Our 2023 Expenses

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How much does it cost to raise a child?

According to the USDA, it costs on average $310,000 USD (adjusted for inflation) to raise a child from birth to the age of 17. That’s $18,235 per year or an extra $1520/month to procreate.

No wonder birth rates are plummeting. If you choose to have a mini-me, you can bet that you’ll lose not only your sleep and sanity, but a big chunk of your net worth too. So your Poopy McPooperPants better be adorable as hell or he’s out the door!

Luckily our Little Matchstick has now progressed beyond the 3 modes of cry, crap, and nap and I’m starting to see why all my hard work is worth it.

That being said, as much as it’s worth it emotionally, is it worth it financially? Or are kids a financial dumpster fire like the USDA says it is?

If the USDA number was to be applied to last year’s expenses, that should add $18,235 to that number, on top of our normal expenses.

Let’s see if that actually happened, shall we?

Based on our 2022 dividends, we set our 2023 budget to $50,000 before we knew we were going to have a kid. And now that we’ve had a kid for 4 months, we should add 1/3 of the USDA yearly child raising costs, which are in USD. So that would give us an estimated 2023 spending of $50,000 + $6078 USD x 1.33 (Exchange Rate) = $58,083.74.

So, did we do it? Were our kid expenses in line with what the USDA predicted?

Looking at my fancy-pants spending spreadsheets, I can see that in 2023 we spent a grand total of…

$47,013.91 CAD or $35,087.25 USD

So, while our expense did go up due to having a kid compared to the previous year, it was nowhere near the USDA predicted $1500 USD/month. It was on average, more like $250 USD/month.

This includes the fact that I decided to have an epic baby moon which meant that I travelled for 4.5 months of my pregnancy and as a result had to pay out-of-pocket for prenatal scans in Bangkok and Sydney. This amounted to $1304.89 CAD or $973.80 USD, which is a one time pregnancy-related expense we will only have this year.

I also ended up buying a lot of kid gear second hand from Facebook marketplace and have since sold some of them as my kid grows out of it so some of that money has even been made back recently. I also think the costs will change (from formula to solid foods, baby gear to extra-curricular activities, etc) as he grows so this is only a tiny snapshot of kid expenses. I’ll be keeping meticulous records so we can keep tracking kid expenses going forward.

Here’s a monthly breakdown of our 2023 expenses:

MonthCADUSD
Jan$3,899.17$2,909.83
Feb$4,702.47$3,509.31
Mar$4,359.53$3,253.38
Apr$4,844.00$3,614.93
May$4,119.16$3,074.00
June$3,300.04$2,462.72
July$3,783.70$2,823.66
Aug$3,368.29$2,513.65
Sept$3,257.23$2,430.77
Oct$3,208.08$2,394.09
Nov$3,459.03$2,581.37
Dec$3,408.32$2,543.52
Pregnancy expenses$1304.89$973.80
TOTAL$47,013.91$35,085.01



Feb-May ended up being our most expensive months because we were in Australia and New Zealand, while still paying rent back home. But thanks to Home Exchange, we didn’t have to pay any additional rent. Which made Australia and New Zealand much more affordable than expected. We did have to pay double rent in Thailand and Vietnam due to the lack of Home Exchange in those countries, but accommodations were extremely cheap at less than $400 USD/month.

Oddly enough, once kid expenses started in Sept, our costs actually went down compared to the beginning of the year. This is mainly because even though we had new expenses that we never had before, like diapers and formula, we no longer had the time or ability to go to restaurants, spas, boardgame café, movie theatres, or escape rooms. So, while our baby costs went up, our entertainment and eating out costs plummeted. From example, in Feb, we spent $943 that month eating out, but in Oct, only $328!

It also helped that my sister-in-law gave me a lot of hand-me-down baby stuff so I didn’t have to buy that much baby crap. And of the baby crap that I did buy, I was able to score some amazing second-hand deals like $30 for an entire Chicco Bravo Travel System that retails for over $500 new! Or a Halo swivel bassinet for $30 that costs $300 new that my son outgrew in 2 months and I resold for $65 because demand for it was so high. Essentially, I got paid $30 to use that bassinet!

Second hand baby gear is so prevalent on FB marketplace and so easy to sell, there’s rarely any need to buy anything new. One of the few new things I ended up splurging on that’s baby-related is a $311 Travelpro suitcase that was on sale from $429. Totally worthwhile investment in my opinion now that we can no longer travel with just carry on so we need something with extra good wheels and lifetime warranty. Spending on ergonomic travel gear is always worth it in my opinion.

Here’s how our costs averaged out per month, broken down into categories.

CategoryCost (CAD)Cost (USD)
Airbnb$100.37$74.90
Rent (utilities and parking included)$1,538.00$1,147.76
Eating Out$536.23$400.17
Groceries/Booze$411.95$307.43
Transportation$390.03$291.07
Entertainment$199.68$149.01
Clothing$27.02$20.16
Cell Data + Internet$72.13$53.83
Travel Insurance$35.67$26.62
Other (person items/gifts/donations)$259.66$193.78
Pregnancy + Baby$262.48$195.88
Total$3,833.22$2,860.62



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2023_spending_1-1024x743.png

Dividend FIRE

In last year’s expense post, I mentioned that we are now Dividend FIRE—meaning that our yearly expenses are less than the passive income (dividends and interest) generated by our portfolio, so we no longer need to sell any assets to cover costs in retirement. So that’s a 100% success rate of never depleting our portfolio, even during recessions. Kind of like having an apple orchard where you eat the apples and never cut down any of the trees.

But that was before Little Matchstick came along. Now that the little poop monster is here and filling up mountains of diapers and guzzling rivers worth of formula, have we lost our coveted dividend FIRE status? Did he just take a dump over all our carefully planned FIRE spreadsheets?

Well, due to a minor tweak made to our portfolio last year of adding swapping out bonds for Preferred Shares that pay a 6% dividend, our portfolio yield has gone up 33%. Wanderer will give more details about this in his investment update, but this means that so we can now spend $62,811 in 2024 and still be Dividend FIRE!

YearSpending (CAD)Portfolio Yield
2015$40,000$35,000
2016$40,143$35,000
2017$33,016$37,695
2018$40,519$38,124
2019$43,053$39,879
2020$33,965$38,284
2021$39,029$43,880
2022$42,916$46,985
2023$47,014$62,811



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2023_spending_2-1024x742.png

This means that I’m $62,811 – $47,014 = $15,797 under the yield, even with the new baby and pregnancy expenses factored in. We’re still Dividend FIRE’d!

Portfolio B

Ever since this blog was created back in 2016, in order to keep our retirement experience pure, we’ve reported on 2 separate portfolios: A and B. We live off of Portfolio A, which is the original $1 million portfolio we retired on, while segregating all the income we made post retirement into portfolio B. We do this mainly for the benefit of you, the readers, because as long as our base costs remain within the 4% rule of our original portfolio, that means that FIRE works even if you don’t end up making money on post-retirement passion projects like we have.

Portfolio B spending is luxury and donation spending that isn’t part of our original expense that we call “fun money” and is taken out of Portfolio B, which is the money we unexpected made in retirement.

Portfolio A is currently worth $1,403,204, that means a safe withdrawal rate of 4% gives us $56,128.16, which means this year’s $47,014 yearly spending, even with pregnancy expenses added, is significantly under that spending limit!

Here’s how much we spent from Portfolio B this year:

$5752.13

This year, we spent this money on non-essential things like massages and on family, friends, and additional donations. 

So, even if we add together the base expenses, pregnancy, and luxury expenses, we get a total yearly spending of $47,014 + $5752.13 = $52,766.13!

This is still somehow less than the safe withdrawal rate of 4% of Portfolio A, the original $1 Million portfolio that we retirement with (and have been withdrawing from since 2015), without making a single cent in retirement, even with a baby.

So far, we’ve only been parents for a short 4 months, so child expense could change a lot going forward, especially if we upgrade to a bigger place. But for now, because we have very little time for eating out, movies, etc, new baby expenses have been offset by our previous entertainment and eating out expenses. I thought I would hate the late nights and poopy diapers, but to my surprise, I’m enjoying parenting so far and finding it very rewarding despite the sacrifices.

What do you think? Do you think the USDA estimated child expenses are reasonable? Out of curiosity, how do your yearly expense compare to ours?

Stay tuned for next week for our investment summary for 2023!


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67 thoughts on “Our 2023 Expenses”

  1. Thank you, I always look forward to these – so helpful to see!

    Question – I’ve seen in past updates that Portfolio B is entirely a taxable brokerage account. Is that the case for Portfolio A as well, or are there tax sheltered accounts there?

    Just curious since you’re Dividend FIRE and Portfolio A has a larger balance / more dividends, it would be interesting to know.

    1. Portfolio A is a combination of RRSPs, TFSAs, and taxable accounts. We did all of our tax optimizations on this one. Portfolio B is contained entirely in a single joint taxable account. It’s not as tax efficient, but that’s the only way we could separate the two portfolios cleanly.

  2. “This includes the fact that I decided to have an epic baby moon which meant that I travelled for 4.5 months of my pregnancy and as a result had to pay out-of-pocket for prenatal scans in Bangkok and Sydney”

    Appreciate the spending summary.

    A couple of important points.

    That sounded like an extremely stressful pregnancy, traveling so much like that, with the need for medical care. Do you recommend that for others expecting? (Probably not.)

    Also most people would NOT have the luxury of having a Portfolio B as a backup — for those who don’t want to have to start a blog, write a book (or books), and become a social media influencer, etc. — some just want to retire and take it easy.

  3. almost everyone of my 27 year old daughters friends are helped financially by their parents .. despite having good jobs .

    this is reality now .. rent or mortgage and cost of living and further education in canada is way over board .

    the new era is parents support kids .. forever .

    1. Yep. I can confirm. All my friends support their kids in some way including us. We pay our son’s auto insurance, pay airfare for him to visit older relatives out of state, pay the difference that he can’t into his Roth IRA because otherwise he would not be able to do it and we feel strongly this needs to be done for his future. If he ever has kids I imagine we will pay the 529s for them as well. He has roommates and lives close to work to reduce gas costs. He does quite well considering his salary but he is not a software engineer so…

    2. Note that Wanderer/Firecracker’s parents probably can help out with the babysitting.

      That would also make a huge difference in terms of child care costs.

      ( Grandparents are awesome in so many ways! 🙂 )

  4. You and your family are quite the inspiration! We welcomed our first born in September so we’re tracking right along with you, and felt your pain on the breastfeeding article – nobody talks about how hard that is! As you mention here, we saw an increase in healthcare costs related to the pregnancy last year, but it was mostly offset by lower costs for restaurants and entertainment. Have you hit the four-month sleep regression yet?

    1. “Have you hit the four-month sleep regression yet?”

      Surprisingly no. I only have to wake up 1-2 times times a night to breastfeed and that hasn’t changed. It used to be 4-6 times in the first 2 months. Hopefully it stays like this *fingers crossed*

  5. I think that the numbers are fine for someone not working. In the US in a MCOL daycare for one infant is $1800 a month if lucky. My Birth with insurance through a fortune 100 also cost $9,500 for each of my two kids. The lack of time to do things is definitely true. My son is 5 months and daughter 2. I find myself spending a lot more on convenience than I did with just one child. There is no time in the day to clean the house or meal prep. We get hello fresh as well as pay a house cleaner.

    1. 100% agree! There is a huge expense to having two working parents or being a single parent. The childcare expenses are basically like a separate mortgage and there literally is no time and so you have to factor in many additional “convenience” costs.

  6. As always, congratulations on the arrival of Little Matchstick! That said, applying a simple annual average to the total USDA cost is not appropriate in my experience. Child related expenses are more like an inverse beta distribution from 0-17: low early on and triple or more in teen years.
    I raised my kids in the US and, with the exception of not-immaterial increases in healthcare insurance and expenses at birth, adding children was relatively cheap until they were each ~10 years old. At that stage, they consume more food and space, require glasses and braces, and get involved in more, and more-intense, activities. More space requires more house and larger mortgage payments. Glasses and braces are not really optional and can easily cost $5,000 per kid over teenage-hood. In my experience, though, activities are the killer.
    Many American families spend a spectacular amount of kids activities – especially sports. It is not uncommon for a family to spend $5,000 or more annually on an individual teenager’s activities. All of this excludes the vacations, larger and/more cars, car insurance, computers, tutoring, etc.
    For my money, picking the neighborhood you will raise your kids in is critical as it determines social peer set and thus the nature and cost of your kids’ activities and related expenses (peer pressure, baby!). In the US, school quality is often closely linked to house price: the higher the house price, the better the school performance. The key is to find an acceptable neighborhood with great school quality that is not yet fully reflected in house prices or rents. This may be the single most important investment decision US parents make. If your kids have peers whose families do not spend crazily, you will not. This may be harder that you think 😀

    1. This may be true but only if you decide to build a certain life that follows this model.

      If you plan on moving often or living in other countries and or home/worldschooling a lot of these concerns are modified or don’t exist at all.

      1. What you say makes complete sense, Matthew. I was merely responding in the context of the USDA numbers, which generally are not linked to home or world schooling and/or living abroad but to the Standard American Lifestyle. The approach you suggest has worked well for some families we know and, if people are willing to do it, it can be incredibly rewarding.

    2. Yes! Everything you said is spot on accurate. Having raised a son in the US playing sports, I can attest that he alone doubled our grocery bills for a decade 😂

    3. “children was relatively cheap until they were each ~10 years old. At that stage, they consume more food and space, require glasses and braces, and get involved in more, and more-intense, activities.”

      Good to know. Guess we’ll find out as time goes on 🙂

  7. Could you do a future post on your monthly grocery/eating out budget, like maybe more detailed break down? I’m averaging $1000/month on groceries alone in the last year (In AB, Canada), so just curious on how you can keep your costs so low. Or if its due to a mix of being in Asia/Canada, could you share the breakdown/differences in food bill while you’re overseas vs Canada? Thanks kindly!

    1. We average around $400 on groceries a month and $500 on eating out (though eating out has gone down a lot now that we’re parents) in Toronto so that’s $900/month on food. It depends on where you shop. We buy a lot of groceries from Chinatown and use the “TooGoodToGo” app. I also tend to cook recipes that are Asian and happen to be very inexpensive since I’m not big on western foods (I hardly ever buy cheese or coffee (they tend to hurt my stomach) or dessert (too much sugar)). My favourite dish is “hot pot” which consists of a soup base for $4.99 and a bunch of fresh veggies and sliced meat. I also make pork bone soup in a Instapot which gives me 3 meals for 2 people and the ingredients are $7 for the pork bones, $1 for onions, $1 for potatoes, $2 for the nappa cabbage and $10 for sauces that can be used for many months. That works out to only $4 for 2 people per meal. So I suspect it’s related to the recipes and ingredients I use in cooking and shopping in chinatown.

  8. Congratulations on the new addition! There is no question that raising a child will dent our net worths. It has caused me to work into my 50s, but when you look back most people wouldn’t trade their kids for any amount of net worth. I also think the cost of raising kids varies by choices. Private schools, cell phones, cars at 16 are all optional and things I did not have growing up, yet many parents I know consider these items ‘essential’.

    1. “I also think the cost of raising kids varies by choices. Private schools, cell phones, cars at 16 are all optional and things I did not have growing up, yet many parents I know consider these items ‘essential’.”

      Well said.

  9. I am very interested to hear how you’re able to keep your grocery bill so low. Have y’all detailed your food prep strategies or anything along those lines that support this frugal number?

    1. Recipe example: pork bone soup:

      $7 for the pork bones, $1 for onions, $1 for potatoes, $2 for the nappa cabbage and $10 for sauces that can be used for many months. That works out to only $4 for 2 people per meal.

  10. I love the line, “I thought I would hate the late nights and poopy diapers, but to my surprise, I’m enjoying parenting so far and finding it very rewarding despite the sacrifices.”

    I hope you continue to enjoy it as Matchstick grows up. I think parenting is more rewarding than even watching the balance in my retirement funds grow, and I really like that.

    -Father of four.

    1. Nice! I’m glad you enjoy parenting. Who knows what parenting will be like as my son grows up but so far so good! *fingers crossed* Also helps that I don’t have to work.

      1. $400 AND $500 eating out? Is everything that expensive in your area? For 2 people, we couldn’t eat $400 worth of groceries AND eat for $500. Not sure how we would even spend $500 eating out for 2 people. We spend maybe $60 when we go out, 1-2 times a month.

  11. Age 1-2 there are very few expenses for children. Wait until preschool and after, the costs accelerate bigly : preschool , daycare , lessons, piano , music , school, sports , transport , cars , gas, plane tickets . Don’t think you’ll travel the world with kids, because you won’t. For safety and development of your children they’ll need to be in a stable environment.

    1. “Don’t think you’ll travel the world with kids, because you won’t. ”

      I wouldn’t bet on that 🙂

      Stable environment = loving parents who are always there for them. It has nothing to do with settling.

      I grew up with my parents moving every 2 years (hell even to whole other country when I was 8 and didn’t speak any English). I credit the frequent change in scenery with my ability to be resilient and solve problems on the fly. Wouldn’t change it for the world.

      1. Re: “Stable environment = loving parents who are always there for them.”

        Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times YES!

        My husband was raised by his biological parents along with his five siblings (including his identical twin brother) in one house, not moving out until he was 20. Regrettably, that house was not filled with the love he needed. His parents always wondered why he never voluntarily came “home” to visit after he moved out. Their lack of love stunted his emotional development, which I am still coming to understand even after our 45 years of marriage (and raising our two sons).

        “Home is where the heart is” = home is anywhere there is love.
        You might stay in one location for many, many years. But without the love you need, it’s not “home”.

  12. Like some others commented before, I think the USDA numbers are relevant for the typical 2 working parents family. Daycare alone is a second mortgage…

    Your parenting experience strengthens my conviction to teach my kids about investing, FIRE etc, to give them the opportunity of starting early and being retired parent.

    @Firecracker: Again like some others asked: Would you do a detailed post about how you manage to spend so little? I know this blog is not so much a “how to save money” blog, but really, how the hell do you spend 72$/month on 2 cells phones plus internet?!? Please let us know, I would love to switch my provider, but can’t seem to find anything even close to that!
    Not to mention 400$ on groceries… We don’t eat out, we usually go to food basics, and we run between 1,500-2,000 a month (for 4 people)….

    Anyway, really happy to hear about your parenting. I wish you the best and keep charting your own way. I sense some world-schooling in your future…
    🙂

    1. “how the hell do you spend 72$/month on 2 cells phones plus internet?!?

      My internet with Fido is $54.29/month after tax and phone plan is $100 for 6 months ($17/month) for 2GB with Freedom mobile.

      We don’t need data on both cell phones since we’re always together. We just have one plan for both of us.

      $400 on groceries and $500 on eating out is $900/month on food total. You don’t eat out and there are 4 of you, so our costs aren’t that different.

    1. That’s why for long haul flights we don’t pay cash. Points are the way to go. If you’re flexible on time, the cost of flights via points drop significantly during the 2 weeks before your travel date. We also plan to take advantage of the lap seats too.

  13. Kuddos and thank you for sharing – we’re right in line with you guys. Our liquid portfolio is around the same value as your Portfolio A and like you our spending is nowhere near 4% with two young kids in tow (we also have a paid off home though so that definitely helps to not have a housing/rent line item).

    The beauty of FIRE + kids is we can “hack” so many of the typical kid expenses. No job to go to means no insanely high daycare prices. Instead we have the time to go to free baby/kid related activities going on throughout the week (and there are lots but most people are working then). We can avoid signing up kiddos for camps and too many activities since we don’t have to work during school breaks/evenings. We can actually create a community and have friends to set up playdates (free) since we have the TIME to get to know our kiddos friends, neighbours, etc. The list goes on and on.

    We’ve been tracking our numbers if you want to see what our kiddo expenses have been these past 5 years. Spoiler alert – it’s a lot lower than these reported national averages!

    https://modernfimily.com/category/parenting/

    1. “The beauty of FIRE + kids is we can “hack” so many of the typical kid expenses.”

      This is so true. Having the time to optimize helps a ton! And not having childcare expenses because we don’t have to work.

      Thanks for sharing your numbers! Kudos for being under the national average!

  14. Thanks for sharing your expenses, kids can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be in my opinion. For us even though we don’t have daycare, we have preschool, and that’s about $8000 a year. Then the activities add up, I think for both kids it was $8000-$9000 last year.

    1. “kids can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be in my opinion’

      Exactly. Also, it helps to have time to optimize 🙂

  15. Thanks for sharing! Perhaps you will cover this in your upcoming investing post but I’m wondering now that it’s generally accepted that interest rates have peaked and will start coming down which will drive bond values up, are you guys considering switching out of preferred shares back to bonds? How might a high dividend stock fund figure into this?

    I’m FI like you guys and I love hearing your investment reasoning. With the S&P back up to nearly all time highs it seems like VTSAX doesn’t have any where near the room to move that PFF has, since it is down 17% over the last 5 years.

  16. Happy New Year!

    Wow we also just released our 2023 spending today and it turns out that we spent $34,473 USD but as far as I know Mrs. NN isn’t pregnant. (For the data: https://www.nomadnumbers.com/2023-year-end-spend-report/)

    How much more do you think your budget will increase in 2023 now that you need to feed and move around with that bad boy? 😀

    Side note: you guys should consider moving over the NomadPurse (https://www.nomadpurse.com) as we do offer some nice charts and amazing graphics that let you track how many miles you travel around the world as well as plot all of your stops in a beautiful map… but I digress!

    1. “it turns out that we spent $34,473 USD”

      Nice! Looks like a lot of the FIRE people are spending similar amounts.

      I don’t know how much our parental expense will increase next year. Guess we’ll have to wait and see!

  17. I found the exact same thing when I adopted two kids at once in the UK. One was 18 months and the other 5 months and yet our expenses went down initially thanks to the not going out as much stuff. They saved us money for a while. We weren’t FI either but fortunately we got a full year of parental leave fully paid so we didn’t take a hit to our income.

    I do think we benefited a lot by being middle class. The gifts were super plentiful and to this day (they are almost 6 and 7 now), we still get regular, very high quality hand-me-downs for free. I feel like those surrounded by people with less money may still get these gifts and hand-me-downs but they probably don’t eliminate clothing and toy costs like our social circle eliminates them for us. I am careful to remain mindful of the parenting privileges we enjoy by being who we are.

    1. This is true. When I was growing up in China, my parents hardly got any hand-me-downs. My mom made all my clothes by hand. Definitely a good reminder of our current privileges.

  18. I agree that the USDA numbers are hogwash. I forget which personal finance book I read it in, but he broke it down that so many of the USDA assumptions of what many people consider “must haves” are nothing of the sort. Things like a new car at the age of 16, a $300,000 education, help with buying a house, and countless other expenses are truly variable, and not a foregone conclusion.

    1. “new car at the age of 16”

      yeah, this one really threw me as well. My parents never bought me a car as a teen and I don’t plan to buy one for my son either.

  19. Firecracker – I just wanted to say how much I LOVE your creative writing style.

    re: “Poopy McPooperPants” vs“fancy-pants spending spreadsheets” – quite a contrast there. You crack me up. LOL

    re: “I’ll be keeping meticulous records so we can keep tracking kid expenses going forward.” – I’d expect nothing less from you! (I’m a spreadsheet planner / record keeper myself)

    re: “Spending on ergonomic travel gear is always worth it in my opinion.” – I wholeheartedly agree!!!

    re: “Now that the little poop monster is here and filling up mountains of diapers and guzzling rivers worth of formula, have we lost our coveted dividend FIRE status? Did he just take a dump over all our carefully planned FIRE spreadsheets?” – Now that’s what I call a descriptive paragraph. I can truly picture it.

  20. Love hearing how you used so many second-hand items. Especially in the first couple of years, they outgrow things so fast!! In the US, big baby showers with super expensive items on the registries is the norm. At least in the northeast. I just can’t get behind a US$1k stroller…does it cook dinner too?!?! Most of our stuff was hand-me-downs or yard sales and saved us huge amounts of money. For sports, we kept our kids on recreational teams until high school and then let them join the more expensive volleyball travel teams. As one parent said – it keeps them busy and out of trouble. You guys are not susceptible to hype, so you should be immune to the pressure to give your kids everything that the parents are.

    1. “big baby”

      LOL. That’s how Wanderer and I refer to the baby industry too!

      Yeah, I don’t get the pt of $1000 strollers. Kids outgrown things so fast. They also throw up and poop all over nice things, so what’s the point? It’s more for the parents than for the kids.

  21. You are killing it Firecracker! We raised three little tykes who are now in their thirties, with a whole bunch of college degrees. They barely impacted our budget and their college was basically free due to their mom’s infecting them with a love of learning and their working their way through post grad degrees. Apparently some people do spend their nest egg raising their rug rats but you don’t have to, and I think probably underspending just a bit sets kids up for success as adults much more than overspending a bunch on them. Great content as usual/always! I will always remember my now PhD daughter telling me she was raised as if she was poorer than all her friends while in fact we were wealthier than most. I was kind of proud of that and I think she is too.

  22. In our experience we spent no where near the money suggested for child raising. We did tend to go for hikes versus amusement parks. Loved to find fun in game nights and making pizza versus buying experiences at Choo Choo Charlies. I think those little things do add up, and also help you raise a second generation FIRE member. Sadly I do agree with other Canadians here and I supplement my 25 year old son’s basic costs of living in Toronto to not completely discourage him from obtaining second generation FIRE. He is incredibly frugal and focused on FIRE and the ability to do so right now in Toronto is so hard. I was surprised to do this in my own late FIRE years, but luckily can do so thanks to our lifelong focus on learning about the power of freedom with savings.

    1. Hey, you do you boo! It’s definitely getting harder to become FIRE in Toronto with the rise in the cost of living but not impossible. I know people who’ve FIRE’d recently while living in Toronto and they got zero parental support (hell, their parents actually want money from them).

  23. Yeah this USDA figure for kids must be based on the president’s kids. Regular people would only have diapers and some baby food to deal with. Hopefully none of that nonsense of formula and only breastfeeding.

  24. Thanks and congratulations for your 10 year FI-nniversary! 🙂
    You guys are my motivation for reaching my FI number (1M portfolio in 7 years) just before pandemic and paid of house with $2k/month basement rental income in GTA.

    During the pandemic, i lost my job and i was happy at that time as trigger was pulled automatically and relaxed when the world is in panic.

    Unfortunately, after 6 months into my retired life, my FU money is not sufficient to weather the storm and cannot rely on 20k dividends 24k from rental income and cannot sell my portfolio as its already 30% down.
    This is due to unexpected health issues with my spouse who got diagnosed with MS (aftermath of covid ??) and have to pay $2k/month for meds (Aubagio) by “pharmafia”

    Now back into work force and determined to increase the FI number to 1.7M (25X$65k)

    Thank god that these life altering events occurred while i am still young (50) and have decent portfolio to support my spouse and bump the portfolio to cover our needs.

    Icing on the Cake is that our son (19yrs) is realized the importance of FI and life in general and bought your book and read the whole 300 pages 🙂

    Now he himself opened TFSA/FHSA in QT and started buying XEQT using his part time job earnings. The best part is he became so studious and matured, getting 3.9 GPA all the semesters so far (UTM) and determined to finish under grad in 3 years in stead of 4 and pursue medical studies.

    Once again thank you for the motivation/guidance given to people like us.

    Looking forward for your next post to see what changes made to your portfolio and any suggestions for us who mimicked your workshop (VAB/VUN/VCN/XEC/XEF) so far.

  25. Check out your neighbourhood Buy Nothing group on Facebook. People are always giving away baby items, including coupons for formula, on my local group.

  26. 3 of my sisters have children. 2 are are now married millenials. 🙂

    So for the 2 younger sisters with younger children (total of 5) + now 2 great nieces 3 & 5 yrs. old, each family saved a ton money on 2nd hand children’s clothing and toys they got/offered for free from other families.

    So this type of money saving will help until the kid gets old enough in maybe early teens, to demand their own “unique” /new clothing that available used clothing will not meet their needs. So really enjoy the money-saving right now with baby/toddler years.

    So as aunt bearing gifts, I learned fast: just forget about me buying any new clothing for nieces and nephews, great-nieces. Wasted money. So I focused on books, little knapsack, lunch bento box kit, etc.

  27. I haven’t bothered to even buy any new toys as gifts for nieces and nephews in last 18 yrs. The families get so much free toys from other families that their homes are shockingly overrun with toys.

    Really overrun with toys..which would really drive any parent insane.

  28. Where are the DENTAL expenditures?
    From cleaning, fillings, etc.
    Either cash outlays or, insurance portion and cash payments?

  29. Congratulations on the arrival of little Matchstick. Sounds like things are going great so far.

    I am eagerly awaiting your portfolio changes for 2024, if there are any.

    Is there a US equivalent to the 6% preferred stocks that you invested in for 2023?

    I finally retired the old fashioned way. Expenses are covered with funds left over for investments and fun. I can’t believe it. FIRE wasn’t a thing when I was young. So glad for you.

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