13 kid expenses that are not worth the money

Raising a child is expensive, however there are some areas in raising your child where you can save money. Learn where you can save in raising your kid today.

  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Google Plus
  • Print

The average American family pays over $11,000 just in the first year1 of a child's life, and nearly $250,000 by the time they're 18.2 And while most of the incurred expenses prove worthwhile, not every toy, class, or experience warrants its price tag.

Business Insider asked parents with children of all ages to weigh in on the financial side of having kids. While they concluded that several expenses are well worth the money, myriad others proved unworthy of the cost, from trendy gadgets to designer clothing.

Not every parent went into their reasoning, but every family is different, and it makes sense that every expense would be valued differently, too.

Below, we've anonymously included 13 things they say aren't worth spending on:

Too much/too nice clothing

  • "For older kids, I would say clothes. Kids can be picky about their clothes and will end up wearing the same 5 shirts over and over anyway. So just get clothes they like and will wear and replace as needed. And I always accept hand-me-downs."
  • "Fancy clothes when they were young. They outgrew them too quickly."

Toys

  • Trendy toys
  • "Any electronic gadgets for kids less than 13."
  • Going overboard on Christmas
  • Over-the-top birthday parties

Expensive vacations with young kids

"It's not worth it to do 'big vacations' when they are younger; they just forget. It's been more worth it to do things like visit major cities or travel across Canada now that my son is old enough to appreciate it and learn from it."

New baby gear

  • Anything other than the basics. "A lot of the new-baby junk. You really just need the stuff to keep baby clean and warm, a safe place for baby to sleep, and formula or milk for the baby. That's it. Everything else can be helpful and convenient, but that might depend on your baby. My first baby hated her infant swing, for instance, but her younger brother loves it."
  • Specialty toys. "I found that many of the 'must-haves,' like special toys, when they are babies, aren't worth the money. There are so many things you could spend money on."
  • Wipes warmer. "As you get your child accustomed to warm wipes, what happens when you're on the go? It's just not a recipe for success on an area of the body that needs a lot of attention."
  • Electric bouncer
  • Anything poor quality, including novelty bed frames, mattresses, or cheap bottles

Upgrading to a too-large house

"We over-bought on our house upgrade. We now have a 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom with extra spaces such as a play room, loft area, office, craft room, and a finished basement. We have all the spaces we need, but now the budget is so tight it's difficult to furnish and do things like taking nice trips."

Topics:
  • New Child
  • Saving and Spending
  • New Child
  • Saving and Spending
  • New Child
  • Saving and Spending
  • Facebook.
  • Twitter.
  • LinkedIn.
  • Google Plus
  • Print
Sources

1. "USDA Cost of Raising a Child Calculator", United States Department of Agriculture. https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/tools/CRC_Calculator/default.aspx

2. "How Much Does It Cost to Raise a Child?", The Wall Street Journal, June 22, 2016. https://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/06/22/how-much-does-it-cost-to-raise-a-child/
Article copyright 2017 by Business Insider. Reprinted from the Jan 6, 2017 issue with permission from Business Insider.
The statements and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. Fidelity Investments cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any statements or data.
This reprint is supplied by Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC.
The third-party provider of the reprint permission and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and are not legally affiliated.

Votes are submitted voluntarily by individuals and reflect their own opinion of the article's helpfulness. A percentage value for helpfulness will display once a sufficient number of votes have been submitted.

Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC, 900 Salem Street, Smithfield, RI 02917

803933.1.0
close
Please enter a valid e-mail address
Please enter a valid e-mail address
Important legal information about the e-mail you will be sending. By using this service, you agree to input your real e-mail address and only send it to people you know. It is a violation of law in some jurisdictions to falsely identify yourself in an e-mail. All information you provide will be used by Fidelity solely for the purpose of sending the e-mail on your behalf.The subject line of the e-mail you send will be "Fidelity.com: "

Your e-mail has been sent.
close

Your e-mail has been sent.
piggy

Get more insights from MyMoney

Just sign up and we'll email our latest thinking every two weeks.
Not sure? Learn more
We understand that privacy and security are important to you and will only subscribe you to the MyMoney newsletter. See our Privacy Policy.

Here's what we suggest you explore next

Should you save for your child's college education?

Virtually everyone thinks saving for college is important, but according to the College Savings Foundation, just over half are actually putting money away for their child's education. Learn why you should start saving.

Get help saving for college

Family and friends contributions made easy. Flexible investing options. Tax advantages.

You might also like

7 good reasons you might not want to buy a house

Buying a home is a major milestone in your life, however there may be reason to wait to buy your first house. Learn why you should potentially reconsider buying a home here.

How big should your mortgage payment be?

Mortgage payments are usually a homeowner's biggest monthly expense. But how big should your monthly mortgage payment be? Read here to learn more.

6 financial mistakes people make when applying for a mortgage

Review these tips to help with the home-buying process.

Get help saving for college

Family and friends contributions made easy. Flexible investing options. Tax advantages.