By the time you have middle schoolers, you sort of wish you could divert all of those gift funds frittered away on onesies and baby dresses (which you donated before the tags every came off) toward the mushrooming costs of raising kids.
According to the most recent study by the US Department of Agriculture, it costs an estimated $233,000 to get one kid from conception to college. “People know there is a cost to raising a child, but they often are encouraged to create families without considering the financial impact,” says Noah Rosenfard, a Florida-based CPA. “Parents want to become grandparents, women want to become mothers, men want to become fathers. It’s in our DNA. I’ve often heard people say, ‘It’s never a good time to have kids, just do it and you’ll figure it out.”
Of course, there are serious caveats around where you live and how you live, but here is a snippet of some of the obvious and not so obvious costs so you can wrap your head around what the next 18 years (times two or three) will run you.
Parenthood by the numbers
A night nurse for one week in New York (not including meals)
Six days at Walt Disney World for a family of four (not including airfare)
That bougie sleep-away camp in Maine
One hour of couples therapy
One year at the Northeast liberal arts college of child’s choosing
ONE TITO’S DIRTY MARTINI
Noah’s tips on saving for baby
Pay yourself first: It’s a mantra you may have heard, but it’s a good one to follow. Have automatic deductions for your retirement savings plan and direct your company to put 5-10% of your net pay into a separate savings account so it never goes into your account used to pay bills.
Capitalize on raises: If you get a raise at work, try your best to save 100% of the newfound money. You lived last year without it. See if you can continue. You’ll thank yourself later.
Diversify your income: Decide if there is a way for you to create a second or third income stream in your house. Can you sell something on Etsy or eBay? Freelance on Fiverr or Upwork? Start your own blog or influencer platform? If you can bring in a few extra dollars each month and put that aside for something special for your family, it will feel very rewarding.