Stay at Home Moms

Mom's with toddlers and up...shed some light.

Don't get me wrong. I'm NOT saying children are cheap by any means. But so far I've been shocked at how little I've noticed a difference in our budget.

DH and I bought all our baby supplies ourselves (no shower and actually zero gifts besides newborn outfits). I had planned to cloth diaper, but never did so we've been buying disposables (I stock up when I find a sale and have coupons). I planned to BF but had to stop after only 6 weeks (so now obviously buy baby food). I make my own baby food. I don't believe in having a massive amount of clothes since he grows so fast. We probably only have 5-7 outfits right now.

So I guess my question is...do the expenses get worse from here (thinking ages 1-6ish)? Everyone kept telling us "you'll be broke when you have kids". I'm not seeing how DS is making much of a dent. Obviously I know he'll start growing and eating more (but we already throw out lots of left overs). 

I know when they're older it'll get much more expensive (sports, clothing styles, etc). 

 

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Re: Mom's with toddlers and up...shed some light.

  • I have a 3 year old and a new baby. My toddler has just started costing us money-- she outgrows clothes so quickly but we offset that by shopping consignment and grandma gifts. The biggest new expense is preschool tuition and any activity we want to get her into. Don't get me wrong... We aren't about over scheduling her. But she has been asking to do a dance class. Even one class can be pricey. 

    So that's where I've been noticing it. 

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  • jw87jw87 member
    DS is three and the kid is cheap, lol. 

    I mean he eats what we eat now so no formula and he's potty trained now so no diapers.

    I buy his clothes second hand normally and the most expensive things I buy new are socks, shoes and underwear.

    We do swimming lessons/sports and other activities but they usually last several weeks and the prices are not bad. 

    That being said, I know in HS my parents had to pay like $100 for my basketball shoes alone, etc. so then I know it will get super expensive, but right now.... through elementary I don't expect DS to be ridiculously expensive. 

    Edit: And since he's older he doesn't grow as fast so clothes last longer than the baby stage. 
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  • My children are 11 & 9 years old.  Personally children are as expensive as you make them.  If you want to buy them every toy on the market and give them a gigantic wardrobe every season then of course you will be broke(I know people like this).  My children are allowed to join one activity at a time.  They have enough clothes to get them through a week.  They usually don't get a new gaming system until 1 to 2 years after it's been out so the prices have dropped by then too. 
  • Honestly, I think we started saving so much money when I got pregnant by not going out that the additional costs of a kid didn't even phase us.  I am totally serious.  Not going out 4-5 nights a week really opens the budget.

    All of that being said, now that he eats "people" food, our grocery bill has grown for sure.  and he goes through phases where he only wears an outfit once he is growing so fast. 

    Baby Numbers 11.8.10 The Sequel on or around 10.13.12
  • My oldest will be 5 tomorrow.  Im still buying clothes and shoes every 4-6 months or so.  He grows fast, IMO.  And bigger clothes cost more money.  He's in big boy clothes now, size 7 and 8s.   Now that he's in school (did public pre-k last year) there are expenses there too.  School supplies, pictures, parties, ect.  Of course all of these things can be done inexpensively, but they add up too.  Optional activities can be pricey.  All he does is dance for free at the studio I work for, but we still have to pay for shoes, costumes, pictures, ect.  I'm sure I've spent $300+ just on the extras (which go along with any sport or activity).  He eats just as much or more than I do.

     I think it may start affecting your budget once they get to school age.... 

     

    Adrian 7.6.07 - ADHD, Disruptive Behavior Disorder, Learning Disability-NOS
    Cam 6.6.10 - Autism, Global Developmental Delay, Mixed Receptive/Expressive Communication Disorder
  • Right now our biggest expense for DD is her preschool. We pay $380 a month, which in our area is a mid-priced school. 

    I guess in a round about way we've payed more $ for things like bigger cars, and a bigger house.  We might not have made those upgrades had we not had kids. Also we like to travel and eventually it's going to cost a lot more to take 3 additional people with us. 

    Married 07.07.07. Mom to 3: Ruby 11/08 and Oliver & Austin 12/11
  • As they get older, their expenses get larger. Sports/activities/preschool/memberships etc.. all starts to add up. Sure, they aren't necessities, but it's nice for experiences. 
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  • I agree with others that activities are the most expensive. DD will do preschool in the fall, which will be our big expense for her. I shop clearance and consignment for her clothes, which saves a lot. We still have both girls in diapers, which is probably the next biggest expense. DD2 is pretty cheap since she's BFing and needed very few clothing items.
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  • They do tend to get more expensive as they get older but it's offset by other costs going down.  You don't have to buy diapers (not at that stage yet but can't wait lol), they eat the same food as you, not going through clothes as fast.  My girls are both going to preschool this fall so that will get pricey, starting swim lessons, and possibly dance lessons for my oldest.  The thing that drains our budget is the fact that both my girls have hypotonia so have to have a lot of extras like ankle braces, a certain type of sneaker (never the cheap one of course), be in activities that build muscles, and have to go to preschool to help with their global delays caused by their gross motor delays.  Honestly if they were normally developing I don't think they would be that expensive.  It's all about what you choose to spend.
  • ds is 5 and i actually think its a litte cheaper.. you wont have to buy diapers and wipes and clothes as often. When you make your meals they can eat that you dont have to buy it separate like formula and baby food.. but i really havent noticed a difference in having dd and ds..

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  • memo9memo9
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    I have been wondering this too!  I BF and CD so she barely puts a dent in our budget.  Our biggest expensive for her has been insurance co pays.
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  • I think it depends on your family.  For us, it is starting at age 3 to get a lot more expensive.  She takes dance ($50 a month + Registration/Recital Fees = $700 a year), Swim Lessons ($70 a month during spring and summer = $350 a year), Gymnastics during the Fall and Winter($50 a month + Registration Fees = $350 a year), Soccer (Six Week Session is $75), Montessori Preschool for 3 half-days = $500 per month ($5,000 per year).  In addition, we have memberships to the zoo, museum, and aquarium ($400 per year).  Our Mom's group also does a lot of outings that cost money and starting at 3 she is no longer free for most activities.

    Also, clothing becomes more expensive.  I used to be able to have her wear my nieces' hand me downs, but most look older and more worn since children stay at the same size for longer at this point and are more rough on clothing.  She now requires a ticket to most places (sporting events, amusement parks, movie theater) and has opinions on what she eats, meaning that she prefers to order her own meal at restaurants. 

    We are also getting to the point where we want to take her on more family vacations and outings due to her age.  Again, not necessary, but another expense to think about.

  • My kids are older, 9 and 10 and they cost a ton!!  They are both into year around travel sports and between the both of them we spent every bit of 9k last year with equipment, fees and travel expenses.  This LO probably won't come close to that (hope not anyway!).  When the school year ended I decided I wouldn't be returning to work so definitely going to be watching the budget. Originally I got a job at their school to pay for that kind of stuff. 
  • I think it's more expensive as they get older. They eat more food, wear "more/bigger" clothing, have more activities, etc.

    Sure, you can give hand me downs to a 4 or 5 year old, but try doing that with a 12 year old. Not so easy. Also, little kid clothing costs less than bigger kid clothing.

    And yes, I KNOW that kids are as expensive as you make them, but unless you are not going to have your child participate in anything and only do free stuff, everything costs money. Even public schools have fundraisers constantly and activities that cost money.......

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
  • image HarrietNJMommy:

    I think it's more expensive as they get older. They eat more food, wear "more/bigger" clothing, have more activities, etc.

    Sure, you can give hand me downs to a 4 or 5 year old, but try doing that with a 12 year old. Not so easy. Also, little kid clothing costs less than bigger kid clothing.

    And yes, I KNOW that kids are as expensive as you make them, but unless you are not going to have your child participate in anything and only do free stuff, everything costs money. Even public schools have fundraisers constantly and activities that cost money.......

    I agree with this and PPs talking about dance and activities, etc..

    I also think there are added medical and such expenses that can add up a lot. Seeing a specialist = $50 copay. Sick visits, $25. And they get sick a lot more once they start school! We had one year where both girls were sick (DD1 has pneumonia and DD2 had RSV). I was at the pedi daily 10 days in a row for one or both girls for breathing treatments and such. That adds up.

    DD1 now has to wear glasses and go to vision therapy. Of course our insurance doesn't cover any of that. $350+ for her bifocals and 4K for 6 months of vision therapy. There's some more expense for ya ;)

    ETA: also things like going on family vacations, dinners out, etc...that you may not want to do when they're younger but might want to do as they get older. Obviously not a necessity, but it does add up.

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  • image bim38106:

    DD1 now has to wear glasses and go to vision therapy. Of course our insurance doesn't cover any of that. $350+ for her bifocals and 4K for 6 months of vision therapy. There's some more expense for ya ;)

    Yeah, DS and DD#1 started wearing glasses this year. DS's glasses are $350 per pair. At least DD#1's were only $150 per pair. And now they are both wearing patches every day..........

    Our medical insurance covers all their ophthalmologist visits, but only covers $140 per year for glasses/frames. So, while we do get money back, it's not as much as we spent. 

    image Mommy to Barbara 11/8/05, Elisabeth 5/13/07, Loukas 12/23/08 and Lazarus 09/25/12
  • So far for us the biggest expense about getting older has been keeping him busy. We didn't buy toys when he was younger. We got a few as gifts and then used household objects for him to explore. Now we spend a lot more on toys, craft supplies etc because I have to have a way to keep him occupied so he doesn't destroy the house (and of course so he's happy and learning and all that). We also spend money on activities/memberships that we wouldn't have bothered with when he was a baby. 

    However, I just started staying home so the amount we're spending on toys etc is nothing compared to what we were spending on day care. 

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  • I definitely think babies are cheap and as they get older they are more expensive.  No one is giving you cute outfits anymore and they are growing like weeds.  Every season I have to buy clothes and shoes

    Plus as others have mentioned, DS is starting pre-k this year and is doing a week-long summer camp.  That kind of stuff is only going to build as he gets older and it isn't cheap when you add it up.  Next year it will be DD

    Also, vacations are more expensive with older kids.  I am also spending more on food now and making more expensive but healthier choices (organic milk, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef) because of the kids

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  • My kids are a bit older and I have to say we do spend quite a bit of money on them every month :) Things like preschool, summer camp, music lessons, sports, college savings, food, clothing, ect. add up.
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  • image HarrietNJMommy:

    I think it's more expensive as they get older. They eat more food, wear "more/bigger" clothing, have more activities, etc.

    Sure, you can give hand me downs to a 4 or 5 year old, but try doing that with a 12 year old. Not so easy. Also, little kid clothing costs less than bigger kid clothing.

    And yes, I KNOW that kids are as expensive as you make them, but unless you are not going to have your child participate in anything and only do free stuff, everything costs money. Even public schools have fundraisers constantly and activities that cost money.......

    I agree it gets more expensive. I also agree it depends a lot on what you choose to do with your kids. My kids do tons of activities, plus preschool, camps and memberships. 
    Mom to Emma 9/4/06 and Jackson 11/24/08 M/C Dec 11 and M/C twins feb 2012. BFP Thanksgiving! EDD Aug 4, 2013 M/C at 5 weeks.
  • DD is 3. We spend about an extra $200/month on food and toys for her. I swear she is way more expensive now than as a baby. Coloring books, stickers and markers cost me about $30 a month alone at the dollar store lol!

    We also put 100/month into her savings account. Then at birthdays and Holidays a lump sum, so maybe $200/month for total savings.

    Activities run : $45/month for playschool and $50 for dance.

    Zoo membership was $100/year. I also buy monthly passes for a play house coffee place she loves, that is $40/month.

    So altogether about $550/month maybe. We would easily spend this on eating out and concerts etc swhen childless so I don't mind.

    Not looking forward to sports. My friends DD is a goalie, they spend $7000/year on that alone!

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    Olivia Kate is almost 4!
    Diagnosed with autism this year and doing great!
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