The Cost of Raising Children

MSN Money has a table showing the cost of raising a child to the age of 18, based on a survey by the US government from 1990-92 (in 2001 dollars):

The cost (red box is my edit) of $249,180 didn't even include the cost of sending them to college, or approximately 1/5th of gross income. If you have two kids, like me, that's roughly half a million dollars! (obviously not counting that elusive multiple-kids discount that other parents have been telling me about)

If you look closer at the numbers, a number of things are waaaay off base now, like the cost of healthcare and childcare. I wonder if they've done a more recent study, but I think I already know the answer.

Link - via Ray Fowler

And of course, the cost of raising kids would be A LOT higher if they did this.

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to: Sid Morrison "get what you pay for"

Yes that would be 4 more years of life than an American and an infant mortality rate that is 22% lower than the American one. Enjoy what you pay for.
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Anecdotal evidence, pah! I am a chick and after I left for college (with my mother and father and teenage brother and sister still at home) I was shocked to come back for a visit and find that the refrigerator and cupboards were nearly bare compared to how much food they had to stock just to feed my growing appetite. and every one of us was high-metabolism skinny-to-normal build. It's all individual.
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Hah hah, enjoy your "Free" healthcare! You get what you pay for!

The chart is interesting, but as others have mentioned, a lot of it is choice. Unless you are a single parent, you really don't need to send your kids off to babysitting (i.e. daycare, pre-school, childcare, whatever feel-good you want to call it).

It IS possible for one parent to stay home whilst the kids are young (at least) to care for them. Yes, you might need to scale back the mommy & daddy toys and trips a little, but the kids will be a lot smarter from the attention and less sickly from the constant immersion in daycare germs.

In any event, stop whining about how the government should provide you with free healthcare, babysitting, schooling, &c. They are YOUR kids --- YOU are responsible for their well-being and future. Don't schlep if off on the backs of others. Know what you are getting into when you have kids (they are well worth it), but shoulder the responsibility yourself.
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