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.
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? 🙂
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.
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.
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.
When we started accounting for every single dollar in our budget, we found ways to cut some expenses
- Cell phones – $160 Verizon to $75 (T-Mobile & Cricket)
- Life Insurance – saved $700/year from switching to Whole Life to Term
- Cable TV – went internet only $40/mo
- Bought Less Crap
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.
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.
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. 🙂