The “Ask the Readers” feature has always been popular at Get Rich Slowly. It’s a great way for people like you to ask questions about money, and, best of all, it’s a chance to help others solve their problems. But there’s no doubt that the “how much do you spend?” questions get the most responses.

Maybe that’s why Kate wrote recently to ask a question that hadn’t ever occurred to me. She wants to know how much you spend on kids. Here’s her e-mail:

We’re thinking about starting a family soon. I realize there are a lot of costs when it comes to having and raising a child, from clothes to diapers to child care to toys to car seats. I also know that these costs can vary greatly, but having never been a parent before, I have no idea what the range can be. I’d like to hear from readers about how much they spend per month on their children. Are we talking an extra $100 a month — or an extra thousand? Under what circumstances? Do the costs go up or down as the child grows?

This is one of those discussions where I’ll have to bow out. I spend zero dollars per month on children because, so far, I’ve elected not to have any. (But isn’t that “so far” kind of interesting? I think so.)

So, I leave Kate’s question entirely in your hands, readers. How much do you spend on your children? Are kids more expensive as newborns or as teenagers? How would you advise prospective parents to prepare financially?

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