with your kids? Where do you spend and where save when it comes to your children?


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