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Friday, February 6, 2009

A true cost/benefit comparison

Robert's US Government Info Blog
By Robert Longley, About.com Guide to US Government Info since 1997

The Cost to Raise a Child Today
Friday March 28, 2008

A middle income family with a child born in 2007, will pay a total of $204,060 to care for that child until its 18th birthday, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
In its latest release of The Cost to Raise a Child Today (.pdf), the USDA reports that the cost to feed a child has decreased over the past several years, the costs of child care and education have increased substantially.
"For a middle-income, two-parent, two-child family, expenses for one child ranged from $10,930 to $12,030, per year depending on the age of the child, with expenditures on teenagers being the highest."
According to the USDA, the overall cost of raising a child has increased 15 percent from 1960 to 2007. Compared to today’s $204,060, the cost to raise a child through age 17 in 1960 was $25,230.

Here is a fun tool for calculating the cost of raising a child through college....

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 money?

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

You get to:

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

You have an excuse to:

a.. keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
b.. watching Saturday morning cartoons,
c.. going to Disney movies, and
d.. wishing 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.

You get to be a hero just for:

a.. retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
b.. taking the training wheels off a bike,
c.. removing a splinter,
d.. filling a wading pool,
e.. 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:

a.. first step,
b.. first word,
c.. first bra,
d.. first date, and
e.. 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, So . . one day they will like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!

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