Do you track expenses for your kids? Where do you draw the line for things that are expensive but they really, really want to do (if you can afford them but require compromises elsewhere)? If you have older kids, did the expenses get worse?
Kids are cute, but they are expensive! How expensive for us? Time to find out.
Ending private pre-school helped tremendously, financially speaking. That said, as kids get older they eat more, get pickier on clothes, often have more expensive interests and, they may even need car insurance from you one day.
In tracking kid costs, I don’t even get into extra travel, cost of extra car, medical and life insurance, extra housing space and utilities, etc. I am focused on direct expenses.
I don’t have much detail for previous years so let me start here, at the end of 2017, when kids are 6 and 8 respectively, healthy and in public school with no after care.
2017 (Two) Kid Expenses
|Tae Kwan Do||$1,400|
|Clothes and Shoes||$400|
I have a very hard time saying no to things they really seem to love, especially sports and experiences as my own parents spent a fortune on my professional athletic career. If this required us to go into debt or give up something that was a key life priority, I would then draw a stricter line. For now, we can do with some minor compromises as we are incredibly lucky to have such level of income and expenses to play with AND, the very reason I want to have money in the first place is to be able to have more experiences for me and my loved ones so I never want money itself to be the goal.
I thought our kids expenses would go down in 2018 as we finished up swim classes, and my son is about to hit TKD Black Belt. Unfortunately (but happily), they have decided to completely and obsessively fall in love with horseback riding, and that does not come cheap. Eek.
In order to fund this and still meet our reduced overall expenses goal for 2018, we will have to trim our travel budget by $4k in 2018 (we all made the decision together and they understand the compromise, mainly kid travel will be affected) and reduce personal and other odd expenses, mainly for the adults, kid clothes and Christmas presents allowance (about $2k worth).
We are willing to make this change at least one more year, see how much longer their love for horses last and what else they decided to try out. We will adapt accordingly after that.
2018 (Two) Kid Expenses
|Tae Kwan Do||$600|
|Entertainment & Other||$400|
|Clothes & Shoes||$260|