Costs of Raising Children – Kid Expenses Continued

September 8, 2009

Yesterday I wrote about the costs of raising children and got a few emails reminding me of some of the costs that I left off the list.  I don’t know how I missed some of these like childcare and insurance since they’re pretty big chunks of money.  I guess there are so many expenses it’s easy to overlook a few and I’m sure I still won’t have captured them all.  Here are some more costs of raising kids.

Childcare

Childcare can be really expensive. It depends on a variety of things such as the age of your kid(s), how many children you have, how many days you need childcare, how many providers are watching over your kids, the activities they do, etc.

We are happy using an in home daycare that is cheaper than the chains like Kinder Care / La Petite and is very flexible with scheduling but the fees still add up pretty quickly. I have co-workers with 2 kids that have day care expenses of several hundred dollars a week.

Laundry

Kids are always getting their clothes, blankets, and sheets dirty. Whether it’s dirt, food, or bodily fluids children can’t seem to go a few hours without getting something on their clothes.  Of course, if it’s a little dirt or a food smudge you can let it go but if they’re covered in mud or dripping in urine then you have little choice other than soaking the clothes in the sink and putting on another outfit.  Before you know it the laundry basket is full, their drawer is empty, and it’s time for another load of wash.

Insurance

I talked about medical bills and co-pays last time but I forgot to mention insurance premiums. Each time we have a kid it costs us more in monthly insurance premiums to add them to our coverage. 

Of course you can lower your premiums by raising your deductibles but that’s quite a balancing act of guessing how sick or hurt your kids will get in the year ahead and picking your deductibles.

Activities

We enrolled our son in soccer lessons for the first time this year.  It was also our first time paying “activity fees” for our kids.  It was $80 for 8 sessions so it wasn’t outrageous but it was $80 that we weren’t spending a year ago.  As kids get older and get into more activities the budget for stuff like this will have to increase.  I have co-workers whose kids are involved in multiple sports and different activies that are always moaning about all the fees.

One of the activities we like to do that isn’t expensive is take a picnic to the park.  Another one our son loves that is free is taking an afternoon trip to the public library.

Babysitters

For a good night away from the kids you’re going to need at least 3–4 hours to grab dinner and see a movie or some other fun event.  The more kids you have and the longer you’re away, the more you have to pay the babysitter.  You also have to make sure there’s food for the babysitter to eat for dinner. So on top of the money you spend on dinner and a movie you’re also shelling out cash for someone to watch your kids.

As I mentioned yesterday, the joys of parenthood are certainly worth the added expenses but they can add up quickly so make sure to budget for them.

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Ben

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Ben
Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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2 Responses to Costs of Raising Children – Kid Expenses Continued

  • Erik

    These are all good points. I think that new parents often forget the added expenses that go into raising children, and they get confused when they see their disposable income dwindle down to nothing. Definitely have a separate “children” fund in your savings account.

  • Candi

    There are several ways a nanny can save a family money. More and more families are turning to “nanny share”. That is where 2 families will share 1 nanny; splitting the cost. When the children are sick; no need for the parents to take off work, the nanny can care for the children. A nanny can also help with the meal preparation which prevents families from eating out; again, saving money. No need to hire a special tutor and also you can cut down on your housekeeping hours due to the nanny can pick up the slack.

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