Parenting & Family

How much do children cost?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 15th, 2020 7:08 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2013
2844 posts
1161 upvotes
Canada

How much do children cost?

I've seen the reports that children cost $250,000 over a life time but I wanted ot get into a little more detail. Based on your experience as a parent how much do children cost, by age group? I understand daycare can be around $1000 per month, but that's only for a couple years until they start going to school. So how much do you see children costing in these age groups?

-0-2 when mom is at home on mat leave:
-2-5 when daycare is required:
-5+ school age:

I know it will be a little different for everyone, but I'm looking for an average middle class upbringing (no hockey) for essentials like food, diapers, clothes, activities like swimming lessons etc..

I'm thinking around $10,000 cost per year on the safe side for one child...is that about right? Too high, or too low?
60 replies
Banned
May 9, 2018
287 posts
113 upvotes
To give you an idea of how much it cost for 1, 2, 3, 4 kids according the federal table in a scenario where you are paying the other parent Child Support....see link below for monthly payments based on your annual income. Note this doesn't include sect 7 stuff which is the extracurricular activities

As you can see, having kids isn't cheap if you find yourself paying out. Some people have turned this into a business, especially when they can collect CS from more than 1-person on top of alimony.

https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/chi ... df/ona.pdf

For example: if you have 3 kids on a 60k salary, you will be shelling out $1196/ month in payment
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 18, 2013
2844 posts
1161 upvotes
Canada
swagwalk wrote: To give you an idea of how much it cost for 1, 2, 3, 4 kids according the federal table in a scenario where you are paying the other parent Child Support....see link below for monthly payments based on your annual income. Note this doesn't include sect 7 stuff which is the extracurricular activities

As you can see, having kids isn't cheap if you find yourself paying out. Some people have turned this into a business, especially when they can collect CS from more than 1-person on top of alimony.

https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/fl-df/chi ... df/ona.pdf

For example: if you have 3 kids on a 60k salary, you will be shelling out $1196/ month in payment
This was not my question at all.
Banned
May 9, 2018
287 posts
113 upvotes
Read the post before you do a knee jerk reaction. My post above applies to married and divorced parents alike.

5 + age groups over a lifetime. You can get an estimate from the federal table. Perhaps you should not have kids because it appears you only want to hear what you want. This is reality and many on here will tell you. Ideally, make sure you're dual income and don't have someone sponging off you.

Indefinite payment to someone capable of working sucks. Just ask those making this payment every month
gbill2004 wrote: This was not my question at all.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
30297 posts
16126 upvotes
Ottawa
$250K is conservative.
Out of city, province or country University including board will set you back $250K.
Newbie
Sep 16, 2015
35 posts
13 upvotes
Calgary, AB
vkizzle wrote: $250K is conservative.
Out of city, province or country University including board will set you back $250K.
You don't have to pay the full cost of a Harvard education for your children.

If you invest $2500/year into an RESP and receive 20% in government matching grants, the kid should have over $100,000 in his/her school account by the time they're 18. If they live at home while at university, that should pay the full cost of a 4 year education. Ultimately, it's up to the kid to work in summers and take out student loans/scholarships if they wish to attend school away from home.
Sr. Member
Mar 24, 2015
895 posts
296 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
-0-2 when mom is at home on mat leave:
daycare from 15 months to 2: $9,000
Cloths were hand-me-downs, Babies were breastfeed so no formula. Food made from scratch and cereals maybe $30 per month. Swimming lessons $100

-2-5 when daycare is required:
Daycare from 2 to 4: $25000
Travels: $1000 (airfares)
Activities: $500 total
summer camp when 5: $150 per week
Clothes and shoes: $200, mostly bought on sale, or hand-me-downs

-5+ school age:
summer camp: $200-$300 per week (we only do 3 weeks, the rest they go to a language camp 9:30 to 2:30 which cost $10 for the whole summer)
Travel cost average $600 per year
activities: $500 per year
Piano: $1200

We also max out the RESP each year.
Last edited by ckay1980 on Feb 5th, 2020 1:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
30297 posts
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Ottawa
jaybeeg wrote: You don't have to pay the full cost of a Harvard education for your children.

If you invest $2500/year into an RESP and receive 20% in government matching grants, the kid should have over $100,000 in his/her school account by the time they're 18. If they live at home while at university, that should pay the full cost of a 4 year education. Ultimately, it's up to the kid to work in summers and take out student loans/scholarships if they wish to attend school away from home.
Yes, my estimate includes the RESP contribution and grant.
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User avatar
Oct 26, 2003
31765 posts
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Winnipeg
gbill2004 wrote: I've seen the reports that children cost $250,000 over a life time but I wanted ot get into a little more detail. Based on your experience as a parent how much do children cost, by age group? I understand daycare can be around $1000 per month, but that's only for a couple years until they start going to school. So how much do you see children costing in these age groups?

-0-2 when mom is at home on mat leave:
-2-5 when daycare is required:
-5+ school age:

I know it will be a little different for everyone, but I'm looking for an average middle class upbringing (no hockey) for essentials like food, diapers, clothes, activities like swimming lessons etc..

I'm thinking around $10,000 cost per year on the safe side for one child...is that about right? Too high, or too low?
That report was in USD, but I assume you can treat it as parity.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
10876 posts
5212 upvotes
Brampton
There's a reason why they call a family with boy and a girl a million dollar family.
You'll be looking at $1M on avg for the both of them from birth to 18. More since they don't move out now.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 21, 2004
8367 posts
1070 upvotes
A lot depends on how you want to tackle it.

Are you going to pay $800 for home based day care or $1300 for a centre?

Are you going to pay for a camp everytime there's a pd/PA day or will you use all your vacation days to stay home?

Are piano lessons really necessary? Skating? Soccer? Etc.

The $250k study I thought had previously already been bunked as the sample group was all privileged families paying $$$ for everything?

Despite popular belief that hockey is expensive, our experience is that it's not that bad. We're in our 3rd year and we're at about $500/season (including gear) for 2hrs/week from Sept to March. (Rep/travel hockey is a different beast) .

We have friends that will not make $250k/kid in net income over their kids childhood. They all manage/will manage. Parenting costs is how/what you make of it.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 31, 2008
10885 posts
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Toronto
Big cost comes in buying a bigger house, more food later on (albeit, spending on food for parents of young kids is much lower since who goes out and eat anymore), family vacation, more car (if wife and I didn't have kids, probably be living a less car downtown lifestyle).
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2006
5705 posts
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Markham
Depends on how many after school class they go :) if you count math, violins....,,
Member
Jun 11, 2006
315 posts
235 upvotes
Stock R wrote: A lot depends on how you want to tackle it.

Are you going to pay $800 for home based day care or $1300 for a centre?

Are you going to pay for a camp everytime there's a pd/PA day or will you use all your vacation days to stay home?

Are piano lessons really necessary? Skating? Soccer? Etc.

The $250k study I thought had previously already been bunked as the sample group was all privileged families paying $$$ for everything?

Despite popular belief that hockey is expensive, our experience is that it's not that bad. We're in our 3rd year and we're at about $500/season (including gear) for 2hrs/week from Sept to March. (Rep/travel hockey is a different beast) .

We have friends that will not make $250k/kid in net income over their kids childhood. They all manage/will manage. Parenting costs is how/what you make of it.
We are only doing house league but league fees for us I think were around $700 plus individual team fees. Then there were misc costs, and some equipment (we had a lot of it already!) which easily put us well over $1000 for a season. That's actually not so bad though compared to competitive teams.

But we do piano too, and it's really not too much cheaper than hockey!

Still, I agree all that's optional, I had hardly any lessons or extra curricular activities as a kid, and managed to survive (However, truth be told, I wish I had more opportunities to experience different things when I was a kid)
Jr. Member
Jan 18, 2012
131 posts
53 upvotes
10 K seems low especially if you're like me and don't have grandma/grandpa daycare.

My son is just over 14months and I've already dumped a lot of money on him.. haha

Right now I pay just over 2 grand a month for daycare. Put down 16500 to seed RESP, then 2.5K subsequent years....... this is not even factoring clothes, food, and activities..........He has been in swimming since 7months old. It costs over 400 bux each semester..........

anyway i could go on and on... but to put it in perspective my mortgage for my house is only 1400a month haha fack me. Needless to say it will not be freedom 55 for me ,,,,

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