I have no kids so spending is just between DH and I. However, we tuned into an episode of MSNBC called "Til Debt do us part" where a financial wizard name Gail helps families get out of debt by altering their destructive spending habits.
On this episode, she follows a couple with $25K worth of credit card debt. The wife is a SAHM with 2 young kids and a baby on the way. Her husband is the sole provider of the family earning $80K annually. So this is a family of 4 soon to be 5 living on merely $80,000 per year. What bothered me was that they seem oblivious to their current financial crisis. They continued to live a care free high consumption lifestyle. They spend on average $900/mo on organic food. The wife does not drive so she pays an additonal $120/mo to have food delivered to their house. Add in the mortgage, entertainment, utility/gas, and other kid expenses, we can all see why this couple was bleeding red. When confronted by Gail with a money makeover, they felt nothing was wrong because they were able to keep up with the credit card payment. But we soon discover that their payment was only on the interest portion.
This family was clearly out of control and not in touch with planning and budgeting. Spending $900/mo on organic food was mind blowing. On top of that, another $120 for delivery services. Just this $1,020 in expense already equates to my monthly spending in food/entertainment/utility/etc. We make 1.5 times more than this family but spend much much less. It goes to show that there are many couples out there either in denial or blindsided by their financial reality. This show serves as a great purpose to motivate families to get out of debt. Planning and saving for a secure future is more important than high consumption. Especially if there are children involved.