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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    24

    How expensive are children, really?

    So, I just finished college and I am getting married in October. I really don't want to wait too long to start having children, but I am worried that we wont have enough money as soon as I would like. Ideally we would also get a house first, but I don't think it's a necessity, so really the main factor in deciding when we can have children is money. Right now we live in a 1 bedroom apartment and my fiance just got a new job that is paying him a lot more than his previous job, but I still worry that it's not going to be enough and we will have to wait several more years until he gets promoted or something. However, a lot of what I have been reading on here is leading me to believe children, or at least one child, may not be as expensive as I think they are. I know hospital bills are pricey so some money in savings would help, but how much do people spend on average for the day-to-day costs of having a child? Our plan is to buy used as much as possible so I'm sure that will help too.
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  2. #3
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    25
    Well I don't know specific numbers, even though I have a 2 year old lol (my mind isn't awake enough to do number crunching). But right now I'm in college (with one more semester to go) and my fiance is the only one working. He only makes about $30k/year and we don't get any outside help, except from WIC, and while we live pay check to pay check, we aren't losing that much money. So I would say it is doable with just one income, but not ideal. Getting things used is a really good idea, and if you can get someone to babysit for free (like a family member in the area), you can save a lot of money. You just have to be careful with how much you spend on extras, like going out to eat, etc. And a word of advice? Generic brand diapers work just as well as name brand. We use Target and Walmart brand and we have never had a problem and they are like half the cost! Breastfeeding also helps a bunch, not only for the health of your baby, but for saving money haha. It is essentially free food for at least a year! Anyways, good luck with your decision, while having a baby is hard, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do!

  3. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    24
    Quote Originally Posted by abkuroneko View Post
    Well I don't know specific numbers, even though I have a 2 year old lol (my mind isn't awake enough to do number crunching). But right now I'm in college (with one more semester to go) and my fiance is the only one working. He only makes about $30k/year and we don't get any outside help, except from WIC, and while we live pay check to pay check, we aren't losing that much money. So I would say it is doable with just one income, but not ideal. Getting things used is a really good idea, and if you can get someone to babysit for free (like a family member in the area), you can save a lot of money. You just have to be careful with how much you spend on extras, like going out to eat, etc. And a word of advice? Generic brand diapers work just as well as name brand. We use Target and Walmart brand and we have never had a problem and they are like half the cost! Breastfeeding also helps a bunch, not only for the health of your baby, but for saving money haha. It is essentially free food for at least a year! Anyways, good luck with your decision, while having a baby is hard, it is one of the most rewarding things you can do!
    Oh that makes me feel so much better! My fiance makes about the same income and I am working right now, too, so I guess we will just save, save, save until we have a baby and then I can stay home and we'll be good! We hope to move closer to family too, so that would be nice. I'm sure his mom and sister would love to help out.
    Current faves:

    Melanie Anne, Caroline Olivia, William Gregory, Benjamin Patrick

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    3,169
    No children, but from what I do know, a child will cost around $200,000 by the time they are 18.

    Here is a cost calculator you can use: http://www.babycenter.com/baby-cost-calculator

    And according to that and most sites, I'm finding the average is $10,000 just for the first year!

    Also make sure you know how much your insurance will cover! A lot of the time it seems hospital fees are what surprises the new parents because they didn't both to do the research.
    Last edited by catloverd; June 8th, 2013 at 11:33 AM.
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  5. #9
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Munchkinland
    Posts
    1,648
    I think the answer to this is really going to depend on your lifestyle. My husband and I own a modest 2 bedroom home (our mortgage is equivalent to what we paid in rent for our previous apartment) and we have no other debt. We both still drive older cars. We have basic cell phones. We don't have cable TV. We go out on special occasions, but other than that we don't spend a lot of money on entertainment or eating out. I had been working as a substitute teacher and he works for Target, so not a lot of income there. We had our daughter last summer (she just turned 1 on Monday!) and I was able to stay home with her this year. We got by just fine. It definitely helps that we have generous family members. We get a lot of cash gifts for birthdays, baby shower, etc. We put the majority of that money into savings while I was pregnant. Target also has a pretty great insurance policy for it's employees. Those 2 things allowed us to pay all the medical bills (pre- and post-natal care, birthing classes, breastfeeding classes, hospital stay for me and baby, NICU for baby, counseling for PPD, lactation consultation, etc. - it's a lot, and some things you can't anticipate or plan for.) I breastfed and used cloth diapers. This saves a ton of money! Our nursery furniture is all hand-me-downs from family and friends (I have an ecclectic style anyway, so I made it work and it's really cute). I also buy almost all baby clothes and toys second-hand at consignment sales. You can get stuff that looks brand new (or even new with tags - babies grow so fast, sometimes they outgrow outfits before they ever get a chance to wear them) for a fraction of the price. The people who run the sales check each piece for tears, stains, etc. It's a really good deal. I'm also collecting up the stuff our baby is outgrowing so I can resell it at the next sale. It's almost like getting free stuff! Now that she's bigger, she needs entertainment, but I've been able to find a lot of free activities for kids in the community. We go to the play center our public school district has for pre-school kids, story time at the library, the farmer's market has live music and there are always other kids there dancing. I've never really calculated the daily cost of having a baby, but if you're frugal and live a modestly, it's definitely not that much. People act like babies need so much stuff, but in my experience they don't. They need a place to sleep, something to eat, something to wear, and parents who cherish them and teach them.

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