Featured Posts





Promote Your Page Too

Alltop, confirmation that I kick ass

Author: toni

~ 08/06/09

A GOVERNMENT REPORT released Tuesday says that a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising that child through age 17. When adjusted for inflation that number goes to $292,000. 

So let me get this straight, in addition to headaches, heartaches, stress, anxiety, constant worry, endless battles, exhaustion and the feeling like I’m perpetually talking to a brick wall, I’m actually forking over A QUARTER MILLION DOLLARS for this experience?!

$221,000!  In some places in the country (even mine these days) that’s the cash price of a house. That’s 10 new cars (non-luxury). If invested properly (no Madoff’s thank you)  that’s a comfortable early retirement with a condo (luxury) on a golf course and a membership to the club. That’s a Costa Rican retreat with beach access and a house servant (yes, I watch “House Hunters International”). If nothing else, that’s a LOT of really nice dinners…or shoes!

And that’s if you have JUST ONE KID! Most folks I know have TWO. Some have THREE. And I know one family that has FIVE! At $250,000 each! That’s….a freakin’ lot!

How do they do it?! Mind you, I know how much it costs to put my kid in tap shoes and seated on a bench next to a piano teacher once a week. Then there is preschool which in California actually costs more per month than going to any of the Cal State Schools. I KID YOU NOT! And let’s not forget the cost of childcare. In this day and age often times BOTH PARENTS have to work. And grandma isn’t always around to be a full time babysitter.

I bet these things aren’t even factored into that number. I’ll betcha that number is just the bare bones: roof over their heads, taters on the table, emergency room visits when they ride their bike barefoot (after you told them a million times not to) and they get their foot caught between the chain and the front chain wheel (one of my brothers did that once…bloody). I bet that dollar amount they came up with is just the cost to keep them breathing and supplied with enough nutrition that they make it through to self-sustaining adulthood without rickets… or a criminal record.

Obviously that $221,000 doesn’t include college. But say you get them to age 17 and you’ve managed to instill in them a sense of aspiration… or at least a fear of 40 hour weeks refilling the the hot dog cooker at the 7-Eleven.  So they decide college is the next step. Well, mom and dad you can DOUBLE the price tag if you’re planning on footing the bill for that little four year adventure into the machinations of beer bongs and the double hook on the backs of bras.

Of course, you don’t HAVE to pay for your kid’s college. Many parents don’t. Mine didn’t. And I’m still regretting it. I swore when I had a kid she would never leave college with student loan debt. Of course, that was BEFORE I had a kid and I discovered that the orthodontic bills we’re looking at alone could have us working as greeters at Walmart well into our sunset years. Besides, the years of second mortgages are GONE, BABY, GONE. 

Okay. NO COLLEGE. Still. $221,000.  Uh, is it too late to change my mind?

Post tags:


  1. Yep, kids cost a lot of money. I didn’t realize as much as a house, but can that house or multiple SUVs turn around and give you that look
    and say, “I love you Mommy”?

    Comment by MomofMaci — August 6, 2009 @ 8:16 am

  2. No. But they also won’t blame you for all their problems later in therapy…Actually, being Julia’s mom has been the greatest joy of my life. No matter what the cost.

    Comment by toni — August 6, 2009 @ 9:45 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

eXTReMe Tracker