I have seen articles on the Internet that say it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, a quarter of a million dollars, to raise a child. There may be families who can and do spend that much. I also know families who couldn’t if they wanted to. My own experience is that kids cost as much as you are prepared to spend.
For instance, there are several levels of spending to choose from:
$0: hand me downs. I wore my older cousin’s clothes, and when I outgrew them, handed them on to her younger sister.
$small: rummage sale, garage sale, thrift store, and consignment store purchases. For very young children especially, garage sales are a bonanza of barely used clothes
$big: new clothes from a discount store
$huge: new designer clothes from a high-end department store
$0: older sibling’s hand me downs
$15: sneakers, new
$35: leather shoes, new
$200: fashionable athletic shoe, new, that are outgrown in six months
Each family applies its own values and preferences to deciding what levels to spend on.
Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on Amazon.com in both Kindle and paperback versions.