Author Topic: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"  (Read 13408 times)

ducky19

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$14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« on: January 11, 2018, 08:55:43 AM »
http://time.com/money/5095550/money-makeover-baby-costs-hicks/?utm_source=money.com&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily-money&utm_content=2018011113pm

So I was reading this article about a couple wondering if they could afford to have a baby - fairly reasonable question. I had a hard time getting past the 4th paragraph, though (emphasis mine):

“We worry we’ll blow right through our savings,” adds Warren Hicks, 30. “I think about how much we make and how adding an expense of, say, $1,200 a month just to keep the baby alive would affect us—especially if Lauren takes time off work.”

Wait... what??? I mean, what. the. everloving. fuck??? Don't get me wrong, I have three kids of my own so I'm not blind to the fact that children come with expenses. But $1,200 a month just to keep your kid from dying is ridiculous - if that were true, there would certainly be a lot fewer kids running around the neighborhood.

For being in their late 20's and earning $170k/year, they are really in good shape financially. I do agree with the financial planner that they should beef up their emergency fund to supplement what her employer will pay while she's off. That's about as far as I can agree with the financial planner though.

"The Hicks have already stored quite a bit away in a mix of 401(k) and Roth IRA retirement accounts. That’s all great, says Hamilton, who estimates that if they keep saving at the current rate, they could both retire at 65. That would give them $84,000 to spend per year, after accounting for taxes and mortgage payments, provided they also downsize to a condo when Lauren reaches 80."

I have always struggled with planners who think they can plan things down to a gnat's ass (moving into a condo when she turns 80?) when there are a thousand variables that could derail that plan (home values tank, less than optimal returns, etc).

"Given the couple’s current spending and other goals, Hamilton thinks the Hickses can plan to pay 60% of the estimated college costs for all three future children—if they all go to state schools, such as the University of Texas. (The rest of the money will come from scholarships or student loans.) To get there, they’ll need to open and begin funding three 529 accounts right at the birth of each child, cutting back on some day-to-day expenses, and diverting a bit of the money they’ve been putting into everyday savings. Hamilton likes the 529 plans offered by the state of Utah, because they offer low-cost investment options from Vanguard and DFA and are easy to use."

While I applaud the planner for suggesting they start 529 plans at birth to plan for college, recommending they divert money from savings vs. making budget cuts made me cringe. They earn $170k/year and have no debt outside of their mortgage! What the hell are they spending their money on??? Their mortgage (even with taxes and insurance) should be between $1500-$2000/mo. depending on 15 or 30 year mortgage, and they're only saving 10% in their retirement accounts. They should still have at least $6000/mo after taxes to live on! I can't even imagine a burn rate that high...

I'm really going to have to stop reading financial articles on the internet - gets my blood boiling too much.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 08:58:01 AM by ducky19 »

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2018, 09:01:19 AM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.

Jrr85

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2018, 09:26:47 AM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.

If both parents are planning on working, depending on cost of daycare/childcare where they live, it'd be pretty easy to hit pretty close to $1200 a month in daycare, formula, and diapers.  Yes, they could breast feed and use cloth diapers, etc, but it's not like they are walking about gucci baby clothes prices.  We live in a pretty low cost of living area and just our childcare averages about $733 per child per month. 

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2018, 09:51:48 AM »
If both parents are planning on working, depending on cost of daycare/childcare where they live, it'd be pretty easy to hit pretty close to $1200 a month in daycare, formula, and diapers.  Yes, they could breast feed and use cloth diapers, etc, but it's not like they are walking about gucci baby clothes prices.  We live in a pretty low cost of living area and just our childcare averages about $733 per child per month.

Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   Like the people in the article, the opportunity cost of lost salary and lost time in a competitive career field make it more than worth it.  (You also can't BOTH worry about the high cost of daycare and dealing with lost income from Mom not working. If she's not working, baby shouldn't be in daycare.)

We also don't cloth diaper, but it was easy to find those as hand me downs or cheap used, so again, not a cost to "keep the baby alive".   And disposables aren't exactly pricey if you find a good store brand (we use Up&Up, and combine the already low price with 15% off for having a red card.)

I only use a small amount of formula, but having collected tons of coupons, I often get it free for the month (walmart routinely sends out $20 coupons, and their formula costs $20).  The name brands are always sending coupons, and if you collect them from other moms and combine with coupons, it can be really cheap.


If they said "the cost to raise the child"; yep, there are lots of little things that add up, especially if you aren't a frugal mindset.  It's the hyperbole of the article that was ridiculous.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 09:56:20 AM by iowajes »

Jrr85

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2018, 12:04:25 PM »
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then). 


honeybbq

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2018, 01:49:37 PM »
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).

what???

ducky19

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2018, 04:09:43 PM »
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).

Chicago Public Schools? Dear, lord I hope not!

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2018, 04:34:18 PM »
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).
Tons of people manage without paying for daycare or abandoning a baby.

Trade shifts with a spouse, barter with a neighbor, move in with a grandparent.

Babies can be kept alive, a bare minimum standard, without it.

MgoSam

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2018, 09:26:20 AM »
Haven't read the article but it is a saddening fact that raising a child is extremely expensive here in the United States. This task is made harder if you are unfortunate to be near family members or others that can help care for your child. My sister and brother both find it difficult to do so and they have plenty of financial resources and community support to do so. This makes me very scared for parents and children that are not fortunate enough to have such resources.

kaypinkHH

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 09:58:29 AM »
Whoa, what an article.

What is clearly stated in the beginning of the article is the 1200 additional a month assumption is with the wife taking time off work.

Quote
“We worry we’ll blow right through our savings,” adds Warren Hicks, 30. “I think about how much we make and how adding an expense of, say, $1,200 a month would affect us—especially if Lauren takes time off work.”

$1200 a month INCL day care is good ball park price for a baby. (I'm not in the states, so not sure how much medical costs would be first few months for a baby, but I'm assuming with their jobs they would have decent medical coverage).

Main pet peeves from this article: As ducky19 pointed out...WHERE IS THEIR MONEY GOING???

I also agree with MgoSam, if people making 170k a year can "just afford" to have a few kids and maybe retire at 65, there are some serious systemic issues going on.

Kimera757

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 05:11:49 PM »
I have a family member paying that amount (in Canadian dollars) for a child too young to go to preschool. It sucks, but it's only a few years.

I read a thread on Reddit (this is an anecdote) where a perfectly healthy 10 year old child had to be taken to school by an adult. If not, the school would call the parents. It's almost literally insane. They essentially demand that every family have a homemaker or someone who works part-time (or odd shifts) because letting a ten year old walk to school is "dangerous". Kids today are expensive, and it's not always the parents just wasting money.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 01:39:40 AM »
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid. When my oldest starts next yearI hope she'll be proud of her independence when she gets comfortable enough to walk herself.

Syonyk

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 10:02:11 PM »
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid.

Oh, man.  Walking to school?  That's terribly unsafe.

http://www.fox26houston.com/news/schools-new-policy-bans-parents-from-walking-children-to-school

Quote
Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year. The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

Dicey

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 10:34:04 PM »
Yeah, I stumbled across this article the other day. It was the they could both retire at 65 part that had me rolling my eyes.

clarkfan1979

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 11:07:46 PM »
We have an 8 month old and I think he costs us about $300. When you consider the tax deductions, it's much less. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2018, 08:22:20 AM »
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid.

Oh, man.  Walking to school?  That's terribly unsafe.

http://www.fox26houston.com/news/schools-new-policy-bans-parents-from-walking-children-to-school

Quote
Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year. The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

That is freaking weird.  I walked to school from grade 1 on (not kindergarten).  It was 0.9 km and I did it 4xday.  There was a crossing guard at the one busy intersection.  Same for HS, I lived too close to be allowed to take the bus and my route was a major suburban street, lots of traffic.  Those of us who lived close enough to walk, walked.  On really bad weather days we might get a lift to school, so maybe once or twice a year? 

StarBright

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2018, 08:31:27 AM »
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid. When my oldest starts next yearI hope she'll be proud of her independence when she gets comfortable enough to walk herself.

Our school has the "adult must drop off child" rule and if my work schedule ever changes our neighborhood is going to be in trouble :) Right now I walk my own child plus another 4-7 to school every morning. I'm saving three other families a ton of money in childcare every month (otherwise these kids get dropped off at a daycare that offers "pre-care" and the daycare busses them to school).

Kimera757

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2018, 05:43:53 PM »
I'm pleased to see my neighbor who is in kindergarten walking by herself. It's a walk past six houses and then a crossing guard, so entirely reasonable for a six-year-old, but I wondered if the school would insist that an adult arrive daily with the kid.

Oh, man.  Walking to school?  That's terribly unsafe.

http://www.fox26houston.com/news/schools-new-policy-bans-parents-from-walking-children-to-school

Quote
Pick your child up from school and you could be charged with trespassing. That's the threat against parents at Bear Branch Elementary School in Magnolia ISD. This is the school's tactic to keep parents who live close to the school from walking on school grounds.

Bear Branch is losing students over this pick up policy, that's been in place since the beginning of this school year. The principal has decided that no matter how close the student lives to the school, the student must either take the bus, or the parent must wait in a long car pickup line. Try to walk your student off the campus and you could face criminal charges.

So crazier than a required escort? And here I thought that post I had read earlier that I had mentioned was the craziest thing I heard about childcare this year. So now parents must be drivers or spend money on the bus? The article didn't say what happens if the kid walked to school by themselves, however.

When I was in grade 1 I walked 0.9 km to school per day (and back), but only twice per day. Less exercise than RetiredAt63 had. Not only did I never get hurt, it even gave me a little bit of exercise.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2018, 05:45:25 PM by Kimera757 »

Jrr85

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2018, 12:01:39 PM »
Daycare is an insane expense, but it is not a cost "just to keep the baby alive."  That's where the hyperbole gets ridiculous.  Cost to raise a child, absolutely.  I pay more than $1,200 a month in just daycare and I live in Iowa, not exactly the highest cost of living in the country- but it is not a cost required to keep my child living.   
  If both parents are working, I think that daycare is not unreasonably called a cost of keeping the baby alive (even if it's a little dramatic).  You might be able to leave a baby at home in say a crib for 9 hours (or maybe 4 hours at a time if you're able to get back midday at a lunch break, but lots of bad stuff can happen in 4 hours, and you're also going to have to account for when they get mobile.  Realistically, they either have the cost of paying daycare, or the much higher cost in this case of one of the parents quitting their job (unless they just happen to have a jobs where they could stagger them so one was at home at all times).  Maybe the baby won't die immediately if left alone during the day, but there will certainly be harmful effects that could reasonably be expected to include death (if their child isn't taken by CPS before then).
Tons of people manage without paying for daycare or abandoning a baby.

Trade shifts with a spouse, barter with a neighbor, move in with a grandparent.

Babies can be kept alive, a bare minimum standard, without it.

Tons of people may, but most people can't manage to take care of a baby without either paying for daycare or having a spouse stay home.   

Lots of people don't have jobs that would allow them to avoid overlapping hours with their spouse.  And bartering with a neighbor?  Daycare workers where we live already tend to be low wage workers, so there aren't a lot of neighbors that want to keep a kid during the day for the cost of daycare.  Nor does everybody have grandparents or parents they can just move in with.   

The lack of perspective here is perplexing some times.  Yes, people spend a lot of money and generally more than they need to.  But there are actual resources consumed by living.  If a person or couple has a child, somebody is going to have to spend some of their time watching that child.  And while many people are fortunate enough to have family to help for "free" or to be able to find an alternative arrangement (like a stay at home mother looking to make a little money watching an extra child for much cheaper than daycare cost), people paying for daycare or staying home from work to take care of their children are not usually morons (or at least not morons because they can't figure out a way to have their kids watched without them quitting or scaling back work or to have somebody else watch them for way less than the cost of daycare).  It's just that somebody has to watch infants, and there is a cost to devoting somebody's time to watching an infant that is not cheap (whether it's because somebody is getting paid to do it or because a parent is giving up income to do it).     

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2018, 12:29:42 PM »


The lack of perspective here is perplexing some times. 

If people want to bitch how much money it costs to raise a child with even a frugal standard of living, fine.

But I am talking with the perspective of "just to keep the baby alive".  That was the phrase I took umbrage at- the hyperbole of it.  It absolutely does not cost $14,000+ a year to meet that level of care.
It cannot get more bare minimum of "just to keep the baby alive".  Daycare is absolutely NOT part of "just to keep the baby alive."  Especially if the mother is taking time off work, as the article mentions.

I myself pay nearly $14,000 in daycare a year- but I also am trying to hit a higher standard than just keeping her alive.


Cowardly Toaster

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2018, 05:20:30 PM »
Not including the medical bills, our 1.5 yo boy costs us little more than $1200 a year. Granted his grandparents supply quite a few toys and clothes as presents.

Still.

Jrr85

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2018, 10:29:20 AM »


The lack of perspective here is perplexing some times. 

If people want to bitch how much money it costs to raise a child with even a frugal standard of living, fine.

But I am talking with the perspective of "just to keep the baby alive".  That was the phrase I took umbrage at- the hyperbole of it.  It absolutely does not cost $14,000+ a year to meet that level of care.
It cannot get more bare minimum of "just to keep the baby alive".  Daycare is absolutely NOT part of "just to keep the baby alive."  Especially if the mother is taking time off work, as the article mentions.

I myself pay nearly $14,000 in daycare a year- but I also am trying to hit a higher standard than just keeping her alive.
 

Again, it's overly dramatic phrasing, but not necessarily hyperbole depending on where they live and the market for daycare.  And taking two months off for work doesn't change the need for childcare/daycare (other than reducing it by two months, but at a greater cost because the mother is making $75k). 

I live in a relatively low cost area, and even using an unregulated child care provider (who can have up to 4 children in their home) costs just slightly less than the regulated daycares.  So that's still over $7k per year before you talk about anything else.  I'm sure there are some illegal daycares that are cheaper, but they don't advertise for obvious reasons, and I'm not sure how to track them down.  Maybe daycare isn't that much higher where they live, but it would not shock me if it were.  I certainly know friends in other non-coastal areas that pay $12k per year per kid in daycare.  Maybe unregulated daycares in those places do cost significantly less than the regulated ones; not sure. 

ProxyRetired

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2018, 01:16:20 PM »
Quote
Lauren currently brings in $95,000 a year as a senior marketing manager; Warren earns $75,000 a year working in pipeline logistics for an oil company. Being the higher earner creates a lot of pressure, she says: “I feel I carry more responsibility for the household because I earn more,” she says. “I’m just anxious … If I’m out of work and we don’t have my salary coming in for two months, what will that mean for us?”

Well, sweetie, then you get to stay home with your kid until you find a new job. Your husband will still be making more money then many Americans.

« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 01:20:43 PM by ProxyRetired »

brute

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2018, 02:00:52 PM »
This just in. My wife walked and took the subway to school starting when she was 11. In north philly. Next person that tells me their kid can't possibly walk 3 blocks in the 'burbs get's facepunched.

Gin1984

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2018, 02:03:57 PM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2018, 02:06:55 PM by Gin1984 »

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2018, 02:33:05 PM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.

Gin1984

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2018, 09:21:57 PM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk


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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2018, 09:35:30 PM »
My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.

Guessing this varies a lot by person. I was constantly starving while nursing and the only snack I didn't eat was the ones I couldn't reach from under the baby. YMMV :)

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2018, 10:36:12 PM »
This just in. My wife walked and took the subway to school starting when she was 11. In north philly. Next person that tells me their kid can't possibly walk 3 blocks in the 'burbs get's facepunched.

I mean, if that person is the principal who will call the police if a kid walks off alone or a parent walks in to collect them... :/

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #29 on: January 18, 2018, 11:12:00 AM »
I think this couple is awesome, and I think the whole world would be better of with more people stressing the $$$ before making big decisions.  They just turned 30 (or close) and have over 200k in retirement funds and about 35k liquid. They own a home, and their only debt is mortgage debt.  I'm pretty sure this would put them in the top 5% in savings for the 30-40 year old band (I just pulled this out of my ass, but I'm pretty sure an MMMer will correct me if I'm too far off).

It's not that they can't afford a baby.  It's that they are used to putting a lot away and want to be able to continue to do so.  The good news for them is that a brief intro to MMM would change their lives.  They are already doing really well, but I bet their budget has tons of fat. 

If only every person on the Wall were more like this couple!

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2018, 11:32:43 AM »
I had to laugh when I saw the title of this thread in the Antimustachian forum. We have a son with spina bifida. His catheters cost $720/month, and he has titanium rods in his back that are worth more than our house. Luckily, his medical care doesn't cost us $14,400/year thanks to out-of-pocket maximums.

We have two other kids, and they don't even come close to costing us that much in excess of our normal expenses. They have, however, represented an opportunity cost well in excess of that, given that my wife has been a SAHM for the past six years, giving up a ~$40K/year salary in the process.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2018, 11:54:35 AM »
This just in. My wife walked and took the subway to school starting when she was 11. In north philly. Next person that tells me their kid can't possibly walk 3 blocks in the 'burbs get's facepunched.

I mean, if that person is the principal who will call the police if a kid walks off alone or a parent walks in to collect them... :/

What they need is a parent to bicycle/walk to the school and call the police when the principal won't give them their child. Then the cops can sort it out on the evening news. What a ridiculous situation. Why is the USA such a circus all the time?

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #32 on: January 18, 2018, 11:57:32 AM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #33 on: January 18, 2018, 12:06:23 PM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk


I'm a red panda

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #34 on: January 18, 2018, 12:27:06 PM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Does your area have ebay?

Gin1984

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #35 on: January 18, 2018, 02:14:14 PM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Does your area have ebay?
Ebay is not free....

I'm a red panda

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2018, 02:27:13 PM »
Does the baby have a health condition?  Because I can totally see medical bills costing that much.

/sarcasm. Yes, I know these are people just complaining about their perfectly healthy baby.

I'd say my newborn costs near zero to keep alive each month. She is eating some food now, so maybe $10 a month?  Diapers aren't needed for living, though we do spend $30-40 a month on them. All of our clothes, toys, and books are hand me downs, so haven't paid for any of that. Pretty much every piece of furniture was either hand me down or super cheap at a garage sale, so let's say $20 monthly?  And most of that isn't a "keep baby alive" expense. Daycare is the big expense, but not needed for living, so we can't count that either.

I did pay $6 for an antibiotic, and have had about $3000 in doctor's bills (including the birth).

These people are insane.
Did you not need to eat more while nursing?  I sure did, and it increased my food budget by $100/month.  And I am pretty sure having a lack of feces around is part of living (a non-sick life) as is some sort of protection from the elements.  We buy used but it is not nothing.

My food budget has not increased at all while nursing. I don't find myself more hungry, I don't eat snacks while I nurse.
My stack of cloth diapers was a hand me down.  I do use disposables for daycare, but I don't need to to keep her alive, it's an extra.  Our water bill has not increased, so I can't add that to her bill either.

My housing cost (protection from the elements) have not changed since I had the baby, so I can't ascribe that to her either.

Pretty cheap to keep a healthy baby alive.  Very expensive to send her to daycare though.
People need clothes or something clothing like to protect ourselves from the elements.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

If you can't find free or nearly free baby clothes, you aren't trying very hard.   I hear once they hit about 4-6 used clothes get much harder to aquire.  But baby clothes can be had for pennies in nearly perfect condition at garage sales.
In your area.  I've been in three different areas and only one of those was I able to get free or close to free.

Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk

Does your area have ebay?
Ebay is not free....

Buying in lots is "close to free".  There are things on there that are less than a dollar for an outfit.

You do NOT have to spend a lot of money to keep a baby alive. 

Having kids at an "average American" standard is very expensive. Heck, even a single retail outfit for baby clothes is expensive.  The pair of Uggs my mother bought my daughter is more than I spent on 9 months of clothes for her, many of which she didn't even rewear I had so much.  But to argue you have to pay that is absurd.

Go ask the Frugalwoods how much they spend on their daughter. It's even less than I have.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2018, 03:48:44 PM »

Why wouldn't you include medical expenses? If you arbitrarily exclude medical care, why not arbitrarily exclude it from your FIRE budget for yourself? I include medical for every person in my house, its pretty important to keeping people alive.

You also claim housing was free, I assume you budget housing for yourself. By that rationale, my spouse's housing costs are $0, she moved in with me and the housing costs didn't increase at all. Most would agree that's a pretty big stretch, to say only one of the adults in the house has associated housing costs.

Will you still claim your child has $0 in housing costs if they're 20 and living at home? At that point they'll be an adult, like my spouse. Are you arguing that only the person on the title has housing costs? At what point do you ascribe housing costs to a child then? Some children live at home till 30 and beyond, some people inherit their parents house and live their whole lives there.

I agree with most of what you say though. The housing one is hard for some people to agree on though, I'm curious on your perspective if it holds up as the child ages and if it stays constant at all ages (children get free housing budgets even as adults). Its a fun thought experiment.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #38 on: January 19, 2018, 05:03:42 AM »
Daycare is a hell of a lot cheaper than one person leaving their job in a two income household. I don't why you wouldn't include that a cost in literally keeping the baby alive. Not everyone has family or the kind of circle that will look after a very small child. It would hardly be appropriate to leave the child with very elderly relatives or very inexperienced friends, even if they were willing.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #39 on: January 19, 2018, 06:58:10 AM »

Why wouldn't you include medical expenses? If you arbitrarily exclude medical care, why not arbitrarily exclude it from your FIRE budget for yourself? I include medical for every person in my house, its pretty important to keeping people alive.

You also claim housing was free, I assume you budget housing for yourself. By that rationale, my spouse's housing costs are $0, she moved in with me and the housing costs didn't increase at all. Most would agree that's a pretty big stretch, to say only one of the adults in the house has associated housing costs.

Will you still claim your child has $0 in housing costs if they're 20 and living at home? At that point they'll be an adult, like my spouse. Are you arguing that only the person on the title has housing costs? At what point do you ascribe housing costs to a child then? Some children live at home till 30 and beyond, some people inherit their parents house and live their whole lives there.

I agree with most of what you say though. The housing one is hard for some people to agree on though, I'm curious on your perspective if it holds up as the child ages and if it stays constant at all ages (children get free housing budgets even as adults). Its a fun thought experiment.

Most healthy babies have very minimal medical costs.  I mentioned in my first post how much I've spent on mine- a few dollars in antibiotic, one $25 copay, about $3,000 in hospital bills.
 When I went to read the article, based on the idea that it would take $14,400 to keep a baby alive, I assumed this baby had a medical condition or special needs. It's a hypothetical baby and they weren't yet planning astronomical medical costs.

I also don't think a 20 year old is an infant, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. My housing costs didn't change in any way when I had an infant, so it isn't a cost of having an infant. I would ascribe housing costs to a child when they increase from pre-child levels due to the child.  A 20 year old also isn't a child, it's an adult; but if my adult-child lived with me, while I would make them pay a share of my living costs, if my costs didn't actually increase from pre-child levels, I wouldn't ascribe the costs as an expensive of having them. They don't get free housing, but I'm not paying more because they are there. (I'd assume an adult takes more resources than an infant though; grocery budget, utilities, etc- so possibly the expense goes up. But with my infant, it has not.)

For a healthy INFANT- the only true major expense is daycare (or maybe insurance premiums depending on your plans)- and daycare is just not necessary "to keep the baby alive". 

If the article was $14,400 a year to raise a baby; sure, that seems reasonable.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #40 on: January 19, 2018, 10:06:14 AM »

Why wouldn't you include medical expenses? If you arbitrarily exclude medical care, why not arbitrarily exclude it from your FIRE budget for yourself? I include medical for every person in my house, its pretty important to keeping people alive.

You also claim housing was free, I assume you budget housing for yourself. By that rationale, my spouse's housing costs are $0, she moved in with me and the housing costs didn't increase at all. Most would agree that's a pretty big stretch, to say only one of the adults in the house has associated housing costs.

Will you still claim your child has $0 in housing costs if they're 20 and living at home? At that point they'll be an adult, like my spouse. Are you arguing that only the person on the title has housing costs? At what point do you ascribe housing costs to a child then? Some children live at home till 30 and beyond, some people inherit their parents house and live their whole lives there.

I agree with most of what you say though. The housing one is hard for some people to agree on though, I'm curious on your perspective if it holds up as the child ages and if it stays constant at all ages (children get free housing budgets even as adults). Its a fun thought experiment.

Most healthy babies have very minimal medical costs.  I mentioned in my first post how much I've spent on mine- a few dollars in antibiotic, one $25 copay, about $3,000 in hospital bills.
 When I went to read the article, based on the idea that it would take $14,400 to keep a baby alive, I assumed this baby had a medical condition or special needs. It's a hypothetical baby and they weren't yet planning astronomical medical costs.

I also don't think a 20 year old is an infant, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything. My housing costs didn't change in any way when I had an infant, so it isn't a cost of having an infant. I would ascribe housing costs to a child when they increase from pre-child levels due to the child.  A 20 year old also isn't a child, it's an adult; but if my adult-child lived with me, while I would make them pay a share of my living costs, if my costs didn't actually increase from pre-child levels, I wouldn't ascribe the costs as an expensive of having them. They don't get free housing, but I'm not paying more because they are there. (I'd assume an adult takes more resources than an infant though; grocery budget, utilities, etc- so possibly the expense goes up. But with my infant, it has not.)

For a healthy INFANT- the only true major expense is daycare (or maybe insurance premiums depending on your plans)- and daycare is just not necessary "to keep the baby alive". 

If the article was $14,400 a year to raise a baby; sure, that seems reasonable.
The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2018, 10:24:14 AM »
Yes... Daycare is required for an infant. Sorry, the baby cannot be left alone. Either you pay someone else to do it or you give up your own wages and care for the baby yourself. Either way it costs money.

Other essentials are generally thought to be food, diapers, clothes, shelter and for most, a car seat. You can breastfeed, but for most people that will required an increase in calorie consumption. Shelter is likely a negligible additional expenses, assuming parents have home. Diapers and clothes can be easily had for free or for pennies, when buying used. Expensive car seats are expensive for the same reasons steak and BMWs are. Status and luxury features. you can have a new perfectly safe option for $50.

Babies cost money, but not a lot. By far the biggest expense will be their daily care, be it daycare or someone staying home with them.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 10:30:03 AM by abhe8 »

I'm a red panda

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2018, 10:38:11 AM »

The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.

We did not buy our house with children in mind. When we bought our house my husband was firm that we were not having children. We'd been married nearly 10 years, so that seems pretty reasonable. We've been in the house 5 years now, most without children, as the baby is not yet 1. We bought it with garage space in mind for his woodshop.  It's hard to find 3 car garages in this area without excess bedrooms.

None of our housing costs changed due to having a baby.  Who cares how we "allocate" it- the actual cost didn't change.

Babies do not have to be expensive.  They CAN be expensive, but keeping them alive doesn't have to be. 

I'm done with this thread, it's boring me.  But feel free to think your child would die if you and your husbands traded shifts to not need to use childcare, or if you swapped babysitting with a neighbor who works weekends, or if a grandparent moved in, or if you stayed at home (the opportunity cost is clearly huge for this particular family though), or if your college aged cousin cared for the baby during the day in exchange for a free room.  There are lots of ways to not use daycare.  I don't take advantage of any of them, as most are a huge hassle and I'd rather spend the money.   But I'm also not just trying to keep my baby alive; I'm trying to keep my baby alive and also continue to live my comfortable lifestyle.

Prairie Stash

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2018, 12:39:21 PM »

The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.

We did not buy our house with children in mind. When we bought our house my husband was firm that we were not having children. We'd been married nearly 10 years, so that seems pretty reasonable. We've been in the house 5 years now, most without children, as the baby is not yet 1. We bought it with garage space in mind for his woodshop.  It's hard to find 3 car garages in this area without excess bedrooms.

None of our housing costs changed due to having a baby.  Who cares how we "allocate" it- the actual cost didn't change.

Babies do not have to be expensive.  They CAN be expensive, but keeping them alive doesn't have to be. 

I'm done with this thread, it's boring me.  But feel free to think your child would die if you and your husbands traded shifts to not need to use childcare, or if you swapped babysitting with a neighbor who works weekends, or if a grandparent moved in, or if you stayed at home (the opportunity cost is clearly huge for this particular family though), or if your college aged cousin cared for the baby during the day in exchange for a free room.  There are lots of ways to not use daycare.  I don't take advantage of any of them, as most are a huge hassle and I'd rather spend the money.   But I'm also not just trying to keep my baby alive; I'm trying to keep my baby alive and also continue to live my comfortable lifestyle.
That's fair, we can agree to disagree. I'm getting my information from the USDA, I was only interested in letting you see how others do it. The allocation comes from the USDA, its nothing more than a metric to compare family expenditures, to see how you relate to the average, that's the biggest group who cares, the people who collect the statistics. If you think you spend less than the average, you should know that the average expenditure includes housing as I described it. It only matters to you, not anyone else, if you spend more or less than average, I know where I stack up; on the high side actually - I'm way over average on daycare and education.

I tried, I'm sorry you feel this was a waste of time. You can lead a person to knowledge, you can't force them to learn.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2018, 01:19:12 PM »
Normally this forum is better than to dogpile somebody with pedantry. We all know what iowajes meant in her initial post.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2018, 01:29:14 PM »

The average infant costs $1660 in medical the first two years. You spent $3020. Not everything is average or goes according to plan as you point out.

For housing, all I'm doing is trying to paraphrase the USDA in a different manner, I'll try again. The point of the 20 year old is to show how you wouldn't charge a 20 year old incremental utility costs, everyone else charges those plus base house costs.  You obviously agree with that part, but then you say only adults have housing costs. Somehow when a kid turns 18 the total expenditures of the house changes? Obviously not, but apparently your allocation changes (both agree here). Allocation does not mean you charge an infant rent, it means you recognize that you bought a larger house so that you can provide the child a bedroom.

The next part of housing costs is more subtle. Will you maintain that you bought your house without considering having children, likely not since you're a rational person. I'm quite certain you actually bought a larger house just to provide room for the future, because that's the smart way to do it. If it had been you and Mr. Iowajes only, you probably would have bought a smaller house because of your mustachian ways (lets say you couldn't have children due to medical, you wouldn't need spare rooms for kids then). Mustachians buy larger houses when they have kids (sometimes prior in preparation), Non-Mustachians just buy large houses without consideration of housing their children. That's how mustachians determine housing costs, the difference in home price (including mortgage interest, taxes, repairs) between houses necessary to house just themselves and houses to accommodate children.

When comparing housing costs, compare yourself to mustachian DINKS. The difference is the children.

We did not buy our house with children in mind. When we bought our house my husband was firm that we were not having children. We'd been married nearly 10 years, so that seems pretty reasonable. We've been in the house 5 years now, most without children, as the baby is not yet 1. We bought it with garage space in mind for his woodshop.  It's hard to find 3 car garages in this area without excess bedrooms.

None of our housing costs changed due to having a baby.  Who cares how we "allocate" it- the actual cost didn't change.

Babies do not have to be expensive.  They CAN be expensive, but keeping them alive doesn't have to be. 

I'm done with this thread, it's boring me.  But feel free to think your child would die if you and your husbands traded shifts to not need to use childcare, or if you swapped babysitting with a neighbor who works weekends, or if a grandparent moved in, or if you stayed at home (the opportunity cost is clearly huge for this particular family though), or if your college aged cousin cared for the baby during the day in exchange for a free room.  There are lots of ways to not use daycare.  I don't take advantage of any of them, as most are a huge hassle and I'd rather spend the money.   But I'm also not just trying to keep my baby alive; I'm trying to keep my baby alive and also continue to live my comfortable lifestyle.
That's fair, we can agree to disagree. I'm getting my information from the USDA, I was only interested in letting you see how others do it. The allocation comes from the USDA, its nothing more than a metric to compare family expenditures, to see how you relate to the average, that's the biggest group who cares, the people who collect the statistics. If you think you spend less than the average, you should know that the average expenditure includes housing as I described it. It only matters to you, not anyone else, if you spend more or less than average, I know where I stack up; on the high side actually - I'm way over average on daycare and education.

I tried, I'm sorry you feel this was a waste of time. You can lead a person to knowledge, you can't force them to learn.

I didn't realize the USDA had "minimum spending to keep a baby alive" data.
I thought they had average amount spent to raise a child. 

I think most parents shoot for a hell of a lot more than keep a baby alive.  I think the parents were being absurd in phrasing it that way.

Prairie Stash

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2018, 02:44:18 PM »
I didn't realize the USDA had "minimum spending to keep a baby alive" data.
I thought they had average amount spent to raise a child. 

I think most parents shoot for a hell of a lot more than keep a baby alive.  I think the parents were being absurd in phrasing it that way.
The parents phrased it as:
"We worry we’ll blow right through our savings,” adds Warren Hicks, 30. “I think about how much we make and how adding an expense of, say, $1,200 a month would affect us—especially if Lauren takes time off work.”

That would be known as a misquote. Apparently the parents had it corrected after it was initially published. Most would agree its reasonable to save for a baby. The $1200 is just an estimate of their costs used for demonstration purposes only. I tend to use conservative values when estimating expenses, how about you?

As for the USDA, I agree its the average, the minimum doesn't exist. The USDA says medical is a common expense, which makes it impossible to prescribe a minimum. The minimum for a sick child is different than a healthy child.

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #47 on: February 07, 2018, 08:45:42 AM »
I think criticizing people for including day care costs (or the opportunity cost of a stay-at-home or reduced-hours parent) because one could have a relative work for free is about as fair as criticizing them for including car costs in their budget when they could just have their parents buy their vehicle for them.  Sure, this is the MMM forum and you don't have to have a car -- but you don't have to have a kid, either!  Ride a bike/be a DINK.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 10:01:47 AM by Ann »

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #48 on: February 13, 2018, 09:12:20 PM »
Daycare is a hell of a lot cheaper than one person leaving their job in a two income household. I don't why you wouldn't include that a cost in literally keeping the baby alive. Not everyone has family or the kind of circle that will look after a very small child. It would hardly be appropriate to leave the child with very elderly relatives or very inexperienced friends, even if they were willing.

A lot of people on here are wizards with their IRAs and know jackshit about raising kids.

Kyle Schuant

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Re: $14,400/year "just to keep the baby alive"
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2018, 04:13:20 AM »
Not thinking of our 6yo lad, our spending on our (almost) 2yo is,
  • $11 every two weeks for day nappies; $22pcm
  • $30 for night nappies every two months; $15pcm
  • $3 of wet wipes each month
  • Once she came along, food spending went from $120 to $140pw, some of that's been rises in price for meat and dairy, plus we are home more often with two kids than one, but let's be pessimistic and assume it's all just extra food she's eating; that's $20pw or $80pcm. We did give her formula for a bit, and once she got sick so we had to give her lactose-free formula, but we never even used the whole tin.
  • Clothing... um... we bought a few bodysuits when she was a newborn, but apart from that literally everything she wears is a hand-me-down form someone else's kid
  • Laundry... an extra load a week for her clothes and sheets and towels, especially since they occasionally have poo or pee on them. No idea what each load of laundry costs, but it can't be over $5. So $20pcm.
  • $140pcm in all right now.
That keeps her alive and clean. We haven't noticed any increased in utilities bills since she was born; logically with more lights and heating and so on there should be a difference, but the variation we get from the weather (eg particularly hot summer vs an ordinary one) is much greater than any difference she makes.

She does childcare one day a week, it costs $114 but government subsidies take it down to $60, which will drop further from July, but at the moment it's $240pcm. But this is not necessary to keep her alive, it's just convenient allowing me a day off and my wife the chance to work from home once a week, and we can have lunch without kids around.

I've seen people spend a fortune on clothing, but honestly you just get a few basic things and people will enthusiastically give you a lot more. Once you're a parent, between mother's group and childcare and kinder and school and your normal social circle, you find everyone and their dog wants to give you their old kids' clothes. Now if you simply must have that dress or whatever, then yeah it'll be big spending. But if you just want them in clean and intact clothing right for the weather, it's no problem.

Toys, honestly you should never get them anything - everyone else is going to go all-out on every birthday, Christmas or Hannukah, and give the kid so many toys that by the time they're four whenever you write birthday party invites you're adding, "no toys as presents, please." Plus however much junk they have, all they ever play with for more than ten minutes is,
  • their fluffy toy (teddy bear or whatever)
  • wooden blocks
  • lego/duplo
  • any toy with wheels
  • a ball
  • a cardboard box
  • a stick
seriously, that's it. They could probably get by just with the last 3 of these. Obviously there is no upper limit on how much you can spend on these things, but you can get all of these things from a cheapie shop for not more than $100 in all - and the biggest expense would be official lego/duplo (there are cheap Chinese copies of lower quality) - and that's basically the kid set until they're five years old or so. You might be tempted to get them things with buttons that go click and ding, but they tend not to be played with for long. And no, they don't need anything with a screen until they're in high school.

I consider books a necessity for children, the ones for young kids are mostly pretty cheap, but anyway you can join your local library and have them for free. And most people offering toys can be persuaded to do books instead.

Once they go to school the flood of second-hand clothes and unwanted toys slows down, and even state schools will have some expenses, but these are usually not great, on the order of a few hundred dollars for school uniform, some token fees and donations to support the library, that sort of thing.

There are other things like blankets and prams and cots and child seats for cars... but those are one-off expenses and hugely vary in cost (I wouldn't go cheap on car seats, but the other stuff? why not).
Babies are the same as anything else, you can always spend more if you want to... but really it's because you decided to, not to keep them alive, and I would add, healthy and happy.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 02:11:15 PM by Kyle Schuant »