Family Life

The Cost of Having Kids

I am convinced that the cost of raising children in nowhere near what most people say it is. Browsing the internet I stumbled upon a table depicting the cost of raising a child from birth to the time he reaches adulthood in the eyes of the law. The table’s data is a little out dated, it was initially compiled between 1990-1992 and was adjusted to 2001 dollars using the Consumer Price Index, but even using a 2001 purchasing power it still claims that raising kids brings with it a hefty price tag for my family’s income range – $124,800. According to this table, my expenses will grow by an additional $7,000 per year because of the addition to my family that currently grows in the dark, comfy goodness of my wife’s uterus. According to conventional wisdom and modern standards of living I will need to generate an additional income of $580 a month in order to clothe, feed, and provide shelter for the fruit of my loins. People want to tell me that instead of getting a teaming, screaming mass of life and flesh I will be getting a financial sink hole. Pshaw right, and monkey’s might fly out of my butt.

Being pregnant has forced me to come face to face with these numbers that I have always thought were over inflated and a bunch of consumerist nonsense. I have decided it is time to prove the numbers wrong and buck the system of consumption that has our culture viewing parenthood and children as a financial liability. In my effort to make a conquest of parenthood and redeem childhood from the clutches of network advertisers and public television’s gender neutral child programing empire I am going to do what I do best: track every penny that we spend. Take that purple dinosaur man!

From the very beginning of our pregnancy I have counted every single thing that we have made, bought, or has been given to us new in an effort to get a real picture of just what a baby might cost. So far we have spent a total of $29.06. My wife made some pretty cool balls for our baby, the materials were used fabric and pillow stuffing so the cost of these toys is negligible. We bought two packages of baby wipes from Walmart while on sale, the total there was $2.13. The last and final item we bought was a pair of maternity pants that my wife desperately needed as her normal jeans were quickly becoming uncomfortable as the baby expanded its lebensraum. The trip to Target landed us a bill of $26.93.

So over the next six months or so I will be getting the skinny on just how much it will cost to bring a little baby into the world. I will be tracking everything I can possibly think of – from insurance copays to gifted items – to get a true picture of what it costs two kids from middle class families to birth a child in the expensive San Diego. If you are an experienced parent, feel free to mention some of the more interesting things that you have had to spend money on due to raising a child in the comment section below. Even if your not a parent but have a good idea leave a comment too. If you mention it, I will be much more likely to remember to record it when I run across it and that way everyone can benefit from this free and publicly available information.