How much do your children cost per month?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

dad2000 wrote:
Drew777 wrote:This thread is great birth control. It certainly reaffirms my decision to put off having kids for a while.
Slightly off topic, but your decision seems to be consistent with a growing trend. While we are finally out of a baby "recession", birth rates for young mothers have been decreasing, while rates for older mothers have been increasing: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... rate-rises

This would seem to suggest that financial security has finally become a greater factor in the process :oops:
People aren't stupid, if you want to have a certain minimal lifestyle you need financial resources to pay for it. As others have alluded to, living in a safe environment unfortunately costs money in the form of higher property taxes/rents.
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GoldenFinch
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by GoldenFinch »

HomerJ wrote:I have a 13-year old son.... He eats more than everyone else in the house combined.
We have two teenage sons. If someone had told me years ago how much they would be eating and how much it would cost, I never would have believed them. Their diets are currently our largest expense. :shock:
mevertsen
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by mevertsen »

2 month old and 9 year old. Stay at home mom. Medium COL area.

$700 a month total for groceries which includes household items, groceries, cat food and litter, toiletries, etc.

$50 a month for clothes and specific items.

Not a lot of activities around the rural area we live. So those extra costs are low.

If you wait until you are financially stable to have kids, and read these threads, you will never have enough money. Just go for it!
livesoft
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by livesoft »

GoldenFinch wrote:
HomerJ wrote:I have a 13-year old son.... He eats more than everyone else in the house combined.
We have two teenage sons. If someone had told me years ago how much they would be eating and how much it would cost, I never would have believed them. Their diets are currently our largest expense. :shock:
We had about a dozen 20-year-olds in the house the other night. We had no food, so it didn't cost us anything. They all had "apps" and food appeared at the front door. It was delicious and didn't cost me anything.
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vveat
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by vveat »

2 kids, 4 and 7, high COL area. The costs of school, camps and activities way exceed anything else. "Kids" is by far our biggest expense category.

Annual
$17000 preschool (2 more years to go)
$4500 summer camps
$4000 sports - gymnastics team for one and swimming classes for both
$2000 babysitting (once a week "date night":-)
$2000 everything else - clothing (90% used from friends with older kids), toys, etc

We don't track food separately, at this point the challenge is more to get some more food in them, not that they are eating a lot. And they are eating same food as us, so difficult to measure.

I do think once we are done with preschool fees, things will be more manageable, but what do I know. Maybe that's when they will start eating like others described :?
Rodc
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Rodc »

GoldenFinch wrote:
HomerJ wrote:I have a 13-year old son.... He eats more than everyone else in the house combined.
We have two teenage sons. If someone had told me years ago how much they would be eating and how much it would cost, I never would have believed them. Their diets are currently our largest expense. :shock:
As a former teenage boy I remember how this works. At about age 20 I kept a diet log for a couple of months just for grins. At 150 lbs was eating 5000 calories a day. When we went out to eat I would order two dinners and four glasses of milk.

For the moms of young boys, this is were you are headed! (presumably the dads remember).
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
flyingbison
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by flyingbison »

Hard to measure all the costs for our 3 year old. The biggest single item right now is daycare (about $700/mo. for part-time), but utilities and food cost have definitely increased. Everything else is relatively minor, but little things add up over time.

In addition to the costs, though, there are several tax benefits. Certainly doesn't offset the entire cost, but it does help.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Rodc wrote:
GoldenFinch wrote:
HomerJ wrote:I have a 13-year old son.... He eats more than everyone else in the house combined.
We have two teenage sons. If someone had told me years ago how much they would be eating and how much it would cost, I never would have believed them. Their diets are currently our largest expense. :shock:
As a former teenage boy I remember how this works. At about age 20 I kept a diet log for a couple of months just for grins. At 150 lbs was eating 5000 calories a day. When we went out to eat I would order two dinners and four glasses of milk.

For the moms of young boys, this is were you are headed! (presumably the dads remember).
You parents of daughters, don't think you're getting off easy. Last year, my son had a GF who was a wisp of a girl. My son told me that she could out-eat him, and often did. Funny how running daily, being a dancer, on the tennis team, doing the horizontal bop, etc., can burn up calories :D
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DDMP20
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by DDMP20 »

anonforthis wrote:I downloaded all the bank statements and credit cards for the last 5 months just to see how much we spent a month precisely. I was so shocked at how little we spent since January 2015. We didn't really have a budget but I did control our spending because I thought we were spending too much. We live comfortable and eat well food mostly fish, veggies and rice for me, cheese, milk, eggs, beef, chicken and bread for husband and the kids. We spent an average of $202 a month on groceries and $83 on restaurants (blow money category). Our expenses are $3900 to $4000 a month including daycare of $900 a month. I thought we were spending about $5000 a month. This is a good problem to have LOL. We are a family of 4 with 2 children under four. I figured we spend $1050 on them a month including daycare. Everything else is fixed whether or not they exist. If we keep spending like this, we can afford many more children :D
$202 a month on groceries? How in the hell is that possible? We are a family of four with a 4 year old and a three year old and we spend on average $150 - 200 a week on groceries. We do buy lots of organic veggies, dairy, meat and poultry though. But still...........$200 a month for a family of four? Where do you live? Where do you shop?
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livesoft
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by livesoft »

Rodc wrote:As a former teenage boy I remember how this works. At about age 20 I kept a diet log for a couple of months just for grins. At 150 lbs was eating 5000 calories a day. When we went out to eat I would order two dinners and four glasses of milk.
But you probably slept through both breakfast and lunch time. :)

I must've been easy on my parents. As a 16-year-old, I worked >40-hours in week in a small pizza/sub place. We could eat all we wanted. Since I worked from 4 pm to closing, I only ate supper at home on Sundays.
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DDMP20
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by DDMP20 »

anonforthis wrote:
Edit: We eat 1 meal a day but not everyday. We eat 1 meal a day during the week but not on the weekend.
That's not exactly healthy. Do you have healthy snacks at other times during the day?
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HomerJ
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by HomerJ »

livesoft wrote:
GoldenFinch wrote:
HomerJ wrote:I have a 13-year old son.... He eats more than everyone else in the house combined.
We have two teenage sons. If someone had told me years ago how much they would be eating and how much it would cost, I never would have believed them. Their diets are currently our largest expense. :shock:
We had about a dozen 20-year-olds in the house the other night. We had no food, so it didn't cost us anything. They all had "apps" and food appeared at the front door. It was delicious and didn't cost me anything.
My son hates going to one Grandpa's house, because he doesn't have any good food...

He likes going to the other Grandpa's house, because that Grandpa always has cookies, and makes real bacon for breakfast.

Just letting you know... Maybe that's your plan, so having a dozen 20-year olds in the house remains a rare thing.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

DDMP20 wrote:
anonforthis wrote:
Edit: We eat 1 meal a day but not everyday. We eat 1 meal a day during the week but not on the weekend.
That's not exactly healthy. Do you have healthy snacks at other times during the day?
It depends. I have a friend who uses what is referred to as "intermittent fasting." He has more than one meal, but all in the space of around 4 hours per day. He also completely fasts one day per week.

He is part of a study, and the doctors are amazed at his blood chemistry. He has always been extremely fit, working out for literally hours per day (he's a trainer).

NB: he doesn't do this to save money, and what he eats during those 4 hours is based on a deep knowledge of nutrition.
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anonforthis
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by anonforthis »

DDMP20 wrote:
anonforthis wrote:
Edit: We eat 1 meal a day but not everyday. We eat 1 meal a day during the week but not on the weekend.
That's not exactly healthy. Do you have healthy snacks at other times during the day?
Not healthy? My husband does it for years. His health is always excellent. I used to eat too much but I changed my diet after I met him. I feel much better health wise. I feel gross if I go to bed with a full stomach. We eat snacks during the day but not much. We don't do it to save money.
Cognitive_Squeeze
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Cognitive_Squeeze »

Our baby cost us a good buck in food and diapers. We get hand-me downs from relatives, and we have not bought many clothes. The most expensive part is the $100K + salary my wife is no longer earning. We think it's worth it, children are to be enjoyed.

If we had to pay for babysitting, restaurant meals due to the lack of time, cleaning services, two cars, insurance, gas, etc., we could still save several thousand dollars a year - more than what I want to calculate. Many people ignore the expense of having two working parents while paying daycare and it's associated costs, and the quality of life associated with that hectic lifestyle. Some people may be better off going to one single salary, whether the stay-at-home parent is male or female is irrelevant.
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by flyingbison »

Tico_75 wrote: Many people ignore the expense of having two working parents while paying daycare and it's associated costs, and the quality of life associated with that hectic lifestyle. Some people may be better off going to one single salary, whether the stay-at-home parent is male or female is irrelevant.
Many people ignore the benefits (beyond salary) of two working parents, as well. But in the end, it's rarely just a financial decision.
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Cognitive_Squeeze »

flyingbison wrote:
Tico_75 wrote: Many people ignore the expense of having two working parents while paying daycare and it's associated costs, and the quality of life associated with that hectic lifestyle. Some people may be better off going to one single salary, whether the stay-at-home parent is male or female is irrelevant.
Many people ignore the benefits (beyond salary) of two working parents, as well. But in the end, it's rarely just a financial decision.
It's not about money and professional development. I don't know if there are any benefits (of two working parents) that can't also be accomplished - and surpassed - by having a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps, you can illustrate.

Update: It should also be about money. I fear many people don't account for the costs and they could be better off having one parent at home.
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playtothebeat
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by playtothebeat »

Tico_75 wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
Tico_75 wrote: Many people ignore the expense of having two working parents while paying daycare and it's associated costs, and the quality of life associated with that hectic lifestyle. Some people may be better off going to one single salary, whether the stay-at-home parent is male or female is irrelevant.
Many people ignore the benefits (beyond salary) of two working parents, as well. But in the end, it's rarely just a financial decision.
It's not about money and professional development. I don't know if there are any benefits (of two working parents) that can't also be accomplished - and surpassed - by having a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps, you can illustrate.
I'd argue that if you have two working parents, you:
- develop a sense of independence and not reliance on your parents
- develop social skills faster, since you're surrounded by your own peers (i.e. other kids) from a very early age (my son was in daycare starting at 3 months, and loves going there every day now as an almost 2-yr old)

Ultimately, I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer about having a stay at home parent or two working parents. A lot of it is cultural, financial, and personal choice.

FYI, this is an interesting article:
http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/15/news/ec ... ard-study/
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Rodc »

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Rodc wrote:
GoldenFinch wrote:
HomerJ wrote:I have a 13-year old son.... He eats more than everyone else in the house combined.
We have two teenage sons. If someone had told me years ago how much they would be eating and how much it would cost, I never would have believed them. Their diets are currently our largest expense. :shock:
As a former teenage boy I remember how this works. At about age 20 I kept a diet log for a couple of months just for grins. At 150 lbs was eating 5000 calories a day. When we went out to eat I would order two dinners and four glasses of milk.

For the moms of young boys, this is were you are headed! (presumably the dads remember).
You parents of daughters, don't think you're getting off easy. Last year, my son had a GF who was a wisp of a girl. My son told me that she could out-eat him, and often did. Funny how running daily, being a dancer, on the tennis team, doing the horizontal bop, etc., can burn up calories :D
Yes, and sometimes teen girls bring home teen boys...
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
Texanbybirth
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Texanbybirth »

Tico_75 wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
Tico_75 wrote: Many people ignore the expense of having two working parents while paying daycare and it's associated costs, and the quality of life associated with that hectic lifestyle. Some people may be better off going to one single salary, whether the stay-at-home parent is male or female is irrelevant.
Many people ignore the benefits (beyond salary) of two working parents, as well. But in the end, it's rarely just a financial decision.
It's not about money and professional development. I don't know if there are any benefits (of two working parents) that can't also be accomplished - and surpassed - by having a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps, you can illustrate.

I've never met a two-working parent family that wasn't doing it for the money. There are plenty of superficial reasons given, but generally after a bit of conversation money is revealed as the answer. However, I'm not sure if I agree with you that "there are [not] any benefits...that can't also be accomplished... by having a stay-at-home parent". There's no way my wife and I will be as rich as two-income families. We have permanently and irreversibly given up a certain kind of lifestyle/future/socioeconomic status to let my wife be at home with baby/kids. And thankfully we couldn't care less.

I've also never met a one-working parent family that wasn't doing it inspite of the money. None of them say "oh we have plenty of money, all is perfect". Yet, none of them say they would return to work.

This is such a non-financial topic that people will never universally agree. I'm not saying there isn't a right way to do it, but it's a very emotional thing for a lot of people.

Btw, our child costs nothing extra per month because her food comes from mom and her diapers are reusable. I'm sure the sum will grow as we introduce her to the wonderful world of wearing something other than onesies, and eating tasty food. I refuse to try to calculate what my wife would have made if she stayed employed, as another poster suggested, because I don't get to calculate what she adds to our household while at home. It's not fair to include that "cost" in the cost of a child.
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Rodc
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Rodc »

It's not about money and professional development. I don't know if there are any benefits (of two working parents) that can't also be accomplished - and surpassed - by having a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps, you can illustrate.
If I might suggest, can we just not go there?

Many children are raised to be fine happy upstanding people using both methods, and sometimes either method ends poorly.

This argument never ends well. We might as well debate religion or politics.
We live a world with knowledge of the future markets has less than one significant figure. And people will still and always demand answers to three significant digits.
Texanbybirth
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Texanbybirth »

playtothebeat wrote:
Tico_75 wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
Tico_75 wrote: Many people ignore the expense of having two working parents while paying daycare and it's associated costs, and the quality of life associated with that hectic lifestyle. Some people may be better off going to one single salary, whether the stay-at-home parent is male or female is irrelevant.
Many people ignore the benefits (beyond salary) of two working parents, as well. But in the end, it's rarely just a financial decision.
It's not about money and professional development. I don't know if there are any benefits (of two working parents) that can't also be accomplished - and surpassed - by having a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps, you can illustrate.
I'd argue that if you have two working parents, you:
- develop a sense of independence and not reliance on your parents
- develop social skills faster, since you're surrounded by your own peers (i.e. other kids) from a very early age (my son was in daycare starting at 3 months, and loves going there every day now as an almost 2-yr old)

Ultimately, I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer about having a stay at home parent or two working parents. A lot of it is cultural, financial, and personal choice.

FYI, this is an interesting article:
http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/15/news/ec ... ard-study/
That's an interesting article, and I like that even the author is able to recognize it's narrow limits:

"This research doesn't say that children of employed moms are happier or better people and it doesn't say employed moms are better," McGinn told CNNMoney. "What it says is daughters are more likely to be employed and hold supervisory and sons spend more time in the home."

I think you're right that it's a very personal choice, and I would say money plays the most significant part in most people's decisions.
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ResearchMed
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by ResearchMed »

Rodc wrote:
It's not about money and professional development. I don't know if there are any benefits (of two working parents) that can't also be accomplished - and surpassed - by having a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps, you can illustrate.
If I might suggest, can we just not go there?

This argument never ends well. We might as well debate religion or politics.
THIS ^^^^^

And ditto for the next post.

I am trying mightily to hold my tongue/keep my fingers from continuing on the keyboard...

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Cognitive_Squeeze
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Cognitive_Squeeze »

playtothebeat wrote:
Tico_75 wrote:
flyingbison wrote:
Tico_75 wrote: Many people ignore the expense of having two working parents while paying daycare and it's associated costs, and the quality of life associated with that hectic lifestyle. Some people may be better off going to one single salary, whether the stay-at-home parent is male or female is irrelevant.
Many people ignore the benefits (beyond salary) of two working parents, as well. But in the end, it's rarely just a financial decision.
It's not about money and professional development. I don't know if there are any benefits (of two working parents) that can't also be accomplished - and surpassed - by having a stay-at-home parent. Perhaps, you can illustrate.
I'd argue that if you have two working parents, you:
- develop a sense of independence and not reliance on your parents
- develop social skills faster, since you're surrounded by your own peers (i.e. other kids) from a very early age (my son was in daycare starting at 3 months, and loves going there every day now as an almost 2-yr old)

Ultimately, I don't think there is a "right" or "wrong" answer about having a stay at home parent or two working parents. A lot of it is cultural, financial, and personal choice.

FYI, this is an interesting article:
http://money.cnn.com/2015/06/15/news/ec ... ard-study/
There are great working parents, and bad ones. The same applies to stay-at-home ones. People get used to their own routine and reality. If the family can afford it great, if not there is not much choice.

Independence and social skills are achieved by exposure and it is about parenting skills. My spouse takes parts on meetups and other social events where children interact, fight, play, laugh, and cry. We also have cousins of similar ages; we have a very close family. I am not convinced these skills are achieved faster if they go to daycare, I tend to think that is not the case, but I don't worry about it.

As the article indicates, it is very unfortunate the vast majority see it like this ""My mom didn't really work, she just helped out". That's not our M.O.

Either way, children are expensive, there is no "right or wrong", as you indicated -, and all we can do is to love our kids and do what we think is the best for them, that's it. The most important thing we can do is to love them.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

texanbybirth wrote:I've also never met a one-working parent family that wasn't doing it inspite of the money. None of them say "oh we have plenty of money, all is perfect". Yet, none of them say they would return to work.
As Rodc says, one might as well debate politics or religion, but I wanted to say that NJ might be different from TX.

When I became a SAHD, the money was a consideration. However, we were surprised that my wife's income, once freed from the weight that many mothers who work outside the home seem to have pressing on them, easily surpassed what had been hers+mine+expected-increases.

We do say "oh, we have plenty of money, all is perfect." :sharebeer Perfect might be pushing it, but it's true in terms of our family running efficiently, our portfolios are in good shape, our budget is not a problem, etc.
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Texanbybirth
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Texanbybirth »

TomatoTomahto wrote:
texanbybirth wrote:I've also never met a one-working parent family that wasn't doing it inspite of the money. None of them say "oh we have plenty of money, all is perfect". Yet, none of them say they would return to work.
As Rodc says, one might as well debate politics or religion, but I wanted to say that NJ might be different from TX.
That's fair, but I will note that my exposure isn't limited to one state. As you said, it's a non-provable point and I should have probably refrained from getting into it.
When I became a SAHD, the money was a consideration. However, we were surprised that my wife's income, once freed from the weight that many mothers who work outside the home seem to have pressing on them, easily surpassed what had been hers+mine+expected-increases.

We do say "oh, we have plenty of money, all is perfect." :sharebeer Perfect might be pushing it, but it's true in terms of our family running efficiently, our portfolios are in good shape, our budget is not a problem, etc.
I guess I could have worded that better, but kudos to you and your wife. It sounds like y'all are where we'd like to be here soon. There is an art/non-tangible to being content with what you have, of course. :sharebeer
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Cognitive_Squeeze
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by Cognitive_Squeeze »

one might as well debate politics or religion
+1

But, but, but... I have none of those and I don't bother to debate them either (sarcasm smiley goes here, whatever that is)
It's a valid point.

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DDMP20
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by DDMP20 »

My wife is a nurse so she has a very flexible schedule. She's been working Monday, Fri, Sat and Sun for awhile now and this has allowed us to minimize daycare costs by sending our two kids only two days a week. It's still almost $800 a month though.

I can definitely see the benefit to my children's social and cognitive skills in having them attend daycare. However I don't think that the choice not send your kids to daycare in favor of one stay at home parents make one a bad parent. We are without a doubt doing it this way primarily for financial reasons. Every family's situation is unique and the most important thing is spending time with your children and taking an active interest in their lives and upbringing. We should all try to be more respectful of families that do things differently from our own.

The thing that really makes me angry though is when people that have no children want to lecture me on raising children. Oh you babysat your five year old niece a dozen times so now you're going to tell me how kids ought to be raised? I don't think so!
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voorgren
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by voorgren »

We have an 8 year old kid, goes to public school.

Cost is about $500 a month. Monthly breaks down to:
$280 is Kumon, reading & math subjects (we're in California I think fees are more $)
$110 is martial arts membership
$ 25 is climbing gym membership
$ 85 is estimated monthly cost of gas/transportation

We don't count food in the above budget since kid eats what we eat and doesn't have special dietary restrictions that can rock the budget.
My spouse chose to be primary caretaker, which let us save on daycare. Otherwise she'd need to get a full time job to make daycare worth what we'll pay for. She planned her career activities around this primary role, but I have coworkers who won't be happy not returning to work full time. Families are different and people are different, not everyone have the financial means or emotional/physical reserves to stay home full time!
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by GoldenFinch »

livesoft wrote:
GoldenFinch wrote:
HomerJ wrote:I have a 13-year old son.... He eats more than everyone else in the house combined.
We have two teenage sons. If someone had told me years ago how much they would be eating and how much it would cost, I never would have believed them. Their diets are currently our largest expense. :shock:
We had about a dozen 20-year-olds in the house the other night. We had no food, so it didn't cost us anything. They all had "apps" and food appeared at the front door. It was delicious and didn't cost me anything.
I like this strategy! No food in the house, kids bring their friends over, apps pop out, delicious food shows up at the front door. I will try this very clever plan :twisted: this weekend.
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

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livesoft wrote:
Rodc wrote:As a former teenage boy I remember how this works. At about age 20 I kept a diet log for a couple of months just for grins. At 150 lbs was eating 5000 calories a day. When we went out to eat I would order two dinners and four glasses of milk.
But you probably slept through both breakfast and lunch time. :)

I must've been easy on my parents. As a 16-year-old, I worked >40-hours in week in a small pizza/sub place. We could eat all we wanted. Since I worked from 4 pm to closing, I only ate supper at home on Sundays.
Okay, Livesoft, this is another great idea! I'm telling my boys no more lifeguard jobs, unless they work at a pizza place directly afterward so they can eat all of the pizzas they mess up! :beer
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

Post by livesoft »

GoldenFinch wrote:I like this strategy! No food in the house, kids bring their friends over, apps pop out, delicious food shows up at the front door. I will try this very clever plan :twisted: this weekend.
There is a downside: You have to listen to loud and vulgar rap music until 2 am in the morning.
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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

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Re: How much do your children cost per month?

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