It takes a village to raise a child...and $233,610, according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture.
Yeah, kids are expensive, and we realize that’s not new information to any parent. However, young parents might not realize that many expenses are optional, provided that you’re willing to be the Big, Bad Parent that denies certain creature comforts. Here are some items parents regret buying that might save you some money:
1. Trendy Toys
A good rule of thumb: If your children want something, wait a month. Those trendy toys won’t be as irresistible when all of the other kids have moved on to a new fad.
What’s more American than a swing set in the backyard or a little log cabin for the kids’ playroom? Playsets are a classic children’s gift, but they’re also a ridiculous purchase in many households.
Your kid wants a brand-new, state-of-the-art computer capable of playing all the latest video games. You might consider dropping a thousand dollars or more for the latest and greatest tech, but that machine will be obsolete within a few years (if your kid doesn’t manage to break it first).
4. Musical Instruments
You can get your kids started on music early without buying an instrument. Many schools can hook you up with an instrument rental program. If your school isn’t helpful, hit up the local music store. They’ll also be able to give you some tips on what to buy (or how to rent) for a younger learner.
Well, new bicycles, anyway. Bikes are expensive, and there’s not a huge advantage to buying them new. With a little elbow grease, you can fix up any old bike so that it looks great. Turns out those brand-new mountain bikes aren’t so great in the first place—just ask any bike repair shop for their opinion on the big box store specials.
6. Big Vacations with Babies
Don’t learn this lesson the hard way: Big family vacations can wait. There are few things worse than traveling with an infant, and until your kid is at least potty trained, you probably won’t have a great experience.