• 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 expensive! 3. Bike more as a family for short-term trips: it costs nothing, is environmentally healthy, a great family activity, and encourages a healthy lifestyle. •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 •Overall Savings?
• 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 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 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 Child Care/Education Savings: $3,800 New Total Cost Over 22 Years: $266,000 *26% shaved off so far Overall Savings?
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 •Overall Savings?
• 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 child care, 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: $195,000 •Overall Savings?
• Live near your family,
your job, and your schools— this saves you tons in both transportation and child care costs. • 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. •Key Takeaways
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…