So far, that is. My daughter is only 3, and already I’m convinced I am going to go broke at any second. Granted, my circumstances are unique because I am a single mom doing it all alone, but even still. I’m sure if there was another salary, there would also be more things to pay for.
Now don’t get me wrong–I knew when I got pregnant that raising a child wasn’t cheap. I knew there were diapers to buy and bellies to keep full, but I don’t think it really registered. In fact, I know it didn’t register.
So for all you women considering having a baby or moms with newborn, here is some real talk for you. Kids are expensive! You think Linda Evangelista was crazy to ask for $46,000/month in child support. I say, she probably needs it. Lord knows, I do! So before you get all caught up in how cute babies are, consider these costs:
1. Childcare. This was, by far, the biggest shock for me. Obviously I knew I’d have to pay someone to watch my daughter while I worked, but never did I think the starting rate was $700/month. And that’s cheap! That’s bare-bones daycare. Add some enrichment programs or meals and you’re up to $1000/month. Actually, I’d be happy paying $1000 a month for daycare at this point. Something is so wrong when daycare directors can look you in the eye and tell you their tuition is competitive at $1700/month… for 3 days a week.
2. School. And no, it doesn’t get better for school age children. Private school–at least here in New York City–can easily set you back $3500 per month for a 4-year-old. The older they get, the more expensive it gets. But let’s keep in mind, most schools will only keep your kid until 3 p.m. If you’re working, you then have to pay someone else on top of that three grand to watch them until your day at the office is done.
3. Food. My daughter is pretty thin. She’s three and a half feet tall and weighs about 35 lbs. But you know how much I spend a week on just snacks and juice boxes for her? $50 easily. That doesn’t include breakfast, lunch or dinner. And don’t even get me started on eating out. What ever happened to kids eating free?
4. Toys & Entertainment. In some ways, I am lucky that I live in a one bedroom apartment. Space constraints make it such that I cannot physically hold many toys in my apartment. But even with those space constraints, do you know the going rate for kids’ toys? Sure the LeapPad is awesome, but it’s also $100. And don’t even get me started on these outrageous kids’ toys.
5. Shoes. Even me, a self-professed shopaholic, has a hard time paying $30+ on a pair of shoes for a toddler. I’ve seen my daughter destroy–obliterate!–gorgeous designer shoes one too many times to make that mistake again. But the truth is, the cheap ones are usually not so great for their developing feet. So what’s a mom to do–throw money in the trash or let their little feet suffer?
6. Gear. $2000 for a baby crib. $1000 for a stroller. $400 for a car seat. $100 for a baby carrier. And those are just the essentials your baby will need during the first year!
7. Summer camp. This will be my daughter’s first year attending summer camp, but just like school the prices are enough to take your breath away. I shelled out $2500 for 8 weeks, which is actually a bargain compared to other day camps here in the city. And let’s keep in mind these camps start 2 weeks after school ends and end 3 weeks before school starts. WTF?
8. Laundry. Between accidents, spills and what was supposed to be a fun afternoon at the playground, what used to be a $15/month endeavor is now at least $50/month. On laundry! Add that up and it’s $600 just to keep my toddler’s clothes clean. We’re not even talking about replacing the clothes once she outgrows them… in 3 months!
9. Travel. My advice to you new moms? Fly as much as you can while your kid flies free. Because no matter how rich you are, you die a little inside every time you have to spend $300+ on a plane seat your kid will probably spend 10% of the flight in.
10. Therapy! Ha, just kidding. After all that, you think I could afford a therapist? That’s what blogs are for!
Moms, did I forget anything? What do you find is the most expensive part of raising your child? Share in the comments.
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