It wasn’t long ago that I became a dad (father just seems to formal). It’s happening all over again. It’s not exactly the standard definition of Irish twins, but they are close enough… and happen to have enough Irish in them from both my wife and I.
Let’s get to the money though shall we? This isn’t Lazy Man and Parenting. The USDA has a good Cost of raising a Child Calculator and the cost of raising Little Man was going to be about $29,250 per year. According to the calculator, having two kids is going to push it to $46,800 per year. While the calculator
The big components of that is child care and housing. Let me cover each and compare our situation with the averages:
Housing (Calculator estimate of $17,200)
We don’t intend to buy a bigger house. As they are both boys, they can share a room for a while. In fact, I think my brother and I shared a room until he went to college. At some point, we’ll sacrifice the guest room.
That’s not to say that we won’t buy a bigger house at some point. We all know plans change and 1800 square feet might be a little small for two big boys when we can afford a bigger place. However, if we did buy a bigger house, that isn’t exactly money down the drain. There’s value in the equity of the house. It might even lead to making us money if we downsize later on in life.
What I’m intentionally leaving out here is the wear and tear on a home with two boys.
Child Care and Education (Calculator estimate of $12,560)
The calculator’s child care costs are almost exactly what we’d pay in the first year. This is surprising because in comparing it with friends using our military status is a huge savings. When I looked into it in Silicon Valley, which didn’t have the military savings, it was closer to $22,000 per year per child. Maybe the USDA calculator assumes an early high cost with it decreasing when they get to school age. If that’s the case, it makes sense as we’ll be see those same reduced costs bringing our annual average cost down.
Transportation (Calculator estimate of $5,120)
This is going to be an interesting one for us. We’ll need to get a bigger car bring the kids around. We bought a Subaru Forrester when the first kid arrived. We have a small SUV with 125,000 miles on it. We were getting ready to move on from it anyway, so it could almost be looked at as a marginal increased cost… just buying a different type of car. Of course that bigger car will cost us more money in gas, which fits under the transportation umbrella.
Now what that car might be is a whole different article.
Food (Calculator estimate of $4,040)
Not much to say about the cost of food. We can save a little money on formula buying through the military commissary, Wal-Mart, or stacking CVS coupons (a game my wife likes to play). We’ll also breast-feed, but that transfers the food costs to what my wife eats (darn law of law of conservation of energy).
The Savings is in Sharing
Having another boy, especially one so close in age, seems like it is going to save us some money. The first thought is that we’ll be able to recycle all the clothes from Little Man. That’s an immediate savings. The cloth diapers that we invested in with Little Man really start to pay off on the second baby, so that’s a bonus.
For some time, we’ll be able to reuse the same toys. Even better, we’ll avoid buying all that American Girl Crap. I’m sure at some point, they’ll develop their own tastes. Until then, it’s going to be a savings to have them share the same Thomas the Tank Engine toys.
Just like when Little Man arrived, there’s going to be a lot of changes. I’d be lying if I said that I know how it’s all going to play out. Like most things, you anticipate the best you can and then make the appropriate adjustments as new information comes in.