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#215625 - 11/30/11 08:31 PM Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
No wonder I am not a grandparent yet! Having just read this article in CNN Money, I suspect my (very smart and fiscally responsible adult) kids have decided they can't afford to have children!

Yes, I know babies often come along without any planning, but I suspect I raised kids who are logical and pragmatic enough to actually think this decision through --

Apparently it now costs nearly 40% more (and that's NOT including designer duds or college tuition) for a middle-income, two-parent family to raise a child to age 18 than it did just 10 years ago. That percentage figure works out to about an additional $60,000 if you are into actual numbers, by the way...

Oh, the actual dollar figure? Apparently it averaged $226,920 last year.

I got started on this line of thought because I just read a "poem" - attributed to anonymous, sadly -- that talked about the costs/value of raising a child.

It was part of a thought-provoking essay questioning whether or not having kids is a good bargain. (Of course they are.)

The poem stated a cost per child figure, and I started wondering just how accurate that number was.


It's a great essay/poem, by the way, even though the numbers are too low for today. Here 'tis:

Quote:

The Price of Children
Author Unknown

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 years of age and came up with
$160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But
$160,140 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates
into:

$8,896.66 a year,
$741.3 month, or $171.08 a week.
That's a mere $24.24 a day!
Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is "don't have children if you want to be rich." Actually, it is just the opposite.

What do you get for your $160,140?

Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
Giggles under the covers every night.
More love than your heart can hold.
Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

finger-paint,
carve pumpkins,
play hide-and-seek,
catch lightning bugs, and
never stop believing in Santa Claus.

You have an excuse to:

keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh, watch Saturday morning cartoons, go to Disney movies, and wish on stars.

You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:

retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof, taking the training wheels off a bike, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool, coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:

first step,
first word,
first bra,
first date, and
first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great grandchildren.

You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match.

In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God.
You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits.

One day they will love you without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!

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#215629 - 12/01/11 02:33 PM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9954
Loc: New York State
Guess the estimates I heard were about a quarter of a million, because they included college costs. I don't know how people with more than two kids do it. It blows the mind. crazy
_________________________
Throw me to the wolves and I'll come back
leading the pack.
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#215631 - 12/01/11 05:05 PM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
Jabber, tuition expenses are outrageous these days, too.

I just checked for my alma mater, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and found that for the academic year 2011-2012, instate tuition is $9,671! (It's over $25,000 for out of state...) And that is for a good Big 10 school, not a fancy private college where the tuition has traditionally been much higher.

I recall that in-state undergrad tuition had gone up drastically in the 70s when I was there, but I still don't think it was much over $1,000 to $1,500 a year. And I remember my Dad saying how high that was, compared to what he'd paid in the 50s...

(I well remember this because my parents told me they'd pay 100% of my tuition to go to school in Madison - my home town - but that if I wanted to go elsewhere, I would have to come up with the difference in tuition myself. I HAD wanted to go out of state, but I soon figured out UW Madison was a very good place to get an education, and I quickly decided to take the more financially "easy" route!)

So clearly tuition DOES add a huge chunk to the costs of raising a child... could easily be more than an additional $25,000 per year!
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#215633 - 12/01/11 06:54 PM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Anne Holmes]
jabber Offline
Member

Registered: 02/17/05
Posts: 9954
Loc: New York State
Yes. My nephew graduated from Purdue and the cost was $100,000. plus for four years. He got some sort of engineering degree.
_________________________
Throw me to the wolves and I'll come back
leading the pack.
Grace O'Malley

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#215634 - 12/01/11 07:33 PM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: jabber]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
Well as far as I can tell, your nephew's investment in his education ought to pay off handsomely for him. The world always seems to need more engineers.

My nephew is at Cornell, getting an engineering degree with a specialty in optics. Who knew those two areas of specialty would ever intersect?
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#215648 - 12/03/11 12:39 AM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Anne Holmes]
Sandy N. Offline


Registered: 12/23/10
Posts: 201
Loc: Washington State
We're contributing to a college fund for our 7-month-old granddaughter. Even a modest fund can grow quite big over 18 years, and every little bit helps.
_________________________
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#215649 - 12/03/11 01:00 AM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Sandy N.]
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Gosh, I went to college for free because my mother died. Hmmmm.......years ago when I was growing up, such "expenses" were never detailed the way they are today. If parents "think about it", they'd prob be depressed.

Glad I'm already raised!!!

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#215651 - 12/03/11 04:50 AM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Di]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
Di, I'm curious about your comment: My kids didn't get to go to college free because their dad died. Was she also a veteran or something like that?
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#215659 - 12/04/11 12:46 AM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Anne Holmes]
Di Offline
Member

Registered: 11/15/05
Posts: 2798
Loc: NM, transplant from NJ
Actually, since my Dad was disabled and I was "college age" (18)...I was able to get grants (this was in Pennsylvania) and collected soc sec death benefits. Actually both my brother and I did. (he's younger).

We collected SS until we graduated.

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#215662 - 12/04/11 05:13 PM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Di]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
Ahh, that explains it. Bill had always been either a state or federal employee. As such, I don't think he paid into SS. He paid into a different fund.

There was a lump sum payment from the feds when he died, but it went to me, as they were both minors. I put it into a college fund that paid their tuition. So both were able to graduate with no tuition debt. I have always been delighted they weren't saddled with THAT on graduation!!
_________________________
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#215945 - 12/28/11 10:11 PM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: Anne Holmes]
chatty lady Offline
Writer

Registered: 02/24/04
Posts: 20267
Loc: Nevada
Has such a good education paid off for your kids Anne?
_________________________
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http://charleen-micheles.blogspot.com/


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#215948 - 12/29/11 01:06 AM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: chatty lady]
orchid Offline


Registered: 01/21/07
Posts: 3675
Loc: British Columbia, Canada
While I understand it's a choice for parents to cover their child's university tuition...I disagree. Child should pay for part of their education/accommodation living away from home.

To answer Chatty's question:

There's no guarantee that a college/university education will eventually help a child get a better-paying job. But if a child completes the education and graduates, for certain it can help the child learn about how to focus, self-discipline and perseverance which are good life skills.

Plus skills how to assess a range of information sources to learn how to question sources of information that clearly are wrong/lack evidence. The more complex information, the more the reader is required to acquire analytical skills or different types of skills especially when numbers/statistics and financial figures are thrown at a person.

Particularily for women, it is to their long term financial advantage to take some useful courses part-time after high school at some point in their life.

I work in a large govn't organization where wrongly or rightly people have their electronic signature indicate their degrees and job title. There is a reason for this: So that sometimes other employees understand a person's areas of expertise.

There is no question to have the personal choice for job mobility/choices, is to have a few choice courses beyond high school, underneath your belt in many larger organizations.


Edited by orchid (12/29/11 01:12 AM)
_________________________
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#215949 - 12/29/11 02:56 AM Re: Cost of Raising a Child in 2011 - Up Again [Re: chatty lady]
Anne Holmes Administrator Offline
Boomer in Chief

Registered: 03/12/10
Posts: 3160
Loc: Illinois
I'd say it has definitely paid off, Chatty,

Both my son and daughter are employed in the field of newspapering.

My son started as a photographer, has won several prestigious awards and not only shot Katrina's immediate aftermath, but also experienced it. (He and a reporter for People magazine drove into the City to shoot and take pictures. The reporter got so freaked out he took off with the car and abandoned my son.) Zach ended up having to sleep on the streets, while protecting his equipment from being looted. The next day he met up with another group of news people, managed to get some food, and continued working.

Cell phones didn't work, and he managed to find a working pay phone and call People's NYC offices to report in. He told them they needed sat phones and cash (ATMs didn't work without electricity). The next day People flew in a private plane with supplies for ALL their reporters - as a result of Zach's keeping his head and figuring out how to get word out.

Zach tells of shooting images there in New Orleans that were so horrendous that seasoned war reporters were in tears. He also helped rescue a group of nuns who had been trapped by the flooding and receiving a blessing from them. I know that meant a lot to him.

He also managed to call me and tell me he had been working in the flood waters, and somehow needed to get some antibiotics to keep him safe due to the contamination (there were dead bodies and who knows what else in the water). I called a friend who is a dentist and told him what was going on. The man called in a prescription to his local Walgreen's and them we let Zach know to go to ANY Walgreen's he could find, to get his prescription.

All this because Zach was on his way to Tampa for a new job at the St Pete Times when he heard about a bad storm heading to NO and decided to detour over there to see what was happening. (He'd been working as a freelancer, and called his agent to see if the agent could find someone who wanted his work. The agent hooked him up with People.)

Since the St Pete job, he has worked for several big papers as a shooter and these days he is manager of the graphics department for his paper -- as well as doing some shooting.

I am sure his education combined with his native skills have brought him to where he is.

As for my daughter, she graduated with High Honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she is an editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

I don't think either of them are paid what they are worth, due to the challenges journalism faces right now. But they ARE employed and well respected by their peers and employers.
_________________________
Boomer in Chief of Boomer Women Speak and the National Association of Baby Boomer Women.
www.nabbw.com
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