Raising Kids Is Cheaper Than You Think
My husband reads a lot, especially about economics, politics and kids. He showed me this article posted on Canadian Business.com. It is titled “What’s it cost to raise a child? Less than you think, Fraser study suggests”. This posts and its related study had us both saying ‘wow’. Raising Kids Is Cheaper Than You Think
We are currently raising 5 children. 4 of ‘our own’ and 1 foster child. It instantly came into mind ‘how could it possibly cost less to raise a child than we think?’
We cloth diaper, breastfeed (when possible), use hand-me-downs, coupon and try to cut corners when we can. But still, kids are expensive. Even their basic needs.
The Cost of Raising a Child
The study quotes that it is possible to raise a child on $3000-$4000 a year if parents only include ‘necessary expenses’ and are careful with their dollars.
This idea boggles my mind. As a cloth diapering advocate, I can say that using disposable diapers, which most people don’t consider a luxury, will cost $800-$1000+ a year for a baby. If you are unable to breastfeed (as we don’t with our foster babies), formula costs about $1000-$2000 a year (or more for babies with sensitive needs). Right there, those two things are what the Fraser institute thinks we can raise a child with.
What is a “Normal” Expense?
So where do clothes, heat, extra water used, laundry detergent, gas to drive to doctor’s appointments, etc fit in? I know that babies only need diapers and formula for so long, but these ‘baby’ expenses soon turn into ‘toddler’ expenses, including shoes (their feet never stop growing), then ‘preschooler’ expenses, how many pairs of pants can he ruin the knees of in 1 year? Then we get into the school ages. Boy oh boy. They eat and eat, waste food, “it has ‘things’ in it” (which in our house usually means it’s healthy). They need school supplies, hair cuts (okay, I suppose I could do this on my own…) and bicycles, even second hand, these things aren’t cheap and are not what I consider a luxury.
I believe that there is a huge difference between keeping a child alive and preparing them for the future. Perhaps I could get the books my oldest son reads from the library and not buy the lego that my second son loves to use to create masterpieces (and develop his fine motor skills). Taekwondo and soccer, swimming lessons, birthday presents, are they luxuries? I suppose so, but I don’t want to see what this world would look like with the next generation missing out on so many developmentally supportive activities, that yes, cost money.
Perhaps one day, I will cost it all out. For now, I am pretty certain that the 3-4K yearly will barely get us to breakfast.
Thanks for reading this article. Please tell us what you think – did we miss anything? Raising Kids Is Cheaper Than You Think