Finance

10 Hidden Costs of Children That I Did Not Expect

I didn’t go into this whole parenting thing assuming it would be a piece of cake but one thing I was pretty naive to was how much it really costs to raise children.

Sure, I know babies are expensive and need a lot of stuff. The first year alone we are spending thousands on baby products our babies will grow out of in a few years, like prams, capsules, cots and various swings and bouncers.

And yes, I knew schooling was going to be expensive.

I also knew I would be spending a boatload every week on food as my kids grew up and now that we’re in tween/teen territory, half my income pretty much goes to snacks.

Another cost I was aware of was the price of competitive sport but even this one caught me off guard, especially when you add up the costs of two kids playing several competitive sports and the travel costs involved.

But, for the most part, sport, schooling and snacks I was prepared for. The hidden costs of children below? They caught me by surprise!

via GIPHY

10 costs of children that snuck up on me

1. BIRTHDAY PRESENTS (FOR OTHER KIDS)

I expected to spend money on my own kids’ birthdays – that’s kind of a given. But the cost of supplying presents to other kids is something that caught me off guard.

During the ‘birthday party’ era where pretty much every kid in their kindy was invited to every party, we would be looking at around 10-15 parties a year. At around $20 a gift, this adds up!

2. SQUISHMALLOWS MY DAUGHTERS SIMPLY CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT 

And now live in a massive pile in their rooms. Mostly ignored.

3. PHONE CHARGERS!!

I swear I’ve spent well over $500 on phone chargers for these kids! Not only are they constantly losing them, but they also run out of juice so quickly!

4. SHOES

Formal school shoes. Sports school shoes. Backup sports shoes because my son cannot remember where he put them. Football boots. Converse Shoes. Running shoes. Running spikes. Cheer shoes. Jazz shoes. Ballet shoes. Casual shoes. Boots. Thongs. Rainboots. Princess Sandals. Mummy-I-Must-Have-Those-Sparkly-Shoes-That-I’ll-Never-Wear-Because-They-Are-Super-Impractical shoes.

Repeat collection every 6 months.

5. COSTUMES

This one snuck up on me. It all started with little boy superhero costumes. Wolverine. Spiderman. Batman. Ninjas. Then we got into the various princesses with my daughter. Sleeping Beauty. Cinderella. Anna. Elsa. Another Elsa because the cheap Kmart Elsa wasn’t good enough. Ariel. Moana. Rapunzel.

book week 2022
Bookweek costumes. UGH. Source: Bigstock

And then the kids hit prep and the costume party didn’t end which is what I was kind of expecting. Now it’s Bookweek costumes and Halloween costumes and Dr. Seuss Day costumes (yes, this is an annual thing at school), and Christmas concert costumes. There’s Crazy Sock Day (MadMia socks are like $30 FYI) and Fancy Dress Day and Dress Like an Animal Day (this one I made up but I bet it’s gonna happen soon).

IT NEVER ENDS folks…

6. CRAFT SUPPLIES

If my children could figure out how to put lids on things, then this wouldn’t be such a big expense. But they don’t. So I have to consistently replace the pens, the glue, and the rest of the craft collection anytime my kids decide to be creative.

7. BATH AND SKIN CARE PRODUCTS

Partly because my oldest daughter has an obsession with skincare but mostly because my youngest daughter has an obsession with dumping the entire bottle of shampoo into the bath to make potions.

mum central
Source: Bored Panda

8. FUZZY THINGS 

Animal-shaped slippers. Animal-shaped pillows. Animal-shaped water bottles. Oodies with animals one them. Blankets of any variety – animals or stars or rainbows. If it’s soft and fuzzy, it apparently needs to live in our house.

9. GOGGLES AND MASSIVE ANIMAL-THEMED INFLATABLES

Let’s start with the goggles which never seem to fit right, or get lost at the creek or get left at swimming lessons never to return. We’ve tried every goggle under the sun, from the $4 Anko brands to the $40 expensive options. All of them end up in the bottom of the pool, left to die a chloriney death.

mum central
Source: Supplied

Now, moving onto the inflatables. Always massive. Always animal-shaped like the giant unicorn above which ruined my life for several months (read it here). Our collection of inflatables is partly my fault because these stupid things take up so much space in the pool or garage (when deflated) that I end up craking the sh*ts and popping the damned things. 

Only to return to Big W to purchase yet another one (or three actually because every child needs their own inflatable) every time we head to the beach or creek.

10. AND FINALLY, THINGS TO GET THEM MOVING

There are so many amazing outdoor toys on the market and I swear we have them ALL!

Over the years I think I’ve purchased at least 10 kids’ bikes of various sizes, plus five ride-ons, three trampolines of various sizes, one Airtrax, three sets of rollerblades and at least six scooters, all designed to get them off their devices and outside. It works. But holy heck, it’s expensive!

What hidden costs of children and parenting expenses snuck up on you? Share them in the comments below!

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Avatar of Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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