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How to Outsmart Your Kids and Save Thousands

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We all know that having children is not a sound financial decision. They are a major drain on your bank account. But we still move forward into the parenting abyss because they're cute, they say funny things and they give us a legitimate excuse to post daily on Instagram.

Pre-children, you might think it's a good idea to create a budget. You know, figure out how much you'll spend on diapers, childcare, clothes, preschool, etc. Let me save you some time and an Excel spreadsheet by giving you this simple equation that will get you fairly close to the actual cost of having a baby: Take your address and multiply it by 128 = that's the amount you'll spend during your child's first year of life.

RELATED: 25 Ways to Make Life Rich Without Spending a Dime

You're probably thinking, "How does that make any sense? I know how much diapers cost. I can do the math and get a good idea of what this tiny human is going to run me per year." Rookie mistake. There's a thing called "Unexplained Preferences" that will take over any type of budget that you have created. It's a phenomenon that begins approximately one minute after birth and never ends.

There's good news though. If you are informed, you can stop some of the unnecessary bleeding. Read on to discover the real cost of raising children.

The amount of food your child will waste is beyond upsetting. Between the food that ends up on the floor and the food that they refuse to eat, you could feed a ... village.

The more you know, the more you can outsmart your child and save hundreds (possibly thousands) of dollars.

$219: The amount of money you'll spend on shoes with laces when your child will only wear Velcro.

$321: Crappy haircuts. If cutting your kid's hair is like wrestling an alligator, save your money. If they won't sit still the stylist doesn't have a prayer.

$385: Searching for just the right bottle only to find that your baby prefers to suck on hair.

$407: Jeans. Kids hate jeans. They won't wear jeans until they are around 4 or 5 years old, so stop trying to force the issue.

$419: Soccer, baseball, tennis, karate classes that your child felt passionately about until he discovered the uniform was too itchy, tight, wrong color, etc.

$1,258: Shirts. Shorts. Pants. Your child will settle on one top and one bottom. They will wear this top and bottom daily until it has been washed beyond recognition. Trying to get your child to wear the non-preferred top and bottom will be a daily struggle. Kiss the rest of their wardrobe goodbye.

$51,548: Toys. You'll spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on toys that they may or may not play with. Or they'll only play with them on a Tuesday when there's a solar eclipse. It's impossible to predict which ones will be hits and which will be misses.

$777,484: Food. The amount of food your child will waste is beyond upsetting. Between the food that ends up on the floor and the food that they refuse to eat, you could feed a small village, medium village, large village and extra-large village. You should really just send all food directly to a village.

RELATED: 10 Money-Saving Tips for Moms

What's the biggest thing you've wasted money on so far in your parenting journey? Knowledge is power. Please share in the comments so we can all save a buck or two or thousand.

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