Are children really that expensive? cont.


Let’s talk about school. When I started writing this blog I talked about the difficulty that many parents face when deciding which school to send their child. But that was all about the curriculum and the philosophy behind the school. Let’s talk about the expense.

I suppose a noticeable difference has come since Bean has started school. People do things a lot different in schools than they do in the home day care. At schools, I find it mildly surprising how parents pay for the school, pay for the lunches, pay for activities, pay for after school care, etc. Our neighborhood school isn’t very good, so Bean goes to a school that is not very expensive. In fact, it is cheaper than sending her to day care. Looking at schools around the city, I am truly amazed at the cost of education when the quality is about the same. At this age, all the children are learning to count, read and write. I suppose it is what you are looking for or who you are looking to portray yourself ..

The hardest thing to face as Bean gets older is the peer pressure she will face. I was different. I remember noticing the styles that the other kids wore when I went to public school, but I thought more about either saving my money to get it or that it just wasn’t that important. I would wait for a sale, and by the time I got the thing, it wasn’t in style any more. It didn’t matter that much to me.

Bean is different. She notices what is going on faster than I did when I was her age and cares more. I have chosen to dress her in a school uniform even though the school she attends does not make it mandatory. Bean is o.k. with that, but if she could have her way, she would choose wear whatever her friends have on and do what they do. I am hoping that by explaining that we don’t do those things at our house and why, it will set the precedent for when she is older.

Parents are told that they need to save for not only their retirement, but also their children’s higher education. But do we really? I have decided that I will not pay for Bean university education. She will go to a European university where the fees are extremely low. If she decides not to do that, she can always go to a two-year city college and then complete her four-year degree at a state school. She will then need to work her way through school. I will not pay for it. I am proud that I worked my way through school and graduated with no debt. I believe that she can do the same as well.

In conclusion, here is a quote I came across and liked: “Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should teach them to grow their own plants. – John Gardner” If Bean starts developing expensive tastes and threatening to blow my theory that children don’t have to be as expensive as the statistics say they are, I will tell her “get a job”. How about that!?

9 Comments on “Are children really that expensive? cont.

  1. Well, I will say they are more expensive than not having kids. My son (soon to be 10yo) was in public school and it was fine until it wasn’t. We moved him to the parochial school around the corner this past year. Yes, it’s more expensive than free, but I don’t regret the decision at all even though I myself am not Catholic, my husband and son are.

    We also want him to be involved in team sports and otherwise be physically active. He is a typical American boy who loves screens so we want to make sure he’s not sitting like a lump inside all the time. Thankfully, he has a strong physical intelligence and he loves just about any sport. There is a price tag on sports.

    We really do want him to have a well rounded childhool and education. We want him to ride his bike, hike in the woods, climb trees and swim in bodies of water. We also want him to have a well rounded education. He recently started piano lessons (his father teaches drums at the same music store, so we get a deal on that) and we’ve been able to take him on a few trips to major cities to check out the museums and other local attractions.

    • I suppose I should say that where I save money with Bean,
      I still spend it (in the name of education) through travel.
      Maybe I will put that in sometime.

      • I think it’s great that you travel so much with your daughter. We’ve only been able to travel within the US so far. Hopefully we’ll be able to venture further one of these days.

  2. I really admire your thoughtful approach. It should have a high chance of success to turn out well. Only “adult” Bean will be the proof of your theory. As a former educator and a parent of adult children (with many many exposures to other parent/child situations through my life) … I have seen a few examples where bad luck and external influences resulted in very difficult situations – despite the best efforts of the parent. Even something as normal and natural as hormones – those teen years can be difficult – can create unexpected challenges – especially when it comes to money. We are all wired differently in our response to things. I was more like you – and adhered to my parents’ guidance, never have the latest of anything. My sister was different and there were fireworks. Same house, same parenting, different internal wiring. One of my favorite phrases about child rearing (expense being one of the elements) is: “Raising children is like walking through a mine field. Some of us make it and some of us don’t.” I suspect with your diligent approach, your chances a very good. She is such a beautiful child. I think the uniform is very cute – I wish the uniform I wore back in the 50s was half that cute!!

  3. Every year cost a bit more, but it isn’t about you it is about launching an educated adult.

    I think that every able body adult parent who chose to have a child can save at a minimum the tuition and expenses to send their child to their local 2 year community college.
    Yes, the student can also work part time for all extra money.
    This tells the child, yes, I value you and higher education and have saved to get you started on your degree.

    If money isn’t a problem, pay the tuition through their highest degree.

    It is money well invested..

    • She can go anywhere else in the world and afford it out of pocket if
      that is her desire. In my opinion, if I educate her well, this is
      what she will choose to do. I am thankful every day that my parents said
      how important school was and how they couldn’t pay it for three kids. We
      value what we have much more.

  4. Met a Chinese father working at JFK. He said that
    He bought a very small condo for his family of four
    Because of the education was better. So, why not rent
    A tiny studio in a great neighborhood so that our child will benefit from the public education there.

    • I thought of that when we were put on the waiting list to the dual language magnet school I really wanted Bean to attend.
      I decided to stay put and use the extra money to travel to the countries that speak those languages.

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