Putting the Stereotypical Notion of a Tightwad on its Tush

It Can’t Be That Expensive

Types of Fire ExtinguishersImage by sarflondondunc via Flickr

by Andi B.

Due to a personal baby scare last month, the cost of raising kids has been on my mind. Last year, the results were astounding. A middle income family could be expected to pay a little over $286,000 from birth to “outta my house.” A high income family (over $98,000 before taxes) should expect to shell out over $475,000. This does not register for me.

First of all, I don’t see at any point why the child costs more based on your income. That sounds like “childstyle inflation” to me. The child doesn’t cost more because Nordstrom’s Rack is beneath you.

Now some of this may sound snarky because I am not a mom, so I asked the person who I go to when I have a frugal parenting question…my mom, because I know my folks loved me, but they didn’t quarter of a million dollars love me.

My mother reminded me that many expenses add up: food, clothes, field trips, and more. However, she also said that the amount of money spent on those items can be a matter of choice. For example, when kids are having rapid growth spurts it makes sense to buy clothes secondhand.

So I’m writing a baby emergency plan, and no, this has nothing to do with Dave Ramsey. This is a straight up “pull in case of baby” fire drill. Diapers, clothes, food, field trips, daycare, music lessons. Anything and everything I can plan on, I’m going to. My poor husband has no idea what’s about to hit him.

And don’t try to steal “childstyle inflation.” You know it’s awesome.

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One Response to It Can’t Be That Expensive

  1. Your mom is right that the cost for children is based on choice. We cloth diaper, buy used clothes and items at garage sales, do without some of the new "gadgets" and save a lot of money. However, money does add up when little ones come along. Food, gas, energy, water, trash costs all increase. You can recoup some of those costs buy selling what was used already (toys, clothes, furniture, even cloth diapers) and being smart about purchases and uses. The fact still remains that the more people you add to your household- the more you are going to spend- for everything.

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