Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

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MillennialFinance19
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by MillennialFinance19 »

We’re in a LCOL area and spend 9k per kid annually on day care. I can’t imagine my expenses increasing enough to erase a $1500 per month surplus of funds.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by cshell2 »

MillennialFinance19 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:45 am We’re in a LCOL area and spend 9k per kid annually on day care. I can’t imagine my expenses increasing enough to erase a $1500 per month surplus of funds.
LOL

Just you wait. :twisted:
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by cshell2 »

To answer the OP. I would put 15-18 at the top. The senior year of high school has been brutal.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by soccerrules »

14-22 if you had to select a range. (to note, we did not have day care expenses)
Braces
Eat More
Select Sports, Band,Theater,Dance, Cheer - you pick
Clothing
Car
College

another reason to save as much as possible when you are younger to allow compound interest to do it's thing
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by soccerrules »

cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:47 am
MillennialFinance19 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:45 am We’re in a LCOL area and spend 9k per kid annually on day care. I can’t imagine my expenses increasing enough to erase a $1500 per month surplus of funds.
LOL

Just you wait. :twisted:
#College
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h82goslw
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by h82goslw »

Little kids, little problems
Big kids, big problems

For those who have real young ones and think it’s tough now, just wait. Enjoy the time with the youngsters now because it doesn’t get easier.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Jack FFR1846 »

anon3838 wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 6:11 pm By far the most expensive phase so far was the decision to have one stay at home parent. No regrets tho.
I completely forgot about that!

I calculated the wages my wife lost by staying home all those years. Not counting that she had to take an expensive refresher course, and now is paid what Census workers in our area are being offered, from oldest one being 4 until college, it cost us $1.5M. So that beats the $300k for our older son to be in college. Wife was a new manager when she left the workforce. Plenty of upward potential.

and I agree with h82goslw. Our REAL friends with kids a few years older than ours always told us that as they get older, it gets harder. It's very true. I can see it starting to get easier with my 2 sons in college, but still not as easy as little kids.
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Watty
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Watty »

One thing to keep in mind is that "most expensive years" might not be the same as "when money was the tightest" .

We never had a lot of lifestyle creep and over the years my income increased which helped cover most of the child raising costs as they increased.

Another thing that helped was that the amount of our mortage did not increase with inflation and it also declined in nominal dollars it was paid down and when we refinanced at lower interest rates a number of times the monthly payment declined. By the time our kid was in middle school our mortage payment was about the same as modest car payment.

For me the time when money was the tightest was before I was married right after I bought my first house. I stretched to buy it so the first six months I was in it the money was really tight.

One thing I have not seen mentioned was for some people that pay for big weddings that can also be very expensive. Our kid did not want a big wedding and even if he had we would not have been willing to pay more than a few thousand dollars towards it since that is not our lifestyle.

You also have to factor in many career paths your peak earning years may be around your mid to late 40's and after that you may be doing good to have your earnings keep up with inflation. I was a software developer and when adjusted for inflation my peak earnings were in my late 40s and after that I was more concerned about keeping employed than getting raises.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Stinky »

The older kids get, the more expensive they get.

I had three children in high school at one time. The outflow of cash for various school expenses, cars and insurance (especially when one totaled a car), etc was pretty awesome.

Of course, that was exceeded by having three in college at the same time - for three years. When the last child finally graduated, the “giant sucking sound” of cash flying out of my bank account finally stopped.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by SmileyFace »

Your assumption that college years are most expensive is false if you actually save most-of-enough for college.
I found expenses pretty consistent (just shifting to different things) throughout their 1-18 year-old lives. Once they went to college I just started paying for it out of 529 - was able to save the most during these years - they had jobs to pay for their non-college expenses and 529 covered the rest.
Some say that high-school was most expensive - we didn't find that but our kids got jobs so at that point we stopped giving them allowance and if they wanted any clothing that was outside basic-clothes they were paying for it themselves.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by stoptothink »

cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:51 am To answer the OP. I would put 15-18 at the top. The senior year of high school has been brutal.
Thinking back to when I was 15-18 (not all that long ago), my financial cost to my mom was a (shared with my 2 brothers) bedroom and food. What are the other costs? Sports, car/car insurance, dances...? It was made very clear to me if I wanted those non-essentials, then I could get a job and pay for them, and I did. Even then, I can't imagine them adding up to the $800-$1200/month we've had to spend (per kid) for childcare. It would seem to me that almost all of these costs are wants and not a need like childcare, but hey, my kids are a decade from this age.

Interestingly, at least where I live, there is little rush for teens to get a license now (which I assume is much of this cost). My 17yr old sister is now on her 3rd job and runs cross-country/track, is in plays; she doesn't even have a license and she gets by on her bike and electric scooter, and she tells me that is what most of her friends do too.
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backofbeyond
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by backofbeyond »

For me (so far), it's been the college years. Our one and only moved away to attend college two years ago. She signed a year's lease that was iron clad, no getting out of it. Of course she assured me that she was serious about college. She lasted less than 6 weeks and came back home. But I was stuck paying the rent for the next 10.5 months. She also needed a replacement car (not to mention that car insurance for under 24 is outrageous) and new iphone. And then of course she got caught with a fake license trying to get into an over 21 year old club. Went to jail for the night and cost over $10K to deal with. BTW, I can't be too mad about that part, as I was just as guilty when I was her age but just didn't get caught.

No end to the pain in sight, she has earned her AA while at home but changes her BS major like I change clothes.

I've supervised hundreds if not thousands of employees over my 30 year career and been in charge of multi-million budgets. Nothing stresswise compares to raising a teenage/+20 year old. Be afraid, very afraid.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by cshell2 »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:41 am
cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:51 am To answer the OP. I would put 15-18 at the top. The senior year of high school has been brutal.
Thinking back to when I was 15-18, my financial cost to my mom was a (shared with my 2 brothers) bedroom and food. What are the other costs? Sports, car/car insurance, dances...? It was made very clear to me if I wanted those non-essentials, then I could get a job and pay for them, and I did. Even then, I can't imagine them adding up to the $800-$1200/month we've had to spend (per kid) for childcare.
I paid 6K/year for childcare.

My son is in a private high school which is heavily subsidized by a benefactor, so I only pay 3K/year. I easily spent $1500 last year just on pre-college stuff and it's probably more if I actually go back and add it up (Application fees, test prep and fees, visiting schools, deposits...) He needs a car for my sanity as we live in the country and I was DONE driving him back and forth, so I bought him a car at 16 (just $1000), but also teen insurance is not cheap and there is maintenance on the extra car. He didn't start working until just before senior year because I wanted him to focus on school before then as we were going to be chasing merit scholarships for college. There were senior portraits, a new suit for speech and a trip to Nationals, plus senior marching band trip. Then just the day to day stuff. He is not a toddler. He's 6'1" and 220 pounds. He eats a LOT. He showers a LOT. His clothes are man-sized expensive stuff not thrift store get a bag of 2T to 4T clothes for $20, but he still outgrows/wears them out like a toddler.

Yes, I could have said you're not going to be in jazz or marching band or speech or Boy Scouts unless you pay for it all yourself and saved a ton of money. He probably would have been perfectly happy to just sit in his room and play video games all day at no cost to me. But, it was important to me that he not do that.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Watty »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:41 am Interestingly, at least where I live, there is little rush for teens to get a license now (which I assume is much of this cost).
I also ran into that with my son. I finally had to insist that he get a drivers licenses while he was in high school so that he could get some experience driving before he really needed to drive.

I think that at least for him part of the reason is that with the oversaturation of media whenever there is a bad accident it gets so much coverage that he was afraid of driving.

The other part was that even if a kid has to just pay for their own gas and car insurance then that takes a lot of hours each month at some minimum wage job. Working that many hours each month is not worth the benefits driving to many kids.

A funny side note is that when he got a his drivers license it caused a problem because he had never learned to write in cursive and he could not sign is name! They did not really teach cursive handwriting in the schools he went to. The little bit that they did teach it was quickly forgotten since they did not have to use it for their other class assignments.

He never really admitted to it but I am pretty sure that he just watched some Youtube videos to figure out how to "sort of" make the first letter of his first and last name and then has a squiggle of lines after that. His signature still looks like that today.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:21 am I calculated the wages my wife lost by staying home all those years. Not counting that she had to take an expensive refresher course, and now is paid what Census workers in our area are being offered, from oldest one being 4 until college, it cost us $1.5M. So that beats the $300k for our older son to be in college. Wife was a new manager when she left the workforce. Plenty of upward potential.
At the time we decided that I’d be a SAHD, we were making similar-ish incomes (my wife made more, but it was a bit scary to contemplate my income leaving the family). Then, freed from the concern that perhaps the kids weren’t sufficiently looked after, and a new freedom to take a business trip when necessary (although she traveled less than many of her peers), etc., my wife’s career quickly blossomed to where my missing income was rounding error.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by MarkBarb »

Definitely late teens, early 20s. College costs, car costs, increased insurance costs. That said, we anticipated that when we decided to have them and set aside money from when they were born until they were in college to cover the college expenses, so we didn't feel like costs were spiking.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by stoptothink »

cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:10 am
stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:41 am
cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:51 am To answer the OP. I would put 15-18 at the top. The senior year of high school has been brutal.
Thinking back to when I was 15-18, my financial cost to my mom was a (shared with my 2 brothers) bedroom and food. What are the other costs? Sports, car/car insurance, dances...? It was made very clear to me if I wanted those non-essentials, then I could get a job and pay for them, and I did. Even then, I can't imagine them adding up to the $800-$1200/month we've had to spend (per kid) for childcare.
I paid 6K/year for childcare.

My son is in a private high school which is heavily subsidized by a benefactor, so I only pay 3K/year. I easily spent $1500 last year just on pre-college stuff and it's probably more if I actually go back and add it up (Application fees, test prep and fees, visiting schools, deposits...) He needs a car for my sanity as we live in the country and I was DONE driving him back and forth, so I bought him a car at 16 (just $1000), but also teen insurance is not cheap and there is maintenance on the extra car. He didn't start working until just before senior year because I wanted him to focus on school before then as we were going to be chasing merit scholarships for college. There were senior portraits, a new suit for speech and a trip to Nationals, plus senior marching band trip. Then just the day to day stuff. He is not a toddler. He's 6'1" and 220 pounds. He eats a LOT. He showers a LOT. His clothes are man-sized expensive stuff not thrift store get a bag of 2T to 4T clothes for $20, but he still outgrows/wears them out like a toddler.

Yes, I could have said you're not going to be in jazz or marching band or speech or Boy Scouts unless you pay for it all yourself and saved a ton of money. He probably would have been perfectly happy to just sit in his room and play video games all day at no cost to me. But, it was important to me that he not do that.
It isn't binary, just because you won't pay for all kinds of expensive extracurricular activities doesn't mean the only alternative is sitting in their room playing video games. At least that is my experience.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Thegame14 »

day care for 2 kids is costing us $2,700 a month, I am sure others will say college but that is a choice, you can save up a little bit over 18 years for it, or they can get loans or pay cash or not go to college, so that shouldn't be the answer.... I don't have a choice to pay for daycare when both parents have to work, and no there is no option of one of us not working.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Thegame14 »

swordandscales wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:40 pm Same boat as you. Daycare is our second highest expense barely behind the mortgage. We live in a modest home and send our kiddos to a “normal” daycare, e.g. they don’t eat organic, locally sourced smoked salmon for their breakfast snack.

It’s incredibly expensive.
I wish, mortgage is $1,400, daycare is $2,700 a year.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by cshell2 »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:19 am
cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:10 am
stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:41 am
cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:51 am To answer the OP. I would put 15-18 at the top. The senior year of high school has been brutal.
Thinking back to when I was 15-18, my financial cost to my mom was a (shared with my 2 brothers) bedroom and food. What are the other costs? Sports, car/car insurance, dances...? It was made very clear to me if I wanted those non-essentials, then I could get a job and pay for them, and I did. Even then, I can't imagine them adding up to the $800-$1200/month we've had to spend (per kid) for childcare.
I paid 6K/year for childcare.

My son is in a private high school which is heavily subsidized by a benefactor, so I only pay 3K/year. I easily spent $1500 last year just on pre-college stuff and it's probably more if I actually go back and add it up (Application fees, test prep and fees, visiting schools, deposits...) He needs a car for my sanity as we live in the country and I was DONE driving him back and forth, so I bought him a car at 16 (just $1000), but also teen insurance is not cheap and there is maintenance on the extra car. He didn't start working until just before senior year because I wanted him to focus on school before then as we were going to be chasing merit scholarships for college. There were senior portraits, a new suit for speech and a trip to Nationals, plus senior marching band trip. Then just the day to day stuff. He is not a toddler. He's 6'1" and 220 pounds. He eats a LOT. He showers a LOT. His clothes are man-sized expensive stuff not thrift store get a bag of 2T to 4T clothes for $20, but he still outgrows/wears them out like a toddler.

Yes, I could have said you're not going to be in jazz or marching band or speech or Boy Scouts unless you pay for it all yourself and saved a ton of money. He probably would have been perfectly happy to just sit in his room and play video games all day at no cost to me. But, it was important to me that he not do that.
It isn't binary, just because you won't pay for all kinds of expensive extracurricular activities doesn't mean the only alternative is sitting in their room playing video games. At least that is my experience.
Well, I guess I could have kicked him outside (when I was home) or told him to walk the 15 miles to town to get a job? But, I can pretty much guarantee you that kid would not have been able to earn at a burger flipping job what he did in scholarships by focusing on academics and extracurriculars. Because of that, I won't have to say the college years are the most expensive.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by aceoperations »

We spend $35k-$40k for two kids (4.5 and 2.5) to go to a private Montessori School in CA. This exceeds our annual rent expense which is $27.5k.

We chose to go light on the housing expense because home ownership is not very appealing to us in general. Of course, we are lucky to find a rent controlled environment that we have spent the last 7 years in, with an easy commute to work. :sharebeer
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by FireProof »

For me:
Most expensive
1. College
2. Preschool
3. High school
4. Elementary school

But then, I wasn't a greedy child (and my parents would have been willing to say no). But I have a relative in high school whose parents buy her all the expensive sneakers she wants (2 or 3 pairs per month), the latest IPhone, expensive concert tickets etc. So obviously it's largely a matter of choice (whereas day care/preschool and room and board for college may be less so). Obviously private schools are another choice which would completely change things.
Last edited by FireProof on Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by supersharpie »

As a childfree individual, I admire those of you who choose to devote such a large percentage of your income to raising the next generation.

The costs are absolutely obscene in the US.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by SimonJester »

Just to echo what other have said

(5) 15-18+ years old

College basically dwarfs all other expenses.

Here are some others, car insurance, we basically now make a car payment equivalent to the insurance company every month...
High school trips, boy do these get expensive, but they are great life experiences so we went with it...
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by GCD »

My kids are driving and on the cusp of driving. I had anticipated them driving a junker or one of our cars (which at our high mileage use probably count as junkers). FWIW, parental nurturing instincts kicked in and we ended up buying a couple new Subarus with lots of safety features. That was an unanticipated expense, but in the grand scheme of things, who knows?
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by veindoc »

supersharpie wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:41 am As a childfree individual, I admire those of you who choose to devote such a large percentage of your income to raising the next generation.

The costs are absolutely obscene in the US.
Thanks for that. I like 99.99 percent of parents take child rearing very seriously. I not only want happy and healthy kids but I also want to set them up to be productive citizens in the future. Obviously there is no formula for that nor instructions. Do they get a job and pay for all their expenses while in high school? Or do they focus on academics while I pick up all the expenses? Will this taekwondo class they take when they are 9 or the tennis lessons I enroll them in in first grade change anything? Who knows? But I don’t judge anyone else choices because I don’t want anyone judging mine. We all have the same goal no matter how we decide to approach it or how much money we think it requires.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by HomerJ »

cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:51 am To answer the OP. I would put 15-18 at the top. The senior year of high school has been brutal.
What's so expensive about senior year in high school?

Car?
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by DVMResident »

I would like to comment that these obscene daycare and private school costs are almost required for two parents to work regular jobs (i.e. M-F 8-5).

Public schools typically have limited hours and extended care hours are rationed (e.g. for lower income families, which I totally support, or a lottery system). In my experience in two different states, is k-elementary school only covers 5-6.5 hours plus numerous half-day, teacher development days, snow days, etc. Independent of academic arguments, private schools have camps for breaks, less half day, and longer hours that enable normal work.

Expensive private school is the only way we can both work full jobs and continue our careers. In total, private school both increase our expenses and total household income. Looking at expense alone misses this point.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

GCD wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 11:09 am My kids are driving and on the cusp of driving. I had anticipated them driving a junker or one of our cars (which at our high mileage use probably count as junkers). FWIW, parental nurturing instincts kicked in and we ended up buying a couple new Subarus with lots of safety features. That was an unanticipated expense, but in the grand scheme of things, who knows?
It’s funny how that happens 😁. BHs say that you’re spoiling your kids. I made sure that my kids understood that the cars were purchased for us. We wanted to improve the odds that we would not suffer “coulda shoulda woulda” if the kids had an accident. Regret avoidance.

I think you made the right call.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by rage_phish »

MotoTrojan wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:37 am
rage_phish wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:48 pm
texasdiver wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:45 pm
rage_phish wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:42 pm Right now
2 kids in daycare. And they just raised tuition this week
It’s our largest expense by far, will cost $30k this year
And that’s discounted day care due to my wife being a government employee
We are currently paying about $50k/year all-in to send oldest daughter to an out-of-state public university. That includes things like having her on our cell phone plane and car insurance and travel back and forth to school.
Living in CA, I see no reason for our kids to leave the state for college unless it’s for scholarships
I can think of a few reasons to leave your home state, especially if it’s CA.

Like what?
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Cooper62 »

College age - currently have a sophomore daughter at in-state flagship university. Even after her scholarships cost is $22,000/year. Plus books, club dues, and never ending expenses/fees that come with college. I complained about all the extra expenses high school senior year but would love to go back to those expenses. Had a stay at home parent while kids were young and they went to public K-12 so never had the daycare or private school tuition.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by MotoTrojan »

rage_phish wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:07 pm
MotoTrojan wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:37 am
rage_phish wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:48 pm
texasdiver wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:45 pm
rage_phish wrote: Tue Feb 04, 2020 5:42 pm Right now
2 kids in daycare. And they just raised tuition this week
It’s our largest expense by far, will cost $30k this year
And that’s discounted day care due to my wife being a government employee
We are currently paying about $50k/year all-in to send oldest daughter to an out-of-state public university. That includes things like having her on our cell phone plane and car insurance and travel back and forth to school.
Living in CA, I see no reason for our kids to leave the state for college unless it’s for scholarships
I can think of a few reasons to leave your home state, especially if it’s CA.

Like what?
Especially in college I think it’s important to have exposure to diversify of people/experiences and for those that plan to return to their home state to work, college is a once in a lifetime.

I was born and went to college in CA. Now that I’ve moved to a LCOL place I can actually have some space, make owning a home a reality, and no longer feel a social pressure to keep up with the Jones. I feel like my parents generation think it’s totally reasonable to stay in major cities in CA but they got homes decades ago for literally 1/10th or less the current value. Unless you make $500K/year you will have to compromise these days, and work longer.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by stoptothink »

cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:34 am
stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:19 am
cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:10 am
stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:41 am
cshell2 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:51 am To answer the OP. I would put 15-18 at the top. The senior year of high school has been brutal.
Thinking back to when I was 15-18, my financial cost to my mom was a (shared with my 2 brothers) bedroom and food. What are the other costs? Sports, car/car insurance, dances...? It was made very clear to me if I wanted those non-essentials, then I could get a job and pay for them, and I did. Even then, I can't imagine them adding up to the $800-$1200/month we've had to spend (per kid) for childcare.
I paid 6K/year for childcare.

My son is in a private high school which is heavily subsidized by a benefactor, so I only pay 3K/year. I easily spent $1500 last year just on pre-college stuff and it's probably more if I actually go back and add it up (Application fees, test prep and fees, visiting schools, deposits...) He needs a car for my sanity as we live in the country and I was DONE driving him back and forth, so I bought him a car at 16 (just $1000), but also teen insurance is not cheap and there is maintenance on the extra car. He didn't start working until just before senior year because I wanted him to focus on school before then as we were going to be chasing merit scholarships for college. There were senior portraits, a new suit for speech and a trip to Nationals, plus senior marching band trip. Then just the day to day stuff. He is not a toddler. He's 6'1" and 220 pounds. He eats a LOT. He showers a LOT. His clothes are man-sized expensive stuff not thrift store get a bag of 2T to 4T clothes for $20, but he still outgrows/wears them out like a toddler.

Yes, I could have said you're not going to be in jazz or marching band or speech or Boy Scouts unless you pay for it all yourself and saved a ton of money. He probably would have been perfectly happy to just sit in his room and play video games all day at no cost to me. But, it was important to me that he not do that.
It isn't binary, just because you won't pay for all kinds of expensive extracurricular activities doesn't mean the only alternative is sitting in their room playing video games. At least that is my experience.
Well, I guess I could have kicked him outside (when I was home) or told him to walk the 15 miles to town to get a job? But, I can pretty much guarantee you that kid would not have been able to earn at a burger flipping job what he did in scholarships by focusing on academics and extracurriculars. Because of that, I won't have to say the college years are the most expensive.
Ok, just saying both can be done. I worked a job (which I rode my bike to) to pay for all my extracurriculars, played multiple sports, and got (a combination of athletic and academic) scholarships which completely covered undergrad, so these things costed my mom nothing. My siblings were in the same position, 4 of the 6 with similar results. The obvious (to me) difference is childcare is a necessity (for those without a SAHP) while pretty much all noted costs in the teenage years are discretionary.

I recognize that I grew up way different than many here and that has greatly determined my own parenting philosophy.
Glockenspiel
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Glockenspiel »

I have a hard time imagining a time frame more expensive than what I'm currently in. I have 2 kids (4 and 1), and currently pay $26,000/year in childcare expenses. It's basically the same amount as my mortgage (PITI). Even if activities and before/after school care are expensive, once they get into public school age, I can't imagine it being more than the $2,200/month that I'm currently spending on childcare. Maybe someone will argue otherwise. I can see the 15-18 year old range also being very expensive, but we'll be making more money then, and have much more saved for retirement, by that time.
cshell2
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by cshell2 »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:57 pm
I recognize that I grew up way different than many here and that has greatly determined my own parenting philosophy.
I did too. My single mom even managed to make paid childcare optional. I was left with older cousins until about age 5 then I was latch key from there on out with no paying for any extracurriculars. Yet, here I am paying 2K/year for piano lessons for a 4th grader. :wink: NEVER would have guessed I'd be doing that 30 years ago, but seriously, it's worth every dime to me.
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Cobra Commander
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Cobra Commander »

Glockenspiel wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:02 pm I have a hard time imagining a time frame more expensive than what I'm currently in. I have 2 kids (4 and 1), and currently pay $26,000/year in childcare expenses. It's basically the same amount as my mortgage (PITI). Even if activities and before/after school care are expensive, once they get into public school age, I can't imagine it being more than the $2,200/month that I'm currently spending on childcare. Maybe someone will argue otherwise. I can see the 15-18 year old range also being very expensive, but we'll be making more money then, and have much more saved for retirement, by that time.
I am in a similar position with childcare expenses. Part of the problem is people with older children think of these costs in nominal rather than real dollars.
stoptothink
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by stoptothink »

Glockenspiel wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:02 pm I have a hard time imagining a time frame more expensive than what I'm currently in. I have 2 kids (4 and 1), and currently pay $26,000/year in childcare expenses. It's basically the same amount as my mortgage (PITI). Even if activities and before/after school care are expensive, once they get into public school age, I can't imagine it being more than the $2,200/month that I'm currently spending on childcare. Maybe someone will argue otherwise. I can see the 15-18 year old range also being very expensive, but we'll be making more money then, and have much more saved for retirement, by that time.
Yup, childcare has been more than our (15yr) mortgage, at one point nearly twice, for going on 6yrs. Thank heavens both (childcare and mortgage) are gone the end of this year. But, looks like we'll still be paying ~$2k/month during the summer.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Glockenspiel »

stoptothink wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 1:30 pm
Yup, childcare has been more than our (15-yr) mortgage, at one point nearly twice, for going on 6yrs. Thank heavens both (childcare and mortgage) are gone the end of this year. But, looks like we'll still be paying ~$2k/month during the summer.
We're in similar spots. My 15-year mortgage is $100 more/month than childcare, but that's only because my daughter aged out of the infant room rates (toddlers are a bit cheaper). I'll be thankful in 8 months when my son starts kindergarten, but will still have either before or after-care expenses. Also, my $26k/year is for only 3-4 days a week, NOT full-time. I still have 8 years left on our mortgage though.
Starfish
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Starfish »

I still pay for after-school, some activities and summer camp and some school donations but it is practically free comparing to 0-3y age: 6 months without salary for my wife, 15$/h nanny.
My kid is second grade now. I know nothing about high-school in US, the only comparison I can make is with mine which was 100% free and best period of my life (same for everybody I know coming from the same background).
The thing that worries me a lot at this point is how low is the standard of education (his school is rated a 10/10). If it continues like this I might consider a private school at some point. The better one is around 40k per year.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by deltaneutral83 »

Cooper62 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:15 pm College age - currently have a sophomore daughter at in-state flagship university. Even after her scholarships cost is $22,000/year. Plus books, club dues, and never ending expenses/fees that come with college. I complained about all the extra expenses high school senior year but would love to go back to those expenses. Had a stay at home parent while kids were young and they went to public K-12 so never had the daycare or private school tuition.
I gotta know what in state school is more than $22k for tuition?
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by cshell2 »

deltaneutral83 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:00 pm
Cooper62 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:15 pm College age - currently have a sophomore daughter at in-state flagship university. Even after her scholarships cost is $22,000/year. Plus books, club dues, and never ending expenses/fees that come with college. I complained about all the extra expenses high school senior year but would love to go back to those expenses. Had a stay at home parent while kids were young and they went to public K-12 so never had the daycare or private school tuition.
I gotta know what in state school is more than $22k for tuition?
Our state flagship is 31K/year. That's not just tuition, but 2.5 hours is a long commute.
StealthRabbit
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by StealthRabbit »

Cash outflows = Broken bones (3 arms, 2 legs) Pre age 10.

Homeschooled, so no significant expenses, except for 6 week to 6 month field trips (they were fun expenses)

Capital expenses = Jr high when we fronted them the money to build their own houses (~$80k) Was all paid back when their homes got completed)

Always matched their wages 1:1 into their Roths age 12 - age 18 (not too expensive considering the benefits for them)

They paid for their own cars, insurance, housing, food, and college. (first 2 yrs free in WA State if you want to attend college instead of HS) 26,000 HS students did that in WA last yr alone.

Kids were pretty inexpensive for us.
They worked hard too.

Reverse retirement... Stay home with kids, form a family company, teach the kids life / finance / self management and responsibility.

...go back to work when the kids leave home (if you must).

Retire early, retire often... (I just worked night shift... more money, no bosses... every'day' was a day off... Cam always go to work tired,,, that is simple. It's dealing with, educating and raising a family that takes effort.
nguy44
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by nguy44 »

Before college, the 15-18 high school years were the most expensive. The drivers education and insurance, and an "extra" car for them to share (though they were responsible for gas and repairs). We have all boys who all had growth spurts to 6' tall during that time, so imagine the food bill. All of them played varsity sports, and there were always associated outlays - both for fees and injuries. Then various school "enrichment" events that we chose (or the were selected for) had expenses associated with them. Then the college visit trips and application fees. We really appreciate our almost-empty nest (one still in college part time but paying for it on his own and only home when school or work is out).
bltn
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by bltn »

By far, the college years and graduate school years have been the most expensive.
529 plans helped some, but those years required some additional funding from savings.
I sometimes wonder if “top twenty” private colleges are worth their expense.
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Texanbybirth »

StealthRabbit wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:51 pm Cash outflows = Broken bones (3 arms, 2 legs) Pre age 10.

Homeschooled, so no significant expenses, except for 6 week to 6 month field trips (they were fun expenses)

Capital expenses = Jr high when we fronted them the money to build their own houses (~$80k) Was all paid back when their homes got completed)

Always matched their wages 1:1 into their Roths age 12 - age 18 (not too expensive considering the benefits for them)

They paid for their own cars, insurance, housing, food, and college. (first 2 yrs free in WA State if you want to attend college instead of HS) 26,000 HS students did that in WA last yr alone.

Kids were pretty inexpensive for us.
They worked hard too.

Reverse retirement... Stay home with kids, form a family company, teach the kids life / finance / self management and responsibility.

...go back to work when the kids leave home (if you must).

Retire early, retire often... (I just worked night shift... more money, no bosses... every'day' was a day off... Cam always go to work tired,,, that is simple. It's dealing with, educating and raising a family that takes effort.
Awesome, my hero.
“The strong cannot be brave. Only the weak can be brave; and yet again, in practice, only those who can be brave can be trusted, in time of doubt, to be strong.“ - GK Chesterton
JBEB
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by JBEB »

As someone who is hoping to have children soon I found this thread very valuable...and stressful haha
randomguy
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by randomguy »

HomerJ wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:20 am

Ha! My kids are totally spread out, so I got to deal with most of those ages at once...

At one point, I had an 18-year old, a 12-year old, and 2 year-old.

College, braces, AND day-care, all in the same year.... :)

But it gets better... And at least I never had two in college at the same time.

Day-care is probably the most expensive period.
But you want 2 kids in college at the same time. It maximizes financial aid:) In the end there is a huge situational effects. 0-6 were pretty cheap with a stay at home parent. k-6 is pretty expensive with the private school. Grades 7-12 might be pretty cheap if they go to the local magnet school (i.e. academically better than the private school options). And if the college years should be pretty cheap since that will done by the 529s that have been funded over the previous 15 years.
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Portfolio7
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by Portfolio7 »

TomatoTomahto wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 10:11 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:21 am I calculated the wages my wife lost by staying home all those years. Not counting that she had to take an expensive refresher course, and now is paid what Census workers in our area are being offered, from oldest one being 4 until college, it cost us $1.5M. So that beats the $300k for our older son to be in college. Wife was a new manager when she left the workforce. Plenty of upward potential.
At the time we decided that I’d be a SAHD, we were making similar-ish incomes (my wife made more, but it was a bit scary to contemplate my income leaving the family). Then, freed from the concern that perhaps the kids weren’t sufficiently looked after, and a new freedom to take a business trip when necessary (although she traveled less than many of her peers), etc., my wife’s career quickly blossomed to where my missing income was rounding error.
Our opportunity cost totalled $1.6M minimum for the time DW stayed home or worked part time. I guess I should subtract daycare from that, which might be $450k because my oldest has special needs and some supervision has always been required. Net, that still cost a bit over $1M.

We've run a $10K+ annual deficit for most of the nearly 20 years of our kid's lives, but had saved a lot before we had kids, so we're in much better condition than one might otherwise think.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest" - Benjamin Franklin
fatcharlie
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by fatcharlie »

Divorce :)
MDfan
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Re: Couples w/ kids: What is/was the most expensive time period of your life?

Post by MDfan »

After the kids started driving. A few fender benders and then you're paying $10k in car insurance. Well, we were at least (3 kids). The college after that. So 16-22, I guess.
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