10 Ways Having Children Saves You Money

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Let’s say you are seriously considering taking the plunge into parenthood.  Perhaps you have already done something stupid like gotten yourself or your partner knocked up.  (Sucker.)  Certainly, doing what’s best for your child is your top priority.  However, like nearly every other parent faced with this decision, your mind quickly shifts to finances:

 

Can we afford a baby?

 

It’s a question you will fearfully ponder for months. Perhaps you’ll make spreadsheets. Perhaps you and your partner will decide what little luxuries or conveniences you are willing to sacrifice. But, have no fear: Having children might actually SAVE you money! How?

 

10 Ways Having Children Saves You Money

 

1.  TOILETRIES:  Once you become a parent,  you will seldom have a free minute to shower and brush your teeth, let alone use deodorant, a razor, deep conditioning treatments, or beauty balm.  You can count on using only about 1/8 of any personal hygiene products you used as a well-groomed, fully functional member of society once baby arrives. Less if you have multiples.

 

2.  CLOTHING:  The next time you actually need well-made, tailored clothing will be the kid’s graduation or your own funeral; whichever occurs first. Until said time, you will rotate the same four pairs of yoga/sweat pants and six tee-shirts for EVERYTHING, EVERYDAY. You will exercise in them. You will spend the day in them. At night you will put on a fresh set and sleep in them.

Even if you return to work outside of the home, you will wear machine washable, wrinkle resistant clothing. You will no longer have any need for dry-cleaners, tailors, or even accessories. Sure, one day you new mommies might slip into a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans and a nice silk blouse in an attempt to pull yourself out of the emotionally draining, life-sucking vortex that is motherhood. Then, the kid will puke  on you and you will NEVER make that mistake again.

 

3.  HOUSEHOLD MAINTENANCE AND DECOR: Your house WILL be TRASHED.  It doesn’t matter if you have one baby or triplets; if you have a boy or a girl. Your house will look like shit by the time your little bundle of joy celebrates their first birthday: Baby gates, toys, yogurt splatters, vomit, poop on the baseboard moulding, fingerprints… EVERYWHERE! You will no longer have the time or energy to trawl your favorite stores for charming household decor or fabulous surround sound system upgrades. Resign yourself to the fact that you will likely just wait for the kid to turn 18, burn whatever is left, and start over.

 

4.  SOCIAL LIFE: Pre-baby, did you have routine happy hours with friends or colleagues from work?  Did you have brunch and get a mani with a girlfriend every Sunday morning?  Did you play golf twice a week?  Did you enjoy movies or concerts with your partner?  Fancy dinners at the “hottest” restaurants? DONE. Slash that healthy, happy, relaxing “me-time” shit from your budget.  It ain’t happenin.’

 

5.  ENTERTAINMENT & HOBBIES: Do you enjoy TV, using the phone, reading books or magazines?  Maybe you love watching movies in bed?  Embroidery?  Stamp Collecting?  Painting?  Baking?  I’m sorry to break it to you but you might as well just cut the budget for your personal entertainment and hobbies to near. You’re not going to have ANY time to use the phone, watch TV, read magazines or books. Cancel your landline. Cancel the premium cable package. Cut your magazine subscriptions by three-quarters.

 

6. SEX: If prior to conceiving you were using birth control, you can save your money after the baby arrives because the baby is the birth control. The crying, the feeding, the sleepless nights. Heaven really help you if you choose to co-sleep.

 

7.  FOOD & DINING: For months, you don’t want to take the newborn into a crummy restaurant where s/he could come in contact with the filthy public.  Shortly thereafter, you don’t want to subject the filthy public or crummy restaurant staff to your raging toddler.

But what about cooking fresh organic meals at home?  We want to serve our baby only the best quality food and that can be expensive.

Trust me, after your kid goes on hunger strike and refuses to eat anything that is NOT orange or heavily salted for three weeks straight, you won’t give a damn.  You’ll feed your kid ANYTHING, even if it’s canned soup and generic potato chips.

 

8.  TRAVEL: BAH-HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  It’s hard enough to get across town.  I DARE you to book a week-long vacation. Good luck, sucka!  Traveling with children sucks. It’s a waste of money. Trust me, stay home and be miserable. It’s way more cost-effective.

 

9.  THE MAID:  I’m sure a lot of you dual income, no child folks have some sort of help in the housekeeping department.  Perhaps you have a cleaning service that comes on a periodic basis to do the heavy lifting – vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, etc while you and your significant other are busy jetting off to some fabulous location for the weekend.  After kids?  NO MORE HOUSEKEEPING!  It will save you a mint!  Scheduling a time for someone to come into your home and run the vacuum is nearly impossible with a baby’s erratic sleep schedule.  Once the child is older, your home will such a disgusting disaster you won’t even want a PROFESSIONAL CLEANING SERVICE to see it!  You might not be convinced yet, but trust me, the first time you catch yourself pre-cleaning – scraping chunks of snot and yogurt off the appliances, desperately searching for huge crumbs in corners so obscure the dog couldn’t even locate them – you’ll realize the maid is an unnecessary expenditure.  The house will only remain clean for approximately 30 seconds anyway.

 

However, should you happen to be a bit of a neat freak, never fear!  Kids = free labor!  You might be able to get some help with the housekeeping if you convince them cleaning is a game.  Their tiny little hands are perfect for picking crumbs off the carpet.  Make it a counting game!  Kids love novelty.  Give them a stupid-looking hat and a toilet brush and see what happens… Sure, 7 out of 10 times they will probably try to brush the cat or their own teeth with it, but 30% of the time, they might actually clean the damn toilet.

 

10.  TAXES:  Everyone knows kids are a HUGE tax deduction.  The more you have, the more tax deductions you get.  It’s as if you get paid by the government to procreate!  What are we waiting for?!

 

There you have it: 10 extremely useful ways having children actually SAVES you money!  I hope you found it helpful.   Now, go edit your spreadsheets!  Maybe you’ll even find a few extra pennies for some cheap booze or a lottery ticket!  If not now, just wait for your next tax return.

Comments

  1. 1

    Amanda Martin says

    Hahahaha Loved this! Especially “Resign yourself to the fact that you will likely just wait for the kid to turn 18, burn whatever is left, and start over.” My husband is already asking when the kids leave home – they’re 2 and 4!

    And the sweat pants and t-shirt combo. I wore new jeans the other day and my son said, perplexed, “what are they mummy?” This morning I wore a skirt (!) because I was going to the doctors about my knee and it saved the embarrassment of peeling off dirty jeans. I even ironed it. So much new and inexplicable activity nearly melted my little boy’s mind.

    • 2

      Deni Miller says

      Thank you! We should start a Pinterest board called “After the Fire” for everything we want after the kid’s leave home. Ha!

      Hope your appointment goes well today! Take care!

  2. 4

    Lalitha says

    This is soooo true esp sweat pants. I wore a dress for my sons 3rd bday party and it was the first time he’d seen me in one i guess. In an elevator full of ppl he asked me – mommy where are your pants? U forgot them?!!!!

    • 5

      Deni Miller says

      Hahahaha!!

      My hair is typically up in a messy bun or tucked under a scarf or hat. Whenever my son first sees me with my hair actually down and styled (particularly if it’s been blown out), he looks at me all confused and full of wonder and hesitantly touches it. Cracks me up! Poor kid. He has no idea I used to look that way almost every day!

  3. 6

    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes says

    *snort*
    You are quit right about the ‘making kids clean stuff’ game. I suggest you let them watch Cinderella. After watching mine started this lovely game in which I’m the wicked mother and they are the poor drudges Cinderella and baby Cinderella. I don’t let them scrub floors (yet) but gave them some dustrags and now they clean the baseboards while I sit on the couch with the cat on my lap barking orders at them.

    • 7

      Deni Miller says

      BRILLIANT!!! With all our pets, the baseboards are the bane of my existence – always covered in pet hair. This is seriously the BEST idea I’ve heard in ages! I’m going to get Cinderella ASAP!

    • 8

      Melomar says

      You’re a GENIUS. I love this I must try it, my kids pick up stuff from plays or movies to turn into games or ways to annoy me all the time but I never thought about trying to use that habit for good

  4. 9

    Jessica Smock says

    Every single one of these “budget savers” are true for us. I used to be a beauty products hoarder — I loved having a millions choices of shampoos, moisturizers, hair products. I would choose a different one every day. Now I use shampoo-conditioner-in-one (something I always thought was just for lazy, cheap people) and never shave my legs or put on makeup.
    I used to be a huge film fan… It was my favorite thing to do on weekends, along with dinner out. This year I realized that this was the first year that I had never seen most of the movies nominated for a Best Picture Oscars. (And actually, not only had I not seen them, but I had never HEARD of most of them.) I never buy clothes. We don’t travel. But doesn’t this only count for one kid? After the first kid, the budgetary bonuses no longer count, right?

    • 10

      Deni Miller says

      It’s amazing how much more room we have in the bathroom since I ditched almost all my beauty products. I used to maintain a Bath and Body 6 flavor minimum. Now it’s sensitive skin Dove and Eucerin. Sigh.

      I only have on kid at the moment so I’m not sure what happens with more. Although, I’d imagine you might be able to sucker them into doing twice as much cleaning. . .unless of course they decide to sword fight with toilet brushes. . .Which I’m pretty sure is a given.

      I’m not a tax advisor, but I think the tax deduction still applies. :)

      • 11

        Jessica Smock says

        I’m more of a Lubriderm, Chapstick, Olay body wash, and Pantene girl now myself. And, yes, there is LOADS of room in our bathroom now.

        • 12

          Deni Miller says

          Have you noticed yet, some of that extra bathroom space is becoming cluttered with disgusting, perpetually damp, likely moldy, soap scummy bathtub toys?!

  5. 13

    Debbie says

    Wow this is a grrrreat list for birth control. As for saving money, yes it does stop going on us (the parent). But then comes the kids clothes that they grow out of every few months and as they get older you maybe lucky if they fit them for 6 months. Don’t forget the diapers and all there lotions and yes, the toys and gates that are going to clutter up the house. Then comes the birthday parties, which they will never remember having at the age of 2, 3 and 4.

    All the activities they need to be in now days at the earliest possible age, oh and don’t forget about all the car seats and larger car you need for all the car seat.
    Love the humor in this and that is what is really important in being a parent, you have to keep the humor and move right along, one day at a time.

    • 14

      Deni Miller says

      I’m glad you appreciate the humor. It’s true, they are so, so expensive. And I agree, parents sometimes get way too caught up in elaborate and expensive sometimes not practical extras – like those crazy birthdays the child won’t remember! But they are worth every penny! Keep laughin’ ;)

  6. 15

    Momchalant says

    This is such a great post! You forgot to mention that you won’t even want to buy new clothes once you have love handles and a muffin top.. so that also saves money.

    • 16

      audrey says

      My poor love handles and muffin top! I don’t want new clothes, but mostly because I need a bigger size…stupid DH and kids ruining the figure I worked so hard for!

      • 17

        Deni Miller says

        Excellent point. Although I must shamefully admit I was sportin’ a mean muffin top BEFORE the baby! :)

    • 18

      Melon says

      I have a closet full of clothing that is too small but I stuffed my body into the stuff that fits (2 pair of pants and a hand full of tops) and a long cardigan sweater to cover the muffin top. I can’t seem to buy the bigger size as I had lost weight a few years ago and think I might be able to do it again while knowing it can’t happen without exercise….but then I think i don’t go anywhere anyway…

      • 19

        Deni Miller says

        You are NOT alone, Melon! Although, I’m ruthless, I ditch ANYTHING that doesn’t fit. We just don’t have room to keep it.

        That has left me hoping it will soon be fashionable to wear tailored blazers with yoga pants. . .

        Ooohhhh. . .are those cookies?! Gotta go! :)

  7. 20

    grownandflown says

    Deni, great ideas and a good thing to start to save with babies. As a slightly older (OK, much older mom), there is something very expensive way on the horizon I will spell because to say it out loud is terrifying – c.o.l.l.e.g.e. Yikes!

    • 21

      Deni Miller says

      Thanks!

      C o l l e g e.

      You mean my short, pudgy little guy isn’t going to get a full sports scholarship? ;)

      It is terrifying – for many reasons!

  8. 22

    Jaded says

    ARE you mocking me, Deni???? I feel you looking in my windows… Maybe I should start moping or something I feel you looking into my life. lol… too funny thank for the “making me pee in my pants post” ;)

    • 23

      Deni Miller says

      Ha!! I’m not looking in your windows.

      I tried. . . .

      But they were do damned filthy I couldn’t see a blessed thing! LOL!

      I’m glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know. . .and best of luck with um. . .life with kids! :)

  9. 26

    Emily Holz says

    I totally agree with the destroyed house thing. In fact I’ve had to replace some furniture due to kid and cat damage. Social life and travel, true. My fave expression; they’re energy vampires.

    • 27

      Deni Miller says

      I had no idea kids were so hard on things! When I was a kid I remember wondering why my own Mother had these hideous lamps on the tables beside the sofa. Now I know. . .they were there because she wouldn’t care if we destroyed them! Ha.

  10. 28

    Jack says

    Try sending your kids to private school and watch all the money saving tips go out the window.

    Good times.

    • 29

      Deni Miller says

      Jack, I get it. We live in downtown Baltimore and we’re hoping not to relocate because we love our home and our neighborhood. However, the school situation is something my Husband and I worried about even before having children. We have excellent private schools. . .but the costs are mind blowing. Best wishes!

  11. 30

    Jamie@SouthMainMuse says

    All the money you save while they are babies needs to be invested for when they make the dreaded leap from children’s sizes in clothes to adults. Especially the shoes. Which you have to buy every 6 months. I wish my parents had encouraged cleat manufacturing as a career option.

    • 31

      Deni Miller says

      Ha! Didn’t Nike start in a suburban garage somewhere? I think the founders poured latex/rubber into a waffle iron to make the soles?

      Do you have a waffle iron? You could probably fashion cleats by strategically placing pushpins or a similar item, into the rubber before it sets!

      I have two sisters. We took ballet lessons for years. I cannot begin to guess the amount of money my parents must have spent on pointe shoes. Brutal.

      • 32

        SnapInTime says

        Seriously, what’s the deal with the shoes?!? Those boy feet grow 1/2″ when they make the leap from size 6 to 7 and the price freakin doubles?

        Dance. My daughter has the most expensive costume box in the history of the world. Those recital costumes x3 every.single.spring…..

        Good thing we save money on those things for unimportant people like ummmm US. That list was hysterical! And so true! Oh I also seem to vaguely remember buying new underwear before the waistband was unraveling on what I had and new bras just because I wanted them. Ha. Now it’s the new shoes every 14 minutes because the teenager feet are powered by testosterone and Nike….

  12. 33

    Maria Bellos Fisher of Hereditary Insanity says

    I love the one about travel. I wholeheartedly agree that it sucks. My husband keeps asking me if I’d like to live in some undesirable place (like Chicago – brrr and no NY pizza!) “And just travel a lot.” Is he f-ing kidding? I swear he’s there when we travel with the kids, but he must escape to some alternate universe where the walk down the jetway is not the Highway to Hell. I’m really happy to have discovered you, Deni. I’m definitely going to check out your blog!

    • 34

      Deni Miller says

      Well, thank you Maria! I look forward to checking out Hereditary Insanity too!

      Travel’s great! (Once you get home and everyone’s still alive and the hellish memories start to fade!)

      Happy trails, Maria! Have a great weekend.

  13. 35

    Mama and the City says

    This post is awesome.

    I was very conscious of my money prior to the kid, but this was a life changing for my husband, who knew huh?

    • 36

      Deni Miller says

      I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      My Husband was always the saver and budgeter before children. I played pretty fast and loose with my own expendable income.

      But like your own Husband, I became much more conscious after our son was born.

  14. 37

    Amy @ Mommy Rodeo says

    Hahaha. I was literally talking about #7 the other day. I was so careful with all of his food… up until he began his food boycott. Nothing but cheese slices thank you very much. Or bananas. I resorted to feeding him almost anything if he’d eat it. I figured at this point, a calorie is a calorie.

    • 38

      Deni Miller says

      How old is he Amy? Has he outgrown it yet? I’m DYING here! The kid is KILLING ME!

      It’s not that he’s “picky” because he’ll eat just about anything. BUT only if he FEELS LIKE IT. So he might be all jazzed about broccoli for 2 weeks and then BAM! Boycott.

      We’re “over” nearly all fruit BUT cantaloupe. All veggies BUT steamed carrots and maybe a cucumber slice. Sometimes he even rejects TATERTOTS! (He’s a damned savage). And there’s no amount of dip, ketchup, dressings, hummus, cool whip that can trick him!

      Let me know if you have creative suggestions and thanks for your comments! :)

  15. 39

    Ariana says

    #9, I actually never even considered a maid until after children. But after kids I would have been way to embarrassed to let a professional cleaning person see my home!

    • 40

      Deni Miller says

      Mmmm Hmmmm. I hear ya.

      If we ever move, I have only one MUST HAVE for a new home: The house must be able to be cleaned with a high-powered hose. . .and there should be drains in all the floors so it can just drain and air dry. . .

      So let me know if you see any 1400 sq. ft. showers for sale in the greater Baltimore area! LOL.

  16. 41

    kristen brakeman says

    All so true. Especially the clothes. I used to spend so much on clothes and now I find that I’m actually excited when I see the new line at Target. God help me.

    • 42

      Deni Miller says

      I’m right there with you! In fact, I’ve given away probably 60% of all my “nice” clothes because I just wasn’t wearing them and there was no point having them gather dust.

      Now I’ll all jazzed to hit Target, Old Navy, and if I really want to get crazy I’ll order me a “fancy” machine washable dress from Land’s End!

      I’ll admit this much: Machine washable garments with questionable fit, are damned comfortable!

  17. 43

    Krysta says

    All of our fancy Waterford decorative glass keeps moving higher higher higher and then gone altogether in our living room/play room. I’m like why did we spend so much money furnishing and decorating the living room/house?! All of our shelving is bare from a certain point down and it looks like a fisher price bomb went off. Add some dog barf full of plastic pieces of baby toys and a shredded couch from the cat claws and that about sums it up! Don’t get me started on how often I actually get to shower!

    • 44

      Deni Miller says

      Krysta,

      I’ve taken SCADS of beautiful glassware, dishes, decorative items to Goodwill. Our awesome sofa is now sporting an ill-fitting slipcover. I threw at least 1/4 of our furniture onto the street with “FREE” signs because it was just getting decimated and it was breaking my heart.

      There’s a valuable lesson here: If you have “nice” things, pre-kid USE and enjoy them! Do not wait! And take photos of how nice everything looks!

      If you do not have “nice” things pre-kid, don’t sweat it. . .you’re already ahead of the game.

      I’ll toast you, in a plastic Solo cup because my “good” wine glasses are on a shelf so high, I can’t access them without a ladder!

  18. 45

    Lynn from For Love or Funny says

    Hi Deni, I love your sense of humor. And yes, when I started pre-cleaning for the lady who came to clean our kitchen/bathrooms when our kids were babies, I knew something was terribly wrong. :)

    • 46

      Deni Miller says

      Thank you! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Why do we pre-clean?

      Although, I wouldn’t go to the dentist without brushing and flossing first so. . .

  19. 47

    Crystal says

    This is so spot on! I love the restaurant/eating out tidbit, as we are now entering the “I’ll throw stuff at the other diners and like it” stage! Not fun!

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