I think I’m speaking on behalf of all parents here when I say, the joy of having a mini you whose smiles brighten your day and hugs reduce your worries to bearable does not take away from how expensive parenting really is.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve heard the lecture that goes something like, “if you had waited before having children and saved money and bought a house etc first, then you wouldn’t have this problem”, and my response to that quite simply is:
fuck off If you can’t say something nice or helpful, please refrain from opening your mouth. Kindly.
I did not do things in that so-called logical order and I have 2 children, no owned house and my wage isn’t high enough. But we (Mr.A and myself) are working on these things so I’m entitled to my opinion based on this experience, mmkay?
Here’s a list of things I can think of right now, off the top of my head, that make parenting really expensive:
- School events that cost money:
- World Book Day: Costumes or lack of costumes resulting in massive, last-minute guilt trips that are literally trips to supermarkets at 10pm the night before, hoping that you find something. Truth: you will not.
- Red Nose Day: Red clothes if my kids don’t have any (this is very often for some reason); the obligatory fee for children wearing their own clothes (I believe this goes to comic relief but I could be wrong)
- Summer Fairs (of hell).
- School lunches: whether it’s a packed lunch or the school lunch. I pay for Master 4 to have nursery lunch. When he finally goes into reception and gets free lunches… Miss 7 then goes into Year 3 and we start paying for her lunches. I mean, my kids get fed so I’m not really complaining but yeah.
- School trips: There isn’t so many of these nowadays. Between the 2 children, I think there is maybe 2-4 trips a year combined.
- Extra-curricular activities: Granted, my children and your children don’t have to do any of these but what kind of parents would that make us? (PS that was a joke). For Miss 7 alone, we pay £15 a week for her judo classes, £40 a year for her judo licence, the money we pay to travel to her competitions etc. Also, £20 for her Arts & Crafts 10 week after school club. Master 4 also wants to start football so that will be an additional amount of money… this isn’t including when they might need a tutor in the future or those expensive school holidays like skiing and whatnot.
- Childcare: Can we please have a moment of silence for the amount of hours I have to work in order to just pay for childcare? From Master 4 being in full-time nursery to having someone look after them both after school now… moment. of. silence.
- Clothes: The never ending, revolving door of clothes that fitted in December that no longer fit in March. My children are not particularly tall (both of their parents are on the shorter side) but I swear, children just grow constantly. I give so many clothes away to charity shops because a) I genuinely don’t have enough time to sell half of it and b) most of it is basic shit from Primark because I know they will grow out of it within 6 months.
- Holidays: I am telling you now – go on as many holidays as possible before your child/ren turns 3. You end up spending about £200-£400 less on holidays abroad with small children than you do when they are older. For instance, we just paid around £1,300 for 7 nights in Portugal in May which would cost about £850 if the children were 3 or younger. Make the most of cheaper holidays when you can! And holiday during term time while you can as well.
- Teabags/Coffee/Alcohol: Because no parent (minority excluded) can function without one or more of those items. How much do you think we spend in a lifetime on those 3 things alone as parents? Kids been up all night? Coffee. Kids being little shits? Tea. Kids in bed? Wine/Gin/Brandy because we survived another day.
Those are just a few of the things that come to mind when I think about my parenting expenses. I could probably go on and list every expense I have and somehow find a way to relate it to surviving parenthood tbh.
What’s your biggest or most surprising expense as a parent? Drop me a comment below or @ me on Twitter!