The cost of raising kids

On a warm summer day, we were sitting on the sidewalk with the other moms, talking about having kids. And how many kids is manageable financially. Many parents I know took their kids to private kindergartens and private schools, which cost more money than we spend on a monthly basis. 

When we paid off our debt, that gave us a lot of flexibility and confidence to adopt, to choose projects we believe in, to travel, and to not stress about money. But we haven’t been strongly motivated to make  more money either. 

So about the cost of raising kids. And what do people take into consideration when thinking about expanding their family. Through birth or adoption. 

I heard a phrase growing up from large families: where 5 eat, one more can also eat. Where 10 eat, one more can also eat. But it is only about food? What about intellectual nourishment? What about emotional availability from the parents? Some parents have incredible capacity and are super organized. Others rely on the older kids to help raise the younger. 

Both our daughters joined us when they were three. We didn’t buy formula or diapers. I often think about how really clueless we are about that huge expense.

When we travel we spend double the amount. That’s the most evident cost increase for us.

Both my daughters are grateful for a new clothing item here and there, and I hope their light heart will keep this way. I hope I have the wisdom to not deprive them unnecessarily and leave that longing for a nice dress or shoes. I spent huge amounts of money as a young adult , from my own salary, to buy comfortable shoes, because my feet hurt as a kid, and I thought the problem were my big feet. Not true. The problem was the cheap shoes. 

Talking with my all neighbors, we all seem to have two kids, who are well stocked with all the toys, and fun clothes, and active gear, yet we don’t have to spend a lot of money to raise kids. They eat what we eat. Sleep where we sleep.

I read a wise summary of the 5 things your kids will carry with them into adulthood

  1.   How you speak about their father.
  2.   Your attitude regarding hospitality.
  3.   An overall feeling of abundance or scarcity.
  4.   A menu of comfort foods.
  5.   A baseline for all future relationships.