• The average American household has 2.3 cars
• Of these, at least one is some form of gas guzzler: an SUV, minivan, or
• 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 before having a child and
don’t upgrade until you absolutely need to. A
Prius can very comfortably fit a family of four!
1. Live close to work so your family only needs
one car. Commuting is ridiculously expensive!
1. 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 and no
new car purchase. With your hybrid, that’s 48 gallons per year, or
roughly $200 per year.
One Year Transportation Savings=$2,000
New Total Cost Over 22 Years=$277,000
*11% of cost shaved off so far
• The total cost for childcare 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 childcare and education (private school tuition)
into one, and over 18 years, the average family pays $3,800 per
•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 free babysitters).
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
•The KISS Solution to Childcare/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: $209,000
*33% 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
•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
*49% shaved off so far
• The average American family will save in the ballpark of $1,000
on taxes with an extra dependency exemption
• There are also tax credits for childcare, but we’ll look past that now.
• Kiss those dinners out with expensive alcohol tabs good-bye.
• 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: $138,000
• Live near your family, your job, and your schools—this saves you
tons in both transportation and childcare costs.
• Send your kids to public schools.
• In this case, we eliminated 56% 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…