What Kids Cost

Inside of a classroom with back to school on the chalkboard

image credit: Good Search

57% of families with kids under the age of 18 have two working parents. Instead of seeing it as a double edge sword, see the good that comes out of it. The cost of back to school shopping this year—according to National Retail Federation, averaged $604. Approximate break down of: Clothing $200, Supplies $90, Shoes $100, Electronic Devices $200. From that stand point, two working parents is wonderful.

Sometimes, even with two people pulling in paychecks, it’s hard to feel like it’s worth it. When is date night? It doesn’t have to be an expensive night out. It can even be stay at home and use the good silverware and candles, or decorate the table, or a room for a change of atmosphere instead of going out.

Meet for a picnic lunch if you work near each other. I used to work with a couple who would always bring real plates and silverware, and homemade leftovers for lunch all packed in their picnic basket. They made leftovers seem like a fancy meal, but it was easy, and didn’t cost them anything extra.

Are you trying to teach teens about money? Give them an idea of what it cost to raise kids, especially if you’re not wanting to be the Saturday night babysitter, or in the position to be the daycare. They may hear you say, “That’s expensive!” Or “We don’t have that kind of money” but your actions may or may not match your words, especially when push comes to shove. I’ve known parents who become baby sitter, and buy food the the new couple starting a family. If you don’t want that to be you talk about the expense of teens having kids, and how it adversely effects so many involved.

Sit down with them and talk about the cost of raising a baby from pregnancy through first year $4,294.; Monthly cost to feed a family of four $1,014.; Average annual cost of child care for a 4-year-old in child care center $7,380.; Cost of raising a child born in 2010 until the age 18 (college not included) $226,920.; Annual tuition and fees at a public university (as of 2011) $8,240.

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