Affording Parenthood.

$233,610.

According to this article on CNN, that’s around how much it’s going to cost me to raise Addie until she’s 17. Of course this doesn’t include all the fun stuff like college and when my daughter inevitably comes home after that to mooch from me and my wife for a few years until she gets a real job ;). With another baby on the way in April, we’re looking to spend a cool half  million on diapers, formula, clothes, and extracurricular activities on these two little ones.

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winner winner, chicken dinner.

This dad may be cheap, but raising a kid ain’t.

While an article like this might have scared me a few years ago, nowadays I take it with a grain of salt. Our president did call CNN fake news after all. 😉 This number isn’t going to change my approach to parenthood at all. I’m not going to track every single penny for 17 years to see if the costs for my children approach this number. Or am I? 🙂

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Everyone knows that raising children is expensive. For the longest time I didn’t want children because I didn’t know how we would pay for them.

But here’s the thing I didn’t think about when it comes to affording kids – you make it work. 

Here are some of the ways in which we’ve been able to afford parenthood:

Got Better Jobs
While my wife and I had decent jobs before Addie was born, we were a lot more motivated to find an even better job situation that would provide just a little more financial cushion. My wife and I were both fortunate to find new positions that offered better pay and more opportunity to grow in our careers. My current job even has a sweet on-site preschool for Addie. 🙂 I just celebrated my one year anniversary at my current position in which I hope to spend many more years there.

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Got Used Clothes and Toys
It’s a cliche, but yes – kids grow up too fast. And I’m not talking in a sentimental “don’t grow because you’ll always be my baby” type of way. I’m talking about wearing an outfit two or three times before they grow out of it. Happens a lot in the early months. We were fortunate enough to receive a lot of hand me down clothes and toys for both of our kids from friends and family. This saved us from having to shop for Addie every few weeks when she outgrew those shoes she didn’t need because she wasn’t even walking yet. We also bought a lot of items used like toys, diaper pails, and baby swings.

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Side Hustled
While I don’t have a consistent side hustle, I’m always on the look out for ways to save or earn a buck or two.

Some of the ways I hustle:

  • Selling on Craigslist
  • Getting gift cards on Swagbucks
  • Credit Card / Banking Sign Up Bonuses
  • Freelance Writing

Got on a Budget
Yes, I know I talk about budgeting almost every post. But more than anything we’ve done, actually getting on a budget was the most important thing for us in terms of getting our finances in order. Now that we’re on a budget we’re able to save more and better provide a better future for our family.

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budgets and hip hop. my two favorite things.

When we started accounting for every single dollar in our budget, we found ways to cut some expenses

Adjusted Our Lifestyle
When a kid is the center of your world, your priorities change. There’s just some things that are pretty hard to do with a little one. Some of the more expensive activities we don’t get much chance to do these days are:

  • Going to the clubs/bars
  • Going out to restaurants
  • Going out to the movies

While spending $100 going out to the bars on the weekend was a regular occurrence before, now I’d rather spend the night at home with my family.

Affording Parenthood. 
Even though raising Addie can be expensive, I’ve never felt more financially stable in my life until I became her father.  Now that my wife and I have someone that depends on us, it’s given us that extra motivation to get our money right.

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baby brother. soon to be in the budget.

When it comes to our kids, I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure they’re taken care of. I’ll hustle, get a new job (or two), or budget my ass off to provide for our family. While I’m not exactly sure how a second child will affect our finances until he’s born, I’m not worried about it at all. No matter what happens in the future, we’ll find a way to afford our children. 🙂

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25 thoughts on “Affording Parenthood.

  1. I was just thinking about this the other day for a blog post I am planning on writing. I too thought that it was best we wait until we were a little more “financially secure.” And I have come to the same conclusion…I’m the dad, I’ll do what it takes to make sure the family is clothed, fed and has a safe place to call home.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awww, your little ones are adorable! Congrats on the new addition. 🙂
    I’m glad you’re focusing on affordable ways to raise kiddos. Everyone thinks you need the best, newest stuff for your kids, but it’s not true. Most kids are entertained by dirt clods and kitchen spoons–they hardly need the Paw Patrol Action Jungle Playset.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a bit of an anti-gift mentality. While getting stuff is nice, kids really don’t need much. We actually have some toys that Addie received for Christmas that we never opened. She’s happy enough w/ her current toys that adding those would be overkill. I try to hint to people to just donate to Addie’s college fund but she still gets boatloads of toys anyways ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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  3. Congratulations!! Glad things are working out at the new job. I think that number should definitely be taken with a large grain of salt. I think our daughter saves us money because if we were childless we would be getting takeout from CPK and vacationing in Las Vegas a lot. We stopped going to LV once our daughter could read!

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    1. Thanks Jen! Yeah – I don’t take too much stock into that number. It could be $500k for all I’m concerned. It just states the obvious. That kids are REALLY REALLY expensive.

      I agree! Having kids definitely makes you prioritize your spending a lot more. I don’t miss the clubs or bars that much.

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  4. I love that you take this mentality a step further that the kids will fit IN the budget and if it’s not working, then increase your income and decrease your expenses. I have overheard parents talk about how you just make it work with kids, even if that means going in to debt, you do it for your kids. And I think it’s such a cop-out. I love taking responsibility and succeeding financially FOR your family! Good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree it’s a cop out. It’s definitely easier to get into debt and use parenthood as the excuse because – everyone’s in debt right? So it’s normal for a lot of people to feel like they can’t get ahead because they have kids. I get it – kids can get really expensive, but I’m gonna do my all to make sure we don’t get set back financially because we have two kids. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. She is just so gorgeous your family is really beautiful.

    I need to get on a zero based budget. I played with the numbers one time and was astounded and the things we could do and how much money we actually have and how much we could put toward things that actually matter to us — but I’m
    Scared! I’ve been doing it this way for years and I’m afraid to change.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dolores!

      A zero based budget is the only way to go IMO. You’re really able to see what your priorities are once you allocate every single dollar. Change is good! I wasn’t always a budget nerd. But once I started doing it, it felt so good not having to worry about money so much! 🙂

      I’d highly recommend YNAB – it’s the one program that got me on a budget. I wrote a review on Rockstar Finance for it –

      http://rockstarfinance.com/you-need-a-budget-ynab-review/

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  6. As a non-parent, I do worry about the cost when I read stats like that, but when I actually talk to parents, they all say the same thing you did: you figure it out!

    Congrats again on the upcoming Little Vic! Vic 2.0, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep – stats like that make parenthood seem like such a financial burden. But it’s not bad at all. The added expense of having a kid hasn’t put a dent in our finances at all. If anything, it’s made our financial picture a lot better because we pay a lot more attention to our money.

      My wife and I are very fortunate with decent paying jobs. There are people I see that make less and have more kids and are doing perfectly fine. So I don’t think I have any right to complain about how expensive kids are. 🙂

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  7. My wife and I raised three kids through college. Those conventionally quoted costs of kids are way overstated in my opinion. We mostly cooked at home, lived within our means and never noticed them costing much of anything. Even college is free for good students. A 29 or 30 ACT score, which isn’t anything exceptional, got free rides at state schools for all ours. Kids are affordable and well worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great Steve! I hope my kids get free rides too! 🙂

      My family will definitely work to stay within our means and not feel like we have to always keep up with the Joneses with the fancy house and nice cars. We’re humble people. 🙂

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  8. Ha, I just had a guest post that referenced that article as well (http://myfamilyonabudget.com/cost-of-raising-a-child/). Apparently it’s on a lot of people’s minds!

    I love your take on it and how people just make it work. It’s so true. If it were cost prohibitive to have children, we wouldn’t be having them for sure!

    I loved your point about how our priorities change as well. This is so true! Even since becoming a stay at home dad, I’ve found amazing opportunities to bond with my kiddos that I don’t think would have happened otherwise!

    Lastly, congrats on baby #2! What a blessing! I remember being terrified about the cost of the second one. I ended up getting a second job for a little while to help stockpile our savings account to make sure we could get by. It ended up being a little bit of overkill for us, but it did help us get some savings under our belts and make the transition!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Steve! I’ll check it out.

      I’ve taken a bit of a breather (again) from the blog due to getting ready for baby boy. Hopefully I can still somewhat blog after he’s born!

      I would love to be in your position! When I was laid off for a few months last year it was one of the best times of my life. When I got back into work we made a point to save most of my income since we got used to just living on my wife’s. Hopefully this can position us in the future to possibly have my wife be a SAHM.

      That’s awesome you were able to stockpile a lot of savings in preparation for boy #2. I wouldn’t call it overkill, since you’re in a great spot today 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Vic! Having a baby is always a big time and there is a lot of getting ready especially since she will be growing a human while running around after the other! That’s great that you’ve basically learned to live on just her income for now! The more you’re able to cut your lifestyle the easier the jump will be. You just want to be sure it’s manageable once you make the jump!

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  9. Budgeting is such a huge part of the decision of when to become parents. For my wife and I, we were always pretty good with budgeting and saving which has helped out with raising our son. I think that some couples who want kids might put it off until they feel they are better financially but like you said, I think parents will always find a way 🙂

    Like

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