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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
...is it really THAT expensive to go from 1 to 2 children? All the sites I'm looking at make it sound like you have to be a millionaire to afford 1 kid, but they assume you're putting your kid in daycare, formula feeding, and the baby has its own designer nursery decor.<br><br>
I stay at home so the $800-1000 a month on daycare isn't an issue.<br>
I breastfeed = no formula costs. I also don't buy "baby food" and just give Jude what we eat. Our bill hasn't gone up at all since he eats the food that, before, would have gone bad in the fridge instead of being eaten. :p<br>
We use cloth diapers = $60+ saved every month on diapers. I hang them to dry spring - fall to save our energy bill (in winter it takes too long for them to dry because of the cold)<br>
We cosleep = no crib needed.<br>
I've decided on a home birth for our next child = $2000 birth center facility fee eliminated. My midwife charges $200 for a home birth (not covered by insurance) plus prenatal care (80% covered by insurance; it isn't even that much to begin with).<br>
A car seat is the only thing I can think of other than the birth that we'd need to buy. I've saved all his clothes (a lot of it is unisex) and have a bunch of girl clothes, a stroller, a "Jumperoo", and toys and books. Obviously it won't be free but we're so frugal that I can't see having another baby as being a huge burden that will put us out on the street either, which is what a lot of sites make it sound like.<br><br>
So for those who have "been there, done that" in a frugal way, is it really much of a financial wreck going from 1 to 2 kids? What am I missing? Enlighten me! :p
 

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<p>I agree when they're little it's not so bad. We reused just about everything from DS1 to DS2. We cloth diapered, breastfed, etc. so there wasn't a lot that we had to buy on an ongoing basis. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>However...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>There's always the possibility that things won't go according to plan.... That you'd have to formula feed for some reason, or your baby would refuse to cosleep and you'd end up buying a crib, or so on. And then there's the worse thoughts of medical expenses or your spouse losing a job and you have to go back to work. In those cases, yes, a second child would be more expensive.</p>
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<p>Also, I think it's when they're older that kids cost more. I didn't find the baby stages terribly costly. But now that my kids are getting into school, activities, needing things like glasses, braces, everything you buy for them costs more(clothes, toys, etc.), then yes, at those points having a second child is significantly more expensive than having one. </p>
 

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<p>We have gone from 1 child to 3 in the past 2.5 years and honestly it has had very little impact on our finances.  We got pretty much everything we needed with our first and I saved everything so the only thing the second and third kids have needed were carseats.  We use prefolds so they are still working great, we saved all our clothing and we have all boys so that made it even easier.  We have to buy clothes for the oldest when he outgrows things but the younger 2 wear hand me downs with a few new things thrown in there when they need something due to different seasons or just to spruce things up.  I also don't work and breast feed.  Our food bill has gone up slightly since the older 2 are eating real food 3 times a day, but like you a lot of that was the food that would have gone bad in the fridge!  I see it getting more expensive when we have 3 pre-teen/teen boys but that is quite a ways off.</p>
 

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<p>Its the cumulative long term expenses that add up. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>If you are blessed with babies born in the same season and roughly the same size than clothing isn't an issue for a while but otherwise you need to buy 2 winter coats, 2 pairs of boots, etc. Since my son hit 3 I have not been able to hand me down much. He wears out his shoes before he outgrows them, he wears holes in the knees, he can stain a shirt beyond repair. What if your kids are dramatically different sizes? My BFF first child is so much smaller than her second.  Her second could wear very little of the stuff she had kept and since one was a summer and one was a winter there was little crossover</p>
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<p>We just bought 2 bikes, even used they were <img alt="yikes.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yikes.gif"></p>
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<p>So I wouldn't  budget for the first year or so, you need to think long term.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>That said I have never let $ be a deciding factor in the raising of kids.</p>
 
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<p>My two are now 5 and 3 - and honestly I am just now starting to see a financial impact of having two vs. one.  One, you have in lessons for XYZ - cost is 100 a month.  With two, now it is 200 a month.  Twice the equipment to buy, etc.  If one of them wants to do 2 things, then the other ones does too, now you are talking 400 a month kind of thing.  Now that they are both really starting to eat, the 1 lb. package of meat is starting to leave people wanting more, I need to have two sides with dinner where I used to just have one, etc. etc.</p>
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<p>Now that I have to buy both of them a plane ticket (not that we are flying anymore with the new security) going to visit family is starting to be VERY expensive and we will drive instead, but that takes time and DH can not always get it off.  And some of the family lives in Hawaii so it is pretty difficult to drive if we want to visit.</p>
 
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It's not a big deal in the first few years. You re-use your baby stuff, cloth dipes, stroller, changing table, etc. All that is already in place.<br><br>
But speaking as the mother of a 7 and 10 year old, yes, is IS more expensive to have two children. There is no getting around it.<br><br>
There are new shoes (sometimes a few pairs per year, per kid) and field trips. Now we're saving for two kids to go to college, not one. We live frugally, but like to save for a week of nature day camp in the summer. Now it's two kids who go, not one. Music lessons for two add up. Growing boys go through a lot of milk (and other food). Pants often can't be passed down to the little brother anymore after the first kid gets older, because they're too ripped up. We have health insurance, but it doesn't cover everything, and medical expenses for two vs. one are significant.<br><br>
I don't regret having a second child, but I do not at all agree with people who say it's no more expensive to have two or more than one. It isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks ladies. <img alt="notes.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/notes.gif"><br><br>
Of course there are the what ifs but I think if we planned our lives around what ifs we'd never have children or even leave the house. What if Chris had died in Afghanistan? What if I had died during the birth? What if Jude was stillborn?<br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">That said I have never let $ be a deciding factor in the raising of kids.</div>
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This is how I feel. It's my husband who's most concerned about it. When I got pregnant with Jude we technically couldn't afford it but we did it anyway. If we were dirt poor and things weren't looking so good I wouldn't even consider it but we're not and I think we could make it work, which is why I asked to get a realistic idea. <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Thanks everyone for sharing! <img alt="smile.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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<p>I agree with the pp's...</p>
<p> </p>
<p>things do get more expensive as they get older. I have 2 boys, ages 6 and 3. The 3 year old started pre-school and is expressing interest in joining sports. Now that's 2 sets of bats, cleats, etc. The boys were born different seasons. Alot of DS1 pants ended up with holes in the knees. I made shorts out of them, but we live in Washington state...we only need shorts for about 2 months of the year! DS2 is (and has been for about a year in a half) in a phase of refusing to wear anything with buttons...there goes half of the hand me downs. I keep hoping he'll grow out of it, but he seems pretty committed. sigh. DS2 is a big boy with a completely different body shape. DS1 is all legs so we had to buy pants that accommodated that. DS2 is all torso so we have to buy shirts that accommodate that. DS2 is only one size down from DS1 now. Soon they'll be wearing the same size. We joke that DS1 will soon be getting hand me downs from his younger brother!</p>
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<p>You just don't know what you're going to get when you have children. They have their own preferences that you can't plan for until the time comes and they state their preference. DS1 live in a sling/baby Bjorn. DS2 hated carriers. DS1 hated to be swaddled. DS2 loved it (and since neither me or my DH couldn't seem to swaddle properly, we loved those SwaddleMe wraps). And on and on...</p>
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<p> </p>
 

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<p>so far DD (19m) hasn't added too much expense-wise. BUT, it makes life a heck of a lot more complicated, which means that I am much more wishing to spend $ for convenience (and seriously, I am not an indulgent person). Also things like transpo went up right away- we needed a bigger car. Which used more gas. (now we are car-free but I find that I might have to take a bus or cab sometimes if I'm alone with the 2 kids where I might have just walked it otherwise). And in another 5 months (when she is 2) if we travel we need to buy an extra plane ticket. Stuff like that. You need 2 carseats, 2 high chairs, and 2 of more things than you'd think you really NEED (like step-stools, or cool drinking cups) because its not fair (or possible) for them to always share or wait their turns.</p>
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<p>We moved to a much colder place and I got a lot of hand-me-downs but still had to get her a really functional rain suit, parka, and water proof winter boots. And same for DS (who is 6). Yikes that wasn't cheap.</p>
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<p>Anyway, she has lots of his old toys and whatnot, but I can see that she'll need her own soon. I am trying to basically hold off on the upsizing for now. I'm guessing that until she is school-age we can keep the expenses down quite a bit (I'm not into, nor can I afford, classes or expensive toys or clothes for little kids) but part of that is also taking hand-me-downs and whatnot from other people, since as other posters have mentioned, having kids who are different genders and born at different times of year means that we really can't reuse all the clothes and shoes. (also b/c I live in small, small spaces and can't store a lot of stuff!)</p>
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<p>So... we didn't let the lack of money stop us from having the family we felt we needed. But we also are in a temporarily lower-income situation than we expect to be when I finish school and reenter the workforce. And we moved to a place where DH can get a better salary and has many more professional opportunities. And where we have extended family to help with the childcare.</p>
 

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It's mostly when they get bigger-things like sports, classes, and eating out. Otherwise no, especially when they're little.
 

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<p>When my 2nd was little, he hardly added a single expense due to the usual reasons: co-sleeping, bf, hand me down clothes and diapers.  Now they both of my kids are older, it is more expensive because they are happiest when they are pretty busy so they have dance, music lessons, sports, etc.  You can plan ahead for that somewhat, though, and MAKE SURE you don't give your first too many activities or too many possessions.   Otherwise, you feel guilty when teh 2nd one comes along!  But, really, I don't spend that much on clothes (for more expensive items like cleats and snow pants, etc) I do always try to buy a neutral color/style so they can pass from my dd to my ds without an issue.  I also always try to get those things used if possible.  And recreational sports are not that expensive and our local school still has band and music lessons so really we could make do without the dance and the private lessons.  Also, we have them both in scouts and that is a pretty good deal as far as what it costs and what you get.  Camps are pricey, but certainly not necessary.  College is expensive, though, and I would consider it a necessity.  I have the frugal college plan already implanted in my kids heads, though -- NJ Stars program allows seniors to take community college credits at no or reduced cost if they are good students.  Community college, AP classes, CLEP tests, state college if other options don't turn up.  I am always good at planning ahead for contingencies!  Actually, I will hopefully be working at a local college when they get to college age, which means they will be able to attend for free.  But, yeah, if you live a mainstream life with kids, really, really big expense and some things are unpredictable: braces, major medical issues, developmental issues, etc.  You have to keep them in mind. </p>
 

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<p>When they are teenagers is when it really hits.  (see my signature for my knowledge base).  They eat like locusts.  And not one of my children are overweight.  Seriously, you can't imagine how much they eat.  You can't pass down anything but shirts because everything is worn out when they outgrow it.  jeans and shoes are a nightmare.  Thrift stores dont cut it for rapidly growing teens.  you can't ever find what you need when you need it.  braces.  glasses. acne treatment.  sports.  driving. and don't forget about college.  not that we are paying their way, but we certainly want to help them if possible.  computers.  flashdrives for school.  increased electricity use and water consumption.  Not that i am detering anyone from children but I'm just being realistic.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with everyone else, babies don't have to be expensive, kids however.......</p>
<p> </p>
<p>You are still in the stage when everyone wants to buy baby gifts, and when thirft stores are full of stuff.  That period of time is short lived.  The kids start eatting, they are invited to birthday parties, they have activities, they grow like weeds but still manage to blow the knees out of all the pants along the way.  If you homeschool there are costs, we go to a charter and there are commuting costs.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>While you shouldn't let finances be the only factor you do need to keep $ in mind.</p>
 

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<p>It's not baby number 2 (or 3 or 4) that costs much money.  It's child and teenager number 2 (etc.).  My 3yo costs us next to nothing.  My 12, 9, and 7 year olds, however, eat a ton of food, need space of their own (bigger house), take swimming lessons, like new (to them) clothes and toys once in a while, and have school fees (even in public school), among other costs.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>yeahwhat</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283645/forgive-me-if-i-m-ignorant-but#post_16095492"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p><br>
It's not baby number 2 (or 3 or 4) that costs much money.  It's child and teenager number 2 (etc.).  My 3yo costs us next to nothing.  My 12, 9, and 7 year olds, however, eat a ton of food, need space of their own (bigger house), take swimming lessons, like new (to them) clothes and toys once in a while, and have school fees (even in public school), among other costs.</p>
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Agreed! As well as with PP's.<br><br>
Babies are generally cheap. Breastfeeding may be free, but going through a gallon of milk a day sure isn't. I have four kids, so twice the amout you are talking about, but still...kids are expensive. We spend over $1k a month just on food. Then there are school fees, clothes, shoes, toys, activities, birthdays, Christmas/holidays, not to mention college costs!<br><br>
Adding another baby when the biggest cost is already factored in (either day are or the loss of one income), isn't much of a difference, but as they get older, it definitely adds up. Still, I wouldn't hold off on adding to my family because of finances (unless we were homeless or something).
 

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<p>Our little boys (4.5, 3 & 10mo) cost us very little. It's the teenagers that kill us!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>When my kids hit the age to start sports ... yikes! Cleats, basketball shoes, fees, gas, gate admissions.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But the first five years ... nah.</p>
 

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<p>I have three, and the oldest is 7.  The main additional expense, that has only been recently, is clothing and food.  And those two will probably continue to increase as they get bigger.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We have not had medical expenses, neither glasses nor braces.  We may, or may not.  Cross that bridge when we come to it.</p>
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<p>The rest of it is optional.  In our chosen lifestyle, expensive activities just aren't part of life.  We have a family zoo membership, I keep my eyes peeled for free activities, and we have a voucher from the cyber school for sports.  So without spending a ton, all three of my kids are active and happy.  As they get into their pre-teens and teens, we will be looking for community based activities, or starting some.</p>
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<p>There are some expenses that just will get bigger.  A 12 and 14 year old are going to eat a whole lot more than a 2 and 4 year old.  But a lot of the expense is a matter of choice and lifestyle.</p>
 

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<p>I think they definitely get more expensive.  It really depends on how you look at everything.  If I was working full time I would probably make between 40-50k/year, so for our family, me staying home is a loss.  If we have another baby we will probably need a mini van (at least 10k for a decent used one).  Eventually, we will need a bigger house (our current one is 950sf).  Preschool here costs $$ (about $3k/year).  My kid loves ballet and swimming so we send her to lessons and belong to the Y (this runs about $1500/year).  We travel regularly to see family and she needs her own seat.  We're committed to sending our children to college.  We go out to eat once a week.  We love going to plays and sporting events (we don't always pay for these, but things like popcorn add up).  We have yearly passes to a local museum and local forest.  We regularly go to the zoo and other museums.  These are frugal places and we always pack a lunch, but they still cost to park and get in.   </p>
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<p>Even if we cut out all of the luxuries and our wants, it would still be expensive.  I eat a ton when I'm pregnant and nursing.  Our utilities are higher when we're washing diapers.  My kid eats a lot and I'm really careful about what she's fed.  She needs new clothes (and the gravy train of used clothes ends around the time kids quit changing sizes every couple months).  When she was tiny she had terrible GERD so we spent a lot of money on co-pays even though we have excellent insurance.  Our midwives aren't cheap and are only partially covered (we spend about $1200 after insurance for a birth). </p>
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<p>Clearly, lifestyles and what people want to give their kids definitely impacts how expensive kids are, but I don't think there's a way around the fact that they do cost a lot of money.  Just food and clothes make a big difference on a monthly budget.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I know that every family is different and that children can and do thrive in all types of environments, but the way our family does things, kids are really expensive and each kid is more so.</p>
 

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<p><br><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>JessicaRenee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283645/forgive-me-if-i-m-ignorant-but#post_16094735"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-right:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-bottom:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
...is it really THAT expensive to go from 1 to 2 children? All the sites I'm looking at make it sound like you have to be a millionaire to afford 1 kid, but they assume you're putting your kid in daycare, formula feeding, and the baby has its own designer nursery decor.<br>
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<br><br><p> Here's the thing about a lot of sites and TV shows and magazines - they are supported by advertisting. It's in their best interest to write stories about "nursery" decor and "must-have" baby items.</p>
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<p>I've got a baby now and a 7 year old and NO - apart from the day care expenses it's just not that much. I saved a car seat and a toddler seat. I bought a new boppy cover and a carrier (thinking about an ergo now). I buy diapers and diaper genie liners. That's really it. All the clothes are hand-me-downs. I know so many more people with children now than I did before.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/forum/thread/1283645/forgive-me-if-i-m-ignorant-but#post_16095352" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>mommaof3boz</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1283645/forgive-me-if-i-m-ignorant-but#post_16095352"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>When they are teenagers is when it really hits.  (see my signature for my knowledge base).  They eat like locusts.  And not one of my children are overweight.  Seriously, you can't imagine how much they eat.  You can't pass down anything but shirts because everything is worn out when they outgrow it.  jeans and shoes are a nightmare.  Thrift stores dont cut it for rapidly growing teens.  you can't ever find what you need when you need it.  braces.  glasses. acne treatment.  sports.  driving. and don't forget about college.  not that we are paying their way, but we certainly want to help them if possible.  computers.  flashdrives for school.  increased electricity use and water consumption.  Not that i am detering anyone from children but I'm just being realistic.</p>
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Hilarious and true. My oldest is almost 10 and already has braces. She'll need a second set eventually. It's insane. I have three teenage brothers and they request and receive only the finest and most expensive new stuff. I think this is a new thing as I got hand me downs (from my mom!) and the most expensive thing I was ever given besides my braces was a CD. Everything else I had to buy myself somehow. I only got $2 a day for lunch, too, and my brothers get $5 and I wasn't in school that long ago-the food prices are basically the same. My how the times be a changin!
 
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