WRAL SmartShopper

WRAL SmartShopper

Thursday thoughts: Cost of raising a child has gone up how much?!

Posted May 10, 2012

If you are thinking of having children or are considering increasing the number of kids you already have, you definitely want to read these statistics about how much those little cuties cost in the long run! The numbers are staggering!

According to a recent article from CNBC HERE, the cost of raising a child through the age of 17 has gone up 25% in the last 10 years! My youngest child was born 10 years ago and that number is shocking to me!  Apparently, the two main factors influencing the increase are medical and grocery costs. No surprise there.

What is most disturbing is the actual number the article indicates parents can expect to pay per child, not including college and the cost of labor and delivery: $227,000!  If you adjust for inflation, that number shoots to $287,000!

The author goes on to suggest a number of strategies to help you better prepare financially for your little bundle of joy.  Some of the obvious suggestions include a thorough review of your finances before the baby is born and an adjustment in your standard of living to better live within your means. As they get older, not showering them with every new digital device or name brand pair of jeans in their teen years will help keep that HUGE number in check as well. The advice is sound and worth reading if you are wondering what steps to take before your little comes into the world.

What steps have you all taken to keep the costs of raising kids down? Most of you are couponers, but what other strategies have you used? Did you use cloth diapers, make your own baby food, cut out cable,  vacations, restaurants, etc. so you could be a stay-at-home parent? What about with older kids? Do they pay for their own name brand clothing and digital devices? Do you shop at resale stores?

Please share the money-saving strategies that have worked for you when it comes to raising kids!




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  • couponsarefoundmoney May 11, 2012

    My "little ones" are in their mid 20's now but we had decided before we had children that I would be a SAHM. That meant sacrifice and tight budgeting due to the area of the country we were living in had a very high cost of living.

    We didn't keep up with the Jones' as a result. We didn't have the newest cars, we didn't take cruises, we didn't have luxury vacations etc. BUT, we were content with that!

    I had started couponing years before having our children. I also bought many of their toys and clothes at yard sales.

    I sewed many of the clothes for both son and daughter, daughter up until she hit middle school and wanted Limited Too :)

    Priorities and how/where you spend is the difference between having enough and making do.

  • RaleighRocks May 11, 2012

    Johnny Mercer's?

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper May 11, 2012

    Nope. :-) It is on the NC coast, though.

    I took this picture years ago when we went to visit my mother-in-law.

    Hint: Had to be completely rebuilt after hurricane.

  • thekeslings May 11, 2012

    Is it Sunset Beach?

  • Faye Prosser - Smart Shopper May 11, 2012

    Thanks to all of you for sharing your frugal living tips! Great ideas!

    Can anyone name the NC pier in the picture above?

  • thekeslings May 10, 2012

    I breastfed and made all of little man's food. I would just puree whatever we were having for dinner (apples, parsnips, broccoli, etc.). I bought a processor from One Step Ahead (I pulled it out of the cabinet but I don't see a name.) It was the best $20 I ever spent. At first I would give him stuff without seasoning but because he was a nursed baby he preferred spicy foods like his mom. Soon enough because he was on my lap he would just eat what we were eating. That also helped him to not be a picky eater. I love hand me downs (I didn't at first) but now I think it's awesome when a friend gives me a box of gently used clothing. Sometimes I don't have to do any shopping for a year!! :)

  • stephlw May 10, 2012

    My friends & I get into arguments all the time -- but I still buy stuff at Gymboree & Gap when it is on clearance. I got the cutest skirts, shirts, and pants last week for $2-4. You have to hit the sales right and have coupons, but you can still get high quality clothes that are sometimes cheaper than the consignment store! Toys -- we do toy swaps with friends where toys are rotated between houses.

    As far as food -- coupons of course and we make lunches. When we go on trips, we take snacks and drinks so we don't have to buy anything while we are gone.

    College -- Upromise right now is a way we are putting a little bit away while they are young. It is not a lot, but it is feasible for the time being. We also ask presents to be checks or money so they have to put some in savings. They are allowed to spend a fraction but the rest has to go away for when they are older.

  • pss3 May 10, 2012

    I can't stress enough the savings of the big consignment sales like Kids Exchange. I have bought nearly everything for my 18 month old son at the sales and he is dressed everyday in stylish clothes and has everything he needs and quite a few of his wants. Then when he outgrows it, I sell it back and buy the next size or stage.

    I do dread when he gets old enough to want "new" stuff but I plan on showing him how much further his money can go at consignment sales. Notice I said "his" money because he will be responsible for earning spending money thru chores and household jobs.

  • marys1521 May 10, 2012

    When the kids are teens, the best way to save money is to avoid the mall at all costs! Do NOT take them there!!!!
    I also buy some of their tees, jeans, sweatshirts and shorts from Good Will and don't tell them that is where they came from until they tell me how much they like it! Teens can be very clothes snobby!!!

  • marybethwright06 May 10, 2012

    I got my kids for 1/2 off.