We have a new member in the Money Habit household! And it’s making me want to share my favorite articles on money and raising children.
The Money Habit household is full of activity these days. As a planner-type, I had some checklists I wanted to get through before the kid arrived, and I was in full ‘Get It Done’ mode thinking we had an estimated X days before Babypocalypse.
My first lesson in parenthood is that kids don’t obey any of the beautiful laws of a spreadsheet or perfectly crafted financial plan.
This kid arrived early. The ‘Get It Done’ list is distinctly undone.
Our neatly arranged living room looks a hurricane tore through, leaving behind the wrappers of a dozen baby items that had to be torn out of their packaging the second we came home from the hospital in order to make it habitable for the kiddo.
The Future (As It Relates To The Blog)
We are, of course, equal parts delighted and sleep-deprived. And I wanted to share the news because:
1) All That Delight
2) I may be slower to respond to emails, messages, and the like just for the next few weeks.
I will still be posting regularly in the coming weeks, though it may drop to one post a week for a brief stint.
And bonus: the addition of the littlest Money Habit means you can also look forward to more content on financial planning for families with kids (life insurance and what kind? etc.), expenses with kids, and strategies for tax optimization, cost cutting, and investing for your children’s futures.
Favorite Articles: Kids and Money
In the spirit of that topic, I’d love to share a few of my favorite articles from around the web on kids and money so far. Hope you enjoy!
Philosophy and Strategy
Avoiding Ivy League Preschool Syndrome by Mr. Money Mustache – I read this gem years ago before kids were even on my radar. The Hubs and I have had many conversations since about how we plan to spend on our kid’s ‘enrichment activities’. MMM’s point that there is such an abundance of free or low cost ‘enrichment activities’ in this world is the reminder we need while living in a high cost place like NYC, where you can find $20k a year private horseback riding programs, study abroad summer programs for middle schoolers, and all sorts of other expensive activities.
The Gear You Actually Need For A Baby by Mrs. Frugalwoods – This was such a lifeline when I was swimming in a sea of articles recommending the top 332963 gadgets you need to ensure your baby gets the right start in life. I admittedly did not end up going quite so minimalist (and I plan to share what I spent and where I spent it outfitting our baby gear), but the spirit of it was helpful in guiding me to decisions to buy only things that really mattered as opposed to hype from others who ‘knew better’.
Investing In…Kids? By Mr. Tako – Great reflective post on a lot of the qualitative and difficult-to-measure benefits of kids when thinking about the ‘cost vs benefit’ of having them. I’ve always appreciated his conversational and reflective style.
Why Retiring Early With Kids Can Be The Best Thing Ever by Justin at Root of Good – This is a guest post from Root of Good on the Frugalwoods blog. Both blogs are excellent. There are some great examples of how we live in a world of abundance for the average American family, and as such how getting second hand things and finding low cost entertainment options yields a pretty fan-freaking-tastic quality of life for both kids and parents.
USDA Expenditures on Children Report – If you want to truly geek out on cost data, the USDA runs a regular nationwide survey and publishes the report on its website. A word of warning: the report isn’t prettily packaged like a four-paragraph magazine article and the graphics are old school, but you get to see all the breakdowns by category, by family median income, etc. These numbers still blow my mind, by the way. Almost a quarter million dollars to raise a kid, not including the cost of college? Is it even possible that the average American family has been earning that amount to put toward each kid? This is the source of the data used in pretty much all those glossy magazine articles that come out at the same time every year, so you can go straight to the source here and get the deets.
Baby Calculator: How Much You’ll Spend In Year 1 By Nerd Wallet – The data sources for this calculator are not divulged so I can’t speak to how accurate it is, but it’s definitely a great way to start thinking about the quantitative side of raising kids.
My hour away from the kiddo is up and it’s time for me to do some glamorous diaper changing. See you on the other side.
Any major advice you like to keep in mind as you navigate the thousand decisions of what to spend money on for your kids and what isn’t worth it? Do you agree that it costs $233k+ to raise a kid to adulthood in this country?