How to Afford the cost of Having a Child

Having children is one of the most amazing blessings you can encounter in your life, but it definitely isn’t cheap.  The cost of having a child, let alone more than one, is definitely high.

cost of having a child

A little while ago I wrote a post on how to have a Baby on a Budget.  However, once the baby is born the expenses are just beginning. You don’t need to be discouraged, though, and think you can’t afford kids.  Just like most things in life, you can easily cut costs when it comes to raising children.  If you are preparing to start a family, or just want to know how to cut costs with your children whom are already in your care, keep reading to see how you can save money on kids.


Buy bikes, toys, and furniture secondhand.  Our kids ride bikes from yard sales, have their rooms completely furnished from second hand items, and even own some toys that have been handed down or purchased at yard sales.  My kids love to find treasures like board games, puzzles, and other toys from garage sales!

Shop the thrift stores for their wardrobe.  Kids grow out of clothes so fast that you can often find clothes in great condition at the secondhand stores.  If your kids are at the age where fashion is important, bring them along shopping with you and get them involved.  If they get to pick out their own clothes and discover thrift stores have things they like, they are more likely to be excited about thrift store shopping.

Cut back on extra-curricular activities. Having our kids involved in an activity or two during the week can be a great experience for them.  But if you find your child has too many activities in their schedule and it is costing you an arm and a leg, it may be time to cut back.  Kids can thrive without having an after-school activity every day of the week.  I talk more about how to cut costs on extra-curriculars in this post HERE.

Keep the toys to a minimum.  Just like us, kids can get weighed down by too much stuff.  It’s harder to keep things tidy, and they can feel overwhelmed at having an overabundance of toys.  For our house, I’ve discovered my kids play mostly with Lego, cars, and a card game they created by making all their own cards and rules.  The other toys they own rarely get touched.  Kids are generally content with just a few of their favorite things to play with.

Don’t try to keep up with the Joneses kids.  I know the pressure can be strong when it comes to providing our kids with the best of the best, but our kids will be just fine if they don’t get the newest and latest toy or electronic that has hit the market.  This is a great time to teach a lesson of contentment and gratefulness for what your family DOES have.

Skip the overpriced groceries geared specifically for kids.  Things like dinosaur shaped nuggets, sugary cereals, and individually packaged fruit snacks are sure to raise your grocery bill.  Though it can be daunting, cook more from home and package the items up yourself.  Make things like muffins, quick breads, and homemade cookies for their lunch box and stick to the more generic cereals and nuggets to feed them while at home.

Shop around for services.  Whether it be dental, medical, or another type of service, shop around for better deals for your kids.  When my daughter needed glasses I definitely did not want to pay hundreds of dollars for the glasses in the store.  I discovered I could order glasses for her online at Zenni for around $15 a pair.  While you may only be able to find small savings, every little bit helps.  Whether it be glasses, or braces, or something else, be sure to shop around to make sure you are getting the best price possible.

Apply for subsidy programs.  If you are low-income, you may qualify for subsidy for various programs for your kids.  I have come across programs that help cover the costs of swimming lessons, dental procedures, childcare, winter coats and boots, prom dresses and suits, backpacks and school supplies, diapers, and much more.  If you are in a position where you can’t pay for these things for your child but desperately want to provide these types of opportunities, be sure to check into what is offered in your community.

Start a side hustle to cover expenses.  Being a parent is an extremely busy job, whether you work outside of the home or you are a stay-at-home mom.  The thought of adding more work to your already full plate can feel exhausting.  However, what if you started a side hustle that only required a few extra hours a week?  Even a few hours of work can help with the expenses that come with raising your children.


If you have been wondering how to afford kids, all it takes is a little creative thinking when it comes to covering the expenses that come with having children.  Children are an incredible blessing and the cost of having a child is well worth every single dollar. More importantly, though,  kids just want love and attention, and that can often be shown in ways that cost nothing at all.  They don’t need all the biggest and best things to know that you love them.  A simple walk together, getting down on the floor and playing legos with them, teaching them how to bake cookies, or watching a movie while you sit on the couch under a blanket together with a big bowl of popcorn are all examples of simple ways you can remind your child how important they are to you.  That is something money can’t buy.

Related: How to throw a Cheap Birthday Party for kids

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