By Jennifer Fischer, mother of little angel, Kyla
The following information was brought to my attention a couple of weeks ago. However, being the busy mom that I am, it has taken me awhile to write about the topic…
I am not the first person to say or agree with the thought “If you waited until you felt ready to have children, you would never have them.” Truly, as much as Kevin & I wanted to be parents, we felt moments of doubt and fear for nine months. Most, if not all, of that fear went away the first second we looked at the face of our newborn, precious daughter.
Our fears and doubts were the kind most first-time parents-to-be experience… We wondered if we would be good enough to our child. We wondered how our lives would change. We wondered if our baby would love us. We wondered how (or if!) we would survive the sleepless nights. Although we occasionally thought about the financial impact our new family member would have on our pocketbooks we honestly never did any calculations about just what Baby Fischer would actually cost us.
Well, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion takes care of that for us. They have worked their mathematical magic to inform us the exact cost of children.
This detailed, 39-page report is exact and scientific. But a brief summary from the Associated Press follows:
"A new government report finds that a middle-income family with a child born last year will spend about $221,000 raising that child through age 17.
The USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion says housing is the largest single expense, followed by food and child care/education costs.
That $221,000 figure rises to about $292,000 when adjusted for inflation."
From the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion report:
Child-rearing expenses vary considerably by household income level. For a child in a two child,
husband-wife family, annual expenses ranged from $8,330 to $9,450, on average, (depending on age of the child) for households with before-tax income less than $56,870, from $11,610 to $13,480 for households with before-tax income between $56,870 and $98,470, and from $19,250 to $22,960 for households with before-tax income more than $98,470.
As a proportion of total child-rearing expenses, housing accounted for the largest share across income groups, comprising 32 to 35 percent of total expenses on a child in a two child, husband-wife family. For families in the middle-income group, food and child care/education (for those with the expense) were the next largest average expenditures on a child, each accounting for 16 percent of child-rearing expenses.
Annual expenditures on children generally increased with age of the child. This fact was the same for both husband-wife and single-parent families.
Overall annual child-rearing expenses were highest for husband-wife families in the urban Northeast, followed by families in the urban West and urban
Compared with expenditures on each child in a two-child, husband-wife family, expenditures by husband-wife households with one child average 25 percent more on the single child and expenditures by households with three or more children average 22 percent less on each child.
Child-rearing expense patterns of single-parent households with a before-tax income less than $56,870 were 7 percent lower than those of husband-wife households in the same income group. Most single-parent households were in this income group (compared with about one-third of husband-wife families).”
$292,000 over 17 years is $1,431.37 per month!
That startling figure could be the most effective birth control method to date.
However, every parent out there will agree: There is just NO putting a value on bringing new life in to your family, whether one child or 18, a la the Duggers. I’m sure that in Kyla’s first few years she will have created enough precious memories for us to give MasterCard a new “priceless” commercial skit at least once a week.
You may have seen this presentation in the past but I think it beautifully makes my point. Enjoy the video and enjoy your children, no matter how hard your wallet takes a hit.