Saturday, August 21, 2010

Question (or can of worms to open...)

Ok, question for you....

Is it expensive to raise children?

Now, before I start getting the whole yes, college costs are so high....remember that not everyone goes to college, or needs that governmental higher education. I'm not looking at that sort of angle. If I were, I could easily say that every child needs to take a trip around the world to familiarize themselves with various cultures, or some such nonsense. It's simply not some across the board expense associated with child rearing.

So, down to brass tacks...expensive or not? Is one child less expensive than 3? Are my 9 more expensive than your 4 or 5?

What do you think?


Scarlett said...

Honestly? I think one child is likely more expensive than three, four or five. I mean you don't have to remake or rebuy everything for each child. Clothing, furniture, shoes and all be passed down. Even cheaper if you do like we do and purchase most of those items used at the thrift store and such anyway. I know, I know don't everyone flog me for buying my child used shoes, I buy them for myself as well! And I won't buy them unless they are in very good condition. After all she wouldn't get the high priced name brands she loves any other way. So I think that no they are not that expensive to raise. And as far as college, my son is going right now. He is simply living with home with us still, working and paying his own way. Just because they go doesn't mean that mom and dad have to fund it all. And he is much better at looking for scholarships when he is spending his own hard earned money.

Greg and Donna said...

I really think that depends on your lifestyle. And if your kids are "label wearers" etc. When mine want special shoes or a specific outfit, we wait till birthday or Christmas. The only clothes we buy somewhat regularly are deeply discounted, clearance, gotta get rid of them. Mine younger ones don't care about labels, 3 of the 4 older boys do (but they can buy their own). the expenses skyrocket if you have each on several different sports teams and in music lessons and karate etc. To me...working to pay for the extras like that is ridiculous. My 2 daughters do take ballet through a small Christian dance troupe and the money is budgeted for monthly. They have both danced for a number of years and tremendously enjoy it. Their 2 classes each week for a month cost $60 per month (not each, total), which I don't think is that bad. If I had 5 daughters, I would rethink that.

Amy said...

I think with each child does come some more expense. But exactly how much is pretty hard to determine. Also everyones definition of expensive is very different. Then there is the fact that everyone sees "needs" differently. Example, one may think that making sure your child expands musically is necessary so they put money toward lessons once a week. Then an instument, music, so on. Now I guess you could say that is not a need but whose to judge? And I think it is highly unrealistic that your child goes through their entire childhood without some sort of extracurricular activity. And if they did I think they may just grow up feeling deprived. Then their is clothing and true bare necessities, more toilet paper, shampoo, electicity, a big enough home and a big one is food. As homeschoolers their is curriculum costs each year and that is nothing to sneeze at. So I think each additional child cost more but probably less than the first because of hand me downs and such.
But I don't think I have ever considered any of my children as an "expense". They are my children and a blessing from God, who shall provide all our needs according to His riches in glory! As for the question I don't think I can answer it any more than that. "Expensive" means alot of different things to alot of people.
Curious what provoked this question and what is the purpose in wanting the answer?

Mrs. Dewey Smith said...

Nothing particular. Just a conversation on Facebook :)
I don't believe it *has* to be expensive raising a family. I think it's all very much dependent on where your sense of values and worth is based.
Foods aren't necessarily expensive....unless you're feeding on brand names and a lot of unnecessary things. A wholesome diet doesn't have to be a debt-hound, but I suppose that's related a lot to where you live.
Housing can be expensive, but too many folks live in houses they don't need. They've just come to expect a certain amount of space. Look at us...there are usually 10 of us, sometimes 11, living in 1440 sq ft. Some no-children families would scream at living in that space. I have a friend with 7 children living in less space. I have friends with less than half the number living in over twice the space. It's more what you're used to, and what you value than a necessary expense.
I grew up without extra curricular activities and don't feel the least bit deprived. I don't even remember feeling deprived while growing up in the middle of it. However, I *did* attend a performing arts school, so perhaps a lot of what most folks look at as 'extra curricular' was just every day school for me. Art class, dance, drama, etc. were a part of my daily class schedule along with regular academics from 6th grade on. It was just our local school.
I'm not passing any judgments. Just strolling views. Personally, I think there's a lot less folks could do with, maintain a high level of comfort and happiness, and not break the bank. I just don't believe God ever intended for folks to say they can "only afford" to accept 1 child because 2 or 4 or more would be too great a financial strain. And plopping down a credit card to live everyday life, going into debt so they have everything...yes, I think it can be done just as well for far less than most people are willing to consider.
It's a lifestyle thing :)


NeeCee said...

I would say the first child is expensive only because you have to start with nothing and need everything. After that, not so much, especially if you nurse, use cloth diapers and shop at thrift stores.

Mrs. G said...

We have 11 people in our family, my DH only works part time and we live on *way* less than most people are willing to. It really depends on your priorities, I think. We have low/no technology to keep up with, live a very rural, semi off the grid life. We raise a lot of what we eat and I sew a lot of what we wear. I wouldn't trade all of that for the "perks" that come with more money. I don't think 9 children are expensive; actually if we had no children and were thinking of starting a family on what my DH makes everybody would advise us not to because "we couldn't afford it". lol
Your Mileage May Vary,
Mrs. G

Rocky Mountain Homemaker said...

This is certainly a post that makes one think a bit.
I have two children who are twelve years apart due to my fertility issues. I would have had more if the Lord had allowed.
I do my best to live frugally so we can live mostly on my husband's income.
When my daughter was in high school she had a job and bought her own clothes, car insurance, gas, any activities she wanted to attend. We bought a small used car for her when she was a senior.
We have never been the type of family to indulge our children in excessive extracurricular activities.
We have invested in a used 5th wheel camper and some compound bows, preferring to fish, camp and hunt as a family.
To tie my rambling thoughts together, I would say that raising children in a worldly lifestyle is extremely expensive. A family who wants to be counter-cultural can avoid a lot of expense.

Treasures Evermore said...

Yes, I do believe that having more children costs more money...That seems obvious....but how much more, well that is for each individual family.

We have six children and more on the way through adoption...and yes,it costs more for our family. More food to buy even though we have a's not all year round. More school supplies to buy...more clothes to purchase even though we buy most of our stuff at consignment and thrift stores. More children to take to the dentist which costs WAY more than if you had one or two or even three.

We live in the country and do not do vacationing very often...even taking the children on day trips costs way more than when we only had three.

We live very frugally, but it still costs more money for us to have six and when we had three. It's how much more? We really don't know because we don't have our children in extra afterschool sports...we do NOT do designer clothes...we do NOT eat out a lot...we vacation in our own back yard of 10 acres. But our grocery bill and other expenses have definitely risen and just going to the dentist is a huge bill..but since teeth are very important to me, I'm willing to spend the extra to make sure their teeth are cleaned and examined every six months.

Yes, we needed a van which was more when we had more was higher...yes, we use more hot water and personal hygiene items with having five women in the house (if you know what I mean wink, wink)...that expense alone is huge.

Anyway, that's our story.

Bean said...

It all depends on what you value and what your income is. You can certainly make it expensive, you can use formula, disposable diapers, only new name brand clothing, highend nursery furniture and bedding, highend strollers, swings, seats, highchairs etc. and that is just getting started, then preschool, daycare, extra curricular activities and all of the expense of special clothing, shoes, equipment, school tuition, summer camp, new car, car insurance, college, and I say if you can afford all of the above and it is what you want then go for it. However, you could breastfeed, use cloth diapers, buy mainly gently used items, save them for the next child(ren), do activities at home rather than pre-school, homeschool, buy a clunker, get gently used sports/musical equipment, look for inexpensive/free extracurricular activities, purchase a clunker, have the child work to contribute to expenses and there is absolutely nothing wrong with a young ADULT working their way through college, in fact studies indicate that those that do actually do much better academically than those who have a free ride. Probably because they know what effort went into earning the money to pay for tuition.
So, I guess for some it is a choice to decide to raise a family frugally, and for others they have no choice, but in the end no one remembers whether they wore cloth or disposable diapers, used or new baby clothes etc. etc. the main thing is to raise your children with love and discipline, keep them fed and clothed, and provide them with education so that once they are adults they can stand on their own two feet.

Amy said...

Children are blessing from God and should not be considered expenses. But they do cost money to raise. I understand you don't "need" much to get by. I am extremely frugle and do alot to live on a tight budget. We are not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. We live on one income. We homeschool, garden, can, freeze and preserve as much as we can to get us throught the winter. We buy very little from the grocery store. I make all of our pasta, alot of our bread and all meals from scratch. Going out to eat is a once or twice a month thing and even then we keep out bill under $30 for 5 of us. I milk our goat and raise some of our own meat. I do everything I feel is possible at this point to keep our family living a simple frugal life. But the bottom line is they do cost money to raise.

So if we are simply disscussing whether children should be veiwed as expenses or whether or not they actually cost money to raise.

I have a post on a few of my frugality concepts here

Khourt said...

Children are NOT expensive.. Its the lifestyles that the parents chose for their children that makes "children" expensive.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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