• The average American household has 2.3 cars
• Of these, at least one is some form of gas guzzler: an
SUV, minivan, or pick-up truck.
• Apparently, the addition of a child adds $2,200 in
transportation costs per year—probably a combination
of a bigger car and more driving.
•Major Expense #1: Transportation
There are so many ways to save here:
1. Buy a used hybrid as your only car
before having a child. A Prius can very
comfortably fit a family of four!
2. Live close to work to make this more
practical. Commuting is ridiculously
3. Bike more as a family for short-term
trips: it costs nothing, is
environmentally healthy, a great family
activity, and encourages a healthy
•The KISS Solution to Transportation
Let’s factor in an extra 200 miles of driving each month (2,400 in
a year) and that’s the only increase associated with having a
child. With your 50 mpg hybrid and $4.00 gas, that’s roughly
$200 per year.
One-Year Transportation Savings=$2,000
New Total Cost Over 22 Years=$334,000
*7% of cost shaved off so far
• The total cost for child care can vary wildly. In the rural
areas of some states, it can be as little as $3,500 per
month. In urban centers in the Northeast, it can run as
much as $19,000 per year.
• The USDA lumps child care and education (private
school tuition) into one, and over 18 years, the average
family pays $3,800 per year.
•Major Expense #2: Child Care/Education
• Investigate if it’s feasible for one parent to
stay home for the first couple of years.
• If that’s not possible, move near
grandparents or other family members (aka
• Send your kids to the local public school. As
a former teacher, I can tell you that parents
are every bit—if not more—influential as
the specific school your child attends in
their future academic success
•The KISS Solution to Child care/Education
Let’s assume you live near family that can help look after the little
ones, and send your child to the local public school.
One-Year Health Savings: $3,800
New Total Cost Over 22 Years: $266,000
*26% shaved off so far
If we assume that your child goes to a four-year,
public university, the average cost for tuition,
room and board currently runs $18,000 per year.
Over four years, that comes to $72,000.
•Major Expense #3: College
From Foolish colleague Morgan Housel:
• For the first two years of college, have your
child take care of their general education
needs while attending community college,
living at home, and working in their off time.
• Then, transfer those credits to your in-state
four-year institution, and have your child use
the money they earned the previous two
years on room and board.
•The KISS Solution to College Costs
Average yearly tuition at a community college runs $6,200 for
two years, while tuition at the four-year university will be a total
of $17,000 for the last two years.
Total College Savings: $49,000
New Total Cost Over 22 Years: $160,000
*39% shaved off so far
• The average American family will save in the ballpark
of $1,000 on taxes with an extra dependency
• There are also tax credits for child care, but we’ll look past
• Kiss those dinners out with expensive alcohol tabs
• The average married couple with kids under 6 spends $200
less per year at restaurants than they did before they had
kids. Keep that habit up as time goes on!
•But Wait, There’s More
• Though you could easily cut back even more on eating out, your
savings—including the tax break—would look like this:
One-Year Savings: $1,200
New Total Cost over 22 Years: $195,000
• Live near your family, your job, and your schools—
this saves you tons in both transportation and child
• Send your kids to public schools.
• In this case, we eliminated 46% of potential costs
associated with having kids.
• That being said, everyone’s situation is unique, and
won’t necessarily mimic these numbers.
If you really want to maximize your retirement, make sure you’re
optimizing all the government gives you in Social Security by
checking out our special free report:
A Simple Social Security Strategy to Take
Advantage of a Little-Known IRS Rule
•And one more thing…