If you have kids, you know they will cost you a lot of money. Do not kid yourself for second. I have 3, and they cost me a lot, even when I try to avoid the worst money traps.
Your kids will cost you more or less from the minute they are born until they are well established on their own. You have the cost of buying car seats, cot, bed, nappies, all sort of equipment a child needs, and they do need these things! But then it is also up to you how much you want to, or are able to spend on these items. Personally I did not buy everything new, I got a few hand me downs from family and friends, but bought the car seats new as plastic is getting old and brittle, not good in a car crash! Then I got some things on sale, other things I paid a good price for, simply because they were beautiful and I really wanted them… Do not think my kids can remember baby stage, but there you go…
After the baby stage, you come to the toddler stage, and that is when the money race really starts. We all look at our little ones thinking they are great, and we send them to the best nurseries and schools we can., but we can save a lot on being a bit restrictive with your kids activities.
Most of us are perfectly normal people. Very few of us are world famous athletes and very few of us have kids who need special tuition. Like special soccer schools, riding lessons one to one, etc. It is all fine, and I do think it is actually important for kids to have an activity, but they all come at a cost. Some are a lot more expensive than others, and then there are all the offers of extra tuition in order to become even better..Is it really necessary? Try and hold back a bit, I dare say that a 7 year old will benefit just as much from a runaround in the park with you playing ball as from an organized lesson.
I have 3 kids who are all active in their chosen sport and I have noticed the importance of general fitness from an early age and how also how they later benefit from an active lifestyle, something those organized lessons do not seem able to replace.
There has always been a kick off week for my sons football club after the summer. It costs an arm and a leg and has always been in the same week as my husbands holiday. A week normally dedicated to hill walking, after a summer when my boys have been out playing football and cycling a lot. I do not think anyone will object to that my boys are really fit after the summer.
My sons might grumble a bit at the time when they are not allowed to go, but they soon get over it!
Do I feel bad about it? Of course I do at times. When I read about how I have to invest in my kids health and how these camps are needed if they are going to make it as footballers. On the other side, there are lots of research that says kids need to play and explore on their own in order to develop in any sport.
And the fact is, very few of us are going to end up as great sportsmen or artists, it is great to have a hobby, but when I see parents pushing their kids to extra tuition in and paying a fortune for it, I wonder what good it does. I doubt it does much good for the child, as they end up feeling like a failure when they cannot perform, it might make you feel like a better parent, but it is normally not great for your wallet!
If you allow your child to be happy without trying to push it into something it probably is not, you have saved yourself a lot of money!