13 kid expenses that are not worth the money, according to real parents

There's no way around it: Raising kids — even just one! — is expensive.

The average American family pays over $11,000 just in the first year of a child's life, and nearly $250,000 by the time they're 18. And while most of the incurred expenses prove worthwhile, not every toy, class, or experience warrants its price tag.

Business Insider asked parents with children of all ages to weigh in on the financial side of having kids. While they concluded that several expenses are well worth the money, myriad others proved unworthy of the cost, from trendy gadgets to designer clothing.

Not every parent went into their reasoning, but every family is different, and it makes sense that every expense would be valued differently, too.

Below, we've anonymously included 13 things they say aren't worth spending on:

Too much/too nice clothing

"For older kids, I would say clothes. Kids can be picky about their clothes and will end up wearing the same 5 shirts over and over anyway. So just get clothes they like and will wear and replace as needed. And I always accept hand-me-downs."

"Fancy clothes when they were young. They outgrew them too quickly."


• Trendy toys

"Any electronic gadgets for kids less than 13."

• Going overboard on Christmas

• Over-the-top birthday parties

Expensive vacations with young kids

"It's not worth it to do 'big vacations' when they are younger; they just forget. It's been more worth it to do things like visit major cities or travel across Canada now that my son is old enough to appreciate it and learn from it."

New baby gear

• Anything other than the basics. "A lot of the new-baby junk. You really just need stuff to keep baby clean and warm, a safe place for baby to sleep, and formula or milk for the baby. That's it. Everything else can be helpful and convenient, but that might depend on your baby. My first baby hated her infant swing, for instance, but her younger brother loves it."

• Specialty toys. "I found that many of the "must-haves," like special toys, when they are babies aren't worth the money. There are so many things you could spend money on."

• Wipes warmer. "As you get your child accustomed to warm wipes, but what happens when you're on the go. It's just not a recipe for success on an area of the body that needs a lot of attention."

• Electric bouncer

• Anything poor quality, including novelty bed frames, mattresses, or cheap bottles

Upgrading to a too-large house

"We over-bought on our house upgrade. We now have a 6-bedroom, 5-bathroom with extra spaces such as a play room, loft area, office, craft room, and a finished basement. We have all the spaces we need, but now the budget is so tight it's difficult to furnish and do things like take nice trips."

RELATED: 8 tips to teach your kids to save money

Lessons that teach your kids to save money
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Lessons that teach your kids to save money

Play money-centered board games or games on apps, like Monopoly or Money Race.
It's an interactive and fun way for your kids to learn about basic financial practices without feeling like they're being lectured.

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Give them an allotted amount of cash to spend on lunch each week.
Your child will learn how to budget accordingly throughout the week, figuring out how to balance spending money on food some days vs bringing their own on other days (something that can be directly translated into the adult workplace).

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Have them write down or tell you their absolute dream toy.
Then, show them that it's possible to have that toy if they save x enough money for x amount of weeks.

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Give them an allowance.

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Stick to a set time and date each month for giving your child their allowance.
Practicing giving your children their allowance every other week or on certain dates of each month will help them prepare for set paydays in the working world--it will teach them to budget out and how to know when to save up in anticipation.

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Match your child's savings each month.
This will imitate a 401K and show your child ways in which saving can (literally) pay off.

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Have your kid organize their funds in to different jars to represent different accounts.
Examples could be "Saving", "Spending", "Charity", "Emergency", "College".

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Take your kids grocery shopping and explain certain choices you make with your purchases to them.
Your children will benefit from knowing what's best to purchase name brand vs. generic, why some snacks are better to buy in bulk, etc.

Photo credit: Getty


See Also:

SEE ALSO: Real parents reveal 16 kid expenses that are worth the money

DON'T MISS: 13 unexpected costs of having a kid

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