Author Topic: Cost of kid-raising hits $234,900 in U.S  (Read 3190 times)

MacGyverIt

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Cost of kid-raising hits $234,900 in U.S
« on: June 14, 2012, 05:51:39 PM »
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/14/us-usa-children-costs-idUSBRE85D1O620120614

"A middle-class family with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend about $234,900 in the next 17 years on food, shelter and other necessities. And that's before a family adds in the cost of college."


Does this number sound accurate or anti-mustachian to you?

I really wish they provided an expense break down for these numbers and knew some specifics of the families quoted - do they have cable, do they run the AC at 72 degrees... do they drive a Canyonero http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4QgWRycd7I?

Norman Johnson

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Re: Cost of kid-raising hits $234,900 in U.S
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2012, 06:13:53 PM »
I track everything and my son is now 14 months. Good excuse for me to go and run some numbers... Stay tuned tomorrow!

arebelspy

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Re: Cost of kid-raising hits $234,900 in U.S
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2012, 06:44:50 PM »
That's just under 14k/yr.

Doesn't seem entirely unreasonable.  I do think a Mustachian could do much better.
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bogart

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Re: Cost of kid-raising hits $234,900 in U.S
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2012, 09:23:37 PM »
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/14/us-usa-children-costs-idUSBRE85D1O620120614

I really wish they provided an expense break down for these numbers and knew some specifics of the families quoted - do they have cable, do they run the AC at 72 degrees... do they drive a Canyonero http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4QgWRycd7I?

It may not provide all the details you want, but you can find the full report here:  http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/CRC/crc2011.pdf

Thinking about big expenses associated with our LO in the first 5 years of his life they include ...
~$2K being born
~$20K my lost income year 1 (cut back to 30 hours/week from 40)
~$10K my lost income year 2 (35 hours)
~$6K childcare (part-time) years 0-4 ($30K total)
~$8K preschool (part-time) year 5
~$1.2K per year health insurance (adding him to my employer-subsidized policy) (~$7K total)

So that's ... what?  $79K for the first 5 years (really 6, counting the year before his first birthday).  I'd guess our costs will go down as we move from paid childcare/preschool to public school, but I expect them to go back up again as he gets older and acquires more expensive hobbies (than he has now).  I'm OK with that. 

Our housing's remained constant (though we live in the house DH bought to move his now adult kids to when they were in elementary school; in another scenario, that might have increased).  Clothing, "stuff," and activities have been pretty incidental.  I did upgrade to a different car after he was born (I didn't want to drive him around in my 1994 pickup truck), but those costs have been fairly incidental, too (I'd likely have upgraded/replaced around then anyway). 

Our travel expenses have gone up also, as I've opted to fly (essential, there's an ocean in the way) to visit extended family, something I might well not have done (and didn't do as much of) absent the kid ... and of course, we now have to buy an additional ticket.  But that's probably not typical and certainly not (absolutely) essential.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 08:03:27 AM by bogart »

gooki

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Re: Cost of kid-raising hits $234,900 in U.S
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 01:25:38 AM »
Lost income accounts for a lot in our scenario $70k per year for 5 years.

skyrefuge

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Re: Cost of kid-raising hits $234,900 in U.S
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 10:01:47 AM »
Does this number sound accurate or anti-mustachian to you?

Both.  The numbers are accurate, because they're simply a reflection of what Americans actually have spent in the past.  It's not just some complainypants pulling a number out of the air, the data is extracted from the nationwide government-run Consumer Expenditure Survey.

One of the more interesting things is that when comparing the 2011 results to the 1960 results, a higher percentage of child-expenditures in 1960 went to transportation, food, clothing, and miscellaneous than they do today.  But that's because today higher percentages go to health care and child care/education, particularly the latter, which is 18% today and only 2% in 1960.  That almost makes today's parents sound more mustachian than 1960s parents, until we learn that in terms of total dollars, today's parents spend 23% more (inflation-adjusted) than 1960s parents.

Which brings up the point that this survey includes only actual expenses, so it doesn't count lost income.  But perhaps that "lost income" appears a bit in the increase child-care expenses.