The Costs to Expect App is in the alpha stage, the beta is coming soon.
This first question you should ask yourself when any source gives you a total, percentage, increase rate etc. is "how was it reached?" At Costs to Expect we aim to be as transparent as possible, so, as well as showing all the expenses that we log for our children, we will tell you what we do and don't count. >
In short, as much as we feel makes sense; if the expense is a direct result of the child being born, then it probably gets counted. When it comes to categorising any expense, if the expense is necessary for the child to survive, grow, gain knowledge and generally be happy, it goes in the Essential category, and everything else is either for the Non-Essential or Hobbies and Interests categories.
Any expenses that we would make regardless of the children, expenses where the decision barely included taking the child into account or expenses that would be difficult to record reliably.
How about some examples?
We live in the house we do because we want/need the space; it was not a decision we made for the children. You could argue that when we buy a larger house, we should include the 'additional' cost but in my opinion that is short-sighted, when the children move out we still have all the value, nothing was lost.
Until my children start excessively using one of these resources, I'm not interested in logging it. If you are intent on recording a portion of these expenses, they are predictable and historically available for most regions, we don't consider it to be an issue that they are not within our data.
If and when I start acting as a taxi service (not something I am planning becoming part of my role as a Father), I may record expenses if the journey is purely for the child.
I will list the answers to any additional questions here.
We will update this page as complexities arise, now that we have a second child we have to think about how we are going to handle transfers of items and shared expenses.
Periodically, we do a review of our general shopping receipts, and we assign a percentage to each child, these percentages get bumped when we feel a change is necessary. You may disagree with the portions, however; they are reviewed, luckily though, we record the total expense and not just the actualised expense, later the website will allow you to adjust these to what you feel is appropriate for your family.