Family

Stocks I Should Have Purchased Before Having Kids

Image by Andrew Magill on Flickr

As I go about my daily routine, I can’t help but notice there are certain things we use over and over and over again. Things I’m constantly having to buy. Sometimes it’s alarming and I have to check with other mommies and perform the “Is my kid normal?” test. You know, where you call up your MBFF (Mommy Best Friend Forever…or until we form parenting policies which conflict, in which case we’ll probably go our separate ways and will wonder WTF ever happened with HER?…I mean…) and you say, “Do YOU go through 4 gallons of milk a week? Do I need to start a dairy farm?” or “My kids have eaten an entire bunch of bananas in 24 hours. Is there anything medically wrong with that?”

Rest assured. MOST of the time these things are normal.

Knowing these things are pretty much universal makes me wish I’d had the foresight to buy stock in certain companies. If I’d done it, I think I singlehandedly could have funded my children’s college accounts with the products I buy everyday. Yeah. I’m not going to do the actual math there either, but you get the point. Of course, now that I actually have to buy these products to keep the family train running, I have no money for stock. *sigh* Hindsight. Catch 22. Murphy’s Law. And all that jazz.

10 Stocks I Wish I Would Have Purchased Before Having Kids

1. Some Big Corporate Dairy Farm

If I had purchased stock in a dairy farm back before I had kids, the 4 gallons of milk a WEEK I (and other moms) buy would be paying off nicely. I did the math. Milk is approximately $3.50 a gallon where I live. That means I spend about $14 a week on milk. Which is a little more than $56 a month, or $672 a year. On just MILK. We also eat a lot of cheese. And yogurt. If my shares in a dairy farm wouldn’t amount to college fund levels, they’d at least support the habit, I’d think.

Image by miguelb on Flickr

2. Diapers

Eventually moms get smart and figure out how to get better deals on diapers. Or they start using cloth diapers. Or they know that generic diapers are just as good, most of the time, as the expensive brands. But at first, you can ONLY USE THE BEST! Right? I mean, doesn’t YOUR baby need the softest, prettiest smelling, most expensive, BEST diapers at the store for his or her brand new tooshie? Figuring in that newborn babies go through somewhere between 8 and 12 diapers a day (I’ll use an even 10 for my figures here), that’s about 300 diapers a month. At this exact moment, a certain Brand Name Diaper is selling for $49.59 for a box of 234. So, the average baby goes through about 1.3 boxes of diapers a month. That’s $63.47 a month, $761.60 per year. I had twins. So, ya know…do the math AGAIN.

3. Formula 

I feel like all of these things come with disclaimers. Like…yada, yada, yada…this one wouldn’t matter if you breastfed. I would just like to say that I DID. But I ALSO used formula at the end. And some moms use formula all the time. And you know what, Boobie Nazis??? It doesn’t really matter. *phew*

Anyhow. Formula. Another thing some moms get smart about buying generic. But, big name brand formula costs about $25 per can. The average child goes through 1 can per week. That’s $100 per month on formula. Or $1200 a year. And most babies are either on formula or breast milk for their entire first year before they switch to milk (which is only slightly cheaper, as we saw above).

4. Batteries

From birth, kids start accumulating toys. Toys take batteries. Toys eat batteries at alarming rates. I haven’t done the math on the weekly/monthly/yearly cost. But let’s just say we are always in need of batteries here. All sizes. Be they AA, AAA, C, D, or 9 Volt, we’ve got a toy that takes it.

5. Plastic

This one is a little more abstract, since I don’t buy the plastic directly. But everything we have is made of it. Car seats. High chairs. Toys. Bottles. Pacifiers. Sippy cups. Bowls. Forks. Spoons. Bike helmets. DVD cases. Baby swings for our swing set. And on and on and on. Of course, I really wish things WEREN’T made of plastic so much. But, it is what it is and if I have to live with it, I might as well make money on it, right? If only I’d bought the stock!

Image by Rex Roof on Flickr

6. Cereal

If you are what you eat, then my kids are shredded wheat. At least it’s healthy, right? I wonder if the Kashi company is public? Hmm. (Yes, sometimes they eat Froot Loops too. Who doesn’t?)

7. Starbucks

Mommy needs coffee. Just sayin’.

8. A Vineyard/Wine

Um. I’d like to say it’s because Mommy is cultured. But we all know that’s not true.

9. Laundry Detergent

Something they don’t tell you before you have kids is that children = laundry. Laundry requires soap. The soap is expensive. Especially if your daughter breaks out in a rash from any brand that isn’t Tide.

10. Fruit

Whatever big food company owns the farms for all the fruit in the store. That’s the one I want. We eat an alarming amount of oranges, bananas, apples, blueberries, and strawberries in my house. In fact, if my kids are made predominantly of cereal, the secondary element in their composition is fruit.

Image by Daniel Oines on Flickr

Of course, who am I kidding? I could cover all of my above bases by purchasing stock in Target (aka Mommy Heaven). Even the wine. Let’s count all the reasons why I shop there: shopping carts with seats for all 3 of my kids (that’s honestly the biggest reason right there, not kidding!), decent prices, I can buy groceries AND shoes for the kids (read: Mommy) all at once. Winning!

If I could go back in time, I’d tell my younger self to start buying Target stock. Forget 401K or Roth IRAs. Then we’d flash forward again to now. I’d be cleaning out some random file and it’d be like one of those time capsules where I’d be all, “Oh, look. There’s this funny piece of paper with a red target on it and according to it, we’re FILTHY RICH!” Oh…that only happens in the movies? And only with Apple stock? Shoot. Oh well!

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9 thoughts on “Stocks I Should Have Purchased Before Having Kids

  1. You couldn’t cover the wine at Target in Pennsylvania. Here you have to actually go to a wines & spirits store.

    I was a mom that went for generic brands from the very beginning on diapers & formula. But, even then, they still get to be expensive.

    And the “boobie nazis” had me laughing. My first didn’t want to breastfeed and I couldn’t keep up with the second, so both have been on formula almost since birth. And they’re both happy & healthy now.

  2. We don’t let the kids have many toys that are operated by batteries, and certainly not before they were three. I would like to say it’s because we are environmentally friendly and blah, blah, blah. But in reality, repetitive noises drive mommy off the deep end. And they only push one button, even if the toy comes with twelve.

    • Most of the battery-operated toys are purchased by others for the kids these days. I like to buy the wooden toys :). But I was amazed at how fast the baby swings and vibrating baby seats ate through batteries! Or the crib soother thing in my son’s room at night. Looking back, we probably didn’t really NEED those things, but the good folks at Babies R Us sure made me feel like I did :).

  3. Haha, love this post, and since I’m a stock nerd, I’ll tell you that Apple probably would have been a better bet. 🙂 If you’d have bought Target 4 yrs ago, at the start of 2008 (your oldest is 4, right?), you’d be down by about 20% right now. If you had bought Apple, you’d be up about 120%. Unfortunately all of these common household items don’t amount to much of an investment because they’re produced by big companies whose stocks moves like sloths. Though I still think buying a cow would save a ton of money. I keep telling my daughter that’s going to be her present next christmas. 🙂

    Okay, you can kick my nerdy butt out the door now. 🙂

    • Haha. Your nerdiness makes me feel better I never did it then. You’re right though, all of these things are probably under one or two big umbrella companies. Like Procter & Gamble. 🙂

      And I’d still like to find a time capsule where one of my great, great grand relatives bought stock in a “fruit company” (like in Forrest Gump) and we all inherit millions :). Hehe.

  4. Oh to go back and buy stock with the knowledge of today… le sigh …pipe dream. Okay, back to reality. Hilarious Erin. You’d probably put me in the boobie nazies group, LOL. But I too used formula with two of the wee beasties, back when Good Start was the ‘cheap’ formula yet the one better tolerated by baby tummies.

    What I need, is the farm! Milk and cheese and butter and yogurt and when the cow was old the meat. I have carnivores for children! Of course we’d get bored of just beef so we’d also need the chickens for eggs and meat. Maybe a pig or two. And don’t for get the orchards and gardens and canning and freezing my own stuff.

    LOL, see what you started?

    • Haha! I’m sure you’re not a Boobie Nazi! I think a person can be pro-breastfeeding without being a Boobie Nazi. 🙂

      YES! A farm would come in quite handy. It would really solve a lot of my problems. Though, then I’d have to deal with all the animal…stuff… haha! Think my neighbors would mind if I knocked down their houses so I could have room for a barn?

  5. One of the big draws of breastfeeding to me was the free-ness of it. 😉 Formula can get very expensive very quickly.

    I also think stock in a safety product company would be good. As young moms, we are willing to buy anything and everything that can prevent our perfect little one from getting hurt. And every year, they come up with new products to prevent injuries kids had been getting for centuries.

    For the future, you might want to get stock in Nintendo, XBox, and Apple. Trust me on this one. Great stuff, Erin!

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