Everyone Knows Kids Aren't Cheap, But These 31 Unforeseen Expenses Of Parenthood Blew My Mind

From diapers to extracurriculars to college, everyone knows having a kid is wildly expensive. But what about the bills that no one knows about until they have a kid of their own?

Screenshot from "Friends"
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Recently, we asked the BuzzFeed Community to share the unforeseen costs of parenthood that shocked them the most, and the response was overwhelming. Here are some of the best replies:

1."Pets! My kid wanted a snake. The snake itself was not expensive, but you have to buy all the gear and frozen mice (!!!). And hoo boy, when that girl got sick, I had to drive her two hours away to the special (EXPENSIVE) snake vet."


2."The school goodie bags! Each student brings them in for the whole class for every holiday and birthdays. And yes, it’s only around $30 at a time, but it's almost every month."

"Plus, there's pressure to find cute things that are appropriate (no food dyes, not all candy, no choking hazards, etc.)."


"All the money they need to bring to school in general. Every other day, he brings home reminders about things they need money for — and they always want cash or check, which I never have."


3."Just like owning a home, it's all the random little things that just build up that you never even considered needing in your life. Oh, you have a random school project? Guess we need to buy a glue gun now. Your kid made an off-hand comment about loving balloon animals? Cue an 11 p.m. search for long latex balloons on Amazon while browsing how-to guides. I wasn't really PLANNING on dressing up for Halloween, but you're right — your princess outfit would look better next to a prince."

A kid showing their parents their spelling test
Killerb10 / Getty Images

4."Travel. My husband and I used to love spontaneous getaways and cheap travel. When we include kids, it changes everything from where we stay to how we get there. Holidays have become an unaffordable luxury for us."


5."The labor and delivery bill after I gave birth was $4,800 after good insurance."

—Emily O.

6."Medical expenses. My child was diagnosed with four autoimmune disorders after the age of 8. The bills between tests, surgeries, specialists add up. And then, there's all of the other stuff like medical equipment, supplements, medicines, therapies, the special diet that's supposed to help with inflammation, and ER visits."

A kid holding a piggy bank wrapped in a stethoscope

7."When my oldest got to about fourth grade, all of a sudden our school decided that $150–$200 field trips were appropriate. This became an annual thing for him and my daughter, who was a couple of years behind him. Up until then, it was trips to the zoo and local attractions. Then all of a sudden, they're renting luxury buses and going to the Grand Canyon. This is a public school in a middle-class suburb."


8."Clothes, specifically outerwear and coats. Why are warm coats $100????? And they grow out of them so fast."

A little girl modeling a dress in a clothing store


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9."Shoes. You get used to the toddler prices, which aren’t crazy but aren’t cheap. Then suddenly, they’re a child, and you’re basically paying the same price for their shoe as you do your own, but they outgrow them before the heel is even worn."


"My kids are still little but SHOES! Their feet grow so fast, and you need several pairs in every size for different occasions… Sneakers, boots, sandals, etc."


10."You’ll be buying diapers wayyy longer than you imagine. I thought diapers were until my toddler was potty trained, around 2 or 3 years old. But we’re still doing pull-ups at night in first grade ($40/month). And most of her friends are still in pull-ups as well."


11."DAYCARE!!! Like, yeah, it’s nice you guys teach Spanish twice a week and feed my child nutritional meals and teach her things and let her play, but I don’t make nearly enough to pay $300 every single week for just three days a week!"


12."Once they’re big enough to eat full-sized meals instead of kids meals when we are dining out, it gets really expensive."

A little girl eating a burger and fries in a restaurant
Inti St Clair / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

13."The cost of fruit. I have bought so much more fruit than I ever did before I had kids, and I love fruit. But these boys...holy cow. My grocery order is sometimes nothing but $60 of different fruits, and we always go through it before the next weekly grocery order!"

"Lord help me when they become teens because right now, they are only 4-year-old twins and a 9-year-old!"


14."Paying for a second hotel room or bowling lane to fit everyone. It’s not a wallet breaker, but it does make you think 'oh damn' every single time."


15."One of my younger cousins had a death wish when he was younger. His parents hit their family healthcare deductible by March for about four years running when he was in elementary school. He was always falling off things, running into things, pulling things onto his head, breaking bones, etc. Just a fearless, stubborn kid. Keeping him alive was a full-time job for my aunt."

A kid running into a pole
Valeriy_g / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16."$1,200/month for daycare. $200 on Costco brand diapers, wipes, and formula. He is starting to eat food so another $20/month. $200 add to our health insurance plan each month."

—Emily O.

17."When your kid accidentally leaves their backpack at a different school after a basketball game, and said backpack contained his brand new iPad, AirPods, Apple Pencil, and private school textbooks, all of which need to be replaced."

"…No? Just me?"


18."My daughter plays volleyball for both high school and club. The cost to play on her club team is over $2,000 (which is cheap compared to other clubs), plus the expenses to travel with her team (hotels, meals, spectator tickets, etc.). Thankfully, volleyball gear isn't too outrageous, but I do buy her new knee pads and shoes at least twice a year."

Young teens playing volleyball
Fatcamera / Getty Images

19."Gas money. It sounds dumb, but the amount I spend on gas shuttling kids around on trips, doctor appointments, activities, and to and from school adds up."


20."Rabies shots. I’m not kidding. Two of my daughters were asleep in their room when our cat brought a bat into the house. Our pediatrician told us to get rabies shots, but her office didn’t do it so we went to the children’s ER. Insurance didn’t cover it. I never, ever expected needing two sets of rabies shots for my kids, nor that they’d be that insanely expensive!"


21."Senior year! My oldest son graduated from high school this past year, and they hit me up for money at every turn. Cap and gown, photos of them in the cap and gown, other senior pictures, yearbook, senior trip. Be prepared to spend at least $1,000!"

Kids at their graduation

"Watching your kiddo graduate, though? Priceless!"


Hill Street Studios / Getty Images

22."Kids lose or accidentally ruin stuff constantly. I’m always torn between buying nice things like gloves and shoes for my oldest in the hopes that they’ll last as hand-me-downs for our younger ones or getting cheap stuff designed to last one kid, one season. We’re constantly paying to replace things that we intended to last longer."


23."The after-school program that my son goes to is $400/month. At least it’s not as expensive as when he was in daycare?"


24."The cost of car insurance when they start driving. Your insurance payments will triple — and then there’s the cost of the 'minor' accidents they get into. 🙄"

A young teen smiling and holding his car keys while in the driver's seat
Tetra Images / Getty Images/Tetra images RF

25."Kids magazines that cost £7 for a few cat posters and little plastic toys."


26."By far, it’s dental work. Even in Canada, dental plans usually only cover $500–$1,000 per year. One filling is about $250, so if you or your kid have multiple issues, you’re screwed."

"There are programs for low-income families, but that’s if you make below $30,000 a year. Apparently, if you make over $50,000, you get no help."


"Once I took my kid to the dentist, and they had a very loose tooth. The dentist asked, 'You want me to just pop that out real quick?' I was surprised when she tacked on a $100 charge to pull out a tooth that probably would have come out on its own within a week!"


27."Bi-weekly chiropractor appointment for myself. The amount of hunching over, bending, lifting, and carrying wreaked havoc on my back and shoulders."


28."I don't think new parents can fully appreciate the sheer volume of STUFF kids need to just exist in the world, which means all of it needs to be brought with you everywhere. We have half a dozen different sized bags based on how long we need to be out. And don't get me started on renting a freaking wagon on top of ticket fees for things like the zoo and aquarium once they're too big for a stroller but too little to really walk that far."

A father holding his baby and their diaper bag


Zing Images / Getty Images

29."Therapy! It’s $150 per session for our kid."


30."Summer camps are SO EXPENSIVE, especially the cool ones. My kid goes to a LARP camp in the park that's $395/week."


31."Fundraisers. You wind up spending so much on the school and extracurricular fundraisers just to buy stuff you don’t even want."

Teens having a car wash to raise funds


Yellow Dog Productions / Getty Images

What were the unforeseen expenses that shocked you after having kids? Share them in the comments below!