Author Topic: What's the Financial Cost of a Child? Ages 0-18 years  (Read 9032 times)

Captain FIRE

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Re: What's the Financial Cost of a Child? Ages 0-18 years
« Reply #50 on: October 18, 2017, 11:54:28 AM »
The biggest one is child care. Depending on what your circumstances are and what cost of living environment you are in - this is the mostly highly variable IMO.

I live in a HCOLA, and have 2 FT working parents with no family around. Infant day care is around $2500/month, with it going down to about $1800/month at 5 years old. After care when they are in school is around $500-750/month.  When we were in a LCOLA, infant care was around $1000/month for some perspective.
Are all daycares in your area this expensive? Or was this one chosen because it is better in some way?

The centers, yes. You might get a slightly better price at an in-home/private place but all the chains (kindercare, bright horizons, etc) are at that price point. At least in the Seattle metro area. If you are in the 'burbs it's probably better.
Coming from a country where daycares are subsidized by the government but perhaps less fancy than their US counterparts, could you help me understand what makes these "brand name" daycares worth the extra cost?

From my experience touring daycares (both centers and homes) in two states, cheaper centers had higher ratios, more teacher turnover, usually had more religion and were more likely to have a TV going when I toured.

More expensive centers had pretty low ratios (my kids had 3 babies to 1 adult when they were in infant rooms), experienced teachers and actual childcare philosophies (Montessori, Reggio, Rei, etc). The more expensive centers have also had a food/meal "Curriculum" with a focus on healthy cooking, fruits and veggies and manners and learning about where food comes from (so they gardened in the summer, took field trips to farms, etc).

We started with a super nice center when my first child was born because it was the first one that had a spot open up on the waitlist and they welcomed me coming in to nurse on my lunch break. After that it was very hard to make a switch to a cheaper center.

Additional factors:
- More space than mandated.  The mandated space is actually pretty small and while they may not "need" to have more, the min. space I saw seemed like people were quite crowded and on top of each other.
- Location.  My home & work both have pricey real estate, which presumably drive up costs of daycare.
- Supply & demand.  I needed to get on a daycare list many months beforehand.  The one in my office I would have needed to sign up more than a year in advance.
- Hours.  My daycare offers up to 11 hrs, which increases their costs by needing shifts for the workers.  They can handle employee sick days and vacations though.


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Re: What's the Financial Cost of a Child? Ages 0-18 years
« Reply #51 on: October 18, 2017, 12:14:25 PM »
We live in a suburb of Massachusetts, so relatively HCOL compared to most other states. We avoid most of it by not buying frivolously, but we can't avoid property taxes at 5k annually. Moving isn't an option for another 30 years since her certification (teaching) is only valid in MA. I say 30 years since she wants the pension - which makes me the luckiest guy ever since it will amount to roughly 4k/mo after taxes in retirement - which is more than we (mostly) comfortably live on now if you take the mortgage payment out of the equation.

Question regarding cloth diapers got me distracted on a tangent wondering if I could run a local diaper service via private label diapers/alibaba, so thanks for that :)

Extra curricular activities, I'm in favor of. Really it's what the child shows an interest in - for me it was several sports and a failed attempt to play violin. My wife's major was Art Education, so if it's something creative I'm sure she'll take lead on it.

At present, we don't really vacation. But I'll want my child(ren) to have happy memories like I did growing up, which would be several camping trips to the Cape per Summer and trips to museums. Then again, my brother didn't like camping as much as I did, and wasn't at fond of museums..

For technology, they will have my hand-me-downs and otherwise it will be a Christmas/Birthday kind of thing. I was 16 before my family got cable, and 18 before my first cell phone - I feel I'm better for it. I'll probably provide them with a phone several generations behind 'current' - for the most part my iPhone 5s can do most of the important things the new one can do.

I hadn't even considered cord blood banking, and had to look it up. It's certainly something to consider.

Regarding child care for infant-5 years old; I'm actually shocked the rate is so high. I barely make more than that after taxes. My plan is to either quit my job and stay home with them (wife is top earner), or since I work remotely 4/5 days, try to make it work/see how long I can try to juggle both. Because my wife will collect her pension in retirement (not counting her 403b, nor social security, nor un-estimatable inheritance), I'm in the fortunate position of only having to plan for the 'now'.  If I find maintaining my job isn't tenable, I'll  try to start some sort of side hustle to help contribute.

Anyone here have experience trying to work from home with a child present?
I have and likely you won't be able to do much with a young child present so you'll have to work when your wife is home and on weekends as well as when the baby is sleeping.


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Re: What's the Financial Cost of a Child? Ages 0-18 years
« Reply #52 on: October 18, 2017, 03:41:51 PM »
I estimate $12-13k per year. That's in a LCOL area with daycare at $7,400/yr and a company that pays 90% of my insurance premiums. The daycare expense will end at age 5 when we plan to put little one in public kindergarten. However, a couple years after that we'll RE and the insurance component will rise to about that.


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Re: What's the Financial Cost of a Child? Ages 0-18 years
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2017, 03:22:00 AM »
Single parent, one child. Live in one of the lowest COL areas in Canada.

Some years my child costs me nothing. On other years, she is an accounting benefit of a few thousand dollars. This year she may cost 500-1500 net. She went to three camps, did four sports, goes to daycare, goes to the dentist bi-annually, learned to bike (i.e. I bought her a bike), and she is involved with lots of activities not listed above. I save a couple hundred dollars a month for any possible post-secondary schooling she may go into.

How does this wonky math occur? In the 90s in Canada, greedy bourgeoisie middle class Canadians started seeing their incomes skyrocket. They petitioned the federal and provincial governments to lower their taxes, add in boutique programs or tax breaks, and institute some social benefit programs disproportionately benefiting themselves. Between just three programs (dependent tax write-off, daycare write-off, and CCTB), I get 10k from the governments for having a child. Iím in the top 3% for income for my age.

Even to this day the greedy middle class pester the governments for more relief. Fuck them.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2017, 03:23:54 AM by kayvent »