Monday, July 09, 2007

Cost of Children...

Now we're getting really serious about children. I think we'll start trying to conceive at the end of the year. After all I was just called "old" by my mom! I'm going to be an "older" mom and I'm not even 30.

Well what are some costs? Well our medical premiums will go up. Instead of paying $32 every two weeks we'll be paying $55 every two weeks. That's a difference of $23 x 26 = $598/year. Not too bad. But I can't estimate what our co-pays will be because it will be dependent on the amount of times we go to the doctor but it's $10 co-pay to anyone who knows.

Second cost daycare. Will we spring for it? I doubt it, I'm thinking I'll work on my thesis stuff at nights if allowed and if not well I figure my parents and in-laws will be living with us for a bit. I don't plan on working once I'm done so we won't pay for childcare, unless I get a cushy night job (not out of the question).

Third things for the baby. Well since I've learned about couponing, I figure I'll be able to save a lot of money on diapers, potentially making it free or close to free. I know I should use clothe diapers but I'm not sure I'm up to the challenge (and DH refuses). Now how much does onesies costs? I'll say $3/each and I'm buying 30 = $90.

A couple of big ticket items will be the car seat, bassinet, and stroller. I'll estimate $500 for a car seat/stroller combo, and $100 for the bassinet. Are we missing anything I guess I might get the rest of the stuff used.

I posted on savingadvice.com today about the cost of children, and interestingly everyone there seems to think kids are really expensive. They doubted that anyone with 3 kids could be making it on the median salary of $45k/year. Yet on the baby board I visit a ton of families which are large are making it on that much or less a year. Are they really suffering? Do they really not have adequate medical, vision, dental care?

I am confounded whether kids are expensive or not. I used to think they are and still do in some ways. Like my lost wages. But in material goods and provisions, I now believe they are not expensive. I also believe that many people consider things like single bedrooms, cell phones, cars, college necessities when in reality they are luxuries.

So what is the real cost of kids? Are they really materially expensive? Of course they are expensive in terms of wages lost, less savings, etc. But do we really need to buy all these expensive items?

3 comments:

MS said...

Best of luck on your expansion plans. Don't worry about being an older mom, you aren't old at all - 30 is the new 20.

As far as cost goes, a lot will depend on needs versus wants. There are any number of shiny things that every new parent *must* have, but don't really need. We were hardly roughing it, but we never had a bassinet, wipe warmer, changing table, etc. I would look for used versions of everything. Baby equipment always seem to show up in garage sales.

Ongoing costs will be harder to avoid.

-If you are planning on using formula, that can add up pretty quickly.

-You mentioned Diapers, plan on using several per day.

-The baby will outgrow clothes pretty quickly (I wouldn't buy 30 of anything), but there's always someone with a slightly older kid trying to get rid of their old clothes.

-You may have the urge to photograph every moment of the baby's first year. If you already have a good digital camera, you're golden. If not, that may be another cost.

Living Almost Large said...

Coupon shopping board I visit has a lot of people buying diapers super cheap or free for disposables. That makes it more palatable. For clothes I guess used is fine, I'm not picky. But we don't have many friends with kids who are young.

CreditGirl said...

it all depends on how well you can stratch a buck. And it depends how you will raise your child. For example, diapers. Only infants really need them. Toddlers can be easily trained to use a pot.