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I have some really exciting news in the Mustard Seed Money household. Mrs. MSM and I are expecting our second child in October. I casually mentioned it in the last post, but I’m not sure everyone caught it. We are over the moon and can’t wait to meet our newest addition. Our son and the new baby will be almost exactly two years apart, which hopefully means they will be good buddies.
I have to admit that I’m a little worried. It’s hard taking care of an 18-month-old now, let alone taking care of a future 2-year-old and a newborn. Thankfully our little guy has slept through the night since 6 months. But of course, I’m not looking forward to the loss of sleep again. Plus just thinking about their probably differing day/night schedules makes me nervous.
With that said, I am disappointed that I will not be able to attend FinCon, which I was really looking forward to. Given the circumstances though, I think I’m going to enjoy being at home. Even though I’ll miss this year’s FinCon, I will be buying the early early bird tickets for 2018, wherever that may be. I’m secretly hoping it will be on the East Coast in 2018, since it was on the West Coast in 2016 and the Mid West in 2017, and preferably within driving distance from the DC area 🙂 One can hope!
The Cost of Raising a Child
According to the latest figures from the USDA, the cost of raising a child is now $233,610 over a 17-year period. That figure doesn’t even consider the cost of college tuition, though. This seems awfully high to me. It breaks down to $13,705 a year, or around $1150 a month on a child. I can definitely tell you that my son has not added $1150 to our monthly bill thus far (thankfully).
If you’re curious, read more here about how we have saved money with our son.
A Second Child
Now that we’re getting ready to have a second child, I’m really curious about the impact on our budget. I figured a lot of the beginner items that we have will still be in good shape. We already have cloth diapers, my wife intends to breastfeed, and we have some unisex clothes (and of course a lot of boy clothes). We also have a ton of toys and other “stuff” that we can reuse for baby #2, hopefully defraying some of those preliminary costs in the future.
I then started to run through the list of things that the USDA found were the biggest expenses for a child. My mind was blown.
The biggest cost, according to the USDA, is housing for children. While we currently reside in a three bedroom townhouse, we figure we could easily handle more kids if they share bedrooms. Although it would definitely be tight quarters. So if we decided that space was at a premium, we would think about heading west, so we could get a bigger bang for our buck on a larger home.
Not only would we be looking for a bigger house, but also a bit more land. We want our kids to be able to run around freely. Our current townhouse has a postage stamp for a yard. While we’re close to a playground, it’s not as convenient as having the kids right behind the house and being able to monitor them from inside.
Initially this cost should be minimal as long as the baby is nursing. However, if this baby is anything like my son, he/she will be a voracious eater, which is good and bad. My son has developed very expensive taste (thanks to his mama) as he loves to eat salmon, berries, and nuts. Having two such eaters in the house, I can only imagine that we will be making more trips to the grocery store to always have fresh food on hand. Hopefully Aldi continues to provide great deals for us.
Since my wife stays at home, we don’t pay for child care costs at this point. We know we are not the norm in our area and that many couples struggle with the costs of child care.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, Washington DC leads the nation in childcare cost. For a family of two in the city, child care costs roughly $2,600 per month, or almost $32,000 per year.
With numbers like that, I can understand why many mothers feel forced to give up their job since it can become cost-prohibitive.
My wife and I are diligently contributing to my son’s 529 plan. We plan to also have one for the new baby, so this will definitely be an added expense. We figure while we have the money available that it makes sense to contribute. Then hopefully compounding interest will do its thing.
Thankfully the school district that we live in is top-notch. So at this point, we are not considering the additional cost of private school tuition.
I have a friends that just had their second set of twin girls. Needless to say, their Honda Civic got the boot. A brand new Kia Minivan with 3rd row seating took its place. They jumped from a $12,000 car to a $25,000 one, which is over double what they previously paid.
While the sedans that my wife and I drive will be a little bit tight, especially since the car seat doesn’t give the passenger seat much leg room, we don’t have any current plans to upgrade our vehicles at this point. Although, it will be a bit tricky if we ever have a 5th passenger in the car. Maybe we should reconsider…
Quite a few years from now, I do consider car insurance rising when my children turn 16. Hopefully by that time, Google or Elon Musk will have perfected driverless car technology and insurance will hopefully be cheaper.
This is where I figure we’ll have a mix between upgrading items for my son and getting new things for the baby. We’ll need to move my son into a big boy bed at some point, as I’m not interested in having two cribs. I figure I will do some research to find a good deal.
Once my son and the baby get older, I figure this is where costs will really add up. From sports activities to camps and travel plans in the future, I know all of those things don’t come cheap, or even with a promo code. I can’t help but think about the costs of going to Disneyland, a cruise, or purchasing more than two airplane seat tickets. These will all be costs that will be multiplied depending on the number of children that we have.