Kids cost a lot. In fact, they’re super expensive. Having a child will run you about $244,000 from birth to the sweet age of 18 when you can boot them out of your house. Right now you’re thinking “but, there are inexpensive ways to raise children”. You’re right. You can reduce the amount that kids cost by pinching pennies here and there and being smart with your money. However, frugality is no match for the little expenses that will add up and deplete your retirement savings fund:
You thought I meant food they actually eat!? No, no, no. I’m talking about the ridiculous cost of healthy food that gets thrown on the floor, put up their noses, or mushed around into an inedible glob that even the dog won’t touch. Perfectly good food (along with your perfectly good intentions) get scraped up and thrown into the compost.
You can find kids clothes for pretty decent prices at consignment stores or thrift shops. They don’t need to try things on because the size generally corresponds with their age. ‘Tis not the same for us adults. Not only is it damn near impossible to find clothing that fits over those baby making hips and residual baby belly, shopping for clothes with the loved ones in tow is almost as fun as cleaning the inevitable feces off your new white shirt.
You’ll spend approximately $492/month on toilet paper alone. Maybe it’s that they use too much at a time? Maybe it’s that they flush entire rolls? Maybe they eat it? I’m not sure, but there always seems to be a (rather urgent) need for toilet paper in the house.
Toys* cost a frickin’ fortune. For the low price of $44.95 you can provide your child with hours of entertainment. In fact, here’s the breakdown of exactly what fun your child will have:
-Receiving toy: 30 seconds
-Opening box toy is delivered in: 30 seconds – 1 minute (depending on packaging)
-Engagement with toy: 4 minutes, 15 seconds
-Playing with the box that the toy was delivered in while the toy sits in the corner wasting the $9.99 batteries required to make it work:
3 hours, 45 seconds
**Make sure you buy boxes that educational toys come in; it’ll make you feel better about money well spent.
Ever told a 9 year old to go for a short shower? A 5 year old to turn the lights out when they leave a room? A 2 year old not to watch the hours of cartoons you put on for them while you hide out in the laundry room and eat chocolate? (Ok, that one is a bit of a trap.) Your efforts to explain the cost of the bills you’re paying go over their heads while all the heat goes out the door (that they left open, of course).
Coffee and Wine
These are your life lines. The cost is irrelevant, as one simply cannot put a price on your sanity.
Not included in this list of why kids cost so much are things like shelter, food they eat, and clothing. These expenses only cost about $44,000. The other $200,000 should be put aside…for toilet paper.