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The Cost Of Having Children

by The Happy Rock on November 28, 2007

bouncing-baby-boy.jpgA year after our son joined our family, I remember looking back over our budget and being amazed. Nothing had changed!!!

How could that be? We had host of new expenses like a $100 every few months formula, yet the amount we could put towards debt and save each month hadn’t really changed.

What happened was that having a child changed our priorities. Things like going to dinner and a movie disappeared and the money was routed to more important places. No longer was getting new coat important. I would rather stay home with my family instead of going to a Phillies game. Because this unconscious change in priorities, we had same amount of money was going out each month, but where the money went was affected by our new priorities.

The best part is that I would pay all our extra money each month just to retain the endearing smile that crosses my face every time I think of my son. So far, being a parent has been easier and more wonderful than I thought. I wasn’t able to account for the depth of love and devotion that forms between a parent and a child. I would be willing to sacrifice a bunch of money each month, but it turns out that I don’t have too!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Ed B November 29, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Great post!
I know the naysayers argue that you could retire earlier than others if you don’t have to pay college tuition. However, their priories are in the wrong order. I’d rather have the children and retire later than to never have had them in the first place.
If you live for money 1) you’ll never have enough to be happy and 2)you’ll never be satisfied in life.

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Mike November 29, 2007 at 2:20 pm

This was my experience as well and I was quite delighted by it. My wife and I actually ended up spending less on day-to-day stuff because we tended to eat out and go to plays, movies, and so on. Now it’s diapers and baby food. In addition, we found that we didn’t have time for TV and downgraded our cable service to the most basic level because we weren’t getting a benefit for all the money we spent.

It was a great surprise.

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Tim November 30, 2007 at 4:46 pm

right on bro.

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The Happy Rock December 1, 2007 at 1:44 am

@Ed – I would argue that even as a parent that your retirement should come before putting your children through college. I do agree that I would trade my son for anything.

@Mike – Awesome. I am glad that it has worked the same way for you! Children are amazing.

@Tim – I know you love kids, having four of your own!

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moneymonk December 5, 2007 at 2:15 pm

I would say having babies can be expensive, but after 2 years old it becomes easy street for as money goes

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Arohan December 12, 2007 at 1:32 pm

We had the 2nd kid in 2 years, and I can tell you that our finances actually did change. We are saving more now than we used to before

Have not watched a movie in the theater for quite a while now, our dinner pick up and delivery has gone down from maybe 4 times a week to now probably once every 2 weeks and so on. Beer and wine budget has been slashed to almost zero

We would rather spend the time saved playing with the kids

http://arohanvalue.blogspot.com

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smartmove December 13, 2007 at 3:40 am

What a beautiful thing to say…great post. I’m emailing it to my brother who excitedly awaits becoming a new daddy.

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The Happy Rock December 18, 2007 at 11:44 pm

@Arohan – I am glad you are seeing the same positive benefits that having a family brings, keep of the great work. Good luck on the investing!

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Eric Graham December 7, 2010 at 10:47 am

Excellent post. I totally agree that having a child changes your priorities. Everyone will surely understand this whether he/she has a child or none.

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