The cost of raising a child, aka “just give up now”

June 17, 2010 at 12:12 pm 8 comments

I just finished eating my lunch and I am still hungry!  I hate it when that happens!  Maybe this is proof that I should not try to eat anything other than my usual salad?  Hmmm.

For a snack this morning, I had a Fibre 1 bar.  Delicious!

For lunch, I had leftover frittata and some sliced veggies.

This looks really, really unappetizing

The summer squash was too bitter, so I stuck to the cucumber and red pepper slices

This lunch taught me that I need to eat more food than just this.  I need some carbs, gosh dang it!  So on my lunch break, I will be heading to my local bakery and salivating over the various baked goods.  I’ve had a tough morning dealing with some “special” people, so I feel like drowning my sorrows in carbs.  Oh, how I know this feeling well.  But I will try to choose something not too wild and unhealthy.  Maybe a whole wheat bagel?  That sounds pretty much like perfection at this point.

A friend linked me to this website earlier today: http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2010/06/09/127600351/cost-to-raise-a-child-300-000

Maybe this is also why I want to drown my sorrows in carbs? 🙂

I have definitely read many studies like this before about the immense cost of raising a child.  I’ve heard raising a kid can cost $500,000, or a even million dollars!  Basically, these reports make one think that having a child will rob you of all expendable income and I hope you like spaghetti-os because that is all you will be eating for the next 18 years.  Then these reports slap you across the face and steal your wallet!

Reports like this drive me mental.  First of all, 30% of this amount is for the cost of housing.  I would be living in the same house whether I have a child or not.  Secondly, I live in Canada.  Health care is covered.  Booyeah.  Thirdly, my kid is not going to have baby Nikes or wear Gap Kids outfits (even though they are incredibly cute) (Ok, well, maybe when they’re just on sale).  For young children especially, I am all about the used, the cheap, or nothing at all!  I was recently looking through the Sears catalogue and saw so many things that a baby just doesn’t need.  Plus, what else are grandparents for anyway?  Haha, just kidding, Mom and Dad.

(Or am I?)

Learning about frugality and voluntary simplicity is a great way to learn that you need about 8% of what society tells you what you need to be happy.  Advertisers and the media are especially merciless when it comes to parents.  What parent doesn’t want their kid to have the best stuff?  The opportunities to spend money on unnecessary objects are overwhelming.  It’s tough fighting back.  It’s one thing to make frugal decisions for yourself, but for your child?  Yikes!

My hope is that I’m able to raise little Beansy inexpensively and intelligently.  I’m sure there will be moments when I’m spending $48 on a plastic toy monster, but I hope there will be many more moments when we are just chilling in the park, sitting under a lilac tree, reading a library book together.

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Breakfast for breakfast Celebrating

8 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mel  |  June 17, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    Yeah those reports are wack! So much of the expenses are things you would need to spend money on anyway (food, shelter, etc) and just by breastfeeding and cloth diapering you can eliminate another two of the biggest baby costs (formula and disposable diapers). I wonder what the reports would say that it costs just for our own lifetime. It’s not like you pay it all at once. If I had to estimate how much I pay for my kid on a monthly basis – factor in clothes (used & discount), food, outings, toys etc I would say maybe 30-40 bucks if that.

    Reply
    • 2. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  June 17, 2010 at 12:48 pm

      Yeah, watching you raise R has shown me how inexpensively it can be done and you guys certainly don’t lack in terms of cute clothes or fun outings! There are just so many ways to go about this life thing, and I think people get really caught up with keeping up with the Jones’, especially when it comes to kids!

      Reply
  • 3. Therese  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    And don’t forget that, for the first couple of years, they tend to prefer the box the toy came in in the first place! I think it’s when we spoil our kids as wee babes that they grow up wanting all of those expensive things. Raise them on frugality and those expensive things won’t be the ONLY thing on their minds.

    I think you and the hubsters are going to make GREAT parents!

    Reply
    • 4. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  June 17, 2010 at 1:30 pm

      Aww, thank you! It really means a lot to hear that, right at a time I often question my future as a parent 🙂

      Reply
  • 5. Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen  |  June 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I have that too, where sometimes something that is seemingly more filling will leave me hungry. Maybe it’s just mental, but it’s kind of annoying sometimes :p

    I agree that children don’t need half the fancy stuff that’s available. You’re so young it’s not like you’re going to remember anyway! The only thing I really remember is that I was possibly the only kid on the planet without a Furby, and it killed me a little on the inside. So if your kid ever wants a Furby (or an iFurby or whatever they’ll be in 10 years) you should make that splurge for them. I turned out fine, but maybe I could’ve been prime minister if I had that Furby 😉 lol

    Reply
  • 7. Allison  |  June 17, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    I saw that same report and totally blew it off. P saw it and started totally freaking out. You 2 are the 2 of the cheapest people I know!

    Reuse. Reduce. Recycle, I say. We have gotten so much stuff since E was born, it’s just crazy! and already I can tell that we don’t need everything we were given (especially clothes!). So most likely we will pass the things we used (and didn’t use) to another child who needs it…

    Reply
    • 8. Frugal 'n' Fit!  |  June 17, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      I am definitely a cheapo! I wear that label proudly 🙂

      What are some of the things you’d recommend NOT buying? I am tempted to buy clothes, but I know that we will receive many as gifts.

      Reply

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Welcome!

What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!

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