I had read an article that stated it would roughly cost me 250 thousand dollars to raise a kids these days. I found this chart on Wikipedia that gives a breakdown on costs by income bracket and expense type. Very interesting stuff. With that said I am pleased to announce my daughter was born a week early. My wife and the baby are doing fine and we are all adjusting to lack of sleep (hopefully for the last time.)
People are asked us if we were crazy to have another child. At times I wondered that myself. How could I afford to raise another child in consumerist America. The key is to reuse as much as you can live like are parents were raised. When I was a kid we never ate out. My mom or dad cooked all of the meals. We still eat out maybe once or twice a month so if things got tight that could easily be eliminated. I am finding my cooking skills are better than all fast food places and even most chain restaurants. I still haven't mastered the ultimate pizza crust so if you have a good recipe send it my way.
Other cost savings include breast feeding. Formula is very expensive (powered milk with vitamins). Diapers we also save on by either buying generic or in bulk using my Amazon subscribe and save. This gives me an additional 15% off what Amazon charges. I have found this to be even cheaper than diapers at Walmart.
The only expense I see going up is my dear friend water. More kids = more laundry. I don't think I will ever convince my wife to go to a front loader to save. With that said my $200/month water and sewer bill will only go up. When we lived out in the country we had well water which was FREE (besides maintenance of the pump and septic). Who would think the most essential and basic requirement of human life would be my number one utility? I only see our water problems in this world getting worse if we humans don't clean up our act. For example my brother had a kid last year. Their whole town lost water for several days because bacteria levels were to high from all the fertilizer run off. They couldn't even get the formula ready to feed the baby because of it and had to drive 2 hours just to find some bottled water. Crazy stuff.
As far as my investing goes I don't see my savings rate changing much and should be able to continue investing in dividend growth stocks. With my time off I have been able to catch up on my bills and even sold a few of my stocks that had cut their dividends. I know I should have sold them in the summer when prices were higher. Timing the market is impossible so I am OK with my decision.
I hope everything is going well in your world and I hope to post to dividend related articles soon. Whether you choose to invest 250k in stocks or kids always have fun in life. My kids and I have a blast so it is well worth the investment.